Living in Colorado has its perks. Many of the best ski resorts are only a short drive away. Nearby Breckenridge is a skier's paradise—offering terrain for all levels of skiers. Breckenridge was the second-most popular ski resort in the nation last year in skier visits and right behind Vail Resort in the top of the charts spot.
Only 90 minutes west of Denver, this family-oriented resort grew by almost 25 percent in the 2013-14 ski season. The newest additon to Breckenridge is Peak 6 on the far north end of the ski resort. The expansion includes 543 acres of new skiable terrain. 400 acres of the expansion on Peak 6 are lift-served by the high-speed six-passenger Kensho Superchair reaching an elevation of 12,302 and the four-passenger chair Zendo that begins at the base of Peak 6. With intermediate runs named Bliss, Nirvana, Daydream, Delirium and Rapture, the lower portion of Peak 6 aims to please with a playground of trails.
For those expert skiers and cardio junkies out there, you can experience truly amazing double black diamond and EX (extreme double black diamond) runs in the upper Serenity Bowl, The Sixth Senses Bowl, and Beyond Bowl. The three expert bowls cover the remaining 100-plus acres in Peak 6. To reach the summit bowls high above the Kensho Superchair, you must balance your skis on your shoulder and hike about 20 minutes up to the timberline topping ridge. I admit I didn't hike to the top, I let my son Kai get the workout. Plus, he out skis me. Kai and his friends make the trek to the top for some heartpounding plunging runs in powder or packed powder depending on the weather that week. The top ridge isn't for the snow-plow or grooomed cruisers crowd—the slope angle at the top is about 50 degrees with rock ridges cutting through the white stuff.
Even if you don't climb to the top, Peak 6 offers amazing Rocky Mountain vistas and views of the town of Breckenridge and nearby Lake Dillon. Below the two high bowls on Peak 6 are a mix of blue intermediate and expert runs.
If you are looking for more mellow and less adrenaline in your Breck ski experience, check out Peak 7's crusier runs or Peak 9 for beginners. Peak 8 has a bit of everything— terrain parks, groomed beginner runs and above-the-tree line expert terrain. You can take the T-Bar on Peak 8 up to Pika, Ptarmigan, White Crown and Forget-Me-Not to experience some wide-open bowls with stunning views. Peak 10 has longer runs for expert and intermediate skiers. The longest run at the resort is Four O'Clock and it winds 3.5 miles from mid mountain and down into the condo villages below.
A great town with even better skiing
Way back in 1859 a small group of prospectors founded the town of Breckenridge, Colorado. The town’s Gold Rush brought droves of settlers seeking their fortunes. The town sits at an elevation of 9,603 feet (2,927 meters). The summit tops at 12,998 feet (3,962 meters).
According to SKI Magazine:
"The circa-1850 mining town is reason enough to visit, no doubt helping to earn the resort a no. 6 ranking in Après, no. 9 in Dining and no. 7 in Off- Hill Activities—check Riverwalk Center for concerts and shows. But that’s all just gravy. The skiing is what matters, and Breck’s 2,358 acres really do have it all."
Getting to the ski area is as easy as stepping out of your ski-in/ski-out slopeside lodging or hopping on the scenic BreckConnect gondola that spans the nearly 7,600 feet between the base of Peak 8 and downtown Breck.
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