If you’ve found yourself here, chances are you’re wondering what Breckenridge is going to look like this 2020/2021 Winter Season (under current COVID-19 circumstances). You’re probably curious what a ‘socially distanced’ Breckenridge winter getaway might look like or have to offer.
The good news is, inherently, due to its mountain/rural location and plethora of outdoor activities Breckenridge does make a fantastic destination choice when considering an escape from the daily monotony and stress that we all feel living in the day and age of a pandemic. And while skiing is already a great choice when determining activities that are both outdoors and socially distanced, Breckenridge offers many other activities that are guaranteed to help you leave feeling reinvigorated.
In this blog, we have rounded up a list of suggested winter activities available in Breckenridge that we believe offer a ‘SNOWcially distanced’ experience in a safe and healthy environment.
❄️ Skiing and Snowboarding
The Breckenridge Ski Resort is operating at reduced capacity with several safety measures in place. A reservation system has been created to monitor daily on-mountain access to ensure physical distancing and a face covering requirement while skiing and riding has been instituted to help preserve the health and safety of guests and staff. Chairlift and Gondola ridership is limited to ‘per household’ groups and on-mountain dining, while reduced, will be offered in an outdoor environment or a “quick-service” fashion at some locations with ready-to-go hot and cold food options and packaged beer and win. We highly recommend that you download the EpicMix app to help elevate your on-mountain experience with a convenient way to help plan/schedule your meals, purchase and reserve your ski days, view up to date mountain information like weather/snowfall, trail & lift status and web cams for up to date mountain conditions and access interactive trail maps of the mountain (please note, no paper trail maps will be given this year).
❄️ Cross Country Skiing
Although a contrasting experience from the rush of downhill skiing, Nordic/Cross Country Skiing is still a popular winter activity for those looking to experience breathtaking terrain and spectacular views in a more peaceful environment. And while most may only know Breckenridge for its downhill Ski Resort and Ski Trails, the town also offers two Nordic Centers boasting more than 30 miles of perfectly manicured cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.
Breckenridge Nordic Center – located on Peak 8, this is a great stop for families and beginners. This nordic center offers three beginner trails as well as on-site ski and snowshoe rentals.
Gold Run Nordic Center – another perfect option for beginners and families, the Gold Run Nordic Center (located at the Breckenridge Golf Course) offers three interweaving groomed trails as well as rentals. Also onsite is a free outdoor ice rink. Bring your own skates or rent them onsite for a small fee. Afterwards, bundle up and enjoy the stunning views from the onsite Clubhouse Bar and Restaurant’s expansive deck with a cup of warm hot cocoa (or a hot toddy).
❄️ Ice Skating
Maggie Pond – a bit more centrally located to downtown than the Breckenridge Nordic Center, Maggie Pond also offers a picture-perfect location for ice skating. Skate rentals available onsite from The Village at Breckenridge.
❄️ Visit Isak Heartstone
Embark on Trollstigen Trail in search of Isak Heartstone, the 15-foot tall friendly troll that has stolen the hearts of thousands of Breckenridge visitors and locals alike. The recycled art installation is a can’t miss when visiting Breckenridge in any season!
❄️ Winter Hiking and Snowshoe Trails
Sallie Barber Mine – A great, beginner level hike with spectacular views. This 1.4 mile trail leads to a beautiful old mining site perched above the picturesque town of Breckenridge. Take in stunning views of the Sally Barber mine and Keystone in the distance. This trail is very well traveled in the winter and sees heavy use, so be sure to bring your mask and be considerate of other hikers.
Peaks Trail – This nice and easy Winter hike is situated at the top of Ski Hill Road and offers an incredible out-and-back hike with minimal elevation gain. Weaving in and out of the beautiful lodge pole pine forest at the base the ski resort, feel free to go as far as you choose, take in some breathtaking views, and head back whenever you want. Due to heavy Winter usage, this trail stays in great shape for a nice winter stroll. Be sure to bring your mask and be considerate of other hikers.
Carter Park – A great location to start a hike of any distance, Carter Park offers a gateway to an incredibly vast trail system that can lead you all over Breckenridge. All of which offer great views along the way! Popular trails include the Barney Ford Trail, Moonstone Trail, and even a link back to the Sally Barber Mine trail. Weave in and out of the beautiful neighborhoods of Breckenridge, or head away from civilization and have the snowy trails all to yourself. While the main climb out of Carter Park may be a bit lung-busting, at the top of the short climb you are rewarded with amazing views of the town below. Relatively flat trails await the rest of this hike. Due to steepness, MicroSpikes or other brands of traction control for your boots are recommended. A trail map (available at the Breckenridge Welcome Center) is also recommended as you will come across a lot of trail intersections. Again, be sure to bring your mask and be considerate to other hikers.
Tubing and sledding are always a family favorite. A day playing in the snow is a free way to enjoy the outdoors while giving your legs a break from skiing. Grab your toboggan, saucer or any slider or glider of your choice and get ready for a fun day of sledding at the local sledding hill.
Carter Park Sledding Hill – located just four blocks east of Main Street, the Carter Park sledding hill offers a walk-up, slide-down hill that has just the right amount of steepness. The hill is wide, but it can get busy as the day goes on, so plan ahead, get there early and be sure to bring a face covering (as is required by park regulations). While the entertainment is free, sled rentals are not available and will need to be purchased prior to visiting (City Market and the Breckenridge Market often have a large selection of sleds, saucers, snow tubes, etc). Parking on-site is limited but bus and lodging shuttles drop-off nearby.
NEW! Runway Sledding Hill – located on Fraction Drive, this hill is also free and located near the free parking lot on Airport Road (also along the popular Breckenridge Free Ride bus loop). The sledding hill is a man-made, walk-up hill and is regularly groomed. Again, sleds are not provided but can be purchased in advance. Please note, usage of the park is at your own risk and is not allowed outside the fenced-in area. Please be considerate and avoid others with possible.
❄️ Fat Tire Biking
Taking Breckenridge by storm, fat-tire biking is one of the newest winter trends in Breckenridge. These bikes, equipped with 4.8” width tires and no front or rear suspension, offer a fantastic way to explore town or Nordic trails and bike paths on two wheels. Bikes can be rented at most bike rental shops throughout town and offer bundled up adventure enthusiasts a great new way to explore Breckenridge and play in the snow.