Breckenridge Area Resources
Breckenridge Local Tips
Our staff is local and is ready to help! Knowing local tips will save you time and money so you can spend more time on the slopes or sharing drinks with friends. Do you have other questions that are not listed here? Feel free to give us a call, we are here to help you act like a local!
Don't rent a car: Take a shuttle to Breckenridge and you will be able to use the FREE bus service or walk just about anywhere in town
Purchase an Epic Pass: If you ski more than 5-6 times a year at a Vail Resorts' mountain, purchase the Epic Pass for great savings
Visit in Off Peak Times: Great deals can be had if you avoid the holiday rushes
Take time to ski A-Basin: A-Basin is one of the few mountains that is considered "old school." Take an extra day to ski this great mountain.
Breckenridge Mountain Resort Guide
Breckenridge Mountain Resort Guide
Breckenridge Ski Resort, located in the mountains of Colorado, offers its visitors three half pipes as well as four terrain parks and is open for those with every skill level. This resort was one of the very first that allowed snowboarding, making it an instant hit.
Breckenridge Ski Resort has been in operation for over 20 years and offers the finest in freestyle landscapes. Between the four parks and the three half pipes, visitors can find a spot that is family friendly, or terrain that is for the bravest daredevil of the group. The resort is known for its many freestyle programs that are offered, and Breckenridge ranks prominently and continuously in skiing and snowboarding publications. Freestyle skiing is a popular pastime here in Breck, as the local people refer to the resort.
Breckenridge offers the Freeway, the most popular of the parks in the resort. The Freeway is for skiers who are advanced and features one of the United States biggest triple jump lines, as well as many different rail and jib features. The best part of the park is that they change it up on a regular basis so it is kept exciting and fresh for all the world’s best skiers. Freeway also offers a super pipe, which has 18 feet high walls, and is thought by many experts to be the greatest half pipe from all over the world. Even those who do not want to attempt the trail will enjoy the beautiful view from the top.
A new terrain park was added in 2008 for the skiers who are not quite as advanced and wish to practice their skills. Located on Peak 8, Park Lane offers 3,500 feet of ski jumps and rails for both skiers and snowboarders. This was accomplished by Breckenridge’s complex snowmaking system, so that there is always plenty of snow to keep the park’s jumping features in perfect condition. Other novice skiers can enjoy the two parks named Trygves and Eldorado. Here there are smaller jumps and beginners half pipes so that even the kids can start learning how to use them. The jumps, rails, and jibs are also built low to the ground so there is less of a risk of injury from falls and spills. Many parents like this park because it gives them opportunity to catch their young ones in action.
The best part of Breckenridge Ski Resort is that it’s not just for skiing and snowboarding. There are dozens of restaurants and bars for visitors to eat and drink at. There are over 200 shops, 249 historical structures, and hundreds of hotels and beds and breakfasts in the area. Visitors to Breckenridge Ski Resort will also enjoy many museums, art galleries, skating rinks, and golf courses around the area. Additionally, visitors can take advantage of many amazing activities such as hot-air balloon rides, dog sledding, mine tours, and dinner sleigh rides. The Breckenridge Ski Resort is perfect for couples and families, at any time of the year.
The History of Breckenridge
The History of Breckenridge
With Breckenridge's 150th Anniversary in 2009, it is important to reflect on the history and heritage that made this Victorian mining town what it is today. Breckenridge, which was inadvertently left off the official U.S. maps in the mid-1800s, became known as "Colorado's Kingdom" until the mistake was discovered nearly a half a century later in 1936 when it was finally incorporated. Today, the community embraces this unique aspect of its past through Kingdom Days, a celebration of Breckenridge's heritage.
Breckenridge's rich history is full of gold finds and mining, exploration and adventure, brothels and saloons, booms and busts. Founded in 1859 by a small group of men and one woman, the town's Gold Rush brought settlers in droves seeking their fortune. People came from across the country and around the world—from New England, Europe, South America and China—all to strike it rich. While some found gold, each adventurer discovered the glory of the Ten Mile Range and the bounty of its beautiful landscape.
The first settlers did more than erect a bustling town; they drew a community of colorful individuals who put their stamp on town history. Throughout Breckenridge's existence, the spirit of the community and surrounding landscape has inspired residents to participate in the town in their own unique way. And, as with Breckenridge townsfolk of today, the early settlers lived lives full of stories worth telling.
Father John Lewis Dyer, an itinerant Methodist minister who embraced the mountain life, made his way to Breckenridge in the 1860s. Father Dyer regularly skied across the Continental Divide on 12-foot long wooden skis to deliver the Gospel, sacks of gold and mail to the mining population. He founded a Methodist Church in 1880 and is well remembered today as the church remains active.
While Father Dyer was skiing across the mountains, Naturalist Edwin Carter was busy collecting specimens of local wildlife. Carter first came to Colorado to participate in the 1859 Gold Rush, but when he saw the destruction that mining and a growing population wreaked on local wildlife, he changed goals and embarked on a career as a naturalist. During his lifetime, Carter assembled over 15,000 specimens, many of which were used to launch the Denver Museum of Natural History. Today, many pieces can be seen at the Carter Museum on Ridge Street in Breckenridge.
In 1879, Ford's Chophouse opened in the heart of town, at the corner of Washington Avenue and Main Street. This is a seemly small event in the town's history, unless you consider the owner. Barney Ford became Breckenridge's first black businessman when the Chophouse opened, and he is considered Colorado's first great leader of African American heritage. He owned several businesses in Breckenridge, and at one time owned the finest house in town, which is now the Barney Ford House Museum. Highlights of Ford's life story include his escape from slavery, work with the Underground Railroad in Chicago, far-flung business endeavors and starting the first adult education program in the state. He also invested in the Oro Mine and Mill site in French Gulch in Breckenridge. He became rich from this investment and helped create Colorado history. His wife, Julia Ford, earned a listing in the Denver Social Register, the first time that exclusive society admitted an African American.
Any mining town worth mentioning has a tale of the "big strike." On July 23, 1887, the largest gold nugget ever found in the state of Colorado was discovered in Breckenridge. Tom Groves walked into the town cradling the blanket-wrapped bundle that gained the name "Tom's Baby" and weighed in at 13.5 pounds. Three days later, the nugget was put on a train to Denver. It was not seen again for 85 years. Rumors surrounding the nugget's disappearance include that it was shown at the Smithsonian, the Peabody Museum, Harvard University and Chicago's Field Museum, but none can be verified. In 1972, the Colorado State Historical Museum was prodded to examine gold specimens that had been deposited in a Denver bank in 1926. Sure enough, Tom's Baby was found, but over five pounds of the nugget remain missing. Essentially, Tom's Baby was kidnapped!
For more stories of Breckenridge's past, visit the Breckenridge Welcome Center, 203 S. Main Street. From there, guided or self-guided walking tours are available as well as more information on the historical museums in Breckenridge. For more in-depth information, contact the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance at 800.980.1859, or contact the Summit Historical Society at 970.453.9022.