Breckenridge Colorado Winter Activities

By: Ben Kelly

The Rocky Mountains provide an endless array of winter activities in Breckenridge, Colorado. While the town is most famous for its world-class Breckenridge Ski Resort, visitors will find that non-ski activities abound as well. With 300-plus inches of snow falling on the surrounding mountain peaks each winter, activities such as snowmobiling, dog sledding, nordic skiing, ice skating, fly fishing, sledding and sleigh rides will keep your party active, while just scratching the surface of all that Breckenridge has to offer. Those looking for a bit "warmer" activities will find phenomenal day spas, shopping and cultural centers.

Breckenridge is a snowmobiler's paradise with an almost unfathomable amount of terrain to explore. Local outfitters provide both guided and unguided snowmobile tours and rental, allowing guests to choose their level of adventure. Snowmobiling provides motorized access to the backcountry glades and bowls that abound in the area, with opportunities for postcard-like photos at nearly every turn of the trail. Adventurous riders may opt for "high adventure" tours where guides will show you how the locals ride, accessing Breckenridge's deepest powder.

Those seeking a bit more seclusion and quiet can appreciate the wilderness via a guided dog sled tour. Dog sledding tours through the middle fork of the Swan River Valley allow you to explore some of Breckenridge's deepest forests as well as historic mining camps and ghost towns that once populated the area. Dog teams of Siberian huskies are eager to show you these places as they swiftly plod through the pines and aspens over rolling backcountry terrain.

The Breckenridge area is home to amazing nordic skiing opportunities, a favorite local activity. Take in one of three local nordic centers, or break your own trail on an excursion into the backcountry. The Army's 10th mountain division maintains several backcountry huts throughout the area that can be rented by the night or the week, providing a base of operations for your skiing excursion of choice.

Take in one of Breckenridge's three local ice rinks for a morning or afternoon of skating with your family in a winter wonderland. The Stephen C. West Ice Arena offers 2 NHL sized ice surfaces and hosts open skating daily. Maggie Pond, located in the Peak 9 base area, offers outdoor skating opportunities with phenomenal views of the Ten Mile Range and Bald Mountain. Skate rentals are available at both locations for skaters who haven't brought their own equipment along.

Winter doesn't mean the end of fly fishing season in the Breckenridge high country. The area is home to several gold medal rivers, streams and lakes where highly skilled guides can hook you up with trophy sized fish. Those brave enough to endure the chilly winter temperatures will find uncrowded fishing grounds, surrounded by amphitheaters of rugged snowcapped peaks. Massive, hungry trout are waiting to take your fly on almost every cast, with expert guides placing you in prime position to catch them.

Families looking for adventurous sledding options will find that the Breckenridge area offers several. While the Breckenridge Ski Resort does not offer and on-mountain tubing hill, its nearby sister resort does. Tubing at Keystone resort takes place in both the day and night time hours, meaning a tubing adventure doesn't have to cut into your ski day. The town of Breckenridge is home to Carter Park, a walk-up slide-down sledding hill with a generous slope and a long out run. Bring your own sled or pick one up at a local supermarket. This public park provides sledding free of charge while Keystone Resort charges for its hill.

Finally, dinner sleigh rides provide an evening event for the entire family, with hand build Santa-style sleighs and powerful Belgian draft horses. Sleigh rides take place on either Breckenridge's Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, or through the wilderness of the Swan River Valley, with a star filled sky overhead lighting the way. Hearty meals are served in lodges warmed by roaring fires and charming local mountain hospitality.

Whether you're an expert skier or a novice who's just learning to link turns, be sure you take in more than just the ski area when visiting Breckenridge. The area's winter activities are unsurpassed, with multiple opportunities to enjoy Colorado's famous champagne powder. Whether you're traveling with friends, family a corporate group or by yourself, Breckenridge activities are well suited to the needs of any party.

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