Breckenridge, Colorado features an endless array of winter activities. Although the town is most notable for its world-class ski resort, Breckenridge also offers travelers a multitude of non-ski activities. With more than 300 inches of powder fall on the surrounding mountain peaks each winter, Breckenridge is the ideal venue for activities such as snowmobiling, dog sledding Nordic skiing, ice skating, fly fishing, sledding and sleigh rides.
Though it is most famous for its world-class ski resort, the town of Breckenridge, Colorado also offers a multitude of non-ski winter activities. With over 300 inches of light, fluffy snow falling on the surrounding mountain peaks each winter, Breckenridge also draws visitors seeking a mountain paradise where non-ski winter activities abound. Visitors can wake up to new adventures daily with options for snowmobiling, Nordic skiing, dog sledding, winter fly fishing, sleigh rides, tubing, sledding and ice skating.
The changing of the seasons doesn’t bring an end to fly fishing in Breckenridge’s 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. Visitors who are willing to endure the chilly winter temperatures will find uncrowded riverbanks, surrounded by an amphitheater of snow capped mountain peaks. Massive trout are waiting to hit your fly on virtually every cast, and with an expert guide at your side, you’ll be in a prime position to catch them.
The Breckenridge area has become a snowmobiling Mecca and provides an almost unfathomable amount of terrain to explore. Local outfitters provide both guided and unguided tours and rentals, which allows guests to choose their level of adventure. Snowmobiling provides motorized access to the back country glades and bowls that abound in the area, with opportunities for postcard-like photos at nearly every turn of the trail. “High Adventure” tours are available for more adventurous riders who would like to rice Breckenridge’s deepest back country powder at full-throttle speeds.
Those seeking to experience the local back country with a non-motorized form of transportation will appreciate the wilderness via a guided dog sled tour. Local dog sledding tours run through the middle fork of the Swan River Valley, enabling visitors to experience some of Breckenridge’s deepest forests as well as the historic mining camps and ghost towns that once populated the area.
The Rocky Mountains are also home to phenomenal cross country skiing – a favorite pastime amongst Breckenridge locals. Stop by one of the three local Nordic Centers located in town, or break your own trail on an excursion into the area’s easily accessible backcountry. The United States Army’s 10th mountain division maintains several backcountry huts throughout the area that can be rented for a night or the week, providing a warm base of operations for backcountry skiing excursions
Families who are looking for adventurous sledding options will find several options within a short drive of Breckenridge. Although the Breckenridge Ski Resort does not offer a tubing hill on its slopes, its nearby sister resort, Keystone, does. Tubing is available at Keystone during the day and into the evening hours. 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. Carter Park provides sledding opportunities free of charge while visitors will have to pay for access to the Keystone Resort’s tubing runs.
Breckenridge’s three local ice rinks can provide for a morning or afternoon of skating with your family. The Stephen C. West Ice Arena offers 2 NHL sized ice surfaces and hosts open skating hours daily. The Maggie Pond, located within the resort’s 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.
Finally, local dinner and scenic sleigh rides provide an evening of entertainment for the entire family. Rides take place on hand built Santa-style sleighs pulled by powerful Belgian and Percheron draft horses. Sleigh rides are operated on Breckenridge’s Jack Nicklaus designed golf course and through the wilderness of the Swan River Valley. With a star-filled sky lighting the way, guests are treated to fantastic views of the surrounding mountain ranges. Hearty meals and hot chocolate are served in lodges heated by roaring fires and charming mountain hospitality.
Whether you’re an expert skier or a beginner who’s learning to link your first turns on the mountain, be sure you sample some of Breckenridge’s non-ski activities when visiting the area this winter. Opportunities for winter recreation in Breckenridge are unsurpassed, with several opportunities to enjoy the town’s spectacular snow that don’t involve skis, snowboards or chairlifts.
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