The Real-Deal Guide to Visiting Breckenridge

You already know you’re going to visit Breckenridge. The only question is – when? Here’s a handy month by month guide to help you plan your perfect Breckenridge Vacation, complete with real answers, no-hype insights and the low down from locals.

JANUARY

The International Snow Sculptures transformed under the lights at night.

If you like powder skiing, parties with bonfires, the World’s longest shot ski and an artistic celebration of all things snow, Breckenridge is the place to be in January.

Why visit Breckenridge in January?

Locals seem to love January in Breckenridge. Maybe it’s because the average snowfall for January is 20+ inches. By this point in the season, most of the in-bounds terrain is open and the skiing starts to get good–really good–both at the resort and out of bounds in the backcountry. January is typically one of the coldest months, which is why it’s the perfect month for events like Ullr Fest and the International Snow Sculpture Championships.

  • Ullr Fest, a five-day festival honoring the Norse god of snow, includes a parade, the Ullympics, a town bonfire, the longest shot ski in the world and more!
  • International Snow Sculpture Championships, a five-day competition with approximately 15 teams of artists from around the world who chip, carve, shovel and finesse 25-ton blocks of snow into giant, intricate works of art.

What to consider?

January is one of the coldest months, which means you’d better bundle up! Layering is key up in the high country as weather can change in an instant. Know the forecast and when the next powder day is expected by checking the locals favorite weather forecasts, On the Snow and Open Snow. January can also be one of the busiest months due to heavy snowfall and holidays like Martin Luther King weekend. If you prefer a quieter time, come midweek and avoid the holiday crowds.

What to do?

Time your trip to coincide with the International Snow Sculpture Championships. Watch the 25-ton blocks of snow emerge into works of art throughout the week as you head to the slopes. Then, sign up for your own artistic adventure. Take a painting class or writing workshop in a historic building on the Breckenridge Create campus. After class, stroll downtown at night through the illuminated snow sculpture displays on your way to grab some happy hour martinis before dinner.

FEBRUARY

Fresh powder and a beautiful day skiing in Breckenridge, Colorado
February is the perfect time to enjoy Breckenridge’s five peaks and 2,908 acres of terrain!

February is the month of love. Of course, Valentine’s Day festivities are in the air, but the real love affair is when dreams of powder days start to become a reality. We get a lot of our snowfall between the months of January and February, so it’s no wonder locals and visitors alike love this snow-packed month, with hopes of knee deep powder and icy beards underway.

Why visit Breckenridge in February?

February means it’s the perfect time to take advantage of activities that rely on Breckenridge’s generous snowfall. Try Snowmobiling, Dogsledding and many more winter activities in Breckenridge!

Want to come to Breckenridge for the Superbowl? It can be a blast with so many sports bars in town, but it can also be busy. Locals who aren’t into the game will usually ski that day because the crowds clear out in the afternoon, but if both are on your agenda, hit the slopes in the morning and the town in the afternoon!

What to consider?

You’ll see an influx of visitors to town over the weekends like President’s Day holiday. Come on weekdays and you’ll miss the crowds. Parking is at a premium in Breckenridge during the year, and especially on holiday weekends. Consider taking the free bus system, which can take you all over the county.

Let’s admit it, winter in Breckenridge can be quite chilly, so don’t forget to bundle up because baby, it’s cold outside! The average temperature in February is around 30.2 degrees F and wind can play a big role in this too, making it feel even colder, especially up on the slopes. Don’t let that deter you; February does get a ton of sunny days that are perfect for a post-ski beer on the deck!

Plan ahead!  You’ll save time and money by buying your lift tickets, lessons and rentals online. If you buy your lift tickets at least 7 days in advance you can save up to 20% off the ticket window price. When booking lodging, make sure you look into proximity to the town, mountain, or bus stop and it’ll be easy to go carless once you arrive in Breckenridge.

What to do?

Whether you’re with the family or with friends, Breckenridge in February has so much to offer. Breck Create hosts art events and classes such as pottery, metalsmithing and more. To really go all in with your artistic side, check out Ready, Paint, Fire! to paint your own pottery or participate in a guided canvass painting party with some wine or beer to fuel your creative flow.

The Breckenridge Heritage Alliance has tours throughout the week including Walking History Tours and the Breckenridge Haunted Tour for all you history buffs out there!

To unwind for the day, head to the spa for a couple’s massage or sit in the sauna at the Recreation Center. Don’t forget to grab some late night happy-hour deals at Blue River Bistro featuring 2-for-1 appetizers and martinis.

Find out what else is going in February in Breckenridge.

MARCH

A family dog sledding in the snow in Breckenridge, Colorado.
Dog sledding is the perfect activity for the whole family.

March is one of the most active months of the year in Breckenridge as Mardi Gras kicks off, Spring Fever is underway, and spring skiing gets oh so good! As temperatures start to rise, March is accompanied by sunny days and great snow-pack- perfect for days spent outdoor with the crew. Every week is full of events, visitors, and spring breakers, so the town gets pretty darn lively!

Why visit Breckenridge in March?

Spring skiing, spring events like Spring fever and, of course, the Polar Plunge event where you jump into icy waters of Maggie Pond.

Each year, New Orleans visitors and Mardi Gras lovers take over Breckenridge with masks, boas, beads, music and revelry to commemorate the carnival season. Join us on Main Street for a New Orleans-Style Breckenridge Mardi Gras party!

What to consider?

Once spring has sprung, snow conditions are typically rock hard in the morning and slushy in the afternoons. For the best experience, start your ski/ride day mid-morning and plan to be off the hill in time to grab a spot on a deck or patio.

March can also be one of the snowiest months, so be prepared for snow, cold, sun and warmth.  Dress in layers, wear the right gear and pack snacks, water and sunscreen. Sunglasses and soaked-through base-layers are no fun in a snow-storm, and a goggle burn is not fun to show up with at work the next day. You’ll thank us later.

What to do?

If you’re looking for a wild time in town, hit up the bars and watering holes. If you’d like a booze-free, kid-friendly wild time, try dog sledding through Good Times Adventures. No matter your age, hit up Kenosha’s deck on a sunny afternoon. The 21+ kids will enjoy a frosty beverage while the little ones can play horseshoes or dig into the sandbox out back.

APRIL

No joke. April is the perfect time to visit Breckenridge.

Why visit Breckenridge in April?

April is one of the snowiest months, the temperatures are warmer and the crowds are gone (or nearly gone). Weekends can still be busy, but midweek is ideal for ripping up some corduroy or hitting an early morning session on a powder day.

What to consider?

It can be sunny and balmy one moment and a full-on blizzard the next. The weather in April is unpredictable, so be prepared. Visit during the first two weeks of April and you’ll experience great deals, fewer crowds. Once the resort closes, so do many of the local businesses. Check ahead to make sure your favorite restaurant, coffee shop and hotel are open in April.

What to do?

Raise a pint and celebrate the end of the season with a brew or two at the Breckenridge Spring Fever Beer Festival, then take advantage of the dining specials on the Dining Passport.

MAY

You’ll sometimes hear locals refer to May as the shoulder season. It has everything to do with the melting snow and the muddy trails to have fun on. Many restaurants, shops and lodging properties close the doors in May as local workers escape to the beach or the desert after a long ski and snowboard season.  But don’t worry there are some great deals to be had like the dinning passport.

Why visit Breckenridge in May?

You will feel like a local in May, because those are the only folks typically still in town. The deals are deep on everything from gear to dinner. The snow can also be deep. Yes. It really can and does snow in May. If you experience a powder day, head over Swan Mountain Road to Arapahoe Basin ski resort for the day. A-Basin usually stays open for skiing and snowboarding through early June. So, there’s that.

What to consider?

It’s absolutely necessary to research what’s open and what’s not. The Welcome Center is located at 203 S. Main Street or by calling 877-864-0868

What to do?

Depending on conditions, head out for a cross-country ski or snowshoe. Then again, it could be perfect weather for a road bike ride. There’s always the option of grabbing a book from Old Man Berkin’s bookshop and heading to your favorite coffee shop.

Colorado Whitewater Rafting in the Blue River
Whitewater rafting season normally starts during the month of May.

JUNE

Why visit Breckenridge in June?

In most places, June is the start of summer. Here, in Breckenridge, it’s the transitional time between winter and summer. One day it could be snowing. The next it could be sunny and warm. Check the weather in advance. OpenSummit is a new app that helps plan your outdoor activities with up-to-date forecasts and is brought to you by the same team as OpenSnow.com.

What to consider

The average high is 65.2 degrees with the average low at a brisk 31.7 degrees. Translation: Bring a sweater, jacket, puffy, hat and gloves. Summer in the Rockies can call for a hot toddy in front of a fireplace at night. During the day, the cool temperatures and low humidity are the perfect recipe for long hikes, bike rides or paddles.

What to do?

Bikes of every kind – cruisers, road bikes and mountain bikes – take to the trails, roads and even to the water during June. This bike-loving town gathers locals, visitors and bike enthusiasts from around the world. Look for clinics, group rides, the Breckenridge Cruisers event, the Breckenridge Mtn Enduro race and the Funkadelic Pond Crossing Challenge that gives bicyclists and even unicyclists the opportunity to test their mettle and pedal power across a floating plank that’s only 10″ wide in the Dredge Pond. The Disco-themed Pond Crossing Challenge is limited to 25 brave souls. Prizes are given for the fastest crossing, best costume and best crash, of course. If you want to stay dry, watch the festivities from the banks of the pond and cheer on the zany competitors.

You’ll be saying cheers to the start of summer and to the return of the Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival. This year, the festival is taking place in early July but sometimes the event happens in June. Check the schedule.

Tips: Check the trail status before you head out for a hike or bike ride. If the trail is muddy, stay off of it. The Breckenridge Golf Course typically opens in June but can open sooner depending on the weather.

Columbine wildflower in Breckenridge during summer.
The Columbine is Colorado’s state flower, and grows wild around Breckenridge.

JULY

Why Visit Breckenridge in July?

The summer season starts with a bang right around the 4th of July holiday weekend in Breckenridge. The warm weather is back and usually the trails dry out in early July (but check before you go).

What to consider

Weather: Ahhh. This is perfect. There’s a saying that you come (to Breckenridge or anywhere in the Colorado Rockies) for the skiing, but stay for the summers. July in Breckenridge is why. With an average high of 70.2 degrees and average low of 37.3 degrees, it’s a cool break with little to no humidity.

What to do?

The Fourth of July is the hallmark summer event and Breckenridge is the idyllic backdrop for a small-town celebration complete with flags, a Main Street parade and outdoor concerts with ice cream. Of course, Breckenridge has added its own twist with a 10K trail run that morning a 50K mountain bike race that leads off the parade down the packed Main Street lined with colorful Victorian buildings. The National Repertory Orchestra plays their free concert on the lawn of the Riverwalk Center (right in the heart of downtown Breckenridge on the banks of the Blue River).

Boy scouts carrying the American flag during the Independence Day parade.

Tips: If you’re hiking or biking, go early. Parking at popular trailheads can get crowded and fill up. Check the weather. With 300+ days of sunshine a year, it can and it does rain in Colorado. If it does, it usually rains in the afternoon. Make sure you know before you go – and check the weather, paying particular attention to lightning and thunder storms. If you’re planning to hike on trails above the tree line, make sure you head out early and get off the peaks before storms roll in.

AUGUST

Why Visit Breckenridge in August?

August is a continuation of the perfect summer weather that allows for virtually any outdoor activity.

What to consider

Weather: Slightly cooler than July – the average high temps in August are 70.3 degrees.

What to do?

A mountain biker on the Colorado Trail in Breckenridge.
Visit Breckenridge in August for prime mountain biking conditions.

SEPTEMBER

Why Visit Breckenridge in September?

What to consider

Weather: 63.9 degrees

What to do?

Labor Day weekend

Oktoberfest

Breckenridge Film Festival

Breckenridge Wine Classic

Visit Breckenridge in September for the Wine Classic tasting booth
Wine tasting at the Breckenridge Wine Classic.

OCTOBER

Why Visit Breckenridge in October?

What to consider:

Weather: Average temp is 35.9 (with an average high of 51.8 degrees)

What to do?

Events:

Craft Spirits Festival

Dia de los Muertos Celebration

Halloween

Glasses from the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival tastings
Tasting glasses cheering at the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival.

NOVEMBER

Why Visit Breckenridge in November?

Visit Breckenridge in November and there’s a distinctive hum in the air. It’s the tingle of excitement for the start of the ski and snowboard season. Listen closer – chances are it’s also the constant hum of the snowmaking guns blasting air and frozen water into the sky, coating the slopes with manmade snowflakes.

What to consider

Weather: 25.3 degrees is the average temp – average high is 40.4, low is 10.2. Brrr.

What to do?

Events: Breckenridge Ski Resort typically opens the second Friday of the month but this is entirely dependent on weather. They could open earlier or later. For 2018, Breckenridge is set to open Nov. 8. It’s easy to be thankful when you’re spending the Thanksgiving holiday in Breckenridge. Make reservations well in advance for dinner and get ready to carve it up on and off the slopes.

Tips: Depending on conditions, the resort could have limited terrain open or they could have most of the 6 peaks open. If you’re staying on Peaks 7, 9 or 10, check in advance. The resort typically opens with Peak 8 as their first base area and starts expanding from there.

Check restaurant hours in early November. If you’re in town for opening week, stop by a local coffee shop the day before Breck’s opening day. The Ski Resort hosts a locals kickoff event called Wake Up Breckenridge where you get a coffee mug and a cup of joe compliments of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Making turns on a beautiful sunny day on the slopes.

DECEMBER

A woman laughing during the holidays in Breckenridge
Woman smiling amongst the lit up trees during the holidays in Breckenridge

Why Visit Breckenridge in December?

Breckenridge is like stepping into a real-life snow globe. Sparkling holiday lights and glittering snowflakes are enough to make any grinch believe again.

What to consider

Weather: Oh, the weather outside is frightful … frightfully good if you’re a skier. Average temperature is 15.3 degrees with the average high coming in at 30.2 degrees.

What to do?

Events: It’s a truly magical time of the year. Here’s a lineup of the signature events:

  • The Lighting of Breckenridge and the Race of the Santas: The holiday kickoff event typically falls on the first weekend in December and features hundreds of Santas racing down Main Street with milk and cookie “aid” stations followed by caroling, the official lighting up of the holiday lights in Blue River Plaza and throughout town and visits with Santa.
  • Dew Tour
  • Holidays
  • New Year’s Eve

Tips:

Check www.opensnow.com for up-to-date forecasts and conditions. And, if you’re heading out of bounds, Know Before you Go. Check the forecasts and updates from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. You might want to stay indoors and head to the Breckenridge Recreation Center for the hot tub (but check the Rec Center’s schedule. They typically close in May for renovation projects and a deep cleaning).

By Breck Editorial

The Breckenridge Tourism Office works to enhance and promote the unique character and experience of Breckenridge as a world-renowned destination resort and to represent, serve and perpetuate the common interest and character of its membership and community.

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