Exploring Breckenridge

a person holding skis on a snowy mountain

AVIS had a bright red 2023 Dodge Durango waiting for us when we got off the bus and, after loading our gear, we started our way up towards Breckenridge. Though there wasn’t much snow to speak of on the ground in Denver, we encountered more as we headed west on I-70. Near Idaho Springs the snow started to fall but it was just a dusting. However, by the time we crossed the Continental Divide through the Eisenhower Tunnel and pulled into Breckenridge it was coming down heavily.

We pulled up to our house for the weekend and unloaded the car while we waited on the folks who came up a day early to finish skiing. Once they returned, showered, and changed, we headed into Downtown Breckenridge for dinner. Main Street was covered in snow from earlier in the day and we made our way to Flip Side for dinner.

a car parked in front of a house in the snow
a group of people walking in a snowy area with trees with lights
a street with cars and trees in the snow
a building with lights on the side

Flip Side is a local burger joint that is also known for their boozy milkshakes. While we perused the menu I started with a vanilla shake with a shot of Maker’s Mark. After a short wait, a monster burger was brought out and it was every bit as good as I remembered from previous visits.

a menu of a restaurant
a glass with a drink and two straws
a plate of food with fries and bacon

Since everyone was tired from either skiing or traveling, we called it a night early and headed back up the hill to our house on Peak 8. The next morning, we slept in and headed to town around noon for lunch and to pick up our ski rentals. We grabbed our skis from Blue River Sports and they highly recommended that we try Eric’s for lunch. Eric’s is a local pizza place located in the basement of one of the many shops along Main Street. In addition to the restaurant, they also have a large arcade that’ll keep anyone occupied for a while.

a group of people standing in front of a building
a brick wall with benches and people sitting at tables

We took a seat at the bar and, though the pizza came highly recommended, I decided on the fish and chips. Why a guy from Louisiana would be eating fish in a pizza place in Colorado is still a mystery to me, especially considering the oil was past its prime. After lunch, we went back to the house for scotch and cigars on the front porch as we had an unusually warm, 33 degree, day.

a plate of fried food
a glass of whiskey and a cigar on a wood railing

While we were on the porch we met our next door neighbor who had just driven up from Denver with a very playful Bernese Mountain Dog who alternated between playing with us and diving into the nearby snowbank.

a dog lying in the snow
a dog lying in the snow in front of a house

After getting ready for dinner, we made the short trip back down to Main Street to grab a beer before dinner. Broken Compass brewing was our first stop and a few of us grabbed the giant boot full of beer. The only odd thing was the large deposit, I believe it was $75 that they would keep in the event you broke one. I’m happy to say that all glass giant beer shoes made it back to the bartender without incident.

a glass of beer on a table

Full of beer, we walked across the street to BoLD (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner) Restaurant for our 8:00p reservation. The menu wasn’t extensive, but everything on it sounded delicious. I didn’t think to make note of our starters, but my chef’s daily cut steak was delicious served with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and asparagus.

a hand holding a paper with text
a plate of food with a fork

With full stomachs, we should have headed back to the house, but we decided that one more stop was in order, so we made our way down to a nearby nightclub. Maybe I’m getting old, but a combination of beer, steak and pulsing dubstep music proved to be too much for most of us, so we cut out and headed home to prepare for a big day of skiing.

a group of people in a room with lights

For our final full day in Breck, the whole house was up early in order to hit the slopes. Because of a few stragglers, we missed the first chair by about 30 minutes though the lines were still minimal. By 9:30a we were at the top of the Rocky Mountain Super Chair ready to ski.

a group of people standing in front of a fence with skis
a group of people on a snowy area
a ski lift with trees in the background
a person on a snowboard looking at a valley

We spent the first hour or so on Peak 8 as the lines remained minimal for the lifts. Eventually, we made our way over to Peak 10 which consists of only advanced terrain (Black and Double Black slopes) before stopping for lunch. We all met at Ten Mile Station at the base of Peak 10 for an overpriced chicken strip basket lunch and a beer.

a group of people in a room with screens on the ceiling
a group of people at a bar
a hand holding a basket of fried chicken and fries

$40 later, we made the long journey over to Peak 8 via the SuperConnect and then took the Imperial Super Chair all the way up to the top, or at least most of the way. The final few hundred feet to the summit was a single-file hike during blowing winds but eventually we made our way to the top of the mountain and found ourselves standing at 12,998 feet above sea level.

a group of people climbing a snowy mountain
a person holding skis on a snowy mountain

The top of the mountain had great, 360 degree, views out over the surrounding mountains and towns. I snapped a few pictures and one of our buddies proudly displayed his Kansas City Chiefs flag, this was the day before the Super Bowl after all and Eagles fans had been talking a lot of smack. We were also in the middle of Broncos country.

a snowy mountain range with trees and a valley
a group of people on a snowy mountain
a person on skis holding a flag

We had two options to get off the peak, hike back down or ski our way out down some double blacks. Naturally, a group of guys decided to ski our way out even though a couple of us had never skied a double black run before, myself included. It took a while and I had a couple of falls and a yard sale at one point, but we made it to the bottom in one piece. That called for a beer, so we stopped at the Rendezvous Bar before skiing a few more runs and calling it a day.

a sign above a bar
a can of beer on a table

That night, we stayed in and grilled steaks as some folks in our party were leaving at the crack of dawn. One of the guys in the group and I both had later flights so while others hit the road, we took a more leisurely pace. First stop was Cool River Coffee House in downtown Breck for my daily dose of caffeine.

a sign on a tree

Finally, it was time for our trip to come to an end. We hopped in the car and went back over the pass towards Denver. We made one final stop for brunch with an old coworker of mine at Wash Park Grille before gassing up the car and heading for DIA.

a plate of food on a table


Though it was a short trip, Breckenridge is still one of my favorite ski towns. I wish it was easier to access from a major airport, like Park City, but when the weather is nice the drive isn’t bad and the skiing is top notch. I’m looking forward to many more future trips.

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