Breckenridge Resort in Colorado is annually one of the most popular ski areas in the United States in terms of skier visits. In a few years, the Summit County resort has even taken the top spot from nearby Vail Mountain. Both are owned by Vail Resorts, the country's largest ski-resort operator. The attraction for families is simple. Set above the picturesque, authentic mountain town of Breckenridge, the 2,908 skiable acres tend to be family-friendly for a broad swath of abilities.
Start on Peak 9
Although Breckenridge does have serious steeps up high in the Lake Chutes and in hike-to-terrain on newly-opened Peak 6, most of the below-treeline trails are not incredibly intimidating. For families with beginners, Peak 9 is a good place to start. The green runs off the QuickSilver SuperChair are very tame. A pair of groomed runs through the trees, The Haunted Forest and Ripperoo's Forest, should be particularly popular with young kids.
Over on Peak 8, the other cluster of green trails is accessed by a pair of old-school double chairlifts. To take advantage of the high-speed Colorado SuperChair, groups must be able to handle some intermediate terrain. However, Springmeier coming down from the top of the lift is quite forgiving for a blue run.
Peak 7 has the blues
For family cruising, Peak 7 is blue heaven. Again, Peak 7's intermediate runs are not especially difficult relative to other western resorts. The blue Pioneer trail is generally considered the easiest way down Peak 7.
Along with the skiing and snowboarding, Breckenridge offers many of the additional family activities that are becoming more common at major destination resorts. The Gold Runner Alpine Coaster on Peak 8 is open to ride for kids ages 3 and over who are at least 38 inches tall. An adult must drive the sled with the young child riding in front. Drivers riding alone must be at least 54 inches tall. Also on Peak 8, the new TenMile Flyer Zipline is open to riders at least 45 inches tall and more than 55 pounds.
Disclaimer: Lift tickets were provided during visit to Breckenridge Resort.