Last Updated on July 16, 2023

When is the best time to visit Breckenridge, Colorado?

Well, that’s a bit of a trick question. The short answer is that any time is the best time to visit Breckenridge!

The long answer is . . . it depends.

There truly is something for everyone in Breckenridge, no matter the time of year. I’ve traveled there every season of the year, and I refuse to choose a favorite. However, I do want to break down what you can expect at different times of year.

How to prepare for altitude in Breckenridge

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that allow us to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Winter

Winter is probably the reason most people travel to Breckenridge the first time. Which, of course, is because of Breckenridge Ski Resort.

Breckenridge Ski Resort typically opens somewhere between November 5-15, depending on conditions. Personally, the earliest I’ve ever visited is the first full week of December.

Breckenridge Ski Resort in late March
The uncrowded weekday slopes of Breckenridge Ski Resort in late March | Photo by: Kristi Dosh

What’s the cheapest way to ski Breckenridge?

If you’re planning to ski multiple days, it might make sense to get an Epic Pass. The Epic Pass gets you access to resorts across the US, Canada and even Europe, Australia and Japan. if you want to ski other resorts this season. Since I store my ski gear in Breckenridge and mostly ski there, I get the Summit Value Pass, which gives access to Breckenridge and Keystone.

Epic Pass usually runs promotions in the spring and summer for the upcoming year with decent discounts, but without a discount it’ll cost you $859 in for the 2022 Epic Pass or $519 for the Summit Value Pass.

There are also Epic Day Passes available for 1-7 days that range from $81-95, depending on the number of days. This is generally cheaper than buying at the window day of, which can range from $80-150/day at Breckenridge, with discounts available for children and military.

Seven days of the Epic Day Pass is $567, making the Summit Value Pass a better deal if you plan to ski 7 days or more in Summit County during the season. I generally go out for 2-3 different weeks in ski season and like to be able to ski as many days as I want while I’m there, so I’ve had the Summit Value Pass the past few seasons.

Breckenridge ski links you need

Here are some quick links to help you find what you need for your ski/snowboard trip to Breckenridge:

November—December

I travel out to Breckenridge in December nearly every year to get in my first ski week of the year. Like most ski resorts in the U.S., it’s not the best conditions of the season. However, it’s good enough for me (a solid blue run skier) and helps break that long drought without skiing from April to December.

Breckenridge Ski Resort typically opens Peak 8 first in early to mid-November, then Peak 9 and then Peak 7. So, I generally try to stay at Grand Colorado on Peak 8 (where I own a timeshare—don’t judge until you read why it’s been an amazing decision) or somewhere with easy access to Peak 8 in December since it’s the safest bet to have good terrain open.

Peak 9 open dates have ranged from mid-November to early December, with Peak 7 usually open by the first week of December. Peak 6 and 10 generally open later than the three main peaks. The best way to keep track of opening day for each peak is to check Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Twitter feed. They generally post as they open and close each peak.

As a solid blue skier, December works fine for me. The snow isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough, and I love being in town with all the Christmas decorations.

December weather in Breckenridge usually sees highs in the high 20s to low 30s, with lows in the high teens. You can get the rare high in the teens, but you can also get a day up into the low 40s. It’s really a crap shoot.

In my opinion, it’s a good time of year to take kids learning to ski or older family members who appreciate smaller, slower crowds on the slopes. Or, maybe you’re like me and just can’t wait to get in that first ski day of the season. That’s okay too.

Picking up my cousin’s daughter from ski school in late April, a great time of year for beginners | Photo by: Kristi Dosh

January—Early March

If you want plenty of snow, January and February are a pretty safe bet. You don’t have to worry that there isn’t enough snow yet and everything is open barring temporary closures for bad conditions.

However, it’s also the most expensive time for lodging, and it’s when town and the slopes are most crowded, meaning longer wait times at the lift, more people to dodge on runs and a tougher time getting into local restaurants. I rarely go this time of year because I’d rather go when it’s a little warmer out and less crowded, but it is the best snow if you’re a more skilled skier or snowboarder and want ideal conditions.

January weather in Breckenridge usually sees highs in the high 20s and lows in the mid-teens. February can see highs creep into the low 30s, but lows are still usually mid-teens. By Early March, you can start seeing highs in the mid-30s and lows move up into the 20s.

January-March are the biggest snow months for Breckenridge (although April can pack a punch some years!), although the snow generally starts falling in October and can stretch through Memorial Day.

Spring

My mother-in-law and me on the champagne snow cat tour
My mother-in-law and me getting ready to go on a champagne snow cat tour in Breckenridge

Late March—April

Late March into mid-April is the best time to visit Breckenridge for skiing, in my experience. I’m a solid blue run skier, and my happy place is skiing in the sunshine on uncrowded slopes. I don’t need fresh powder to be happy, but there’s usually at least a day or two of it when I go in late March or early April.

In April 2022, I was in Breckenridge April 10-15 and got more snow, and had better conditions, than when I had been there two weeks earlier in March. In fact, it only snowed once briefly on my March trip, and it snowed every day on my April trip. In April 2021, Breck had 30″ of new snow in the 10 days before I went out on April 24th.

All that being said, the conditions are generally still better late March than mid- to late April. The problem in April—even with fresh powder—is that it gets so warm during the day that everything gets slushy and then it freezes overnight and is icy in the morning on the slopes. That time of year, I generally ski from around 11am to 2pm because it’s too icy early and too slushy late.

May-Mid June

Main Street Breckenridge

Welcome to mud season in Summit County. I’ve been in town late May to mid-June a few times, and one good thing I can say is that it’s nice and quiet.

The problem is that means many of the local businesses close for a few weeks or keep limited hours. The gondola is also closed, although other public transportation options are still open.

Summer doesn’t kick off Memorial Day weekend like in other parts of the country, instead the season really begins in mid-June. For example, Breckenridge Epic Discovery park didn’t open until June 17th in 2022. The gondola’s summer season usually runs alongside Epic Discovery. In 2022, those dates are June 17th to September 5th.

Although I’ve been in town in late May and early June for travel writing retreats and visiting with family road tripping around Colorado, it’s not the ideal time of year for much. Generally speaking, you can’t hike much yet because it’s all muddy from melting snow at the top of the mountains. Some of the stores and restaurants are closed. The slopes aren’t open yet for mountain biking, and other summer activities haven’t started up yet.

If you’re just looking for beautiful scenery for a relaxing getaway, it can be a nice time of year because the weather is mild and town is quiet. Otherwise, I’d pick a different time of year to visit.

Breckenridge in Summer

Summer sunset in Breckenridge
Summer sunset in Breckenridge | Photo by: Kristi Dosh

Around Summit County, they say you come for the winter and stay for the summer. I can’t even begin to count the number of locals I’ve met who first came in the winter for a short-term working gig and then experienced a Breckenridge summer and never left.

Summer in Breckenridge is what heaven must be like. It’s always sunny, never too hot, devoid of humidity, bursting with wildflowers and offering up every kind of outdoor activity imaginable.

Mid-June—July

High season for the summer is mid-June through July. It’s the one time of year I’ve never visited. The lodging prices are higher and town is no doubt more crowded. I’d rather wait until August (more on that below).

Summer in Breckenridge
Summer in Breckenridge means overflowing baskets of flowers everywhere | Photo by: Kristi Dosh

However, summer is still a great time for a family vacation to Breckenridge. There’s plenty to do for all ages, and the weather is gorgeous compared to most of the rest of the country thanks to the altitude.

Things to do in Breckenridge in the summer

August

If I have time, I always visit Breckenridge in mid- to late August. It seems like it’s 72 and sunny every single day. The summer crowds are gone, but everything in town is still open (unlike the slow season in spring).

This is my favorite time of year to escape the humidity in Florida and breathe in fresh mountain air. The hiking trails are uncrowded and you can hike for miles without breaking a sweat thanks to the perfect weather.

Fall

Aspen trees in the fall on Aspen Alley trail in Breckenridge
Looking up at the aspens on Aspen Alley trail in the fall | Photo by: Kristi Dosh

September—October

If I don’t make it in August, I usually trek out to Breckenridge for September for the leaves! Fall in Breckenridge is spectacular, with the entire town lit up with yellow aspens. It’s like someone took a yellow highlighter and swept it back and forth across the landscape.

Fall foliage peaks early in Breckenridge because of the altitude, so don’t wait too late in the season. The third week of September seems to be safest, but I’ve definitely hit it on the back end that week when it peaks earlier. If you have to plan in advance and can’t just wait until locals say it’s beginning, I recommend something around the third week of September as the safest bet.

Breckenridge Weather by Month

Breckenridge is a high-altitude destination, with an average elevation of 9,600 feet above sea level. This means that the weather here is colder and snowier than most places in Colorado, and that you need to be prepared for changing conditions throughout the year.

Here is a breakdown of what to expect from the weather in Breckenridge by month:

  • January: January is the coldest month in Breckenridge, with average temperatures ranging from 0.7°F to 22.5°F. You can expect plenty of snowfall, with an average of 17 inches. This is a great month for skiing and snowboarding, as the slopes are covered with fresh powder and the crowds are thinner than in December.
  • February: February is slightly warmer than January, but still very cold, with average temperatures between 4.1°F and 25.9°F. The snowfall continues, with an average of 18 inches. This is another excellent month for winter sports, as the conditions are ideal and the prices are lower than in peak season.
  • March: March is the snowiest month in Breckenridge, with an average of 23 inches of snow. The temperatures start to rise a bit, with averages between 10.2°F and 32.7°F. This is a popular month for spring breakers, who flock to Breckenridge for the sunny days and the abundant snow.
  • April: April is a transitional month in Breckenridge, as the winter season winds down and the spring season begins. The temperatures increase significantly, with averages between 18.1°F and 41.5°F. The snowfall decreases, with an average of 12 inches, but there are still plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding until late April.
  • May: May is the start of the summer season in Breckenridge, but don’t expect warm weather just yet. The temperatures are still cool, with averages between 27°F and 51.4°F. The snowfall is minimal, with an average of 3 inches, but there may be some late-season storms that bring more snow to the higher elevations.
  • June: June is when the summer really kicks off in Breckenridge, with warmer temperatures and longer days. The averages are between 34.9°F and 62.8°F, but it can get much hotter on some days. The snowfall is almost nonexistent, with an average of less than an inch, but there may be some patches of snow left on the mountains.
  • July: July is the hottest month in Breckenridge, but don’t expect tropical heat. The averages are between 39.9°F and 68.9°F, but it can get cooler at night and at higher altitudes. The rainfall increases, with an average of 1.87 inches, mostly in the form of afternoon thunderstorms that cool down the air.
  • August: August is similar to July in terms of temperature and rainfall, with averages between 38.8°F and 67.6°F and 1.91 inches of precipitation. This is a great month for hiking, biking, fishing, rafting, and other outdoor activities, as the weather is pleasant and the scenery is stunning.
  • September: September is another transitional month in Breckenridge, as the summer season ends and the fall season begins. The temperatures start to drop, with averages between 31°F and 59.4°F. The rainfall decreases, with an average of 1.4 inches, but there may be some early snowfall at higher elevations.
  • October: October is when the fall colors reach their peak in Breckenridge, creating a spectacular display of reds, yellows, oranges, and greens. The temperatures continue to decline, with averages between 21.6°F and 47°F. The snowfall increases, with an average of 9 inches, signaling the start of the winter season.
  • November: November is a cold and snowy month in Breckenridge, with average temperatures between 11°F and 34°F and an average snowfall of 22 inches. This is a good month for early-season skiing and snowboarding, as the slopes open up and offer fresh powder and uncrowded runs.
  • December: December is the peak of the winter season in Breckenridge, with festive decorations, events, and activities throughout the town. The temperatures are very low, with averages between 3°F and 24.6°F. The snowfall is abundant, with an average of 16 inches, creating a winter wonderland for visitors.

As you can see, Breckenridge has something to offer in every month of the year, whether you are looking for snow, sun, or scenery. Just make sure to pack accordingly and to check the weather forecast before you go, as the weather can change quickly and unexpectedly in the mountains.

Breckenridge Events by Month

Breckenridge is not only a destination for outdoor enthusiasts, but also for culture lovers, foodies, and fun seekers. The town hosts a variety of events throughout the year, celebrating its history, heritage, arts, cuisine, and community. Here are some of the highlights of the events calendar by month:

  • January: Start the year with a bang at the International Snow Sculpture Championships, where teams from around the world create amazing works of art from blocks of snow.
  • February: Celebrate love and chocolate at the Breckenridge Chocolate Festival, where you can sample delicious treats from local and national chocolatiers. You can also catch some of the best films from the Sundance Film Festival at the Breck Film Fest Winter Series, or watch talented artists perform live music, comedy, theater, and more at the Breckenridge Music Festival Winter Series.
  • March: Experience the best of spring skiing and snowboarding at the Breck Spring Fever Festival, featuring live concerts, competitions, parties, and deals. You can also join the St. Patrick’s Day festivities at various pubs and restaurants in town, or witness the spectacle of the Breck Pride Week, a celebration of diversity and inclusion for LGBTQ+ visitors and locals.
  • April: Enjoy the last days of the ski season at the Breck Plunge Pond Skim, where brave skiers and snowboarders attempt to cross a pool of icy water in their costumes. You can also celebrate Earth Day with various eco-friendly activities and events, or indulge in some fine dining at the Breckenridge Wine Classic Spring Edition.
  • May: Welcome the summer season at the Breckenridge Town Party, a free community event with live music, food trucks, beer tents, and kids’ activities. You can also explore the town’s history and culture at the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance Museum Month, featuring free admission to museums and historic sites.
  • June: Experience the beauty and diversity of Colorado’s wildflowers at the Breckenridge Wildflower Festival, featuring guided hikes, workshops, art shows, and more. During Pride Month, you can also take place in 10 Mile Pride, an event that educates and inspires acceptance, tolerance and respect for the LGBTQ+ community.
  • July: Celebrate Independence Day in style at the Breckenridge Fourth of July Celebration, featuring a parade, concerts, fireworks, and more. Although it previously happened in June, in 2023 the Breckenridge Summer Beer Festival happens in July, where you can sample craft beers from over 40 breweries, enjoy live music, and browse local vendors. You can also enjoy some of the best classical music in the country at the Breckenridge Music Festival Summer Series, or watch talented cyclists compete in the Breck Epic Mountain Bike Stage Race.
  • August: Savor the flavors of summer at the Breckenridge Hogfest Bacon & Bourbon Festival, where you can taste bacon dishes from local chefs, sip on bourbon cocktails, and listen to live music. You can also admire some of the finest art in the region at the Breckenridge Main Street Art Festival, featuring over 100 artists displaying their works.
  • September: Experience the magic of fall colors at the Breckenridge Oktoberfest, where you can enjoy authentic German food, beer, music, dancing, and games. You can also catch some of the best independent films from around the world at the Breck Film Fest Fall Edition, or sample some of the finest wines in Colorado at the Breckenridge Wine Classic Fall Edition.
  • October: Get into the Halloween spirit at the Breckenridge Craft Spirits Festival Still on The Hill Grand Tasting Event , where you can taste craft spirits from over 40 distilleries, enjoy live music, and participate in a costume contest. You can also join the Dia de los Muertos celebrations at various venues in town, featuring traditional food, music, art, and rituals.
  • November: Prepare for the winter season at the Breckenridge Ski Resort Opening Day , where you can hit the slopes for the first time of the year. You can also enjoy some of the best jazz music in Colorado at the Breckenridge Jazz Festival, featuring local and national artists performing live.
  • December: Celebrate the holidays in style at the Breckenridge Lighting of Breckenridge & Race of The Santas, where you can watch hundreds of Santas run down Main Street , see the town light up with festive decorations , and enjoy live entertainment . Ullr Fest, a tribute to the Norse god of snow and winter takes place the following week. Join the locals in wearing Viking hats, parading through town, and participating in wacky contests and activities, including the world’s longest Shotski. You can also ring in the new year with fireworks , parties , and events throughout town.

Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Breckenridge

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Visiting Breckenridge for all my recommendations on where to eat, stay and play while visiting Breckenridge!

What to Pack for Breckenridge

You can find all the essentials I take on every trip here, from my favorite toiletry bag and travel purse to the best power bank I’ve found to keep my phone taking great photos all day long.

Rent your gear from Kit Lender

Here are some specific favorites I always pack for Breckenridge:

Merrell women’s waterproof hiking boots — Waterproof and lightweight.

Osprey Dry Stuff Pack — I love this because it packs down into its own pocket and is great for outdoor activities.

3-in-1 Jacket — This is a great lightweight waterproof rain jacket plus a puffer for warmth, which can all be worn together or each piece separate. Perfect for the variable weather you can get throughout the day/night in Breck in the spring or fall. Check out this one if you prefer a fleece to a puffer.

LL Bean Winter Jacket — This is my non-ski winter jacket. It’s warmer than the one listed above that I use in spring/fall. I’ve used it on countless winter trips in temperatures down to the teens. Would buy it again!

Columbia ski pants — I have these in two colors, and they’re my favorite ski pants I’ve ever owned. They’re warm in the winter but don’t keep you too warm for spring skiing.

Columbia midweight baselayer — This is a great baselayer in the winter and plenty warm enough for early or late season skiing without anything but a jacket on top.

Columbia Omni-Heat baselayer — This is the baselayer you want when it’s really cold out.

Smartwool full cushion ski socks — My favorite ski socks. They’re comfy in my boots and keep my feet warm without making me sweat.

Revo x Bode Miller Ski Goggles — I got these ski goggles a couple of seasons ago, and they’re by far the best ski goggles I’ve ever had. They work in low light, sunlight and everything in between. Plus, they look great on!

Winter pompom hat — I have this hat in two colors because it’s so warm, comfy and stylish.

Ski strap and pole carrier — Even if you only have a short walk with your skis, you’ll thank yourself for buying this great over-the-shoulder carrier. Worth every penny!

Power bank — This can recharge my Google Pixel 6 Pro more than three times on a single charge so I can take photos and videos all day.

GorillaPod mini-tripod — Wrap the flexible arms of this around a tree branch, fence, sign…anything. Great for taking shots of you or the whole group with the gorgeous Breckenridge scenery.

More Breckenridge!

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

No Comments Yet.