Backcountry skiing around Breckenridge

Backcountry skiing has been a popular pastime for decades, allowing skiers and boarders to get away from the busy resort slopes and immerse themselves fully in nature. Nothing beats riding up untouched terrain in a snowcat and then marking your own lines as you glide down the powder-filled mountainside. If you aren’t an expert skier or don’t know Breckenridge's backcountry terrain well, we suggest finding an experienced partner or enlisting the help of a guide. Note: Even with an experienced guide, anything can happen in the backcountry. We suggest doing your research first and expect to find things like rocks, trees, patchy snow and other obstacles.

Backcountry at BreckenridgePhoto: Breckenridge Ski Resort


One newly popular way to experience the backcountry in Breckenridge is by skiing uphill. That's right, uphill skiing, also known as skinning, is the process of attaching a skin to the bottom of your skis so you can climb upwards on the mountain. Many locals and visitors alike have taken an interest in skinning, allowing them to access the backcountry like never before.

Hut Trips

When it comes to getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, you simply cannot beat a getaway to a cabin in the woods. Whether you're with friends or family, the tranquility of escaping to the wilderness and being unplugged will recharge your batteries and provide you with experiences to last a lifetime. Huts in Summit County book up 8–10 months in advance, so it’s best to book early to ensure you get the hut you want. See two great organizations below that offer huts in Summit County.

Summit Huts

Created to provide meaningful backcountry experiences, Summit Huts manages four huts in the system: Francie's Cabin, Janet's Cabin, Section House and Ken's Cabin. All located within Breckenridge, these huts offer exception skiing in the surrounding area, or just a nice option for a weekend getaway in the woods. Francie's Cabin is one of the more popular huts in Colorado, featuring a kitchen, sauna and solar-powered lights. 

10th Mountain Division 

10th Mountain Division has hut options within Breckenridge and beyond. This non-profit organization manages 34 huts in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, while honoring the men of the U.S. Army who trained during World War II at Camp Hale in central Colorado. The Division also offers many resources on planning a hut trip, kid’s trip, provides tutorials for hut cleanup and setup and gives you information on routes and trail heads for the winter and summer.

The backcountry in BreckenridgePhoto: Breckenridge Ski Resort

Mild day tours

These options are great for day-seekers who are looking to get out for a few hours, maybe take their dog for a run, and really experience the beauty Breckenridge's backcountry has to offer.

Bald Mountain

One of the more popular backcountry scenes, Bald Mountain is a low-angle, long approach route, perfect for an afternoon with friends. The path is a clear, four-mile trip that will bring you high enough to earn a few turns on the way down. Of course, the view at the top isn’t bad either.

Ken’s Cabin/Section House

For more information, see Summit House above.

Epic Pass resorts

Many epic pass resorts offer skinning access prior to lifts churning and after hours. While not exactly in the backcountry, getting first tracks at your favorite resort can be just as sweet. Be sure to check with your local resort for their uphilling policies and route information.

breckenridge backcountryPhoto: Breckenridge Ski Resort

Extreme day tours

If you’re really looking to get right in the middle of backcountry and experience what you see on TV, these areas will satisfy your powder-tooth. 

Loveland Pass

Although there are no formal readings on skiing Loveland Pass, it's not hard to find wisdom and reports from past backcountry skiers. Loveland Pass is popular with many locals because there is hitchhiking and shuttling available, in fact, it's not uncommon to see a few pickup trucks filled with skiers heading up the pass. From the bottom, skiers can skin or hike their way up the mountain towards their desired slopes.

East Vail

Also known as EV, East Vail can be a more dangerous option when it comes to avalanche danger, so be sure to do your research and check online for warnings beforehand. It's suggested to take an experienced local with you when skiing East Vail, as there is a vast array of chutes that can be confusing to visitors. Without much information available online, it's best to Google photos and maps to get an idea of which chutes you'll want to aim for.

Mt. Guyot

Mt. Guyot is a long approach, but has amazing lines for skiing. When the conditions are right, the powder on the Northwest slope can be out of this world. Located not too far from Breckenridge, this area is also great for a winter tour, hiking or snowshoeing.