Going skiing in Colorado this season? Copper Mountain and Breckenridge are two popular resorts in Summit County which offer great terrain for skiers of all stages.
In this post, I’ll compare Copper Mountain vs Breckenridge on a range of factors including terrain, trails, ski lifts, costs and a whole lot more.
Copper Mountain Vs Breckenridge
The main difference between Copper Mountain and Breckenridge is that Copper Mountain is great for beginners, it’s cheaper and less crowded than Breckenridge.
Breckenridge on the other hand is larger, has better terrain and ski lifts, gets more snow, and is great for advanced skiers.
Let’s take a look at these in more detail:
Size and Skiable Area
Breckenridge is much larger than Copper Mountain. Copper Mountain has a skiable area of 2547 acres and Breckenridge has 2908 acres.
Breckenridge also has better terrain than Copper Mountain. Breck is divided into 5 peaks and has 187 runs with the longest being 3.5 miles. Steep chutes and bowls to long groomers and glades, Breck has everything.
Also read our comparison of Telluride vs Breckenridge
Copper Mountain has a diverse terrain too, including steep bowls, tree skiing, and groomed runs. It has 150 ski trails and 75% of its trails are for intermediate and advanced skiers, and the number of beginners runs (25%) are still more than the amount offered by many other resorts.
Best for Beginners
Copper Mountain is the best for beginners. About 49% of the runs are marked as beginner and intermediate, offering them green runs all over the mountain.
If you’re a beginner looking to ski in Copper Mountain, the terrain between the East Village and Center village is the best place to start. This trail has a ‘’learn to ski zone’’ and can be accessed through the Gem chair lift (commonly known as the magic carpet!).
Breckenridge also has a lot of runs for beginners. 36% of the runs are beginner and intermediate.
Best for Advanced and Expert Skiers
Breckenridge is the best for advanced skiers. With some of the most challenging trails in the country, Breck is ranked in the top 10 of most difficult ski areas in the rocky mountains.
A whooping 64% of its runs are marked as expert runs.
Breckenridge is also a great spot for tree skiing. Five of the best tree runs include Northstar Trees, Upper 4 O’Clock, Duke’s Trees and Windows.
This doesn’t mean Copper Mountain is bad for experts – 51% of the runs are marked as advanced.
Plus, Copper Mountain has quite a few tree runs that often go under the radar. If you’re into tree skiing be sure to check out 17 Glade, Lower Enchanted Forest, Spaulding Glades, Union Meadows, Black bear glade and Free fall glade.
Breckenridge tends to receive more snowfall than Copper Mountain.
Also read our comparison of Park City vs Breckenridge
On average, the snowfall experienced at Copper Mountain is 284 inches, while Breckenridge gets up to 350 inches a year.
Longest Ski Season
Out of the two, Breckenridge has a (slightly) longer ski season: November to May. The Copper Mountain ski season on the other hand is from November to April.
That being said, make sure you check the season dates online or by calling the resorts before planning your trip. Owing to changes in weather and snowfall, resorts are likely to make slight changes to the dates.
Tip: While the ski seasons go on for a few months, May is said to be the month that is most affordable to visit Breckenridge. Similarly, the most affordable time to visit Copper Mountain is January.
Breck also has a better lift system. It offers 35 ski lifts including a Gondola, 5 high speed sixes and 7 chair lifts.
Copper mountain has 24 lifts, including one Gondola and 2 high speed sixes.
Both Copper Mountain and Breckenridge offer ski lessons. Copper Mountain offers the option of learning either in a group or having one-on-one lessons. While the lessons for adults are close to $299, lessons for children will depend on their age group and the package you choose.
Similarly, Breckenridge offers a choice of lessons and packages. Their First Time Discovery Series is an attractive deal, to say the least.
This package (priced at $310) covers three consecutive days of lessons, tools and lift tickets! Given the fact that lift tickets and ski lessons purchased separately would’ve cost you a lot more, this deal at Breckenridge is definitely the better option out of the two.
Accommodation And Expenses
Copper is a lot cheaper than Breck, however Breck has more lodging options.
Copper mountain hotel prices range from $102 – $407 per night (average cost: $198). While hotel and resort prices in Breckenridge range between $168 – $204.
While Copper Mountain offers the lowest cost out of the two ($102), the Breckenridge range indicates the fact that it is likely to offer a wider variety in terms of accommodation. If you’re on a budget, Copper Mountain is your best bet.
If you enjoy a relaxed night out after a day of skiing, both resorts have a few options that offer food, beverages and great music.
Also read our comparison of Copper Mountain vs Winter park
Breckenridge has a more diverse range of options than Copper mountain. From live music and a waterfront view at the 750-seat Riverwalk Center to an interesting range of bars, you’re bound to find a spot that you’ll absolutely love.
The Briar Rose is an old-fashioned bar serving a range of cocktails in a saloon with western decor. For a dance floor atmosphere: Cecelia’s Martini Bar and Nightclub or the Gold Pan Saloon are the places for you. If you decide to stop by Cecelia’s, do have a go at the pinball or pool!
Copper Mountain has great options too. High Rockies Whiskey and Wine Bar is quite popular and is located in close proximity to Center Village, this bar has more than 200 different drinks on its menu!
However, if you prefer to be at a place with live music, JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern in East Village is your best bet.
Copper Mountain and Breckenridge are both great spots for different reasons. If you’re a beginner looking to ski by yourself or with family (instead of starting lessons), Copper Mountain is the place for you.
Owing to the fact that over 60% of Breck’s trails are for advanced skiers, this is a spot that is better suited for the experts. Apart from the trails, Breckenridge is the better option in terms of size and skiable area, entertainment, ski lessons and the price of accommodation (if you’re on a budget).