Breckenridge and Keystone are two hugely popular ski resorts based in the Rockies in Colorado.
In this article, I’ll be comparing these resorts head to head in a range of categories including the slopes, accommodation, value for money and villages so you can decide which is the best option for your next trip.
Breckenridge vs Keystone
Breckenridge has more varied terrain and slightly better snow quality compared to Keystone ski resort. Breckenridge resort is located in a town which is livelier and more interesting compared to Keystone. However, Keystone offers better value for money with cheaper tickets and equipment rentals.
|Aspect of the Resort||Best Resort|
|Après Ski and Activities||Breckenridge|
|Best Value for Money||Keystone|
|Best Option for Families||Breckenridge|
Ski Map and Pistes
Keystone has more skiable terrain compared to Breckenridge however, Breckenridge has a larger vertical drop, more ski lifts, more trails and a higher elevation.
The terrain in Breckenridge is a bit more varied compared to Keystone which has longer and smoother runs. Breckenridge is also more suitable for beginners and considered more family-friendly compared to Keystone.
Both Keystone and Breckenridge have a lot of options for intermediate and advanced/ expert skiers. Both resorts also have great parks for freestyle skiing and snowboarding.
Here is a link to the piste maps:
|Skiable Terrain||2908 acres||3148 acres|
|Vertical Drop||3398 ft||3128 ft|
|Top Elevation||12,998 ft||12408 ft|
|Base Elevation||9600 ft||9280 ft|
|Green Circle Trails (Beginner)||14%||19%|
|Blue Square Trails (Intermediate)||31%||48%|
|Black/ Double Black Diamond Trails (Expert)||55%||33%|
|Longest Run||5.6 km (3.5 miles)||5.6 km (3.5 miles)|
Snow and Weather
Breckenridge has better snow quality compared to Keystone as it has a higher elevation so experiences more snowfall. However, both resorts have very good snow quality and are reliable in terms of snowfall so you can’t really go wrong with either.
The higher elevation of Breckenridge means it has a slightly longer ski season compared to Keystone. In general, Keystone’s season usually starts in late October/ early November and ends in mid-April. Breckenridge’s ski season usually starts in early-mid November and ends in mid/late May.
|Month||Temperature in Breckenridge||Temperature in Keystone||Snowfall in Breckenridge||Snowfall in Keystone|
|November||-2°C/ 28.5°F||-2°C/ 28.5°F||30″||30″|
|December||-6°C/ 21°F||-7°C/ 19.5°F||60″||40″|
|January||-6°C/ 21°F||-7°C/ 19.5°F||55″||40″|
|February||-6°C/ 21°F||-7°C/ 19.5°F||55″||40″|
|March||-3°C/ 26.5°F||-3°C/ 26.5°F||60″||50″|
|April||1°C/ 34°F||1°C/ 34°F||35″||15″|
Village, Restaurants and Other Activities
Breckenridge and Keystone offer a pretty different experience once you get off the slopes.
Breckenridge ski resort is located in Breckenridge town which is a brilliant place to visit. It’s got great nightlife, restaurants and shopping malls and there’s plenty to keep you busy. However, some visitors find that Breckenridge is too busy and lively for their liking.
Unlike Breckenridge, Keystone offers a resort feel but is much smaller and quieter by comparison. It’s self contained but there are fewer restaurants and bars to keep you entertained in the evening.
Both resorts have a spa and the following activities:
- Snowmobile Tours
- Tubing and Sledding
- Sleigh Rides
- Ice Skating
However, only Breckenridge has dog sledding.
Accommodation starts at roughly $200/ night for 2 adults in both Breckenridge and Keystone.
In Keystone you are limited to the accommodation options in the hotel whereas in Breckenridge you can also choose to stay in the town giving you a bit more choice. If you want to make the most of the nightlife then I’d recommend basing yourself in the town instead of the resort.
Location and Traveling
Breckenridge and Keystone ski resorts are roughly 30 minutes apart from one another so you can definitely visit both during your trip. They are within easy reach from Denver International Airport with direct transfers available via the Epic Mountain Express Shuttle buses.
You can find free parking at both locations and they are a pretty similar distance to the other major ski resorts in the Rockies.
|Location||Time to Breckenridge||Time to Keystone|
|Denver International Airport||2 hours||1 hour 45 minutes|
|Eagle County Regional Airport||1 hour 30 minutes||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Colorado Springs Airport||2 hours 20 minutes||2 hours 40 minutes|
|Denver City Centre||1 hour 30 minutes||1 hour 25 minutes|
|Vail Resort||50 minutes||45 minutes|
|Beaver Creek Resort||1 hour||1 hour|
Keystone is a cheaper resort to ski at compared to Breckenridge. Both lift tickets and equipment rentals are significantly cheaper at Keystone making it better value for money and the price difference can really add up especially if you’re going with a large group or family.
Check out the table below for the most recent (at the time of writing) prices at Breckenridge and Keystone resorts. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change. Please check the resorts individually to confirm current prices.
|Ticket Price Day Lift (Peak Season)||Breckenridge||Keystone|
|Equipment Rental (Daily)||Breckenridge||Keystone|
|Junior Basic Package||$37||$11|
|Junior High-End Package||$46||N/A|
Which Resort is Best?
Breckenridge is a more expensive place to ski compared to Keystone but it offers a better overall experience in my opinion. Breckenridge town is a great place to be based and gives you access to plenty of things to do off the slopes and is a great choice for families as well.
Keystone is a great place to ski though so if that’s your main focus then I would definitely consider it because it does offer better value for money compared to Breckenridge.
If you’re staying there for a few days then you can definitely visit both resorts during your trip. I’d recommend staying at Breckenridge because there’s more going on there, but taking a day trip to the slopes at Keystone as well so you get the best of everything!
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