6. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge contributed significantly to the evolution of snowboarding in the early days of the sport by being the first major resort in Colorado to allow snowboarding, and hosting the World Snowboard Championships from 1986¿89.

Breckenridge embraces snowboarding through a historical display in the Vista Haus restaurant on top of Peak 8, and pushes snowboarding’s future by building state-of-the-art terrain parks and a well-maintained pipe that are heavily sessioned. The resort was the first in the country to order a new Super Pipe Dragon last year, and Breckenridge continues to push the envelope of technology with a new Super Dragon 2001.

Approximately four-million dollars was spent by Breck in 1999 building the country’s only double-loading six-passenger chairlift. The Quicksilver Super6 is the highest-capacity lift in the country and can transport up to 4,200 people per hour by loading twelve people on two chairs simultaneously. It’s a perfect chair for beginners or those who want to practice their turns.

Located in Summit County, Breckenridge offers a fun mountain town for aprés action. The town of Breckenridge is lined with shops and restaurants; there’s also a top-notch skateboard facility for those who grind.

Although the resort is not best known for its expert all-mountain runs, hiking above treeline on Peaks 7 and 8 is well worth the effort. And there are some good steeps and super fun glade riding¿longtime locals always find rad lines when it dumps¿but overall Breck’s natural terrain is relatively tame. If you’re a cruiser, Breckenridge is a great place to make lots of turns on well-groomed runs.

This season Breckenridge will host both the Van’s Triple Crown of Snowboarding on December 6¿10, and the U.S. Snowboard Grand Prix on January 3¿7.

Breckenridge is definitely a spot to check out. The town and mountain will both have something to entice you. ¿John Chorlton