home of the Pure Awesomeness Factor Better Data, Better Skiing

Breckenridge December Skiing

Breckenridge in December: Overview


  • Breckenridge draws more snow than any other mountain in Summit County, making it a strong bet for December skiing
  • Breckenridge averages 73% of its terrain open at Christmas which is a good mark considering that it has some steeper shots and rockier faces than the terrain at Copper and Keystone
  • Only 15% of winters pass with Breckenridge being less than 50% open on Christmas/December 25. That's a good track record.
  • The resort overwhelmingly faces East, which can make the freeze/thaw cycle a challenge in the spring, but the low sun angles of December ensure that this isn't a worry during this time of the year
  • Destination skiers can get to Breck in December via cheaper flights to the Denver airport, and they don't have to deal with Vail Pass, which is further to the West, and which can be hairy in December
  • Breckenridge has cheaper lodging rates than some comparable ski towns in December such as Aspen, Telluride, and Park City


  • The week between Christmas and New Year's will be crowded at Breckenridge; there are no years that are excepted, good snow or not. Skiers should look to book early, for both lodging and dining reservations
  • The eastern-facing Breck can be cold in December when the sun swings to the west during the latter half of the day. The resort's high elevations in the shade can quickly head into the single digits—or colder—by the time the lifts close for the day in December
  • If Breck's upper slopes are socked in or closed, things can get nutty fast on the lower slopes during the holidays
  • Town will be jammed—which has its charms during the holidays, to be sure—but just know that this is the peak of the peak at the busiest ski resort in the United States

Breckenridge snow in December

Data show December is the fifth best month Breckenridge for overall snow quality when considering the following factors:

  • Snow quantity at Breckenridge
  • Snow quality at Breckenridge
  • How much snow is required for proper terrain coverage at Breckenridge—steeper resorts require more snow to get 100% open.
  • Breckenridge's snow frequency (standard deviation)
  • Breckenridge's elevation
  • Breckenridge's latitude
  • Breckenridge's slope aspects - more north-facing slopes protect snow later into winter
Breckenridge snow score by month, December in focus

What matters when it comes to snow for December skiing:

Finding good snow early in the season is often a game of chance. But there are mountains and regions that historically perform better than others. We take these factors into account when grading out our scores for resorts and the given season. That said, it's almost always a better bet, in terms of snow and open terrain, to ski in January or Feburary compared with December.

But skiing during the December holidays is a great tradition and it's also one of the only times many families can get away for extended periods.

Those skiing December should look for ski resorts with high average annual snowfalls and low standard deviations. In addition, steep and rocky ski resorts need more snow to get terrain open compared with ski resorts with more modest terrain.

This is also the time of year when slope aspects—north, east, south, west—matter the least. The sun is at it lowest angles in North America in December and has less effect on the snowpack at this time of year than at any other. So ski resorts that possess lots of south-facing and east-facing terrain will generally ski better—assuming there is enough snow—during these darkest times of winter rather than the spring. More explanation on this topic can be found on our snow rankings page.

Breckenridge skiing by month:
By Month