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Hike-to terrain, a Breck Rite of Passage

Hike-to Terrain, A Breck Rite of Passage

By Ebeth Miller

Want to get higher than the highest chairlift in North America, post pics that will make your friends jealous, and truly earn your beer at the end of the day? Then it’s time to hit Breck’s signature hike-to terrain, and find challenging runs that are off the beaten path. But this is not for the faint of heart. You’ll be hoofin’ it in your boots at almost 13,000 feet above sea level, and the only way down is by taking a steep run. So if you’re looking for an adventure, and maybe some fresh pow, then look for the access gates to Breck’s hike-to terrain, and don’t forget to snap some selfies.


What is hike-to terrain?

Hike-to-terrain is an advanced zone on a ski resort that is only accessible by foot, via an access gate generally found near the top of the chairlift. This terrain offers experts more challenging runs, fresh powder, and solitude. Breck’s hike-to terrain has become a rite of passage, and a must-do for advanced skiers and riders.


The best views

If you’re hiking for the views (and great Instagram pics), head to my favorite spot – the summit of Peak 8. The famous Imperial Express SuperChair (highest chairlift in North America) will take you to 12,998 feet, and the gateway to the most advanced terrain on the mountain. Once you’ve taken the obligatory photo next to the Imperial Express sign (proof you were there!), throw your skis over your shoulder and boot pack to the summit. I promise, it’s worth every step.  If the altitude doesn’t take your breath away, the spectacular views will. This iconic summit offers a 360-degree view of the Ten Mile Range, the Gore Range, Lake Dillon, and the neighboring ski resorts.  Standing atop these vast mountains always reminds me just how small we really are. So take a deep breath and a sweet photo, ‘cuz now is the fun part. Time to make your way down Lake Chutes and Snow White, the steepest in-bound runs on Breck Ski Resort.


Hiking to the Summit of Peak 8. Photo: Jason Laabs



One BIG perk of “earning your turns” is finding a stash of fresh snow. The harder you are willing to work, the fresher the powder at the end of the hike. If you feel like breaking a sweat and exploring new terrain, head to Peak 6, Breck’s newest peak.  The boot pack at the top of Kensho SuperChair takes you to Serenity Bowl, Six Senses, and Beyond Bowl – which has quickly become a local’s favorite. Traverse skier’s right for steep chutes, or head left for wide-open bowl skiing. These are the perks of Breck’s hike-to terrain – enjoy!


If you take my advice and start hiking to some of your runs, you’ll probably be dog-tired by 4pm. But it’s a rewarding kind of tired that puts a smile on your face as you doze off. See where your legs can take you, and what adventures await at the top of the next boot pack.

Getting ready to hike the Peak 6 boot pack. Photo: Jason Laabs

Celebrating at the Top of Peak 6. Photo: Jason Laabs

Fresh lines down Beyond Bowl. Photo: Jason Laabs

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