Breckenridge Epic Discovery opens for summer on June 9 with ziplines, alpine coaster and more | SummitDaily.com

Breckenridge Epic Discovery opens for summer on June 9 with ziplines, alpine coaster and more

Want more? Stayed tuned to SummitDaily.com later this summer for a virtual tour of all that's new at Epic Discovery in Breckenridge.

So long, Breckenridge Fun Park. Say hello to Epic Discovery.

On Friday morning, Breckenridge Ski Resort welcomes the first batch of guests to its brand-new, state-of-the-art theme park in the mountains, aka Epic Discovery. The park is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. until Sept. 4, with a bonus weekend from Sept. 8-10. Adult admission is $82 (7 years old and older) and children's admission is $57 (3-6 years old), and both grant all-day access to more than a dozen alpine-themed activities, from the classic Gold Runner Alpine Coaster to the new Expedition zip line on Peak 7 and Alpineer Challenge Course on Peak 8.

"For Breck, and all of our guests across Vail Resorts, this is about getting our summer guests into the forest," said Kristen Petitt Stewart, communications director for the resort. "When you're skiing you're always in the natural environment, but for summer in the past, you've been sticking around the base area. This will help people get into the White River National Forest."

The Breckenridge Epic Discovery is modeled after similar projects at Vail Mountain — home to the first collection of Vail Resorts-owned ropes courses and zip lines — but that doesn't mean they're all cut from the same cloth, according to resort officials. Each Epic Discovery hub is designed to include elements from the surrounding towns and U.S. National Forest land. At Breck, that means local wildlife like deer and mountain goats, ecology like the high-alpine wetlands of Cucumber Gulch, and the area's long, storied mining history.

"The thing that differentiates this from Vail or Tahoe is that our interpretive opportunities are about Breckenridge, specifically," Petitt Stewart said. "We worked with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance to talk about what makes us unique, about our particularl slice of the national forest and town history, because that is what sets us apart from the others."

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'Soft' opening

This integrated concept also means summer operations are at the mercy of Mother Nature, and so the Breckenridge Epic Discovery won't open with all activities. Just don't call it a soft opening: the concept debuts on Friday with about 10 activities, including the alpine slide, alpine coaster, children's zip lines and climbing walls, mini golf and bungee trampolines, all located at Peak 8. Officials expect to open the remaining activities, like mountaintop rock climbing and full-sized ropes courses, by early or mid-July when snow has melted.

'The one thing people need to try this summer is the Expedition zip line tour," Petitt Stewart said. "That's another thing we've added to get people into the forest and it ends with a 200-foot-long bridge with amazing views."

For Vail Resorts, Epic Discovery "represents leading innovations for summer recreation in the mountains," according to a release from the company, thanks to partnership with the Forest Service through the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act. The Breckenridge additions were in the works since 2013 and approved in 2015.

"We wanted to partner with the U.S. Forest Service to create an experience that's truly unique," said Hans Vollrath, senior director of summer business for Vail Resorts, in the release. "Epic Discovery offers guests an authentic connection to Breck's beautiful mountain environment by balancing fun, experiential activities and education."

Epic Discovery will complement "eco-discovery experiences across the mountain with educational content," the release said. In turn, Vail Resorts will utilize its new "One Percent for the Forest" program to contribute one percent of all summer lift ticket and activity revenue to The Nature Conservancy, a leading nonprofit conservation organization. Funds will be used for forest restoration projects on national forest lands.

Epic Discovery Breckenridge

What: A new-and-improved collection of on-mountain activities, from ropes courses and zip lines to climbing walls and alpine coasters, designed to immerse visitors in the White River National Forest at Breckenridge Resort

Season: June 10 to Sept. 10

Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily

Where: Peak 8, Breckenridge Ski Resort

Cost: $82 for adults, $57 for children

The Epic Discovery Adventure Pass includes unlimited access to all on-mountain activities. Limited-access passes are available for individual activities, ranging from $40 to $68. Purchase tickets at the Breck Connect Gondola or Peak 8 ticket windows, or online at Breckenridge.com.

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What’s new at Epic Discovery

Curious how Epic Discovery is different from the Peak 8 Fun Park of old? Plenty:

Expedition zip line tour, Peak 7: Guests spend two hours exploring the Ore Bucket area of Peak 7 by air, navigating more than a mile on eight zip lines between 10 towers. It ends on a 200-foot-long aerial bridge walk with stunning views of Summit County.

Alpineer Challenge Course, Peak 8: Located steps away from the top of the Colorado SuperChair at the base of Horseshoe Bowl, teens and adults pick their own paths through 16 different challenges, from lightly swinging logs to rope and log bridges. The course blends organically into the new mountaintop Alpine Camp.

Interpretive trail: This new, 0.75-mile hiking loop takes guests on a “journey of learning” through Breck’s high-alpine environment, which includes information on local animals, flora and fauna, mountain wetlands, impacts of the gold rush, and additional history of the area. The trail passes by “story stakes” with facts, stories and interesting info.

Gold Summit climbing wall: You stared at it all winter — now is time to climb it. This new wall is designed for climbers of all ages and abilities, with different routes on a new, permanent rock-climbing wall at the top of the Colorado SuperChair. The 35-foot-tall climbing wall features 13 distinct routes.

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