Summit County, Colorado – How to Choose the Right Resort for Your Needs

Summit County, Colorado is home to four amazing ski resorts that all have slightly different offerings to you and your group.  The biggest ski resort of the four is Breckenridge, aimed towards any type of skiing you can think of, and can provide an awesome experience for any group type from families that have never skied before, to a college spring break crew looking to do park laps, all the way to powder hungry riders that don’t mind hiking for their turns.  Similar to Breckenridge, Keystone is also a fairly diverse mountain good for friends and family alike, and is known locally for its endless tree skiing.  Arapahoe Basin is a ski area for those willing to head up the mountain and try some more challenging terrain.  Last but not least, an all around awesome mountain that has a little bit for everyone is Copper Mountain, which is not associated with Vail Resorts.
 

 
Breckenridge Mountain is the best choice for anyone looking to have a great town at the base of the ski hill as well as endless skiing options.   Breckenridge has multiple high-alpine bowls for advanced skiers and riders, some of which has hike to terrain to get to the most challenging runs.  As you descend the mountain and get closer to the base area, the skiing gets less challenging and it is more geared towards beginner and intermediate skiers and riders.  At the base of Peak 8, the Ski and Ride School can give lessons to anyone from beginners to advanced skiers and riders.  Breckenridge is also very well known in the ski community as a hub of park skiers, and boasts one of the biggest and most well maintained jump park in the country, hosting professional competitions every winter.  At the end of the day, head into town to experience Breckenridge’s unique nightlife and classic ski town vibe, with gorgeous views of the resort itself from many of the shops and restaurants.
 

 
Keystone is about a 15-minute drive from Breckenridge, and has similar offerings in terms of variability in skiable terrain.  They are able to offer everything from high alpine bowl skiing to beginner runs, as well as park skiing.  Keystone has a small resort based town at the bottom of the gondola, which goes all the way to the top of the mountain I might add (great choice for a cold or windy day).  The town has tons of restaurants and bars, as well as number of music venues that they consistently cycle acts through for après-ski entertainment.   Locals choose to ski Keystone sometimes for its endless acres of amazing tree skiing, which can hold powder for days after a storm in some areas. 
 
 

Arapahoe Basin is a personal favorite resort of mine, as it reminds me of an old school east coast ski resort where you drive right up to the lifts, take slow rides up the resort, and ski challenging, short runs with inconsistent weather patterns.  The weather up that high in Arapahoe Basin can change in an instant, which results in some crazy ski days, but also plenty of regular new snow.  The steep runs all over the mountain, combined with few groomed runs, results in an amazing mountain filled with hike to terrain to challenge even the most advanced skier.  Even if you don’t plan on skiing this resort though, it may be worth it just to drive up the road to Arapahoe Basin on a clear day, as it holds beautiful views of Loveland Pass and the surrounding area. 
 

 
Copper Mountain is unique to Summit County in that it is not associated with Vail Resorts at all, and is therefore less travelled.  This results in shorter lift lines, less expensive lift tickets, but great skiing nonetheless.  Copper Mountain is definitely a family resort with an edge to it, since it has very challenging terrain all for the most part in one area of the mountain.  For something a little bit different, check out Copper Mountain to avoid the crowds, and explore the less widely known area of Summit County. If you have questions remaining in the process of choosing the correct resort, know that you can always reach out to our shop at 970-624-0020 for more assistance and information.

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