First Timer’s Guide to Skiing Keystone

If it’s your first time skiing Colorado, many locals might point you to Keystone. Well, actually, if you don’t have any friends who live in Colorado, the locals might direct you away from one of their favorite resorts. Located less than 70 miles from Denver, Keystone is tucked away from the I‑70 in a quaint corner of Summit county, and spans 6 different peaks. You’re not going to Keystone if you want the glitz and glam of Aspen, the posh feel of Vail, or if you want the touristy experience of Breckenridge. When you visit Keystone, you are going there for the skiing. And we’re here to tell you that the skiing at Keystone is fantastic.

If this is your first time visiting this local’s favorite resort, we’re going to point you out to the best runs, best place for a beer, and the best winter wonderland activities for the days when your quads need a break after lapping the 3,128 vertical feet all day. 

Where to Stay

When you google lodging in summit county” you’ll probably notice the majority of the listings popping up around Silverthorne, Frisco, and Breckenridge. That’s totally fine if you want to be close to the nightlife and don’t mind hopping in the car to go ski. But we have a feeling you’re going to love the quiet feel of this mountain town. You see, Keystone is actually tucked away from the hustle and bustle of Breckenridge, and has a rustic and quiet magic all on it’s own. Keystone offers everything from luxury suites to vacation home rentals. Whether you want to stay at the plush River Run Condominiums, just steps away from the Gondola, or are looking for a more budget friendly option at Key Condo, there are plenty of lodging options near the resort and village.

Food Scene

We’re just going to come out and say it: Keystone doesn’t offer an expansive main street with endless bars and dining options. That being said, you can find a fantastic breakfast, killer apres spot, and award winning high end dining. Now, for the best breakfast in town (and one of the best breakfasts in Summit county), you’re going to want to make your way to Inxpot. With an impressive coffee menu, amazing breakfast, and unique sandwiches, expect to be waiting in line with the locals. At the end of the ski day, you’re going to want to make your way to 9,280’. With 14 beers on tap and a towering platter of nachos, this is the best Apres scene in Keystone. If you’re looking for high end dining, we have an experience for you. To access this high end Bavarian cuisine, you are going to take two gondola rides before walking into Alpenglow Stube, at 11,444 ft. Upon entrance, you’ll be offered a pair of sheepskin lined slippers. While everything is delicious, we recommend the pomegranate braised buffalo short ribs. The only downside about eating at Alpenglow Stube? Putting your ski boots back on afterwards.

Most Importantly: Where to Ski

Keystone is a mountain for every level of skier. With plenty of terrain for beginners, and snowcat access terrain for experts, every skier will find an area they love. Beginners are going to thrive on the green and blue runs off of the front side of Dercum mountain, while intermediate skiers are going to love the forever-long blue runs off of the front side of the River Run Gondola. Looking for more of an adventure? Advanced skiers are going to love the terrain off of the Santiago Express quad. Local favorite runs include Ambush, The Windows, and Powder Cap. And don’t get us started on the terrain park- that’s a whole other story.

Winter Wonderland Activities

If you’ve traveled to Colorado from another part of the world, there is a good chance you’re feeling the effects of high elevation and that your legs are WORKED. There are plenty of fun winter adventures to be had other than downhill skiing. Whether you want to go ice skating at one of the rinks in town, snowshoeing, or even go for a horse drawn sleigh ride, there are many different ways to appreciate the beauty of Keystone. And hear us out, we know your legs are sore, but the nordic skiing at Keystone is AMAZING (and it works your body in a totally different way). 

Keystone is one of our favorite mountain towns, and we are looking forward to helping you out this winter. Want to read about how we have served others? Here are some reviews! Enjoy your summer, and we’ll see you on the slopes in a few months.

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