Huffpost Travel

Keystone Ski Resort: A Huffington Post Travel Ski Resort Guide

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Skiers coast down River Run, a trail that bears the same name as one of the resort's villages.
Skiers coast down River Run, a trail that bears the same name as one of the resort's villages.

Keystone Ski Resort in Colorado is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Keystone Ski Resort, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.

The Basics

Keystone Ski Resort in Keystone, Colorado, lies in the Northern Rockies about 90 miles west of Denver International Airport. It's the largest ski resort in Summit County with three mountains: Dercum Mountain, North Peak and The Outback. Keystone's two villages are home to lodging facilities, shops, restaurants and bars. The resort offers a free shuttle for visitors to move between base areas. Night skiing is available on 15 of Keystone's trails. The resort has a variety of terrain to suit all levels of skiers and snowboarders.

The Mountain

Dercum Mountain, at 11,640 feet, greets visitors with long runs and groomed trails that are perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers. North Peak Mountain rises to 11,660 feet and is well suited to skiers and riders that want longer trails. The Outback is Keystone's tallest mountain at 11,980 feet, with long, well-groomed powder runs and bumps, plus tree skiing in the north and south bowls. Night skiing and snowboarding hours and dates are determined by the weather. Keystone Ski Resort opens in November, and the season usually runs until April. Yearly snowfall is typically 230 inches, and the resort has snowmaking capabilities on about 662 acres.

Trails And Lifts

Keystone Ski Resort's 135 trails are classified as 19 percent beginner, 32 percent intermediate and 49 percent expert on packed powder and groomed trails, as well as five bowls that can be accessed on foot or by shuttle. The longest run at 3 1/2 miles is Schoolmarm. The resort's 3,000 acres of skiable terrain and 20 lifts include: two connecting high-speed gondolas, four magic carpets, five high-speed quads, a high-speed six-person chair and five surface lifts. The A-51 Terrain Park on Dercum Mountain is consistently ranked among the best in the country by ski and snowboard magazines. Both day and night, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy jumps, tables, half-pipes, a superpipe, rails and jibs.

In The News

The U.S. Men's Alpine Team has exclusive training rights to Starfire run on Northpeak, one of the resort's three mountains. They also train on the Spring Dipper trail on Dercum Mountain. The team uses this training area to make final preparations before the alpine ski racing season is fully underway. The team has been training at Keystone Ski Resort since 2010.

Cost

Lift tickets can be purchased at Keystone Ski Resort's website seven days in advance for the best available price. A one-day lift ticket for a child is $54, $99 for adults and $89 for seniors. Even better deals exist for multiple-day tickets and packages that include lift tickets, ski equipment, lodging and activities. Ski and snowboard gear can be found at slope-side locations and run from $28.80 a day for a beginner ski package to $40 for an Alpine Demo package. A one-day Alpine snowboard package from Burton or Palmer is $32.80, helmet included. Ski lesson options for ages 3 and older are numerous, including private, semi-private and group.

Apres-Ski

Restaurant choices range from on-mountain dining at Alpenglow Stube, a AAA four-diamond-rated Bavarian restaurant on top of North Peak to a happy hour on an outside deck with a view and a warm fire at 9280 in River Run Village. Pampering tops the list of apres-ski activities at Keystone Lodge and Spa, with a steam room, Jacuzzi and heated pool along with various types of massages, facials and treatments for the mind and body. Shops at Keystone Ski Resort's two villages sell handmade ski sweaters and hats, technical outdoor clothing, Colorado gifts and souvenirs, jewelry and much more.

WATCH: Keystone Ski Resort

Take a tour around Keystone Ski Resort before the trip with this first-person point of view.