Summit County Ski Resorts FAQs

Summit County Ski Resorts FAQs

  • Maureen Lathrop
  • 05/7/23

In the mountains of Colorado lies Summit County, best known for its ski resorts. Many winter sports enthusiasts flock here every year to enjoy the fresh powder. If you are going to one of Summit County's ski resorts, read on to learn more about what you need to prepare for your trip.

What are the different ski resorts?

There are several ski resorts in the area, such as Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland Ski Area. Only some of these areas are tailored to accommodate beginners, so it is best to do further research if you are new to skiing and snowboarding.
 
These first three ski resorts, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Copper Mountain, accommodate skiers and snowboarders of any skill level. Breckenridge has over 2,900 acres of skiable terrain, with 187 trails, making it one of the largest ski resorts in Summit County. Keystone is also a large ski resort, well-known for its night skiing and snowboarding. Keystone is also accommodating to various levels of skiers and snowboarders. Copper Mountain Resort is smaller than Keystone and Breckenridge but has around 140 trails.
 
The following two ski resorts are more tailored to advanced skiers and snowboarders. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (or "A-Basin") is over 1,400 acres containing 147 trails. Loveland Ski Area is also smaller, with 94 courses on its 1,800 acres.

How much does it cost for lift tickets?

Single-day lift tickets vary based on the resort and the day you visit. Loveland and Arapahoe Ski Basin have tickets starting below $100, leaning more on the less expensive side, while Copper Mountain is more mid-range. Keystone and Breckenridge have the most expensive tickets, starting at around $200. Depending on when you go and for how many days, prices will vary, so visit the specific resort's website for more accurate pricing for your trip.

When is the best time to go?

Although many skiers and snowboarders head to the mountains during the holiday season in November and December, the best month for skiing is January.

What do I need to wear for skiing or snowboarding?

When preparing for your adventure, it is vital to dress in layers to stay warm. It is even more crucial when skiing or snowboarding, as you will be outside for extended periods in the snow. To keep warm, here are the best items to wear for your trip:
 
  • Snow jacket
  • Ski Pants
  • Beanie or knit hat
  • Gloves
  • Ski goggles
  • Boots
  • Thick socks
  • Neck gaiter or ski mask (Extra protection)

What else should I pack?

Aside from warm clothing to help keep you comfortable while skiing, make sure also to pack the following items:
 
  • Sunscreen to avoid getting sunburned.
  • Lotion to stay moisturized in Colorado’s dry climate.
  • Hand and toe warmers to stay warm on the slopes.
  • A hydration pack to stay hydrated without having to carry extra water bottles.

Can I take lessons?

All the resorts offer lessons for patrons. However, if you are a beginner, starting at either Keystone, Breckenridge, or Copper Mountain is best. More experienced skiers and snowboarders can also benefit from taking at least a single lesson, especially if they last visited the slopes a while ago or have yet to visit that particular resort.

How can I travel around the ski resorts?

If you want to avoid driving to all the different ski resorts, buses and shuttles are available. Some buses include the Bustang, Front Range Ski Bus, Free Ride Transit System in Breckenridge, and Summit Stage. More options are available, and the buses continue beyond all the resorts, so visit the transit systems' websites for more information on their routes and costs.

Safety Tips

Skiing and snowboarding are fun activities, but there are plenty of ways to get injured, with the most common injuries being bruises and broken bones. The following are a few safety tips to practice to ensure you have a fun and safe adventure on the slopes.

Changing altitude

This first tip is more about traveling to the mountains in general. If you are not from Colorado or a mountainous area, you may experience altitude sickness due to the sudden change from a lower to a higher altitude. Even if you do not, your body still needs time to acclimate to the higher altitude (and ultimately, less oxygen), so drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration and take it easy when you first arrive.

Wear sunscreen

In the mountains, you are closer to the sun, and the light reflecting off the snow makes it easy to get a sunburn, even with most of your body covered. The most vulnerable area is your face, so make sure to put on plenty of sunblock there and any other exposed body parts.

Make sure your clothing fits properly

Ensuring your clothing, such as ski goggles and boots, fit properly will help prevent injury. Ski goggles should fit snugly while wearing a helmet, while boots should not have too much loose space and protect your ankles and legs.

Follow the rules of the trail

There are trail rules for a reason, so familiarize yourself with them and check out a map of the area. You might be tempted to take a shortcut or explore off the trails when going down the slopes. However, traveling off the designated courses can be dangerous as these areas were not cleared and prepared for people.

Do not go alone

As with hiking or mountain biking, it is best to avoid heading out by yourself in case of injury or if something happens. Make sure to have at least a buddy, if not a group, so that people know where you are in case you go missing or are injured.

Be aware of avalanches

Avalanches are common in the mountains, even if a developed ski trail exists. In Colorado alone, there are thousands of avalanches every winter. Although the ski resorts try their best to keep the slopes safe for everyone, no one can control nature. Take the time beforehand to learn about the warning signs of an avalanche and how to stay safe if one occurs.

Summit County real estate

Summit County has excellent ski resorts to visit during the winter but is also a fantastic place to live year-round. If you want to purchase property on the Keystone or Breckenridge real estate markets, contact Colorado Mountain Living today. Connect with Mauren Lathrop or Joe Alvine to start your search for Summit County real estate.




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We bring an unusual and compelling mix of expertise and character to Summit County real estate that benefits you and your search for the perfect mountain home. Beyond being listener, we are anticipator - connecting with clients to understand their needs and always staying one step ahead.