Arapahoe Basin is one of the closest ski resorts to Denver. Easily accessible, one can fly in the morning and be on the slopes that same afternoon. The snow here is good—very good. What’s more exhilarating, though, are the heights. The highest ski-accessible peaks around, the heart-stopping vertical drops here are flat out epic! The base elevation is at 10,780 with the peaks an astounding 13,050 feet! Due to the high elevation, the resort can stay open much longer than any of the others, right on into the first or second week in June!
A-Basin is truly great skiing, sans the longer lines of the more cushy resorts. There’s a terrain park, including half-pipe, as well. Intermediate slopes make up about 45 percent of the mountain, while beginners enjoy 15 percent. Advanced trails account for 20 percent and the remaining 20 percent are double-black diamond—a natural phenomenon to be reckoned with! Loveland and Keystone ski areas are just down the road, while Breckenridge and Winter Park are each less than 20 miles away. The ski patrol takes their job seriously, checking for avalanche potentials at least once a day and working to ensure everyone’s safety. The instructional staff are likewise highly capable professionals. Ski pros in Colorado are the best of the best. They can pick and choose where they work.
Beginners are welcome, while more advanced skiers are going to be thrilled every moment of the day. No one has ever accused A-Basin’s slopes of being boring! Twelve thousand feet is very high up. You’ll be getting a lot less oxygen (the air is thinner) and a lot more UV rays. Dress appropriately; wear light layers, a breathable waterproof outer shell, a hat that covers your ears, ski mask, goggles, gloves, and at least a neck gator.
This ski area is a bit underrated and a bit less cushy than some of the resorts. While there are not the huge resort amentities, there are several great places to sit, eat, drink, and enjoy the mountain. Enjoy a meal on the mountain at Black Mountain Lodge, a mid-mountain restaurant, or at the base The Legends Cafe will provide burgers and pizza. For live music on Fridays, cheap margaritas and tacos, stop by Six Valley Bar at the end of your ski day. For the avid skier at most any level of experience, Arapahoe Basin is an excellent choice and a great time that’s hard to beat!
A-Basin gets 370 inches of that infinitely-deep powder. Ski roughly 70 trails with a longest run of over 8,000 feet. Six lifts throughout the ski area will take you to 15 percent beginner trails, 45 percent intermediate, 20 percent advanced, and an absolutely unbelievable 20 percent expert-level trails. The mountain has some of the steepest slopes to be found at any resort, so you know the most experienced snowboarders are really going to be presented with a serious challenge!
Home to the highest terrain park in North America. Treeline Terrain Park features a 20-foot down rail, 15-foot kink rail, 30-foot C box, 30-foot straight rail, 20-foot box, 15-foot Up Box, Legendary ‘A’ box, Up Flat box, 30-foot jump, 40-foot jump, and a trapezoid rail that will challenge even the most fearless and skilled expert.
For the snowboarder who is still developing skills and isn’t quite ready to face the terrors of Treeline Terrain Park, High Divide is a new park that’s set up just for you. If you’re looking for huge natural air hits, try the Rock Garden off of the Pallavicini (“Pali”) Lift then proceed to North Fork’s natural beams and bumps and you can really test your mettle on Pali Wog out of the Pali side for thrills and chills, followed by spills!