While we love every mountain in Summit County, Copper Mountain seems to be one of the county’s best-kept secrets. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, it is truly an experience you don’t want to miss! We can’t wait to give you some insider tips to help you navigate the mountain and tell you about a few things you probably don’t know!
First, Copper is the only mountain in the area that is naturally divided, meaning the green runs are on one side and the black runs are on the other. This makes it great for the whole family!
Second, Copper is our go-to mountain on a busy day. It is the only mountains in Summit County that is not part of the Epic Pass with Vail Resorts, so there always seems to be less people and shorter lift lines. That means it’s a separate lift ticket, but don’t let that worry you — you can get buy-one-get-one-free tickets to Copper if you buy 10 gallons of gas at a participating Shell Gas Station! That makes the price only $69. If you can’t make it to a Shell station you can also buy your tickets online in advance to save up to 53 percent off the window rate. When we go to Copper on a busy day, we like to stay on the back side of the mountain to avoid any lift lines that may exist. A few lifts that we like to take are the Sierra lift, Mountain Chief and Excelerator. Even if there are lift lines at the base lifts, these lifts will rarely have a line at all. If you are an advanced skier, we would also recommend heading back to Spaulding Bowl, Union Bowl and Copper Bowl to really avoid the crowds and get the best snow! Check out Copper’s trail map to get the big picture.
If you love powder days like us, we have some exciting news for you: Copper offers free snow cat skiing every Friday–Sunday on Tucker Mountain! Some resorts and backcountry operators charge hundreds of dollars a day for the chance to ride a snow cat up to some untracked terrain. At Copper, it’s free! Yes, you read that right, free! The Tucker Mountain snow cat operates for advanced skiers and riders on a first-come, first-serve basis from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. All you need is a lift ticket! To get back to Tucker, just take the American Flyer lift to the Sierra lift, and then take the surface lift called Celebrity Ridge to the peak. When you ski down, keep right and you’ll see the cat! Speaking of powder: If you’re a late riser and don’t want to ride the snow cat, you can still find powder on the front side of the mountain. Copper does a “noon groom” each day where they close one run off until noon. If it’s a powder day, you have a fresh stash to ski that no one else has been able to touch all morning, whether they got first chair or not.
If you haven’t been to Copper much or want to learn more about the mountain, try taking one of the free Mountain Ambassador Tours that are offered each day! You can do a ski/ride tour or a snowshoe tour. If you’re a beginner skier, check out the Westside Mountain Tours from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. If you are comfortable with blue runs, try the tours starting at the top of the American Eagle Chairlift. If you want to do a snowshoe tour, they are offered for intermediates at 10 a.m. and for beginners at 1 p.m. During the tours, a “Resort Ambassador” will share his/her passion for (and knowledge of) the mountain and resort including history, wildlife and fun facts that not many people know about Copper! These tours run twice each day at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. But wait ... it gets better. When there is a full moon, Copper does a Moonlight Snowshoe Tour! Reservations are required for this one, and it is recommended that you bring your own snowshoes. If you don’t have them, it’s no problem, because you can rent them from Copper for $10 for any of the tours.
Well, are you excited yet? We’ll see you at Copper Mountain soon! And if you have any other insider tips, please comment and let us know!