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Skiing and Snowboarding in Summit County: Where and When?

You've finally booked your vacation and purchased your multi-day lift tickets from, but now what? With so many world-class ski resorts here in Summit County, it can be a difficult to decide which resort to spend the day at (even for us locals) — and once you decide, where do you go first on the mountain? Well, hopefully this short blog will give you some insight into some of my favorite skiing spots in Summit County!

First and foremost, it’s no secret that weekdays are the best days to beat the crowds and find the best snow. If you are visiting for an extended period of time and do not plan on skiing every day, definitely use the weekends to rest your legs and check out all that the towns of Breckenridge and Frisco have to offer. Regardless of which days you do choose to go skiing, the following information will help you get the most out of your vacation and time on the mountain.

Arapahoe Basin
Known for its incredibly long season (often October–June) and high alpine terrain (most of the mountain sits above tree line), Arapahoe Basin is one of the better-kept secrets that Summit County has to offer; it seems to be much less frequented by visitors and locals alike once the other Summit resorts open. If you're looking for fresh tracks and minimal crowds, be sure to check out A-Basin. With an incredible ski/ride school and instructors, Arapahoe Basin is a great place for beginners and experienced skiers/ boarders alike. The Black Mountain Express lift will offer a variety of beginner/intermediate trails to explore, while the East Wall will provide even the most experienced skiers with an adrenaline-pumping hike and steep rocky chutes. On a powder day, be sure to get there early and hit the Montezuma Bowl on the backside of the mountain!

With 5 peaks spread among the mountain, Breckenridge has it all. My personal favorites on Breckenridge are Ore Bucket located off Peak 7, The Windows off E-Chair, and The Burn on Peak 10. If you're looking for beginner and learning areas, be sure to check out the Quicksilver Lift on Peak 9 and all of the lessons that the base area near Maggie Pond has to offer! Take a break and relax at the T-Bar located at the base of Peak 8 for a drink and to watch some skiers/riders take on the larger set of jumps at the bottom of the terrain park.

Keystone is an incredibly diverse mountain with terrain that is easily accessible and varying from mellow beginner runs such as Schoolmarm (a 3.5-mile-long green run that traverses along the entire front side of Dercum mountain) to hike-to terrain such as the North and South bowls. The best time to be at Keystone (or any resort for that matter) is obviously first chair on a powder day! If glade skiing is your thing, be sure to check out the trees between any of the trails on the front side of the mountain (as most people do not bother with them) and any of the Outback trails which boast some of the steepest, tree filled, and mogul-intensive trails in Summit County. Additionally, Keystone is home of the world-famous Area 51 terrain park which offers progressive freestyle features ranging from extra small to 50+ foot jumps.