Arapahoe Basin is the closest ski resort to Keystone to add a little diversity to your visit. A-Basin covers a large expansive area amongst the White River National Forest. Arapahoe Basin focuses on skiing, so there are not lodging accommodations, but there are restaurants and a few shops. A-Basin has the usual gamut of green, blue, black and double-black runs to accommodate the beginner and expert skiers. They have multiple bowls and a few terrain parks to keep you entertained and invested in the slopes.
Arapahoe Basin is usually open from mid October through June (depending on snowfall and other factors. The lifts are usually open from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM, but be warned that most of the lifts are two and three person carriers and lines can build up during the busy holidays. To get to Arapahoe Basin from Keystone, simply take Highway 6 east through Keystone and Arapahoe Basin will be about 6 miles (or 10 minutes away). Summit Stage public transportation in Summit County will also take you over to Arapahoe Basin. Visit www.summitstage.com for more information. For parking, Arapahoe Basin has four lots that are all a short walk to the slopes or a short distance to the shuttle stop. The parking lots are free, except for the Administration lot, which has a cost on holidays and weekends. The Early Bird lot is closest to the slopes, so get there early for these primo spots. Otherwise, there is a shuttle that will take you from the further out lots to the lifts.
Arapahoe Basin is a more difficult area to ski than Keystone and features more black and expert runs than Keystone. They only have three runs that are truly for beginners and many of their blue runs are somewhat difficult for beginners. In other words, A-Basin is great for experienced and intermediate skiers, but beginners may find themselves in over their heads and struggling on the mountain. If you are new to skiing, I would recommend you stay in Keystone. Advanced skiers/boarders will have a great time in Arapahoe Basin.
The Montezuma Bowl expansion increased the ski area’s terrain by 80 percent during the 07/08 season. The 400-acre Montezuma Bowl is located on the backside of Arapahoe Basin. Arapahoe Basin also has quite a bit of terrain that you can hike up to and enjoy the backcountry bowls and fresh powder areas, but these areas are double black expert only areas.
Arapahoe Basin has two terrain parks, the Treeline and High Divide Terrain Parks which gives skiers and boarders a chance to show off their mad skills. Both parks feature multiple boxes, rails, jumps, pipes and other amenities to show off your moves.
Arapahoe Basin’s infamous “Beach” scene cannot be replicated by any other ski resort in Colorado. The Early Riser parking lot is home to a stretch of prime real estate known as the “Beach.” The Beach backs up to the three lower mountain chairlifts, snow and great skiable terrain. Come Saturday and Sunday, it is home to birthday celebrations, events, employee parties and crazy costumes. Due to its popularity, the Beach fills up fast! Book the best slope-side parking online or call 888-ARAPAHOE (272-7246). In a beach spot you can easily fit 2 (large) cars and we provide the picnic table! There are nine spots available for reservation. Beach spots are free up until February 12, 2010. Spaces after 2/12/2010 will cost $150 Friday through Sunday; Monday-Thursday spots cost $100. So organize your friends, back up your car, unpack your gear, turn on the grill, unfold your beach chairs, open your umbrella and get ready for a great time on the A-Basin Beach!
Arapahoe Basin does not have any lodging, so your best bet is to stay at the nearby Keystone area. We offer some great deals for late season skiers, so stop in at Keystone and enjoy the local flair, then cruise on over to Arapahoe Basin for some late season snow sports. The beach is definitely one thing you have to do while you are in Summit County. The East Keystone area (like Settler’s Creek and River Run Village) are a bit closer and Summit Stage transit has stops in River Run Village and Lakeside Village which will make the trip easier if you are traveling by public transportation.
Arapahoe Basin has multiple events that go on throughout the season. Many times they have concert series and X-games style festivals with Rail Jams, Marmot Jam races, and other extreme sporting events. They also have Shakin’ in the Basin music festivals and brewpub festivals; visit their website for more information on all of their events: www.arapahoebasin.com.