When is Opening Day at Keystone?

Now that the snow is falling, the rumor mill is churning.  When is Keystone’s opening day for the 19/ 20 ski season? 

Opening Day at Keystone Snowboarding
A Snowboarder Enjoying Turns on Opening Day at Keystone 2018

 

Well what do we know to be true? Keystone has recently upgraded and added to its snow making equipment inventory and has already been making snow for the past couple of weeks.  Today’s snowstorm is now bringing in some significant additional natural snow to that mix and it is starting to build a nice base on the upper half of the mountain.  We know Keystone opened last year on November 7th and in previous years on November 10, 2017 and November 18, 2016.  But, now that Keystone is competing with Loveland and Arapahoe Basin for first chair of the season in Colorado (and the country!), the race to open is on! 

New Snow Keystone October 10, 2019
New Snow in Keystone on October 10, 2019

 

We also know is you can go to the Keystone lift ticket website and purchase lift tickets beginning October 25th, 2019. There are also some kickoff events scheduled starting as early as October 26th, 2019, the Halloween Costume Contest at Summit House!  So, hopefully that points to a sooner rather than later opening day! 

 

Although nothing has been officially announced, this rumor monger believes we can get our skis tuned up and book a room with SummitCove Vacation Lodging for first chair in the next week or two! We know that early season stays offer the lowest rates of the ski season and it is a great time to visit the high country! See you on the ski slopes! 

9/12/19- Snow on the Peaks!

Although the first official dusting of snow happened earlier this month, Summit County did wake up to some significant snow on the high peaks this morning, September 12, 2019. Fall colors are slowly starting to pop up and with the recent cooler overnight temperatures, the leaves should start changing more quickly. Experts have predicted prime fall colors can be seen in Keystone and Summit County from September 20 into the first week of October.

Snowy Peaks 2019
Snow on the Peaks across Lake Dillon near Keystone on 9/12/19

 

Keystone Resort has invested in new snowmaking equipment and is planning on joining the race to be one of the first Colorado ski resorts to open for the 19 / 20 ski season, potentially opening as early as mid to late October, depending on conditions.  Arapahoe Basin and Loveland Ski Resorts have historically been some of the first resorts to open in past years.

 

Now is the time to book your winter lodging at Keystone Resort! Heading to Arapahoe Basin on the Ikon Pass? Keystone is the closest lodging available at ABasin!

Fall Colors Are Expected to be ‘Extra Brilliant’ This Year

Coming off an incredible snow season with lots of moisture and a wet spring, the conditions are prime for an exceptionally brilliant show of colors this fall in the Summit County high country.  Experts have predicted that prime colors near Keystone Resort will peak around September 20 into the first week of October.  Head to the mountains to take in the amazing views of hillsides of golds, oranges and reds.

Fall colors at Keystone Resort CO
Fall colors in the mountains 2018

Although the Resort is closed for the summer season, there are still plenty of things to enjoy on your visit to Keystone. Most restaurants offer special mud-season deals like 2-for-1 dinner entries. Many of the sporting goods and equipment shops also run some great sales on last year’s gear so it is a good time to shop for new skis, winter jackets, ski socks, boots and more and enjoy sales up to 60% off regular prices.

 

Hiking in the fall is nothing short of amazing.  Fall tends tend to be full of bright sunshine and perfect temperatures, not too hot but very pleasant.  You can hike a fourteener, grab a hike with a grand finale such as a waterfall, alpine lake or mountain vista, or just enjoy a tree lined trail speckled with colorful aspens.  If mountain biking is your preferred sport, try one of the many trails around Summit County, such as Aspen Alley in Breckenridge or the Oro Grande trail closer to Keystone.

 

Fall is definately one of our favorite seasons in the mountains, but it goes by in the blink of an eye! Book your lodging today and head up to enjoy a fall escape while you still can!

 

So Much Fun Whitewater Rafting with Performance Tours!

Going white water rafting has been on the bucket list and this summer we crossed it off our list while vacationing in Keystone, Colorado.  We had the most amazing experience with Performance Tours! They offer several trips in different areas, all within an hour or two of Keystone Resort.  The closest rafting trip was the Blue River half day, but we wanted a full day trip, so we looked at the Royal Gorge Full Day and The Brown’s Canyon Full Day trips.  The Royal Gorge is a little further away from Keystone and the rafting is a little more challenging than Brown’s Canyon. Since it was our first time rafting, we decided on the Brown’s Canyon Full Day.  It costs $98 for a child and $108 for an adult, but as SummitCove guests, we got a special discount for everyone in our group!

 

We met our guide at the Performance Tours Boat House in Buena Vista, at 10:00 am and then we shuttled to the put in at Fisherman’s Bridge.  Everyone was chatting about it being a perfect blue sky Colorado day and the views of the Collegiate Peaks were astounding. It was amazing how many companies and people were all there at the put in and yet how quickly we still got out on the river.  Our guide gave us a safety talk and told us she had been guiding this part of the Arkansas River as well as the Royal Gorge for 5 years. I felt confident in her abilities and she was super friendly and had vast knowledge of the river.  

 

The river was fast moving and our guide was shouting paddle commands at us and we were following her directions with wide eyes!  Our guide had complete control of the raft. It would look like we were going to hit a rock and then at the last second she would turn the boat and we would skim past the rock and catch the current, it was so exciting!  This stretch of river has several class 3+ rapids and I was launched out of the boat in the rapid called Pinball. I was paddling and the next thing I knew I was in the river, completely under water. Before I had a chance to freak out I looked up through the water and I was right next to the boat.  I could see our guide. Before my head was above water I reached my hand up and our guide grabbed my life jacket and before I knew it she pulled me back in the boat. I was in and out of the river so quick, it was like it never even happened. I had an incredible rush of adrenaline and I am grateful for the quick response of our raft guide.  She was awesome and saved me from a nasty swim!  

Brown's Canyon Rafting Whitewater Rapids

 

We stopped for lunch, on a sandy beach, on the side of the river and had make our own sandwiches, with all the fixings.  I don’t know if it was the swim I had or the mountain air but that was the best sandwich I ever ate. After lunch we continued on and hit more rapids, with the last rapid being Seidel’s Suckhole.  Our guide said it is named that because years ago a guy named Seidel got sucked into the hole and he is still down there! We nailed that hole and fortunately everyone stayed in the boat and noone got to meet Seidel.

 

The joke became that the swimmers had to buy beer at the end of the trip and I was the only swimmer that day, so it looked like the beer was on me.  We shuttle back to Performance Tours Boat House and I ran and got some beers and we sat out on the deck with the guides and the other paddlers on our trip, recapped our awesome day and looked at our pictures from the trip.

 

Thanks to Performance Tours white water rafting is crossed off our bucket list but it left us wanting more.  So we added rafting the Royal Gorge to our bucket list. We will be back to do the Full Day Royal Gorge Trip with Performance Tours.  They take safety and having fun seriously. We have an amazing story to tell and an adventure we will never forget! Thanks Performance Tours, for the thrill of a lifetime!

 

Pizza 101 is Our Favorite Pizza in Colorado!

When we stay in Keystone, in the summer, we always like to walk as much as possible.  We like staying in Ski Run 201 with SummitCove Properties because it is more economical than staying in River Run Village and we can still walk to some restaurants, including our all time favorite pizza place, Pizza 101.

Pizza 101 in Keystone

Pizza 101 is located in the Snowdance Plaza building which is a short walk from the Ski Run condos.  We call ahead to order our pizza and walk over and pick it up. We love the Kermit pizza with the pesto and the strombolis.  We add a house salad and some garlic cheese stixs and we have a yummy dinner and lunch to throw in our cooler for the next day, because everyone knows pizza and strombolis taste better the day after!  At Pizza 101 they brick oven-fire their hand tossed pizzas and the crust is delicious! Their pesto sauce and pizza sauce are to die for. Their prices are good, especially for a resort, and having a coupon from SummitCove Lodging helps lower the bill.  The staff is always friendly and working hard as they always seem busy.  

 

Our family looks forward to eating at Pizza 101 on each trip to Keystone and I look forward to an easy,  convenient, delicious dinner while on vacation. It is a win, win and we will be back for more!

Are You a Cornhole Master? Show Off Your Skills This Sunday!

Are you a cornhole master?  It’s time to break out those skills this weekend in Keystone!  Now is your chance to backup all that talk about your cornhole expertise with a friendly cornhole tournament.  Along with the Bluegrass & Beer Festival this weekend, August 3 & 4, New Belgium is hosting a Cornhole tournament.  The tournament takes place from 12:00pm – 2:00pm at Warren Station on Sunday afternoon. Come show off that college Cornhole acumen. There is a bonus prize for best team uniform so dust off those superhero capes or beer mug costumes of yours!  Of course New Belgium is hosting the tournament, so beer sipping will go along with the tossing. You could be good enough to be this year’s Crowned Cornhole Champion in a single elimination tournament. Games will  be held on the Warren Station Patio starting at noon on Sunday. Teams will compete in pairs and the winning team will walk away with a grand prize. Entry is $30 per team and includes two complimentary beers per team. Be sure to get registered early before it sells out! 

Cornhole Tournament at Warren Station

Bluegrass & Beer Festival ticket and lodging packages for the festival this weekend are still available with SummitCove Lodging until 4pm on Friday, August 2nd. Packages can save you up to 15% on your lodging and tickets.  Book a condo in River Run Village and walk to the festivities all weekend long.  Stop by the SummitCove Booth inside the festival to get a free pretzel necklace and to enter to win a prize package for the 2020 Bluegrass and Beer Festival at Keystone!

Vacation Kickoff With A Trip Down Clear Creek

Whitewater rafting is an adventure of a life time.  I grew up on the rivers and riding the rapids. This year on our summer family trip to Keystone I wanted our teenage children to experience this adventure.  Our flight got into DIA early around 8am and check in time at our condo wasn’t till 4:00 so we thought, perfect time to go whitewater rafting! Clear Creek is on right on the way to Keystone, about 45 minutes from the airport.  There are several rafting companies in Idaho Springs, so I did some research because I wanted to go with a very experienced company. The water is very high right now and I wanted to make sure my family and myself were in expert hands.  I found Clear Creek Rafting, the oldest company on the river, with the most years of experience.  

Colorado Whitewater Rafting with Clear Creek

 

We arrived at their office on a sunny, blue sky day to do the Beginner Trip.  My kids are teenagers and they wanted to do the Intermediate Trip but with the water levels so high we choose the Beginner Trip and we were not disappointed!  First, we got wet suits and helmets and then our guide, Rasta Rob, gave us the safety talk. This river is no joke and I could see my kid’s eyes get big as Rasta talked about paddle strokes, flipping, high sides and how to pull someone back in the boat, if they fall out.  My kids wanted to paddle up front so my husband and I took the back and we were off on a fast moving, raging river!

 

We went through at least 10 rapids with Rasta yelling paddle commands to us.  This is a tight river and our guide was as smooth as butter. I would start to think, we are going to hit a rock and then our guide would turn our boat and slide by rock.  The kids in the front got hit with wave after wave of whitewater and loved every minute of it! No one fell out of the raft and that is because we had an expert guide. We paddled our butts off and had the time of our lives!  We all want more and we will be back to do the Intermediate Trip in a few days! This was an awesome experience! Thanks Clear Creek Rafting! Thanks Rasta!

A Day in Brown’s Canyon with Performance Tours Rafting

Yesterday, SummitCove employees were able to escape for a fun team-building excursion on the Arkansas River with a group rafting trip down Brown’s Canyon with Performance Tours Rafting!

Browns Canyon Rafting
Whitewater Rafting with Performance Tours at Beautiful Brown’s Canyon in July 2019

Rafting is certainly a team sport, as every member in your boat is responsible for paddling their hearts out!  Your trusty guide tells you exactly what needs to be done… LEFT TWO or BACK ONE!  Just follow along and push your paddle hard into the water.  The team pushes the raft forward where it needs to go, whether it’s around a rock or straight on over a rapid! Teamwork really does make the dream work!

Rafting Boat Heading through Colorado Whitewater
Getting Splashed As We Paddle Through One of the Rapids on the Trip!

Yesterday was no different and with the high water levels this season, there was no shortage of paddling and super-fun rapids!  We love working with Performance Tours because they have some of the best guides in the country!  We always feel well-informed and safe during our journey and most importantly, we always have a ton of fun.  If you are lucky, you’ll get a guide that tells you jokes the whole way down like ours did! We joined a half day trip on Brown’s Canyon National Monument.  This trip is considered Class 3 and features tons of great rapids, like Pinball, Zoom flume, Bigdrop, Staircase, Punchbowl and many more.  The scenery is incredible, with picture perfect rock formations and those Colorado bluebird skies.  We loved every minute of this fun trip and the weather was perfect!  We have been recommending Performance Tours to our guests for many years and highly recommend that everyone looking for a fun, family-friendly activity on their Keystone vacation give one of their rafting trips a try.  They offer a variety of trips, from full to half to multi-day trips along an assortment of different rivers throughout Colorado.  They can even arrange transportation from your vacation rental if you need it!  All SummitCove guests receive a special discounted rate on rafting with PT, too!

Whitewater Rafting with Performance Tours
Big Water Equals Tons of Fun Out On the River!

High waters mean that the rafting season should be nice and long this summer, so there is still plenty of time to get out and enjoy the river! We highly recommend whitewater rafting on your Keystone vacation!  Call or book your trip online with Performance Tours today! 

7 Ways to Unplug This Summer in Keystone, Colorado

As convenient and amazing as technology is, it is often hard to peel yourself away from the daily grind of screen time and social media life. The mountains offer a chance to escape the daily ‘plug-in’ and find real life beyond the phones, tablets and social media. We invite you to visit Keystone this summer and truly unplug for a few days for a real Rocky Mountain getaway! Here are 7 technology alternatives to consider for your Keystone vacation.

 

Stop and Smell the Wildflowers!
Wildflowers grow like crazy in the Colorado mountains! Take a hike through a wildflower meadow and enjoy nature’s beauty. Bring along a guidebook and see how many different varieties you can find! Take your colored pencils and sketchbook and get inspired!

 

Get Out on the Lake
Keystone Lake in Keystone is ground zero for fun summertime lake activities such as kayaking, paddle boating, fishing and stand-up paddle boarding.  Head to the Adventure Center to rent your gear and get out on the lake for some much needed ‘reflection’ time!

Summer activities at Keystone Lake
Stand-UP Paddle Boarders Exploring Keystone Lake on a Sunny Day

 

Act Like a Kid Again
Keystone is the number one resort for kids in every season and summer is no different with daily Kidtopia programming. Most activities are free and offer kids AND adults a chance to release their inhibitions and be free to act like a kid! Daily Kidtopia Summer activities include events like movie matinees, kid-friendly yoga, family golfing, kite flying, wildflower crafts, camp nights and more!

 

Head to the Hills
Whether you head up the gondola to the top of Dercum Mountain, head west towards Keystone Gulch or east into the hills near Montezuma and Peru Creek, there are tons of hiking and biking trails located in Keystone.  Choose a mellow waterfall hike or tackle some nearby fourteeners such as Grays & Torreys or Quandary Peaks!  You might even get to spot some wildlife! Permission granted to take that selfie at the top – but don’t post it until you get home from your trip.

Mountain Goat Summit County CO
A Mountain Goat Sits Near the Top of Quandary Peak

 

Dance Like There’s No Tomorrow
Keystone is known for their incredible summer festivals and although each festival has a different focus, almost all of them feature live music from some of the best touring acts in the nation.  Stomp your feet at the Bluegrass and Beer Festival or get down with The Strumbellas at Mountain Town Music.  Is polka dancing more up your alley? Then you must attend Keystone Oktoberfest!  Dance away  the stress of your everyday life and come back feeling relaxed and reconnected.

 

Take Time to Enjoy Your Food
In addition to the amazing food you’ll find at any summer festival, you’ll want to try one of the award winning restaurants in Keystone as well! The Alpenglow Stube is situated atop North Peak, with incredible views and even more incredible dishes.  Try Keystone Ranch for locally sourced, sustainable authentic Colorado cuisine. Or head to the Ski Tip Lodge for an intimate meal at an historic 1800’s stage coach stop that serves a rotating 4 course menu and extensive wine selections. Quit rushing and take some time to savor a wonderful meal.

 

Run a 5K
What better way to break free than to start running! Annually over Labor Day weekend, locals and visitors tie up their shoelaces and earn their brats and beers at the Das Bier Burner 5K.  This family friendly fun run starts and finishes in the scenic River Run Village at Keystone and offers finishers a free brat and a beer after the run at Keystone Oktoberfest!

Das Bier Burner at Keystone Oktoberfest Colorado
Festive Runners Finishing the Annual Das Bier Burner 5K in Keystone

 

Ditch your phones and computers for a week or two this summer and take in the beauty of your surroundings.  Focus on the present and enjoying the time you spend with your loved ones.  Make memories together that will last a lifetime. Unplug, disconnect, and discover your newest passion at Keystone Resort this summer.

Keystone Science School Offers Incredible Summer Camp Programs

Keystone Science School has amazing programs for kids ages 5 – 17, all summer long.  They offer many different camps during the summer and break them up based on age.  The day camps are Monday – Friday, 8 AM to 5, with an optional overnight on Wednesdays.  They have 1 camp counselor to about 6 kids. They also offer overnight camps, which are 6 days and they pack in a lot of outdoor adventure.  In both the day camps and overnight camps, the campers go on nature hikes, summit mountains, go white water rafting, learn to rock climb, have campfires and really live the wilderness camp experience!  Lastly, they also offer 2 Wilderness Adventure Camps where kids sleep in tents while exploring Colorado and Utah. The Keystone Voyagers Camp is for kids ages 12 – 14 and it is one week long. The other camp is Keystone Mountain Adventures and this is a multi-week camp.  These camps are field-based and not only do the kids learn a lot about science, and nature they also build leadership skills and friendships. The Keystone Science School also offers financial aid to campers to make this experience more affordable.  Families can plan a summer vacation based on the camp dates and parents can enjoy some alone time while kids attend camp during the day! Choose a condo or vacation home in the West Keystone area of the resort to be super close to the Science School headquarters! 

 

The camp I picked for my girls, 8 and 10 years old, was the Water Adventure Camp.  It was $449 for the week. We did get some financial aid so that really helped. In this camp my girls learned so much about water ecology and water safety through fun activities.  They went canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and white water rafting, which was their favorite. They both wanted to spend the night on Wednesday and it was probably their most memorable part of camp.  They sang songs around the campfire with the new friends they made. They loved spending the night with their new friends and their super cool Camp Counselor. They also loved the independence. At the end of the week both my kids were happy, tired and couldn’t wait to do it again next summer.  This camp helped build their self esteem and leadership skills. Making friends was also a highlight and they are both busy planning their next adventure with the kids from camp. I love that my kids are involved with other kids that like the out of doors more than their electronics! This is definitely an experience that will positively affect both my girls’ lives and we will be signing them up again next summer!  

Keystone Science School

I think it is worth mentioning that the Keystone Science School also offers a few other programs.  The Catch Program is an after school and summer program for kids in the Summit County School District.  ‘Catch’ stands for Coordinated Approach to Child Health. These programs are offered on a sliding fee scale and teach healthy physical activity and eating habits, while having fun.  Keystone Science School also offers a Girls In Stem Program. It is an empowering, hands-on program that brings real-world learning in a fun environment. Female STEM professionals are involved in the program to help support females students who want to enter the male-dominated workforce, in science and math.

Whichever program you and your child pick, they are guaranteed to learn and grow so much, while having the best time of their lives.  The Keystone Science School is an amazing experience for kids!