If you have never been to Keystone Resort, you may be wondering what the differences are between the two villages at Keystone Resort, Mountain House or River Run. Personally, we think they are both great! Use this guide to help you sort through the options and help you decide what you are looking for in your ski vacation. Do you want peace and quiet or do you enjoy being in the heart of everything? Is convenience the most important thing or do you need to stick within a budget? How far are you willing to walk to the lifts? These are all questions you need to think about as you do a search for the perfect vacation rental!
River Run Village
River Run is known as the ‘main’ village at Keystone Resort. When you picture the perfect little ski town village, River Run is just that. It is fairly small in area, adjacent to the Snake River and the Ski Slopes of course. The main village area is for pedestrians only and is great for walking around and window shopping. There are plenty of different shops here, whether you want to find a fun souvenir for your loved ones at home, purchase a new outfit or just pickup a forgotten ski essential that you left at home such as your hat or goggles. There is also a small market in the village where you can pickup the essentials, although we typically recommend buying most of your groceries on the way into Keystone to save money and find a better selection. Some of the best restaurants in Keystone are located here in River Run including the New Moon Cafe, Kickapoo Tavern, Zuma Roadhouse and the Inxpot Coffee Shop.
As far as skier services go, you’ll have the option to take the River Run Gondola or the Summit Express Chair Lift which both take you to the very top of Dercum Mountain, the first of three peaks at Keystone Resort. The ticket office is located right across from the gondola, along with a ski storage area and lockers. This is also one of the main locations of the Keystone Ski and Ride School, taking the gondola up to a learning area.
The River Run condos include almost 15 different complexes including The Springs, Red Hawk, Jack Pine, Buffalo, Expedition and Silver Mill just to name a few. Lone Eagle and the Timbers are also part of this group, but they are located on the ski slope itself, and the only true ski in/out properties in Keystone. These properties are some of the newer complexes in Keystone but most of them tend to be on the smaller size as far as square footage goes and most range from 1 – 3 bedrooms, with a few 4 bedrooms in the mix. Common amenities of these vacation rental properties include balconies, gas fireplaces, heated parking garages, pool and hot tub access, fitness centers and more. These properties are literally in the heart of it all with the slopes, gondola, shops, rentals, restaurants, and more just outside your door. There is also the Dercum Square Ice Rink and Keystone Kidtopia headquarters to entertain the kiddos on a day off the slopes or free afternoon.
Mountain House Village
The Mountain House Village expands further out from its base area and although a good majority of the properties here will be within walking distance to the slopes, some aren’t or some will just be a longer walk than you may enjoy.
Although you don’t have gondola access at Mountain House, you will have access to the Peru Chair Lift which goes about halfway up the mountain and from there you can hop on the Montezuma chair to get to the top or ski to the bottom of River Run. There are the same skier services with a season pass and ticket office, ski school and learning area at the base with both the Discovery and Poma lifts. There are fewer restaurants, but you can still find the Mountain House cafeteria, Last Lift Bar and the new Three Peaks restaurant. There isn’t much nightlife here, but River Run is a quick bus ride or about a 10 minute walk if you do want to go somewhere. Mountain House is certainly a ‘quieter’ scene if that’s what you are looking for. There are some restaurants in this area away from the base, off of Highway 6 including our favorite pizza establishment, Pizza 101, the Snake River Saloon, Subway and Dos Locos. The Snake Saloon has great nightlife with bands playing live music every weekend during ski season and much of the summer months too.
Since Mountain House was the ‘original’ base area of Keystone Resort, these were obviously the first properties built in Keystone, meaning they are a bit older, but that doesn’t mean not as nice! Many of these properties feature great views of the ski slopes and more space inside of the condos. The rates also tend to be a bit lower versus River Run. Some of the buildings such as Chateaux DuMont and Slopeside Condos are literally just steps from the ski slopes. Most Chateaux DuMont condos have private hot tubs as well! Other great options include Hidden River Lodge, Tenderfoot, Frostfire, Snake River Townhomes and the Gateway Lodge. All of these properties have hot tubs, but just a few include pool access.
If you still can’t decide which area is best for your upcoming Keystone Ski Trip, give one of our vacation planners a call. We can help you sort through the options and find that perfect place in Keystone.