Keystone Ski Resort is a personal favorite of mine! It’s easy to get to from Denver (couple hour drive west on I-70), has a really nice lodging and restaurant area called River Run, three phenomenal mountains, excellent bowls, big mountain restaurants, free parking, and easy access to Breckenridge, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Vail, and Beaver Creek.
Keystone is located in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, stretches seven miles along the Snake River, has three mountains, 3,128 vertical feet, 3,148 acres of terrain, and three vibrant villages with shops, stores, bars, acclaimed restaurants, first-rate conference facilities, and wonderful accommodations to meet any need.
Dercum, the main mountain, is home to long green and blue runs and perfect groomers to keep you cruising all day. North Peak, rising to 11,660 feet, is for skiers and riders that love long steep trails or lots of bumps. The third mountain is Outback and peaks at 11,980 feet. Here you’ll find long Blue intermediate and black expert runs. Plus, there is some of Colorado’s best tree skiing in the North and South Bowls.
If you’re a bowl skier and want to test the waters, head over to the top of Outback and pay the $5 to ride the Kat to the north/south bowls. They run every 15 minutes and whisk you in a Kat to the summit in about 7 minutes. If it’s a fresh powder day, both the North and South Bowls will be in top shape. But, if not, the North Bowl will probably be a bit wind blown and bare. For $225, you can reserve a spot with Keystone Adventure Tours and in the comfort of a heated snow cat, travel above the tree line to 12,000 feet for a full-day of back country skiing within Independence Bowl, complete with guides to show you the best runs and lunch in their warming hut catered by the five-star Alpenglow Stube.
For lunch, be sure to check out The Outpost at the top of North Peak. Here your choices include award-winning cuisine at Alpenglow Stube, Family fun at Der Fondue Chessel, or a variety of delicious options at the Timber Ridge Food Court.
My recommendation would be to stay at River Run. From these affordable accommodations, most with kitchen units, you’ll be within easy access to the vibrant shops and restaurants and just a couple minute walk to the lifts on Dercum Mountain. If you’re looking for accommodations with a decent spa, Keystone Lodge & Spa is the closest you’ll get for luxury spa accommodations. But, it’s located within Lakeside Village, which is not within walking distance to the lifts.
Oh, and make sure you check out the Snake River Saloon just outside the resort on U.S. Highway 6. The food is really really good and it’s a fun place to hang out!