I’m a Colorado local and experienced skier, and in this guide, I break down all the things to love about Arapahoe Basin Ski Area.
I will share where to find steep chutes, gladed runs, and powder stashes galore. I also share ideal places to stay, nearby attractions, and where to find more après ski fun.
Here’s what I’ll cover in this post:
- ℹ️ About Arapahoe Basin
- 🏨 Where to Stay
- ✨ Things to Do
- 🍽️ Restaurants
- 🎒 What to Pack
- 🗺️ A-Basin Map
- ❓ FAQs
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About Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
Arapahoe Basin Stats
- 📍 28194 US-6, Dillon, CO 80435
- 📞 (970) 468-0718
- 💻 Arapahoe Basin Website
- 📅 Ski area open October 23, 2022 to Jun 1, 2023 (estimated)
- 🎿 Lift Hours: 9 am to 4 pm Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 4 pm Saturday – Sunday
- ⛰️ Summit Elevation: 13,050 ft (3,978 meters)
- ❄️ Average Snowfall: 350 in (889 cm)
- 🗺️ Acres: 1,428
- 🏂 Number of trails: 147
- ⛷️ Vertical drop: 2,530 feet (771 meters)
- 🚡 Number of ski lifts: 9
A-Basin Ski Season
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is the oldest ski resort in Summit County, and one of the most popular ski resorts in the state of Colorado.
It was Colorado’s first post-WWII ski area, built with retired mining equipment on a shoestring budget. In 1946, Arapahoe Basin opened with one tow rope and sold lift tickets for $1.25.
Today, A-Basin, as it’s referred to by locals, features 9 ski lifts and 1,428 acres of terrain. The ski area is also called The Legend, famed for having the longest season in Colorado. A-Basin has opened for skiing as early as October 9 and closed as late as August 10.
For 7 years, most recently in 2019, Arapahoe Basin has operated on the 4th of July. Live music and parties on “The Beach,” front-row parking near the ski lifts, always make for epic Independence Day celebrations!
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Terrain
A-Basin is also known for some of the highest skiable terrain in North America. The summit reaches an impressive 13,050 feet, ranking as the 3rd-highest ski area elevation on the continent. Views of the Continental Divide are stunning from this peak.
In addition, steep terrain is abundant at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Black and double black runs make up 73% of this adventurous mountain. The extreme terrain and steep glades make A-Basin a favorite among experienced skiers. However, beginners can also enjoy the ski area, with 7% green and 20% blue trails.
Arapahoe Basin’s adventurous, in-bounds terrain includes seven distinct areas. Novices should stick to Molly Hogan and the frontside, serviced by the Black Mountain Express and Lenawee lifts. The Beavers and Montezuma Bowl are ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers.
Pallavicini, accessible via the Pallavicini lift, features some of the ski area’s most gnarly terrain. Find narrow, rocky chutes at The Steep Gullies, too — but note that you’ll be hiking 20-30 minutes back to the base area in ski boots.
Lastly, to experience one of The Legend’s biggest adventures, head to The East Wall chutes. The Lower East Wall generally opens in February, followed by multiple hiking routes up the Upper East Wall.
Three terrain parks — Treeline, High Divide, and Banana Park — add even greater variety.
Where to Stay Near Arapahoe Basin
Here are some of the best places to stay near A-Basin:
- Hyatt Place Keystone – A family-friendly hotel with modern amenities, located in Keystone and just 5 miles from Arapahoe Basin.
- The Keystone Lodge and Spa by Keystone Resort – Found 6 miles from Arapahoe Basin, this luxurious resort features a spa, fitness center, and bar on-site.
- The Pines Condos – Perfect for large groups, these apartment rooms can sleep up to 11 people and are located 7 miles from Arapahoe Basin.
- Silver Inn – Averaging $120 per night, this Silverthorne inn is one of the area’s most budget-friendly stays, set just 13 miles from A-Basin.
- Rose Street Bed & Breakfast – Though 20 miles from A-Basin (roughly a 30-minute drive), this charming Georgetown B&B is perfect for those that prefer a quieter location.
- Browse Top Apartment rentals on VRBO
- Browse Top Apartment rentals on Plum Guide
You’ll find several hotels, resorts, bed and breakfasts, and home rentals near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Keystone is the closest mountain town, complete with restaurants, bars, spas, and more après ski entertainment. See our Where to Stay in Keystone guide for more nearby suggestions.
Silverthorne, just a bit further from A-Basin, has even more places to stay, including budget-friendly hotels. If you plan to spend your entire day exploring and just need a spot to crash, check out the affordable Silver Inn and The Pad hostel.
Those that prefer quieter areas should consider Silver Plume and Georgetown. These mountain towns will be far less crowded than those closer to A-Basin.
5 Things to Do Near Arapahoe Basin
Race down groomed trails at Adventure Point, the world’s highest mountaintop tubing hill
Experience Adventure Point at Keystone Resort, the highest mountain top tubing hill in the world! You’ll want to book tickets in advance; view rates and complete this step online. Then to reach this attraction, park in the free River Run Parking Lot. Collect your reserved passes from the Express Lift Ticket line, then board the River Run Village gondola.
At the Dercum Mountain summit lie 6 groomed snow-tubing lanes. Racing down this hill is one of the best things to do in Keystone, offering thrills for (nearly) the whole family. Note that a minimum age of 4 years and height of 42 inches is required to ride.
Glide on a natural lake or within Keystone’s charming village square
Just a few miles from Arapahoe Basin, Keystone features two places to skate on ice. Keystone Lake is one of the largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor ice rinks in the world. Entrance costs $15 per person, with an extra fee for skate rentals. Though, in my opinion, the expense is well worth the views alone!
For a different sort of scenery, check out the Dercum Square Ice Rink. Though smaller, it’s surrounded by cozy lodges and boutiques. Plus, hot chocolate is just a few steps away.
Clop through snowy forests in Summit County
📍 Google Maps | Phone: (855) 603-0049 | Website | Hours: 1 pm – 7 pm Thursday – Sunday, Closed Monday – Wednesday (seasonal, open November 18, 2022 – April 2, 2023) | Entrance: starts at $60 adults, $50 under 12, $10 under 3
Keystone Stables hosts several sleigh ride excursions, including incredible dinner tours. Guests meet at the Adventure Center in Lakeside Village, then climb aboard the charming horse-drawn sleigh.
Clop through snowy forests into the stunning Soda Creek Valley. If opting for the dinner experience, you’ll be taken to warm cabins where dinner and cowboy cocktails are served. A moonlit ride back makes the outing even more memorable.
River Run Village
Explore the heart of Keystone, full of après ski fun
River Run Village at Keystone Resort is a great place to hang out after a day of skiing. Here, you’ll find coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. Kick back with a cocktail and get toasty while roasting s’mores around their outdoor fire pit.
Take a scenic drive to hiking trails and backcountry ski runs
Set along the Continental Divide, Loveland Pass is the highest mountain pass in Colorado that’s open year-round. Coming from Denver, it’s the most direct route to reach Arapahoe Basin. But even if staying in Keystone or other nearby towns west of the Eisenhower Tunnel, this drive is worth experiencing.
With a peak elevation of 11,991 feet above sea level, views from the pass are absolutely breathtaking. Consider parking to hike 13er Mount Sniktau or hit some backcountry ski runs.
Restaurants Near Arapahoe Basin
- 6th Alley Bar & Grill – Found at the base of A-Basin, this convenient restaurant serves American favorites and the best bloody marys around.
- Black Mountain Lodge – Set at the top of the Black Mountain Express Lift, this mid-mountain eatery cooks up house-smoked BBQ, hearty stews, and more.
- Steilhang Hut – Take in views of the East Wall from this upper mountain hut, serving locally-made pretzels, sausages, and German draft beer.
- Haywood Cafe – A great spot for a large group, this Keystone cafe offers a daily, delicious brunch menu.
- Last Chance Pizza – Snag a slice from this Keystone pizzeria, then cozy up in Cove & Craft next door, which offers a great selection of local beers.
- Dos Locos Mexican Restaurant & Cantina – Take advantage of happy hour margaritas and tacos at this festive Keystone eatery.
- Montezuma Roadhouse – A trendy New American restaurant featuring craft cocktails and a game room with billiards and arcade games.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area features 3 on-site restaurants. 6th Alley Bar & Grill is a great spot to start the day, as they serve famous bloody marys — bacon or regular. You can also order lunch here, as well as at Black Mountain Lodge and Steilhang Hut.
In nearby Keystone, you’ll find countless eateries for all tastes and budgets. Post-skiing, nothing beats a warm meal and happy hour drink specials.
Essentials to Pack for Arapahoe Basin
They have a saying in Norway that translates to “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” To help ensure a fun day at Arapahoe Basin, arrive prepared with proper layers and gear! Here are a few personal suggestions on how I stay warm on the slopes:
Technologically advanced, these layers are thermal reflective and quick drying. They make a huge difference in staying warm and are also available in a women’s version.
Also featuring thermal reflective tech, these waterproof snow pants are insulated and comfortable. Find them in men’s sizes, too.
My Favorite Accessory
FAQs About Arapahoe Basin
What is Arapahoe Basin known for?
Arapahoe Basin is known for its long season, which beats out all other Colorado ski resorts. It’s also loved for its difficult terrain, with gnarly slopes on The East Wall and narrow chutes through The Steep Gullies.
Is A-Basin a good place to ski?
A-Basin is a good place to ski. In fact, it’s one of my favorite places to ski in all of Colorado. It’s more-so frequented by locals, meaning cheaper lift tickets, shorter lines, and fewer crowds on the slopes.
After reading this guide, hopefully, you’re stoked to visit Arapahoe Basin Ski Area. Stay warm, pray for powder, and keep your tips up!
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