Arapahoe Basin

Closed
Karl Sander
SnowPak Local Insider
Karl Sander
Pros
  • Deep fluffy powder; 350 in of the good stuff each year!
  • Some of Colorado's best extreme steeps
  • Small local mountain vibe
  • Relatively cheap lift tickets compared to larger resorts
  • One of the longest ski seasons lasting till spring and early summer
Cons
  • Old lifts, only one is high speed = queues, ugh!
  • Small ski terrain area compared to nearby Colorado resorts
  • Very limited dining, après ski and no lodging or resort amenities
  • Limited ground transport options to get there
  • Limited beginner terrain

Arapahoe Basin Ski Packages

Lodging + Lift Tickets Discount Price
Rocky Mountain Resort Management Keystone
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
31% off $924
River Run Village by Gondola Resorts
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
19% off $2,858
3 Peaks Lodge
2 x Adult 2-day Lift Ticket
16% off $3,430

View all ski packages for Arapahoe Basin

Overall

4.6

Meet “the Legend.” If a ski resort is going to have a nickname like that, it’s got a lot to live up to - but believe me, Arapahoe Basin delivers! It’s been offering up some of the gnarliest big-mountain terrain in a part of the country known for white-knuckle skiing since 1946, after the site retired from its career as a defense contractor test site. Perched near the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass, its elevation helps give it a yearly average of 350 in of snow and some of the longest ski seasons anywhere in North America, often lasting into late spring and early summer (and, at least once, into August!). It maintains a small “locals’ mountain” vibe, complete with quirky staff, less stringent policies (at least compared to Vail resorts) and a more laissez faire atmosphere.

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

Mid-December to April

With its long season, it might seem like you could go to A-Basin almost any time. The snow is usually deep with good coverage for the majority of winter, from mid-December through April. Of course, that timeframe also includes some of the coldest months of the year in the highest of high country, so you’ll want to pack and layer accordingly if you visit from December through February. Arapahoe Basin doesn’t usually get too crowded, though like any resort it has times that are busier than others. These are typically over the Christmas / New Year’s holiday, the US federal holiday weekends in mid-January and mid-February, and spring break in March. During those times, you might see some crowding on the beginner and intermediate runs due to the simple fact there just aren’t many of them to begin with. That said, with its reputation for extreme terrain, it doesn’t really draw a lot of beginners and intermediates to begin with.

FLY TO

Denver International Airport

SHUTTLE TO

Arapahoe Basin (approx. 2.5 hours)

Base of Keystone (5-10 mi)

  • Most skiers stay here as there is no lodging at A-Basin
  • Wide range of accommodation options
  • 15 minutes drive away

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Summit Cove (5-10 mi)

  • Closest town to Arapahoe Basin
  • Wide range of vacation rentals
  • Quieter compared to Keystone

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Dillon/Silverthorne (10-15 mi)

  • Both towns are around 20 mins drive away
  • Inexpensive lodging
  • Limited nightlife

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Frisco (15-20 mi)

  • 25-30 minutes drive away
  • Inexpensive lodging; has many hotel and motel chains
  • Easy access to Breckenridge and Copper Mountain

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For beginners

Beginner terrain is limited here but if you must, the base area is a good learning area for beginners, with two magic carpets, the Molly Hogan Lift and a gentle slope for practising on. More experienced beginners can lap the greens off Black Mountain Express including the Wrangler, the longest green run here with wide and gentle turns through the trees.

More beginners tips

For intermediates

The resort has a handful of intermediate runs. You'll have a few good choices off Black Mountain Express we definitely think you should try out Larkspur and Columbine, two long groomed runs in the Montezuma bowl.

More intermediates tips

For experts

The advanced and expert runs are what Arapahoe basin is known for! Anything off the Pallavicini lift is great with steep trees, massive bumps, cliff drops, cornices and tight turns. This is how we'd tackle it: warm up on the Beach before heading up to the Pali Chair. From here try out the bumps on Pali Main Street and then duck into the Timber Glades when you're halfway down! Once you're out of there, weave through the boulders at Rock Garden and onto Poli Wog. 

More experts tips

Find freshies

Lap Pallavinci (Pali) until East Wall opens; then, dash over to the bowls in Land of the Giants and Lower East Wall. 

Ditch the crowds

You won't see many crowds at A-Basin, but if you do, it'll probably be around the Zuma Lift, which is the only chair on the backside, or perhaps The Montezuma Bowl and mid-mountain areas. 

Non skiers

Theres no tubing, sledding, heli or catskiing in Arapahoe Basin. There is the Frisco Adventure Park nearby, but Arapahoe basin is really all about the skiing and snowboarding.

Families

For families of differing ability levels should lap the runs off Black Mountain Express which serves a range of greens, blues and black runs. Cheaper lift tickets here are a great bonus for families though bear in mind there is no accommodation or resort amentities here.

Arapahoe Basin

vs
Arapahoe BasinAspen Snowmass
beginner10 %-
intermediate30 %48 %
advanced37 %26 %
expert23 %26 %
total runs109 76
ski area960ac 675ac
summit elevation13,050ft 11,214ft
total lifts8 -
child lift ticketFree -
adult lift ticket$100 -
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall180″ -

Save up to 33% when you book a Arapahoe Basin package!

View Arapahoe Basin packages

Arapahoe Basin Reviews

Very Good 4.1 / 5
based on 127 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Very Good!4.1 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsAvery L.
intermediate snowboarder
I’m here in the early season, but based on the runs that are open it’s a great resort with a great atmosphere. Not many food options, but it’s not that big of a resort either.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsHart T.
expert skier
Awesome skiing all season and late. Some rocky trails om the West side but a great locals spot and place to enjoy when you are serious about the sport. Plenty of terrain!... More
Very Good!4.2 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsMatt D.
expert skier
Incredible extreme terrain and great local feel. Good value and excellent location about one hour from Denver. With new terrain opening this year, intermediate to advanced skiers are sure to love the open bowls and steep trees.... More
Superb!4.8 / 5Aug 08, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsLori M.
intermediate skier
This is our first pick when we plan a ski vacation. This resort provides great runs for people of all skill levels. We have an eight year old, so we always sign up for lessons. We've always been very happy with the lessons our son has received.... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Jul 01, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsJake S.
intermediate snowboarder
Arapahoe has something for everyone. The terrain is uniquely steep, however manageable for most skill levels. During my springtime visit the snow was pretty icey, but I still had a big smile on my face as I climbed up to almost 13,000 feet. They offered two terrain parks, one advanced park that is steeped than most, and one intermediate/beginner... More
Average!3.5 / 5Jul 01, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsMark W.
expert skier
A-basin is gnarly! Lots of fun chutes and steeps. The snow and views are pretty consistently amazing too. Not much for a beginner though. If the East Wall is open definitely make your way over there, you won't be disappointed!... More
Fabulous!4.3 / 5Jul 01, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsDan G.
intermediate skier
Awesome skiing for all terrain levels without the pretentiousness. The parking is more than adequate with free options that will put you within a hundred yards of the lift. The lodge is good sized for lunch breaks and the bloody Mary's are the best!... More
Good!3.8 / 5May 03, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsAndrew W.
advanced snowboarder
Excellent mountain with quick lifts to all terrain types. Go to the backside for a gnarly powder bowl, canyon runs, and mountainside chutes. Some aspirational runs that must be hiked to.... More
Superb!4.7 / 5May 03, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsDain J.
intermediate skier
What more can I say it holds up to it's reputation, Legendary. Truly a blessing to be there. Great staff, great snow terrain can't be beat. And on top of that they have the best bloody Mary I think I have ever tasted.... More
Very Good!4 / 5Apr 29, 2019
Arapahoe Basin ReviewsTyler C.
advanced skier
I’ve always had a great time at Arapahoe Basin. The montezuma bowl is some of my favorite skiing in Colorado, and a generally line-less lift. Not the most family friendly as there are limited beginner runs, but always fun for anyone intermediate or better.... More

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