Welcome to SnowPak United States. Continue to https://www.snowpak.ca

Arapahoe Basin

Open
Arapahoe basin
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

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 shuttleier 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.
Airplane

FLY TO

Denver International Airport

Bus

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

Find accommodations around here

Summit Cove (5-10 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

Dillon/Silverthorne (10-15 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

Frisco (15-20 mi)

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

Find accommodations around here

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 Highlands
beginner10 %-
intermediate30 %23 %
advanced37 %12 %
expert23 %65 %
total runs109 122
ski area960ac 1,040ac
summit elevation13,050ft 11,677ft
total lifts8 5
child lift ticketFree Free
adult lift ticket$100 $155
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall179″ 200″

Arapahoe Basin Reviews

Very Good

4.2 / 5

based on 95 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
Have your say on Arapahoe Basin
Average!

3.1 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
FTFrancis T.
expert skier
Arapahoe Basin is a Great mountain with challenging terrain to keep you on your “A” game. Lifts are slow fixed other than the Black Mountain Express, which is a detachable high speed quad. The slow lifts help keep a high amount of people off the mountain at once, however with the partnership with Vail Resorts, the mountain has drawn increasingly... More
Superb!

4.8 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
SWSteven W.
intermediate snowboarder
I absolutely love A-basin!!! It's up the road and away from all the rush and crowds, but still only minutes away from Silverthorne and keystone. There bloody Mary's are delicious!! The terrain for boarding is awesome, perfect for beginners to the adventurous advanced backcountry folk!! I love it there and can't wait to scrap up the money to go... More
Average!

3.5 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
AGAndrew G.
expert skier
One of my favorite places to ski in colorado. It doesn’t have the thrills of a mega resort (no gondolas or high-speed, 6-person chairs; no five-star restaurants; and no shopping), but it does have great snow; great terrain; and a great atmosphere. Skiing at A-basin is a bit of a blast to the past before consumerism took over skiing. You can park... More
Average!

3.5 / 5

Nov 23, 2017
AGAndrew G.
expert skier
One of my favorite places to ski in colorado. It doesn’t have the thrills of a mega resort (no gondolas or high-speed, 6-person chairs; no five-star restaurants; and no shopping), but it does have great snow; great terrain; and a great atmosphere. Skiing at A-basin is a bit of a blast to the past before consumerism took over skiing. You can park... More
Superb!

4.9 / 5

Nov 22, 2017
GGabe
intermediate snowboarder
Close to Denver, family-friendly good for beginners it does have cool stuff for advanced Riders not crowded nice lifts, really helpful staff I enjoyed every minute of staying out there... More
Very Good!

4.2 / 5

Nov 22, 2017
NNeet
beginner skier
Skied for 4 days Friday to Monday at this resort back in February. There were no lines and the trails were pretty powdery and nice in the morning. The views from the top are also pretty awesome.... More
Average!

3.3 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
RFRob F.
expert skier
A Basin is another super local vibe resort. Love this spot because it can be a little less crowded compared to most resorts. It's also the first to open and last to close in Colorado, so a pass here is definitely worth the money. ... More
Average!

3.3 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
HNHunter N.
expert snowboarder
A-Basin is a classic. Great lines via lift, and really great expert terrain if you are willing to hike. There’s still a ton of steep and deep to be had via lifts, but the crowds can be horrendous early and late season. ... More
Average!

3.2 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
CJCollin J.
advanced snowboarder
I have only ridden A-basin a handful of times, either early season or late season when they are the only resort open. The snow has always been slushy, but when I'm at A-basin I'm there for the party so the slushy snow is fun. ... More
Fabulous!

4.3 / 5

Nov 21, 2017
BBBen B.
intermediate snowboarder
A-Basin is just a quick jump down I-70. Being one of the highest altitude resorts in the US it boasts some great snow conditions even in early and late season. With not much of a ski town to speak of Arapahoe Basin creates a "locals only" kind of feel that keeps the masses at bay. The Montezuma bowl on the back side of A-Basin offers the wild at... More
Other ski resorts in

Colorado

Arapahoe Basin
10% 30% 60%
Aspen Highlands
0% 23% 77%
Aspen Mountain
0% 48% 52%
Beaver Creek
19% 42% 39%
Breckenridge
11% 31% 58%
Buttermilk
35% 39% 26%
Copper Mountain
21% 25% 54%
Crested Butte
26% 57% 17%
Echo Mountain
10% 75% 15%
Eldora
18% 43% 39%
Keystone
14% 29% 57%
Loveland
13% 41% 46%
Monarch Mountain
23% 28% 49%
Powderhorn
20% 50% 30%
Purgatory
20% 45% 35%
Snowmass
10% 43% 47%
Steamboat
14% 42% 44%
Telluride
14% 29% 57%
Vail
18% 29% 53%
Winter Park Resort
24% 37% 39%
Wolf Creek
20% 35% 45%