There’s not much in the way of true ski-in/ski-out accommodation at Keystone, however there are many options that are only a short walk away from the base of the lifts. The River Run Village and Mountain House base area are the most popular places to stay as they are within walking distance to the slopes. Other Keystone areas to stay in include North and West Keystone which are best for larger group or East Keystone for something a bit more hidden from the crowds. Lodging rates in Keystone tend to vary, but can be pricey driven by Keystone overwhelming popularity as a ski destination for families.
Keystone does however, tend to be less expensive than Breckenridge, Vail or Aspen and the sheer volume of lodging options keep prices somewhat more competitive. Keep an eye out for package deals as some may include equipment and lift tickets. The resort itself offers free skiing for kids 12 and under if you stay two nights or more at one of their lodging accommodations.
River Run Village is the heart of Keystone filled with dining, nightlife and shopping options. It’s centered around the base of the River Run Gondola and is a bustling pedestrian-friendly area granted you’re able to brave the cold weather and spiking elevation.
For a convenient and affordable option in River Run, consider staying at the River Bank Lodge, which is only 50 yd away from the River Run Gondola and the Summit Express Lift. Both the chair lift and the gondola will bring you to the top of Dercum Mountain, the first of the three peaks in Keystone. From here you can access some of the best blue and green trails Keystone has to offer such as the Schoolmarm, Spring Dipper, Flying Dutchman, Wild Irishman and the Pay Master. The River Bank Lodge offers one to two bedrooms condominiums with a pull-out sofa bed for any extra guests. The properties also includes kitchen, laundry facilities, outdoor parking for one vehicle, a gas fireplace to keep you warm at night and a complimentary breakfast at an exclusively partnered restaurant to get you ready for slopes! Prices are around $275-$295 between January and February.
For the skiers and snowboarders wishing for a more ski-in/ski-out experience, consider Lone Eagle Above River Run. The complex is about 50 yd uphill from the River Run Gondola, so put on your skis at the back of the complex and ski down to the River Run Gondola or the Summit Express lift. You’ll be paying a bit more for this luxurious accommodation but with ski slope view rooms, access to hot tubs and the convenience of ski-in/ski-out, it’s well worth it.
If you want to step away from the hustle and bustle, then stay around the Mountain House base area. This area is slightly older as it was the original base of Keystone but you’ll find larger condominiums here. Not only is it quieter, but the close proximity to the base learning area and Kids Discovery Area (Bunny Hill) is also great for families with little ones. You’ll also find better value for accommodation that’s within walking distance to slopes here.
Liftside Condominiums are just 250 yd from the Mountain House base area and is within close proximity to dining options. Make sure to check out Goat Soup and Whiskey for some après action with local flair and Pizza 101 for the best pie in town! The condos have an indoor pool and hot tub to warm you up after a day on the slope. If you prefer to stay dry instead, each condo has a real wood burning fireplaces with complimentary firewood. When you stay at Liftside, breakfast is also free at their partner restaurant, the Haywood Café. Most rentals in the area will provide you with a simple complimentary breakfast, but only properties managed by the local team at Key to the Rockies provide a free restaurant grade breakfast. You can choose one meal from any of the breakfast menu items, my personal pick is the BBQ Pulled Pork Benedict! Prices range from $265-$280 between January and February.
For a more affordable but less convenient option try the Alpine Slopes Lodge. The lodgings are 10 minutes walk to the ski lifts and offers with rooms ranging from the $147-$210 a night during peak season. Start off the morning with their complimentary light continental breakfast and end the day in their sauna and spa which overlooks Keystone Mountain. The lodge also offers ski storage for extra convenience.
The Mountain House base area is serviced by the quad chair lift Peru Express, making this part of the mountain the best place to stay for accessing Keytone’s famous terrain park, Area 51. At the top of the Peru Express you can also ski down to the newly launched six-passenger Montezuma express for a quick ride to the top of Dercum Peak. From there, all of Keystone is your playground!
For budget accommodation, there are also several options in the nearby towns of Frisco, Dillon and Silverthorne all within 10 to 20 minutes drive from Keystone. These towns make for a great base if you’re planning on skiing at the other ski resorts such as Copper Mountain.
Getting Around the Resort
Having your own car gives you the freedom to travel between resort spots at your leisure. Otherwise, you can use the Keystone shuttle system that’s free for all visitors. These shuttles offer individual seating to provide a relatively comfortable and clean experience, though quarters can get very cramped at times, especially during the peak season. Shuttles typically run from the early hours of the morning until 1:00am, and make stops every 20 minutes or so to pick up and drop off passengers. To get to other resorts, Summit Stage is a free bus service that takes you throughout the Summit County between towns and ski areas.
Hire a ride
Uber drivers are also prominent in the area (standard rates apply), and are a little less expensive than your standard taxi fares, so granted you don’t want to freeze your tail off, taking an Uber can be a great way to avoid waiting for the next bus to arrive. Yeah, the bus system may be free, but there’s a good chance you’ll get stuck sitting on an ice-cold bench while waiting!