Keystone Ski Resort is one of the closest resorts to Denver, at only an hour and 15 minutes. Neighboring mountain Breckenridge often overshadows the resort in popularity, despite all of the great things Keystone has to offer.
With 20 lifts, over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, and the largest night skiing in Colorado, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Aside from hitting the ski slopes, there are plenty of other winter attractions like cross-country skiing, tubing, ice skating, and the biggest mountaintop snow fort in the country.
Additionally, this Summit County resort has a sizeable village that offers plenty of casual and upscale dining and lodging options. There are endless cozy spots for a beer after a long day skiing, snowboarding, or even snow tubing.
As the biggest ski resort in Summit County by acreage, there is definitely no shortage of fun and ways to escape the crowds. Keystone is spread over three distinct mountains and a variety of bowls.
- Dercum Mountain – Home to several long and winding beginner trails, including the Family Ski Trail, Schoolmarm. This is also where you’ll find the A51 terrain park with over 60 acres of rails, jumps, and more.
- North Peak – Situated right behind Dercum, North Peak is more of an intermediate and advanced mountain. It also features 2 gondola-accessed restaurants and a food court if you’re feeling hungry.
- The Outback – The highest of Keystone’s mountains with an elevation of 11,980 feet, this is a skier’s playground with endless tree and powder runs. You’ll find access to the North and South bowls at the top, just a short hike from the Outback Express Lift.
No matter which one you explore, you’ll find an incredible collection of trails and terrain features. There are groomers, bumps, steeps, trees, bowls, hike access, back-country gates, terrain parks, and learning areas galore. Bring the whole family and take a run down one of the 130 total trails that await you during peak conditions.
Keystone has two lifts from the main base area to take you to the top. You can hop on the Outpost & River Run Gondolas for a high-speed chair lift, which helps to shorten the lines and get you to the top quickly so you have more time to actually ski.
Beginners will find several easy slopes down the mountain, in addition to a few designated learning areas. Snowboarding and skiing lessons for all ages are available daily if you need a refresher or are starting from scratch. Intermediate riders will have a blast on all of Keystone’s long cruisers, available on each of the three mountains.
A short video of some afternoon clips from around Keystone.
With nearly fifty percent of Keystone’s ski area rated as the most difficult, advanced riders will have a lot to choose from. You can usually find good powder in the trees or off a number of slopes on any of the peaks. There are 5 bowls also that are accessible via a short hike or snowcat ride.
Resort-run snowcat rides require a fee which will give you access to deep powder stashes and prime bowl skiing in The Outback. Bring cash for your ticket and find the pickup point at the Outpost building on North Peak.
Another thrilling aspect is the Area 51 terrain park, one of the largest in the country. Filled with freestyle skiers/riders of all ages and abilities, the park is packed with an exciting mix of progressive terrain features. Most of the park is open during night skiing.
Whatever trail you choose, you’ll be surrounded by majestic mountain peaks and stunning alpine views.
Thanks to its incredibly varied mountains paired with a cozy village, Keystone is one of the best ski towns in the state. The charming River Run Village is nestled at the base of the Summit Express lift, easily accessed within walking distance of its free parking lot. It’s a modern, pedestrian-only village with a lot of cool shops, restaurants, and lodging.
The wide array of restaurants boasts something for everyone, with plenty of luxurious and casual choices alike. This sentiment is echoed throughout the hotel and shopping options as well. Don’t forget to check out the variety of fun events that happen in Keystone year-round.
Outside the village, Keystone’s town has a commercial strip with additional hotels, restaurants, and other amenities. Nearby towns of Silverthorne, Dillon, Breckenridge, Frisco, and Copper Mountain make Keystone and Summit County a convenient, bustling place to stay.
Read about the best hotels in Keystone.
The resort hosts 13 dining options on the mountain and within River Run Village. With everything from an outdoor ski beach BBQ joint to an upscale private dining experience in a historic ranch, there is sure to be a spot for any type of visitor. There is a full dining guide on Keystone’s official page, but here are a few notable options:
Labonte’s Smokehouse – Only accessible by skiers and boarders, the popular smokehouse is at the base of North Peak. Serving up classic smoked meat dishes, soups, and sides as well as several beer options.
9280 – With 14 beers on tap and 8 HD TVs to catch any of your favorite sports games, head to 9280 for a cold drink and a warm appetizer. Located in the village with a great outdoor patio to get some sunshine on a warm day.
The Ranch – This intimate restaurant is nestled within the historic Keystone Ranch. The steakhouse-inspired menu features a la carte dishes and the highest quality cuts of meat. It’s a memorable spot to celebrate an event, or just cheers to a successful day at Keystone.
Other Winter Activities
The great thing about Keystone is that it caters to more than just skiers and snowboarders. If you’re traveling with little ones or people who prefer not to shred it down the mountain, there are plenty of other fun activities at the resort.
Ice Skating – Head over to Keystone Lake in the winter and lace up your skates to glide around on a massive five-acre ice skating rink. There is additional skating in Dercum Square, conveniently located right in the heart of the village.
Nordic Center – With over 10 miles of groomed trails right on the property and access to 25 miles of additional paths within White River National Forest, the nordic center is a great place to try out cross-country and skate skiing. They also offer snowshoes for rent if that suits you better.
Scenic Gondola Ride – If you prefer not to strap on a pair of skis but still want beautiful views of Keystone, take a ride on the gondola. Offering daily trips up Dercum Mountain, you can soak in all the views and activities at the top and then comfortably ride back down.
Sleigh Rides – Dash through a winter wonderland on your very own horse-drawn carriage. As you make your way through Soda Creek Valley, your guide will tell you all about Keystone’s past. You’ll also be treated to a stop at a historic homestead for some warm apple cider.
Snow Forts – Keystone now hosts double the fun with two snow forts! At the top of Dercum Mountain is the world’s largest snow fort, perfect for resting between rides and taking in the alpine views. There is a smaller fort at the Mountain House Base Area where the kids can run around while parents grab a drink after skiing or return equipment.
Snow Tubing – The resort offers high-elevation snow tubing at the top of Dercum mountain, a perfect activity for the whole family. Additionally, there is a small tubing hill near the Nordic Center to check out.
Address: 22101 US Hwy 6, Keystone, CO 80435
Season: October – April
Lift Hours: 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
Night Skiing Hours: 8:30 am – 8:00 pm on select days
- Elevation: 9,280 ft (2,829 m) – 12,408 ft (3,782 m)
- Vertical: 3,128 ft (953 m)
- Ski Area: 3,148 acres (1274 hectares)
- Average Snowfall:
Trail Map: Keystone Resort Map (PDF)