Best Resort For Coloradans: Arapahoe Basin

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Written by bike posted on Monday, March 22nd, 2010

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Arabahoe Basin on a sunny bluebird day. Photo by Casey Day.


Locals love Arapahoe “A” Basin because of its hidden goldmine feel with a cheaper ski pass and season pass than most Summit County ski resorts. Off the beaten path but still close for the Front Range folk, A Basin has an annual snowfall of 350 inches and over half of the mountain is advanced skier and rider terrain. It’s a combo Coloradans can never resist and only “in the know” visitors can get to.
Open early, close late
A yearly goal for A Basin is to be the first resort open and the last one to close. The ski resort set an opening record on Oct. 10, 2009, and usually keeps a steady summer slush available for skiers and riders until June. A Basin might boast one of the longest seasons in the country, but prime time is late winter when the days are long, the sky is blue and the slopes are a powdery paradise.
Unique additions
A Basin’s summit elevation passes the 13,000ft mark, making it the country’s top choice for skiable terrain above tree line. The resort has about 900 skiable acres plus a steep 100-acre east wall for those who love ungroomed vertical. Montezuma Bowl is another recent addition that expanded A Basin’s rep as a solid place for backcountry.
In addition, Arapahoe Basin’s terrain park has gone through major upgrades since its first setup about ten years ago. The Treeline Park is now the highest freestyle spot in North America and stays open until the closing summer days.
Legendary events
Though the winter nights of car camping in the parking lot are long gone, A Basin tailgating is still a traditional must on sunny weekends. It’s easy to spot the neighborhood feel when there are dogs running around, kids playing, and the adults are kicking back with a barbeque at the Beach parking base. Weekend Apres ski themes like Shakin At The Basin offer live concerts, and spring competitions range from rail jams to big airs and the legendary annual Enduro – a nonstop ten hour lap race for charity.
Places to stay near Arapahoe Basin:
Keystone Lodge & Spa: Set on a scenic sight of the Rocky Mountains and Keystone Lake, Keystone Lodge offers great views and beautiful sunny rooms for families and couples. The spa addition is ideal for tough days on the mountain. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit Keystone Lodge & Spa.
Gateway Mountain Lodge: This lodge rests peacefully along the Snake River in the heart of Keystone. The rooms are modern and well equipped, and the lodge has an indoor pool and jet tub. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit Gateway Mountain Lodge.
Inn at Keystone: Complete with a rooftop spa with mountain views, this inn exceeds in ways impressive to customers. Dog friendly and also good for dining, the Inn at Keystone is truly a personal comfort. Call 1-800-780-5733 or visit Inn at Keystone.

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