The Snow Report
Copper Mountain scored higher than most in our safety category. Its ski patrol is huge—260 paid and volunteer members—and St. Anthony Summit Medical Center, 10 miles away, has a Level III trauma center. At mountain’s base is a 24-hour emergency service, courtesy of the local fire district.
The training program here is great too: Doug Sakata won Colorado Ski Country USA’s Double Diamond Award and was named “Instructor of the Year.” He’s taught here for 25 years and can pretty well get anyone upright and moving.
A unique indoor ski facility has trampolines, foam pits, and jumps for acrobats who want to get better at moguls and pipes—but if you crave fresh alpine air and need some of those 282 yearly inches of snowfall underneath you, get to one of the three outdoor terrain parks among Copper’s 2,465 “acres of awesome.” Enough trails exist for skiers of all levels—126 runs descend 2,601 vertical feet—and 22 lifts include the new Union Creek high-speed quad, whose five-minute ride gets beginners to their green terrain. Also new is the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center, a full-length downhill venue where you can watch Olympic racers train for gold.
Those with more modest aspirations can enjoy a four-lane tube hill with jumps and banked curves, sleigh rides through the stunning Ten Mile Range, guide-led backcountry snowmobiling, and free snowshoeing tours. A new zip line, 30 feet high and 300 feet long, soars over Copper's West Lake. Three equipment shops get you ready for anything—to get 20 percent off, rent your gear online at least a day in advance.
The staff-to-guest ratio here is five to one, and ski butlers are more than happy to pick up, deliver, or check your snow stuff. There are no real hotels here, but 25 lodging buildings, all within easy walking distance of lifts, spread through Copper’s three little villages. The condo-style rental units range from studios to five-bedroom affairs. If you’d rather stay in another Summit County town, though, there’s free public transit to Keystone, Breckenridge, and other places that benefit from the White River National Forest’s world-class scenery (which Copper Mountain helps preserve by supporting the Ski Conservation Fund, and by recycling and composting).
Copper Mountain has casual restaurants and bars: JJ’s is known for its stone-oven pizzas and live music, while Mulligan’s and Escobar are late-night favorites. Closing weekend (April 13 and 14) brings Sunsation, a mass celebration with live music, a floating rail jam, and an adventure race with obstacles like a hot-chocolate moat, ice slides, and a beer-soaked finish-line party.
CONTACT: (888) 219-2441, coppercolorado.com
SEASON: Early November to mid-April
TICKETS: General: $79 (discounted for military personnel), children: $54; ages 70 and older: $54, ages 4 and younger: free