The Snow Report
Keystone’s got Colorado’s longest ski day: The resort opens at 8:30 a.m. and the lifts don’t stop ‘til 8 p.m. or later. Though its powder-day percentage is low at five percent, Keystone gets 230 annual snow inches, to which it adds its own so as to provide 3,148 skiable acres, almost half of which are set aside for expert skiers.
In addition to 135 runs laced over 3,128 vertical feet, Keystone also has a great terrain park, plus the world’s highest tube park—at an elevation of more than 11,000 feet, it’s got five lanes and its own lift. Other worthwhile pursuits available here: snow-biking, snowshoeing, ice hockey, and sleigh rides.
After you’ve shed your snow gear for the day, there’s still lots to do, including gliding around North America’s biggest Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice rink (it’s five acres wide) or checking out the active foodie scene—dinner-worthy restaurants include Keystone Ranch, the Ski Tip, and Alpenglow Stube. The nightlife scene here is nothing to speak of but the hotels are: Keystone Lodge and the Inn at Keystone are both acclaimed; the AAA 4-Diamond Lodge hands you warm cookies when you check in, provides roundtrip shuttle service to the mountain, and is quite proud of its just-renovated spa—try a stone massage.
The resort relies on its pristine natural scenery as a major draw, so it’s conscious of its impact and works closely with the U.S. Forest Service to mitigate damage. The conference center alone has diverted 114 tons of compostable waste from the landfill, and Keystone has been responsible for the recycling of 200 tons. Though the resort doesn’t buy renewable energy, it has redone its snowmaking system so as to increase its electrical efficiency by 25 percent.
Keystone, owned by the Vail Resorts conglomerate, offers free day-of-arrival evening skiing, townhouses to rent, two sparklingly lit pedestrian villages (Lakeside and River Run), and 20 lifts, including two mountain-linking gondolas, that can move 35,175 people per hour. At Camp Keystone, themed learning days make getting better fun for kids. For women, improvement workshops called “Betty Fest Weekends” happen a couple of times over the course of the season.
CONTACT: (800) 328-1323, keystoneresort.com
SEASON: Early November to early April
TICKETS: General: $99 (discounts offered to military, travel agents, and flight attendants), children: $57, ages 65 and older: $89, ages 4 and younger: free