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Beaver Creek Ski Resort Review

"Not exactly roughing it"

Beaver Creek Ski Resort lives up to their motto and is one of the more upscale ski resorts that seems to want to eliminate as much of the pain of skiing as possible (for example, heated walk-ways and escalators to the slopes and around the village) and provide a memorable skiing experience for the family, beginning skiers, as well as the boarders and expert skiers. Spread across 3 interlinked mountains - Beaver Creek Mountain, Grouse Mountain and Arrowhead Mountain - their terrain is very diverse and includes: wide carpet like groomed trails, beginner only specific areas, heavily treed areas, steep fast thigh burning moguls, powder chutes, and 3 terrain parks all supported by a high speed and very efficient lift system. Here are some stats:

Beaver Creek Stats Beaver Creek Trails & Parks Lifts
Beaver Creek Village: 8,100 feet Easiest: 345 acres and 51trails - 19% Gondolas: 2
Summit Elevation: 11,440 feet' More Difficult: 776 acres and 56 trails - 43% High Speed Quads: 10
Vertical Rise: 4,040 feet Most Difficult: 694 acres and 42 trails - 38% Triple Chairs: 2
Average Snowfall: 323 inches Terrain Parks (4) and 1 Half Pipe Double (2) and Carpet Lifts (9)

 

Part of "Not exactly roughing it" means that each evening a large majority of the slopes are perfectly groomed - and beginning and intermediates or tired old people like myself will enjoy cruising down these wide groomed slopes and tree lined trails. For beginners and youngsters, the Buckaroo Express Gondola will get you up to ‘The Ranch’ - a customized children’s ski and snowboard school. The 4,000 square foot center has gentle beginner slopes and top skiing and snowboard instructors. The Centennial Express Lift services a number of green and blue runs like the Cinch which is a long green trail that twists and turns thru tree lines as it runs all the way to the base of the lift.

43% of Beaver Creek is dedicated to intermediate skiing on perfectly maintained tree lined trails winding across the entire resort giving you the freedom to explore the mountain. Part of the challenge at Beaver Creek it is easy to spend a lot of time trying to explore all the mountains - so, ski all the runs on one mountain, then move to the next, and have patience, you may have to come back to continue skiing all the varied terrain. The trails around Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead Mountain are excellent for cruising as is the Larkspur Bowl which after a snowfall will test an intermediates ability and get you into the powder. The longest run is the 2 3/4 mile Centennial Trail which is challenging as it varies in steepness and ability level from green to blue to black as it winds down the mountain from the peak of Beaver Creek Mountain.

The trails at Beaver Creek are well groomed

Beaver Creek Ski Resort offers plenty of challenging terrain and at times it may seem like you have it all to yourself as most of the Beaver Creek skiers stay on the groomers. Short, steep gladed runs in the Stone Creek area will offer in-bounds adrenal pumps for expert skiers and riders. The chutes, some up to 45 degrees, are located to the east of Rose Bowl and the area can be reached from Cinch Express Lift. Royal Elk Glades offers a thrilling powder tree experience while Beaver Creek Mountain has the extreme, steep and bumpy double black diamond Golden Eagle Trail and the legendary World Cup Birds of Prey downhill course. Take a look at BeaverCreekExtreme.com to learn more about what expert skiers can expect.

The Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver CreekThe Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver CreekThe Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek

Kids (and us kids at heart) will love the tubing hill and the McCoy Nordic Park which is dedicated to cross country skiers and snowshoers and offers over 32 km of beginner and advanced trails. Boarders and advanced skiers will have a blast on the 4 terrain parks and half pipes:

  • Park 101 - an entry-level park that contains small jumps, boxes, rails, and stall features designed for beginner riders and skiers to learn how to ski and ride in a terrain park
  • Zoom Room - medium sized park designed to flow through a variety of different and unique features including boxes, rails, log-slides, stall features, and 20' to 30' jumps
  • Lumber Yard - a wide-range of log features and its location provides skiers and riders with the perfect warm-up ride for Half Barrel Half Pipe and the Rodeo
  • The Rodeo - a pro-sized park designed for expert riders with both large and technical rails, boxes, stall features, log-slides, hips, and 40' to 60' jumps
  • Half Pipe - designed for experienced riders and skiers and is approximately 375' long with 18' walls

Park 101 - An entry-level park that contains small jumps, boxes, rails, and stall features designed for beginner riders and skiers to learn how to ski and ride in a terrain park Park 101 - An entry-level park that contains small jumps, boxes, rails, and stall features designed for beginner riders and skiers to learn how to ski and ride in a terrain park

Check out this Beaver Creek Trail Map to learn more about the trails and plan you day skiing.

Beaver Creek Village is the largest and most action packed of the three villages at Beaver Creek Ski resort. The Village has ski-in ski-out lodging, plenty of restaurants, several sports and ski rental shops, excellent apres ski options, and many fashion boutiques, jewelers and home ware stores to make even the most hardcore shoppers happy. The nightlife at Beaver Creek is relatively quiet with live jazz bands performing occasionally and Broadway performances held in the world class performing center. There is usually music on the outdoor patios at the base of the slope. For those looking for fun action head to The Dusty Boot Saloon for tequila and microbrews or the Coyote Cafe for DJs and dancing.

Beaver Creek tubing hillMusic on the patio at the base of Beaver Creek MountainBeaver Creek ice skating rink in the Village

Beaver Creek has a number of activities scheduled year round ranging from live music to complimentary snowboard rail sessions. Some of the activities while we were there included:

  • disco skate night - 70's music and light show on the ice rink
  • snowshoe tours - one hour complimentary guided snowshoe tour with hot chocolate and cookies
  • night lights - glow stick ski down the mountain set to music and fireworks
  • live music - several times during the week there were various locations with live music
  • Crystal Grotto - a performing arts center created from ice and containing instruments made from ice

Don't let not knowing how to ski or board or not knowing what to do with the kids or not having the patience to try and teach the kids stop you from enjoying the mountain. If you don't know how to ski there are private or group lessons. For kids there are lessons from ages 3 and up as well as a play school and nursery and a special ski area with a "Buckaroo" gondola. Beaver Creek offers snowboarding lessons including tricks, pipes, and rail riding; adventure sessions to explore some of the best terrain; plus a Nordic, telemark, or shoeshoe adventure area. And of course they have rentals for everything that you need to have a fun day on the mountain.

If you are staying in Avon or other nearby areas, you should consider finding the public parking in Avon and taking the shuttle up the mountain - there is very little parking in the Beaver Creek Village and it's pricey. At the Weston Hotel in Avon, you can get up the mountain by taking the Riverfront Express Gondola.

Crystal Grotto Music at Beaver Creek