You Can Read Colorado Resorts: The Local Downlow

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The following blog post Colorado Resorts: The Local Downlow was originally published to Elevation Outdoors Magazineon October 11, 2017 at 09:00AM

LOVELAND

What Makes it special?
Loveland endures. The ultimate Colorado locals’ mountain stays that way because the parking is free (and friendly), the luxury condos non-existant, the terrain challenging and the drive tolerable.

GO HERE
Sign up for free cat rides and make laps on The Ridge and (new this year) Dry Gulch—or grab a free uphill pass and earn some turns.

Don’t Miss
Beginners and kids will appreciate the 3-Class
Pass: Three days of lessons and rental gear and a full season pass upon completion (starts at $366).

Après HEre
Watch the Broncos at Rathskeller.

ELDORA

What Makes it special?
You do not have to drive I-70 to start. Beyond that, it’s a true skier’s mountain with plenty to explore.

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Salto Glades dish up the stashes and steeps.

Don’t Miss
The new high-speed six-pack lift! (See page 21)

Après HErE

On mountain, head to the Timbers Tap room for a Bloody Mary and free WiFi. In Nederland, relax
with a pint at Salto Coffee Works
(saltocoffeworks.com).

BRECKENRIDGE

What Makes it special?

For all the hordes of package tour trips and out-of-state Barneys who flood the place, Breck has managed to hang on to its soul thanks to a fierce local community and plenty of underrated terrain.

SKI HERE

Head to Peak 6 on a pow day and enjoy a slice of the resort where the core congregates. Hike the Lake Chutes for a shot of steeps and lingering stashes.

Don’t Miss
Stop at the church in the woods just above the Vista Haus (it’s a great local meeting place).

Après HErE

It’s a party town so your options are vast, but be sure to check out Breckenridge Distillery (breckenridgedistillery.com) for a bourbon.

TELLURIDE


What Makes it special?
The hike-to terrain simply rocks. Oh, and those big, sweeping San Juan views mean that even just bombing the groomers is a beautiful experience.

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Seek out that hike-to terrain: Palmyra Peak offers some of the best in-bounds big-mountain skiing in Colorado and boasts big cliffs and steep open faces.

Don’t Miss
Avoid the crowds racing for the top on a powder day and just lap Chair 7 instead.

Après HErE
The Victorian-era New Sheridan (newsheridan.com) reaks of townies enjoying downtime.

COPPER MOUNTAIN

What Makes it special?

Copper is a big mountain with a tight commuity vibe. Credit that to the free parking, free snowcat and young guns training here to be future stars.

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The Enchanted Forest dishes out the best of what Copper has to offer. It starts up above treeline and then gives you options down into the woods.

Don’t Miss
The Tucker Mountain snowcat, silly! As mentioned, it’s free and accesses big, open bliss.

Après HErE
JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern (bit.ly/2wJMTax) is the place for Jagerbombs, football and war stories.

VAIL

What Makes it special?
Seriously? It’s Vail. For all we dump on it, it is still one of the absolute best places on the planet to ski and ride. It has something for absolutely everyone, even family members who don’t get on the snow.

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Think Silver Linings Playbook: You need a strategy. Vail is so big and so crazy on a powder day, you will want to plan your way around the mountain. We like a circuit that starts in Game Creek Bowl, then takes in Sundown Bowl and Tea Cup Bowl before heading to Blue Sky Basin. But you need to adapt to the conditions, too. Even on a powder day, the Back Bowls can hide suncrust under the soft stuff. Try the front side. Northwoods is practically a resort all on its own.

Don’t miss
Yoga classes with EO contributor, Vail local and Colorado Yoga + Life magazine owner Kim Fuller.

Après HErE
Eat some pizza and then get down (and try to stay out of trouble) at Vendettas (vendettasvail.com).

SKI COOPER

What Makes it special?
The pace slows down and the true hardcore mountain folk come out of the woodwork to enjoy the all-natural snow and family vibe here.

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Head to Eagle on the backside. Then hit Piney and Burnout to pick up the pace. Book a day on the Chicago Ridge snowcat if you want to harvest pow.

Don’t miss
The 10th Mountain Division Day in March when active military shreds and you can learn the history of the soldiers who brought skiing to the state.

Après HErE RAPAHOE BASIN

Book dinner at the ski- or snowshoe-in Tennessee Pass Cookhouse (http://ift.tt/2gwGOcu). Reservations are required.

ARAPAHOE BASIN

What Makes it special?
The Basin is an experience. It’s an easy haul from the Front Range. You can chill and cook out on the Beach, and the place makes it easy for families to ski. The season here practically runs all year long and when the East Wall opens up you get to access some of the steepest terrain in Colorado.

GO HERE 
Head to the Montezuma Bowl trees where powder stays fresh—even for a few days after a storm.

Don’t miss
The Festival of the Brewpubs in May— when you can still ski and snowboard in the sun.

Après HErE
Order a Bacon Bloody Mary, listen to live music and catch up on sports scores at the 6th Alley Bar.

MONARCH MOUNTAIN

What Makes it special? 

Monarch delivers diverse terrain with natural snow, huge sunny bowls, finger chutes, wide open groomed runs, stunning views, a terrain park and an amazing family friendly atmosphere.

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Hike Mirkwood Bowl—a short walk delivers steep terrain with plenty of stashes. Take the kids through the fun Pinball Gully. Try to keep up.

Don’t miss

Monarch’s cat ski operation extends the reach of the mountain on fun, steep shots.

Après HErE

Nothing soothes sore quads like a soak at Mount Princeton Hot Springs (mtprinceton.com).

ASPEN SNOWMASS

What Makes it special?
Despite its hyped-up reputation as a posh playground for the ultra-rich, Aspen has one of the most hardcore ski communities around—and that said community shreds four awesome mountains, each with its own unique personality.

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Want to scream top to bottom like a ski racer? Head to Aspen Mountain— the gondola whisks you up over 3,000 vert to the top in under 15 minutes. Seeking hikes to deep stuff, the Bowl at Highlands is your jam. Buttermilk is the absolute best intermediate mountain around, a real confidence builder for kids. And Snowmass, often overlooked, serves up freshies long after a storm.

Don’t miss
Snowmass will celebrate its 50th Anniversary by offering $6.50 lift tickets on December 15, 2017.

Après HErE
Be a beautiful person and hoist a cocktail in the hot tub at the Sky Hotel (theskyhotel.com) at the base of Aspen. In Snowmass, we suggest sangria and fresh guacamole made at your table at Venga Venga (http://ift.tt/2i4Ve73).

PURGATORY

What Makes it special?

It’s far, far from the maddening crowds. Beyond that relief, Purgatory is an underated little gem.

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Chair 8 is where you will find the most action and Chair 5 can hold stashes, especially when it’s not running. Hit the trees on Lower Hades.

Don’t miss

This season, Purgatory opens up new blue and black terrain and new hike-to glade skiing.

Après HErE
Hit trivia night at Ska Brewery (skabrewing.com).

CRESTED BUTTE

What Makes it special?

There’s a damn good reason why Crested Butte has won best town and best ski town in numerous Elevation Outdoor reader polls. This is a town, with real people, not a “ski town” with far too many transients and corporate wonks. It also embraces adventure. From mountain biking to telemarking to fat biking, The Butte has always been on the cutting edge of mountain town culture.

GO HERE  

The North Face always serves up a thrill. If you want to get away from everyone, head to Teocalli 2 Bowl. We also have a weird affinity for the hike out to the Banana Peel’s south-facing chute. Not comfortable on the scary stuff? New this year, CB North Face Guides will take expert skiers and riders out into extreme terrain to help them get their legs and learn how to navigate dangerous slopes and build confidence.

Don’t miss
The Fat Bike World Championships (http://ift.tt/2gwkXBL). If you ever dreamed of riding a bike down a ski slope with wild abandon, now is your chance—or just watch the carnage.

Après HErE
Try pies from the new pizza oven at Paradise on the mountain at Crested Butte. When the day is done, find a seat at Montanya Distillers tasting room (http://ift.tt/2i3ZrrG) and sip on some rum concoctions. Bonus points if co-founder Karen Hoskins shakes them up for you.

WOLF Creek

What Makes it special?
Wolf Creek gets the most snow in Colorado, a glorious average of 430 inches every year (much of it often at the start of the season). That fact alone attracts powder pilgrims, but the independent resort also boasts great terrain and a family friendly scene.

GO HERE
Hike to the glades below Horseshoe.

DON’t Miss
The new coverd Lynx Lift will service beginner terrain, and keep the groms happy while you shred.

Après HErE
Get down the pass to Pagosa Springs and shoot pool at The Coyote Moon then grab dinner and sip suds at Riff Raff Brewing (riffraffbrewing.com).

POWDERHORN

What Makes it special?
You can ride snow one day and then head down to Grand Junction and ride singletrack the next.

GO HERE
Powderhorn is all about the tree skiing. Head to the West End and duck into the Mad Dog Glades.

Don’t miss
The Ski Patrol Ski Alongs—you’ll get special insight on the terrain and may learn something.

Après HErE

Belly up to the Powderhorn Pub at the bottom.

The post Colorado Resorts: The Local Downlow appeared first on Elevation Outdoors Magazine.