Mountain Guide

Arapahoe Basin Trail Guides



A-Basin is not the place to carve your first turns. While the ski & snowboard school is outstanding, Green terrain (only 7% of the total) accounts for three runs. The short Black Mountain Express lift enables easy access to lap Wrangler and Sundance, as well as a direct connection to the Black Mountain Lodge for a high-elevation lunch.


While only a fifth of the mountain is designated Blue, A-Basin's upper portion is wide open and provides a great space to push into steeper terrain and become more comfortable in deeper conditions. Start by warming up around the Black Mountain Express. Then head to The West Wall, off of the Lenawee Mountain Lift, it's perfect for acclimating to chutes and steeper faces. There are enjoyable Blue runs to explore the legendary bowls -  Larkspur & Columbine in Montezuma Bowl and Loafer & Davis in the Beavers.


A-Basin is known as "the Legend" because of its Expert terrain. Widely regarded for its rocks and powder on the East Wall, the last decade has seen major expansion to previously backcountry only areas incuding Montezuma Bowl and The Beavers. The Beavers is the most recent expersion (2018-19) and still feels undiscovered. Head here and warm up on Loafer and Davis before diving in to the glades for steeper, deeper stuff. Many of these Blacks have escape routes on Blues if they get too tricky, just note, these Blues are more like easy Blacks. When you're ready, hit the Zuma Cornice for incredible views and powder. 

  • A-Basin is a playground for seasoned skiers and riders. "The Legend," defined by its double blacks, bowls, powder and off-piste terrain, lives up. While the purity of this ski experience is something everyone should experience at least once, this is not a place for novices.

Top Trail Picks by Category

Trail Name 
Area / Getting There

Easy Scenic


Long gentle slope providing spectacular views of the terrain and surrounding valley

Exit left off of the Black Mountain Express; stay above the Black Mountain Lodge

Warming Up

Dercum's Gulch

Solid warm-up from the Summit; open, flowing run, ideal for groups that want to split and hit the East/West Walls

Exit the Lenawee Mountain Lift to the left, take Lenawee Face and look out on the skier's left to connect

Bumps (Learning)

West Wall

For Intermediates looking to practice on something steeper, the West Wall offers bumps, slots, and powder 

Exit Lenawee Mountain Lift to the right; follow Cornice Run and look out on skier's right; lets out to Dercum Gulch 


Lenawee Parks

Drop in off of Dercum's Gulch to some steeper and bumpy Blues that dump into tree glades

Stay to the skier's right at the start of  Dercum's Gulch; cut in just after crossing the Lenawee Mountain Lift

Scenic Cruiser

Columbine / Larkspur

Explore Montezuma Bowl (the Backside) with these runs; both start open and have sweeping views before funneling into the trees; for a greater challenge, try Log Roll or Placer Junction chutes

To reach Montezuma Bowl, push over the Summit to the Backside; take laps using the Zuma Lift; *south and west west facing so it can be crunchy in the mornings 




Perfect for a warm up in the Beavers; Loafer runs along the ridge and allows you to survey the landscape

Warm up on Davis before diving into the surrounding glades

From the Summit facing the Front side, head to the skier's left; stay high for Loafer 

For Davis, take Cornice run and look out on skier's left

Showing Off


Aptly named, work up some speed while warming up on and looking cool under the Black Mountain Lift

Under the Black Mountain Express lift


Long Chute

Great warmup route into the Montezuma Bowl; perfect for getting your bearings before doing laps along Zuma Cornice or Mountain Goat Traverse

Push over the summit via the Lenawee Mountain Lift and drop into the Montezuma Bowl

Bumps (Advanced)

Bailey Brothers

Lives up to its name, this feels like a circus ride/roller coaster with all the uneven and teasing moguls

Take your pick from the Summit to enter the Beavers, most runs converge at the top of this run 

Fresh Powder

Tieze's Claim

The lookers right face of the Mountzuma Bowl offers open, steep bowl skiing that drops into the Black/Blue forests below. You may be the only one that makes it here all day!

Exit the Zuma Lift and stay right along Mountain Goat Traverse (*The further out you go, the more alone you will be)



Prior to The Steep Gullies expansion, Gauthier created A-Basin's western edge; with a pitch of 46 degrees, get ready to carve

Exit the Pallavicini Lift to the right and take Palli Cornice (make sure to stay left of The Steep Gullies entrance); avoid going too far or you may be hiking back to the lifts

Steep & Deep (w/ hiking)

Upper/Lower East Wall

The East Wall is famous for being A-Basin's steepest and highest terrain; here you will find powder, 30-40 degree hike-to-chutes and open bowls

Left off Lenawee Mountain Lift and follow signs to hiking/entrance gates; For the East Wall, the Lazy J tow can take you to the lower traverse/first hike. For the upper portion, there are two hikes, North Pole and Willy's Wide, both ~30 minutes if you are in hiking shapre



Take Main Street for access to some of the most legendary terrain of all; pick your lines on either side with trees (Timber Glades), chutes and /or boulders (Rock Garden) 

Exit Pallavicini Lift to the right and take Palli Cornice / Pali Main Street


the "Alleys" 

This was the western edge of the original mountain; if you can conquer the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th alleys, someone in your group owes you drinks at the 6th Alley Bar at the base!

Exit the Pallavicini Lift the right to Palli Cornice; then stay to the right of The Steep Gullies entrance

Fresh Powder

Zuma Cornice 

Be prepared for deep snow. The hike to Gentling's Glade has spectacular, 360 degree views and the slope down is a
little more forgiving than that of Jump (as long as you are a good tree skier). Be warned, finding the entrance to Gentlings is tricky and all of these slopes are for experts only, require hiking at altitude (quite a way) and there’s no turning back 

Get to know the terrain here with an easy ride down one of the groomers in
Montezuma bowl; For the best tree experience, hike beyond Jump (probably the steepest line in Montezuma bowl and also worth a shot) to Gentling’s Glade. First timers, it's best to go with someone who knows the area

On Mountain Dining Recommendations

A-Basin has 7 on mountain dining options with a variety of scenery and cuisine, kudos to Executive Chef Chris
Rybak. Mid-mountain, the Black Mountain Lodge's BBQ is a favorite. At the base, A-Frame offers quick bites, coffee, Bloody Mary's, and food trucks. For a party, check out "The Beach" where locals like to setup shop with bag lunches, grills and coolers full of adult beverage. More detail below:

Black Mountain Lodge

Conveniently located at the top of the Black Mountain Express and adjacent to the Lenawee Lift, come here to re-fuel and enjoy stunning views of the surrounding peaks and the valley below. The bar helps take the edge off while the cafeteria features house-smoked BBQ. Seating is plentiful inside and out. On a bluebird day, fill up and catch some sun at 11,500 ft. Off-hours, check out the full-moon themed dinners. 

ArapahoeBasin_Black Mountain Lodge.jpg

Il Rifugio at Snowplume

If you need a break from the peak winds and frequent whiteout conditions, the recently opened "Rifugios" specializes in charcuterie, cheese, wine and breath-taking views from 12,500 ft above the valley. Food service starts at 11 AM, but verity its open prior to making your way to the summit (if the outside conditions are too harsh it may not be open).


The Legends Café

Opening before the first chair and located in the A-Frame, stop by on the way up for coffee, breakfast burritos, and yogurt. For lunch, you can't go wrong with their pizza or chicken fingers. Rice, noodle bowls, and dim sum are new additions and brown bag lunches are not uncommon. If you are looking for something lighter, head to the Coffee Corner located on the left as you enter the A-Frame.

Size / Elevation
  • Peak: 12,408 ft | 3782m

  • Vertical Drop: 2,530 ft | 771m 

  • Main Base: 10,780 ft | 3286m 

  • Total Area: 1,428 acres | 5.8 sq km

Terrain Overview

Mountain Range:  White River National Forest, CO Rockies

  • 145 Trails

  • 3 Bowls

  • 2 Terrain Parks

  • Lenawee Mountain(13,204 ft)

  • Arapahoe Basin (13,050 ft)

  • Mountain Goat Plaza (10,780 ft)

On Mountain Dining

  • 3 locations (see our guide) 

Lift Stats

Uphill Capacity: 11,300 ppl/hr

9 Lifts

  • 1   High Speed Quads

  • 2   Quads

  • 1   Triples

  • 2   Doubles

  • 2   Conveyor Lifts

  • 1   Surface Lift

  • 2   Minimum lifts to access peak from base 

Terrain Mix
A-Basin_Terrain Mix.png

A-Basin Stats

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