KEYSTONE RESORT GUIDE
Images Courtesy of Keystone Resort
Keystone Resort Overview
The Avant Ski Team
An easy trip from Denver, reasonable lodging options and convenient, free parking are just a few reasons why Keystone is one of the most family friendly resorts in the Colorado Rockies. However, don't be fooled by its "family-friendly" reputation. Keystone has plenty to offer off-piste enthusiasts - rock crags, bowls, glades and backcountry account for more than half of the terrain. Snowfall is reliable, averaging 225"+ annually. Keystone is easy to navigate with two base villages - Mountain House and River Run. Lakeside Village, 5 minutes away, has more dining options, shopping and one of the world's largest Zamboni maintained lakes for ice skating. There is also plenty of variety. Novices can try Schoolmarm, a 3.5 mile Green from Dercum Mountain summit to either base. Steeper Blues can test Intermediates (Elk Run) and Experts can play in tree-riddled glades (The Windows) or five hike/cat-accessible bowls. A trip to Keystone can easily be combined with visits to nearby resorts. For those wanting more, Keystone has the largest night skiing area in Colorado.
Pass Summary: The Epic Pass is the season pass for Keystone and has value pass options with nearby Breckenridge and Crested Butte. The Epic Keystone Plus Pass offers great value for unlimited access with holiday restrictions.
Snow-Making & Grooming
On Mountain Dining
Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain
Bring the whole family. Ranked amongst the top 10 family friendly resorts in Ski Magazine's 2020 rankings, Kidtopia has no end of fun activities. Kids under 12 ski free (with a two night lodging package)
Backcountry terrain is under the radar; even though it's cat accessible, it tends to be less traveled
Fast groomers abound on all three mountains
Getting around is easy. Parking is free and resort shuttles run regularly to nearby restaurants and entertainment
Excellent lift infrastructure (20 lifts) means limited lines even when it's crowded
Relatively less snowfall than other CO resorts (and the terrain on the North Peak requires significant snowfall)
Limited nightlife; bars close early in the village and other local bars, while entertaining, cater more towards the local employee community
Limited lift accessible expert terrain, though bumps abound, those looking for 'extreme' terrain will have to earn their turns with short hikes
Limited ski-in/ski-out lodging options, though free shuttles run regularly around the broader resort area
Not the most luxurious of the Summit County resorts
Ski patrollers at Keystone carry "Play It Safe" drink coupons, which can be redeemed for a free drink at any on site dining location or the Starbucks in the River Run Village. Start a conversation with a patroller about safety and ask them if they have any to spare; they love giving them out!
For food shopping, head to Dillon/Frisco. The grocery stores within the village and the nearby areas are overpriced, whether buying essentials, beer, wine or snacks
On Saturday evenings, get on the gondola at ~6:55pm for the best view of the weekly fireworks
On busy mornings, the Summit Express lift line always moves faster than the River Run Gondola line. Brave the elements to get up the mountain earlier than others.
For backcountry access, The Outback bowls (North & South) are cat accessible for $10 (runs most of the day). Erickson & Bergman requiring hiking; Independence requires a cat reservation as part of a package
For an in-depth breakdown of Keystone's terrain, head to our Mountain Guide. Top trails and mountain stats included.
Getting To & Around
Keystone is the closest Epic resort to Denver, only 90 miles (1.5 hours), West on I-70. It's easily accessible by shuttle. Families and larger parties may want to rent a car to venture to nearby towns for supplies or dinner and to visit neighboring resorts.
Closest Major City: Denver, CO
Distance: ~90 mi West
Travel Time: ~1.5 hours
Closest City: Dillon, CO
Distance: ~7 mi, ~12 mins
Travel by Plane
Closest major commercial airport: DEN (Denver International)
~90 mi East, ~1.5 hrs
Closest regional airport: EGE (Eagle County Regional Airport)
EGE has direct service to 14 different locations
~75 miles West, ~80 minutes
Travel By Bus
Airport shuttle services is available to / from DEN
Epic Mountain Express owned by Vail; $59 / adult to / from DEN
Peak 1 ($51 adult door to door from DEN)
Summit Express is family friendly, though a little pricer
Travel by Car
Cars are not needed if staying in Keystone or the sourrouding area. However, they are useful if you are planning to consistenly travel to and from Silverthorne, Frisco and Dillon
Pros: Parking is currently free in the Montezuma Lot and satellite parking lots, with some convenient paid parking as well
Cons: Roads can be treacherous
Ride shares are available, but not reliable and can be expensive