If you like to ski or want to learn how, Keystone, Colorado is a great family destination nearly all year round. The resort typically opens in November and will close no earlier than March 31 so you have extra time to get in those ski days.

Denver is only a two-hour flight from Chicago or LA, and then just under a two-hour drive to the mountain. Epic Mountain Express is an excellent door-to-door transportation option versus a car rental.

Keystone Resort is the largest ski area in Summit County, Colorado. It occupies more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain across three peaks and five bowls. There are 20 lifts and 139 trails, the longest being a beginner run called Schoolmarm that is 3.5 miles long.

What we love most about Keystone Resort:

1. There is a good balance of beginner and intermediate runs all the way up to advanced runs. 12% of the runs are for beginners, 39% for intermediate, and 49% for advanced skiers/riders.

2. There is a diverse mix of terrain from wide open bowls to serene glades, with magnificent views from every perspective.

3. Keystone is one of only a handful of Colorado resorts that offers night skiing/riding. Night skiing/riding is open on most weekends and holidays and is included in your day pass.

4. There is so much more to do beyond skiing/riding for the whole family:

  • Enjoy a Sleigh Ride Dinner experience. Board a horse-drawn sleigh, cuddle up in warm blankets, and go on a beautiful journey under the stars to an authentic homestead. Along the way, learn about the horses and the Soda Creek Valley. Along with an entree of either steak, chicken, or salmon with mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables, you are served hot stew and biscuits, hot cocoa, and peppermint schnapps (for the adults), while being entertained by a folk singer.
  • In River Run, (the village at the base of the mountain), there is an ice rink. You can also ice skate on the frozen Keystone Lake, right outside the Keystone Lodge and Spa. A section has even been made into a hockey rink if you want to slide a puck around.
  • Adjacent to the ice rink, in River Run, is a playground. There is also a fun, Wild West-themed playscape right at the base of the mountain.
  • The snow fort at the top of Dercum Mountain is really cool (literally) as it is the world’s largest mountaintop snow fort. The little ones will surely believe it is one of Elsa’s creations. It is a safe place for kids and parents alike to play in the snow or fly down one of the built-in slides.
  • Also at the top of Dercum Mountain is mountaintop tubing. Look for the yurts next to the snow fort to enter. You can purchase tickets to ride the gondola to just go tubing, or you can take a break from skiing and slip in a few runs.

5. Keystone is a part of the Vail Resorts network and hence features the Epic Pass system. The Epic Pass system offers a myriad of lift ticket options. You can purchase local season passes, regional season passes, or passes for 1-7 days with access to a group of 22, 32, or all 38 owned and operated North American and European resorts. Passes go on sale for the next season, the prior spring, and are available for a limited time.

There are different benefits to each pass type, but all holders of an Epic Pass receive 20% off food, lodging, lessons, rentals, and more. Living as close as we do to Wilmot Mountain at the Wisconsin border, presents an added advantage to buying an Epic Pass. The Epic Day Pass with All Resorts Access includes matching bonus days that can be used at Wilmot.

6. Keystone offers group lessons (ski and snowboard) for children and adults as well as private lessons.

7. Keystone Lodge and Spa is an ideal place to stay. It is only a ten-minute shuttle ride from the base of the mountain at River Run. The lodge provides complimentary shuttles when requested at the front desk, and will come pick you up to return whenever you call. One of the best amenities of the property is the complimentary ski storage at the gondola, and when families stay and play for two or more nights, kids 12 and under ski FREE!

Perhaps not as well known as some other Colorado ski resorts, Keystone is perfect for families. Keystone is a place where everyone can ski at their own level and pace. Between the benefits of an Epic Pass, the kids ski free program, and the proximity to Denver International Airport, if you are considering a ski trip out west, it’s definitely worth a visit.

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