One of my favorite things about skiing at Copper Mountain, located just 75 miles west of Denver and right on I-70, is the way the terrain is naturally divided by difficulty. This means the green runs are clustered in the West Village, the intermediate runs in the Center and the most advanced terrain in the East Village. As someone who has been forced to ride above my ability level before simply because I went the wrong way on a run, I seriously appreciated this aspect.
If you are an expert skier, like my husband TJ, then you’ll appreciate the snowcat service Copper offers at no extra charge. It takes riders up to advanced backcountry-style terrain so you don’t have to skin up yourself, and you can get some awesome powder runs in this way. The resort, which is a longtime favorite with Front Range Coloradans, also features challenging bowl riding among its 2,465 acres of skiable terrain.
Beyond the Slopes
There is more to Copper Mountain than just shredding powder too, which is another thing I love about vacationing here. When you’re tired of riding downhill then head to Woodward Copper, which is an action sports training facility that also offers classes and lessons. I took a one-hour private lesson with a coach named Max and had so much fun. First I learned some basic tumbling to warm up and then he put me on skis with rollers on the bottom and I was able to roll downhill into a foam pit. It was beyond fun and definitely a different experience than I’m expecting to when heading to a ski resort.
Woodward isn’t the only off-piste adventure that can be had at Copper in winter (also note the resort stays open four seasons with a whole slew of different activities in summer). There is also a Tubing Hill in the East Village and at its base is Critterland for wee ones. It offers a fenced-off area for little ones to play in the snow accompanied by a host of snow critter characters. Look for it at the bottom of the Tubing Hill in East Village. Copper is known for being super family friendly and they also offer great day-care. We left my one-year-old son there while my husband and I took some runs, and felt he was safe and in good hands and got to interact with other similar aged babies.
Where to Stay & Eat
Copper is comprised of three pedestrian-friendly village areas that each offer a fun vibe with hotels, shops, restaurants, bars and family activities. This year the resort opened a number of new restaurants including Toast and CO. A super cute spot in the center village it has awesome atmosphere and decor that features shelves filled with vintage toasters. It is a great choice for breakfast before the lifts open. Try the Amaretto French Toast or the Breakfast Burrito. Camp Hale for Coffee is another newcomer to Copper and a great place to grab lunch at the base. It is quick and best off all affordable with sandwiches going for just over $10 after tax.
There are dozens upon dozens of hotels and condos around town including The Cirque, which I chose because it offered two bedroom condos with full kitchens, making it perfect for families. It isn’t ski-in, ski-out, but the five-minute walk to the lift was worth it for the extra space and French-inspired furnishings along with some nice post apres perks like a sauna and steam room and a hot tub for post apres.
With the first half of the 2018 winter season wrapping up, it is time to look ahead to when the snow starts falling again come October. Copper Mountain is now selling 2018-19 Season Passes. Resort passes start at $459 with Kids Ski Free and included unlimited access to Copper along with three free days at Monarch, Purgatory, Powder Mountain Utah and Taos Ski Valley in New Mexico. Passholders can also enjoy free skiing and riding at Grand Targhee with the purchase of lodging. Passes can be purchased at. Also look for two brand new high-speed lifts for the next season.