Beaver Creek has a lot going for it in winter, including a great layout of trails and sufficient skiing and riding for all levels. Also, because it’s a bit too far from Denver for a quick day trip, it’s generally less crowded than Breckenridge, Keystone and Copper or Vail and Beaver Creek.
Beginners learn on a network of green and easy blue trails, with stunning views of the surrounding range. Intermediates play on long runs like Latigo and Gold Dust. Experts challenge themselves on Grouse Mountain and the Birds of Prey, where World Cup downhills are located.
Most people in the central village get to the base of the Centennial Lift between 9:45am and 10:15am. So try to get there earlier. Otherwise head across the pedestrian bridge and take the less-crowded Strawberry Lift. Take a warm up run down Stackers of President Ford’s and then head to Centennial Lift. To the right, Redtail Hawk is a great cruiser — but first check the grooming report. If Harrier is groomed and Redtail is crowded, move down the mountain on the skier’s left side of the lift. Keep your eyes open for Harrier; it’s a bit steeper than Redtail, but fun.
Both runs feed to the Larkspur lift for good cruising down Larkspur and Yarrow. After a few runs, ski past the Larkspur lift and ride the Birds of Prey Lift. Approximately half way up look to your right for Golden Eagle, where they set the men’s downhill course. At the top of the lift turn left to go down Upper Centennial to Spruce Saddle Lodge, or continue skier’s left down Centennial to the base for lunch. Ski or walk over the bridge to the Osprey (next to Strawberry Lift) for a nice sit-down burger, salad, sandwich, or Dungeness Crab Mac and Cheese. For a real treat, which will probably finish you off for the day, call the Saddleridge Lodge for transportation — for spectacular sit-down lunches.
If you make it back onto the slopes, take Centennial lift back up to Spruce Saddle, turn left and cruise down Stone Creek Meadows into Rose Bowl. Take the Rose Bowl lift and exit to the right. Continue straight down Sheephorn to Spruce Saddle, bear right and follow Latigo down to the base of Centennial lift. It’s time for a hot tub, nap and dinner. For casual cuisine, try the Dusty Boot; for fine dining Splendido is exceptional.
Visit Beaver Creek.com.
Here’s a Beaver Creek trail map.