- Overall Rating 3
- Family Friendly 4
- All Mtn. Terrain 3
- Terrain Park 1
- Nightlife 1
Pros: Cheap, close to Denver, great snow
Cons: Slow lifts, short runs, lack of grooming, completely weather exposed
Recommended For: Single/Newlyweds, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Mar 1, 2010
Do not go to Loveland when the forcast is for heavy snow, even a little wind, or cold, because, as it sits on the Continental Divide, all of these factors will be exaggerated here. Most of the good skiing is above treeline, so be prepared with the inside-the-glove hand warmers and extra layers.
Now, if you come on a good weather day (and not a weekend, so as to avoid the Denver crowds), then there is a lot to enjoy here. For beginners, there is a completely separate area with a couple of good runs. Even though Switchback and Twist are designated blue, they are great to learn on -- wide, smooth, and not very steep. This area is the reason I gave a higher rating in the "Family Friendly" category.
As for the main mountain, Nix Nox, Richard's Run, and Mambo off of Chair 1 are all fun. They also open early since that's where Loveland begins its snowmaking. They are shorter than runs you'll find at the major resorts, but you have to accept that when you come here. Chair 2 is long and takes FOREVER to get to its destination. I would advise only riding it once (to get to the upper mountain) and not returning to the base area if you can help it afterwards. Of course, you have to come down off of the mountain to eat, but you can get from the top of chair 1 to the bottom of chair 6, if you read signs closely, and avoid chair 2 that way.
All of the runs off of chair 6 are fun, but they are very short. The advantage to that, though, is a shorter lift ride as well. This isn't a bad place to make a lot of laps late in the day, when your legs could benefit from the shorter spurts.
My main complaint about the terrain at Loveland is that they don't groom enough of the good stuff. I know not everyone wants it to be groomed, so if you don't ski like me, then you can disagree with me. However, some of the best runs are in the open bowls off of chairs 4 and 8, and those would be amazing if something was groomed. These blues would be comparable to China Bowl at Vail if they were smooth. As it is, untouched, it gets choppy quickly, and it beats up your thighs. Maybe they do groom them sometimes and I just missed it. If so, I'll look forward to finding them groomed the next time.