Located only 90 miles west of Denver International Airport, Copper Mountain is a conveniently located resort known for almost 2,500 acres of naturally divided terrain. While many resorts try to create distinct sections for each level of skier, Copper truly accomplishes this with a wide variety of runs within each section. Copper also offers a unique experience for expert skiers with free cat skiing on Tucker Mountain.
Among Colorado's first ski resorts to open in November, the base at Copper Mountain is at 9,712 feet with a resort summit elevation of 12,312 feet, it is an excellent family destination with youth and adult seasonal ski and ride school programs that up the ante on progression, plenty of mellow groomers and a wide array of activities besides skiing and snowboarding, including zip lines, tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating and more.
While locals can easily make the 1.5-2 hour drive from Denver and back in one day, those wanting to spend days at Copper Mountain have a bevy of options available. Condos, townhomes and private homes are available throughout the distinct base areas: East Village, with quick access to more challenging terrain off the Super Bee Lift; Center Village that's steps away from the shopping and dining of Burning Stones Plaza and great intermediate runs via American Flyer and American Eagle Lifts; and West Village, the ski school hub surrounded by family-friendly beginner terrain. You also can find lodging in nearby towns of Silverthorne and Dillon.
When driving on I-70 you may think that the best restaurants near Copper Mountain would be in nearby Frisco, but Copper Mountain has plenty of great options so you can stay at the resort for days.
• A local favorite, Log Cabin Cafe offers an affordable, hearty breakfast for nearly every craving. Get there early since there’s usually a line.
• For a bit of a healthier menu, Toast & CO has a fun menu with quinoa, avodaco and other power foods.
• For hungry and thirsty skiers, El Zacatecano is a great place to fill up after a day on the mountain. Their large margaritas can be shared they are so big, and the chips and salsa are fantastic. If you come in for a meal, there are numerous great Mexican staples that will leave you full and satisfied.
• Any BBQ lovers will have to stop at Eagle BBQ and get some brisket and mac and cheese!
• Mahi’s Street Tacos has a taco and margarita happy hour. It also has a great patio.
• If you’re coming off the mountain and are looking to relax, stop by High Rockies Whiskey and Wine Bar. It offers a late-night kitchen as well an impressive selection of over 200 whiskies, wine, cocktails and craft beers.
Copper Mountain is a unique resort with terrain that is naturally divided into beginner, intermediate, and expert areas, each located on different parts of the mountain and each generally served by its own lifts.
The beginner terrain is located in the West Village, where you will find the Schoolhouse, the meeting area for all child and adult ski school. From the village you can take Woodward Express for eight unique beginner runs, or take Kokomo Express for the most beginner option taking Roundabout back down for quick runs.
Intermediate skiers have incredible options that mostly start from the Center Village. Located directly in the middle of the resort, Amerianc Eagle lift is a 6-seater tha provides immediate options to get your runs in, including Main Vein which is located directly under the lift. There are four main runs that you can do from that lift, but from there, if you go over to Excellerator lift, there are ten more runs that await you on the east side of the mountain. Finally, there are seven intermediate runs on the west side of the mountain as well that will require you to take American Flyer from the Center Village.
The main area for advanced and expert skiing starts in the East village, where Super Bee lift will take you to many options. To the south of that lift are multiple bowls and incredible expert terrain, but if you prefer great advanced options you may want to take Collage or Andy's Encore, both intermediate runs, down to the Alpine lift where you will find many additional advanced options.
Copper Mountain supports skinning by actually offering uphill tours in a safe and non-threatening environment. It is great for those who have never skinned before or if you just want a great cardio workout with a 1,000 vertical feet ascent! Note that this is an all-day activity from 9:30a-3p. There are also multiple cross-country trails that start from the west village for those who don't want a guided experience.
Snowshoers will be glad to know that there are two separate free snowshoeing tours available Friday-Sunday. The morning tour is more physically demanding and you must be at least 15 years old, but families can go together in the afternoon tours (must be 8 years old to join). The tours are free, but you will need to rent shoes (unless you bring your own).
- Cat skiing is free at Copper and definitely worth checking out. The two cats service Tucker Mountain and Copper Bowl, and provide an interesting change of pace from riding the lifts.
- Get your BMX skills on or jump on olympic-grade trampolines in The Barn.
Copper Mountain has a unique offering for those not wanting to ski in The Barn, an almost 20,000-foot structure with many activities. There's a large area to skate, scooter, bike and rollerblad with many ramps and opportunities to jump into foam pits with your board or scooter. Ther eis also plenty to do for those not wanting to ride/skate, as there are five Olympic grade trampolines, a tumble track and much more.
For outdoor non-ski activities, there are multiple options as well. There is The Rocky Mountain Coaster located near the base of the American Flyer lift and there is a tubing hill where you can pay for an hour of thrills on the curved tube tracks.