It’s not easy rallying couples, submitting vacation requests, coordinating sports teams and school rides, getting the kids watched and then bouncing out of town. But that’s what 10 of us did on a snow riding spectacular in Beaver Creek, Colo.
We picked late February for the highest powder probability. Unfortunately, we missed the storm by four days. It didn’t matter, because conditions were fabulous as we gobbled up more than 26,000 vertical feet per day that always culminated with toasts and laughs from the hot tub. It was a mixed bag of skiers and knuckle draggers, but this group of friends was poised for a bit of partying and some well-deserved snow time.
Beaver Creek is a year-round destination that tailors to summer and winter activities alike. We came for the snow and terrain as Beaver Creek boasts 150 trails, 23 chair lifts and more than 1,800 skiable acres. The longest run is Centennial, a group favorite on our trip, at just less than 3 miles long. If summer is your thing, more than 100 miles of hiking and biking trails will keep you in the woods for weeks.
Put simply, Beaver Creek is an outdoor lover’s paradise.
The real bonus to complement such a grand mountain is an equally impressive village, or should I say villages.
Beaver Creek has more than 41 restaurants and too many stores and shops to count. The resort is family-oriented and provides a high-class experience if that is your thing. I recommend the Beaver Creek Chophouse (huckleberry lemonade and Rocky Mountain trout), Allie’s Cabin complete with an open-air sleigh ride for an on-mountain dining experience (Iowa pork tomahawk chop and spiced apple dessert) and the trip favorite, Hooked (Dynamite Nachos and Matrix Rolls).
Beaver Creek offers Village Connect, an on-demand free shuttle service for those staying within the village. We stayed at the Charter in the heart of the village and close to the slopes. Lodging options in Beaver Creek are on the expensive side, but planning early and getting creative on trip dates can save money. Staying out of the village is an option, but if you want to be near the pulse of activity and action, you know what to do.
We spent our last night in Vail to watch the finishing events for the Burton U.S. Open. The village, normally sleepy after dinner, was pumping with energy. We found our way to Pepi’s Bar and a front row seat to Brian Spotts, a local guitarist who had the place rocking. We ended the night with a packed bar singing John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
I knew I’d found the mecca of intergalactic positive vibes. It was a right time/right place moment that I’ll never forget.
Friends, laughs, eats/drinks, adventure, snow – a recipe for an epic trip.
- Highest elevation: 11,440 feet
- Beaver Creek Village elevation: 8,100 feet
- Ski resort vertical: 3,340 feet
- Average annual snowfall: 325 inches
- Favorite runs: Centennial, Larkspur, Wapiti, Golden Eagle, President Ford’s
- Trails: easy, 19 percent, more difficult: 42 percent, most difficult: 39 percent
- Terrain parks: two
- Lift tickets: get EPIC Pass or pay daily window rate of $219
- Getting there: Fly to Denver, then a 2+ hour drive
Contact Kevin Parker with comments or questions by email at LukeHollywood@gmail.com