Ski Resorts
Articles & Tips
Ski Gear
Search FamilySkiHub
Copper Ski Resort Profile
Review: If you're looking for the best slopes and friendliest resort in Colorado, book a week at Copper Mountain. Denver residents prefer Copper to just about any other ski area for a few simple reasons: fantastic runs, affordable lift tickets, easy access, and unpretentious atmosphere. While Copper doesn't offer raging nightlife, its commitment to the actual mountain experience is top notch. Memories are made on the slopes, not in the bars. You'll likely feel a connection to the mountain when you leave and know that you had the best skiing or snowboarding experience possible.

Copper is an easy drive west on I-70 from the Denver International Airport. Expect to arrive in about two hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. As with other Colorado resorts, shuttles are available from the airport directly to the mountain. Rental cars are not necessary for making your way around town, and free Summit Shuttles run regularly to Frisco, Dillon, and nearby resorts.

Copper has spearheaded the Rocky Mountain movement to make ski resorts more environmentally responsible. From the Snowcats to the six-person chair lift, the resort offsets every unit of energy used by purchasing megawatt hours of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which are then matched on the electrical grid by clean, wind power. Thus, Copper is effectively 100% wind powered, aiming to ensure great skiing and outdoor fun for future generations.

The mountain's terrain is conveniently divided into sections based on difficulty. Pull up the trail map online and you'll notice green (beginner) runs to the far right, blues (intermediate) in the center, and blacks to the left and on the back side. Advanced skiers and boarders naturally segregate from beginners, so you'll hardly ever find speed demons on green runs or novices on the more difficult terrain. Check out some of Colorado's nicest blue cruisers by taking the Super Bee six-person lift and heading down Andy's Encore or Collage. Return to the Super Bee by veering right on Skid Road or heading down a short black run, Ore Deal (careful - this run lives up to its name).

For those in your party who seek a challenge, take the Storm King Poma lift and try any number of routes down Spaulding Bowl into Resolution Bowl. Depending on weather conditions, Copper offers free Snowcat access to some of the back bowls - all expert terrain.

All of Copper's lodging options are located near the mountain's base. Staying with the copper theme, hotels and condos are rated Platinum, Gold, Silver, or Bronze, with Platinum as the highest (and usually most expensive) and bronze at the bottom. All lodging options offer access to Copper's Athletic Club, the ice skating rink, and free parking and shuttle rides. Constructed in 2004, The Cirque (Platinum) is regarded as the area's most luxurious accommodation.

You can find restaurants, shops and bars around the base village, but consider staying in nearby Frisco if you seek a livelier town. Grab a filling breakfast sandwich at Frisco Bagel Inc. on 4th and Main before heading to the slopes. Farley's (5th and Main) offers a relaxed après ski setting, with Happy Hour deals and delicious American grill meals for the whole family.

Parking at Copper is more convenient and less expensive than at most other resorts. You'll find pay lots close to the mountain base, but save $15-20 by parking in the free Alpine Lot right off of I-70 and taking a five-minute shuttle ride to the lifts. Beginners should hop on the Green route to Union Creek; advanced skiers and boarders can walk five minutes to the Super Bee or take the Black route to east Village; most visitors take the Blue route to the main Village.

Look for great lift ticket deals online before booking your vacation. Locals without season passes often purchase Copper 4-Packs (four lift tickets) for around $180, a price you won't find if you wait until March to buy. Employees at Copper Mountain are usually very helpful and seem to love working at the resort. The ski patrol is quite possibly the friendliest and most competent mountain safety unit in Colorado.

Visit Copper, and you just may never want to ski or snowboard anywhere else.

Ski Area / Peak Elevation / Vertical Drop: 2,400 acres / 12,300 feet / 2,600 feet

Non-Skier Activities: The base village at Copper offers some shops, spas, and typical resort fare. However, it is light on the “ski-town” ambience that you might get in Breckenridge, Aspen, or even more modern Vail. Breckenridge and Vail are easy drives (<30 minutes) if you have access to a vehicle.

Ski School: Copper’s ski school offers lessons for ages 3-15. Reservations are recommended but not required. Rates are competitive for Colorado resorts, with discounts for multi-day lessons.

Child Care: Child care is offered for ages 6 weeks to 8 years. This age range is among the widest that we reviewed, and we commend Copper for that (although most 8 year olds are hopefully hitting the slopes for at least part of their season.)

Getting There: Copper Mountain is approximately 2 hours from Denver International Airport, which is serviced by every major airline. A secondary option would be the Vail / Eagle County airport, which would result in a 1 hour drive to Copper.

Insider Tip: Using Copper as a homebase and doing a daytrip to Vail or Breckenridge could be a cost-effective way to ski those resorts, given their higher cost of lodging.