Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Ski resorts in USA
Arapahoe Baskin Ski Area, or “A-Basin,” is located west of Denver (about 100 kilometers) in Summit County in the heart of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, perfectly situated on the Continental Divide. It’s probably not just sheer coincidence that Summit Country is nicknamed, “Colorado’s Playground.”

A-Basin opened in 1946, founded by Olympic skiers and WWII veterans. Back then, it had one tow rope and a lift ticket set you back $1.25.

With the third highest peak elevation among North American ski resorts, topping out at just 13,050 feet, A-Basin’s steep and fierce terrain is perhaps one of its main drawing cards. Basically, half of the mountain sits above the treeline. It features a vertical rise of 2,270 feet with 1,428 accessible acres.

Because of its high altitude, the high-quality white gold keeps falling (with an annual average of 350 inches). It also gives A-Basin the bragging rights to having one of the longest ski seasons in the Western US, usually mid-October to the beginning of June. Mountain bikers or hikers paying a visit in early summer can also mix rad riding with a few extra powder days. For the record-minded among us, the earliest opening date thus far was Oct. 9, 2009, and the latest closing date was on Aug. 10, 1995. The resort’s been open for skiing on 4th of July seven times, most recently in 2019.

Indeed, this is the place to ski at the beginning or at the end of the season. Basically, avoid going here when it’s freezing cold, mid-January can be especially brutal.

This little gem of a resort is a favourite among the locals, which gives the place a low-key vibe, with its diverse, big-mountain terrain: sick steeps, mind-twisting moguls, challenging chutes, vertigo-inducing vert and bountiful bowls. And then there’s Pallavicini — one of the longest, steepest runs in the state, not to be forgotten — featuring an amazing double-fall line. Once off the top of the run, you have the choice of either going right or left for some tree runs or going for moguls. The Pallavicini lift actually gives expert shredders access to some of the iconic terrain in the whole of Colorado. The East Wall on the other hand, a legendary backcountry area, is only accessible via a hike. The Steep Gullies epitomizes the most extreme of the extreme, wild and narrow. Hold on so that you can finish off with a short and sweet 20-minute hike at the bottom, in true local style.

During the 2007–08 season, A-Basin expanded with 162 hectares by opening the Montezuma Bowl. The expansion increased the terrain by a whopping 80 percent.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Snow forecast

  • Wednesday
    0 in rain
    Partly cloudy
    9 mph
  • Thursday
    0 in rain
    Sun/clear sky
    5 mph
  • Friday
    0 in rain
    10 mph

Facts about Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Slopes (Total: 147)
Green circle Easiest:6
Blue square Intermediate:35
Black diamond Advanced:57
Double black diamond Expert Only:49

Lifts (Total: 9)
Chair lifts:6
Platter lift:3
Lift capacity:  8700 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area Vertical drop
Mountain high: 13050 ft
Vertical drop: 2270 ft
Mountain low: 10778 ft
Skiable vertical drop: 2251 ft (The vertical drop you can ride in one go on skis)

Start:22 October
End: 5 June

Country: USA
Region: Colorado

Reviews for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

What do you think about Arapahoe Basin Ski Area?
7 reviews
Arapahoe Basin is a great place not many people go to A-basin during the season. many People go to the bigger and better resorts in Colorado. They have great powder days there. They park stays around till about April. fun rails and one samll jump. well if you want to ride with the coloradons ski a-basin.

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A Basin is located 5 miles ie about 8km from Keystone. A long steep highway takes you there. Free parking near the elevator.
Now in the pre-season only the lower 3-chair lifts were open. The upper closed after a few hours as it blew and snowed too much on the calf mountain. Older people lift but they take away well anyway. The slopes are between 3500m and 4000m high so you can easily be reached.
A green backdrop here corresponds to blue or red in Sweden. Absolutely not like a green in "Breck" that barely leans.
Still relatively much telephones here but the boards are almost 50% (as in Sweden a few years ago).

At the lift is a sign: "No beginner skiing". They also have their own small miniback with their own seatlift on the side ..

On the way home you will find one and the other SUV in the ditch. Checkout tires and an overcoat of 4x4 contribute to this.

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The best thing about the A basin is the rides and the extreme nature. It's the ones who could not afford to go to Jackson Hole, which is just the same, fast 10ggr so big. Here are many possible extreme rides and it usually clicks every few paragraphs each year. Skipatrollen has a good knowledge of cannon and will gladly help you ....... if you can go and have the right stuff with you! This is not the place you go to flash without being judged on your ride. Probably the city that has the highest percentage of telescopes in the world!

Here you go for one or two days or go to Jackson Hole!

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As the previous speaker, not big but something as unusual as skiing above the tree line. A cushion day with traffic jams resulting in cars everywhere but on the way along the I-70, a turn up to the A-basin can be an idea. Nice ride with big surfaces o Good opportunity to go extra swing on the tops around.

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Arapahoe Basin is one if you like and appreciate the same things that are found in Kittelfjäll here in Sweden ...
The ski system is not so remarkable, but offers very good offpiste opportunities, and when the mighty "East Wall" is open (usually the opening of this offpiste area in March), there are a lot of exposed lines with just a short hike as an effort.
The advantage of A-Basin is also close to Loveland Pass, where the off-piste skiing is located right outside the car door - free of charge.
For those who go to Vail or Breckenridge, A-Basin is a great compliment when you want to get away from the worst masses, and maybe find back to the freedom of the ride again. Also do not miss "Pallavicini" which is a double black downhill with a heavy testosterone factor ... :-)

The A-Basin is a fresh fan, and here you will find people who actually want to KNOW SKIDOR, not just showing up on the slopes.

// Jonas

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Good season, high. Fairly small place. There is no city but just a small ski-back restaurant. Included in "coloradopass" that can be bought in the pre season for about $ 380. Located about 1h, by car, west of Denver.

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Was there the 98 season so the memory may have faded. Arapahoe is high on Continental Devide and usually scraps a lot of snow. Because you take the car here, you also have the chance of finfin offpiste from the pass up higher. The system is quite mediocre but outside the piste you can find both steep and nice skiing. However, some people to fight with. Nice setting for telemark too, which is nice. Scotty Bobs can be tested here. Tail-gate party in the parking lot when the sun begins to warm at the end of the season ...

Most popular photo

Rider: - Photo: Jonas Emilsson

Trail map

Trail map Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Nearby ski resorts

Loveland3.1 miles
Keystone5 miles
Breckenridge15.5 miles
Copper Mountain17.4 miles
Winter Park18 miles
Eldora Mountain Resort25.5 miles
Vail26.7 miles
Ski Granby Ranch28 miles

Airports near Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Eagle County Regional Airport
Driving time: 1 hour, 26 minutes (78 miles)
Distance: 56 miles
Denver International Airport
Driving time: 1 hour, 38 minutes (87 miles)
Distance: 65 miles
Aspen Airport
Driving time: 2 hours, 34 minutes (141 miles)
Distance: 61 miles