A Colorado winter vacation was always something I dreamed about, an east coast girl who only skied in the Northeast. My imagination painted majestic mountains, powder snow, and some of the best skiing in the world. So this year I decided to make my dreams come true and experience a Colorado winter at one of the best ski resorts in Colorado- Keystone Resort. I was going alone, and wanted a place that had progression-friendly slopes and had everything I needed in one place! Also, Keystone Resorts was celebrating its’ 50th anniversary so I knew they had a tradition of making guests happy. My stay at Keystone Resort Lodging, ski pass, and Keystone ski rentals were sponsored and all views in this article are my honest opinion, experience, and hopefully this guide for an epic Colorado Ski vacation will help you plan your visit.
Keystone Ski Guide For A Winter Colorado Vacation
Whether you want to ski in and ski out from Keystone to Denver (which is quite common), or you want to stay longer as I did at the Keystone Lodge and Spa. There is something for everyone at Keystone Mountain and there is more than enough space for skiers to enjoy all three peaks.
How To Get From Denver To Keystone
While I rented a car from Enterprise to journey on a road trip around Colorado in the winter. There are many ways to get from Denver to Keystone that take the pressure off of driving in the mountains or snow. A favorite option of many is taking the Epic Mountain Express. The shuttle will pick you up at the airport at your specified time and drop you off right at your Keystone Colorado Lodging for only USD 75 round trip. This service is great and goes to most major mountain ski resorts in Colorado. Some locals from Denver also ski in ski out, but I find this extremely tiring after a long day on the mountain and prefer to relax at a ski resort.
Where is Keystone Colorado?
Keystone, Colorado is about a 2 hour drive and 75 miles from Denver, Colorado. The route you take to get there is I-70, and it can be steep at places so I advice driving during the daylight so the roads are not as icy and you have better visibility to drive. I loved how easy it was getting to and from Keystone resort and it is also located only 25 minutes from Breckenridge, Colorado if you want to check that ski resort as well.
How Keystone Resort Lodging Makes For A Luxurious and Relaxing Stay
From the moment you roll up to the Keystone Lodge and Spa, you are greeted by the valet who is so incredibly helpful. As soon as you walk into the lobby natural light floods in the floor-to-ceiling windows, with views of Lakeside Village, an ice skating rink, and the towering Keystone Mountain in the background. As soon as I checked in I was made aware of new hotel policies due to the pandemic, such as having to make reservations for the restaurant, spa, and fitness center. Also, I was informed my Keystone Ski Rentals could be delivered to my room!
Keystone Lodge and Spa: The Room with a View
When I arrive at a hotel room I love to spread out, and this Keystone resort lodging had some of the largest rooms I have seen. The King size bed, sitting area, bathroom, and balcony with a view gave me so much space to relax after a long day on the slopes. Also, during this time you do spend more time in your hotel room than the common spaces so this is even more of an important aspect. The lighting in the room was great since the room also had floor to ceiling windows! At every moment you were reminded of the beauty of the Colorado Mountains.
The room included a fridge, microwave, coffee machine, and the bathroom had amazing toiletries from Lather. The selling point of this place is the fact that all 152 rooms and 14 loft suites offer picturesque views of mountains.
After driving for 2 hours I was ready to relax and headed straight to my room. There are connected rooms as well as if you are coming with your family. Probably one of the many reasons this place is known as the best ski resort for families in Colorado.
The Pool and Spa At Keystone Lodge and Spa
Growing up in Florida, I found it a foreign concept to go swimming in below-freezing weather. But I found in Colorado they love to swim in the cold in hot springs, hot tubs, and heated pools. So I decided it was something I had to have at my hotel. The Keystone Lodge and Spa offered an amazing heated pool, hot tubs, and spa services to relax after a hard day on the mountain. I was impressed with their covid measures and the ability to reserve in advance an hour to enjoy the pool and hot tub.
That way I could feel safe knowing the pool area and spa would never be crowded. Reservations are required for all for on-mountain dining options. Also, restaurants at Keystone Resort, and the Spa and pool at the lodge needed reservations. The Epic Mix app and QR codes for the pool/hot tub made it easy to reserve.
Bighorn Restaurant and Other Dining Options At Keystone Resorts
There was not a lack of mouthwatering food at Keystone Resort Lodging. There were so many restaurants and quickly eat spots from River Run Village to Lakeside Village. The first night I arrived I decided to treat myself after a long drive and eat at the fine dining establishment at Keystone Lodge and Spa– The Bighorn Bistro. Even though I was traveling solo, I never pass up an opportunity to get dressed up. I had a Wildgame Bolognese, which was exactly what I needed to fill and warm me up. The restaurant also has a view of the ice rink and mountain so be sure to try to get a table by the windows.
Keystone Lake Ice Rink
I felt like I was in a winter fairytale during my stay at Keystone Resort and Spa. I mean what hotel has its ice skating rink! The rink was huge (5 acres) and had an area to warm up if you just wanted to watch the ice skaters while standing by a fire. Skate freely around an iced-over Keystone Lake for 2 hours for USD 15, and if you don’t have your ice skates, they have rentals for USD 15. After you can warm up with a hot chocolate at Edgewater Cafe and Lakeside Deli for refreshments.
My Experience Skiing At Keystone Resort and My Favorite Runs
When I originally arrived at Keystone Resort and mountain I was surprised by the sheer size of the mountain. The map of all the trails was massive, there were three peaks and many lifts. Luckily the mountain was full of signs so guests don’t make a wrong turn. I stuck to blues and greens during my visit, since I didn’t ski the previous season, I was skiing alone mostly, and I didn’t want to get hurt. However, the blues like the Wild Irishman, Paymaster, Mozart, and Prospector (all blues) were fun trails and a perfect challenge level for me.
Also, one trail Schoolmarm is almost 3.5 miles long and a green so many visitors can enjoy it. After skiing down Mozart I headed to Labonte’s BBQ, a restaurant at the foot of the second peak for some hot cocoa and soaking up the sun to relax. Then I headed to the top of North Peak to ski down Prospector. I loved the flow of the trails and having the ability to experience three mountain peaks. The lines at the gondola and lifts weren’t too bad, but that is probably because I went skiing during the weekdays Tuesday- Thursday.
Both days after I finished skiing I decided to decompress and soothe my sore muscles in the hot tub/pool at Keystone Lodge and Spa.
Skiing Alone? Don’t worry
People at Keystone were extremely friendly. I found people to ski with that were very friendly and we were able to socially distance ourselves with our masks as we skied down the mountain.
Best Ski Resorts in Colorado for Beginners and Intermediate Levels
Many Colorado Ski Resorts and Mountains can feel overwhelming for beginners. Colorado’s ski resorts and mountains draw some of the best skiers from around the world, and the mountain resorts are huge so it can be difficult to navigate for beginners. However, Keystone Resorts has developed amazing terrain on over 3,148 acres, with three peaks, and 21 lifts. The gondola is a winner for beginners if you never have been on a lift or want to stay warm. While I am not a beginner skier, I loved my time going up the mountain to the Summit House at 12,408 feet.
Best Ski Resort in Colorado For Families in Colorado
While I was a solo traveler at the best ski resort for families in Colorado, I enjoyed it because it had a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere. Many people love Keystone Resorts, especially since they allow kids 12 and under to ski free with two nights booked through Keystone Resorts. There is also a lot of blue and green terrain, which is great for families or beginner and intermediate skiers.
Night Skiing Colorado/ Keystone Night Skiing
Have you ever wanted to go skiing at night? It is one of my favorite experiences skiing. So if you get a chance all of March Keystone offers night skiing and is known for that in Colorado. The skyline will shine here brighter than you are probably used to out east because of the high altitude. A perfect night skiing could include taking in the beautiful colors of sunset at the Summit House on top of the mountain. Then enjoy fewer people on the slopes as you ski under the stars. During March if you are lucky to be there for night skiing your reservation for the day and night are included. Keystone night skiing goes from 4 pm – 8 pm.
Getting Around Keystone Resort
I rented a car and the best thing about Keystone Resort and staying at Keystone Resort Lodging was that I didn’t need to use it while I was there. Not only was
How to Buy Keystone Lift Tickets or Ski Passes in Colorado
Day tickets from when I was visiting ranged from $119 – 150, but that changes depending on the date and height of the season.
There are many different options for passes including Epic Day Pass (1- 7 Days), Epic Local Pass, Epic Pass, Summit Value Pass, and offer great discounts. They are particularly good if you are in Colorado all winter for the season.
Sustainability At Keystone Resort Lodging and Mountain
One reason I loved Keystone is that they are a part of Vail Resort’s commitment to reaching zero net emissions, zero landfill waste, and zero operating footprint on the environment by 2030.
Another cool sustainability effort was using old snack wrappers to recycle them to make picnic tables and Adirondack chairs in partnership with PepsiCo and TerraCycle. One of my favorite things to do was sit on top of the mountain with a hot chocolate sitting back and relaxing in those chairs!
Where to Eat in Keystone, Colorado
Whether you want to warm up quickly after skiing a few runs, or you want lunch or dinner, there are many options for restaurants and places to eat in Keystone, Colorado. There is everything from cafes and markets, taverns, and fine full-service dining. Also, some great spots on the mountain to eat and enjoy the Colorado Mountain views.
On The Mountain
Labonte’s BBQ for lunch at the North Peak area is perfect for hot chocolate, BBQ, and cornbread. Also, there was a lot of room to spread out and enjoy a sunny Colorado winter day.
The Summit House offered a beautiful outdoor area and an indoor food court that was at the summit of the first peak.
Alpenglow Stube and Der Fondue can be accessed at night by gondola for a unique dining experience. This was closed during my time here, but I heard amazing things about it.
River Run Village
One of the perks of staying at one of the best ski resorts in Colorado is that they have everything you need and make the experience seamless from the lodge to the mountain. At River Run Village I was surprised to find a great choice of restaurants, ski shops, coffee shops, and Keystone ski rentals for all the gear this Florida girl didn’t have.
Snowboarding and Keystone Ski Rentals
If you don’t have your skis or snowboarding equipment, Keystone Sports has a location right at the mountain at River Run Village. Here you can get all your ski rental equipment at Keystone at 3 mountainside locations. They also have free overnight storage by the mountain for those staying at Keystone Properties. So no having to lug your skis/snowboards after a long day on the mountain. They offer online rentals that they deliver to Keystone Resort Lodging.
Things to do in Keystone, Co (Other Than Skiing)
One adventure I have yet to try but is on my bucket list is snowmobiling! I ran out of time this trip. Next time I will 100 percent go snowmobiling. Keystone does offer snowmobiling with its partners with a tour of the continental divide.
They offer the Prospector Tour for beginners that costs USD 150 for the driver. An additional passenger will cost USD 65. If you are more advance take the performance tour for USD 170 (one person only).
Time: Tours are at 9 am, 12 pm, and 3 pm.
Must be 15 years or older with a valid driver’s license to drive.
Visit an Ice Castle
Just 10 miles from Keystone Resorts is Dillon, Colorado where you can find an epic Ice Castle. It offers an amazing experience to feel like you are in a real-life scene from Frozen. I have been to the Ice Castle in New Hampshire a while back and it is a unique experience to try once in your life.
Visit The Best Hot Springs In Colorado
After you’re done skiing and had an epic time exploring Keystone Resorts, it is worth taking a little road trip to visit one of Colorado’s best hot springs. Here are three hot springs you should check out if you have time:
Glenwood Hot Springs 1 hour 45-minute drive from Keystone Resorts and probably one of the most popular springs. This one is by far the most beautiful in my opinion. However, the next two are equally gram-worthy.
Hot Sulphur Springs is a 1 hour and 15-minute drive from Keystone Resorts. It is also a resort so you could even stay the night!
Indian Hot Springs is an hour’s drive from Keystone Resorts and is on the way back to Denver. Making this the most convenient location.
Go Snow Tubing
Mountain Snow Tubing is a favorite for families visiting Keystone or those looking to have some less strenuous fun. Keystone offers a multilane hill that allows you to race your friends down the mountain on tubes! Snow Tubing costs USD 48 per person. However, if you just want to go for a half-hour from 3:30 pm – 4 pm it is USD 30.
Keystone Colorado Summer at Keystone Resort Lodging
One of my favorite things to do at Mountain resorts is visiting them in the summer. If you love summer activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, and mountain top yoga then a Keystone Colorado Summer may be perfect for you to experience. A fun experience whether it is winter or summer, a ride up the gondola to the summit is a great experience.
Save this for later if you want an epic winter escape and to experience a true Colorado Winter Wonderland! Also, let me know in the comments your favorite ski resort or memories of skiing in Colorado.
My time at Keystone Resort and skiing in Colorado was beyond my wildest dreams. I had always dreamed of coming to Colorado to ski. The powder, the people, and the resort offered everything and more for me to have an unforgettable experience. Whether you are looking for a solo adventure to have a ski and spa weekend, or your family is looking for the best family ski resort in Colorado, there is something for everyone. Keystone Resorts offers an amazing experience for all ages, ski levels, and created one of my favorite ski experiences. It also helped that the full experience was enhanced by staying at Keystone Resort Lodging.