Copper Mountain Ski Resort – A Guide to Vail’s Golden Goose

Vail, Vail, Vail. If you know anyone that has skied at all in Colorado, the chances are high that the only name you’ll hear is about Vail ski resort. Vail has ballooned to such a name that other ski resorts in Colorado have joking signs on their mountains that read, “At Least We’re Not Vail.” While Vail is massive, Vail’s little brother, Copper Mountain ski resort, has made a name for itself over the years

While originally just a section of national parkland, Copper Mountain ski resort wasn’t even thought of as a developable patch of land until 1968 when Chuck Froelicher and twelve other private investors took the chance and bought the initial 230 acres of land that would become Copper Mountain ski resort.  Now Copper Mountain is under the management of Powdr Corporation.

If you are tired of hearing about Vail ski resorts and are looking to branch out to the smaller Colorado ski resorts, read on. 

Trails at Copper Mountain
Trails at Copper Mountain. Photo Credit: Scott Brenner (Flickr CC)

Where is Copper Mountain Ski Resort Located?

Copper Mountain Ski Resort is one of the closer ski resorts, in relation to Denver, Colorado. Located at the crossroads of I-70 and Colorado road 90, Copper Mountain ski resort is roughly 80 miles west of Denver and is easily drivable in a short one and one half to two hours.

While you could fly into the nearby airport of Eagle county airport if you are flying in from out of state you still be roughly 70 miles away from Copper Mountain. 

A General Overview of the Runs at Copper Mountain:

Copper Mountain is a lot of things for a lot of different people and its amassment of trails stands as a true testament to this claim. You can and will find a little touch of everything for everyone. The lower mountain is full of beginner and intermediate trails for kids, the inexperienced, or the simply sore skiers and riders.

Here’s an overview of what you can find at Copper Mountain ski resort.

  • 140 trails
  • 24 lifts
  • 7 Terrain Parks and 1 Superpipe B
  • Skiable Area: 2,507 Acres (10.1 Km2)
  • Base Elevation: 9,712 feet (2,946 Meters)
  • Summit Elevation: 12,441 feet (3,792 Meters)
  • Longest Run: 2.8 miles (5 Km) The Soliloquy run to Roundabout

Lodging Options:

Finding accommodations at Copper Mountain resort is most likely going to be one of the easiest aspects of your Colorado ski getaway. While Copper Mountain is mainly just a ski resort and lacks a traditional town, the ski resort has three different villages to choose from. All three villages offer ski-in, ski-out lodging, so whichever village you choose is more dependent on your group and what you’re looking for.

The East Village is for the more experienced skiers and riders with easy access to the intermediate and advanced trails. The Center Village is exactly that, in the middle of everything. Two minute access to the main lifts, great dining and nightlife if you still have the energy to go out after ripping fresh powdery lines all day.

The West Village is more geared towards families and the less experienced skiers and riders. No matter what you choose, every village will have hotels, condos, long-stay apartments, and townhomes at your disposal.

Does Copper Mountain Make Their own Snow?

If mother nature’s call isn’t quite there to make enough snow to start the season, Copper Mountain ski resort will make their own snow to cover 364 acres as long as local water limits allow. 

Snow blowing at Copper Mountain
Snow blowing at Copper Mountain. Photo Credit: Jimmy Thomas (Flickr CC)

Activities for Non-Skier and Riders:

Based on Copper Mountain’s all inclusive ideals, the non-skier or rider in your group will have no problems filling up their day with a boat-load of other activities.

Besides marveling at the wonder that is the Colorado Rockies, they can go tubing at Copper Mountain’s own tubing runs. They can fly down the new state-of-the-art alpine coaster running throughout the winter. Ice skating, ski racing spectating, amazing dining, and the woodward indoor ski and skate training center can all be found within walking distance from each other.   

Is There Night-Skiing Copper Mountain Ski Resort?

No, sadly there is no night skiing. Copper Mountain ski resort is open from 9 am – 4 pm seven days a week. There are some expectations for that time schedule so always check with the ticket office or ski patrol before heading up the mountain. 

Is There Cross-Country Skiing?

If downhill skiing isn’t your speed, the Nordic Center at Copper Mountain ski resort is sure to satisfy any cross-country skier. On and around Copper Mountain you can find over 20 Km (12.4 Miles) of stunning trails for any level of skill. 

Does Copper Mountain Resort Offer Rentals or Gear Shops?

Copper Mountain ski resort has their own brand of rentals on offer to suit any age and skill level. They offer different packages to suit every need you could imagine with discounts on the ski school when booking rentals through the resort.

Here are some honorable mentions: 

  • Gravitee Boardshop
  • Rebel Sports

More In-depth Look at the Trails at Copper Mountain Resort

Bluebird day at Copper Mountain
Bluebird day at Copper Mountain. Photo Credit: Butterbean (Flickr CC)

Copper Mountain has something for everyone, however, don’t be fooled into thinking that this is an easy or beginner mountain. The back bowls will and do consistently test the skills of even some of the locals.

Here’s the breakdown

  • 2,507 Acres are split into 140 trails 
  • 21% beginner
  • 25% intermediate
  • 36% advanced
  • 18% expert

Best time to go:

The best snow conditions for Copper Mountain generally fall into the early January to mid-february. Be warned however, because of Copper Mountain’s proximity to Denver and other Colorado cities, the weekends and holidays are usually jam-packed full of people.

Closing thoughts:

Copper Mountain is a piece of Colorado ski and snowboarding history. It was created to serve everyone who comes and further developed for everyone who even has the slightest interest in skiing or snowboarding. No matter your timing, skill, or experience, a trip to Copper Mountain will be a trip to remember

Been to Copper Mountain ski resort before? Let us know in the comments what your favorite run is!

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