Arapahoe Basin

10 Reasons why A-Basin is a badass ski resort!

Snow Making
Photo by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area


Every October it’s a race between A-Basin and Loveland, CO. to see who can be the first resort to open a run. Occasionally Mt. Rose in the Sierra Nevada, or Timberline Lodge in Oregon will benefit from some early season snowfall and make an October opening, but neither has the altitude or snowmaking capacity of A-Basin.

Arapahoe Basin
Photo by Snow Life LLC


A-Basin consistently goes daily through Memorial weekend or the first week of June, and often extends more bonus weekend if conditions allow. On a good season, a few Sierra resorts can beat them out into summer, and glacial Timberline Lodge in Oregon outlasts them by a month or two, but that’s it.

Photo by Snow Life LLC


At 13,050 feet, A-Basin is one of the highest lift served areas on the continent, and with altitude comes cold, snow, and consistently stable conditions. They don’t call it Summit County for nothing!

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Snow Beach
Photo by Snow Life LLC


​The base parking area affectionately known as “Snow Beach” is a great place for tailgating activities with your friends in between runs, with great slope side views and just a short walk back to the chairlift. Unlike other resorts that make you do the long walk through the village first, or park miles away and shuttle in, Snow Beach is front row parking with the friendly and funky, party vibe atmosphere and there’s no other place like it!

Ikon Pass
Photo by: Alterra Mt. Corp


Most folks are familiar with Alterra Mountain Corp, you know, one of those companies that are taking over the skiing world. Well although Alterra does not own A-Basin outright, they have struck a deal with the ski area to put them on the Ikon Pass (7 days access). When most other Ikon Pass resorts are closed, A-Basin is still rolling and provides a great way for folks to extend their season even if A-Basin is not their regular home mountain.

Arapahoe Basin
Photo by Snow Life LLC


Moguls, steeps, hike to runs, terrain parks, groomers… you want it, A-Basin has it! With 2,530 feet of vertical spread over 1,428 acres on 147 named trails, the resort is big enough to explore and have fun for any level of skier or snowboarder. Oh, and 350 inches cold snow helps too.

Photo by Snow Life LLC


I don’t just mean the cold! A-Basin is one of those good vibe places that doesn’t take itself too seriously. If you’re looking for super fancy village life with great shopping and people wearing $5,000 worth of ski gear, A-Basin is not the place for you! A-Basin is chilled out, laid back and relaxed, more of a “Live and let shred” type of place. Just the way I like it!

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Ski motorcylce
Photo by Snow Life LLC


Go to most ski resort towns and immerse yourself into the community, and you will usually find some pretty cool nature loving folks. Although some places are a little funkier than others, and A-Basin’s Summit County is one of those places. Living in the mountains requires commitment and passion and those that brave Loveland pass on a storm day to get some freshies are pretty deeply committed to the lifestyle.

Colorado Skiing
Photo by Snow Life LLC


Go ahead, ski the Sierra, the Wasatch, the Cascades, the Tetons or anywhere in the East and you will be hard pressed to find more consistently good snow conditions. Now I’m not here to argue who has the best powder days, I’m saying overall every day snow quality and consistency. The Rockies have altitude and a relatively dry climate, so what snow they get they keep and it usually stays good for a really long time.

Skiing Uphill
Photo by Arapahoe Basin Ski Area


Many resorts frown on people not using their chairlifts to get up the mountain, and strictly forbid or regulate it. At A-Basin, they’re not uptight about it. Just grab an uphill access pass at the ticket office, observe signs and barriers, and you can be on your way.

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First ski resort to open



ArapaHoe Basin Ski Area

At the peak of Colorado’s famous Summit County, and just down the road from scenic Loveland Pass lies one of the coolest and coldest ski areas in the Western U.S. Arapahoe Basin. Home of the famous “Snow Beach” and epic late season skiing and a friendly vibe!


Founded in 1945 and officially opened the next year in 1946, Arapahoe Basin ski area is the third highest lift served ski area in North America and consistently has the second longest ski season on the continent, usually lasting from October through June. Know colloquially as “A-Basin,” the ski area resides on CO Hwy 6 between Loveland Ski Area and Keystone Ski Area, just down from the summit of Loveland Pass.

While terrain exists for all levels of skiers and riders, A-Basin primarily caters to those with a skill set of Advanced and above, as more than 75% of their terrain is Black or Double Black Diamond rated, including tons of “hike to” side-country ski runs.

The ski area has 3 day lodges, each with it’s own dining options, and the main base area hosts many fun events including concerts.

A-Basin has several parking lots, with shuttle service from the lots not directly next to the base, and they even have 10 Electric Vehicle charging stations. 

Although cell service is sparse at this altitude and location, A-Basin offers free Wi-Fi for resort guests, so you can stay in touch with friends while on slope breaks or après.

One Life To Ski recommends A-Basin as a must visit ski resort for any savvy skier or riding and is a great addition to any ski resort bucket list.

A-Basin trail map

A-Basin Frontside

Map by Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin trail map

A-Basin Backside

Map by Arapahoe Basin

A-Basin Map

A-Basin East Wall

Map by Arapahoe Basin

Snow Stats

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area gets 350 inches (889cm) of Colorado’s finest light powder per season, and due to their amazingly high altitude, what they get, they keep!

Terrain stats

Arapahoe Basin has a base elevation of 10,520ft (3,206m), and peak lift served altitude of 13,050ft (3,978m) for a vertical drop of 2,530ft spread out over 1428+ skiable acres. Lift tickets are only $99 (online advance purchase only).

Trails & Lifts

Arapahoe Basin has 147 trails. The resort has 6 total chairlifts including one high speed 6 pack and two high speed quads, as well as 3 surface lifts.


Location and Hours

Listed below is the address and normal Winter operating schedule for Arapahoe Basin Ski Area in Dillon, Colorado.

28194 US-6, Dillon, CO. 80435, USA

Winter Schedule: Daily from late October to Early June

Winter Hours: Weekdays 9am-4pm, Weekends 8:30am-4pm


Find out more information

Take a deeper dive into Arapahoe Basin at Ski Town Low Dow.

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The Snow Life collection is all original and inspired by (what else) the mountains! So go ahead and peruse this awesome line of quality ski and snowboard themed items with always great prices. Visit the Après Ski Store now!


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