Beaver Creek

Colorado, USA

Beaver Creek is one of those great skiing experiences that everyone should have. The resort lives up to its tagline “Not Exactly Roughing It” in every way – from the quality of the groomed runs, the premium guest services, the cookies in the afternoon and escalators to whizz you up to the slopes. But as luxurious as it is, everyone will feel at home as it radiates a friendly, more peaceful vibe than other huge resorts in the area.

Scout Loves

  • Beautiful tree skiing and quick access to steep terrain.
  • Hot chocolate for everyone in the morning and fresh-baked cookies in the afternoon.
  • Test your nerves on the World Cup Birds of Prey downhill course.
  • Luxurious skiing experience and a high standard of service.
  • Less crowded than nearby resorts, which means few lift lines and longer lasting powder.

Scout Tips

  • There are several accommodation bases. Beaver Creek Village is the main base area. Staying in Riverfront or Arrowhead areas does have direct access to the mountain but it is a longer commute.
  • Beaver Creek lives up to its tagline of “Not Exactly Roughing It” and budget accommodation options are limited.

Scout Review

From the moment you drive up to Beaver Creek and enter via a pretty stone gate-house you know it’s going to be a unique experience. The vibe on arrival feels more like an exclusive country club than a ski resort. The lovely introduction extends to the mountain where guest services welcome you to the slopes and hot chocolate is waiting at the top of Centennial chairlift. While they look after you in every aspect of service, fortunately they leave you alone on the slopes, and what a great playground it is. From the beginner area at the top of the mountain (who said beginners are stuck down the bottom) to the perfectly groomed intermediate slopes or the easily accessed advanced and expert terrain, there truly is something for everyone.

With just 1832ac (741ha) it’s smaller than its sister and neighbor, Vail (Beaver Creek is owned by Vail Resorts), so it’s quick and easy to get around. Since it’s a more recently developed resort, the whole thing was purpose-built around skiing so it’s well thought out.  There are two main parts to Beaver Creek. The best skiing is Beaver Creek Mountain, which is directly accessed from the village base. The Bachelor Gulch area, home to the Ritz-Carlton and the access point for Arrowhead and Riverfront areas, is more intermediate and requires a bit of time to get over to the main mountain. That said, there’s some great beginner and intermediate skiing on Bachelor Gulch. Beaver Creek Mountain has some awesome steeps, including the Birds of Prey downhill course (the mountain is hosting a 2015 World Cup downhill race) which, even when descended at a fraction of the pace of the pros, is still a thrilling ride.  The Grouse Mountain area is also fantastic for more advanced skiers and has some perfectly gladed tree runs.

Once off the slopes and re-energized with a delicious cookie, there is plenty to enjoy in the village. An ice-rink forms the centerpiece of the village with shops, restaurants and bars scattered around. There’s something for everyone and like the rest of the resort, there are lots of high-end experiences to be consumed.

Beaver Creek Accommodation

Beaver Creek has many different accommodation options. Beaver Creek Village is where you’ll find some fantastic high-end hotels and condos. It’s expensive but a top location at the center of it all. Bachelor Gulch is home to the expansive Ritz-Carlton hotel, and ski-in ski-out mansions throughout the ridgeline. Skiers on a tighter budget will find options in the Arrowhead and Riverfront village areas at the bottom of the mountain. Riverfront is a small community with chain stores and a few restaurants. The mountain can still be accessed by lifts but it can feel a little separated from the action. View Beaver Creek hotels.

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Resort Activities

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Beaver Creek offers a ton of extra activities for when you want to give the skis a rest. As well as the great shopping in the village, you could make use of one of the great day spas (the Allegria spa at the Park Hyatt is highly recommended) or have a cultural fix at the Vilar Performing Arts Center.  There are the usual activities of snowshoeing, ice-skating and snowmobiling and, less typical, you can grab a sleigh ride to dinner at Beano’s Cabin.

Getting There and Around

By Plane

Denver International Airport is a 2-hour-plus drive away and has direct flights from most cities in the US. The major interstate that heads west out of Denver, the i70, can be notoriously slow in bad weather and with weekend traffic, so allow plenty of spare time if catching a flight.

Eagle County Regional Airport, is 40 minutes away and has direct flights from some major cities.

 

Transfers from Airport

Denver airport is loaded with shuttle service options, with most operating on hourly schedules until late hours. Most also have private transfers. The most well known is Colorado Mountain Expresswhich costs from $84pp one way from DIA (kids aged under 12 are half-price) for door-to-door service. It also has shuttles from Eagle.

Other transfer companies with similar or cheaper rates include:

 

Getting Around

Beaver Creek Village is easy to get around on foot. Many of the hotels are right in the village while others and many of the condo complexes are within a short walk. You can also use the resort’s free on-demand shuttle, Dial-A-Ride, that runs until midnight or the regular free shuttles that run on a dedicated route. The same options are available for access to and from Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead. If you are staying in Riverfront you’ll have to use the free Avon town buses to get to Beaver Creek Village.

When To Go

Beaver Creek usually opens at the end November until around mid-April. February is usually the most reliable month. If you can, try to avoid weekends due to day-trippers from Denver crowding the mountain.

Other holiday periods that are busy are:

  • Christmas and New Year.
  • Martin Luther King long weekend, January 17-20 (2014).
  • President’s Day long weekend, February 14-17 (2014).

Facts & Figures

Mountain Information   Lifts   Terrain    
Base Elevation 8100ft / 2469m Gondolas 2 Beginner 19%  
Summit Elevation 11,440ft / 3488m Express Quads 11 Intermediates 43%  
Vertical Drop 3340ft / 1231m Triple Chairs 2 Advanced 21%  
Skiable Area 1832ac / 741ha Double Chairs 2 Expert 12%  
Annual Snowfall 325in / 7.8m     Extreme 5%  
Longest Run 2.75 miles / 4.4km          
Snowmaking 680ac / 275ha          
Operating Hours 8.30/9am – 4.00pm          
MAGAZINE
Photo: Telluride Resort

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