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.
  • Dusty Boot Steakhouse has the best happy hour specials and great food.

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 hosts numerous World Cup downhill races) 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 Skiing

Beaver Creek is made up of 3 mountains worth of terrain to explore - Beaver Creek itself, Grouse Mountain, and Arrowhead - each with a different variety of options to ski depending on your ability level. At Beaver Creek, you can find a plether of terrain for beginners, and the Buckaroo Gondola provides easy access to beginner-only trails from right at the top of the mountain. Specific family and slow zones means first-timers feel a little more comfortable on the slopes, and families appreciate the non-hoon area. One will fall in love with the perfectly groomed corduroy also at Beaver Creek.

The terrain at Beaver Creek is below the tree line, meaning plenty of options for fantastic tree skiing and fresh tracks. Particularly at Grouse Mountain, where the entire resort area is dedicated to advanced / expert skiers and snowboarders. Over 26,000 feet of vertical across black and double-black diamond runs make up the mountain, and you can find plenty of hidden tree skiing in the Stickline glades. Stone Creek area also caters to the expert skier, with knuckle-biting cliffs and chutes, and 45 degree pitches to dig your edges into. A short hike provides access to some fun side and backcountry, with runs that feed back into the resort area.

Intermediates will enjoy the progressive terrain, and Beaver Creek is a fun mountain for freeskiers. 3 terrain parks are a major highlight at Beaver Creek.

Beaver Creek has upped the ante when it comes to chairlift infrastructure, with 11 quad chairs that provide a super fast and smooth ride to the top of the mountain, plus 2 gondolas. There are generally no lift lines to endure, meaning non-crowded slopes for the whole family, and fresh lines that can be found well into the afternoon.

Beaver Creek For Families

Beaver Creek has really well developed amenities catering to families. The majority of the facilities are situated in the main village (Beaver Creek), with limited amenities in both neighbouring villages Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead. Compared to other resorts in Colorado, Beaver Creek tends to err on the more expensive side in regards to ski lessons, rentals, childcare, food, etc, however the standard and quality of the services provided are worth the extra penny. Families will appreciate the multiple rental locations (oh, the convenience!), the Small World Child Care centre (with full-day options), and full day kids ski lessons. Beaver Creek's ski school has a great reputation, and wonderful set-up, and in a good located at the main village.

There are several accommodation bases to choose from at Beaver Creek, but we'd recommend the main base area. Staying in Riverfront or Arrowhead areas does have direct access to the mountain but it is a longer commute to the main amenities. The village is well designed so most of the accommodation is super close to the slopes and amenities, and a large proportion are ski-in/ski-out - perfect for families that want some extra convenience.

One thing to note at Beaver Creek, is that it is incredibly well suited to families. Easy pedestrian access from your accommodation to the main restaurant and bar area, and impressively, almost all the restaurants have a kids menu (even the find dining options). 

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. 

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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

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.

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 Express, which 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:

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 13-15 (2018).
  • President’s Day long weekend, February 17-19 (2018).

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          
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