Beaver Creek Lifts & Terrain

Beaver Creek Lifts & Terrain

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

Our Terrain Ratings

Powderhound rating = advanced/expert terrain + powder + freshies + uncrowded

  • Vertical (ft)
    8,100 – 11,440 (3,340)
  • Average Snow Fall
    325 inches
  • Lifts (24)
    2 gondolas
    1 chondola
    13 high speed quads
  • Ski Season
    late Nov - mid Apr
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 167
    Longest run – 2.75mi
    Beginner - 19%
    Intermediate - 42%
    Advanced/Expert - 39%

Ski Beaver Creek CO - Terrain

One would expect the Beaver to be fluffy, so you could be excused for thinking that Beaver Creek only has ski terrain for beginners and intermediates. Sure the Beaver Creek Resort has immaculately groomed green and blue trails, but it also has some steep-ish black and double black piste, and tree skiing. There is a little more steep terrain compared to nearby Vail which only has a miniscule amount of expert terrain, but experts shouldn’t get too excited. Beaver Creek Resort is a far cry from the steeps of Crested Butte, Silverton Mountain or Snowbird and it lacks in the variety stakes.

Beaver Creek Resort is below the treeline and spread across five mountains. Beaver Creek Mountain has a range of terrain including the steep “Birds of Prey” World Cup downhill racing course. Grouse Mountain is largely black and double black terrain, including tree runs and bumps that will challenge your skills and the cartilage in your knees. Arrowhead Mountain is short and relatively mellow and drops down to the Arrowhead Village, and the traversing required to get to and from Arrowhead is a little tiresome. On the plus side, the distance of Arrowhead from the main Beaver Creek Village tends to make it very quiet. The adjacent Bachelor Gulch Mountain also offers mellow terrain and it drops down to the Bachelor Gulch Village. The small Larkspur Mountain offers blue and single black trails.

Beaver Creek Lifts

Beaver Creek Resort has two gondolas. One is just a short access gondola from the Riverfront Village and the other is also short and accesses the tubing area and one of the ski school learning areas. Beaver Creek Resort also has a chondola (combination of gondolas and 6-pack chairs). The majority of the terrain is serviced by 12 high speed quad chairs, which are very impressive. There are only a couple of fixed grip chair lifts, which you’ll rarely need to get on.

Lift Tickets

Single day lift tickets purchased at the window have seen a significant price hike in the past decade, and like the other Vail Resorts, they are amongst the most expensive in the country.

If you’re skiing or snowboarding for more than 6 days, an Epic Pass makes things much more affordable. The Epic Pass is also valid at Breckenridge, Vail, and Keystone plus a raft of other ski resorts outside of Colorado.

Beaver Creek Snow

Beaver Creek CO receives an average of 325 inches (8.2 metres) of snow per season, which is pretty average for a Colorado ski resort. Like a few other nearby ski resorts, they participate in cloud seeding to try to get more snowfall; a technique that is thought to increase the amount of snow from each storm by about 10 percent.

Like elsewhere in Colorado the snowfall tends to come in smaller amounts with lot of sunny days in between.

The quality of the Beaver Creek snow up high is fairly typical of Colorado, and many of the slopes are north facing which helps to maintain the condition of the powder. What Beaver Creek doesn’t have going for it is elevation. The base of Beaver Creek Village is only 8,100 feet (2,469 metres) which is the number that the resort cites as the base elevation statistic, however the base of Arrowhead is even lower at 7,400 feet (2,255 metres), and some of the skiways continue even further down the hill. Other than Steamboat, this is the lowest base area elevation of the Colorado ski resorts. Beaver Creek relies heavily on snowmaking, and 31% of the terrain has the capability for manmade snow.

Beaver Creek CO is renowned for its grooming although we found a lack of grinding, with the highly trafficked lower slopes being rather icy. Beaver Creek Resort groom some slopes during the day which is well appreciated by lots of beginners and intermediates. The snowcat groomers travel in packs and they have their sirens blaring. The warning sound is probably necessary for safety, but it sort of destroys the peaceful skiing ambience!


Beaver Creek tends to not get the same crowds as Vail Ski Resort or the Summit County ski resorts. Lift lines are generally not as long and the piste runs are not congested. However this doesn’t mean that BC is a quiet ski resort where powder hounds can run fresh lines all day. Beaver Creek is still easily accessible from Denver for a day trip, and considering the cheap season pass, a powder day can bring the hordes, particularly on weekends. The lift queues in the morning can be long and the steep slopes can become moguls by 9:30am.

Ski Beaver Creek – Beginners

Beaver Creek has a large variety of terrain for beginners. Staying in the Beaver Creek Village is ideal for beginners because most of the terrain is situated above the main hub, although Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead also have some beginner trails. Very short baby slopes and lots of magic carpets for kids’ ski school are situated at the Beaver Creek base.

The next progression is runs off the Haymeadow Gondola which beginners really appreciate because they don’t need to get on and off a chair lift.

The bulk of the beginners’ terrain is positioned at the summit with dedicated slow/family zones where novices can practise without being disturbed by hoons. McCoy Park is another great spot for beginners with its own lift that almost exclusively services green runs.

More confident beginners can explore the myriad of trails that snake around various parts of the ski resort.

Intermediate Skiing Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek also has very good terrain for intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The piste around Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead Mountain are delightfully cruisy, whilst the main parts of the ski resort have a range of wide tree lined trails. Larkspur is a fave for speedsters but you’ll have to pull the brakes on towards the bottom. The Centennial express lift also has various intermediate runs, but a couple of the runs vary in ability level so less confident intermediates will need to scoot around cat tracks to stay on blue trails.

Terrain Parks

Beaver Creek Resort has pulled back on its terrain park offerings, so if you’re looking for pro sized jumps and pipes, then head to Keystone or Breckenridge. BC caters reasonably well to beginner parkies and those looking for medium sized hits.

Skiing Beaver Creek – Advanced

Grouse Mountain is a dedicated zone for experienced riders with its black and double black runs. Many of the trails are named after birds, but you might not be able to fly down these runs because they’re typically covered in big moguls. The double black runs aren’t super steep and most advanced riders will be able to tackle these, but the degree of challenge depends on the size of the bumps. Powder hounds will probably have more fun in the trees in this area, although the trees track out reasonably quickly too.

The Rose Bowl Express chair provides a few black diamond runs that are worth a try, and the Stickline glades can be plenty of fun.

The Birds of Prey lift services the double black Golden Eagle trail which is home to the World Cup Birds of Prey downhill course. It’s pretty steep and it’s beyond me how anyone can actually race down it even when it’s groomed! The Birds of Prey lift also offers some speedy groomed single blacks and good tree skiing, although in parts the trees are pretty tight and really only suited to expert riders.

Expert Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Beaver Creek seems to have attracted a reputation for being a bit soft; perhaps it’s the upscale nature of the place and the cookies being handed out that has an influence on people’s perceptions??! Beaver Creek isn’t super gnarly, but the rep isn’t fully warranted.

The Stone Creek area provides 180 acres of expert terrain that is categorised as extreme due to the presence of cliff bands. Huck the cliffs if you’re into launching, or just enjoy the chutes and 45 degree pitches. The lines are very sweet but are over way too soon.

Beaver Creek also has some good backcountry and slackcountry that can be accessed with a short hike. The terrain feeds back into drainages inside the resort. Unfortunately it’s not possible to formally get a guide because of resort politics. Another shortcoming can be that the backcountry gates at the top of the mountain are often closed.