Keystone, a ski town belonging to Summit County, is a prime destination for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether summer, winter, or the rest of the year, it offers holiday-goers an array of activities to quench their thirst for adventure. Add great natural views in the background and you already have the makings of a perfect countryside vacation.
Ready for a wild adventure? Check out this list of the most exciting things you can do in Keystone!
1. Keystone Resort
Especially popular during wintertime, the Keystone Resort in Colorado is the largest ski facility in Summit County. It spans three mountains, namely Dercum Mountain, North Peak and the Outback, which are all connected by ski lifts and gondolas. The resort also has five skiing bowls: South Bowl, North Bowl, Bergman, Erickson, and Independence. They offer skiing activities for all levels. Another thing to look forward to when visiting Keystone Resort is the night skiing trails illuminated with floodlights! This activity can be done after sunset until 9 pm. Meanwhile, during summer, you can still enjoy the resort with activities such as mountain biking.
2. Arapahoe Basin
For alpine skiing or downhill skiing, the place to go is Arapahoe Basin in the Rocky Mountains area. From the 1940s, when it was first established, the resort now features over 105 trails and eight ski lifts placed within 960 acres (388.5 hectares) of skiable area. Also known as A-Basin, they accommodate guests in three day lodges with a cafeteria, a bar, and a coffee bar. The season runs for an extended period of time, usually until June or early July, compared to other ski resorts that typically close during April.
3. Loveland Ski Area
Loveland Ski Area is composed of two parts: the Loveland Basin and the Loveland Valle. Located at a height of 13,010 feet (3,965 meters), it is one of Colorado’s highest skiing areas. It can be accessed by a bus service. With its proximity to Denver and Front Range, it has become a favorite among the locals. Although there is no on-site lodging available, they have inexpensive lift tickets, especially during the midweek. The ski resort is part of the Arapahoe National Forest and it is open from October through May.
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A winter playground for kids, Kidtopia is an annual festival featuring daily workshops, games, and other snow-filled activities. One of its main highlights is the Snow Fort, the largest snow fort in the world, which is equipped with slides, mazes, and lots of photo opportunities. Meanwhile, at the Kidtopia Headquarters, kids can enjoy board games, foosball, face painting, and an arts and crafts session. Every Saturday during the festival, they have firework displays that are visible from Lakeside Village and River Run Village.
5. Keystone Bike Park
Summer is the best time to visit Keystone if you are into mountain biking. Keystone Bike Park, for instance, offers lots of exciting downhill rides with over 55 trails for beginner, intermediate, and expert cyclists. Convenient, especially for travelers coming from far away places, they also have bike rentals, helmets, and safety equipment. Trails are lined with rock gardens, as well as drops and high-speed features that make the ride more exhilarating. For more relaxed cyclists, they can choose to go on a cruiser ride or bike along a paved biking trail.
6. Ranch Golf Course
A classic countryside golfing experience awaits guests at Keystone Golf Course, located just off the Keystone Ranch Road. Around the course are meadows and lakes that provide a great backdrop as you play. If you’re just a budding golf enthusiast, you can do a run-through of your shots on their practice greens and practice bunkers. Included in the facilities is a clubhouse with locker rooms and a golf shop. They also offer food and drinks, as well as cocktails that you can enjoy as you watch the sunset after a long day of golfing.
7. Keystone Stables
For a complete countryside experience, head over to Keystone Stables and meet their well-trained horses or take a horseback riding trip up in the mountains. The most ideal time to visit is from early June to early September, when the weather is still warm and sunny. For regular guided tours, riders must be 8 years old and above. However, you can also request a pony ride for younger kids. Aside from the ride, kids will also enjoy watching the horses as they are groomed. Tip: wear long pants and closed-toe shoes for a more comfortable horseback ride.
8. Old Dillon Reservoir
Old Dillon Reservoir is one of the locals’ favorite destinations when it comes to hiking and biking. The circuit runs for a total of 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers), and is filled with wild roses, especially from late June to July. The trail is gentle, ideal even for beginners and leisure hikers. It offers a view of the reservoir and the surrounding mountains, but most people really come here for the pond that reflects Buffalo Mountain. Tip: the best time to go here is two hours before sunset when the light creates a golden reflection.
9. River Run Village
River Run Village, located at the heart of Keystone, is known for its real estate developments like apartments and condominium complexes. It is also home to boutique shops, ski shops, restaurants, and a small market, all within walking distance of each other. Throughout the year, the village serves as the main venue of community events such as Keystone Wine Festival in July, the Bluegrass and Beer Festival in August, and Betty Fest and Mardi Gras, each held in February. Some of the shops you will find here include The North Face, Snack Shack, and Christy Sports.
10. Ski Tip Lodge Restaurant
For a taste of authentic Colorado cuisine, a meal at the Ski Tip Lodge Restaurant, located on Montezuma Road, is a must for every traveler coming to town. The restaurant is housed inside the old home of Keystone’s founding family, characterized by low ceilings and exposed wood beams from the 1800s. It is considered as one of the country’s top restaurants, with a four-course menu and signature dishes like lamb chops and trout with lemon risotto. In fact, it bagged the sixth spot on OpenTable’s best restaurant list.
An adventure in Keystone
Keystone is an ideal vacation destination with family and friends. From skiing in winter to trekking in summer, you have an array of activities to keep your hands, your body, and your mind occupied!
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