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Arapahoe Basin Colorado

Arapahoe Basin is called "The Legend" to many Coloradans, and A-Basin to rest, best heralded for the longest ski seasons in North America, averaging 233 days open from October to June. Arapahoe is typically the first ski resort to open for skiing - October 21, 2016! A Basin offers 960 acres of skiing and a scenic above tree-line summit of 12,472’ with amazing 360 degree view of the Colorado Rockies.  You can see nearby Colorado ski resorts of Breckenridge and Keystone in the near distance.

Arapahoe is a friendly old-school ski area with one central base at elevation of 10,780' on Loveland Pass. Arapahoe has steep snowy terrain from its summit but the front side offers a nice mix of groomed blues off the new detachable Black Mountain Express quad chairlift. From the top of this lift you can access the upper mountain Lenawee triple or the old school Norway Double to Pallavicini, or stop to enjoy a snack break at the beautiful Black Mountain Lodge.

For families, the improved Pika Place is perfect for beginners and kids with a magic carpet and mini terrain park just steps from the base area. Two higher terrain parks, Treeline TP and High Divide parks are popular with the next gen of free skiers and snowboarders. If your kids are just starting to go off piste, A Basin has lots of snowy natural runs and bowls that are easy to get to, and test their mettle in Land of the Giants, The East and West Gully, and The Wall.

Arapahoe Basin has expanded into Montezuma Bowl on the backside for even more double black extreme chutes like End Zone, Elephant Trunk and Max that drop off Zuma Cornice, plus a few blues that bring you to the new backside fixed grip Zuma quad lift, or a bit of a hoof on the Hike Back Trail if you ski beyond Montezuma's Revenge or Lightning Traverse.

Arapahoe Basin gets plenty of snow, about 350' annually, the ski area is an alpine classic, opened in 1946, and more affordable than bigger resort-style ski neighbors. For lodging when you are skiing Arapahoe Basin, look to stay at nearby Keystone or Breckenridge which have both built tons of lodging beds, hotels and condos, since there is no on mountain lodging at Arapahoe - National Forest. You might ski Arapahoe Basin on you arrival day into Denver before your ski week at Vail, Breck, Keystone and Beaver Creek or on your flight. Be warned, the A Basin natives tend to throw big parties in the parking lot - its a ski area beach on sunny spring days with drinking, bbqs, beach chairs and lots of beer. Good times, not always G Rated.

Arapahoe Basin Stats: 109 trails, 8 lifts, 960 acres, 12,472' elevation, 2,270' vertical includes 13,050' hike to summit elevation.

Arapahoe Basin Photo Gallery

All Stories by Heather Burke
All Photography by Greg Burke
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