A Ski Safari visiting all Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass ski areas in Colorado is fun, all four resorts are in near proximity to each other, each offers “epic” ski terrain. These ski resorts – each iconic, represent the beginning of the conglomerate Vail Resorts that now owns over 30 ski areas around the globe. This is where it all started. This Colorado ski tour starts with under two-hours drive west from Denver airport on the infamous I70:
Denver – Keystone – 1:45 Hours
Keystone – Breckenridge – 20 Minutes
Breckenridge – Vail – 50 Minutes
Vail – Beaver Creek – 15 Minutes
Beaver Creek – Denver – 2:20 to Denver (or 30 Minutes to Eagle Airport)
This Ski Safari we recommend driving, renting a car, preferably four-wheel drive or you will need chains for the snowy Vail Pass.
We suggest you bring your own skis, snowboard, since renting ski equipment at each resort is time consuming and expensive.
Definitely buy your Epic Pass in advance, the earlier the better, like April before the next season, for about $900 versus buying tickets at Vail for up to $275 a day.
Keystone is just 1 ¾ hours from Denver (DEN). Keystone is great for your first stop, your first ski day, even arrival day skiing. Keystone has gentle terrain on the front side – very family-friendly, and beautiful views of your next stop- Breck! Keystone as a resort has plenty of lodging in its River Run base village, and in the surrounding town, plus more-affordable lodging options in nearby Frisco and Silverthorne. We’d suggest at least one day to ski Keystone’s 3,000-acres of terrain at high elevation, up to 11,980’. You can spend an overnight in the Keystone area – or drive toward Breckenridge – your next stop.
Of note: Keystone also has night skiing, if you still have stamina. See our Review of Keystone skiing.
Breckenridge is a big ski area, the busiest in North America. But with 5 peaks, #10-6, there’s plenty to ski from long mellow boulevards near the base areas, to upper high alpine above-tree line ungroomed adventurous terrain. Breckenridge offers Colorado’s highest elevation lift-served skiing in North America at 12,840′, its wild and windy up at the summit, hence the nickname “Breck-n-wind” and “Breckenfridge.” Breck also has great terrain parks. We love Breck’s on mountain lodging – Beaver Run, Valdora, Grand Timber. Breck’s fun western-style downtown is great for après ski and shopping. A review of skiing Breckenridge where you can easily spend a few days on your ski safari before heading just an hour Breck to Vail– the flagship of Epic resorts.
Vail is one of the most perfect ski resorts we’ve skied. And Vail village is a beautiful replica of an Alps village with chalet lodging, brick pedestrian streets and plenty of après ski options. You’ll want to ski Vail for a few days, preferably midweek as Vail gets epic crowds some weekends! Vail has so much ideal terrain – over 5,000-acres, from the well-pitched, but not too steep, front side to the immense open above-tree-line Back Bowls which are legendary. Views of the Gore Range are extraordinary, and you can ski for miles from Gondola One to the 11,570’ summit to Eagles’ Nest to Lions Head village. Vail has so many lodging options, from the slopeside Lodge at Vail, to the traditional Sitzmark in Vail village, and the Tivoli Lodge or Manor Vail. At Lions Head, Arabelle, Westin, and Hythe are all walk to the slopes options. Across I 70 are more affordable condo options, also in West Vail. See our review of Vail.
Beaver Creek is just 15 minutes from Vail, in the town of Avon. We love Beaver Creek for its fewer crowds (especially compared to Breck and Vail), long fall line trails and perfect planned ski village. Beaver Creek also has challenge from Grouse Mountain’s bumps runs, to the Birds of Prey downhill course. The Beav’ is like Vail’s smart little sister, not as huge, but still fun to ski, and it’s a bit more posh with its Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch area and upscale homes and hotels. See our Beaver Creek ski review. Enjoy Beaver Creek for a few days before heading back to Denver (2 hours 20 minutes) or fly out of Eagle Vail 30 minutes away.
How’s that for an EPIC ski trip on your Epic Pass at Vail’s original ski areas?!
See more Ski Safaris
and our Guide to Top Ski Destinations
Top New England Ski Resorts for Families
Top Western Ski Resorts for Families
Top Family Ski Resorts in Utah
Top Canada Ski Resorts for Families
Top European Ski Resorts for Families