In the Vail Valley you’ll find world class ski resorts, powdery snow, and breathtaking views. This article will focus on Beaver Creek Ski Resort and aim to provide a top level view of the resort as well as a few local secrets. The Inn at Riverwalk is a fantastic place to stay if you are looking for a Beaver Creek hotel that offers daily shuttles to this resort with over 150 ski runs and about 2,000 skiable acres ranging from beginner to expert. The mountain flows seamlessly from one run to the next, so you won’t often find yourself stuck on lengthy catwalks or in line for a chairlift, and due to the layout and the distance from Denver, this resort feels incredibly less trafficked , where you can frequently find yourself skiing up to empty lift lines.
Beaver Creek is perfectly laid out for skiers of all abilities. The mountain is broken up between three main villages, Beaver Creek Village, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead. Beaver Creek Village is the main and largest area of the mountain with the most ski runs and restaurants, while Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead are generally satellite starting points. All three base villages are connected via green runs for easy access. Beaver Creek is a Vail Resorts mountain and is accessible via the Epic Pass or a day pass.
Beaver Creek is an extraordinary resort with several major ski areas broken up by beginner, intermediate, and advanced runs. There are 7 major ski areas on the mountain: Rose Bowl, Larkspur Bowl, Grouse Mountain, Red Buffalo Park, Hay Meadow Park, Strawberry Park, McCoy Park, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead. For the purpose of this article we will cover only the most popular areas, Rose Bowl, Larkspur Bowl, the learning parks and Grouse Mountain.
Rose Bowl is a fan favorite. This is the easternmost area of the mountain and has an incredible variety of terrain that holds snow well and provides great skiing in all conditions.
Beginners: If you are only comfortable on green runs, this bowl is not the right place for you. If you are ready to transition to blue runs, there are some less aggressive runs here you might try. We would recommend dropping in under the large Rose Bowl Sign and staying to the left as that is the gentlest slope on this run.
Intermediate: The gently sloped meadow of this bowl (C-prime and Stonecreek Meadows) is a great place to ski or ride at the intermediate level. The left side of the bowl tends to feel more gentle and can be a great place to dust off any cobwebs if your ski legs feel rusty. The skier’s right side has some small sections with ungroomed terrain and steeper slopes to really practice for the bigger runs. This area is fun if you are a comfortable blue skier and ready to test your limits. The width of the bowl offers a lot of variety while all leading to the same base.
Advanced: Rose bowl has several advanced options. Cataract, Spider, Web, Ripsaw, and some tree runs all offer exciting, steep runs that hold great snow. These runs are locals’ favorites on a powder day.
Expert: Rose Bowl’s Stone Creek Chutes is an expert ski area suited only for, well, experts. Seasoned skiers and riders who are well-versed in the risks of the mountain can enjoy this exclusive, beautiful and raw terrain, but never venture here alone. The chutes are a variety of drop-ins all along a very steep cliff area. Skiers will often scout the cliffs and area from the bottom to identify the untouched turns for their next drop-in. The cliffs range from 4 ft to about 90 ft so it's a great place to catch that adrenaline rush. This area holds deep, luxurious, and often untouched snow. On a powder day, the chutes are an absolute playground for the mountain’s experts.
The most popular bowl on the resort, Larkspur provides an unbelievably wide ski area that is a blast for all ranges of skiers. Additionally, the views from the top of this bowl are the best in the resort and provide a fantastic photo op. There is a variety of terrain available and it is a must-ski location. If you are coming from the main resort, the bowl is accessed via Red Tail, a popular blue run which can become icy on a busy day.
Beginners: The center of Larkspur Bowl contains no green runs, however you can essentially circumnavigate the bowl by taking the beautiful tree-lined green run called Primrose and connect to Beaver Creek Expressway to have an easy jaunt from the top of Larkspur Express lift all the way back to the base of the lift.
Intermediate: This is an intermediate skier’s paradise. The bowl’s face is wide open and a comfortable yet exciting slope that allows for you to either zip down quickly or slowly “S” your way down. Locals will tell you that the middle and the right sides of the bowl are the best place to focus to easily avoid the other skiers. Additionally, this bowl has four black runs coming in from the sides of it, all accessible from Larkspur Express Lift. If you’re looking to explore your first black, consider trying Lupine. It’s short enough that you’ll have your first black over with relatively quickly.
Advanced: The four black runs accessible from Larkspur Express Lift offer different views, bumps and lengths. Lupine, Shooting Star, Loco and Yarrow all hold awesome snow and are must-hit locations on a powder day.
Expert: The far skiers left of this bowl holds some aspen trees that are a total blast. The run is labeled as three tree gully, and anywhere in this forest holds prime time snow buried deep among the sacred aspen trees. Ultra fun run to catch some tree time while skiing with mixed level groups.
The Learning Parks: Haymeadow Park, Red Buffalo Park, McCoy Park (new)
Beaver Creek is a unique mountain in that it’s suitable for beginners and even offers a full progression of learning parks so you can see larger swaths of the mountain without getting stuck on a run you’re not ready to take.