Copper Mountain

Located 75 miles west of Denver off I-70, Copper Mountain Ski Resort encompasses three ski hills, each with its own accompanying village that features lodging, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, events and more. Beloved by locals and guests alike, many people feel that Copper Mountain ski resort offers the most thoughtful and convenient skiing in Summit County and beyond. It’s three mountains are divided naturally by terrain appropriate for beginners, intermediate and advanced and skiers and boarders. Resort designers have strategically placed the kinds of accompanying services and features to match terrain ratings. For example, the Copper Ski & Ride school can be found at the trails rated for beginners, while advanced skiers are closest to The Speed Center, a training areas for U.S. Ski and Snowboarding athletes that’s also open to the public. And while the resort offers the kinds of amenities that vacationers adore ranging from swift chairs and lifts, lodging options for all budgets, fine and family dining and a spa and athletic club, it’s the laid-back vibe that attracts visitors time and time again. Copper Mountain Ski Resort engenders love and affection through its many free activities. Daily snowshoe tours are popular as are the ski hour you can spend with a Dillon Ranger to learn more about the White River National Forest, its history, geography, botany and wildlife. Using your own pair, ice skating on West Lake is free, and broomball and curling gear is available for your use too. But perhaps the most treasured free Copper Mountain winter activity is no-charge CAT skiing. On a first-come, first-served basis, advanced skiers and boarders are transported to the fresh powder at Copper Bowl and Tucker Mountain. The snowcats provide access to more than 273 acres and 12,000 vertical feet of the resort’s back bowls. 

Copper Mountain Ski Resort: Facts and Statistics

For the detail-minded lovers of nuts and bolts statistics, Copper Mountain ski resort provides 2,490 acres of skiable terrain with a base elevation of 9,712 feet (2,926 meters) and a summit height of 12,313 feet (3,767 meters). Its vertical drop is 2,601 feet (793 meters). Twenty-three chairlifts (of every imaginable configuration) transport 32,324 skiers and riders per hour. The wide variety of terrain is among the huge draws here with 21 percent of trails rated for beginners, 25 percent intermediate, 36 percent advanced and 18 percent expert. The resort’s longest run, Collage, measures 1.7 miles (2.73 kilometers).

Copper Mountain Ski Resort History

Like other Summit County towns, the area where Copper Mountain ski resort currently resides became an active gold mining location in the mid- to late-1880s. It experienced a decided lack of fortune, and Judge S. Wheeler founded the first town based on the lumber needed to support mine structures and housing in nearby towns. Occupied by miners, loggers, fur traders and prospectors, the area became known as Wheeler Junction (among other names). It was home to a stage coach stop and, later, a rail line. Over the intervening decades various families used the land for sheep herding and recreation. In 1954 Paul Hauk, District Forest Service Ranger, recommended the valley for ski area development, and investment groups began to develop and discuss the possibilities. Flash forward to 1971 when the resort’s founder, Chuck Lewis, purchased 280 base-level acres. Working with the National Forest Service, initial construction began on the ski trails, and over many years the ski resort became the well-regarded recreation area that locals and visitors from around the world enjoy today. 

More Things to Love at Copper Mountain Ski Resort

Fans of Copper Mountain ski resort love its ability-defined natural terrain, and they also report swift chairlift rides and fewer crowds than other ski areas in the county. Woodward Copper, a year round action sports training facility, uses ramps, trampolines and jumps, many of which land in soft foam pits that add fun to adventure recreation. Beginning in the 2011/2012 season, the U.S. Ski Team selected Copper Mountain as a training facility and later opened The Speed Center, a 2-mile trail that drops 2,300 feet. Skiers and boarders from around the world come to Copper early in the season, and notable pros including Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin train and compete here. But everyone with advanced snow sports ability can test their mettle at The Speed Center where private dreams of skiing stardom become public in the most entertaining ways possible.