Beaver Creek Review

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Beaver Creek is the newest ski resort in Colorado, having been built in the 80’s. It’s very close to its parent resort Vail — only 10 miles away, but that distance is just enough to keep it completely separate, less crowded, and gives it a slightly different vibe.

Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek, February 2021

Bachelor Gulch at Beaver Creek, February 2021


Real Vertical ? 3,340′, Rank: 14
Size 2082 Acres, Rank: 42
Annual Snowfall ? 325″ claimed / 325″ actual, Rank: 35
Lift Pods ? 14, Rank: 10
Distinct Trails ? 167, Rank: 8
Review Date 1990-2021
Number of visits 4
Our Rating ★★★
Resort website
Beaver Creek Trail Map 21/22

Beaver Creek Trail Map 21/22

Beaver Creek Review

I first skied Beaver Creek in 1990, only 10 years after it opened. We went back in 2008, 2010, and 2021 and it had really grown to a major stand-alone resort.

We like to ski the resort from right to left, starting the morning at Arrowhead, which has some of the best long groomers on the mountain, and working our way east through the groomers of Bachelor Gulch, Elkhorn, and Strawberry park before lunch at the village.

Birds of Prey terrain seen from Grouse Mountain at Beaver Creek, February 2021

Birds of Prey terrain seen from Grouse Mountain at Beaver Creek, February 2021

After lunch, the more advanced terrain on Grouse Mountain and the Birds of Prey lift are our usual destinations. If it’s a powder day or the snow is still deep and soft, we may even hit the Stone Creek chutes, which offer some of the steepest terrain the resort has.

Beaver Creek was completely planned from the very beginning using modern design concepts, so the trails are never straight-cut affairs down the fall line, but rather more natural looking meandering journeys down the mountain. It is a unique situation to have the entire resort built this way, since most other resorts were built in the 60’s and 70’s when design standards were different.

Dog Sledding near Beaver Creek

Dog Sledding near Beaver Creek

The good

  • The unique trail layout makes for an interesting experience.
  • Parking is much easier (and free!) than at Vail.
  • Less crowded than Vail.
  • Terrain ability levels tend to be fairly well separated between different lifts.
  • Lift network is excellent with almost all high-speed lifts.  Each lift serves a distinct ski pod.
  • They have a large snowmaking system.
  • Nice village area.
  • Free cookies!
Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek

AiRung skiing the Stone Creek Chutes at Beaver Creek

The bad

  • Expensive!
  • Not much else bad to say about the place other than the lack of any high alpine terrain. Vail suffers from the same problem, but without the wide-open bowls that Vail has, this holds Beaver Creek back a bit more. There just isn’t that much feeling that you are in the serious mountains, but rather are just enjoying a pleasant jaunt through the forest.
Beaver Creek powder day, February 2021

Beaver Creek powder day, February 2021

The bottom line

Beaver Creek is a world-class luxury experience and we will definitely go back next time we go to Vail. It’s a really fun place to spend a day, and is a pleasant break from the crowds at Vail.

One thought on “Beaver Creek Review

  1. robbieA

    Beaver is my number one ski area in NA. i have skied almost every year for the past 20. It is so not Vail. Much a different vibe. Not a day trippers place. More families and more non-North Americans staying for a week. As a result, ski school is huge. Thus, the base area of Centennial can be a zoo in the morning. Once all the kids are in school the parents lap the front side till noon. Then school is out and it is lunch with the kids. In the Afternoon the place empties and real vertical can be sought!


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