Updated: May 26
Arapahoe basin ski area is a beautiful mountain. The bowls that you can see here are breathtaking to look at. If you are not an advanced skier, I wouldn't recommend the mountain. The peak of the Arapahoe basin sits at 13,050 feet. The mountain has 9 lifts and 145 runs.
There seems to be much hiking in the mountain to get up to the peaks. There is no lift access to the very top of the mountain. The basin is extreme double black diamonds. We did not get the chance to experience hiking up the mountain because it is spring skiing, and we were just not prepared to do so.
They were also many trails on the mountain that looked amazing but did not lead back to a chair lift, and their trail map clearly states that you will need to hike about 30 minutes back to where the lift is. So if you are extremely fit and love to hike, this would be the mountain for you.
Like many mountains in Colorado, they have a backside of the mountain. This has only one lift that will bring you back up to the top. I highly recommend that you do not go past the lift on the backside if you don't like to hike.
Unlike many mountains, they have free parking, but they are extremely popular seven days a week, so you must get there early to get a parking spot. It doesn't matter if you have a ski pass or not; once the parking lot is full, they will not allow you to come to the mountain. We were very fortunate to get there at a time or park in the early riser parking, which had lift access right in front of our car.
Though the mountain does have some beginner and intermediate terrain, I would consider it more of an advanced mountain because of the number of trails they offer. A majority of the terrain that is fun is extreme double black diamonds. There are blue trails higher up the mountain and are also extremely steep, so if you are from the East Coast and this is your first time skiing out west, remember that not all trails are created equal. Some intermediate trails would've been considered expert trails in the east.
I want to come back to the Arapahoe basin when I'm more physically prepared to be skiing the kinds of runs that the mountain offers. If you were not prepared, the 2500 foot vertical drop at the mountain would be no joke. Watching others do it was amazing and made me want to do everything in my power to get ready to do it as well.
You get seven days at this mountain with the Ikon pass, so use them wisely and get there early.
We will be visiting here again!