Updated: May 26
Copper Mountain in Colorado was probably my favorite mountain to ski at. This was the only mountain we visited that we had to go back to because we didn't get to cover everything that we wanted on the first day that we went. Out of all of the mountains, I would say that this one is the most well-rounded for people who have a variety of ski abilities. The mountain is sectioned so that people learning to ski have their own side, while more advanced people can move further up the mountain.
This mountain has 155 trails to choose from and 23 chairlifts that take you all over the mountain. There are just over 2,500 acres of skiing here, and it's beautiful. I like the chairlifts because they all have staggered opening and closing times, allowing the mountain to be swept at the end of the day. The three bears chair at the very back of the mountain is the earliest to close to allow skiers to get out of the extreme expert double diamond terrain. The other chair lifts close at 3 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4 PM. This allows you to get to where you may have parked your car and keep exploring the mountain for a while longer.
This mountain is known for its Woodward Parks. If you don't know what that is, they are terrain parks that allow you to do a superpipe, jumps, and rails. They have the best sequence of progression parks that I've ever seen at a mountain. If you have a child or yourself who wants to get into park skiing, they have the best-equipped runs to help you get up to the level of doing spins and tricks. The smaller progression parks have boxes built into the snow, so there is no way to fall off them, which is a great learning tool for someone who has never been on a box but would love to learn.
They have a wide variety of groomed and mogul trails for blue trails and black and double black diamonds. One of my favorite trails was the Triple Zero because it was fast and had two sides, moguls, and groomed for when your legs got tired.
My fiance enjoyed Tucker Mountain, which is the backside of Copper. It offers to lift access to the peak of 12,421ft. All of the trails over there are extreme double black diamonds. You can get out of the bowl using the blackjack chair. The blackjack chair was a little scary for me the first time I went on it. It is a double chair with no bar. I've never been on a chairlift that didn't have a safety bar, so experiencing one where I just had to hold onto the side was a little nerve-racking, even though I'm not afraid of heights. When the wind started to blow, I would get a little nervous that I would fall off the chairlift, but I did not.
I loved the woods trails the mountain had to offer, and there was so much powder in the woods that was pretty much untouched. Most people are not skiing in the woods, so you get a lot of fresh, impressive tracks. It is rare to get fresh tracks through powder on the East Coast.
We had lunch the first day at a restaurant in the center village called Downhill Dukes. This restaurant had a full bar; however, few options if you had an allergy. I couldn't get a sandwich or a burger because all of their buns contained dairy. So they just gave me a piece of fried chicken on a plate, and between my fiancé and I, we spent $100 there. I was just a little disappointed because if you don't have the options to make the meal for someone, it should be discounted a little bit, considering I couldn't have half of the things in the dish. I will say that their margaritas were terrific, and they are very dog friendly. They will give your dog water and have dog treats available for sale.
On the second day that we were skiing on the mountain, we had lunch mid-mountain. We went to the Solitude Station, which has the most beautiful little chapel outside it. There were so many food options at this location, and I found it amazing. They also accepted the Ikon pass discount, which allowed four of us to have lunch for under $100. So if you have a pass and you're planning to ski and eat at the mountain, I recommend going to one of the restaurants that will accept your pass a discount because it makes a huge difference when trying to budget. They had everything from salads to burgers to fries and chicken tenders and various drinks. It would be the perfect place to bring children, and you also don't have to go all the way to the bottom of the mountain, which is nice. If you are still adjusting to the altitude, it could be hard to eat here because it is around 10,000 ft.
The village at Copper Mountain was one of the best villages I've seen. They had everything from a post office to the grocery store to multiple restaurants. We did not get the chance to explore all the villages because there were so many. The central village is where we chose the park for $30 a day, and I would highly recommend that because the other paid parking we were told was $10 an hour. I know that doesn't make sense, and I never really knew where that other parking was, so we paid the $30. They have a lot of free parking and shuttle access to bring you to whatever village you are trying to ski at.
The West Village allows better access to the beginner terrain on the mountain. They also have cross country and snowshoe trails in the West Village. There are a lot of smaller lifts and carpets to take people up the mountain. It also seems to be where most of the ski school takes place at the mountain.
The East Village has no beginner access off of the lifts near it. There are many more advanced and intermediate trails on that side of the mountain. The East Village also has the tubing hill, which looked so epic, and when we go back, I would love to check that out. They had the most lanes for tubing that I've seen, and it looks like so much fun. We didn't really get to experience what was in the East Village but just knowing where you park should be more based on your ability and what trails you were trying to access if you were not parking in the free parking area.
The mountain is vast, and their villages are too!
For lodging, you can see my blog about Georgetown, Colorado. This is where we chose to stay because it was more centrally located to multiple mountains rather than just one. We initially tried to ski at Copper Mountain, Keystone Mountain, and Arapaho, although we did not ski at Keystone. It was much cheaper for us to stay in Georgetown and drive 35 minutes to the other mountains.
Check out Copper Mountain: https://www.coppercolorado.com