Beaver Creek, Colorado Is a Year-Round Destination

Intimate and welcoming, this resort town surprises with its elegance.
Beaver Creek Village offers shopping, cafes, skating, and more. Photograph Courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort

Run by the same parent company as Vail, Beaver Creek is a slightly smaller and more accessible alternative with elevations just as high. Lighter crowds make it simple to navigate, and helpful folks are in large supply, providing warm encounters. Surprising activities abound, no matter the season. Of course, there’s an enormous mountain waiting to be conquered—the summit is 11,440 feet—but visitors can also stroll through the village, tuck in for gourmet meals, and see world-class performers in an intimate setting.


The draw to Beaver Creek is the mountain, which has 167 trails, 24 lifts, three base areas, and about 325 inches of snow annually. It’s a good resort for the whole family, as there are plenty of options for beginning and intermediate skiers and snowboarders. It’s less famous than Vail, but that probably means shorter lift lines (lift tickets are $208 in advance for one day; discounts apply for multiple days and for seniors). Options for ski-in, ski-out lodging are plentiful here.

Tip from a Local

“What I love about Beaver Creek is that it’s just as good in the summer and winter. Different aspects, but beautiful all year.”

—Jess Roth, Denver native who learned to ski at age 2 and later moved to Beaver Creek


The Pines Lodge, with ski-in access, makes for a rustic yet luxurious stay, a short walk from Beaver Creek Village. The heated outdoor pool and hot tub offer a relaxing respite at the end of a day on the mountain. The free local shuttle provides an easy way to get around if you’d rather not walk. Rooms are spacious and cozy, with balconies to marvel at the views and marble baths in some rooms ($361 and up). 


For an unforgettable dinner experience, take a sleigh ride through fields of aspen trees to a serene meadow to dine at Beano’s Cabin restaurant. (In the summertime, add to your adventure with a horseback ride.) Relax in the rustic and elegant surroundings next to a fireplace, open kitchen, and large windows to take in the sights and perhaps a few animals scurrying by. Staff is welcoming and knowledgeable. The five-course meal ($179 per person) includes Colorado-inspired dishes such as bison tartare, Alamosa-striped bass crudo, and elk tomahawk with coffee parsnip puree and cherry wild boar demi-glace. Dessert might seem a bridge too far after four exquisite courses, but you’ll be lured by the black plum tart or copper pot cobbler. 

Summertime means great views and a chance for many adventures, including bungee trampolining. Photograph by Alan Gibbons


A year-round destination, Beaver Creek has summer activities that will appeal to travelers of all ages and interests. The mountain beckons outdoor enthusiasts with 62 miles of hiking trails and a 3,000-foot elevation gain. There are also nearly 50 miles of mountain bike trails, three golf course, wine excursions, and horseback rides. Get a head start with a ride on the chair lift ($23 and up), or stay at the base where the adventure center isn’t just for kids: A bungee trampoline, climbing wall, miniature golf, and more tickle the youthful spirit in all of us ($18 and up). 


The shopping opportunities at Beaver Creek Village are varied and many. Meander through beautiful pathways next to a stream while you peruse fashion and jewelry shops, sports stores, local offerings for tourists, art galleries, and more. The ice rink in the center is a good meeting spot, with activities all year—skating in the winter, yoga in the summer. There are plenty of cafes and ice cream shops to replenish after a long day of fun. 

Beautiful dishes, like this summer dessert, are part of what make the meal at Beano’s Cabin unforgettable. Photograph Courtesy of Beaver Creek Resort


Grouse Mountain Grill at The Pines Lodge has been awarded AAA’s four-diamond rating for 26 years. Don’t skip the hand-rolled tater tots with herb-roasted garlic aioli ($14) before diving into a pretzel-crusted pork chop with polenta cake and haricot verts ($59). Sit indoors and take in the gorgeous mountain view through floor-to-ceiling windows. In warmer months, the outdoor balcony makes a lovely option for dining in the Rocky Mountain air.


There’s no reason to miss out on performing arts while on vacation. Vilar Performing Arts Center—a small theater with big names—sits right in the center of Beaver Creek Village. The 530-seat venue provides an intimate atmosphere. The Branford Marsalis Quartet, Peking Acrobats, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are a just few of the scheduled performers this month. 

Mark Your Calendar!

Feb. 25 and 26: Expert skiers tackle 14 of the most difficult black-diamond and double-black-diamond runs in one day during the Talons Challenge. Rewards include bragging rights, lunch, a swag bag, and more.