Loved by Families

Located just 75 miles west of Denver, in Frisco Colorado, you’ll find Copper Mountain nestled in the Ten Mile Range with a great view of the Rockies. Known for being an incredible spot for family ski trips, Copper is one of the most popular Summit County resorts.

It’s one of the more affordable places to stay and it has everything for everyone: from glades to rails, blues to powder bowls, parks and everything else in between.

With three distinct mountain villages, and four distinct mountain areas–naturally divided for different levels–including terrain for riding, visitors will find all the makings of a ski trip to remember.

There’s also an indoor terrain park that’s part of a well-developed après culture.

Being among the first Colorado resorts to open to the public, the ski area offers a mix of old-school ski culture and modern amenities that make Copper Mountain a local favorite.

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Some of the best beginner and intermediate riding in Colorado
  • check-mark
    Copper is a great mountain for progression, because of the natural separation of terrain into skill areas, you can dip your toes into harder terrain without getting into hot water.
  • check-mark
    Copper’s ski school is one of the best in the country. They have really great programs like the Woodward Private Lessons for aspiring park riders, and the Youth Seasonal Program dedicated to helping intermediate youth riders progress.
  • check-mark
    Copper is on the Ikon Pass, along with several other Colorado resorts, this can equate to big savings on otherwise expensive day passes.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWithout a pass, Copper is expensive. Day tickets for a whole family can quickly add up to several hundred dollars.
  • check-markCopper doesn’t have a town connected to it, besides Frisco, which is a bit up the road. Apres is limited for this reason.
  • check-markUnless you’re staying in a nearby town, lodging at Copper is more limited than other resorts.

Where to Book:

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Beginner Skiing

Copper Mountain Ski Resort 2023 Guide

Resort Profile

  • Chairlifts: 23 incl. 1 gondola/ski pack combo lift, 2 high speed six-packs, 4 high-speed quads, 5 triple chairs, 5 double chairs, 7 surface lifts, and a tubing lift.
  • Avg. Snowfall: 310 inches
  • Season: mid-Nov to mid-April
  • Runs: 140+
  • Beginner: 21%
  • Intermediate: 25%
  • Expert: 54%
  • Vertical: 9,712 – 12,313 feet
  • Kids Ski School: from 3-17 years old.
  • Accommodations: Multiple hotels and rentals located across three village areas and in the town of Frisco.
  • Daycare: onsite.
See the complete list of the best Ski Resorts here!

Resort

Copper Mountain offers an incredible taste of the Colorado skiing experience. Copper Mountain has 2,465 acres of skiable terrain spread out across 4 skill-based areas on the mountain. On average Copper Mountain gets over 300 inches of snow per year. Given Copper’s location in the mountains, and relatively high elevation compared to many other ski areas, the snow is dry and light. This means on groomer days it’s fast and chalky, and on powder days it’s floaty and blower.

Copper Mountain Ski The Resort

With a base elevation of almost 10,000 feet and a top elevation of over 12,000 feet you’ll be treated to a vertical drop of 2,601 feet. Given an average of 300 sunny days per year at Copper, this means you’ll be up above the treeline on a bluebird day, taking in the expansive views of the surrounding Rocky mountains while ripping down a huge amount of fall line skiing.

You may notice we mention the distinct ski areas of Copper Mountain quite a bit. This is one of the best parts of Copper after all. It’s very easy to find terrain to suit your riding level because of this. In addition to this, it also makes for accessible progression of difficulty to challenge yourself and advance your riding without getting in over your head too quickly.

The mountain seems to be perfectly set up by nature to allow for distinct areas for certain skill levels. Riders of all ability levels can find huge swathes of terrain that suits and challenges them, without having to worry about feeling like they’re in the way, or wondering if they’ll get stuck behind newbies on a cat track.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Mountains

Copper mountain has over 2,000 skiable acres. With a generous 21% of this being beginner terrain, it’s a great place for family skiing trips. Intermediates have 25% of the mountain to themselves as well. As is the norm with Colorado resorts, a majority 54% of runs at Copper is for advanced and expert skiers. This doesn’t prove to be much of an issue at Copper however, as the riding is so nicely segmented into areas based on skill level.

Beginners won’t have to worry about being stuck on cat tracks or accidentally planting themselves atop a cliff, and intermediates will find plenty of room for advancing their skiing throughout the mid mountain, while the experts can find their stride in the upper and back mountain chutes and bowls.

Beginner Skiing

Beginners can access their very own playground of entry level terrain directly from the center or west village in Copper Mountain. Head up the Woodward Express or the American Flyer to find a great number of exclusively beginner terrain.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Beginner Skiing

One of the great things about this area for beginners is that it only hosts green runs. This means that intermediates and experts will be on other areas of the mountain. You can have fun and work on your skills in a zone where you won’t have to worry about more skilled riders flying by you, or accidentally getting yourself onto a run that’s way outside your comfort zone.

Intermediate Skiing

Like many resorts, Copper Mountain has a great selection of intermediate runs. Intermediate riders will want to hang out around the Super Bee (six-pack), American Eagle (six-pack), or Timberline Express (high-speed quad). Off these 3 lifts, you’ll find tons of solid intermediate terrain. There are runs from easy blue to easy black.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Intermediate Skiing

The easier blacks you’ll find near the Super Bee and are absolutely appropriate for the conditioned intermediate rider that is looking to start making some steeper turns without getting stuck on the tough runs in the upper mountain areas. Many of these intermediate runs are lengthy stretches of fall-line skiing, which is perfect for working on your craft!

Advanced Skiing

Copper, like most Colorado mountains, has enough expert skiing to keep you occupied for days, if not weeks, or even a whole season. If you’re ready to tear through some steep lines and glades and charge high-alpine bowls, start by heading up Super Bee. From here you can get a feel for the blacks at Copper. When you’re warmed up, go higher on the Storm King and hit up the Spaulding Bowl for some gripping double black alpine skiing. Traverse toward the backside and you’ll find huge lines at high elevation that will keep you on your toes (or edges, for that matter).

This widely variable terrain selection fails to mention the massive amount of freestyle and park terrain on offer at Copper Mountain. It’s one of the things they are known best for, in fact. Known as a whole as the Woodward Copper Mountain Park, they offer 10 different terrain and freestyle parks where everyone is welcome.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Advanced Skiing

They really do provide for everyone with parks like Kokomo’s Progression Park, the Dino Ridge Progression Park, and the Family Cross Adventure Zone. These parks have small features that everyone can have fun on, and start learning to ride park in a safe and approachable environment. For the more advanced freestyle riders, there is a super park, and parks like Peace Park and Central Park, which offer small to large progressive features that you may find professional riders working on progressing through!

Pro Tip: Copper is an Ikon Pass mountain. It’s no secret that the real cash dump in skiing is often the obscenely high day pass prices. This is no different at Copper which can be as low as $100 on a weekday, or almost $200 on a weekend. Plan ahead and get your Ikon Pass early to save the most money, as Ikon prices rise as the season grows closer. For the cost of just 2 or 3 day tickets you can get yourself an Ikon Pass! Now you have access not only to Copper but to many other resorts as well!

Getting There

Getting to Copper Mountain is easy. The resort is located about 75 miles west of Denver on the I70. This is a short drive for anyone flying into Denver International Airport, which is probably your best bet.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Getting There

There are other options for flying in as well. If you so choose, you can fly into one of several regional airports which are serviced by either semi-private chartered flights or connecting flights. These options include Aspen, Eagle Regional, or Colorado Springs and are popular for visitors of Aspen Snowmass Resorts.

Though it is our recommendation that for simplicity’s sake, Denver International is your best bet. If you are flying into Denver and not looking to rent a car, the Summit Express operates a D.I.A.-to-Copper Mountain shuttle multiple times a day, for around $100 per passenger. For this reason, renting a car may be the most affordable option.

Accommodations

Copper has several appealing options for lodging. One of the nice things about Copper Mountain is its proximity to the town of Frisco. Staying in Frisco is going to be far cheaper than staying in the mountain villages. As is the norm with most ski areas that have mountain lodging, you’re paying for quality facilities and ease of access.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Accommodations

Of course it is worth noting that overall, it will be cheaper than other area resorts like Vail or Aspen, as in those towns, the pricing is very representative of their reputation of glamor. Copper, while very nice, and a great resort, has avoided some of that publicity for being ritzy and thus, is a more affordable place to visit overall.

Check out a listing of the Copper Mountain lodging options, as there are honestly too many to give an accurate review to. They are all nice, and they all have great access. We don’t mean for this to be a cop-out, but if you’re staying on the mountain, you really can’t go wrong. You’ll be happy to see that many of the on-mountain lodging options start around $150 per night, which for many people is a very affordable rate for the value you get out of staying on the mountain.

Check out favorites like the Tucker Mountain Lodge. You’ll find rustic mountain vibes mixed with a Rockies cabin aesthetic lodge experience in the heart of the Center Village.

Copper Mountain Ski Accommodations

If however, you are looking for budget options, familiar chain hotels abound in the nearby town of Frisco. Here, you can easily find rates as low as $50-$60 a night, with just a short commute into the mountains in the morning.

Facilities

The main attraction at Copper Mountain is skiing. The mountain villages offer options for food, drinks, and shopping, but as far as some of the other amenities you might find in a normal town, Copper is a bit lacking. There is however a great option for fitness fanatics and relaxation enthusiasts at the Copper Mountain Spa & Athletic Club.

Outside of skiing there are some great options for recreation in Copper. Activities like the Rocky Mountain Coaster, ice skating, and uphill access are sure to keep everyone occupied.

At the mountain lodging there is, of course, your standard offering of facilities like pools, hot tubs, and fitness centers onsite.

Of course if simply milling around the village areas is more your speed there’s plenty of that to be done. You’ll find shops of all kinds to browse around. You can find everything from clothing, ski gear, gifts, and crafts, to grocery and liquor stores to keep you stocked up!

Families and Kids

Copper Mountain is extremely family-friendly. If you’re visiting with the whole family in tow, the town of Frisco is a very normal town, no glitz or glam or absurdly high prices abound. Of course, things are made even easier for families in the three Copper Mountain villages. All amenities are walkable and you’re moments from the lifts no matter where you are in the Villages.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Families

If you’re visiting with children that are too young to ski, no worries! Copper Mountain operates an onsite childcare facility located in the Center Village during the winter season. The childcare facility is open 7 days a week from 8:30AM-4:30PM. They accept children from the ages of 6mo-6yr old. Take care to schedule ahead of time online though! There is walk-up availability but only if the day’s capacity is not already met.

For those looking to get their children on the slopes for the first time, Copper Mountain has a great ski school. Private lessons are available for children ages 3 and up. Group lessons are available for kids from the ages of 3-17. There are also adult and family private lessons available!

If your child has an interest in park skiing, check out Copper’s Woodward Private Lessons. Woodward at Copper is a park and pipe progression school for young riders to seriously increase their skills as freestyle riders. The Woodward Private lessons offer a great stepping stone for your kids to advance their abilities.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Family

For those not interested in park riding but that already know their way around the mountain, Copper also offers youth seasonal programs. These programs are a great way for intermediate all mountain riders to progress on the snow.

For Beginners

As mentioned, Copper operates a great ski school with professional instructors that will have you tearing up the slopes in no time. They cater to all ages of kids from 3-17. If you’re an adult beginner, fear not! The Copper Mountain ski school also offers group, family, and private lessons for adults of all levels.

In addition to this, the large area of exclusively beginner terrain is a refreshing change for entry-level riders. Many resorts only have a couple of green trails, and beginners are doomed to be repeating the same runs over and over. Not at Copper though! With a whole area of the mountain for beginners, you’ll be able to safely and comfortably progress on new terrain without getting in over your head.

For Snowboarders

Snowboarders are allowed and welcomed at Copper Mountain! One of the best things about Copper Mountain for snowboarders is the lack of long flat cat tracks like you may find at other resorts.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Snowboarders

Another fantastic thing is the range of rails. It’s a great place to start small and graduate to more challenging hops and rails.

On top of that, the glades are so ideal for carving a path through.

Apres-Ski

The apres in the mountain villages is somewhat more limited than other ski areas due to there not being a closely connected town besides Frisco, which is really just like any other town. This does not mean however that the apres scene at Copper Mountain is in any way lacking. With a variety of village based restaurants, tap rooms, bars, and grab-and-go spots, you’ll find no shortage of new things to check out.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Apres Ski

When you’re done for the day, it’s worth stopping off at Jack’s Bar. This is a local favorite in the Center Village. Shot deals, good food, and great vibes keep people coming back. If you’re in the mood for kicking back with a craft beer, you can stop in at the Ten Mile Tavern or Sawmill Pizza and Taphouse. There are other options on the mountain and in the East Village as well that ensure there are no shortage of places to tuck in for a bit of apres.

The Bottom Line

Copper Mountain was so named for the mid-1800s mining of, you guessed it, Copper! Nowadays you won’t be visiting copper on a Victorian-era mining expedition. Instead, you’ll be drawn to Copper Mountain in search of great skiing, a friendly culture, and good times for the whole family.

Copper Mountain is a killer resort. For starters, you have great access from a nearby major city in Denver. Follow that up with classic Colorado terrain, meaning big and diverse peaks with world-class riding. Sprinkle in a great selection of on-the-mountain lodging options that are insanely expensive compared to other resorts.

Now add in a great lift system that disperses crowds across the mountain to their favored areas filled with terrain perfectly suited to your skill level. There are really no downsides. Actually, maybe there’s one. Just like every other resort in Summit County Colorado, being a short drive from major Colorado cities like Denver and Colorado Springs, and being on a mega-pass (Ikon in this case), means that on peak days of the season, and powder days, the crowds can be stout.

Copper Mountain Ski Resort Bottomline

Although we have emphasized the approachability of the mountain due to its natural division of terrain into easy, intermediate, and expert areas, there are still a lot of visitors during the busiest parts of the season. It can be a little frustrating to get stuck in lines around the base area or to find all the goods are tracked out quickly on a powder day. This, however, is the norm with Colorado resorts. A little planning ahead to avoid the busiest parts of the season can remedy this.

All-in-all, when you combine terrain quality, snow quality, and relative affordability, Copper Mountain is a premium ski resort for locals and visitors alike.

Related Reviews

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Some of the best beginner and intermediate riding in Colorado
  • check-mark
    Copper is a great mountain for progression, because of the natural separation of terrain into skill areas, you can dip your toes into harder terrain without getting into hot water.
  • check-mark
    Copper’s ski school is one of the best in the country. They have really great programs like the Woodward Private Lessons for aspiring park riders, and the Youth Seasonal Program dedicated to helping intermediate youth riders progress.
  • check-mark
    Copper is on the Ikon Pass, along with several other Colorado resorts, this can equate to big savings on otherwise expensive day passes.

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWithout a pass, Copper is expensive. Day tickets for a whole family can quickly add up to several hundred dollars.
  • check-markCopper doesn’t have a town connected to it, besides Frisco, which is a bit up the road. Apres is limited for this reason.
  • check-markUnless you’re staying in a nearby town, lodging at Copper is more limited than other resorts.

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Where is Copper Mountain?

75 miles west of Denver lies Copper Mountain, along the I-70. It’s a more low-key ski resort than other–more well-known–mountains along the same freeway.

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