Skip to main content

Uncovering 'The Legend': Review of Arapahoe Basin ski area

A local rider enjoys one of the many features at Arapahoe Basin's terrain park.
A local rider enjoys one of the many features at Arapahoe Basin's terrain park.
Photo by Raymond D. Petersen III

Their runs are so steep that you can feel your stomach jump to your throat as you take that initial drop in. With wide open terrain, bowls, powder days, its no wonder why Arapahoe Basin is known as “The Legend.”

Arapahoe Basin, or “A-Basin”, has been an ideal mountain for both skiers and riders for over 63 years. Since its inaugural season in 1945-46, this ski area has been a mecca for any level of rider, beginner to expert. With the addition of snow guns in 2002, A-Basin is often the first ski area to open in the nation. This usually occurs in early to mid-October.

For those who have yet to ride or ski, have no fear because A-Basin offers a variety of trails that are ideal for any beginning rider. The trails do not get that steep, which will boost the riding confidence of any rider/skier.

Now if you are more advanced and have plenty of confidence in your riding, you can challenge yourself to many steep runs such as the east wall or the far side of their Montezuma Bowl. These runs will require you to unstrap your board and walk to the ideal sites, but they are worth the walk. As you initially drop in be sure to keep your eyes peeled for exposed boulders at the beginning; and then enjoy the wide open terrain that makes these black diamond runs so popular.

If the steeps are not your cup of tea, A-Basin offers two separate terrain parks. Both parks offer a variety of boxes, rails, and jumps that will definitely challenge any rider/skier. The terrain park located near the base of the mountain is designed more for newcomers to the terrain park; featuring hits that are real easy and fun for your progression. The mid-mountain terrain park is more for the experience park rider featuring more difficult, but still outstanding, boxes, rails, and jumps.

With the 2007 addition of the montezuma bowl, Arapahoe Basin contains more than 900 skiable acres, 105 trails, and 7 lift chairs. For the best snow conditions, the ideal time to get up to this mountain is usually the beginning of December until the end of April. For more information on Arapahoe Basin such as Ski Schools, lift ticket prices, and snow reports you can visit their official website