We take at least one big ski vacation a year. For our family, skiing is a fantastic way to bon in the great outdoors. This year we headed West from Brooklyn to Copper Mountain. Copper is about 100 miles from Denver International Airport (plan on at least 90 minutes of driving). We take on this type of trip because we crave fresh powder and long to show our girls the fun of being outside in the winter.
Copper encompasses 2,433 acres. Copper was bought by Powdr Corporation in 2009 (they own Killington Resort in VT--we would love to try this resort out for East Coast fun!) and is now a premiere ski destination. There are hundreds of trails to explore--and it's all very well laid out. Copper is blessed with "Naturally Divided Terrain." What does that mean? The mountain is set up with a great natural progression. The hardest trails are in the west side and the runs get gradually easier as you head east.
We've skied a lot of resorts and were huge fans of this layout. It's easy to navigate and hard to get in over your head. We skied with, and without the kids and always managed to find "just right" terrain. The easy access, inspiring terrain and friendly staff really set this mountain apart from other spots.
If you want to get some time without the kiddos try the ski school. From as young as 3, kids can start taking lessons at Copper. Head to the Schoolhouse in the West Village to start the adventure. Our 5 year-old loved her small classes and had some excellent instruction. Most importantly, she had fun and headed back again and again with smiles NOT tears. One Day Lesson + Rental Equipment + Lift Ticket + GPS is $209. Group lessons are sorted by age and ability and are available for ages 3-15. The older girl was at Ski Camp run by Elite for the week--this is an operation NOT run by Copper, but I highly recommend it if your kids are racers.
In addition to ski school, Copper offers the Belly Button Babies & Bakery for kids 6 months to 6 years. It is an on-site Guest Childcare Facility open from 8:30am to 4:30pm in Center Village providing arts, crafts, group activities and indoor and outdoor play.
Got a bad day (hey, it happens even our West!). Try some indoor fun. Woodward at Copper is a 19,400 square foot indoor facility with skate ramps, trampolines and indoor ski jumps. It's a quick 5-minute shuttle ride from the Central Village. We signed up for an intro class (about 2 hours) and got to jump into huge foam pits (that's my 5 yo turning a cartwheel into a foam pit), bounce on trampolines and try out roller skis. We saw some expert ariel artists practicing for the half pipe and tested out the mighty cool roller skis. If you have anyone in your family that is interested in jumping pr tricks on the slopes this is a MUST. But it's great even if you aren't s daredevil. A one-hour session is $59.
Since we like activity, not driving we always try to find lodging close to the lifts. We stayed in Taylor's Crossing one of the many options that are close to the mountain--we never had to drive anywhere. We tend to cook at home a good bit so we stopped by a Whole Foods along RTE 71 in Frisco to pick up groceries. There are plenty of casual dining spots in town--most are very family friendly. Don't miss a chance to pick up a treat at Sugar Lips the local mini donut purveyors.
If you want to hit the spa (I can't resist a post-ski massage), head to the health club. It's also a few minutes away by shuttle. The health club was free with our stay and had a gym, large pool and spa.
Reasons to visit:
Great snow quality even early in the year
Excellent ski school
Variety of terrain
Plenty of non-skiing fun
This is not a paid post. Like most of our travel experiences, much of the trip is underwritten so we can trip everything and report back. Nothing is scripted.