A-Basin Mountain Areas
Sep 21, 2023
Sep 22, 2023
Sep 23, 2023
SKI THE LEGEND
Arapahoe Basin has seven distinct areas of its mountain: the frontside, Pallavicini, The Beavers, Montezuma Bowl, The Steep Gullies, The East Wall, and Molly Hogan.
Get an insider’s understanding of our mountain with our virtual mountain tour video series, guided by some of our longtime staff.
A-Basin’s front side terrain offers a little of everything, from the most casual runs to advanced moguls to the three terrain parks. Most of A-Basin’s intermediate routes and all on-mountain beginner runs are accessed via this area’s Black Mountain Express and Lenawee lifts.
The Legend’s front-side skiing and riding is still a big-mountain experience. Two, short lift rides and you’re at 12,500 feet—above treeline at the top of the lift-served terrain—exploring wide-open intermediate groomers and introductory glade runs. The front side lifts also offer access to the rest of the mountain areas, making A-Basin extremely easy to navigate.
EASIEST WAY DOWN: Wrangler to Chisolm. Sundance is a steeper green.
FIRST TIME ON BLUES: Lenawee Face --> Dercum's Gulch --> High Noon
MOGULS: Exhibition, Ramrod (Looking for serious moguls? Get on the Pali Lift)
EASIEST TREES: Easy Gully, Cabin Glades, Lynx Lane
Please note that the green-blue-black trail ratings are relative to an individual ski area's unique terrain. Some of our greens and blues might be steeper than what you're accustomed to. If you're just starting out, please visit our Molly Hogan learning hill.
The Beavers is 300+ acres added in the 2017-18 season. Combined with The Steep Gullies, it grew A-Basin’s skiable terrain by nearly 50 percent. Construction was done with minimal environmental impact and completed the vision A-Basin’s founders had back in 1946. A quad lift gives you access to 36 runs in The Beavers, including rolling intermediate groomers, open bowls, steep chutes and some of the best glades and powder stashes in the state.
Please note that the two blue runs in The Beavers are considered to be the most challenging blues on the mountain.
WHEN DOES IT OPEN? Late November - late December.
“Zuma” was A-Basin’s first major expansion, completed in 2007-08 season, and grew the mountain’s terrain by 80 percent. This south-facing backside bowl offers stunning mountain scenery including views of multiple 14,000-foot peaks. The terrain is home to 400 acres of wide-open intermediate groomers, well-spaced trees and rocky cliffs. A small hike-back zone below the lift almost always guarantees great snow and solitude.
EASIEST WAY DOWN: Larkspur --> Independence
EASIEST TREES: Miners Glade
WHEN DOES IT OPEN? Mid December - mid January
The Pallavicini area is A-Basin’s legendary, front-side advanced and expert terrain. Served by a lift of the same name, the primarily double-black Pallavicini runs are accessible directly from the base area with a single lift ride. Don't miss The Spine, one of our favorite runs on the mountain.
Pallavicini has also been hosting the A-Basin Enduro for 30 years. During the event, teams of two ski and ride as many runs as possible off the “Pali Chair” over 10 consecutive hours to help raise funds for a community member in need.
EASIEST WAY DOWN: Grizzly Road is a blue run and gets you down from Pali if EX terrain isn't your thing but you want to experience that iconic lift
OUR FAVORITE: The Spine, especially when it is perfectly wind-buffed
WHEN DOES IT OPEN? The lift usually starts turning after Thanksgiving. The steep terrain requires more snow coverage than other parts of the mountain. Not all of the runs open right away or at the same time.
The East Wall
A-Basin is an adventurous mountain and to hike the East Wall is to experience one of The Legend’s biggest adventures. Make your way to 13,050 feet to enjoy the ski area’s most iconic views and some of its most extreme terrain. Access the East Wall chutes with just two, short lift rides, then use the hiking and bootpacking routes to spend an entire day (or lifetime) exploring.
Important information for skiing / riding The East Wall
Enter through gates only (do not duck ropes; you will lose your pass)
Observe all signage and closures
Rescue from this area can be difficult and time-consuming
Do not hike above the traverse except via designated bootpacking routes (Willies Wide, Tree Chutes)
Expect hidden and unmarked obstacles
This is expert-only terrain. It's not just that the wall is steep (it is). The terrain is narrow, rocky, and features variable snow conditions. Mandatory drops and very tight turns may be encountered.
WHEN DOES IT OPEN? The East Wall requires significant snow coverage and avalanche mitigation work. It usually opens in February, beginning with terrain below the East Wall Traverse. Sometimes it opens in January, sometimes in March. The East Wall is conditions-dependent and can open/close at any time.
The Steep Gullies
The Steep Gullies was added, along with The Beavers, for the 2017-18 season. This terrain was once backcountry, and bringing it into ski area boundaries was a way to offer it to guests much more safely by patrolling the area and doing avalanche mitigation.
The Steep Gullies is as-advertised and features expert-only terrain comprised of steep, narrow, and rocky chutes. This is some of the most challenging in-bounds terrain you'll find in all of Colorado. Skiing or riding it requires serious skills and commitment, followed by a 20-30 minute hike back to the base area.
WHEN DOES IT OPEN? The Steep Gullies require significant snow coverage and avalanche mitigation work. Similar to The East Wall, this terrain sometimes opens in January, sometimes in March. The Steep Gullies is conditions-dependent and can open/close at any time.
Intro Tour for First-Timers
If you are new to A-Basin and new to skiing/riding, welcome! Check out this video for a tour of our parking, base-area, and learning hill. The overview will give you confidence to know your way around and have a great day on the mountain.
Molly Hogan is A-Basin’s learning hill at the base of the mountain. Easily accessible from the lodge, Snowsports headquarters and the rental shop, the area is served by two magic carpets and one lift. Molly Hogan has welcomed multiple generations of fresh faces to The Legend not just teaching them to slide on snow, but transforming them into skiers and snowboarders. When you learn to ski or ride here, you can ski or ride anywhere!
WHEN DOES MOLLY HOGAN OPEN? Early to mid November.