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A-Basin 101

Welcome to The Legend!

Founded by five pioneers of skiing—including an Olympian and veterans—Arapahoe Basin Ski Area opened in 1946 with one tow rope and a $1.25 lift ticket. We now offer more than 1,400 acres, nine lifts, a kids center and a new European bistro at 12,500 feet with panoramic mountain views. A-Basin is known as The Legend for having one of the longest ski and ride seasons in the world. 

The Basin is a pure skier’s and snowboarder’s mountain and welcomes anyone and everyone whether they’re learning for the first time, looking for a serious challenge or simply tailgating with friends on The Beach. A-Basin offers an authentic Colorado ski experience with a laid-back culture and vibe. Experience unique events, some of Colorado’s most adventurous terrain and gourmet culinary experiences throughout the season. 

Mountain Stats and Facts
  • Season dates: mid-October to early-June (weather dependent) 
  • Earliest opening: October 9, 2009
  • Latest closing: August 10, 1995
  • Location: Summit County, Colorado, 68 miles west of Denver
  • Average snowfall: 350 in/889 cm
  • Base elevation: 10,520 feet/3,206 meters
  • Summit elevation: 13,050 feet/3,978 meters
  • Snowmaking acres: 125/51 hectares
  • Number of lifts: 9
  • Lift capacity: 11,300 people/hour


  • Number of trails: 147
  • Vertical drop: 2,530 feet (771 meters)
  • Acres/Hectares: 1,428/578
  • Easiest: 7%
  • More difficult: 20%
  • Most difficult: 49%
  • Extreme: 24%
  • Freestyle terrain parks: Treeline Terrain Park (intermediate to advanced); High Divide Terrain Park (beginner to intermediate); Banana Park (beginner to intermediate)


  • One high-speed quad chairlift (Black Mountain Express Lift)
  • Two quad chairlifts (Zuma Lift, Beavers Lift [new for 2018-19])
  • One triple chairlift (Lenawee Mountain Lift)
  • Two double chairlifts (Pallavicini and Molly Hogan lifts)
  • Two conveyor lifts (Molly and Pika Place carpets)
  • One surface lift (Lazy J Tow)
  • Total lift capacity: 11,300 people per hour
  • Click here for lift hours.


base area map

Most of A-Basin's facilities are located in Mountain Goat Plaza (the base area).

  • A-Frame Lodge: Legends Cafe, 6th Alley Bar & Grill, water bottle fill-up stations, Arapahoe Sports Retail Shop, administrative offices, restrooms.
  • Winter Sports Center: equipment rentals, Base 'n' Edge Tune Shop, adult ski school check-in, lockers, restrooms. The Kids Center is where kids check in for lessons.
  • Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain: kitchen and full bar serving lunch daily, restrooms, water,  location for weddings and special events, including Moonlight Dinners
  • Snowplume Refuge at the summit: Ski Patrol headquarters and il Rifugio, a European bistro. There are two bathrooms with composting toilets but no potable water available unless you are purchasing lunch. You may not bring outside food into il Rifugio. Open daily once The Beavers lift opens.

Wireless Internet & Cell Service

Arapahoe Basin offers free, public wireless internet in the A-Frame base lodge, at mid-mountain at Black Mountain Lodge and throughout the Mountain Goat Plaza base area and buildings. The only wireless carrier that offers reliable service is AT&T. If you have any other carrier, don't count on having service at the Basin. 

What The Legend is Known For


A-Basin is open mid-October to early-June and has been open to the 4th of July seven times since the 1990s. Altitude and attitude is everything. 


A-Basin’s new European bistro, il Rifugio, is the highest lift-served restaurant in North America at 12,500 feet. Its bacon bloody Mary’s are award-winning and its BBQ is all smoked in-house. And did we mention brunch? Stuffed French toast is all you need to know. A-Basin also hosts regular chef-prepared “Moonlight Dinners” at mid-mountain, complete with lift ride under the stars, as well as themed supper clubs and beer-pairing meals. 


You can still park for free and walk to the lift, brown-bag your lunch, tailgate and grill in the parking lot, and chill with the locals in the bar at the end of the day. The staff are renowned for their friendliness and longevity, and the guests are famous for their quirkiness. Costumes are normal, not just on Halloween.  


Once beginners complete two lessons, they can get two additional lessons for free and purchase a $100 season pass. A $149 beginner lesson includes all-day gear rental and a full-mountain lift ticket. Lessons are available for never-ever beginners all the way through advanced skiers and riders. 


You don’t need to be an expert to have an adventure. Intermediate skiers and riders can access the entire mountain, including getting to the top at 12,500 feet. If you do happen to be an expert, the famous Pali chair takes you from the base area to the top of some of Colorado’s steepest, most technical in-bounds terrain.


Some of Colorado’s best terrain can be had at some of the state’s best prices. Kids under 5 ski free; kids ages 6-12 can get two free days each year; the Elevation Any Day Pass is sold all year and offers unrestricted 2-5 day passes at a deep discount over window ticket prices; discounted passes are available for seniors and military; the popular weekday pass is a great deal for those with some flexibility in their schedules. And online, people can find great deals on single, specific-day tickets. 


A-Basin is an adventurous place. Its runs are on the more challenging side of the ranking spectrum, making it a place where one truly becomes a skier or snowboarder. Because the atmosphere is so inviting, the mountain is so accessible and because the Basin offers on-mountain intermediate and advanced lessons, it’s the perfect place to step up your skills to the next level. 


Arapahoe Basin takes sustainability seriously. The Basin has committed to reducing its environmental footprint and achieving carbon neutrality by 2025. For example, in 2018, A-Basin was able to switch all of its snowmaking to be 100-percent solar-powered. In 2019, A-Basin offset all of its fuel emissions via the Colorado Carbon Fund and now offers a $10 season pass add-on for skiers and snowboarders to offset their own emissions traveling to and from the ski area. The Basin has lofty sustainability goals and is working to educate its guests, including with its award-winning Sustainability Sunday video series. Check out our sustainability report for more info.


During the 2018-19 season, A-Basin raised tens of thousands of dollars for multiple causes. Its Enduro event has been supporting members of the community in need for 30 years. The Protect Our Winters carpool day and Earth Day events educate guests on the importance of sustainability and raise funds for local and national environmental organizations. The annual Beacon Bowl supports the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. Bookin’ it to the Basin offers free season passes to students at the local middle school who complete a specific reading challenge. 

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