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A-Basin 101


Welcome to The Legend!

What sets Arapahoe Basin apart from other ski areas? Elevation, challenging terrain, and traditions.

Founded by WWII veterans and Olympic skiers, 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, the longest ski and ride season in Colorado, and some of the highest terrain in North America. We are legendary for being true to ourselves, embracing a rich history, promoting a come-as-you-are vibe, and being vocal about our commitment to our environment and local community.

The Basin is a pure skier’s and snowboarder’s mountain and welcomes anyone and everyone. Enjoy some of Colorado’s most adventurous in-bounds terrain, delicious food, uncrowded runs, free parking and the friendliest staff in the business. 

IMPORTANT Winter 2020-21 Operating Information

Mountain Stats and Facts
  • Season dates: October to June, weather dependent (longest season in Colorado)
  • Location: Summit County, Colorado. 68 miles west of Denver; 5 miles east of Keystone.
  • Average snowfall: 350 in / 889 cm
  • Base elevation: 10,520 feet / 3,206 meters (higher than many ski-area peaks!)
  • Summit elevation: 13,050 feet / 3,978 meters (3rd highest ski-area peak elevation in North America)
  • Snowmaking acres: 125/51 hectares
  • Earliest opening: October 9, 2009
  • Latest closing: August 10, 1995
  • Number of times open for skiing on the 4th of July: 7 (most recently in 2019)


  • 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% (some of the steepest in-bounds terrain in Colorado)
  • Freestyle terrain parks: Treeline Terrain Park (intermediate to advanced); High Divide Terrain Park (beginner to intermediate); Banana Park (beginner to intermediate)

Lifts (9 total)

  • One high-speed quad (Black Mountain Express)
  • Three quads (Zuma, Beavers, Molly Hogan)
  • One triple (Lenawee)
  • One double (Pallavicini)
  • 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. Generally, lifts open at 8:30 a.m. weekends/holidays and 9:00 a.m. weekdays. 


base area map

The Basin is easy to navigate! Most facilities are located in Mountain Goat Plaza (aka the base area).

Please note that for winter 2020-21, you must wear a mask to enter any of our buildings per county health guidelines. Buildings will have capacity limits and will not be for personal gear storage or hanging out.

  • A-Frame Lodge: Legends Cafe, 6th Alley Bar & Grill, Arapahoe Sports Retail Shop, administrative offices and restrooms, water. The kids play area will not be available and you may not eat your brown bag lunch inside.
  • Winter Sports Center: Equipment rentals, Base 'n' Edge Tune Shop, adult ski school check-in, restrooms, water. We will offer these services in a limited capacity per county health regulations. Lockers will NOT be available. 
  • Kids Center: Closed for the 2020-21 winter season
  • Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain: Restaurant, restrooms, water. 
  • 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. We hope to open il Rifugio in 2021 for outdoor dining, pending county health regulations. 

Mountain Areas

The Front Side

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 the 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.

Frontside Virtual Tour

  • 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

The Beavers and The Steep Gullies

The Beavers and The Steep Gullies are 468 acres of terrain added in the 2017-18 season, growing A-Basin’s skiable area 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 (Beavers). The Steep Gullies require significant snow coverage and avalanche mitigation work. Expect that terrain to open late winter. 

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 the state. Skiing or riding it requires serious skills and commitment, followed by a 20-30 minute hike back to the base area.  

Beavers Virtual Tour

Montezuma Bowl

“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 views including 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

Zuma Bowl virtual tour


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. 

  • WHEN DOES IT OPEN? The lift usually starts turning after Thanksgiving. The steep terrain requires more snow coverage than other parts of the mountain and does not all open right away.

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 multiple hiking routes to spend an entire day exploring this area. 

  • 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. The East Wall is conditions-dependent and can open/close at any time. 

Molly Hogan (Learning Area)

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!

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