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A-Basin 101

Welcome to The Legend!

We are closed indefinitely as of March 15, 2020.

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 the longest ski and ride season in Colorado. We are also 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 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, ultra-local vibe. Experience some of Colorado’s most adventurous in-bounds terrain, delicious food, uncrowded runs, free parking and the friendliest staff in the business. 

Mountain Stats and Facts
  • Season dates: mid-October to early-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 chairlift (Black Mountain Express)
  • Two quad chairlifts (Zuma, Beavers)
  • One triple chairlift (Lenawee)
  • Two double chairlifts (Pallavicini, Molly Hogan)
  • 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 of our facilities are located in Mountain Goat Plaza (base area).

  • A-Frame Lodge: Legends Cafe, 6th Alley Bar & Grill, water bottle fill-up stations, Arapahoe Sports Retail Shop, administrative offices and restrooms. Find microwaves, a kids play area and brown-bag lunch tables on the second floor.
  • 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.

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

Explore this area with a free guided mountain tour! The tours run Monday-Friday in Winter. Check the page for exact dates, times and topics. 

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 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.

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. 

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!

Unofficial Networks named A-Basin one of the "top-5 ski resorts to hit up with your Ikon Pass" in the 2019-20 season:

This was an easy pick. “The Legend” is legendary. If you’re looking for a true skiing experience, look no further than A-Basin. You won’t find glitzy lodges and accommodations there, but you will find some of the best damn skiing in the Rockies. Check out A-Basin’s infamous East Wall to show everybody what you got. Not up for that big of a challenge? No worries. Lap the new Beavers Lift (as of last season), or pick your line off of the Zuma Lift. Oh yeah, and enjoy the apres at “The Beach” to cap off a Legendary day.

Ready to Visit?

Discount Lift Tickets: Purchase online in advance and save up to 50%!

Or, if you don't know exactly when you're coming but you'll be here more than once, grab an Elevation Any Day Pass for 2-5 days of skiing and riding with no blackout dates. 

Getting Here & Parking

Almost all parking is free and you can get here by bus between late November and April. Carpool with four or more in a vehicle to get priority parking. 

There are shuttle services and two public bus options that serve A-Basin during the ski season (one free from Summit County; one paid from downtown Denver). Check the page for dates and prices. 


A-Basin is known for great food. There are two dining options plus a coffee shop in the base area and two on-mountain dining options, including a European bistro at 12,500 feet. You're also welcome to brown-bag your lunch--find seating and microwaves on the second floor of the A-Frame building. 

Operating & Lift Hours

Lifts generally turn 9:00 a.m. to 4:00  p.m. Upper-mountain lifts close at 3:15 p.m. Lifts open at 8:30 a.m. on weekends and major holidays.

Lessons & Kids Programs

A-Basin offers ski and snowboard lessons for ages 3 and up, from never-ever beginners to advanced skiers and riders looking to take their experience to the next level. 

Equipment Rentals

A-Basin has everything adults and kids need for a great day of skiing or snowboarding, all within walking distance of the lifts at reasonable prices. All you need to show up with is warm clothing!

WiFi & Cell Service

AT&T is the only cellular provider that works at A-Basin. Free public WiFi is available in the A-Frame lodge, throughout the Mountain Goat Plaza base area and its buildings, and at Black Mountain Lodge at mid-mountain.

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