The Copper Mountain Ski Resort is located in Summit County, Colorado. It is owned by Intrawest, who also owns Whistler, Mount Tremblant, Steamboat and Winter Park.
Getting to Copper Mountain
The Copper Mountain Ski Season
Copper Mountain usually opens on November 7th and closes on April 19th. However, during the early season, the American Eagle lift is the only lift that is open. This is strictly advanced intermediate terrain. Only one or two trails will be open and some are used for professional race training. Novices should wait until Thanksgiving when most terrain is open. During April, Copper offers a number of outdoor concerts at Burning Stones Plaza, which is located in Center Village.
Copper Mountain Ski Resort Stats
Copper Mountain has a base elevation of 9,712 feet and a summit elevation of 2,601 feet. It boasts 22 lifts, which include the Super Bee, a six-person, high-speed lift; four high-speed quads; five triple chairlifts; five double chairlifts and seven surface lifts. Its 2,450 acres of skiable terrain make Copper one of the larger resorts in Colorado. Its 126 trails are marked as follows:
- Beginner or Green: 21 percent
- Intermediate or Blue: 25 percent
- Advanced or Black: 36 percent
- Expert or Double Black: 18 percent
Because of its high alpine environment, Copper receives an average of 282 inches of snow each year. Additionally, it has 380 acres of snow making capability.
Copper Mountain Layout
The Copper Mountain Ski Resort has a highly efficient mountain layout. The terrain is divided into a complete beginner area, an advanced beginner section, an intermediate area and an advanced/expert section. As you travel east across the resort, the terrain becomes more challenging. The sections are right next to each other, which allows the progressing skier or rider to make an easy transition to a more challenging section without having to return to the base area.
Union Creek: The Copper Mountain Beginner Area
The Union Creek section is Copper Mountain's beginner area. The terrain is extremely easy. As such, novice skiers and riders need not worry about experts zooming past them at top speed. Most of Copper's beginner ski and snowboard instruction takes place in the Union Creek area.
Timberline and the American Flyer: Advanced Beginner Areas
Once you have gained some proficiency, you can move on to the trails off of the American Flyer and Timberline lifts. However, while these trails are either marked green or blue, they are significantly more challenging than green or blue trails in ski resorts at other parts of the country. Complete beginners should stick with the Union Creek area.
The American Eagle Lift: Intermediate Skiing
The trails off of the American Eagle Lift are marked blue for intermediate. However, at some resorts these trails would be marked black. Since many visitors to Copper Mountain prefer natural terrain, the upper parts of the trails off the American Eagle lift are not oft groomed. This means that by the end of the day they often turn into mogul runs.
Copper Mountain Advanced and Expert Terrain
Copper Mountain's expert terrain is located in the East Village. It is characterized by its long, steep bump runs. Far East, located in the most eastern section of the resort, is a long bump run which is famous for what people often describe as Volkswagen-sized moguls. If you aspire to mastering this type of terrain, consider taking one of Copper's Bump Skiing workshops, which are offered throughout the ski season.
Copper Mountain Ski Resort Restaurants
Aside from the vast selection of independently-owned dining venues, Copper has a few base area and on-mountain restaurants. There's a small cafeteria in Union Creek. Jack's in Center Village is the largest, and also the most crowded. Solitude is located on mountain, near the top of the Eagle lift. The East Village cafeteria often has affordable pasta specials.