This experience is a must when vacationing in Keystone! Two Below Zero is located in Frisco, so that is only about a 20-minute drive from Keystone. It is a short drive and worth it! We also had a coupon from our lodging company SummitCove, so that helped with the cost.
We met in a little cabin at the Frisco Nordic Center and then we loaded on to our sleigh pulled by big beautiful horses. The sleigh driver was a funny guy and provided some fun entertainment and stories. The sleigh ride was a beautiful trail through the woods and we saw several shooting stars up in the night sky! I have never seen that many shooting stars in one place in my life! We were dressed warm but they also gave us big blankets to put over our laps, so we were plenty warm!
Once we arrived at the cookhouse it was warm and cozy inside. We started with some wine and then the entertainment began. Nashville born country western singer David Peel delighted us with John Denver, Johnny Cash, and Willie Nelson songs! He is interactive with the guests and gets the kids on stage with him. He was a hoot and made the night memorable! The food is chuck wagon style; meat, potatoes, and veggies, simple but delicious! For dessert, they have yummy pie and even peppermint schnapps in hot cocoa (or without the schnapps for the kids!). They also offer vegetarian and gluten-free meals upon request.
After our bellies were full, our heads had a little buzz of wine and we had big smiles on our faces from the country western singer, we loaded back onto our sleigh and off the horses went pulling us through the forest. Again, we saw shooting stars and there was music in the air because we sang songs with everyone in the sleigh on the way back. It was an amazing family experience and we made some new friends on this adventure too. We will definitely be doing this again! Thanks, Two Below!
Recently, I was lucky enough to go on a group outing with one of our favorite winter partners, Top of the Rockies Zip Lines! After a quick drive to their outpost, we arrived and headed into the lodge, gearing up for our day outside. We got fitted up with complimentary harnesses and helmets and headed outside. It was an absolutely gorgeous spring day, the sun was shining and the temperature was a mild 35 degrees. We were all excited for some fun!
We were instructed to gear up and get into the snow cat that would take us up the mountain to the first of six zip lines to begin our tour. Riding in the cat was a ton of fun, but be aware, it is a small space! We marveled in the views and felt like we could drive anywhere in that thing! Once we got to the top, we went into the yurt to start our briefing where there was hot chocolate and a warm wood stove. After a quick safety and instructional meeting and tasty drink, we were ready to start the fun!
Snapping into the lines is a breeze and their dual-snap in system makes it one of the safest zip lines in the world. The certified guides made us feel safe and made sure we had fun! The fast rush of cool air against your face felt great and the rush immediately brings a smile to your face! The views were simply incredible, with mountains and snow all around. Our group had some fun with a friendly snowball fight, incoming, incoming… launch! They teach you how to slow down before you land. You also take off at your own speed, but I recommend going as fast as you can to maximize the fun!
The whole tour lasted a little over 2 hours and was so much fun. I would highly recommend this activity to anyone looking for a little fun and adventure on their Keystone ski vacation. Book a tour with Top of the Rockies Zip Line today! All SummitCove Lodging guests receive an exclusive guest discount with them! They even offer transportation options if you don’t have a vehicle during your stay, or just don’t want to drive!
During your next Keystone ski vacation at Keystone Colorado, plan on making a visit to the Ice Castles in Dillon, CO, just a 10-minute drive from Keystone Ski Resort. This is a family-friendly activity that all ages are sure to love. Some of the features include a 50-foot ice slide, an ice throne, tunnels to crawl through and a maze to explore and get lost in. The Ice Castles use over 300,000 gallons of water during their creation and anywhere from 10,000 – 30,000 gallons during the maintenance phases. But don’t worry – this water goes right back into the ground, so it is considered as non-consumptive use. At nighttime, the Ice Castles light up with colored lights that ‘dance’ along to music. You will be in awe at the beautiful frozen ice crystals and half frozen waterfalls. You can spend hours playing and exploring this incredible, living piece of explorable art!
Remember, you will be exploring ice, so the conditions may be cold! Dress warm, perhaps wear snowpants, gloves, a hat, winter boots and lots of layers! Sleds are recommended over strollers to pull kids around. Don’t forget to bring a camera to capture the memories!
The Ice Castles are open 6 days a week. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursday they are open from 4 pm – 9pm. On Fridays, visit from 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays 12 pm – 10 pm and Sundays they are open from 12 pm until 8 pm. Ticket prices start at $10.85 for kids and $15.95 for adults when you purchase them in advance online, saving up to $4 per ticket. Prices vary depending on day of the week as well and the Ice Castles are not open on Tuesdays. The Ice Castles are located in Dillon Town park on Buffalo Street and free parking is available.
On Friday and Saturday evenings from 7 – 9 pm you can see the unique fire performances that include things like fire breathing, fire hula hooping, spinning and more. This is the only Ice Castle location in Colorado, with other North America locations in Utah, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Canada locations in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Edmonton, Alberta.
Don’t miss seeing this fun and interactive exhibit this winter while you are visiting Keystone Ski Resort!
Whew! The hard part is done- you’ve picked that perfect vacation rental condo for your upcoming trip to Keystone Resort. Now what? Here are some of the things you need to think about before you head out on your Keystone Ski Vacation.
There are plenty of ski rental shops located in Keystone and Summit County. We have worked with alot of companies, but we recommend two companies in particular. We always suggest making your reservations in advance, because they can sometimes run out of gear during peak times, like Holiday weekends or during Spring Break.
Ski Butlers is a ski & snowboard rental delivery company, meaning they come to you. Reserve your skis in advance and pick your appointment time. They will bring all of your requested gear, plus a size up and down for you to try on in the convenience and comfort of your vacation rental condo or home. This option is especially great for larger groups, families, or anyone traveling without a vehicle on their Keystone vacation. They also are very accommodating if you ever need to switch out your gear. You’ll receive a discount as a SummitCove guest.
Another ski rental option we recommend for our guests is Mountain View Sports. Their rental shop is located just across the highway from the SummitCove check-in office, making it an easy stop before you head to your condo. They offer our guests a great discount and have been in business for years and have great recommendations and local’s advice. They also offer a Kids Ski Free Rental Program, where a kid’s rental (12 years old or younger) is free with an adult rental during non-peak times, see their website for the details.
Depending where you are staying at Keystone, you may not need to have a rental car or vehicle while you are here. River Run Village is super convenient particularly for anyone without a car, because you are located in the main village with all of the shops, restaurants, gondola and plenty of activities within walking distance. Many other properties within the resort are accessible via the free Keystone Resort Shuttle, making it easy to get around. We work with Fresh Tracks Transportation and Summit Express for guest airport shuttles to and from DIA. We also offer rental car discounts at the Denver Airport through Alamo. Your vacation planner can help you setup any transportation you might need arranged. Again, this is something you will want to reserve as far in advance as you can for the best rates and to guarantee availability.
We always recommend purchasing lift tickets online, at least 7 days in advance prior to your arrival in order to get the best rates. You’ll save even more if you are skiing multiple days. Whatever you do, try to avoid purchasing your lift tickets at the actual ticket window the day of, as you’ll pay the highest prices.
There are several options for groceries right here in Keystone, including Rockin’ Ranch in River Run, the Keystone gas station and convenience store, as well as Gateway Grocery and Liquors located in the same complex as the SummitCove check-in office. The Gateway Grocery also deliveries groceries, which can be a big time-saver or crucial if you don’t have a car during your visit! If you are planning on buying alot of groceries, we recommend doing your shopping before you get to Keystone. Just off of the Silverthorne exit from I-70, on your way to Keystone is a City Market grocery as well as a Super Target. It is about a 7 mile drive to Keystone from here, so it’s best to do it before you get here to avoid backtracking.
Activities & Dining
Depending when you are traveling, you may or may not need to make activity and dining reservations. During peak times, it can be difficult to get a tubing reservation or a dining reservation, so that is when you might want to make those in advance. Otherwise, we suggest making a reservation for the top 2 or 3 activities or restaurants you want to try and then let the rest fall in place. You might want to wait for a sunny day to go ice skating or spend a day inside if the weather is bad, so having some flexibility in your plans is key. Sleigh rides, snowmobiling, dog-sledding and tubing are some of the kinds of activities that you might want to consider making reservations for.
Great news for all you skiers and snowboarders looking to get your ski season started, Arapahoe Basin has set their opening day for their riders to open tomorrow October 21st, 2016! This season will mark the 70th anniversary for A-Basin being open. Black Mountain Express Lift will be the first chair going up, starting at 9:00 a.m. so be there and in line to get first chair!
A-Basin has historically known for being one of the first ski areas to open here in Colorado. Did you know that the earliest A-Basin has ever opened was October 9th in the 2009-2010 season? The latest they have stayed open in the past has been till August 10th in the 1995-1996 season. That means skiers and snowboarders had 245 days of riding days that winter!
Discounted tickets are available here for you to purchase online in advance. There is currently construction taking place at the lodge, but A-Basin will still have food options available making it more comfortable for you to ski longer. The Basin is also remodeling and enlarging their retail shop. If you need to purchase gloves, hats, goggles, etc. they will have shop set up in the kids center until they finish up. If you are newer to the sport of skiing or snowboarding, lessons will begin opening day at the Basin and continue throughout the season. Need rentals? A-Basin has you covered. Their rental shop will be open from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Ski rental options will include items from skis, snowboards and boots. If you are a guest of SummitCove Lodging, you can get 25% off rentals booking with Mountain View Sports, located in the Mountain View Plaza in Keystone.
If you are in need of lodging, Arapahoe Basin Ski Lodge is conveniently located near Keystone, Colorado. SummitCove has a variety of lodging options for you to book for the weekend so you can enjoy the opening day snow! If you are looking for reliable transportation to A-Basin after booking a room with us in Keystone, the Summit Stage bus can safely transport you to and from A-Basin. This service is free and you can view the bus schedule online.
Have a safe and fun filled weekend of winter time fun and we’ll ‘ski’ you there!
The SummitCove team recently had the pleasure of experiencing a dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero. We all gathered at the Frisco Nordic Center, bundled up on a chilly December night. We were all really looking forward to the dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero! Check-in was easy and soon we were split up in a few different sleighs mixed in with other guests from all over the country. Our driver was friendly and the horses (mules) were big! The driver was not only cracking jokes at us the whole time, but also giving us a really good historical insight on the area. Everyone had a thick blanket to keep them warm. We enjoyed talking to the others in the group on the one mile sleigh ride to the campsite where dinner would be served in a large white canvas tent (which was heated of course!). We arrived at the tent about a half an hour later and climbed off the sleigh to go inside and warm up. As we walked into the dinner hall, we were greeted by a very friendly man on the guitar center stage. Musician David Peel played a few songs upon arrival while the wait staff (who are the wagon drivers) served hot cocoa. Adults got the pleasure of a spike of peppermint schnapps in theirs!
After everyone was settled and warming up with their cocoa, the wait staff took wine and beer orders (cash only). The first course and my favorite part of the meal was warm bread and a delicious spicy chicken soup. The main course consisted of steak, chicken, and veggies with a large baked potato, standard cookout meal, but very delicious. Dessert was a warm slice of apple pie.
Once dinner was served, the highlight of the night was the entertainment. Mr. Peel is a musician from Memphis and had some good stories to tell. He engaged the whole crowd and got everyone singing to a John Denver melody and Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. We learned that it was a family’s second time to the dinner sleigh ride and another couple’s anniversary. There was also a young birthday boy in the crowd, who got to go on stage and ride the ‘pony’. David had the whole audience engaged, singing and laughing.
Once our bellies were full and our faces hurt from laughing so much, it was time to jump back on the sleigh and head back. The ride back was beautiful under the clear skies and we had a little time for stargazing. The dinner sleigh ride with 2 Below Zero is a splurge but well worth the money on you Keystone ski vacation. It is a memory that will last a lifetime.
So you’ve booked your Keystone Ski Vacation, but let’s face it: you might not be up to skiing EVERY day you’re here, and that’s ok! Keystone has a plethora of fun activities to keep you busy while you take a day off from your skis or snowboard.
1. Snow Tubing at Adventure Point Fun for all ages, you have to give it a try while you are visiting Keystone. Go at it alone or pile on together as you speed down the course, spinning away. Can’t get enough tubing? Head to the Frisco Adventure Park on Day 2 for a new course of rolling hills, views and fun!
2. Explore the larger than life Kidtopia Snow Fort Each year comes with a new design and each year it seems to get bigger and better! Have a snowball fight while exploring this larger than life snow fort, open most of the ski season at Keystone Resort.
3. See a live band at the Snake River Saloon The Snake River Saloon is one of Keystone’s staples for seeing great live music. Located just outside of River Run, in the Mountain House Village, it’s a great local’s spot to catch a concert and do some dancing! Go early for dinner and skip the Saloon cover charge.
4. Enjoy a relaxing massage at Serenity Spa & Salon Serenity Spa and Salon is conveniently located down the hall from SummitCove Lodging and is one of Keystone’s only Aveda salons. Enjoy one of their Keystone Signature Hot Stone Massage or an Elemental Nature Massage featuring Aveda aromatherapy oils and truly relax while you enjoy your Keystone vacation.
5. Go ice skating at one of the largest and most beautiful outdoor ice rinks in North America at Keystone Lake! Keystone has not one, but two of the coolest ice skating rinks around! Whether you’ve never skated or you are a hockey champ or figure skating pro, ice skating is fun for everyone. At Keystone Lake, stay at a Lakeside Village condo such as Lake Shore or Montezuma and watch the skaters from your private balcony! Staying in River Run? Check out the Dercum Square Ice Rink, it’s a little smaller, but still loads of fun!
6. Enjoy a crepe while strolling through River Run Village The Crepe Stand will make you a gourmet crepe, savory or sweet, to enjoy while you stroll around the village, do some window shopping, stop at the outdoor fire pit, or marvel at the holiday lights.
7. Go snowshoeing near the Snake River There are endless places to check out with a pair of snowshoes. Head up to Montezuma, stroll around by the Snake River or check out the Keystone Gulch area. Wherever you go, you’re sure to find great views and a serene, peaceful setting.
8. Have a gourmet fondue dinner at 11,000 feet at Der Fondue Chessel One of the most unique restaurants in Colorado, the Der Fondue Chessel is a ton of fun and an experience you and your family won’t soon forget! It starts with a gondola ride to North Peak, where you’ll enter a Bavarian style hall, complete with a grand fireplace and strolling musicians. You’ll feel like you are spending a night in the Alps!
9. Sip on a Colorado-brewed cold one on the deck of New Moon Cafe in the warm Colorado sunshine The New Moon Cafe in River Run Village is a great place to stop in during Happy Hour, with over 30 beers and daily specials. Take your beer out to the deck on a warm Spring day and enjoy the sunshine!
10. Take a dip in a hot tub while the snow is falling If you’ve never been in a hot tub with snow falling down, you are missing out! Most of Keystone’s main lodges feature common hot tubs. Some of our favorites include The Springs and Hidden River Lodge, for their amazing ski slope views!
If you are looking for a unique way to experience the gorgeous Colorado mountain scenery this winter, you might want to consider snowmobiling in Colorado. White Mountain Tours is Colorado’s highest snowmobile tour company and has been providing a safe and unique experience for guests for more than 20 years. Whether you choose their standard two-hour tour over groomed high mountain terrain or a high performance ride through powder-filled back country bowls, their guides will show you the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains at elevations from 11,000 to 12,000 feet at the ‘top of the world’. Trips can be catered to your liking, whether you are seeking an adrenaline filled powder ride or a slower paced family ride to take in the views and fresh air.
White Mountain Tours has a fleet of top-of-the-line snowmobiles with built-in hand and feet warmers. They supply everything you need, including the snowmobile suits, boots and helmets as part of the tour price. Transportation from Keystone to their privately owned base camp near Leadville is complimentary and just a short, scenic 40 minute ride. Their veteran guides always go the extra mile to accommodate the riding abilities of their guests. They are experts with decades of combined experience in the mountains and impressive wilderness safety credentials. Riding high with White Mountain Tours will be the highlight of your Colorado vacation. All SummitCove.com Guests receive a discount for White Mountain Tours in the Winter Key to Keystone Coupon Book! Call or book your tour online today!