Without a doubt, spring is my favorite time to hit the slopes. This year, my family and I chose Cooper Mountain for our skiing and riding adventure. Even during spring break, the experience was wonderful. Here’s why.
Spring break vacation may bring to mind an escape to the tropics, but it doesn’t have to. Spring skiing or riding (snowboarding) is warmer and the lines can be shorter. This was definitely the case when my family and I spent a day at Copper Mountain last week. The idea was a last-minute whim, decided less than a week in advance when we found out one of our kids would be home from college for just a few days. By the next day, we had plans. Tickets are easy to locate and buy online at CopperColorado.com. Lodging, however, is easier to secure when you plan just a bit further in advance. We weren’t able to take advantage of the resort’s many great condos as they were sold out for our chosen weekend. This is a great case for “live and learn!”
Even without lodging, our day went smoothly. We live just outside of Denver, Colorado and took I-70 directly to the resort. For a Saturday during the spring break week of many Coloradan school districts and colleges, the traffic was surprisingly light. By 9:30, we were waiting in a short line to get on the American Flyer for a serene ride to the top. The weather was amazing and quite typical for March. With a high predicted of about 45 degrees, I left one layer in the car. I normally get very cold, so weather warm enough that I can take off my gloves to answer my phone without chilling them to the bone is welcome. I even unzipped my ski jacket by the third run. It had been a few days since it last snowed, which meant that the snow was a bit slick by the end of the day and not as fluffy as it can be just after a snow. Many in my family thought that made it even more fun – they like to go fast. Here’s a tip: ski early in the day rather than late for softer snow, later rather than early for slicker snow.
If you’re from Colorado, you have lots of great mountain resorts from which to choose and it can be a chore to uncover how they differ.
Please enjoy my list of Copper Mountain standouts:
1. The brilliant organization of the trails. Copper understand that beginners don’t want to accidentally wind up on a black diamond trail and experts prefer not to be slowed down by crossing over a beginning trail. The trails are well-marked and well-separated by skill level.
2. The food. Jack’s Slopeside Grill in Center Village is outstanding, not just for those who are desperately hungry and can’t make it far in clunky ski boots, but truly delicious. I’ve craved the Awesome Burger every day since I returned. If a grill isn’t what you had in mind, I counted 19 other restaurants and bars on their website. Those are some serious choices!
3. The lifts. They’re spacious and they’re speedy (without being so fast that they scare the easily scared). Lift lines are manned by friendly attendants who keep it moving.
4. The parking. Copper’s lots are hands-down the best for proximity to the lifts and for price.
It’s not too late to plan your spring skiing or riding day. The slopes are expected to stay open until mid-April. Copper Mountain has my high recommendation, so make plans knowing you’ll love it. Visit Copper Mountain online to buy lift passes and arrange lodging.
My appreciation to Stephanie Sweeney and Morgan Whitehouse for arranging my experience. You were both a pleasure with which to work!