Copper Mountain and Keystone are two popular ski resorts in the Rocky Mountains that attract thousands of skiers and snowboarders every year.
If you’re wondering how both of these resorts compare and which one is the best – this post is for you.
I’ll compare Copper Mountain vs Keystone against a number of different factors including the terrain, size, snowfall, runs and lifts, accommodation and other amenities.
Copper Mountain Vs Keystone
The main difference between Copper Mountain and Keystone is that Copper Mountain has better terrain, gets more snow and is a better choice for advanced skiers. Plus, it’s less crowded and has great snow and powder.
Keystone on the other hand is larger, has a longer season and is great for beginner skiers and families with plenty of easy runs.
Also read our comparison of Copper Mountain Vs Breckenridge
Size and Skiable Area
Keystone is larger than Copper Mountain. Copper Mountain is a medium-sized resort, with a skiable area of 2,527 acres with a peak elevation of 12,313 feet.
Keystone has a skiable area of 3,148 acres and a peak elevation of 12,408 feet.
Copper Mountain offers better terrain than Keystone. Copper Mountain has 150 runs (longest being 1.7 miles) and is really great for free riding and has a lot of awesome bowls and glades to high alpine terrain.
Copper Mountain is also known for its excellent terrain parks, which features rails, jumps, half pipes and a lot more.
That being said, Keystone has 128 runs (longest being 3.5 miles) and offers good side country terrain and it’s fun to ride the Outback and North Bowl but it’s not too steep. Plus, the trees are perfect. However, it’s not as great compared to Copper’s terrain.
Best for Beginners
Both Copper Mountain and Keystone offer beginner-friendly terrain, but Keystone might be the better choice for first-timers.
Also read our list of the Best Colorado Ski Resorts for Beginners
Keystone is a great family resort with lots of fun greens and blues, with 59% of its runs being marked as beginner and intermediate. If you are going with kids, they’ll love it here. Plus, kids ski free if you stay on site.
This doesn’t mean Copper isn’t for beginners. Copper Mountain with its slow lifts and gentle slopes is great for beginners – in fact 49% of its runs are for beginners and intermediates.
Best for Advanced And Expert Skiers
Copper Mountain is the clear winner for experienced skiers. 51% of its runs (east side) are marked as expert and with its steep bowls and challenging terrain, makes it a good choice.
I highly recommend giving Three Bears a try if you are looking for a challenge.
Even though 41% of Keystone runs are marked as expert runs, they are not very steep or all that special compared to Copper. The resort’s North Bowl and Outback areas might offer some challenge with its bowls, moguls, and tree skiing.
Both Copper Mountain and Keystone are known for their excellent snow quality, thanks to their high elevation and location in the Rocky Mountains.
So this is going to be a matter of personal preference, but if you’re looking for light, fluffy powder, Copper Mountain may be the better choice.
Also read our comparison of Park City Vs Breckenridge.
Copper Mountain is better for powder skiing. The resort’s Tucker Mountain offers some of the best powder skiing in Colorado, with steep chutes, glades, and open bowls.
Keystone also has powder skiing, particularly in the Outback area, but it may not be as good as Copper Mountain.
When it comes to snowfall, both Copper Mountain and Keystone receive plenty of snow throughout the winter.
However, Copper Mountain tends to get slightly more snow, with an average of 233 inches per year, compared to Keystone’s average of 208 inches per year.
Longest Ski Season
Keystone typically has a longer ski season than Copper Mountain, thanks to its higher elevation and snow making capabilities.
Keystone typically opens in late October and closes in mid-April. Copper Mountain, on the other hand, typically opens in late November and closes in mid-April, with some years extending into May.
But remember – both resorts are highly dependent on weather conditions.
Both Copper Mountain and Keystone have excellent lift systems, with modern lifts including high-speed chairs and gondolas that are well-maintained.
Copper Mountain has 24 lifts, including a gondola, 2 high-speed sixers and 4 high-speed quads. And Keystone has 20 lifts, including 2 gondolas, 2 high-speed sixers and 4 high-speed quads.
When it comes to cost, Copper Mountain and Keystone are fairly comparable. Both resorts offer a great mix of lodging options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury condos.
However, Copper Mountain may be slightly cheaper than Keystone, particularly for lift tickets and rentals. Lift tickets are going to be a lot cheaper in Copper Mountain if you buy them in advance.
Both resorts offer FREE parking!
I wouldn’t recommend staying in on-mountain because they tend to be expensive.
Copper Mountain has several on-mountain lodging options including the Copper Mountain Inn and the Tucker Mountain Lodge, as well as a variety of off-mountain options in the nearby awesome towns – Frisco and Dillon.
Keystone also has a good number of on-mountain accommodation which includes the Keystone Lodge and Spa and the River Run Village, as well as off-mountain options in Dillon
Both resorts offer free shuttle services to and from the slopes, so it’s easy to get around even if you’re not staying on the mountain.
Verdict – Which Is Better?
Both resorts offer great snow quality, modern ski lifts, and a range of accommodation options, so it’s really a matter of personal preference.
If you are an advanced skier who’s looking for challenges and doesn’t like crowds, Copper Mountain is the way to go. But if you are a beginner or skiing with your family, Keystone would be a good choice.