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Advice on logistics, parking, etc. at Summit County resorts

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We were out in Vail in January and I didn't like the fact that there wasn't really a "base lodge" per se, where you could boot up and stash a backpack. Given that we were taking a bus from our condo, that meant when we were done skiing we were stuck walking around in our ski boots unless we wanted to shuttle back to the condo and back into town. Parking wasn't really an option.

Do any of you have advice on the best ways to get around the other Summit resorts on the Epic Pass? Where do you park, and where do you boot up? We're staying in Frisco and will be skiing at Breck, Keystone, Beaver Creek, and A-Basin. Is the bus from Frisco good to those places, or are we better off driving?

I found a great guide to Frisco bars and restaurants someone posted on Epic a few years ago, any other advice anyone has will be appreciated.
post #2 of 9
I'm sure you'll get some helpful replies soon, but until then, here's mine:

I'm not real proud of it but these logistical considerations are very important to me and tend to factor greatly in my satisfaction in the skiing experience.  After at least a little experience at all the resorts named above, the strategy that pleases me most has been to drive to ABasin early and snag a good spot at the Beach.  Skip all those other places.

That said, I did ski Vail a couple of weeks ago and had good luck carrying all my gear for a couple of hundred yards from the condo, hopping on the bus, schlepping another fifty yards or so and trusting my fellow man by stashing my boot bag behind a couch at one of the base lodges.

If you like the ABasin suggestion, Loveland, Mary Jane, Monarch and Telluride are great options as well.
post #3 of 9
A-Basin is great.  Park in the Early Riser lot and leave your gear in the lodge or your car.  Everything is convenient.

For Breck, park in the gondola lot ($5 or $10) and take the gondola to Peak 8 and leave your gear in the Bergenhof. 

Keystone is a bit of a pain.  No base lodge at River Run.  Either leave your stuff in your car or take the shuttle bus to the Mountain House.  At least the parking is free. 
post #4 of 9
Actually, Keystone is probably the easiest place in Summit County for parking and base lodge access, now that the "Pika" lot at Mountain House Base (west base area) is free. (The Marmot Lot, at the west end of Mountain House Base, is still a pay lot.) Mountain House is the original base area at Keystone, but with the development of River Run, it is now often nearly deserted. Base lodges ("day lodges") are a dying breed in modern ski resorts. Like Vail, River Run has no base lodge facilities, but the original Mountain House day lodge is still there, and you'll find plenty of room in it.

To get to the Pika lot (at the east end of the Mountain House base village) from the west (Dillon, Silverthorne), drive 1.5 miles past the main Keystone light on Highway 6, and take a right on East Keystone Road. Stay right on Keystone Road (do not turn left, as most people will, into the huge lot at River Run), all the way to the Pika lot on your right. Walk into the village to the Mountain House Lodge, right at the base of the Peru Lift (high-speed quad).

The only problem might be that the Pika Lot fills up quickly on busy days. On weekends, you could miss out by 9:00am, or even earlier. If that happens, just go to the big lot at River Run. From there, you can either fight the crowds in the River Run village, or hop on the free shuttle to Mountain House.

---

The free Summit Stage is reliable transportation throughout Summit County, although it can be frustratingly slow, depending on where and when you're going. It's particularly good for getting from Frisco to Copper Mountain, where an express bus will take you right into the Center Village. From anywhere to Keystone or Arapahoe Basin, it will get you there, but you'll age a bit during the ride. It may be your least frustrating route to Breckenridge, where traffic and parking can both be nightmares when it's busy.

Have a great time in Summit County!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
 
post #5 of 9
Amen to that !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Barnes View Post

Actually, Keystone is probably the easiest place in Summit County for parking and base lodge access, now that the "Pika" lot at Mountain House Base (west base area) is free.
(The Marmot Lot, at the west end of Mountain House Base, is still a pay lot.) Mountain House is the original base area at Keystone, but with the development of River Run, it is now often nearly deserted. Base lodges ("day lodges") are a dying breed in modern ski resorts. Like Vail, River Run has no base lodge facilities, but the original Mountain House day lodge is still there, and you'll find plenty of room in it.

To get to the Pika lot (at the east end of the Mountain House base village) from the west (Dillon, Silverthorne), drive 1.5 miles past the main Keystone light on Highway 6, and take a right on East Keystone Road. Stay right on Keystone Road (do not turn left, as most people will, into the huge lot at River Run), all the way to the Pika lot on your right. Walk into the village to the Mountain House Lodge, right at the base of the Peru Lift (high-speed quad).

The only problem might be that the Pika Lot fills up quickly on busy days. On weekends, you could miss out by 9:00am, or even earlier. If that happens, just go to the big lot at River Run. From there, you can either fight the crowds in the River Run village, or hop on the free shuttle to Mountain House.

---

The free Summit Stage is reliable transportation throughout Summit County, although it can be frustratingly slow, depending on where and when you're going. It's particularly good for getting from Frisco to Copper Mountain, where an express bus will take you right into the Center Village. From anywhere to Keystone or Arapahoe Basin, it will get you there, but you'll age a bit during the ride. It may be your least frustrating route to Breckenridge, where traffic and parking can both be nightmares when it's busy.

Have a great time in Summit County!

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
 
post #6 of 9

If you're staying in Frisco, the Summit Stage bus to Breck is almost a direct run to the gondola base.  You can park at the stage station or get to any of the covered bus stops.  Schedules are posted at all stops.

If you drive to Breck, there is free parking off Airport Road with quarter-hour free bus service from the lot to the gondola station, the base of the Beaver Run lift or the Village base.  Coming from the north (Frisco), turn at Coyne Valley Road (third stoplight after you leave the Frisco Town Limit) , turn onto Airport Road and it's about three/four blocks to the parking lot entrance.

 

I'd drive from Frisco (Dillon Dam Road) to Keystone or A-Basin rather than deal with the bus service.  Follow Bob's parking advice at Keystone.  Note that A-Basin now is charging you to reserve a spot to park at the Beach area on weekends.  The whole parking lot there is a bit of a challenge, but early arrivals get you closer to the facilities.  I get there early, use my car as a locker.

Vail remains a parking nightmare unless you're willing to part with $25 to use the City of Vail's (not the resort's) parking deck.  I'd rather go to Beaver Creek and park for free using the teriffic bus service.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Great info you guys! Exactly what I was hoping for, the kind of stuff you don't get on the resort web sites. Thanks a lot.
post #8 of 9
IMO the nominal fee for parking at the gondola lots at Breck is worth it.  Saves a lot of time and very convenient.  If you have 4 in the car it's $5 off, so free Mon-Thurs and $5 Fri-Sun.  I hate the Breck shuttle buses.

Good suggestion on the Pika lot at Keystone for access to the Mountain House.  I don't mind the slog through River Run village in my boots and will just take my bag lunch up the gondola with me and put in a locker at the Summit House.  Or wear a backpack.
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
We'll have two in the car, but it sounds like it might be worth it to pay at Breck. I think I hate buses.
Edited by Ice Queen - 3/10/10 at 7:11pm
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