Just Traveling Thru

Keystone, CO Ski Trip

This was an "all family" trip to Keystone, CO and we invited Celeste's nephew Steven to come along. This was a year after Jeremy had made the switch to snowboard, and Steven had been snowboarding for a while in New England - so our assumption was that we could all have a great time.
My oldest son William flew in a couple of days later, and we were happy to have him join us, because he always "livens up" our get togethers!

Some Interesting facts about Keystone Resort
  • According to USA Today, Keystone ranks No. 1 among the top U.S. ski resorts for families.
  • Keystone offers one of the closest ski destination resorts near Denver International Airport.
  • You can find Terrain for all Skier Skill Levels.
  • Skate the Largest Zamboni-maintained Outdoor Skating Rink.
  • Largest Night-skiing Operation in Colorado.
Around the Resort & Area
Top of Dercum Mountain

This is the top of Dercum Mountain, the first lift exit coming up from the Mountain House side. The picture was taken by one of the EpicMix crews that are always wandering around taking pictures of everyone. It turned out so well, that we kept it! Right behind us is the start of the Mozart Trail, one of the better slopes on Dercum Mountain.

Mozart is an intermediate (blue) trail and is a crowd favorite. Skiers have the option to take the Santiago Express chairlift towards the North Peak summit for some blue marked pistes or follow the same trail and it takes skiers to the Spillway and the Coyote Caper in the Outback.

House Rental in Silverthorne

With a group of five, we needed a large condo, so we splurged and got a really nice one in the Silverthorne area. The area is just north of I-70, up above town, so getting back & forth from there to the ski area was simple.

Gold Runner Alpine Breckenridge Coaster

This was part of a side-trip we made to Breckenridge to have some fun and enjoy ourselves in a slightly different way. This is a fun way to enjoy the snow without strapping on your boots! Click here to go to their website.

Dew Tour 2011

Part of the reason for visiting Breckenridge, was because the Dew Tour was going to be taking place. We all wanted to find a way to watch Shaun White do his half-pipe routine - and - he eventually won that event. It turned out that just about every person in Summit County came to Breckenridge that day to see the Dew Tour ! It was super crowded !!

Keystone Resort Layout

Keystone Resort is comprised of 3 mountains, Dercum is the first, North Peak is the second, and the Outback is the third. Posted information is everywhere, and is always kept up to date.

The Keystone Trail Map shows you how the trails are laid out across three different mountains, with varied terrain and various trail types for all levels of skills. The resort has placed signs with large trail maps on them next to most of the lift "exit points".

Which Trail should we Take?

In image # 1. this is obviously Chelsea & Jeremy doubting my map-reading experience! I am trying to convince them to take the trail to the left. In image # 2 is the trail that will bring us back to the River Run area.

Just to clarify, on the front mountain some trails lead you back to the Mountain House area & lifts and other trails will take you to the River Run area.

Warning: The River Run trail may be too steep depending upon your level of expertise on the snow. If you are NOT experienced with steep trails, we would suggest that you do not attempt to learn on this trail.

Lift Ride back to the Top

Back to the top, and you can see what a beautiful day it was! Snow was perfect! Most of the lifts on the front mountain are quads, which is a good configuration for a family of four. The view from the lifts as they pass through the trees is always pretty!

Visibility was Amazing that Day

It was such a beautiful day, that we wound up taking a lot of pictures. As you can see in the background, visibility was perfect!

Gondola Ride to the Top

There are a number of lifts from the base area of Keystone, including several gondolas. This is a much warmer way to get to the top!

River Run
River Run Trail

This is one of the runs leading down from Dercum Mountain/Summit House, to Keystone Village. This is the River Run trail, which is fed by various higher trails such as Santa Fe and Spring Dipper. Good downhill slope and then you are back at the Gondola.

It probably does not look as steep to you as it actually is, and when you combine that steepness with icy conditions, you can experience a lot of sliding coming down this trail!

River Run Lift Area

There is a quad and a gondola here, and as you can see, it gets crowded at various times during the day, ie; mornings and afternoons as people get ready to go up, or they are coming down at the end of the day. The Keystone staff do a good job of moving people onto the lifts, so the crowds disperse at a steady clip.

Life in the Ski Rental Unit
Rental Unit Interior

The Silverthorne rental had plenty of room, including a nice fireplace. We always found ways to entertain ourselves when we weren't on the slopes. Looks like William was using the fireplace warmth to thaw out !

A Snack Decision

Jeremy trying to decide whether to have one snack or another. Needless to say, when you are on the slopes all day, and it is cold, you are burning a lot of calories!

Exploring Leadville, CO

We took one day off and drove up to Leadville, the highest in elevation incorporated city in the USA. It is only a 42 mile drive from Keystone to Leadville, but you are ascending continously and the road is constantly curving to pass around mountains.

Quick Facts: Leadville is the statutory city that is the county seat and only incorporated municipality in Lake County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 2,602 at the 2010 census and an estimated 2,762 in 2018. Leadville is situated at an elevation of 10,152 feet.

Exploring Breckenridge, CO

No trip to Silverthorne, CO would have been complete without a side-trip to Breckenridge ! Which is one of the neatest little towns in Summit County, CO.

Quick Facts: Breckenridge is a Colorado town at the base of the Rocky Mountains’ Tenmile Range. It's known for its ski resort, year-round alpine activities and Gold Rush history. The Victorian core of this former mining town is preserved as the Breckenridge National Historic District, running primarily along Main Street, with colorfully painted buildings from the 1880s and '90s housing shops, galleries and restaurants. Breckenridge's altitude is 9,600 feet above sea level.

Breckenridge Gondola

Headed up the hill on the Breckenridge Cable Car. You can see the city in the background, that is the eastern side of the city.

Restoring Calories

Nothing like a morning of snowboarding to make everyone hungry!

Skiing/Snowboarding Quick Facts: According to various magazines, a 160-pound person burns about 381 calories in 60 minutes of light snowboarding. When snowboarding at a moderate or vigorous level for 60 minutes, the same person burns about 457 or 610 calories, respectively.

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Denver International Airport

Back to the real world! We drove east on I-70 back to the Denver Airport, shuffled through the TSA lines, got on plane, and flew back to Florida. On the plus side was the fact that the Denver Airport has some reasonable restaurants & shops, that can make the wait for the plane's departure a little easier !

Trip Summary
 Trip Summary 
  • Even though the common view of Keystone might be somewhat different, the lift-served portion of the resort is filled with green and blue runs and you’d never know that 49% of the 3,148 skiable acres are rated as "most difficult" (black or greater).
  • Keystone’s Ski & Ride School for ages three and up has some of the best infrastructure to teach kids to ski and snowboard. It provides best-in-class magic carpet and beginner lift options to match skill progression at the Mountain House Base Area.
  • All of this goodness and all kids under 12 ski free at Keystone Resort every day of the season, including weekends and holidays!
  • It is two hours away from Denver, which is both not so good and good at the same time. Not so good in that weekend lift lines are thick. Good in that you do not have to drive for hours to arrive there.
Some Useful Links
  • Just Traveling Thru Travel Planning Tips
  • Google Search Results list for "Keystone Resort area Restaurants"
  • Google Search Results list for "Accommodations near Keystone Resort"
  • Amazon Search Results list for "Keystone Resort"
  • Youtube Search Results list for "Keystone Resort"
  • Keystone Resort article on the "Wikipedia" site
  • Keystone Resort Website
  • Keystone Resort overview on the "On The Snow" site
  • Keystone Resort Rentals on the VRBO site
Resort Statistics
Keystone Resort Statistics
Vertical Descent:
3,128 ft
Base elevation:
9,280 ft
Summit elevation:
12,408 ft
# of Lifts:
12 chairlifts, 8 surface lifts and 8 carpet lifts
6 Person Lifts:
Quad Chairlifts:
Triple Chairlifts:
Double Chairlifts:
AVG Annual Snowfall:
235 in
# of Trails:
Longest Run:
3.5 Miles/Schoolmarm
Skiable Area:
3,149 acres
662 acres
Easiest Ski Trails:
More Difficult Trails:
Most Difficult Trails:
Breckenridge Resort Statistics
Vertical Descent:
3,398 ft
Base elevation:
9,600 ft
Summit Elevation:
12,998 ft
# of Lifts:
35 total (1 gondola, 5 high-speed six-packs, 7 high-speed quads, 1 fixed-grip quad, 1 triple chairlift, 6 double chairlifts, 3 surface lifts, 11 carpet lifts
6 Person Lifts:
Quad Chairlifts:
Triple Chairlifts:
Double Chairlifts:
AVG Annual Snowfall:
300 in
# of Trails:
Longest Run:
3.5 Miles / Four O'Clock
Skiable Area:
2,378 acres
600 acres
Easiest Ski Trails:
More Difficult Trails:
Most Difficult Trails:


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