Beaver Creek Overview
Visitors are greeted by a European-style base village featuring heated walkways and filled with a wide variety of lodging, bars, restaurants and shops, as well as the aforementioned escalators. Ski and snowboard school and daycare facilities are also centrally located in the village, which is great for families with small children. Resort staff (mostly ambassadors) are visible everywhere, directing guests, answering questions, and occasionally lending a hand carrying gear (more on that later).
The mountain consists of 149 trails spread across 1,815 acres and served by 17 lifts (including ten high-speed quads and two gondolas). 19% of the terrain (345 acres) is rated easiest, 43% (776 acres) is aimed at intermediates, and 38% of the mountain is rated for advanced and expert skiers and riders. Beaver Creek covers about one-third of the mountain with snowmaking (610 acres), which ensures solid snow during early-season operations.
Like Groomers? You'll LOVE Beaver Creek!
When things seem crowded around the main base area and the trails on the middle of the mountain, do yourself a favor and head towards the Bachelor Gulch and/or Arrowhead areas. They're a bit of a hike from Beaver Creek Village, which tends to keep them less crowded. Both areas feature wide, impeccably-groomed boulevards with enough variety to keep everyone in the group entertained, and the views from the shoulder of Arrowhead are simply breathtaking. The only drawback to heading over to Bachelor Gulch or Arrowhead is the long cat-track required to get there from Beaver Creek Village, which can be difficult for the gravitationally challenged (i.e., snowboarders). However, the trip is well worth the reward, so do whatever you must - whine, cry, look pathetic, etc. - and cajole a skier or two into helping you navigate the long flat sections en route!
The Gnarly Side of Beaver Creek
Beginning far riders-left, the Talons (the trails in this area are all named after birds of prey) are a series of fairly steep single and double-black diamond runs that are often littered with Volkswagen-sized moguls. Above and adjacent to the Talons is the Royal Elks Glade, which offers steep shots through the trees and is an absolute blast on a powder day. Both areas are serviced by either the Birds of Prey Express or the Grouse Mountain Express, both of which are high-speed detachable lifts.
Once you're good and warmed up, head far riders-right for The Beav's ultimate challenge - the Stone Creek Chutes. Showcasing Beaver Creek's steepest terrain, the Upper and Lower Stone Creek Chutes are between 400-600 vertical feet in length, with pitches up to 45 degrees and numerous "launch pads" (a.k.a., cliffs) to keep all but the most hardened expert entertained for days. As one local put it, "You might wanna take it easy the first time through...those launch pads aren't exactly marked!"
Beaver Creek's Terrain Parks
Accessed by the Cinch Express lift, Park 101 is perfect for riders that are just starting out in the terrain park. Sprinkled throughout the park are small jumps, boxes and other jibs - all designed with input from the Beaver Creek Ski School.
Snowboarders that are ready for something bigger than Park 101 will be delighted by the layouts of the Zoom Room and Lumber Yard terrain parks. Both are designed with intermediate to advanced park riders in mind, with boxes, rails, log rides, jib/stall features, and medium (20-30 feet in length) sized jumps. Zoom Room is accessed from the top of the Cinch Express lift, while the Lumber Yard sits just below the Spruce Saddle lodge at mid-mountain.
Big boys and girls at Beaver Creek hang out in the Rodeo Terrain Park, located off Chair 6. The resort has parked its most technical rails and boxes (including "Shooter McGavin," a 25-foot double-barreled rail that kicks riders up and out at the end) in the Rodeo, along with some medium to large jumps (between 40 and 60 feet in length).
Regardless of what park you check out at Beaver, you can rest assured the features will flow well and be impeccably maintained. Remember the Smart Style guidelines, don't be a Joey, and have a great time jibbing and jumping in Beaver's parks!