Every year, since my parents have been married, (so we are talking 38 years here people) my family has gone out to Colorado for a family ski trip. I have been going since I was 7 (they left the younger kiddos at Grandmas, until we could learn) and it has always been my favorite vacation of the entire year.
Back in the day, before nieces and nephews, we would ski at several mountains during the week, (copper, vail, keystone, a-basin, to name a few) and stay in a condo in Frisco. These days, we hang out at Copper for majority of the week and then we spend one day at Vail, because, back bowls <3.
We choose Copper as our home base for a few reasons.
First, it’s inexpensive. No sugarcoating: skiing is one of the more expensive vacations you can go on. With window prices on lift tickets alone costing upwards of $180 a day, you have to be wise about when you book + where you go. Copper’s ski-in, ski-out lodging is significantly more reasonable than Vail’s or Breck’s. We have also had the best luck finding lift ticket deals for Copper. This year we paid $200 for 5 days of skiing per person. (We paid $160 for just one day at Vail. Worth it. But you can see why we aren’t ripping there all week.)
Second, we love the layout of the mountain. If you look at a map of Copper, it’s set up perfectly for a big group of people with different skill levels, which is exactly what we have. On the west side, you have your green runs. In center, there are primarily blues. And on the east side, you have the Super Bee lift, which takes you to all your black runs + back bowls.
Copper’s layout also allows you to cut across the mountain fairly easily by taking longer runs, which cuts down on the amount of lifts you are taking. In addition to the lifts, it helps with our big group, because it makes it easier for everyone to split up and meet back up later. My family stays over in the east side by the Super Bee, all of us go out, some ski blues, others go to the blacks, and then we reconvene for lunch.
When we Aren’t Skiing
If it isn’t obvious, my family is pretty into actually being on the mountain and skiing. Most days are first chair, last chair kind of days. However, the lifts close at 4pm, so we like to have fun and go out in the evenings!
Because of the kiddos, we mainly stay on the resort. We shuttle over to center village on copper’s free shuttle, and go to a fun bar or restaurant for a little apres ski. (Did I use that word correctly? Probably not.) We do a little bit of shopping in center village and on some evenings, grab a snack at the mini donut shop or Rocky Mountain Chocolate! We typically go back to the condo to cook dinner, because eating out for 7 days straight with 10 people gets pricey. After dinner, we either just hang out and watch a movie, go to the hottub and watch the snow cats, or take the kiddos back to center village to go ice skating.
Other Things To Do
When we do venture off the resort, we usually head to Frisco, Dillon or Silverthorne. All 3 of these cities are on the Dillon Reservoir and sort of run together. Frisco has a fun, older downtown with some neat restaurants. Dillon has Lake Dillon, which is always snow covered and beautiful in the winter. Silverthorne has outlet malls and more practical stores, like groceries and ski rental shops.
If you are going to spend a day off the mountain, make sure to check out the city of Breckenridge! Breck gets a lot of attention from out of towners, and rightly so! The town is darling, with tons of cute shops and places to eat. Like every other ski town, it is built right on the resort, so the views aren’t bad either.
One thing we really enjoyed doing this year was going past Breckenridge on Highway 9 to the small city of Alma. It is the highest incorporated city in the US at 10,578 feet and it is just breathtaking! It is tiny tiny, so you won’t get the restaurants or shops that Breck has, but because of the lack of people, you can take in the mountain views without tourists! We drove through, stopped to look at the mountains, flew the drone, and then went to dinner at the Breckenridge Brewery.
Like I said, our ski trip is my favorite trip of the entire year — there is just something about having all my people in the coolest state, hanging out outside! Nothing better. Have you ever been skiing? If so, where? Tell me all about it in the comments section!