Loveland Ski Atop the Continental Divide

The Ski Mountain

Perched atop the continental divide, Loveland’s rugged runs and proximity to Denver attract Colorado natives and first-time skiers. Its two distinct ski areas – Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley – separate skiers with different experience levels, allowing beginners to ease into the sport while experts can explore the bowls. Tourists tend to visit the larger, well-known Colorado resorts, which leaves Loveland crowd-free most of the time. The mountain is a local-favorite because it provides the bare-bones of Rocky Mountain skiing without an enormous price tag.

The Mountain Experience

Ski Loveland

Loveland is a blast from the past. It looks, feels and tastes like the hill your parents skied when they grew up, from the cafeteria dining to the retro chair lifts. Truly a locals’ mountain, regular visitors appreciate the unpretentious, friendly attitudes of the staff. If you crave plush amenities, keep driving to the more tourist-friendly resorts such as Vail and Beaver Creek. Come to Loveland when you’re looking to ski without the tourists and crowds – with entirely free parking within walking distance to the lifts, inexpensive lift tickets, and generally short lift lines.


Loveland Ski Terrain

• Beginner: Fourteen percent of Loveland’s terrain is for beginners and the entire area of Loveland Valley was designed with beginners in mind. With four beginner runs and a few mellow intermediate runs, this area is perfect for slowly progressing. Chair two accesses a few longer beginner runs but these also attract traffic from neighboring intermediate runs.


Current Snow Conditions


• Intermediate: Intermediate runs are scattered throughout the resort, though most are concentrated on the south face of the resort on the skier’s left (looking up the hill). Take Chair Four or Six to access wide runs that funnel into mellow tree skiing. Avoid trails near Chair Six in the afternoon as this area tends to become wind-blown.

• Advanced: Nearly half of the trails at Loveland are labeled “advanced.” Many of them include bowls and chutes that can be accessed from Chair Nine. In the afternoon, ski the glades off of trails Splashdown and Sunburst Chutes. These areas catch snow that’s blown off the summit, giving the runs a light dusting of powder, even when there’s no new snow. In the morning, ski the trails off of Chair One to catch the fresh powder.

Around the Mountain


• Terrain Park: Loveland’s park has several rails, jumps, and boxes but it’s pretty average. Most people visit Loveland to ski its high country bowls.


Best Advice

Plan a day trip to Loveland. This way you can test the mountain before committing to spending more days there. If you decide to extend your stay, drive 12 miles east to Georgetown for restaurants and inexpensive hotels. Because the mountain is only 53 miles from Denver it’s convenient to ski for half a day. If you’ve never skied but are eager to try, the resort offers a Day Tripper Package for $99 that includes a lift ticket, ski or snowboard rental, and snow clothes.


Après Skiing

Loveland’s two lodges house two cafeterias and a bar with an Après menu. Try the Buffalo Burger at the Wedge Bar for a hearty after-ski meal. Because Loveland stays open later into the season, guests like to BBQ in the parking lot on warm days. Bring a portable grill and cooler to join the party or you can rent an on-mountain cabin for $100 per day. Equipped with decks and propane grills, many use these for family or business gatherings in spring. Unfortunately, you can’t stay in them overnight.

Nearest Ski Town

Charming Victorian town, with 75+ restaurants, bars, historic district and ski-in/ski-out access.


Loveland doesn’t have hotels, so you’ll need to stay a few miles away. Two towns are located within a 12-mile radius, four towns within a 20-mile radius. Most guests stay in nearby Georgetown and Silverthorn where there are several Bed and Breakfasts and inexpensive hotels. “Ski and Stay” packages are offered throughout the season that include Loveland lift tickets and lodging in nearby towns. These tend to be the best value. Use the Ski Lodging Deals box above and right to find Loveland’s best Lodging choices and deals.


Skiing With Kids

The resort doesn’t have many beginner-designated runs, but because it’s less crowded, your kids will receive more personal attention during a ski lesson. In fact, if you sign up for ski school or a group lesson during a weekday, it’s not unusual to have no one else in the class. Thus, you score a private lesson for the price of a group.

Lift Tickets and Season Pass Cost*

Lift Tickets (pre-purchase online): Adult $49-$61; Child $25-$27; Senior $50; (PURCHASE NOW) Season Pass: Adult $379; Child $169; Senior $89 Other Passes: 4 day pass pre-purchased online or phone (by 11/18/12) are $129 Special Deals: Pass includes 3 days skiing each at both Monarch and Durango ski resorts *prices reflect our best effort to gather from resort published information.

Driving Directions

by Amanda Markert

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