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Keystone

Keystone is a resort without a strong identity, but it’s not a resort without a huge fan base. Go figure. In recent seasons, Keystone has regularly tallied more than one million visits, so a whole lot of skiers do find their way to this “family favorite” resort that chronically gets eclipsed in name recognition by its sexier sisters: Vail, Beaver Creek and neighboring Breckenridge. A reader concedes, but doesn’t complain, that Keystone is “often overlooked,” noting, as do others, that “it’s larger than I expected.” That’s to be expected, as this is a hill that sneaks up on you the first time you ski its fully legit, if not fully radical 3,148 acres. Many readers commend Keystone as “a great place to learn to ski,” which leads to other complaints of “too many beginner skiers.” Here’s a solution: Head to the far reaches of the mountain, as “The Outback provides great treeskiing without crowds.” Keystone’s reputation as “a family resort” is fueled by being “small enough to have a home-town feel, but large enough not to get bored.” There’s no boredom to be found at its famed terrain park (ranked No. 4), which includes beginner to pro-level features. “A-51 is sick!!!” is a theme often repeated, as is the use of multiple exclamation points by park-praisers. Keystone continues to effectively, if also quietly, build upon its friendly vibe and affordable comforts, while also offering two of the finest restaurants within sight of a ski slope: The Alpenglow Stube and the Ski Tip Lodge. Go figure, again. —G.D.

What’s New: Upgrades to Ripperoo’s Forest, the kid’s learning area; Keystone Lodge room renovations.

Mandatory Run: Ride, don’t hike, into the Outback Bowls in a snowcat for $5.

Don’t Miss: Families should check out the snow fort atop Dercum Mountain.

Epic and Mountain Collective Passes Add to their Rosters

Eldora joins Vail’s Epic pass while Mountain Collective adds Mammoth, Snowbird, and Whistler Blackcomb.

Big boy Vail Resorts adds Boulder, Colorado’s local hill, Eldora Mountain Resort, to its 2013-14 season Epic Pass buffet.  A mere 20 or so miles from Boulder and about an hour drive from Denver, Eldora is a classic feeder mountain: it’s packed with young kids learning how to ski and is a quick drive from multiple metro areas, allowing skiers to avoid the often jammed Colorado I-70 ski corridor. As bumper stickers in Eldora’s parking lot say, “Friends don’t let friends drive I-70.”

Family Fun in Keystone, Colo.

Kidtopia Snowfort
Kidtopia Snowfort
So much to do, you'll forget you came to ski.

Are you part of a skiing family? We hearby present you with the Keystone Challenge: Partake of all the kidtastic family programming on tap in and around the resort and still find time to, oh, you know… ski.

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