One of my favorite places in the Rocky Mountains is Beaver Creek, Colorado.

Beaver Creek is my home away from home in many ways.

My family owned a condo there since the resort was just beginning back in the 1980s.

This charming ski town close to Vail offers many of the same activities as Vail, just on a smaller scale, which is fine by me.

Fewer people, more charm…

And you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from Vail — and only about an hour and a half from Aspen — should you want more action!

My family saves more than $8,000 every year flying free and I can show your family how to make it a lifestyle, too! Join my Families Fly Free membership to learn my simple process to put flying free on autopilot, so you can start making more precious travel memories before your kids leave home. Learn more below…

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All About Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek sees an average of more than 300 inches of snow each season and sits at an elevation of 8,100 feet with the top of its mountain at 11,440 feet.

Skiers will find fewer crowds amid the 1,800 skiable acres, featuring 150 conventional trails.

The resort’s longest trail is Centennial at 2.75 miles.

While it’s a bit chilly in winter with average temperatures in the 20s and 30s during the daytime, the area has 275 days of sunshine every year, which can make that chill feel not so bad!

Beaver Creek, Colorado
Credit Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck

My family usually visits Beaver Creek, Colorado, in the Rocky Mountains in summer, because we love to hike, kayak and enjoy the outdoor mountain scenery in the warmth.

However, I’ve been skiing a few times and I did love it.

Here are my tips for visiting this lovely ski resort during the magical winter months when snow blankets the village, fresh powder fills the mountains and cozy fires are blazing in every home and condo in the area :).


Tips for Winter Travel to Beaver Creek, Colorado

Tips for Winter Family Travel to Colorado's Beaver Creek Ski Resort via @GotoTravelGal

1. Fly Direct

While it’s less of a big deal in summer to fly into Denver (about two hours away) and drive into the mountains, you’ll be cursing in winter in the midst of a snow storm as you attempt to navigate crazy curves and steep inclines along I-70, especially with kids in tow.

You can fly directly into the Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport and be to Beaver Creek in about 15-20 minutes.

Delta and United also fly to the airport.

Beaver Creek Ski Resort
Credit Beaver Creek Resort, Jack Affleck


2. Fly Into Denver

If it doesn’t work for you to fly directly into Vail, you can, of course, fly into Denver, and plenty of people do it all winter long.

Southwest flies into Denver if you want to use Southwest points combined with your Southwest Companion Pass for ultra-cheap fares, but plan to add a day coming and going to your trip for the two-hour drive in the snow.

Inside our Families Fly Free membership, we can show you how to easily fly free to Denver and anywhere else you want to go in the US, Caribbean and Europe!

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If you don’t want to drive, hop a ride on the Colorado Mountain Express, which is a shuttle that takes you from the Denver Airport to the ski resort areas, including:

  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Copper Mountain
  • Vail
  • Beaver Creek
  • Bachelor Gulch
  • Aspen
  • Snowmass Village

Rates are $65-$129 per person one-way with lower rates for kids 12 and younger.

If you’re traveling with three or more people, you can save 20% on your tickets.

Additionally, car rentals can be expensive from Denver.

I’d advise booking as far in advance as you can and consider picking up the rental somewhere besides the airport, which is much less expensive.

You’ll need to Uber to the car rental agencies away from the airport, however, which adds extra time, and they are often only open during business hours.

We have more tips on how to pay the least for car rentals inside the Families Fly Free membership.

Tip: If you show your same-day boarding pass at the Beaver Creek ticket window, they’ll let you ski FREE all afternoon!


3. Choose Ski-in/Ski-out Vacation Rentals & Hotels

At many Beaver Creek resorts, you can literally pop out the door of your condo or room on skis, which is one less hassle to take time out of the best part of Beaver Creek in winter: skiing. 

Plus, you get immediate warmth, so you can begin thawing upon your return after a day of skiing.

When searching for a vacation rental, sort here by “Distance to Lift.”

The alternative is waiting for a free Beaver Creek Resort shuttle, which is fine, but not ideal after a long day skiing with some very tired — and cranky — kiddos :).

Credit Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck
Credit Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck


4. Bring Your Beginner Skiers

Family skiing Beaver Creek Colorado
Credit Vail Resorts

Beaver Creek’s 200-acre Red Buffalo Park is dedicated to beginners and families.

Red Buffalo Park is located at the summit of Beaver Creek Mountain (which means spectacular Rocky Mountain views) and it offers:

  • Its own lift
  • 13 family trails
  • Kids Adventure Zones
  • Snow sculptures
  • The Cookie Cabin, where you can enjoy cookie time, which is explained below (Hint: It involves FREE cookies! Yes, please!).
Red Buffalo Park Beaver Creek
Credit Vail Resorts

In the Kids’ Adventure Zones, new skiers can enjoy runs designed just for kiddos with features like a ski-through covered wagon, teepees and mazes.

There’s also a beginner terrain park with small jumps, boxes, rails and stall features.

Intermediate skiers can check out the Zoom Room with similar features but designed for more advanced skiers.


5. Ski With a Ranger

Take a FREE hour-long ski tour of Beaver Creek Mountain with staff from Walking Mountains Science Center and the United States Forest Service to learn about:

  • wildlife
  • plants
  • history
  • the mountain ecosystem in winter

The tours take place every Monday at 1:30 p.m. at the top of Red Buffalo Park.

The tour is recommended for Level 3 skiers and higher.


6. Enjoy Ice Skating

Be sure to head to Beaver Creek’s ice skating rink located right in the middle of the village for a break from skiing and some fun family time.

It’s a bucket list item at Beaver Creek for sure.

Rent skates right in the village and cruise around the rink to popular music.

When you need a break, relax in some of the village’s super comfy seating and warm up by the outdoor fire pits.

Credit Beaver Creek Resort, Chris McLennan
Credit Beaver Creek Resort, Chris McLennan

If you want to skip skating, make reservations at one of our favorite restaurants, Toscanini, where you can enjoy Italian food, while watching OTHER people skate.


7. Cookie Time!

Credit Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck
Credit Vail Resorts, Jack Affleck

This has to be my favorite!

Every day at 3 p.m. through the winter season, chefs serve warm, freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies throughout the village.

They say they serve almost 500,000 cookies every year!

You can also enjoy Cookie Time at the Cookie Cabin at Red Buffalo Park if you’re enrolled in ski school.

They serve the cookies all day… Now that’s my kind of wintertime activity…


8. Dine on the Mountain

Allie's Cabin Beaver Creek
Credit Vail Resorts

One of my best memories of Beaver Creek is taking a sleigh ride through the snow to arrive at an utterly-charming cabin on the mountain for a lovely meal with my family.

This tradition is still alive at either Beano’s Cabin or Allie’s Cabin, both located on the mountain, requiring you to take special transportation to access them.

Allie’s Cabin offers family meals, where groups arrive by open-air sleigh and then enjoy a kid-friendy three-course buffet meal while the floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace crackles with a cozy fire.


9.  Indulge in Artisan Chocolate

Beaver Creek Colorado Candy Cabin
Credit Vail Resorts

At the top of the Strawberry Express Lift is Beaver Creek’s popular Candy Cabin where you can snag one-of-a-kind artisan craft chocolate within the atmosphere of a vintage candy store.

Each chocolate bar comes in its own gold box, or you can choose from chocolate snowflakes, snow men or ski boots.

What a treat at the top of the lift!


10. Get Social

Beaver Creek, Colorado Women Social Ski
Credit Vail Resort

Beaver Creek’s Women’s Social Tour invites visiting women to improve their ski skills while making new friends — free!

Drop the kids off at ski school or head over after morning exercise to meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Beaver Creek Ski School for a tour led by a female Ski School ambassador.


11. See a Show

Vilar Performing Arts Beaver Creek
Credit: Vail Resorts

The village offers a world-class arts venue at the Vilar Performing Arts Center where famous performers of all types visit.

We were able to catch Bruce Hornsby for a fantastic performance during the summer, but other past performances have included…

  • David Spade
  • Diana Krall
  • Bela Fleck
  • Jim Gaffigan
  • The Wailers
  • Broadway shows and more.


12. Visit Nearby Vail

Things to do Beaver Creek
Top of Vail Mountain, Colorado, Credit Vail Resort

While you’re in the area, head east to Vail Mountain, which is just a 15-minute drive.

Vail has two large villages, Vail Village and Lionshead, with lots more…

  • shopping
  • dining
  • apre ski bars
  • entertainment

Skate on their ice skating rink, enjoy some different slopes and go mushing.

Check out more things to do in Vail.

What’s your favorite winter family activity at Beaver Creek?

Have fun out there!


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  • Lyn Mettler

    Lyn Mettler is a longtime travel writer for US News & World Report, USA Today 10Best and The TODAY Show who created Families Fly Free, a program which teaches families her simple system to use travel rewards to fly for free.

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