Colorado’s longest ski and ride season is just getting started at Arapahoe Basin with more powder days and a full calendar of spring events still to come. Open until early June, at least, “The Legend” made it all the way to Independence Day 2020 before re-opening its slopes again October 11. Whether or not we get to ski and ride during the summer again this year, A-Basin’s relaxed atmosphere, full events calendar and excellent late-season snow make it the place to be this spring.
This is also the final season for the original Pallavicini Lift, aka “the black jewel in the crown of the Basin.” It usually closes sometime in May, so you have just a couple of months left to hop on and take a few laps before this classic fixed-grip double is retired and replaced.
Retiring Colorado’s Most Beloved Lift
Since 1978, the Pallavicini Lift (aka Pali) has served some of Colorado’s steepest inbounds terrain by delivering skiers and riders to 12,130 feet directly from the parking lot. A-Basin is throwing Pali a semi-formal retirement party on Saturday, April 25 featuring fine food, great stories, live music and the auction of a Pali chair to benefit local charities based in A-Basin’s home county.
Three other chairs will be auctioned for charity and the rest sold to the public via a lottery. Keep an eye on arapahoebasin.com for details on how to possibly get your hands on one. If you have ever ridden this famous lift and noticed name plaques on the chairs, those are for employees who have worked at A-Basin for 25 years or more. Those chairs will go directly to those people as a thank you for earning their turns (and then some) over the years.
Dress Up, Get Down
A-Basin’s free outdoor concert series featuring local bands kicks off April 25 and runs Saturday afternoons through the end of the season (scheduled for June 6-7). The jams are best enjoyed with your feet up on the deck of the 6th Alley Bar & Grill and an award-winning bacon bloody Mary in your hand.
On May 2, dust off your Halloween costume for A-Basin’s inaugural Superhero Day. If a cape and a mask are too much for you, pencil in Swimwear Day on May 16. Pool floaties, kayaking gear, board shorts and bikinis are all welcome. May 16 is also A-Basin’s free spring rail jam with prizes for those who throw the best tricks of the day.
It will be hard to top the snowboarder who went all out in the park last year wearing nothing but goggles, a Speedo and swim cap, but you’re challenged to try. At each event, appropriate attire gets you the admiration of onlookers and an entry into a raffle to win great prizes.
Local Beer Tastes Better at 10,780 feet
The 19th annual Festival of the Brewpubs takes place Sunday, May 24 from noon to 4:00 p.m. It’s A-Basin’s largest party of the year with live music by Latin Sol, food tents and multiple Colorado breweries to sample from. Check arapahoebasin.com about a month prior to purchase your keepsake tasting mug.
Set Your Sights on Summer
The flings of spring are going to roll right into summer; A-Basin doesn’t really do “mud season.” Beginning June 26 and lasting through September 7, The Legend will be open seven days a week for the first time (and Fridays-Sundays Sept. 11-27).
Summer at A-Basin is off the beaten path and at a higher elevation than anywhere else in the area. When people think of an authentic Rocky Mountain experience, this peaceful, natural and rugged place is what they’re imagining.
A-Basin sits adjacent to the Continental Divide with incredible views, cool temperatures and no crowds—offering visitors a high-alpine, big-mountain experience between 10,780 and 13,000 feet. All activities take place in the trees or on the mountain, putting visitors right in the midst of a stunning landscape covered in wildflowers and visited often by a resident mountain goat herd.
Visitors can enjoy daily scenic lift rides, brunch and lunch, hiking, mountain biking, disc golf, and an aerial adventure park, plus weekends filled with free concerts, wildflowers hikes, food festivals, farm-to-table dinners, guided yoga sessions and trail running races.
Brand-New Aerial Adventure Park
If you are familiar with ropes courses and challenge courses, you have a rough idea of what an aerial adventure park has to offer. A-Basin’s park is built directly into the trees on the slopes of the mountain. You can barely see it from beyond the forest and once you’re in there, you’re surrounded by pine trees and mountain views.
The park will offer seven different courses: two for little kids ages 3-5 (recommended), and five others ranging in difficulty from beginner to intermediate. The aerial adventure park is a unique experience and a fantastic outing for families, friends, groups and corporate events.
Visit arapahoebasin.com or call 888-ARAPAHOE for details on everything mentioned above.
Photo Credit: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area/Ian Zinner