On a recent visit, we found that Keystone has backside mountain features and CAT skiing that will attract experienced riders, but its charm definitely lies in the way it treats those taking turns for the first time. Almost all of the front side (Dercum Mountain) is set up to be beginner and family friendly, including a ski school and practice area located at the top of the gondola.
As said, we really like this concept since it allows beginners to learn at the top of the mountain where they are more likely to find inspiration. The front side has a 3.5-mile long signature green run called "Schoolmarm" that has been designated as a family ski trail with rest areas and smaller features like rollers to help with on-the-snow advancement. This trail is a good challenge for ski school attendees to try to complete as they progress and a run that also comes with incredible views of Lake Dillon - a view that you can see in the photo above and one that no doubt will have newbies hooked in no time.
Keystone is one of the only resorts in the area to offer night skiing, a novelty that is less common out west due to fast-dropping temperatures and less forgiving terrain. Since most advanced skiers are already well into their apres liquid therapy by the time the sun goes down, night skiing is another great family-friendly option for beginners and kids to take a few turns after dark.
As the snow falls in and around Denver, now is the time to start setting up your plans for the second half of the winter. Keystone is currently running a promotion where kids 12-and-under ski free with a two-night on-mountain stay. You can see more details on that deal here, and check out Keystone's website for more info on ski school plans and prices.
[Photo: Will McGough for Jaunted]