A First Timer’s Guide to Keystone

Posted December 15, 2021

Whether you’re a family with kids or a kid at heart, this laid-back mountain playground will make you feel right at home. Keystone Resort offers a huge variety of fun outdoor activities and adventures, comfortable lodging accommodations and award-winning dining, all nestled in the breathtaking Rocky Mountains. With so much to ski and do here, making lasting memories with friends and family comes naturally. To get the most out of your Keystone visit, in more ways than you’d imagine, here are a few tips that all Keystone Pros know:




Located just 90 miles from the Denver International Airport (DEN), Keystone is one of the closest all-inclusive ski resorts to the largest airport in Colorado! 


River Run parking lot

The River Run parking lot  is free and easy to access. Located right off of Highway 6, once you pull into a free spot, you can walk to the River Run gondola, the restaurants in the village, events happening in the plaza or shopping. If you’re coming on a weekend, make sure to get to the parking lot early (before 9 a.m.). If you have kids, look for a free little red wagon to help you haul your skis, snowboards and other items.

Mountain House parking

If you’re looking for another close parking option, head to the Mountain House base area. You can find additional parking options just steps away from the ski slopes on both the East and West sides of the base area. The West lot is paid and the East lot if free. If you have beginners and want to ride the magic carpets or the beginner chair lift on Discovery learning area, choose the West side of the base area. For everyone else, the East side will be your best bet. Rates vary, so check prices for the time of the season and weekends vs. week days.

FREE North Shuttle lot

Look for the signs on Highway 6 for the free North Shuttle lot on your way into Keystone. 

Parking tips:

  • Arrive prior to 9 a.m. on Saturdays to take advantage of free parking options, as the River Run Lot is typically full from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
  • Start your weekend ski day later in the day and take advantage of night skiing on select nights at Keystone, included with Keystone’s lift tickets
  • Stay the night or weekend with Keystone Resort and lodging includes complimentary parking
  • Utilize Keystone’s free in-resort shuttle system
  • Take advantage of Summit County’s free Summit Stage bus system
  • Check out our parking guide then get up-to-date parking lot info on our @KeystoneParking Twitter


Buy lift tickets in advance at KeystoneResort.com to skip the ticket line and save money and time! If purchased far enough ahead of time, your tickets will be sent to you and you can head straight to the lift! Otherwise, purchase up to midnight the night before, and use the EpicDay Lift Ticket Express Lane once in resort. Make sure you have your lift access before joining us. Remember, lift tickets will be limited this holiday season.


It’s not just about some boots and a board – it’s about getting you and your family into the right equipment so that you have the best possible experience. Epic Pass holders can also save up to 20% with their to Epic Mountain Rewards! To help you get on the mountain faster, Keystone Sports has 3 convenient pickup locations - two in the River Run village and one in the Mountain House base area.


We remain committed to doing everything we can to help keep you safe this season, so you can focus on having a great time on the mountain. Learn more about the steps we’re taking for the 2021-22 season on our website.  



At Keystone Resort, it’s all about fun. Keystone is a family adventure where they young and young at heart can discover the magic of exploring the mountains. Located in Summit County, Colo. and just 75 miles west of Denver, the resort boasts more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain including three incredible peaks, five above-tree-line bowls, and night skiing. Home to the industry’s-leading Kids Ski Free program, kids 12 and younger can ski and ride for free every day, all season long with just two or more nights of lodging booked through the resort. Convenient touches like free parking and complimentary red wagons for carrying gear and excited kiddos, make getting to the slopes that much easier.



Keystone’s three peaks offer a progression friendly layout that gives all riders a thrill, no matter the skill. From freshly groomed corduroy, to hike-to bowl skiing, Keystone has it all, and everything is laid out in a way that’s easy to navigate, with two main base areas – River Run and Mountain House, and three mountain peaks – Dercum Mountain, North Peak and the Outback. At Keystone, even first-timers can take in those big mountain views, with dedicated learning areas located at the tippity-top of Dercum, accessed by the River Run Gondola. For beginners or those heading out to warm up their legs for the first session of the season, Dercum Mountain is a natural first stop that offers a variety of beginner and intermediate terrain, the majority of which is groomed on a nightly basis. For intermediate-and-above skiers and riders, take things up a notch on North Peak with never-ending groomers that are sure to get your legs burning. Lastly, for those looking more natural and rugged terrain, adventure awaits in the Outback. Located at the back of the resort hence the name, skiers and riders can find a variety of tree runs and hike-to bowl terrain. No matter your skill level, fun can be found everywhere at Keystone.


Easy on the wallet and easy on the rules, Keystone’s long-standing Kids Ski Free offer has been providing kids with free lift tickets since 2012. Kids 12 and younger ski for free at Keystone with no blackout dates when family’s book just two or more nights through Keystone Resort. Lodging accommodation options span from affordable hotel rooms to family-sized condominiums. Book your lodging through KeystoneResort.com for all of the details on this great deal! 



For those who prefer a different kind of excitement, check out one of our many off-mountain activities. Go dashing through the snow aboard our scenic horse-drawn sleigh. Glide and twirl on our two ice rinks, one in River Run Village and one on the Keystone Lake in Lakeside Village. Or take in the winter wonderland scenery on a snowshoe or cross-country ski across 9 miles of trails at the Keystone Nordic Center. No matter what kind of adventure is in store, Keystone is sure to put a smile on everyone’s face! Many activities have limited inventory and do sell out, so we encourage guests to make reservations prior to arrival. Call 970-496-4FUN to book dining & activities or book various dining online.



Next summer, the resort will begin construction to bring lift-served skiing and riding to Bergman Bowl, including a new chairlift, new trails, new snowmaking and an expansion to the Outpost Restaurant. While this area of the resort is currently open for hike-to accessed skiing and riding, this project will improve access to the currently under-utilized terrain, providing lift service to more than 550 acres of intermediate and advanced skiing and riding in the Bergman and Erickson Bowls.


STAY CONNECTED: Visit KeystoneResort.com for terrain updates, snow reports, lodging deals, event details and the lowest priced lift tickets guaranteed. Stay connected socially at Facebook.com/Keystone and follow @Keystonemtn on Twitter and @Keystone_Resort on Instagram.