The Keystone Blog

Dec. 22, 2023

Sleigh and Play Your Way this Holiday Season at Keystone!

With three peaks of groomers, glades, wide open bowls, and everything in between, you’ll have “snow much fun!” spending the holidays with us here at Keystone. While old man winter might have been slow to wake up this season, we’re kicking it into gear with tons of activities and new terrain openings on the regular. Check out some insider tips and tricks below so you can slide, shred, sleigh, and play to your heart’s content in our winter wonderland this holiday season.


It’s no secret: snow is on our wish list this holiday! That said, weather can quickly change on a dime, we have snow in the forecast this weekend, and our teams have been making the most of every snowflake, natural and man-made! So far, our teams have opened terrain on Dercum Mountain, North Peak and The Outback with over 600 acres of skiing and riding. So, where should your adventure begin?

Dercum Mountain
Dercum Mountain, Keystone’s frontmost peak, is the perfect spot for beginners to get their legs under them! From our Mountain House Base Area, beginners can practice their turns on the Discovery Chair and Magic Carpets in the Discovery Learning Area. From our River Run Base Area, beginners can take the Gondola to the top of the mountain, where the Kokomo Carpet and Ranger lift offer the perfect places to practice with a mountaintop view before testing their skills on Schoolmarm, our 3.5 mile, top-to-bottom family ski trail!

For intermediate skiers and riders, Dercum Mountain offers crowd-pleasing blue runs like Paymaster, Spring Dipper and Mozart. Looking to hit the terrain park? Head down Spring Dipper, just past The Worlds Largest Mountaintop Snow Fort (don’t worry, we’ll come back to that in a minute.)

North Peak
Looking to kick things up a notch? North Peak has you covered. Steep blues like Prospector, Last Alamo and Anticipation offer the perfect chance to rack up your vertical feet and get your blood pumping before testing yourself in The Outback. Our teams are intermittently opening advanced terrain as conditions allow, so keep an eye out and you just might get a rope drop on Bullet, Ambush or Powder Cap!

The Outback

With steep groomers, bump runs, and rugged glades, Keystone’s furthest peak is not for the faint of heart. Advanced trails are open across the north side of The Outback, offering tight trees, moguls and more! Experienced intermediate skiers can enjoy the groomed steeps of Elk Run, or take on its more challenging, ungroomed neighbor, Oh, Bob.

Bergman Bowl

We are OH so close to opening Keystone’s newest chairlift with access to 16 new green, blue and black trails! Most of this terrain relies on natural snowfall to open, so we’re not quite able to announce an opening date. But keep a close eye on the weather forecast, because once those flakes start flying, our teams will move as fast as they can!


How you choose to fuel up on the slopes is critical, especially when you have your choice of house-made barbecue, fresh tacos, ramen bowls and more!

At Timber Ridge Lodge, located near the top of North Peak, you can indulge in an international menu that features a full taqueria, gyros, cubano sandwiches and more. The best part? You can complement your meal with stunning mountaintop views from Timber Ridge’s newly expanded wraparound porch. Something about a 12,000-foot view makes lunch taste even better. Guests can access Timber Ridge Lodge by skiing down from the Santiago chairlift, or by taking the Outpost Gondola directly from Dercum Mountain.

Down below, at the base of North Peak, Labonte’s Smokehouse offers the perfect place to kick your feet up, catch some rays and chow down on house-made barbecue sandwiches. Labonte’s can be reached from Dercum Mountain via Mozart, or from North Peak via Lower Prospector – just follow the sounds of bumping music and the sweet smell of barbecue!

Whether you’re taking a lunch break in River Run, grabbing a snack in between night ski laps, or looking for a new spot to après the afternoon away, the 9280 Sake Bar has everything you’re looking for. Keystone Resort’s newest restaurant, this new dining spot is located in the heart of River Run Village and offers everything from hot spicy ramen to fresh poke bowls, and a full range of domestic and international beverages (including, of course, sake!).


At Keystone, there are a whole bunch of ways to play in the snow, aside from just skiing and snowboarding.

Remember the World’s Largest Mountaintop Snow Fort we mentioned earlier? Yeah, so you’re definitely going to want to add this to your holiday itinerary. Located at the top of the River Run gondola at an elevation of over 11,600 feet, this year’s Snow Fort is even bigger and better than years past. Reaching a height of over 35 feet and covering a quarter-acre, it took two weeks of round-the-clock work to complete this fortress that features an impressive ice cave, slides and tunnels, larger-than-life ice sculptures, and snow much more! This snowy attraction is free with your lift access (pass or foot passenger ticket) and offers fun for all ages.

In addition, just next to the Snow Fort, is a wonderous place known as Adventure Point offering multiple lanes of high-speed snow tubing action. Be sure to book ahead here, this activity is a popular one!

In the valley below, go dashing through the snow aboard one of our scenic horse-drawn sleighs to an original Keystone homestead where hot cider awaits. Take a spin or practice your best triple axel while ice skating across the scenic 5-acre Keystone Lake. And, find a haven for outdoor recreation at the Keystone Nordic Center with 10 miles of groomed trails for cross-country skiing, skate skiing and snowshoeing. No matter what kind of adventure is in store, Keystone is sure to have you feeling like a kid in a winter wonderland!


It wouldn’t be the holidays without a little celebration, right? If you’re staying with us over New Years, pop over to River Run gondola plaza as we light up the night sky with fireworks to ring in the new year at 7 pm! And then, pop over to Warren Station for the New Year’s Eve: All That Glitters and Glows concert!

Heading out before New Year’s? There are still plenty of ways to celebrate! For starters, Keystone will offer night skiing every day this holiday season, December 22 – 31, from 4 - 7 p.m.! Check out this season's full night skiing schedule here!


Whether you’re a first timer or a Keystone veteran, everyone loves to get the inside scoop. Before you arrive, here are a few tips from our Playground Pros:

Playground Pro Tip #1: If you’re coming up with the kiddos or carpooling in a group of four or more, we have reserved up-front family and carpool parking zones! These are free parking spaces at the front of the River Run lot, just steps from the village, available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Playground Pro Tip #2: Parking in our main lots at River Run and Mountain House usually fill by 10 AM on weekends and holidays. Try arriving early to guarantee a spot or arriving in the afternoon to take advantage of our night skiing operations.

Playground Pro Tip #3:
At Keystone, we work hard so that you can take it easy. That includes rentals. If you stay at a Keystone property, you can book a rentals delivery right to your door through Keystone Sports! We’ll even provide an expert that can help you pick out the right gear! Learn more here.

Playground Pro Tip #4: We are limiting lift ticket sales all season long this season. If you don’t have an Epic Pass, the best way to secure your day out on the mountain and lock in the best deal is by buying in advance on our website!

Playground Pro Tip #5:
This season you can skip the ticket window and get straight to the fun part with the My Epic App. Whether you’re using a lift ticket or an Epic Pass product, the new Mobile Pass scans you at the lift hands-free straight from your pocket. The My Epic App also offers trail map and resort information, giving you a one-stop resource for your day on the slopes! Folks seeking a physical pass/lift ticket or paper trail map can still do so at our ticket windows. Learn more about the My Epic App here.