Our Multi Use Mountain




Backcountry Awareness

The ski area has no responsibility for skiers going beyond the ski area boundary. Areas beyond the ski area boundary are not patrolled or maintained. To access the backcountry, use designated gates only.
(More on that below).

Use and Access

Backcountry use, where available, allows Resort guests to leave the Resort through designated exit points to enter unmarked, unpatrolled, and unmaintained snow on United States Forest Service (USFS) or other public lands. Beyond these gates, you’re on your own—so getting the right education and equipment is critical to a safe and memorable experience.  

(Note that unless you’re exiting the Resort through a designated exit point, you may be trespassing on private property and could incur penalties, fines, or have your pass suspended.)

Keystone does allow guests to depart the resort from designated exit points, but use and limitations vary.  

Call (970) 496-4033 for the latest information on available exit points, avalanche mitigation operations, and permissibility of out-of-bounds skiing. 

Hazards and Concerns 
When heading out of bounds and into the backcountry, you’ll need to rely on yourself and your partners—which is exactly why skiing or riding with a partner is so important. Rescue by local authorities, if available, will be costly and take time.
The Know Before You Go program details 5 steps to addressing the hazards of the backcountry:  
  • Get the Gear
  • Get the Training
  • Get the Forecast
  • Get the Picture
  • Get Out of Harm’s Way

Learn more here

Get the Training 

There are a wealth of resources (and no, we don't mean Google) to get you started as a backcountry skier or rider. The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and American Avalanche Association (A3) both provide training programs for recreational and professional users of avalanche-prone terrain. Check these organizations' websites for local training opportunities and to connect with your local backcountry community.

Ready to travel with your Epic Pass and interested in what other resorts may have backcountry offerings? Upon arrival, be sure to ask for more information at Guest Services to learn about available backcountry access.

What to Do

If you went through the information above and thought, “I’m ready to go,” not so fast! Make sure you run through this checklist first:
  • Call the Uphill Access Trail Hotline for information on exit points and avalanche mitigation operations for the day: (970) 496-4033
  • Check that you and your lift-accessed backcountry friends all have sufficient training and gear.
  • Know the current Keystone and Summit County backcountry avalanche forecast, available from the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC).
  • Understand recent snowpack, weather trends, and the effect on snow layers.
  • Know current weather conditions including snowfall, temperature, and visibility.

Need to find more backcountry friends? Take an avalanche rescue course!

Keystone Winter 2023-24 Uphill Access Route Map

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Park City, Heavenly, Kirkwood, Stowe all allow uphill travel of some sort—but different resorts have different rules. Please see each location’s specific Uphill Access Policy for a detailed answer.
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center provides backcountry avalanche forecasts for Keystone and Summit County. Read the forecast here
For in-bounds snow safety information, ask a Ski Patroller. If you’d like to see what terrain is currently accessible, check Terrain & Lift Status.

At all Vail Resorts locations, Ski Patrol phone numbers can be found in the My Epic app and on posted trail maps. Keystone's Ski Patrol phone number is (970) 496-6911.

Most Vail Resorts that allow uphill access do not allow allow travelers to use resort property during operating hours. As such, a pass may not be required--but always call your local resort first. Uphill Access Hotline information is available here.
Traveling in the backcountry can be life threatening even with training and education. Snow conditions and avalanche danger are entirely up to Mother Nature and change constantly.
While avalanche hazard and snow conditions within the ski area may be mitigated they are still not eliminated. Terrain outside the ski area boundary is not maintained or patrolled. You are relying on the skill and knowledge of you and your partners. DO NOT travel in the backcountry alone.

Leaving for the wilderness through the resort's exit points is just like every other day in the backcountry: you must be prepared to cope with emergencies due to fatigue, equipment failures, weather, and avalanche conditions. 

Use the Know Before You Go program’s 5 step framework to prepare:

  • Get the Gear
  • Get the Training
  • Get the Forecast
  • Get the Picture
  • Get Out of Harm’s Way

Learn more about this free avalanche awareness program here.

The links provided on this page are for informational purposes only. Vail Resorts does not endorse or approve the content on the sites and bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality, or content of the sites. Contact the site owner for answers to questions regarding their content.
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