Skiing season is coming to an end for this year and I am honestly kind of sad. This as our first real ski season... I mean both Ben and I had been skiing before but this was our first year with season passes and Jessamyn's first time skiing ever. As I documented our skiing adventures one of the main things I was asked again and again was if driving up to Copper Mountain was worth it (That is where we had our season passes) and what to do up there. SO even though ski season is coming to a close I wanted to put together a little 24 hour itinerary so that if you are thinking of going next year (or I suppose getting in one last minute trip this year) and coming from the Denver area you will have an idea of what to do for one day! Ps. We did all of this with small kids but you could totally adjust this and just go by yourself or with friends and have as much or more fun in just 24 hours!
Day one - Really just half of day one so this could be Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday... whatever happens to be your day off! We usually leave about 11am and head up. Copper Mountain is about an hour and a half drive from Denver.. sometimes more with traffic or if you stop for coffee like we always do. This will get you up to the Frisco area about 12:30 or so and we generally stop and eat lunch there and then head up to the mountain. Parking in the close lots is free after two so usually I will hang back with the car until 2 and Ben will go ski by himself first and then about an hour before the lifts close he comes back and takes Jessamyn out for a while. If you do get there before two it isn't a big deal because you can just park in the far away lot for free and take a bus in but with two babies and a small dog A we don't usually make it up before 2 anyway but B I like having the car close in case we need something.
During that time I am usually working, catching up on emails, and just hanging out with Ophelia. Once they are done skiing about 4:30 we will go check in to our hotel which is sometimes on the mountain, or back in Frisco just depending on what is available. From there we usually go find some dinner either in Frisco... but usually up at Copper Mountain since normally we stay there. Our favorite thing right now is a pizza place over by the lake or the BBQ place in center village that always smells amazing but honestly you can't go wrong with any of the restaurants.
After dinner we either go for a walk (especially if it is snowing because it is so magical plus Jessamyn lies to watch the snowcats) or go back to the room and I will go work out in the gym for a whole while Ben watches the babies and then we take them swimming. We don't normally stay up late that night so that we actually will wake up and get going the next morning.
Day 2 - So if you stay at Copper Mountain in their lodging you can park in the garage until 2pm at which point the close parking is also free so you can move no problem to a closer lot. SO we get up pretty early, grab breakfast and then head out and ski for half the day. Jessamyn is usually good for only a few runs anyway so Ben will take her out first while Ophelia and I hang out in the room. The nice thing with Copper Lodging is that if it is available you can pay extra for late checkout... which with little kids can be such a life saver. Around noon we will pack everything up and get ready to head home. Ben will have had a few hours of skiing by himself at that point and Jessamyn is almost always ready for hot chocolate and a nap which is perfect because we just load everyone up in the car and head back.
I personally like going up this way because it is a lot cheaper to only stay one night and at least for us the little ones seem to be less prone to tantrums on a quick schedule like that and we get to have a fun trip with minimal damage! Okay not damage thats probably a bad choice... minimal tantrums and toddler meltdowns.
A couple things to consider if you are coming from Denver include: traffic - this is a huge one SO Ben doesn't have the traditional weekend off which means we never are able to go up on Friday or come back on Sunday. If you have a traditional weekend you may want to plan your trip around high traffic times or go up a different way than I-70. Two another thing that can make all the difference if you are on a budget is to pack your own food. A lot of times if we are only going up for 24 hours we will bring a cooler full of food and just cook dinner and do a quick breakfast in the condo or hotel. Three skis - if you are going to try to make these trips a regular I would definitely recommend doing a seasonal rental or buying your own instead of renting every time. Jessamyn's skis are actually on a trade in program so that as she grows we will be able to continue to replace her skis but at a discounted rate.
If you want to book lodging at Copper you can do so HERE
Buy lift tickets HERE
Find more information on restaurants HERE
Get Info on Ski rentals HERE
Okay so that is it! It isn't super crazy, and actually is a lot of fun. if you are in the Denver area and considering skiing next season I definitely recommend it. Even one day per weekend can be so amazing and relaxing. We may or may not already be planning and talking about all the different places we want to go next ski season and things we want to do! If you have any specific questions or tips for skiing close to Denver please leave them below!