Where The Locals Ski!
Loveland Ski Area is located just about an hour and a half west of Denver on I-70. It is just before the Eisenhower-Johnson Tunnel which cuts through the Continental Divide.
Colorado locals, particular those from Denver, love to ski Loveland because skiing there eliminates the trip through the tunnels and on into Summit County and beyond. That leaves more time to ski!
Loveland Ski Area is composed of two areas, the Loveland Basin and the Loveland Valley. The two areas are managed together and are connected by a bus.
With a summit elevation of 13,010 ft and because Loveland is the second highest ski area with a lift in North America, this is true high altitude skiing.
Best of all, because of its high elevation and its location on the Continental Divide, Loveland is often one of the first ski areas to open in the fall. Usually, its a race between Loveland and Arapahoe Basin to see which resort can open first.
Also because of its location and elevation, the lift lines are often shorter and the tickets are less expensive than at some of the better known resorts.
However, there are also fewer trails and less on-site amenities. For example, there is no lodging available and there is not a wide choice of places to eat.
Skiing Loveland is an old-fashioned Colorado skiing experience, complete with high-altitude powder that can be heavenly.
Loveland Basin Ski Area
Loveland Basin is the larger of the two ski areas and runs from a base elevation of 10,800 ft to a summit elevation of 13,010 ft. It also has a vertical drop of 2,410 ft with 85% of the skiiable terrain, much of it above the tree line, at Loveland Ski Area.
The main lodge including ticket sales, a ski rental and repair shop, nursery and lockers are located at the Basin.
The Basin also has a terrain park called Love Park along the Tempest Run from Lift No. 1. This terrain is for everyone from beginners to advanced and features rails, funboxes, tabletop jumps and kicker. Sometimes, competitions are held at Love Park.
One of the most exciting runs is reached by Chair 9 and reaches an elevation of 12,697 ft. After you get off the lift, you can hike to the summit of 13,010 ft. These runs are almost entirely Black and Double Black runs and feature spectacular 360 degree views of the Continental Divide and beyond.
Loveland Valley Ski Area
Loveland Valley is designed almost exclusively for beginners and has two chair lifts which serve intermediate and racing runs. It has another lift which will take you to exclusively beginner territory. This can be very reassuring when you’re just learning and don’t want to end up on a trail that is too advanced for you.
The Valley has a ski school and a Lodge with a cafeteria, bar, ticket sales, and a rental shop.
In all, Loveland Ski Area has 1,800 skiable acres and 93 trails, the longest of which is 2 miles. About 13% of these trails are beginner, 41% intermediate and 46% advanced.
It also has 2 double, 3 triple, 3 quad and 1 surface lift. There is also a magic carpet lift for the ski school.
Unlike most of the other ski areas, parking at Loveland is free and so is the shuttle bus that runs between the Basin and the Valley.
On average, the ski area gets about 422 inches of snow per year.
Loveland is a great day-ski area with lots of snow and absolutely spectacular views in every direction. A day spent there is always a lot of fun.