Find Your Fun at Copper Mountain

October 8, 2013
By: Eric Cohen - Macaroni Dad
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Copper Mountain has a problem. It has an identity crisis. Most ski resorts stand for something and have a clear position in the minds of skiers. Vail is all about glitz, Snowbird is for powder, Deer Valley is luxury and service, Steamboat has cowboys, but Copper?

Well we went to Copper and can easily solve Coppers’ problem … Copper is all about fun!

It doesn’t matter what your definition of fun is, Copper Mountain has it. From a self-contained village to a nicely segmented mountain, Copper will deliver fun on your family ski holiday.

First, the village, it too could have an identity crisis, no Victorian era mining town like Breckenridge and even its covered bridge is “borrowed” from nearby Vail. But again, the village is loaded with fun. Sugar Lips Donut shop not only serves up tasty donuts, but you get to watch them being made. There's a giant red chair which is great for photo ops, and a zip-line over the lake and the best apres ski crepes, ever.

How about fun dining? There’s a restaurant that features hot dogs and mac and cheese! How fun is that? If your idea of fun dining is a little more sedate, C.B. Grille has you covered with steaks, fresh seafood & more. And if you want to enjoy your dining as a couple, Copper offers Kids Night Out, three hours of free child care in their village location. All you have to do is spend $30 or more at a village restaurant while your kids play.

We had dinner at the Storm King Lounge and the Japanese food at 9,600 feet was quite good. Again, they had a kids menu (doesn’t Samurai Mac and Cheese sound fun?). The sushi was fresh and tasty and our son's Teriyaki chicken disappeared quickly.

Even our lodging was fun, well, the pool was. The lodging was comfortable, clean and convenient, the three C's of fun. Okay, I made that part up, but not worrrying about lodging lets you have fun. Condos abound at Copper, which is great for families. Especially if you want to eat in a few nights during your stay.

If this doesn’t sound like enough fun, check out Woodward at Copper. Woodward is a giant warehouse-sized building loaded with trampolines, skate ramps, indoor carpeted ski jumps and ramps and more. We took their (mandatory) intro session and learned how to safely bounce, jump, ski, flip and fall. Bouncing off a trampoline into a pit of foam blocks is something everyone should do (really!). Our instructor took us through a progression of equipment and drills in less than two hours that flew by. Hard as it is to believe, I think I had more fun than my 12 year old.

If you’ve saved enough energy to actually ski, the mountain can be described as…wait for it…fun! It doesn’t have the steeps of Jackson Hole, or the grooming (manicuring?) of Beaver Creek, but Copper does have great terrain for all abilities. Looking at the mountain, it’s laid out nicely with the right hand side hosting the easier slopes with trails that get steadily steeper as you go up and to your left. This natural layout means it’s pretty unlikely a novice will wind up on expert terrain, or for experts to go whizzing by a class full of beginners. In short, everyone can have fun at their own pace.

Even the intermediate terrain is fun. Rolling blues that are wide and sweeping with pitches that can get a bit steep for a blue and then mellow out quickly so you can catch your breath and admire what you just skied. Trails like Main Vein, Andy's Encore & Collage rollick from top to bottom and deliver just what a "cruiser" should be.

For the expert, Spaulding Bowl and the Enchanted Forest offer up thrills to keep you on your toes. When the skiing gets really fun (powdery) there’s free snowcat rides delivering access for expert skiers to a backcountry-like experience … now that sounds fun!

I spent a lot of time skiing Copper Mountain back in the 80’s. My one post college year as a ski bum turned into three. Now I know why…I was having too much fun!


The writer and his family were guests of Copper Mountain for three nights to facilitate the preparation of this review. Accommodations and lift tickets were complimentary. No other compensation was received.

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