There’s no doubt that Copper Mountain, because of its close proximity to Denver, is popular with the ski crowd. This self-contained ski resort village, which feels more like a neighborhood, is just 75 miles from Denver and attracts skiers and snowboarders from the Front Range with its diverse terrain on an easy-to-navigate mountain.
As the largest of four ski resorts in Summit County, Copper has seen much in the way of growth in recent years, adding unique restaurants, an exciting shopping plaza and new condominiums at the base of the slopes. While Copper has always been an excellent choice for intermediate skiers and snowboarders, (its terrain is an ideal choice for those learning the ropes of boarding and downhill), it also offers mogul-laced runs on its east side—perfect for advanced skiers. And although Copper is best known as a ski resort, summertime offers endless hiking and mountain biking trails as well as spectacular golf on an 18-hole championship course that runs along celebrated fishing waters.
A TOUCH OF HISTORY
Copper’s roots date back to the mid 1800s when miners discovered Summit County and as anyone could have guessed, the town received its name when copper was discovered in the area. Today the old buildings from settlements long ago, can still be seen near the base of Alpine Lift and scattered along the back nine of Copper Creek Golf Club.
WHERE TO STAY
As there are no commercial hotels or resorts in Copper, cozy accommodations can be found through Copper Mountain Lodging. Reservations can be made in standard rooms, studios, one- to five-bedroom condos or townhomes. There are plenty of terrific winter packages offered and the extra nice thing about these accommodations is that they are all within walking distance to the slopes.
Casual: Try Double Diamond—a family owned eatery with homemade soups and hand-tossed pizzas as well as mouth-watering baby back ribs. Also try JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern—a turn of the century style tavern and chophouse in honor of the area’s historical figures, JJ and Molly Brown. Don’t miss their Kobe beef burgers or daily smoked BBQ.
Fine Dining: With a sommelier on staff, C.B. Grille is an elegant venue offering a varied menu of tantalizing entrees like Grilled Alaskan Halibut, Szechuan Seared Scallops and an Elk Chop and Elk Tamale, which are accompanied by suggested wine pairings. The bar area also now offers a fantastic tapas menu.
WHAT TO DO
As with all of Colorado’s ski towns, winter affords the opportunity for some great alpine skiing and riding on the mountain, but Copper also boasts 16 miles of cross-country trails, ice skating at West Lake, tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, dog sledding, sleigh rides and s’mores by the community fire pit. In milder months, visitors can enjoy scenic chairlift rides, golfing on America’s highest championship golf course, lift access mountain biking, road biking, hiking, horseback riding and fly-fishing. The town is also wonderful for families offering kid-friendly activities like go-karts, an outdoor climbing wall, paddle boating, mini golf, canoeing and bumper boats. Above all, Copper is a welcoming destination with a laidback casual vibe.
NEW AT COPPER
Woodward at Copper is the first year-round ski and snowboard training camp dedicated to park and pipe progression. Providing a safe and fun learning environment for all levels, the 20,000 square-foot Woodward at Copper Barn gives campers access to Snowflex® jumps, fly-bed trampolines and indoor skateboard features. In the winter, Winter Camp Days, One Hit Wonder, Drop-In, Skate-only and Private Sessions are offered, and in the summer, week-long overnight camps are offered, including Skate and Cheer Camps. Copper is also making $6 million in capital improvements for the 2010/2011 season, including new and improved kid-friendly adventure areas.
After a day on the mountain, Copper’s nightlife definitely heats up. JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern is a comfortably casual venue offering live music. Located in The Village at Copper at the base of the American Eagle lift, Endo’s Adrenaline Café features the best “build your own” Bloody Mary bar every Sunday as well as dinner and high energy late nights. Jack’s Bar is located at Copper One Lodge and is definitely a lively hot spot for après fun with live entertainment and great drink specials all day, every day!
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