Powder chasers in search of fresh snow that’s tucked away in the glades of tree runs will find their snowy paradise at Beaver Creek Resort. This scenic area receives an average of approximately 300 inches of snow and 300 days of sunshine per year. While the resort is well-known for its luxury amenities, groomed family-friendly runs, and exceptional service, there is another side of Beaver Creek that caters to the more adventurous skier.
Scattered throughout Beaver Creek Mountain are skiable tree glades ranging from steep, technical runs, to mellow and widely spaced aspen trails. For those searching out powder turns, there are plenty of unspoiled snow stashes to be found around the resort. You just need to know where to look. Here is the guide to the best gladed tree skiing in Beaver Creek.
Royal Elk Glade
Difficulty: Double Black, Extreme Terrain
Access: Grouse Mountain Express Lift
Grouse Mountain Express Lift only services steep black and double black expert terrain. The Royal Elk Glade, located to the right as you exit the lift, is no exception. Once skiers cross through the access gate, it’s all fair game and fantastic tree skiing. It is recommended to traverse across the top of the glade until you find the right spot to drop in. Travel too far to the left, and you’ll hit the ski area boundary. Skiers will find a mix of thick and steep gladed pine trees with pockets of wide-open powder fields. In fact, some of the best powder days are found lapping this area when it first opens. All tracks conveniently lead to a long traverse at the bottom of the run that takes skiers back to the Grouse Mountain lift.
Stone Creek Chutes
Difficulty: Double Black, Extreme Terrain
Access: Cinch Express Lift, Red Buffalo Express Lift, or Rose Bowl Express Lift
For those looking for Beaver Creek’s most challenging and extreme terrain, Stone Creek Chutes has technical skiing and big cliff drops for skiers who really want to send it. The chutes are initially short, steep gladed runs, with pitches up to 45 degrees. Large cliff bands run through the area with perfect pillow piles on a powder day. If you’re not into big drops, keep an eye out to navigate around the cliffs into a large open field below. There are two ways to access the terrain: the Upper Stone Creek Chutes gate is accessed only from Red Buffalo or Cinch Lifts, while the Lower Stone Creek Chutes gate can be reached from the Rose Bowl Express Lift. At the bottom, a narrow traverse takes skiers back to the Rose Bowl Express Lift.
Access: Centennial Lift
Most skiers beeline to the farther-reaching lifts of the mountain on a powder day, leaving the frontside of the mountain untouched. Gladed terrain flanks either side of the Centennial Express Lift, the main chairlift servicing out of Beaver Creek Village.
Stickline is a generously spaced tree run on the skier’s left side of the Centennial Lift. It was originally named when it was filled with natural log rails that have since been removed. It is accessed from Harriers, a blue groomer that ducks into the glades that eventually pop out on a black mogul run and back to the main base area.
On the other side of Centennial Express Lift, skiers will find double black gladed tree runs that have fun features such as short, steep drops and gullies to dip in and out of. The first set of trees starts at the top catwalk between the black runs and continues after the Dally catwalk on the skier’s right of the Centennial lift. For more widely spaced trees, head down Latigo and pop into the trees on the skier’s right after crossing the Dally catwalk.
Access: Strawberry Park Express
Tresher Glade, located to the skier’s right of the Strawberry Park Express Lift, is characterized by tighter tree groves and a more mellow pitch. Sandwiched between a closed area and a mogul field on President Ford’s run, these trees offer easy access to untouched snow. There are plenty of powder patches and fun aspen groves to be found throughout Strawberry Park. Just make sure your line leads you to a lift and not to one of the private homes nearby.
Access: Bachelor Gulch Express Lift
Gladed tree runs in Bachelor Gulch hold snow longer because fewer people venture to this side of the mountain. Skiable aspen glades can be found throughout Bachelor Gulch on either side of the main lift at the end of a powder day or after a storm cycle.
The most forgiving glades are found on Sourdough Slide, a designated gladed zone between two groomers. Exit right off of the Bachelor Gulch Express Lift and continue on the Cabin Fever catwalk until you reach the sign for Sourdough Slide, between the Gunders and Cabin Fever trails. With widely spaced aspen trees on a gentle slope, this area is more forgiving for intermediate skiers who want to practice their turns through the trees. The spacing of the trees gets slightly tighter as they descend the mountain, but skiers can also pop out onto one of the groomed runs to avoid this increase in difficulty.
Access: Larkspur Express Lift
McCoy Park is a new area on Beaver Creek Mountain that added over 250 skiable acres in the 2021-2022 season. The expansion is tailored to beginner and intermediate skiers looking for mellow terrain and groomed, gladed tree runs. For those just getting started with the sport, this area's system of trails is the perfect place to practice.
It’s always smart to ride with a partner, especially in the trees, as unseen hazards can exist. Even with fresh snow, fallen trees and sticks can catch skis or snowboards in the early season. Stay in sight and close to other members of your group in case someone is injured or needs a hand digging themselves out.
Know your ability before entering a gladed area. Skiing through trees often involves making quick, tight turns. Snow conditions can be variable and skiers choosing gladed runs should have strong skills to maneuver through all types of snow and terrain.
Most importantly, be respectful of closed terrain and ski area boundaries.
Where To Stay:
The Inn at Riverwalk greets guests with all the comforts of home without the crowds to create an elevated and memorable vacation experience. As an independent, locally-owned hotel, The Inn offers a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere with feather-topped mattresses, luxury bath products, and a private riverside pool and hot tub. Daily complimentary shuttles run to and from Beaver Creek Resort, eliminating the hassle of coordinating individual travel.
With boutique shops and local restaurants steps from The Inn’s front doors, and a location that backs right up to the Eagle River, The Inn at Riverwalk provides an authentic and adventurous experience to make the most of your mountain getaway. Explore with us today.