Living within 30 miles of two of the best ski resorts in the country, Vail and Beaver Creek, is certainly a privilege. Our ski passes are valid for both Vail and Beaver Creek. Before children our obvious choice of ski resorts to ski was Vail. But, now there’s a dilemma. Our kids grew up skiing Beaver Creek, so that’s where they want to ski. And, why did they grow up skiing Beaver Creek? Well because Beaver Creek Ski School is the local’s choice for ski lessons.
From a wide variety of fantastic beginner terrain to fun trick parks and glades carved out just for kids, Beaver Creek knows how to welcome families.
Both the terrain on the mountain and the amenities make Beaver Creek our favorite mountain for kids to learn to ski.
Terrain for Learning to Ski
Red Buffalo Park
The terrain at Beaver Creek is great for learning to ski, and always has been. But it continues to get better and better. Last year Beaver Creek replaced a two-seater lift that was a little scary with a high-speed four-seater lift. This gives skiers better access to Red Buffalo Park at the top of the mountain. Red Buffalo Park boasts beginner terrain comprised of wide open cruisers and spectacular views.
Kids love Jack Rabbit Alley with wagons and tepees to ski through, all in the midst of the forest.
A couple of years ago the learning area at the base of the Mountain, Buckaroo Bowl was rebranded to Haymeadow Park. A gondola takes skiers partway up the mountain to an area with several magic carpets. No need to take an open ski lift for your first ride. Haymeadow Park utilizes natural and man-made features to create a fun learning experience for beginners.
In 2022, Beaver Creek added a whole new peak to the ski area, McCoy Park. This expansion added another 250 acres of skiable terrain to the resort.
These new trails are mostly green, with a few blues, so beginner terrain. But they are reminiscent of Vail’s Back Bowls, with the wide open spaces, trees, fun jumps and more. Just much less steep and challenging. Perfect for kids still gaining their ski confidence. But still fun for more advanced skiers.
Fun Discoveries on the Mountain
Ripperoo’s Cabin is full of intrigue for the kids. They can check his mailbox and explore the cabin. Maybe if they are lucky he will even be home. There’s a tunnel and some other fun turns along the way where ski instructors leave candy trails at times. Kids are also sure to love Ghost Town.
Ski Mountain Treats
There’s not much better a treat than a warm chocolate chip cookie as you come off the mountain, except maybe one as you are heading up. Fresh out-of-the-oven chocolate chip cookies are served at the base of the mountain at 3 p.m. daily. And, lately we’ve even spotted these cookies out around 8:30 – 9 am.
As if that wasn’t enough, Haymeadow Park now has a cookie cabin for ski school participants. And, once your kids are an intermediate level skier they will probably twist your arm to take them over to splurge at Candy Cabin.
Beaver Creek Ski School
The Beaver Creek Ski School is first class. Both of our kiddos have had wonderful ski instructors at Beaver Creek. Our son’s ski instructor at one point convinced him that his wipeouts were backflips. So he was stoked to tell his family all about them at the end of the day.
There are a couple of programs that make the ski school a little less expensive and that work best for local kids. There’s a Form Your Own Team (FYOT) option and then Beavo that run consecutive weekends.
Beaver Creek Ski School offers kid and adult, group and private ski and snowboard lessons. Be sure to call 970-754-5300 to book yours in advance.
Beaver Creek Ski School has also known to offer signature programs that sound fantastic, like Ski Girls Rock.
So where is Beaver Creek Ski School located?
You will find it on the top level of the resort. Take the escalators up to the base of the mountain and you will find signs directing you to the Beaver Creek Ski School location.
What else is there to do in Beaver Creek?
Beaver Creek is a fairly small village. It is an excellent place for young kids.
One of our favorite Vail area ice skating rinks is located here. Recently they also introduced ice biking.
While sledding is not readily available right in Beaver Creek, there are plenty of nearby local sledding hills.
There’s a Nordic center with snowshoeing and winter hiking.
Many of the hotels have heated pools and hot tubs. There is something special about playing in the pool or relaxing in the hot tub as snow drifts down around you.
The village is home to lots of fun events. The holidays are a festive time to visit and catch fireworks.
Insider Tip: Be sure to also check out these other many fun things to do with kids in Colorado!
Where Else in Colorado to Learn to Ski?
Beaver Creek is not the cheapest option to places to learn to ski. Actually it is quite the opposite. When our son was younger we took him up to a smaller resort just a little further up the mountain, Ski Cooper. There are several of these smaller, more laid back ski resorts in Colorado. They are great places to learn to ski also, and for more affordable prices. If you can swing it, Beaver Creek should be your choice. But, don’t fear, these smaller, more affordable ski resorts have a special charm too.