Want to hit the ball really far? Try golf at Keystone. There are two courses in the resort; the Ranch Course (designed by Robert Trent Jones) and the newer eco-sensitive River Course. Both are beautifully situated with fantastic views. Greens fees are pricey but you can get a deal after 3:00 pm. Of course, with the likelihood of thunderstorms in the afternoon you have to play the entire course with your 1 iron (everyone knows, even God can't hit a 1 iron!)
keystone was one of my favorite places to ski/snowboard all of the runs are marked what they actually are the entire run. so when you ride a black diamond its a black diamond until it meets up with a blue at the bottom. great place for super huge carves all the the way down. also the glade skiing was some of the best ive ever had, its up there with vail as long as you dont mind hiking a few hundred yards to find fresh lines and waist deep powder that is untouched. my only prob with keystone is that the only way to get to the bowls is hiking, snowmobile, or cat.... but you can buy beer all over the place on the mountain and its fairly easy to get around anywhere you want by taking certain chair lifts to the various peaks.
you also get a great 360 degree view and a really cool view of breckenridge. (see pic ) one thing to watch out for though is when glade skiing on anything near the "black forest" by the north bowl it bottoms out into a creek/lake bed so if your on a snowboard its hard to keep your speed up and if your unlucky (like me) you might have to hike a while to get out , but its worth it! very untouched lines and super cool chutes so my tip is stay to the left as much as you can as you go down as to be heading more towards the chair lift then away from it (so every time you think of going left or right by a tree go left as much as possible to avoid this on this particuar part of the mountian)
It seems that with the heavy snowfall in this part of the world the local fire brigade are asking local residents and businesses to adopt a fire hydrant to keep them from being snowed in.
Keystone Resorts seem to be doing thier bit.
With several feet of snow in Winter the poor birds must have to really scratch around for food and so one of my jobs here has been to keep the bird feeders topped up.
And of course it's not just the birds that are on look out for food.
It seems the local fox has developed a taste for chicken satay, though unfortunately I didn't manage to catch a photo.
I did however manage to catch this cheeky little chappie!
Take a hike up a hill and view the fall colors. The Aspen look like molten gold flowing down the hillside, amongst the greens of the forest. You have to plan carefully. The colors are at their peak for all of about five days!
The Rockies have fantastic skiing and Keystone is right up there with the best of them. Beginners will love the 3.5 mile School Marm run, which keeps you on the hill and off the chairlifts. Experienced skiers will enjoy the many acres of moguls and groomed and challenging runs. Experts can test their skills in the Outback and find fresh powder nobody has touched.
The Keystone Activity Center can arrange a multitude of exciting excursions for visitors. One of the most hair raising I've done is the Snow Mobile trip.
The guides pick up the day's adventurers early in the morning at Keystone Lodge. A 30 minute van ride toward Breckenridge takes you to the Snowmobile center where for $80 you are fitted into a snow suit, helmet and assigned a guide and a snowmobile.
The first 20 minutes or so are spent getting used to the machine. The riders are taken to a large open area and ride around and around a track, getting accustomed to turning, accellerating, stopping. Then off you go. Our trip had about 10 riders with a guide at the front of the single file line and one at the rear. It is possible to ride two to a snowmobile.
The single track route lasts about 2 hours and took us to the top of the Continental Divide and a height of 14,000 feet! The last 20 minutes was exceptionally steep and a little intimidating. We were cautioned by our guide that if we didn't maintain our momentum it would be very hard to get going again. (Coming down that grade was even more intimidating!) But the view from the top was extraordinary. Well worth the hair raising ride.
One HUGE caveate: The guides do not offer insurance and if you damage the snowmobile you will pay for it. My travel partner hit a tree and left $850 behind (for the snowmobile, not the tree).
Between December and March of every year, Keystone Lake freezes over and becomes the biggest Zamboni groomed ice rink in North America. Lace up those skates and head out onto the ice. Rentals available at the Sport Shak.
If you're like me, and prefer the pristine serenity found deep in the forest, you may want to try Cross Country Skiing. Chose from the groomed trails of the Nordic Center or head out on to a fire road and forge your own path.
Keystone has reasonable rental rates, lessons and guided tours, all available at the Nordic Center at the River Golf Course.
Keystone is stunning, both taking in the scenery and picking up on the detail and everything in between, here's a very small selection of what I mean:
If you like gondolas, Keystone has two of them. They are a little slower than the express lifts immediately adjacent, but they are welcome on a cold day!