I have four kids, all six years apart in age, and my son is the only boy. With so many sisters, quiet nature, and reserved, I like to carve some time out for time for just him and me. My son and I took a trip to Copper Mountain, Colorado (just outside Breckenridge, right before Vail), The perfect location to explore all the little snow villages of Colorado.
I go to Denver and the Colorado mountains at least three times a year. It is a cheap flight from Dallas, and Denver offers so much to do. I never run into doing the same thing.
This time, I brought my travel buddy, Aj, and we headed up the mountain to Copper Mountain, Colorado. It was snow season, we had plans to snowboard, ski, and do the fun winter activities.
This little village nestled between Vail and Breckenridge offers a quieter place to stay and less ski/snowboard traffic on the mountains.
Closest Airport to Copper Mountain-Travel Tip
Denver is the closest airport to Copper Mountain and many Colorado towns.
If you have ever been to Denver airport, you know its complexity, especially the rental car situation. Add on at least an hour to pick up your rental and drop it off at the terminal.
Denver has very spread apart, so I suggest always renting a car, especially if you are going up the mountain.
Out of all my little travel tips, this one is by far my most valued. Get Budget FastBreak. I hate waiting for anything and especially when you are ready to get on with your adventure or just want to get into the airport.
You flash your license, grab your keys, and leave. It is that simple. You can join for FREE.
Travel tip-try to rent from the same rental car company and stay in the same brand of hotels.
Sometimes it is hard to do, but I rack up so many bonuses and points, I sometimes do not pay for the hotel or rental car. Budget Fastbreak is my favorite travel tip.
Where is Copper Mountain Colorado
Copper Mountain, Colorado is 75 miles from Denver. Slightly past Breckenridge.
I chose Copper Mountain for several reasons, while I love Breckenridge, it is crowded and expensive during the peak winter season.
I still go into Breckenridge for restaurants and to walk around the village, Breckenridge and Vail will always remain my favorite winter villages.
Cooper Mountain is the right amount of good energy and is not overly crowded, and the skiing and snowboarding are awesome.
The restaurants are great, and during winter, they have a beautiful ice skating rink right in the middle of the village.
Copper Mountain Elevation
If you have never been to Denver or the Colorado Rockies, its an experience as far as elevation and how you feel.
The air is thin. Denver is one mile above sea level. Copper Mountain’s base elevation is 9712 feet, and the summit elevation is 12441 feet.
People underestimate the effects of high elevation. In fact, altitude sickness is a serious health concern.
I have altitude sickness. My family owns a cabin in Utah and as a kids I did not understand what was happening. As we drove up the mountain my stomach would swell. Have you ever had a bag of unopened chips and gone to high altitude?
It expands as if it is going to burst. That’s what my belly does. It gets crampy, uncomfortable and it is not fun on vacay. For this, and too much TMI, I get Gas-X. I even do this for plane rides, too. It works.
Denver and the Rockies have low air pressure and decreased oxygen. Be prepared. IV hydration spots around town can help immensely. Most sporting goods stores and convenience stores sell canned oxygen. Its a life-saver. If you are traveling with kids, pay attention to possible symptoms.
Copper Mountain Map
Where to Stay in Denver
We arrived later in the evening to Denver. I do not suggest driving up the mountain at night. It’s steep and dangerous, especially during winter. We decided to stay one night in Denver at Element Downtown Denver.
We got a fantastic deal, this location is family-friendly, and their breakfast is amazing. Because of COVID, they packed a brown lunch sack for breakfast on the road. For a hotel breakfast, it was delicious.
If you want a luxury hotel or a guys or girls trip, with rooftop pools and the likes, Denver has plenty of options. The rooftops in summer are just amazing and many during the winter have rooftop igloos, fires, etc.
My son and I rented scooters, rode around the capital, and rode to the 16th Street Mall. We had more fun on the electric scooters and electric bikes.
If you have time or in Denver, this activity is a blast, and Denver has so many different trails and places to see. It is much easier than driving and finding parking.
Copper Mountain Colorado Lodging
There are many great restaurants and plenty of shopping at Cooper Mountain Village, but skiing, snowboarding, and recreational activities are why people are here.
There are condos, townhomes, and homes to rent if you are interested in doing an accommodation as such, especially if you want ski-in ski-out privileges at Copper Canyon lifts.
We stayed at Element 29, which is a brand new hotel. It is a limited hotel, which is fine for us. This hotel is clean, beautiful, and was perfect for the two of us. This hotel is in the center of town, near Copper Mountain Ski Resort.
Copper Mountain is a more outdoor recreation and does not have resort options, if you want to stay at a resort, we recommend Breckenridge or Vail, which are in close proximity.
Since I have been to the area a million times, I have stayed at several places. Five miles down the road Breckenridge has plenty of lodging options. Breckenridge is very lively, a fun place with plenty to do, its just pricey.
If the price doesn’t bother you, Vail is absolutely the most beautiful Bavarian village, its 8 miles from Copper Mountain. In fact, it is a gorgeous summer mountain town to visit in Colorado.
The Most Magical Winter Wonderland Villages in the US
Copper Mountain Village-Activities
Ok. To ride this mountain coaster is FUN. For two rides for each of us was $80. However, it was SO MUCH fun.
I cannot explain it, but you control how fast you go, and it is not motorized. It is purely on gravitational pull. You use these brakes to slow down on the side of the car.
The mountain coaster makes you feel like you will fall off the tracks, but you are safe. By far, this is the most fun thing we did and completely worth the money. The coaster goes up to 25 miles per hour and operates both winter and summer.
Copper Mountain Colorado Tubing
The snow tubing is a blast. Winter activities are expensive. This, however, like the mountain coaster, was a blast. You can go up as many times as you want in an hour. We made it about 8 times.
A magic carpet takes you up, and the attendants at the top made it fun. They would ask if you want a push or spin.
Spin, of course! It goes fast, and you feel like you’re going to fall off the tube—so much fun. The kids can go with you or alone.
Ice Skating in the Center of Copper Mountain Village
Aj and I had Mexican Food at El Zacatecano (and I had a margarita), which was delicious. We had Mexican then headed to the skating rink.
The rink is right in the back of the candy shop, and that is where you get your rentals. We had the whole lake to ourselves, but I think Aj started getting tired!
I have never ice skated on a real frozen lake before. It was absolutely stunning.
Other Things to Do In Copper Mountain, Co
- Rent your own snowmobile This activity is so much fun, and they have kid snowmobiles for ages five and up. The best part about this experience is you can either get a guide or go off on the trails on your own.
- Extreme Sledding Ride up a mountain on a snow cat or monster truck sleigh, then tear down our almost 1km of high speed track. Using special racing sleds, or traditional wood ones you get amazing views AND high speed thrills. Ticket includes 3 runs and unlimited use of the fun/training park.
- Woodward Copper Barn is a 19k square foot action sports playground. There is a skate/scooter/BMX zones at SkiPark area; Burton ParkBoard training area with springfloors, tumble track, flybed trampolines and a super trampoline. This sports park brings your winter activities indoors to practice your moves. Check it out and book, here.
What To Eat in Copper Canyon
Eating is my favorite part of vacations. I think I travel to eat 🙂
Every time I visit this area, I go to Frisco, Colorado (4 miles from Copper Canyon to their street full of shops, restaurants, and coffee shops. I always go to Butterhorn Bakery & Café for breakfast. I am a big breakfast person, and this hits the spot every time.
Sugar Lips Donuts in Copper Mountain, Colorado for made-to-order mini donuts.
While in Breckenridge, here is a tip that will change your life. Go find a nice to-go cup of hot chocolate and a plastic spoon, sip a bit out. Head over to Mountain Top Cookie Shop. Stand in line. Ask for a scoop of cookie dough. They do not have it on the menu. Plop the cookie dough in your hot chocolate. You are welcome.
Tips and Suggestions for Copper Mountain
- If you are driving, make a parking reservation and download Copper Mountains App. You cannot park or have a tough time finding parking if you do not make a reservation. If you are bringing equipment such as snowboards or skis, I will pay the extra for parking.
- Rent your snowboards or ski equipment and lift tickets ahead of time and book your lessons in advance. You get a discount and skip lines.
- Use the free shuttle to get to Center, West, and East Villages instead of driving
- I get severe altitude sickness while in Denver and even worse in the mountains of Colorado. It is a real thing. Some people are affected by it, and some people are not even bothered. If I am bothered, which is always, I headed to Elite IV Lounge in Breckenridge. For me, it’s worth the cost of staying in my hotel suffering. Elite Hydration offers an Altitude IV drip for altitude sickness, and it is AMAZING. If you get altitude sickness, need a hangover cure, or need a vitamin infusion, I highly recommend it.
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