Keystone Resort Vacation Rentals: Mountain House vs. River Run Base Areas

Keystone Resort, Colorado is home to the global topography of skiing, amazing dining, affordable cat skating, and three mountain peaks and is one of the few resorts in Colorado offering night skiing, making it one of the longest skiing days around, offering visitors a sensation to your buck Them. It is also home to Kidtopia – a festival where children can enjoy, and participate in recreational activities only directed to them, including visiting and playing in a huge snow fort at the top of the mountain! Not to mention the countless other winter activities to enjoy it such as snow tubes, snowboarding, fine dining, skis, live music, festivals and more!

So, you’ve made the decision to visit Keystone this winter, and now the hard part comes, where do you stay? Keystone is a small town, about 3 miles long, that sits in a valley on the bottom of the mountain. The mountain itself consists of three separate peaks lined from north to south. Dercum, North Peak and Outback, each offering unique terrain and features. Dercum Mountain is the northernmost peak, and the front side provides the only two access points to the entire mountain, River Run and Mountain House.

Among the two main areas, River Run is the newest of the two regions and is known as the main village, where it grabs both gondolas and elevates the Summit Express chair and takes you to the top of Dercum Mountain. This village features a pedestrian-only area, with lots of nice boutiques, ski equipment rental shops, cafes and restaurants. There is a ski test outside the house near the gondola, bathrooms and safes within the season ticket and ticket office. The only thing that this really basic area is missing is a central “ski hut”, but many restaurants within walking distance of the slopes make up for it. Kickapoo Tavern is a fun place for lunch or a ski beer, with a large outdoor patio overlooking the slopes. Some of the fun features of River Run Village are the open air Dercum Square ice rink, various statues throughout the village, many unique shops and an outdoor gas pit, ideal for heating on a cold day. There are a range of accommodation options at River Run that are all located within the gondola arenas, including springs, Jackpine, Arapahoe, Black Bear, Silver Mill, Dakota, Buffalo, Expedition Station and Red Hawk Lodge. The two real estate to ski outside on Keystone are Lone Eagle and Timbers, which are already across the Snake River Bridge right after the gondola and then up the slopes just a few yards from the village.

Both bases are home to ski schools, snowboarding services and rental shops. Mountain House has a great beginner area with a magic rug and an easy chair lift. You can find similar junior terrain in the middle of the mountain gondola park and in the upper part near Schoolmarm. Although you will not find a pedestrian “mall” area here with the same extensive shopping and dining options as the River Run, you will find that Mountain House is a base area for a true ski resort complete with inns equipped with interior lockers, a cafeteria, a bar, ski supplies and bathrooms; Fit any skater’s needs. You will also find an elevator ticket office here at the base, near the elevator, Peru and Argentina. The Peruvian elevator takes you to the top of Area -51, along with some green and blue running, and you can return to the River Run Base area in just one round or jump on the Montzuma Express Lift in the middle of the mountain to head up.

Mountain House accommodation prices tend to be just under River Run, while most amenities offer the same. The Chateau Dumont Real Estate is very popular and unique, and most have a private hot tub with slope views! Slopeside Apartments is another great option in Mountain House, just steps away from the lifts. There are quite a few properties here that are located within walking distance of the mountain for a fraction of the cost. If you feel the need to stop at the main village, all you have to do is ski or ride a shuttle bus!

There are also plenty of housing options outside of the two main villages. One of the resort’s newest and most popular residential developments, Settler’s Creek in East Keystone features beautiful multi-storey townhouses with garages and great views of the surrounding mountains. It is located in the middle of the neighborhood “Mini Cabin”, a central recreational gathering area, complete with a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, billiard table, barbecue and lounge area to host gatherings and barbecue.

Keystone Resort hosts a free shuttle service to the resort that will take you wherever you need to go inside Keystone and most compounds are serviced by the shuttle. Most trips to cliffs take anywhere from Keystone 10 minutes or less! There is also a free district-level transportation system known as Stage Stage which makes it very easy to roam the high country without a car. Denver International Airport is just 90 minutes away, and there are many shuttle companies that will take you to and from the airport.

If you are ready to stay outside the main villages of Keystone, you will often be able to find better deals and prices on your accommodations. Make sure to choose a real estate management company that allows you to choose exactly the property you reside in so you know what to expect and that you can plan your trip in advance. If you have a large group, ask your property manager about renting a private home! Wherever you stay at Keystone, you’ll find it very easy to find everything you are looking for and more!