Tree skiing is arguably the most fun you can have in-bounds at a resort. Once you break through the mental block of being surrounded by immovable objects, there is nothing quite like finding that smooth rhythm as the glades become an endless possibility of turns. Tree skiing makes me feel like a kid again weaving between the obstacles. These are my 5 favorite glades that I’ve found so far (in no particular order).
Monarch: Geno’s Meadow
The beauty of Monarch is their quiet, local vibe. Their distance from I-70 and smaller footprint allows them to maintain fresh powder days after a storm. Notably, Geno’s Meadow seems to hold snow longer than any other run I’ve found there. Take Ramble On from the Breezeway chair and stop at the trees right before the park. If you are just getting into harder trees, staying skier’s right allows you to easily exit onto the groomer. If you are braver, stay to the left until you hit the required drop onto the catwalk return from the hike-to terrain. You will be rewarded with so much fresh snow that this run is easily lapable.
Arapahoe Basin: Miner’s Glade
A-Basin is known for their amazing glades just from the sheer number of them alone. While most head to the Beavers terrain for some exceptionally difficult trees, my personal favorite is a much more mellow option in the Montezuma Bowl. Head down the groomed Larkspur run until you hit the trees of Miner’s Glade. These trees are spaced nicely, and the pitch is perfect to naturally slow down as you turn with minimal effort. This glade is perfect for when you want to have fun but no longer have any leg strength left. You will feel like a pinball as you bounce from turn to turn, and the joy of mindlessly letting the trees guide you captures the whimsy of being a kid!
Copper: Unnamed Tucker Mountain Glade
These trees at Copper are the only unnamed ones on this list. Head to Tucker Mountain and ride the Three Bears Chair. Take any run to skier’s right that strikes your fancy, though I recommend taking the catwalk at the top until it ends at the groomer. Enter the trees and stay high enough that you don’t prematurely end up on the catwalk at the bottom. From there, you have limitless options for trees! Stay parallel with the catwalk to get as much tree time as possible. The longer you stay in the trees, the fresher the snow gets! Copper sees a lot of skier traffic, but these trees stay fresh thanks to the extreme terrain required to get to them.
Vail: Big Rock Park
Three Words: Blue Sky Basin. Vail’s insane number of acres can be hard to navigate, but Blue Sky Basin is worth the 7 miles it takes to get to it. For an intermediate experience, take Cloud 9 from the Skyline Express chair and jump into the Big Rock Park trees between catwalk turns. For more difficult skiing, take Pete’s Express and start your tree experience on Resolution. Big Rock Park is an excellent option for those who are nervous about getting into trees. Experts will be rewarded by going deeper into the trees with every opportunity to get the freshies, as this area typically attracts a more relaxed skier.
Keystone: The Black Forest
Hot Take: I don’t like Keystone. However, the trees off the Outback chair are too fun to ignore. Enter the gate next to the hiking access, and you will find yourself skiing just below the people on their climb. Go as far as you can before starting the descent. These trees are the tightest on this list, but fortune favors the bold. From The Black Forest, you have access to 4 different tree runs. Don’t let the map fool you; all 4 are dedicated tree runs. Because of the entrance gate and protection from the hikers above, I find that I’m usually the only person in these trees. If you’ve ever skied on Mozart or Schoolmarm, then you know just how valuable it is to be alone at Keystone!