With the second tallest peak in Colorado, 1365 skiable acres, 400+ inches of snowfall each year, and affordable lift tickets, it's no wonder that Loveland Ski Area is a locals favorite. But the hill(s) itself can be a little tricky, so read the Loveland trail map closely. But for the things that can't be explained by pictures, here are a few words.

Two Base Areas. There are two base areas: Loveland Valley and Loveland Basin. Their natural defining characteristics are that the Valley is pretty small and the Basin is HUGE (comparatively). The Valley is closer to Denver/skier's right/shorter drive by one minute. The Basin has more skiing, access, diversity of runs, and stuff to do. NOTE. You cannot ski between the two peaks.

Color Runs. The runs at Loveland are either Green, Blue, Black, or Double Black Diamonds.

DO NOT try to walk between the Valley and the Basin. This is experience talking. I got impatient (read: stupid) at some of the lift lines in the Valley, and I took off my skis and started walking. Don't let the trail map fool you. It is a long walk between the two. You don't want to work this hard and not gain elevation. I learned for everyone so you don't have to.

Loveland Valley. There are two lifts that serve this area. #3, which is a quad lift and #7 which is a double. As you can see from the Loveland trail map above, there are only greens and blues on this section of this peak. This is often a good spot for beginners or blue folks, but be careful here. Because of its size and only having one lift to go to the top, this can get crowded quickly. It might seem great and open on one run, then you hit the base and the lines are sluggish. This isn't always the case, but scout this out before committing.

Loveland Basin. Most of the skiing and boarding in Loveland is done in the Basin. Some very challenging black runs on skier's right, then the rest of the hill is mostly blues with a smattering of a few long greens going all the way down to the base. Chair 9 can get you to the tippy top, and you can hike the ridge to get into some of the various bowl runs. Take a trail map with you so that you know which run you are trying to get to and how much farther you need to hike.

The Face. If you want to ski The Face, you travel under I-70 from Loveland Basin. Depending on which Loveland trail map you are looking at—the North View or the South View—it can be confusing to know how to get to this area and where the lift takes you, but once you are on the mountain, it will become very clear.

Always remember to grab a Loveland trail map at any of the lifts. Loveland isn't that big of a place, but if you are trying to stay mid-mountain and higher and avoid the base areas, it is a smart move to have a map in hand so that you can also check where you are and where you need to go. Also smart to get familiar with the map before you get to the hill, and lastly, pull the Loveland maps up on your phone before you get to the mountains so that you can reference it, if this is your preferred method.

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