Early Season Skiing and Riding at Loveland Ski Area in Colorado

Early Season is a great time to take a winter sports vacation! Lift tickets are cheap and crowds are minimal!

Adventure Travel is the name of the game for our family.  We enjoy everything extreme from  backcountry snowboarding to Class V kayaking.  Adrenaline is the name of the game for us, it’s why we moved to Colorado more than 15 years ago … and it’s also why we love, love, love traveling the country in an RV.

Family friendly, Loveland was a blast for all of us!!  Photo Credit: Kady Kellogg
Family friendly, Loveland was a blast for all of us!! Photo Credit: Kady Kellogg

But, it’s not just extreme adventure that nourishes our souls.  Being together is our ultimate goal.  Making memories, experiencing things, building relationships, increasing our faith and having fun is what we devote our lives to.  And so, we also enjoy family activities, adventures that get everyone, from our youngest to our oldest, outside and having a blast.

Taking the family snowboarding is one of these epic adventures that is great for everyone, regardless of age and/or experience.  It’s good, clean, honest fun where kids and adults can just let loose and laugh and “woohoo” all day long.

Along the Continental Divide, Loveland offers some sweeping views!
Along the Continental Divide, Loveland offers some sweeping views!

Recently, I had to take my oldest son to the airport and my daughter Kady and son, Cardy were going to join us.  It’s about a 3 hour drive from our town to DIA and so Kady, my adventure loving, gypsy souled girl decided we needed an adventure to shake up the trip.

We honed in on Loveland Ski Area … epic trails, fast lifts, and cheap, cheap, cheap lift tickest … only $53 for the early season, $25 for kids ages 6-14.

We are having the time of our lives!!!  Nothing beats November boarding!  :)
We are having the time of our lives!!! Nothing beats November boarding! 🙂

We knew the majority of the mountain wasn’t going to be open, but for us, just getting on our boards in early November was a treat!

So, what is early season at Loveland like?  In a word, epic.

Oh the views though!!!  So amazing, even on this uber cloudy snowy afternoon!
Oh the views though!!! So amazing, even on this uber cloudy snowy afternoon!

We had one lift open, chair 1 which is in the “basin”, located on the east side of the Continental Divide.  Early Loveland in the basin is a limited variety of terrain for skiers and riders of beginner to Intermediate levels with smooth groomers, moguls, and cruisers.  The name of the game was green and blues, perfect for your first day on the mountain, when you’re not in prime boarding condition and very green …

After mid-December, the snow conditions are optimal, with a minimum of 422” of snow each year!!  Loveland Basin offers a wide variety of terrain.  From all the above to wide open bowls (my fav), deep powder, moguls and glades.  We’ll definitely be back to experience Loveland Basin at it’s best!

Early Season Loveland Basin ... Colorado!
Early Season Loveland Basin … Colorado!

But, even with limited terrain, we had the time of our lives.  We flexed our muscles and ran about 6-7 runs per hour, speed was our friend, we just pointed our boards straight down and practiced quick, seamless turns, played on some moguls, and rode switch.

Loveland is a family owned ski area, and so there are no corporate, money gouging, takeaways.  The people who work there are friendly and seem to love their jobs.  Cardy received umpteen high fives and knuckles, they commented on how “darn fast” he was going up and coming down, and we, in turn commented on how “darn fast” they ran through the lines.  In fact, I groaned when I saw the lift lines, but I’m not kidding when I say we maybe stood for 3-4 minutes max waiting for the lift! No lie!

We were blown away by the beautiful sweeping views!
We were blown away by the beautiful sweeping views!

The lodge at the base of Loveland basin, offers good eats like personal pizzas and deli sandwiches, hot soups and cheeseburgers.  And for your little shredders, who tend to have their eyes on the goodies after a run or two, the lodge has a good assortment of hot chocolate, brownies and cookies as well!  Understated, clean, warm and cozy, again no pretentiousness, just totally family friendly!

We had such a great day, and there were so many ski schools there from all over the west, practicing, honing their skills and getting a jump on the season in one of the most beautiful locations I have ever seen.

By the end of the day, I was falling and unable to style any of the mountain, let alone the moguls … even Cardy was beating me down the mountain.   This was a great day and I cannot wait to come back and ride the bowls, the powder and the glades and tell you all about it.

For now, my top reasons for riding or skiing Loveland in November are:

  1. Little else is open and the views are uncomparable!
  2. Uncrowded!  There were a good number of people, but not like your BIG resorts!
  3. Affordability!!  $53 for adults and $25 for kids (6-14) and 6&U are free!

And my top reason for wanting to go back can be summed up in 17 seconds!  There is NO way I will miss this opportunity this year.  No Way!

Loveland also has a beginner area, Loveland Valley, a separate area designed just for beginners.  It has it’s own life, Lift 7, even cheaper lift tickets ($25) and wide open terrain so there are no worries about making wrong turns onto intimidating runs.

Something for everyone … that’s the family travel method!!!

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