Keystone, Colorado: Rank 15 West, 1997


Keystone offers something few other resorts do: extensive night skiing. Want to take a morning (or afternoon) off? Lift tickets start at 8:30 am, noon, 2, 4 and 6 pm, and are good until Keystone closes at 9. But you'll want to grab all the hill time you can on the expert pitches of TheOutback and North Peak. Glades, cruisers and a fair share of bumps qualify the rest of Keystone as an all-abilities mountain. The flexible hours and varied terrain make Keystone a family-friendly vacation. During the day, take a break at one of the two base areas' 20 shops and 31 restaurants; at night, do more of the same, or take a horse-drawn sleigh ride to the Soda Creek Homestead for a down-home steak supper. Not a meat eater? Hop the gondola to feast on all varieties of fondue and dance late into the night to Bavarian music at Der Fondue Chessel.

What's New A high-speed quad (Keystone's fourth) from the village base area to the summit; a new beginner teaching area; the continued expansion of River Run Village, currently the largest ski-area development project in North America.
A Good Deal Stay three nights, ski three days and get one night and one day free, opening day to Dec. 25, Jan. 3-Feb. 13;(800) 427-8308.
Medals Gold Snow Quality, Grooming, Terrain, Lifts,Weather, On-Mountain Food; Silver Family Programs, Challenge, Value, Service, Accessibility.
High/Low Rank On-Mountain Food (6); Expert Terrain (46).
Don't Miss Gourmet cooking classes with Executive Chef Bob Burden on Thursday nights. Price: $40. Classes fill up months in advance, so reserve early; (800) 354-4FUN.
Reader Remarks "The Outback is outstanding, the Outpost Lodge is excellent." "Runs connecting the different mountains are crowded, icy and serviced by crowded lifts."