Just an hour and a half from Denver, Keystone is a year-round resort set on three peaks in the Rocky Mountains. It offers skiing, tubing, and snowshoeing in the winter and mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and festivals in the summer. No matter when you visit, there’s something there for every kind of traveler.
We’ve covered the best things to do in the area in a previous piece, but you’ll also need to decide where to stay and where to eat. Here are some of our favorite options.
Where To Stay In Keystone
There are six villages in Keystone, all accessible by the free in-town shuttle.
River Run Village is the main village at the resort. East Keystone is near River Run Village, but it’s a bit quieter. Lakeside Village is next to Keystone Lake and all the water activities. West Keystone is near the Keystone Ranch. North Keystone is near the conference center, and Mountain House is the resort’s original base area.
All of the villages have pros and cons, depending on what activities you’d like to participate in on your vacation.
River Run Village
Staying in River Run Village puts you at the center of the action in both the summer and winter seasons. There are several buildings in the village, offering everything from studios to multibedroom condos.
Jackpine Lodge and Black Bear Lodge are closest to the gondola, while still in the heart of the village; Lone Eagle and The Timbers are fairly quiet ski-in, ski-out properties across the bridge.
Lakeside Village Condominiums offers a wide range of condos with kitchens. The property is steps away from paddleboarding and boating in the summer and ice skating in the winter.
For more of a hotel feel, book a room at the Keystone Lodge and Spa. It has a heated pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs, a spa, and a restaurant. At the spa, massages, facials, and nail service are available. In the winter, guests enjoy a free ski check at the base of the River Run Gondola so that they don’t have to lug their gear back and forth.
Ski Tip Lodge was once the personal home of Keystone’s founders, Max and Edna Dercum. Today, this quaint bed and breakfast offers two types of accommodations: a private room with a bathroom, and a two-bedroom suite with a shared bathroom. The lobby has a homey feel, with board games, a cookie jar, and fireplaces. Breakfast is free, and guests receive a 15 percent discount at the on-site, award-winning restaurant.
North And West Keystone
North and West Keystone are quieter locations and are best for those looking for a more serene mountain experience.
At the Aspen Ridge Condominiums in North Keystone, you’ll find a three-building complex with a pool, hot tub, and ski storage.
If you want to golf, plan to stay in West Keystone, since it’s the closest to the two courses at Keystone Ranch. West Keystone has more condo options. The spacious Soda Springs Townhomes come with a heated outdoor pool and back up to a scenic bike path that will take you to Keystone Lake.
There are also larger homes for rent in both North and West Keystone that would be perfect for family get-togethers.
The Mountain House base area is a great spot for those who want to be close to a ski lift, but in a quieter setting than River Run Village.
Key Condo is an economical choice within walking distance of the Peru Express Chairlift. Choose from studios and multibedroom units and enjoy the pool, sauna, and hot tub.
Slopeside Condominiums underwent a renovation in 2017 and is in the heart of the Mountain House base area.
Pro Tip: Booking online through Keystone has its perks, like an extra hour on the mountain in the winter, free lift tickets for kids, free golf rounds in the summer, and more.
What To Eat In Keystone
While the majority of restaurants are in River Run Village, there are dining options everywhere in Keystone, offering everything from quick bites to upscale, award-winning dishes.
In River Run Village
You’ll find a plethora of dining options in River Run Village.
New Moon Cafe is a delicious place to start your day. With its comfortable couches inside and mountain views outside, the whole place emanates a laid-back atmosphere. It’s the only independently owned restaurant in the village, and it serves breakfast, lunch, and a full bar all day long.
A mountain of nachos awaits at the 9280’ Taphouse. This restaurant in the heart of the village offers American fare like sandwiches, wings, and local beers on tap. With indoor and outdoor seating and plenty of TVs, the taphouse is a good spot for people-watching after a day on the mountain or for catching your favorite game.
Just across Highway 6 from River Run Village is the local favorite Dos Locos Mexican Restaurant and Cantina, where authentic Mexican dishes are served up with handmade margaritas in a lively atmosphere. The restaurant also has a great happy hour, making it a perfect apres-ski spot and NFL Sunday brunch spot.
In Lakeside Village
On a sunny day, grab a table by the water at Edgewater Cafe & Lakeside Deli in Lakeside Village. It offers hearty breakfast options like huevos rancheros, pancakes, and eggs Benedict, plus soup, salads, sandwiches, and burgers for lunch. The indoor seating offers lake views as well.
If you prefer a fancier meal, head to the Bighorn Bistro and Bar right off the lobby in the Keystone Lodge and Spa. Feast on seasonally inspired dishes while enjoying both lake and mountain views. Its cozy fireplace is the perfect spot to enjoy a drink before dinner.
Lakeside Village is the pick-up spot for Keystone’s scenic dinner wagon rides, where you can learn about the area’s history onboard a horse-drawn wagon that takes you to your dinner spot. Once there, you’ll enjoy live music and a true Western meal. Dinner wagon rides start at $78 per person.
In East Keystone
Nestled inside the Ski Tip Lodge is the Ski Tip Lodge Restaurant, which features a rotating four-course menu curated by acclaimed chefs. The real treat? The option of enjoying the fourth course by the fireside.
In West Keystone
Fine dining in a rustic setting awaits at Keystone Ranch in West Keystone. The AAA Four-Diamond steakhouse offers seasonal eats to accompany its steaks. Dessert and after-dinner drinks are best enjoyed in the cozy living room overlooking the golf course.
Head up the mountain for a truly unique dining experience. You’ll ride two gondolas to get to the top of North Peak, where you can pick from a more laid-back or an upscale atmosphere.
Cheese and live music await at Der Fondue Chessel inside the Outpost Lodge. This spot is a cafeteria during the day, but it transforms into a family-style fondue restaurant at night. You’ll feast on a four-course meal that starts with traditional fondue served with all the accompaniments. Next up is a salad course, followed by meat for you to cook in one of the specialty oils. Finally, you’ll choose from several chocolate fondues served with fruit, marshmallows, and the like for dipping. A roaming polka band rounds out the experience. Der Fondue Chessel is only open during ski season.
Right next door is Alpenglow Stube, a more upscale dining experience. The AAA Four-Diamond restaurant is cozy, with a fireplace and rustic mountain decor. You’ll be given a pair of slippers when you arrive, making you feel right at home! You’ll feast on decadent dishes like duck, filet, and pheasant while enjoying the extensive wine and cocktail menu. The restaurant also serves a champagne brunch, which includes a complimentary mimosa, and creative dishes like venison loin Benedict and pork tenderloin with eggs.
Keep in mind that the gondolas are not heated, and there is a short walk from the gondola to the restaurants, so dress accordingly.
Keystone also offers a combo gondola and lunch ticket. The $48 ticket includes a ride on the first gondola plus lunch at either 9280’ Taphouse or at the Overlook Grill at Summit House at the top of Dercum Mountain, which serves up pizzas, burgers, and make-your-own noodle bowls.
Don’t feel like going out? Pizza 101 delivers pizza, calzones, wings, and salads to most places in Keystone.
Pro Tip: Keystone is about an hour and a half west of Denver, but traffic along Interstate 70 gets pretty backed up, especially on the weekends during the peak winter and summer seasons. Consider traveling during the middle of the week. The flights are likely to be cheaper, and the traffic will undoubtedly be less problematic.