Tucked away high along the Continental Divide in Summit County, Arapahoe Basin is hidden in plain sight. With steep terrain, open bowls and rocky features, it’s as close to a big mountain proving ground as you’ll get with such easy access to Denver. When the weather is good, the traverse- or hike-to terrain of the East Wall offers steep powder lines. And when it’s stormy, the tight and full-of-features tree runs around Pallavicini lift will get your adrenaline pumping. Although there is no lodging right at the base area, options are diverse and range from high-end at Keystone to super affordable about 25 minutes down the road. Frequently battling Loveland for first Colorado resort to open, A-Basin also stays open late into the spring making for a wonderfully extended ski season. Seven months or more of this mountain every season? Yes, please.