The Easiest Blue Runs a Keystone: A Beginner’s Guide

Keystone is one of Colorado’s best ski resorts for beginners, thanks to tons of blue runs.

But which of Keystone’s blue runs are the easiest?

I’ve got your back. When I moved to Denver a few years ago, Keystone was actually the first mountain I ever skied! So, I can clearly remember what it’s like to progress through the mountain’s blue terrain as a newer skier or rider.

In this post, I’ll be highlighting the resort’s easiest, most beginner-friendly blue square ski runs.

Two Quick tips for finding easier blue runs at Keystone

1. Know the lay of the land

keystone mountains

As a resort, Keystone the “mountain” actually consists of three separate mountains.

  1. The first mountain is Dercum Mountain, which is the “frontside” mountain that funnels down to the main parking lots and village area. This mountain has the most blue terrain and is considered the most beginner friendly.
  2. Behind Dercum is North Peak, which includes four blue runs.
  3. Lastly, behind North Peak is The Outback, which includes a small handfull of blue runs which may or may not be groomed, depending on the day.

In general, the blue terrain gets more difficult the further back into the resort you go. (While Keystone grooms tons of runs on the frontside of Dercum Mountain, they usually leave several of The Outback’s blues ungroomed)

2. Take advantage of the Mountain Hosts

keystone mountain hosts

Keystone is really good about plopping “Mountain Hosts” at the top of chairlifts and/or near the big trail maps. (They usually wear bright jackets with an “i” logo on the back.)

These folks are here to help answer any questions you have and offer advice about the mountain. Take advantage of them! They’ll have the most up to date information on current trail conditions, grooming reports, and other questions or concerns you might have.

The 7 Best Easy Blue Runs at Keystone

Without further ado, here are my favorite (and most fun!) easy blue runs at Keystone.

1. Hodoo

This is a short blue run that juts off from Schoolmarm and is a great intro to blues. Because of its short length and the fact that it quickly reconnects to a green, it’s my favorite test for confident beginner/intermediates who want to explore off the greens. (Assuming it’s been groomed, of course.)

2. Spring Dipper

Spring Dipper is a nice, easier run that’s usually groomed. The top half of this run is rated a blue, and then it turns into a green for the bottom half.

(Just make sure you don’t accidentally continue straight at the intersection of Whipsaw and Spring Dipper – Whipsaw is usually moguls!)

3. Paymaster

When it’s groomed, Paymaster is one of the best beginner blues on the entire mountain. It’s long and fun, with varied, weaving terrain that is sometimes wide open and sometimes a little narrower.

Several parts of this run have steepness similar to the greens, but there’s also several short, steeper pitches.

4. Prospector

If you feel like venturing off Keystone’s frontside, Prospector is the easiest blue on North Peak. It starts out a little steep, but gets progressively flatter and flatter as you head down it.

Protip: You can avoid the Mozard run (which is often crowded, icy, and steep) by taking the Outpost Gondola over to North peak.

5. Wild Irishman

Wild Irishmen is one of the three popular “men” runs on Keystone’s frontside. (More on the other two next…)

As the name implies, this a long, wild, and varied ride down the frontside. The good news is that it’s mostly wide open, and the steep sections are pretty short. That said, all of these “men” runs are on the longer side, so you’ll want to be confident before jumping into any of them.

6. Frenchman

This one is very similar to Wild Irishman in difficulty, and is another fun option for intermediates. Similar to Irishman, it’s a mix of flatter, green-like sections mixed with surprise steep parts.

7. Flying Dutchman

My personal favorite blue on the entire mountain. Flying Dutchman is a wide open, fast blue groomer that’s an absolute blast if you’re ready for it.

For beginner intermediates, the key things to keep in mind are that this run is one of the longest on the mountain, and it’s also pretty popular, so you’ll want to watch out for crowds.

A Guided Itinerary for Beginners at Keystone

If it’s your first time at Keystone, here’s my suggestion for working your way up to their easier blues.

Start your day by taking either the Summit Express or River Run Gondola¬†up to the top of the mountain. From there, ski down Schoolmarm, which is Keystone’s most popular green run. If you don’t want to go all the way back down to the village (and likely have to get back into a longer line for the Gondola) then I recommend peeling off onto Silver Spoon, an easy green trial which heads to the Montezuma Express chairlift.

If Schoolmarm/Silver Spoon was no problem and you feel confident advancing to some blues, then I actually recommend taking Schoolmarm again, but this time veering off towards Hoodoo. Assuming it is groomed (check Keystone’s grooming report) Hoodoo is a shorter, low-commitment blue run that’s a great intro to blues because it quickly reconnects with Last Chance, another green run that funnels to Montezuma Express.

If you enjoyed your blue experience, then I’d recommend checking out either Paymaster or Spring Dipper.

And finally, if those two went well, then you may be ready for the popular “men” runs on Keystone’s frontside – Wild Irishman, Frenchman, and Flying Dutchman. Enjoy!