Arapahoe Basin Montezuma Bowl

Breckenridge Colorado
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Montezuma Bowl

While skiers would previously look over the ski area boundary rope at the wide open terrain in Montezuma Bowl, the gates have now opened, allowing access to the long-desired backcountry skiing. Read More

  • 400 acres of backcountry available on a chairlift.
  • 1,100 feet vertical rise, plus the hike-back area.
  • 36 trails opened, including several that are groomed nightly.
  • Opened in 07/08, the Zuma Lift carries up to 1,900 skiers per hour.
  • Warm up in the Snow Plume Refuge before plunging back into the powder.


If enough advanced terrain wasn't available on the East Wall to challenge A-Basin snowgoers, there certainly is plenty now. Montezuma Bowl, or “Zuma Bowl,” has placed A-Basin squarely on the map as a place to search out the backcountry experience without the risk or effort of a true wilderness excursion.

The fixed-grip quad chairlift, Zuma Lift, happily takes skiers and riders the 4,100 feet back to the top to try another portion of the 400-acre Montezuma Bowl. The Zuma Cornice runs the ridgeline, accessing some of A-Basin's steepest terrain outside the East Wall. Try Durrance, Schauffler, or the long, steep End-Zone trails.

The experts-only hike-back area below the chairlift gives the adventurous skier or rider the chance for unique and challenging terrain. Try your luck on the trails Black Forest or the challenging steeps of The Crags.

Construction of the lift and expansion of the area were completed with the highest environmental standards possible. Lift towers, chairs and other equipment were flown in using a Sky Crane to reduce impact on the area. The need for heavy grading and vegetation disturbance was minimal, given the natural terrain and existing trees and plants. This allowed the recent expansion to have a very low impact on the local natural resources.

Details of Montezuma Bowl

  • Number of trails: 36
  • Terrain: 400 acres
  • Opening: 2007/08 season
  • Zuma Lift Capacity: 1,900 skiers per hour
  • Several trails groomed nightly.
  • Terrain opened with minimal environmental impact.
  • Services available at top of lift in Snow Plume Refuge.