BEST OUT-OF-BOUNDS SKIING Denver 2006 - Arapahoe Basin
Readers' Choice: Vail
Arapahoe Basin already appeals to the independent skier, the person who'd rather power down the slopes than vamp through Vail. And while there are plenty of challenging runs -- including the classic Pallavicini -- on A-Basin's official map, the area also boasts great out-of-bounds skiing. A short walk from the top of the Lenaway Lift and through the U.S. Forest access gate, there's a mile-long stretch known as the Beavers, which starts at about 12,500 feet and drops you down below the base at 9,000. The wide-open slope faces north, which means it gets less sun -- so the snow sticks around a lot longer. Getting back up to the base is easy, too: The run ends right at the road that leads to A-Basin. So after laying down some turns in the fresh pow-pow, all you need to do is stick out your thumb to get a lift to the lift so you can shoot the Beavers all over again. And do it soon: A-Basin has set its sights on expanding into the area.