12 of the Best Backcountry Lines near Loveland Pass

From easy to expert, Loveland Pass has a backcountry line for almost anyone.

Jesse Weber




Few places in the United States grant backcountry access as excellent as Loveland Pass. In between Loveland and Arapahoe Basin Ski Areas, a paved road crosses the Continental Divide at 11,990 feet elevation. Broad switchbacks on either side let you ski from roadside to roadside, with no hiking required. Leave a vehicle shuttle or join plenty of others who hitchhike back to the top, and you can run fast laps here all day.

The access is easy, and plenty of lines make good introductions to backcountry skiing. Beginners have to be careful, though, because dangerous terrain still exists close to the road, and the trees are dense in some places. For those with proper experience, a huge amount of higher and steeper backcountry also surrounds the pass and covers every aspect, so you have tons of options. A hike of only 30 minutes will leave the high-traffic areas behind, and an hour-long hike can almost guarantee fresh tracks after a recent snow. Combine that with the possibility of hiking from either of the nearby resorts, and Loveland Pass really has some of the most accessible and diverse backcountry terrain anywhere.


Main Line

A popular aread from the top of the road to the bottom with no hike required

The Saddle

Picturesque open valley that is well worth the hike

Mine Dumps

Short bootpack to deep backcountry fresh lines

The Professor

A vanity free ride face directly across from Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Marjorie Bowl

Open bowl just beyond the boundary of Arapahoe Basin

The Fleas

Short steep chutes off the Lenawee Mountain Ridge

Pat's Knob

Quick and easy access to an intermediate backcountry face