Located at the Keystone Mountain Resort in Colorado, the River Run Gondola is the workhorse of the Keystone resort, transporting summer and winter visitors from the River Run Village to the top of Keystone’s Dercum Mountain.
The River Run gondola plays an important role at the resort, making sure that visitors in both summer and winter are able to access the many activities on offer at the top of the mountain.
This post addresses all the common questions you might have about the Keystone gondola, so keep reading to find out more!
Is there a gondola at Keystone?
There are two gondolas at the Keystone Resort in Colorado, the River Run Gondola and the Outpost Gondola.
River Run Gondola
Starting at the River Run Village in the Keystone Resort, the River Run Gondola can transport 8 people to the top of Dercum Mountain.
The gondola ride finishes at an altitude of 11,640 feet (3,548 meters), with a total vertical rise of 2,360 feet (720 meters).
The River Run gondola ride takes about 11 minutes to complete and can transport 2,400 people per hour.
From the top, visitors can enjoy incredible views of Lake Dillion, the Continental Divide and the Ten Mile Range.
But that is not all, once you reach the top there are also a number of family-friendly activities to enjoy in both the summer and winter.
This River Run Gondola is also where you’ll find the Scenic Gondola Ride, a great activity for the whole family.
This is also an excellent non-ski activity, particularly if there is someone in your group who doesn’t ski.
They can ride the gondola up the mountain and meet the rest of the group for a meal, or drink or partake in the other activities on offer.
Constructed in 1991, the Outpost gondola takes passengers on an 8-minute ride from the top of Dercum Mountain to North Peak, finishing at an altitude of 11,660 feet (3,554 meters).
Passengers enjoy incredible views of the surrounding mountains and ski routes and can see all the way over to the Breckenridge Ski Resort.
In summer, the Outpost gondola is only open for weddings.
In winter, the gondola gives visitors access to additional ski routes and the Timber Ridge Lodge, Keystone’s largest on-mountain restaurant and lodge.
Activities at the top of the Keystone River Run Gondola
Once you’ve reached the top of the River Run gondola, there are plenty of activities on offer for you to enjoy in summer and winter.
The activities below all require gondola access. This can either be via a season pass, day lift ticket, scenic gondola ticket or mountaintop snow tubing + lift ticket.
1. Skiing and Snowboarding
It goes without saying that the most popular activity in winter is skiing and snowboarding. The top of the River Run Gondola provides you with access to a number of different trails on the mountain.
From here you can also hop on the Outpost Gondola and make your way across to North Peak to access even more trails.
The top of the River Run Gondola is also the start of Schoolmarm, Keystone’s premier green trail with family-specific ski zones. At 3.5 miles, this is the longest ski trail on the mountain.
2. World’s Largest Mountaintop Snow Fort
Located at the top of the River Run Gondola is the world’s largest mountaintop snow fort. This is a great activity to check out on your way to or from the mountaintop snow tubing.
Playing in the snow fort is free to all visitors, but you’ll need valid mountain access in the form of a season pass, day lift ticket, scenic gondola ticket or mountaintop snow tubing +lift ticket.
3. Mountaintop Snow Tubing
If you’re looking for an alternative activity to skiing, the mountaintop snow tubing is a great family-friendly option.
Gondola access is required to take part in this activity.
4. Night Skiing
A unique experience and an opportunity to get in a few more runs, night skiing at Keystone is available on weekends and holidays during the winter season.
5. Food and Drink
The River Run Gondola finishes at Summit House, an on-mountain restaurant, where you’ll find a range of food and drink options after a long day on the mountain.
How much does the Keystone Scenic Gondola cost?
The Keystone Scenic Gondola is available in summer and winter.
The cost to purchase a scenic gondola ticket for the winter 2022/2023 season is given below:
|Scenic Lift – Adult (ages 13+)
|Scenic Lift – Adult (ages 5 – 12)
|Scenic Lift + Lunch (ages 13+)*
|Scenic Lift + Lunch (ages 0 – 12)
*The scenic life + lunch ticket gives you a ride up and down the River Run Gondola as well as a $15 lunch voucher for Summit House of 9280′ Taphouse.
Is the gondola at Keystone free?
The Keystone gondola is not free. You’ll need to purchase a scenic gondola lift ticket to ride up and down the mountain.
If you have a ski lift pass, you do not need to purchase a separate lift ticket to ride the gondola.
What time does the Keystone gondola open?
Summer Operating Hours
During summer, Keystone’s scenic gondola ride is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
The last ride up the mountain is 4:30 pm and the last ride down the mountain is 5:00 pm.
Winter Operating Hours
During winter, Keystone’s scenic gondola ride operates from 08:30 am – 4:00 pm. The last ride down the mountain is 4:30 pm.
Note that there are no scenic gondola rides during night skiing. However, the River Run Gondola does operate until 8:00 pm for those heading up the mountain to ski.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long is the River Run Gondola?
Starting at the River Run Village and finishing at the top of Keystone’s Dercum Mountain, the River Run Gondola takes passengers up to 11,640 feet (3,548 meters), with a total vertical ascent of 2,360 (720 meters) in about 11 minutes.
Are dogs allowed on the River Run Gondola?
Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the River Run Gondola.
How long is the scenic gondola ride at Keystone?
Starting at the River Run Village and finishing at the top of Keystone’s Dercum Mountain, the scenic gondola ride takes about 11 minutes.