Copper Mountain, CO
If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, there’s no better place to do it than Copper Mountain, Colorado. Copper Mountain, located in Summit County, Colorado, off Interstate 70, is a mountain and ski resort that spans 2,465 acres. Tucked away in the Rocky Mountains, this little town is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.
There are plenty of activities to keep you busy in Copper Mountain, from hiking and biking trails to fishing and camping. And, of course, you can’t come to Colorado without hitting the slopes, especially since Copper Mountain is home to some of the best skiing in the state.
If you’re looking for a place to call home for a few days or even a few weeks, there are plenty of options for van life in and around Copper Mountain. There are numerous dispersed camping spots available in the area, as well as a few commercial campgrounds. With the town of Frisco just a short drive away, you’ll have everything you need to make the most of your time in Copper Mountain. No matter where you choose to stay, you’re sure to find breathtaking views and plenty of peace and quiet.
Where Can I Park My Van in Frisco, Colorado?
Just a quick drive west of Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Frisco, Colorado, is the little town of Copper Mountain. This former mining town turned world-class ski resort is a great place to park your van but isn’t much of a destination resort. Copper Mountain is unique because, like Arapahoe, there is no real town that accompanies it. Instead, people generally commute to the mountain or stay on the premises.
When it comes to parking your van, Frisco, Colorado, is going to be your best bet. This is a larger town with more amenities like grocery stores and restaurants. You can park for free in Frisco, but read the signs carefully, as some areas have time limits.
Frisco, Colorado, has an elevation of 9,097 feet, making it an almost “2-mile city” in Summit County. It has Safeway and Walmart stores. If you’re planning on skiing at Copper Mountain, a shuttle service is available to Frisco.
Overnight Parking Regulations in Frisco
In designated parking lots, overnight parking is permitted for a total of 24 hours. No trailer parking is allowed overnight, but camping and sleeping in automobiles are permitted. Three distinct lots in Frisco offer overnight parking:
- Kayak Parking Lot at I-70 Exit 201
- Marina Rd/Summit Blvd Parking Lot
- Granite St/3rd Ave Parking Lot
While main street parking in Frisco is limited to 3-hour parking, the side streets and avenues have no time limits. To be safe, Frisco offers a “no-tow” hotline. If you park your car outside of a designated overnight parking lot, you can call Summit County dispatch at 970-668-8600 and request a “no tow.”
While the town will make every effort not to tow these vehicles, sometimes snow removal needs to take priority, and the vehicle may be towed. If this happens, the owner of the car will receive a citation and be responsible for a towing fee. Parking signs in each lot will tell you when the lot is scheduled to be plowed. Please check these signs so that you do not get a citation or have your car towed.
Frisco’s Safeway and Walmart parking lots also offer an alternative for overnight parking. The Safeway Parking lot offers overnight parking in the main lot. This lot is open 24/7, has no time limit for parking, and is relatively well-lit. The Walmart Parking lot is open 24/7 and has no time limit for parking. This lot is located on the south side of Frisco and offers one electric vehicle (EV) charging station.
Copper Mountain Parking/Available Shuttles
Free winter parking is available seven days a week in the Alpine & Far East Lots and all lots in the summer. Overnight parking and RV camping are prohibited in any of the Copper Mountain lots.
During peak times, the East Village Lot fills up first, so it is suggested that you park in one of the other three lots and ride the free shuttle. Two main shuttles run through Copper Mountain:
- Village Shuttle – Runs daily (10 am-6 pm), circulating from East Village through Ten Mile Circle to Passage Point at Center Village and then to West Village for summer lift access. (Alpine Lot provided upon request).
- Copper Coach – Runs daily (10am – 9pm). Service is for lodging guests & homeowners only, within Copper limits.
If you’re thinking of taking to the road, be ready for winter conditions in the mountains. Chain laws are issued by CDOT throughout the winter, requiring all vehicles to have four-wheel drive, AWD, or snow tires or chains if the chain law is in force.
Amenities for Van Living in Frisco, Colorado
Copper Mountain has all the amenities you could need, from lodging to lessons to great restaurants and more. The skiing is good and isn’t always too crowded, though lines can form. The parking can be a little bit of a distance from some of the trails, but the resort provides free shuttles to get you around. Frisco and the surrounding areas offer all the amenities you could need, including:
- Showers – The Silverthorne Rec Center has a community center with a pool and hot tub that is open to the public for a small daily fee of $14. Just a 9-minute drive from Frisco, the rec center also offers showers so you can get clean after a long day on the slopes.
- Laundry – There are several laundromats in Frisco, but most notably Rocky Mountain Laundries, which offers free WiFi, plenty of washers and dryers, and a place to sit and relax while your clothes wash.
- Food – Frisco has plenty of grocery stores and restaurants to choose from. Safeway, Walmart, and Natural Grocers are all great places to stock up on food and supplies.
- Dispensaries – Tumbleweed Dispensary is a great place to pick up all your cannabis needs in Frisco. They offer a wide selection of products and helpful and knowledgeable staff that can answer any questions you may have.
Plenty of other amenities are available in Frisco, Colorado, making it a great place for van lifers visiting Copper Mountain. As a reminder, we also support self-protection at SB/VL and encourage the safe and responsible use of firearms. If you’re seeking secure storage and accessories, check out our sponsor SecureIt Gun Storage to save money on goods. We will get a commission on everything you purchase.
Restaurants and Nightlife in Copper Mountain Frisco
Copper Mountain has a small selection of restaurants, but there are plenty of great options in Frisco. If you’re fresh off the slopes in Copper Mountain and utilizing some of their daily parking, check out:
- Sawmill Pizza & Taphouse – This wood-fired pizza spot is a great place to refuel after a long day on the mountain.
- Eagle BBQ – Just a few steps from the American Eagle Lift at the base of Copper Mountain, Eagle BBQ offers some award-winning colorado-style BBQ and has $4 PBR drafts.
- Ten-Mile Tavern – Located in Eagles Landing in the heart of Center Village, this local bar and grill is a great place to grab a cheap beer and enjoy some American cuisine.
Frisco is a small town, but it has a lot to offer regarding restaurants and nightlife. Some of our favorite places to eat include:
- The Moose Jaw – Burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more. The Moose Jaw has a little bit of everything, and it’s all delicious.
- 5th Avenue Grille – This American restaurant is located in the heart of Frisco and offers a great menu with burgers, sandwiches, fusion cuisine, and more.
- The Lost Cajun – If you’re in the mood for some good old-fashioned Louisiana cooking, The Lost Cajun is the place to go. They have all your Cajun favorites like gumbo, jambalaya, po’boys, and beignets.
There are also plenty of bars and clubs in Frisco if you’re looking for a night out on the town. Some of our favorites include:
- The Barkley Ballroom – This music venue and bar features live music from local and touring bands, as well as a great selection of beer and spirits.
- Ollie’s Pub & Grub – A local favorite, Ollie’s is a great place to watch the game, play pool, and enjoy classic pub cuisine.
- Co. Bar – This speakeasy-style bar is located in the heart of Frisco and offers a unique atmosphere and great cocktails.
Whether you’re looking to ski, snowboard, or just enjoy the mountain town vibe, Frisco and Copper Mountain are great places to visit. With plenty of restaurants, bars, dispensaries, and other amenities, you’ll never find yourself bored or without something to do. Though parking can be tricky in the area, there are plenty of overnight lots in Frisco and shuttles to and from Copper Mountain.
Planning a romantic weekend getaway in the southeast? You have probably heard of amazing (and popular) spots like Savannah and Charleston. While they are must visit spots if you haven't been, at this point those two cities are overrun with bachelorette parties, golf...
Those who love to ski and snowboard know that the best time to do so is when the powder is fresh. There is nothing quite like the feeling of knifing through a fresh mountain of snow with your skis or tablet, that was not made by a machine. We have outlined a list of...
The country of Austria is often forgotten by backpackers as it sits between two hotbeds of nomad activity: southern Germany, with the Alps and incredible English Gardens of Munich and Budapest with its combo of the cheapness/funness/unknown. I think that is because...
Everyone knows of the mythical and magical Czech capital of Prague. It first came on my radar when watching the original installment of my all time favorite movie franchise: Mission Impossible 1. Watching Tom Cruise run across the Charles Bridge with all the fog...
Lucerne (Luzern in German) sits in the dead center of the country of Switzerland on Lucerne Lake. Every major city in Switzerland sits on a huge lake, with the exception of Basel and Bern, though those two have the Rhine and Aare Rivers running through them. Lucerne...
The debate over which is the best city in Switzerland is officially over. It’s Bern, the de facto capital of Switzerland. Bern is located in the center of the country, a three hour train ride to every corner of this mountainous paradise. The old town is fairly small...
Zurich, Switzerland is on the short list of my favorite cities in Europe (the other contenders include: Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona, Helsinki, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Athens, Lisbon, Salzburg, Budapest, Brasov, and Bruges - Moscow and Istanbul if you count those too). The...
Ever since my first visit to Zurich in 2015 I have maintained that the entire world would move to this paradise if it weren't so goddamn expensive. On my two subsequent trips to Switzerland, there has been nothing to sway my mind off this take. I have since seen...
I cannot tell you exactly why I became so fascinated with this beautiful town in the western hills of Czechia. The more research I did into it, the cooler it seemed. Karlovy Vary is the 22nd largest city in the Czech Republic (according to Wikipedia), a country with a...
If you google "biggest festivals in the world" the results will yield four festivals that are not really music festivals. They're one day events like Street Parade in Zurich every July or Summerfest in Milwaukee, USA. I have been to the latter and it ends at 10 PM...