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16 Best Colorado Ski Resorts For a Memorable Skiing Holiday (2024)

Hello fellow adventurers. It’s Nasiba.

Today I want to tell you about my experience in Colorado. Now, I’m not a foodie like my colleague, Adam, is, but I certainly love to eat. And so anyone who buys me or offers me food has my heart. Generally, anyone who offers something edible has my heart and loyalty.

While in Colorado, exploring ski resorts, I went to this nice restaurant to have lunch before continuing with my itinerary for the day.

The restaurant was so cute and nicely set. A lovely waiter, Tim, approached me with the widest smile and told me about the day’s specials. He recommended the Colorado Lamb served with garlic butter potatoes. It was delicious!

Now, when it was time to leave I asked for the bill and Tim informed me that the meal was on the house. What? Why? I had so many questions.

So, it happens that every day, one server is given the power to give a free meal to one customer and Tim chose me that day. How lucky!

Anyway, here are the best ski resorts in Colorado.

Colorado is home to 26 ski resorts.

Each year, Colorado welcomes over 12 million visitors to its famous ski resorts throughout the state.

From world-famous spots to little-known gems, the resorts provide fantastic family-friendly getaways.

Take a look at some of the best ski resorts in the US and resorts in Colorado for friends & family.

Additionally, many resorts offer lodging right on the mountains, along with dining options.

The winter season is the busiest time of year for the towns that are home to the resorts, allowing locals an economic boon through shops, restaurants, and events.

Because of the diverse array of resorts on offer, you can peruse the list below of the best Colorado ski resorts to find the perfect one for you.

1. Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
Danica Chang | Shutterstock

Telluride Ski Resort is nestled in the charming town of Mountain Village, Colorado, next to the town of Telluride itself.

The resort attracts skiers not only because of its budget-friendly tickets and passes but also its great trails and breathtaking views.

Additionally, the resort is among the best Ski resorts in Colorado for beginners and experts.

The Mountain: Telluride Ski Resort is the perfect choice for a ski trip for friends and families.

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert skier, you will find trails that suit your needs.

The mountain offers over 2,000 acres of area that is accessible by lift.

Moreover, you will find hike-to advanced and expert areas, Nordic skiing, and many terrain areas that cater to every skill level.

Because of its average snowfall of 330 inches a year, the mountain is a paradise for both skiers and snowboarders.

To accommodate the many visitors it receives, the mountain boasts 120 runs, a free gondola system, and numerous lifts, as well as spots for eating and drinking right on the mountain.

Looking for a great snowboarding experience while in Colorado?

Head to Gold Hills Chute and feel the thrill of a 1,900-foot descent to Prospect Bowl.

In addition, if your kids need a beautiful place to learn how to ski, you’ll want to visit The Meadows.

The 6 runs available on The Meadows are a safe and open space, not to mention a spot your kids can comfortably ski alongside others at their same skill level.

Opening and Closing: Telluride Ski Resort Opens on December 3, 2024, and will close on April 3, 2025.

The Town: Like the mountain itself, the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride cater to various visitors.

For a more budget-friendly stay, Telluride itself offers a hostel, along with some charming hotels.

After a day of skiing, head to a fine dining restaurant in Mountain Village or sample some local cuisine in Telluride.

Moreover, you can have a casual meal on the mountainside at one of the many international eateries.

If you are searching for some great shopping or sightseeing, Telluride offers quaint and unique local shops, as well as tours of the area.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options:  You will find luxury accommodations in Mountain Village, such as full condo rentals, as well as boutique hotels.

Take time to visit nearby towns for supplies, additional lodging options, and activities.

Montrose offers the perfect place to find budget-friendly accommodations that aren’t as pricey as Telluride.

Additionally, you can find whatever supplies you may need, as well as numerous outdoor activities and restaurants.

Moreover, you will want to take in the sights of the enchanting town of Ouray, where you can hike into Box Canyon Falls.

Official Site:

2. Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort, Colorado
Steve Boice | Shutterstock

Vail Ski Resort is adjacent to the town of Vail, Colorado.

Perfect for a romantic ski trip, the resort offers spectacular views of the sleepy, quaint swiss-style town while providing impeccable skiing and snowboarding conditions.

The single-mountain resort is the 3rd largest of its kind in the United States and offers both lessons and guided tours.

Additionally, the resort attracts visitors with amazing mountain views and over 300 inches of average snowfall each year.

The Mountain: Vail Mountain is a snowboarder’s dream, with terrain areas available that are freestyle, as well as featuring rails and boxes.

Expert and advanced skiers will also be pleased with immaculately groomed trails, as well as mogul runs and the Lodgepole, which offers a steeper grade and higher challenge.

For beginners, look to Practice Parkway and Ledges for comfortable terrain and scenic views.

Additionally, you will find adventure zones that are perfect for family ski outings.

Do you need a ski or snowboard lesson while Vail? 

Vail’s Ski and Snowboard School ensures you will safely learn what you need, as well as gain access to thrilling terrain parks and access to the Express Lift.

If you are ready to hit the slopes, head to one of the many bowls on Vail Mountain or go to Blue Sky Basin for an adventure through the backcountry.

A massive playground for visitors, the resort covers 5,289 acres, 195 runs, and 31 lifts.

Additionally, you will find an impressive 4-mile run, as well as a number of chutes and glades.

Opening and Closing: Vail Ski Resort is estimated to open on November 19, 2024, and close on April 21, 2025.

The Town: Enjoy a romantic gourmet meal on the mountainside or head into town for a drink, as well as casual fare.

Before dinner and drinks, stroll through the small village and be enchanted by cobblestone streets and unique local shops.

During the holidays, the town is transformed into a magical retreat of Christmas lights and a multitude of decorated trees.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Both high-end and budget-friendly lodging is offered in Vail, making it a good option for your home away from home.

Along with cozy accommodations and condo rentals, many also offer pet-friendly options.

If you would like to see more of the area around and near Vail, head to the small towns of Avon, Eagle, or Beaver Creek.

During your visit to these towns, you can discover affordable accommodations, as well as sightseeing spots and local dining.

Official Site:

3. Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek Resort, Colorado
@Beaver creek

Approximately 15 minutes from Vail, Beaver Creek Resort offers one of the most luxurious Colorado Ski Resorts.

A resort under the Vail Resorts umbrella, Beaver Creek Resort is a high-end spot where you will find top-tier amenities and a multitude of activities both on and off the slopes.

Among the amenities, the resort will deliver your equipment directly to you, as well as shuttling guests to and from Denver International Airport.

Wondering where to stay? take a look at our list of best hotels near Denver airport.

Visit the numerous signature parks this resort boasts while taking lessons and exploring the vast area.

The Mountain: For beginners, Beaver Creek Resort is a great place to practice and learn.

Head to Haymeadow Park at the base of the resort with comfortable terrain, as well as a gondola suited for beginners.

Additionally, Red Buffalo Park is great for both beginners and intermediate skiers that want to explore the mountain.

Moreover, you will want to visit the family-friendly zone of McCoy Park for unforgettable memories.

For advanced and expert skiers, a visit to Grouse Mountain is a must.

While there, you will discover black diamond and double black diamond trails, as well as spectacular views.

With 167 trails, over 300 inches of average snowfall, and 24 lifts, Beaver Creek Resort is sure to keep you happy on the slopes.

Opening and Closing: Beaver Creek Resort is estimated to open November 24, 2024 and close April 14, 2025

The Town: While staying in the sleepy town of Beaver Creek, you will be able to find an abundance of activities.

After a day of skiing or snowboarding, attend the theater and peruse art, not to mention watch a comedy act.

For dining options, Beaver Creek offers a wide range of cuisines.

Enjoy an evening of fine dining, handmade pizza, and casual fare, as well as rustic atmospheres.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Beaver Creek offers luxury accommodations or condos.

While Beaver Creek is quite pricey, a quick trip to nearby Avon, Colorado, will provide budget-friendly accommodations.

Also offered in Avon are some additional activities, such as a recreation center and nearby science center.

Official Site:

4. Ski Cooper

ski cooper, Colorado
@Ski Cooper / Chicago Ridge

Located only 15 minutes from the small town of Leadville, Colorado, Ski Cooper is the perfect resort for anyone searching for an authentic, affordable ski experience.

The resort prides itself on providing warm hospitality, as well as impeccable snow conditions and a multitude of amenities.

While at the resort, you will discover great instructors and short lift lines, not to mention a cozy atmosphere.

You can also dine at the resort itself or make your way to Leadville for more options.

The Mountain: Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, the resort offers 64 runs for every skill level.

Moreover, you will find 2,400 acres of ski area and over 200 inches of snowfall per year.

A unique feature of Ski Cooper is the Chicago Ridge Snowcat Skiing.

This feature is a budget-friendly pay-per-run adventure

While taking advantage of this add-on feature, you will make your way up the mountain on Snowcat, enjoying the breathtaking views, before skiing your way down powdery glades along the North Basin.

Moreover, this excursion is a great way to get to know the rich history of Ski Cooper through the eyes of your guide.

Afterward, explore the additional trails and bowls available on the mountain, or take your kids to learn how to snowboard or ski.

Additionally, you can ski mogul runs and ungroomed terrain, all while on natural snow.

Moreover, if you need a break, check the events offered at the resort, as you may have the opportunity to see some racing on the mountain.

Opening and Closing: Ski Cooper will open on December 10, 2024. The closing date for the resort has yet to be announced.

The Town: Only 15 minutes away is Leadville, Colorado.

The tiny town is full of charm, where you will discover not only museums but also great dining.

Sample fare at local cafes, bars and grills, and international cuisine, as well as barbecue and bistros.

Additionally, you can book scenic tours or have a shopping excursion at the local boutiques offering unique and rare items.

Nearby Towns and Accommodations: During your stay, you will find a wide range of accommodations in Leadville, making it a good spot to find both affordable and luxury rooms or rentals.

If you are looking for some exciting nightlife, head to Glenwood Springs or Golden.

Both towns are approximately 90 minutes from Leadville and offer great places to stay, as well as the opportunity to pick up anything you might need.

While Glenwood Springs is a bit pricier, it offers a wide range of activities.

Golden is a bit more budget-friendly and is only 24 minutes outside of Denver.

Official Site:

5. Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain, Colorado
@Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain is the perfect ski resort if you are looking for not only great skiing and snowboarding but other mountain activities as well.

Located in the tiny town of Monarch and 20 minutes from Salida, Colorado, Monarch Mountain has a rich history, programs for adults and children, as well as spectacular tubing.

Additionally, you’ll discover great dining, shopping, a laid-back environment, and affordable passes and tickets.

The Mountain: For those who are experienced with terrain parks, Steel City Terrain Park is a wonderful adventure.

While at the park, you will find large jumps, boxes, rails, and natural features.

For beginners and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, Tilt Terrain Park is a fantastic option.

Located just below the Panorama Lift, the park has all the features of the more advanced terrain park but with easier sizes.

Are you looking for extreme skiing at Colorado ski resorts?

Look no further than Mirkwood Basin at Monarch Mountain.

Test yourself against nature in the basin that is a special-use-boundary that is kept in its natural condition.

Moreover, you will experience steep chutes, soft meadows, and open-faced bowls.

A great family activity, the Tubing Park requires no experience, not to mention admittance is 50% off with a Monarch pass.

With over 400 inches of snowfall each year, the mountain is a fantastic playground providing 63 runs and 5 lift systems, as well as 800 acres of skiable area.

Opening and Closing: Monarch Mountain is estimated to open November 27, 2024 and close April 14, 2025.

The Town: The tiny unincorporated town of Monarch is quiet and unassuming, with a post office, a lodge, and surrounding mountains.

The Monarch Mountain Lodge offers cozy accommodations, as well as a coffee shop and bar, not to mention the only restaurant in the town.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Near Monarch Mountain, you will find the town of Salida, Colorado.

Although the town is small, it provides a number of activities, such as museums and a hot spring.

You can also find affordable accommodations, as well as private cabins.

Also on offer are art galleries and shops, not to mention a variety of dining options.

If you need a break from the mountain, Salida is a great spot to go snowmobiling or cross-country skiing, as well as dog sledding.

Official Site:

6. Powderhorn Mountain Resort

powderhorn mountain resort, Colorado
@Powderhorn Resort

One of the best ski resorts in Colorado that’s family-friendly and affordable is Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

Nestled against the Grand Mesa, the resort offers spectacular views and prime skiing and snowboarding.

You will find charming accommodations at the resort, as well as the opportunity to ski on the largest flattop mountain in the world.

The Mountain: Over 1,600 acres of terrain are available for skiing and snowboarding at Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

Moreover, the mountain receives an average of over 250 inches of snowfall, making it easy to enjoy the 63 runs on offer.

If you are new to skiing or relatively inexperienced, the mountain is a great place to practice and learn.

With 70% of the runs being geared toward beginner or intermediate skill levels, the mountain is a great spot for families.

Additionally, you can get up and down the mountain on the high-speed quad lift.

Opening and Closing: The estimated opening for Powderhorn Mountain Resort is December 14, 2024, with the closing estimated for March 30, 2025.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: If you don’t want to stay in one of the 6 tiny houses offered by the resort, a quick 10-minute drive will take you to Mesa, Colorado.

While there, you will find a good selection of budget-friendly accommodations and a few casual dining spots.

Head 30 miles to Palisade, Colorado, for more diverse accommodation selections and shopping options.

While in Palisade, you can also find places to get supplies, stop for a drink, and get some outdoor sightseeing.

If you’d like a livelier atmosphere, Grand Junction, Colorado, is about 45 minutes from Powderhorn Mountain Resort.

The larger city has numerous activities and hotels to suit your needs, as well as a multitude of restaurants and bars.

Official Site:

7. Loveland Ski Area

loveland ski area, Colorado
@Loveland Ski Area

One of the top Colorado ski resorts is Loveland Ski Area.

The resort boasts some of the best amenities and perks you will find, along with being located 53 miles from Denver.

The resort prides itself on being a favorite, with both Colorado and out-of-state visitors flocking to the resort every winter.

The Mountain: Nestled in the Arapahoe National Forest, Loveland’s Ski Area is a spectacular skiing and snowboarding opportunity.

Atop the Continental Divide, the area covers 1,800 acres of skiing terrain, 10 lifts, and over 400 inches of snowfall, not to mention an impressive 94 runs.

Visit Loveland Valley if you are a beginner, or take to the slopes in Loveland Basin, the main skiing and snowboarding area.

While at the basin, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders can visit the Ridge for somewhat more challenging terrain.

Take a free snowcat ride and have an adventurous afternoon exploring the most thrilling terrain on offer.

Opening and Closing: Typically one of the first ski resorts in Colorado to open each year, Loveland Ski Area, is estimated to open on October 31, 2024, and close on May 7, 2025.

The Town: The city of Loveland is larger than most Colorado ski resort towns, with a population of nearly 82,000.

Because of this, you can find numerous activities and dining options.

You can also enjoy a shopping excursion, lively nightlife, and sightseeing tours.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Loveland offers a wide range of accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxury rentals.

With many stay options and everything you could need readily available, it is the best option for your home base.

If you want to spend some time in a bigger city, head to Denver, only 53 miles west of Loveland.

There, you will find the nightlife, accommodations, shopping, and dining experiences you expect from a large city.

Official Site:

8. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, Colorado
Steve Boice | Shutterstock

If you are searching for Colorado ski resorts that offer some of the most amazing skiing conditions in the state, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is for you. 

Nestled in the heart of the Arapahoe National Forest, this resort is known for its laid-back atmosphere, warm hospitality, and impeccable skiing conditions, as well as typically being the last Colorado ski resort to close each year, sometimes staying open as late as July.

The resort also offers dining options, public transportation, and a parking lot adjacent to the lift area.

The Mountain: Explore the 7 diverse mountain areas offered on 1,428 acres atop the Continental Divide.

A paradise for expert and advanced skiers or riders, 75% of the mountain’s terrain is designated as black and double-black.

On these black and double-black areas, you will discover backcountry terrain that includes steep runs and amazing views.

For beginners and intermediate skiers and riders, the mid-mountain area is a popular spot, not to mention perfect for seeing a majority of what the mountain has to offer.

With 107 trails and over 300 inches of average snowfall, the mountain is a particularly exciting ski area.

Opening and Closing: Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is estimated to open October 23, 2024 and close on June 8, 2025.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: While Arapahoe Basin does not have a village or town, you can find great lodging options nearby.

Head to Breckenridge for both luxury and budget-friendly accommodations, as well as both high-end and casual dining.

Meanwhile, only 25 minutes away, you will find Frisco, a small and charming town that offers numerous inns and lodges.

Additionally, you can find what you need at Dillon, which is 12 miles away, and Silverthorne, 13 miles away.

Official Site:

9. Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Crested Butte Mountain Resort, Colorado
@Crested Butte Mountain Resort

Located in Crested Butte, Colorado, this resort is known for having one of the most laid-back vibes of all the Colorado ski resorts.

The resort hosts events throughout the ski season, including costume events as well as mountain races.

The Mountain: Boasting 1,547 acres of skiable area, Mt. Crested Butte also includes 121 runs and over 200 inches of snowfall, not to mention its longest trail, which is 2.6 miles long.

Additionally, access to the mountain is easy, with 16 lifts available.

Visit Ten Peaks Progression Park to hone your terrain skill on skis or a snowboard.

Afterward, head to Lower Twister Terrain Park and enjoy high-speed quad lifts, manicured jumps that go up to 35 feet, and rolling terrain.

Another great benefit for expert and advanced skiers and riders is an area of double-black diamond chutes.

For intermediate skill levels, head to Paradise Bowl and hit the slopes on the Forest Queen, as well as Ruby Chief trails.

If you are looking for a true adrenaline rush, take advantage of the Extreme Limits chutes.

Opening and Closing: Crested Butte Mountain Resort is estimated to open on November 24, 2024 and close April 6, 2025.

The Town: The small town of Crested Butte offers a quirky, charming, and laid-back atmosphere.

Explore local shops that sell unique items and dine at bars and casual restaurants while you get to know the community and fellow skiers and riders.

You’ll also find cross-country trails at the nearby Crested Butte Nordic facility, as well as a free ice rink.

Want to do some snowmobiling while in Colorado? 

Rent a snowmobile in Crested Butte and enjoy the beauty of numerous trails and runs around the area.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Crested Butte offers both affordable lodging and luxury accommodations, making it an ideal place to stay.

However, if you are searching for more options, head to Gunnison, Colorado, a 35-minute drive from Crested Butte.

There, you will find additional budget-friendly accommodations, along with great shopping and dining options.

Official Site:

10. Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado
Hannu & Hannele | Flickr

Located in the San Juan Mountains, Wolf Creek Ski Area offers classic Colorado wilderness.

Family-owned, the ski area offers warm hospitality, in addition to knowledgeable staff.

The ski school provided has a wide array of programs available, such as children and group lessons, as well as private lessons and special clinics.

The Mountain: The Wolf Creek Ski Area prides itself on having the most average snowfall of any other Colorado ski resort.

With approximately 430 inches of snowfall each year, it attracts skiers and riders from everywhere.

Getting up and down the mountain is easy with 8 total lifts, 2 of which are high-speed quads.

The mountain also has a good balance of runs, with 77 available that have diverse skill levels, from beginner to expert.

With 1,600 acres of skiable area, riders can enjoy snowboard-friendly areas, numerous bowls, and rocky glade terrain, as well as natural powder.

Running along an alpine ridge, the mountain offers both steep and moderate grades.

Opening and Closing: Wolf Creek Ski Area is estimated to open on November 1, 2024 and close April 12, 2025.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: While the Wolf Creek Ski area doesn’t offer lodging, you can find accommodations at nearby Pagosa Springs and South Fork.

About 25 minutes away, Pagosa Springs offers budget-friendly lodging, as well as high-end accommodations.

Additionally, the small town offers hot springs to soak in after a full day at Wolf Creek Ski Area.

The tiny town of South Fork is only a population of approximately 350 but offers many affordable accommodations.

Moreover, you can find a wide array of winter activities if you want a break from skiing or snowboarding.

Explore the area while snowmobiling or cross-country skiing, as well as snowshoeing.

For a great family outing, take your kids ice skating or try your hand at ice fishing.

Official Site:

11. Aspen Highlands Ski Resort

Aspen Highlands Ski Resort, Colorado
Aspen Snowmass

An experience like no other, Aspen Highlands Ski Resort offers unique and exceptional ski areas, as well as fantastic amenities.

Owned by Aspen Snowmass, the resort prides itself on showcasing the natural beauty of Colorado while providing a family-friendly atmosphere.

The resort is easily accessible with flights to the nearby Aspen-Pitkin County Airport, as well as Denver International Airport.

Additionally, the resort offers luggage service, sightseeing tours, and the opportunity to explore numerous mountains.

The Mountain: purchase a lift ticket, and you will gain access to Aspen, Snowmass, and Buttermilk Mountains.

Overlooking the town of Aspen, Aspen Mountain offers 76 runs for intermediate, advanced, and expert skiers and riders.

Additionally, it provides 8 lifts, including a gondola and 2 high-speed quads.

If you are an advanced or expert skier or rider, Aspen Mountain is the perfect spot to hone your skills, in addition to exploring the terrain.

Adjacent to Snowmass Village and near the town of Aspen, Snowmass Mountain has options for beginners among the 96 runs offered.

It also has the Longshot, a run that is over 5 miles, as well as 16 lifts, including an impressive 7 high-speed quads.

Enjoy 3 terrain parks, numerous bar and restaurant options on the mountainside, and snowcat dinner rides, not to mention family-friendly activities that make it perfect for both kids and adults.

Snowmass Mountain also boasts over 3,000 acres of skiable area, as well as fantastic views of Snowmass Village.

Perfect for beginners and intermediate skill levels, Buttermilk Mountain provides easy access to its 44 runs with 8 lifts.

The three mountains also get between 200 and 300 inches of snowfall on average each year.

Opening and Closing: Aspen Highlands Ski Resort is estimated to open December 1, 2024 and close April 15, 2025.

The Town: Central to all three mountains is the town of Aspen, Colorado.

Known for attracting the rich and famous, it is easy to spot celebrities each winter walking through the small streets.

Because of its high-end luxury atmosphere, the town can be a bit pricey.

While in Aspen, you’ll find amazing dining and shopping opportunities, but expect to pay more than in other towns.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: For luxurious accommodations that have a higher price tag, Aspen and Snowmass Village are the places to stay.

However, if you are looking for more budget-friendly accommodations, you will have to head to either Carbondale or Glenwood Springs.

Located about 40 minutes from Aspen, Carbondale offers a great family-friendly environment and natural beauty, as well as dining, shopping, and cross-country skiing.

Slightly larger, Glenwood Springs is about 50 minutes away from Aspen.

It provides activities, dining, and shopping, not to mention hot springs for warming up and soaking your muscles after a long day on the slopes of Aspen.

Official Site:

12. Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch, Colorado
@Granby Ranch

Located right outside of Granby, Colorado, and approximately 90 miles from Denver, Granby Ranch is a year-round attraction but becomes particularly active in the winter with skiers and snowboarders.

For those who want a quintessential Colorado atmosphere, Granby ranch is a great choice among ski resorts in Colorado.

An affordable, family-friendly destination is easy to get to from Denver International Airport and is also the perfect place for beginner and intermediate skiers.

The Mountain: While the skiable area is a small 406 acres, the two mountains make up for this with 14 groomed trails and 35 total runs, as well as 6 lifts and over 200 inches of average yearly snowfall.

Head to the eastern mountain for easier terrain that will allow beginners to learn and intermediate skill levels to explore comfortably.

For those who are advanced or expert, the western mountain is home to mostly black runs, but intermediate skiers and snowboarders can find a nice challenge on some of the blue runs available.

Another great feature of the mountain is that all runs lead skiers and riders back to the base area, allowing you and your family to be together, even if you are on different runs.

For a unique experience, Granby Ranch offers night skiing, a rare perk you won’t see at most resorts.

Opening and Closing: Granby Ranch will open on December 10, 2024. The close for the season has yet to be announced.

The Town: Located only minutes from Granby Ranch, the town of Granby is a small but charming spot.

Visit the local museum and learn about the history of the town before grabbing a bite to eat at one of the many casual eateries available.

You can also find some great souvenirs and gifts at the local shops or get a beer at the local brewery.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Granby Ranch and Granby itself are good options for accommodations during your ski trip.

You can find budget-friendly lodging, as well as luxurious cabins and condos.

For a larger city that offers more accommodation options, as well as a more bustling atmosphere, Denver and Boulder are both only 90 miles away.

Official Site:

13. Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort, Colorado
Jacob Boomsma | Shutterstock

Winter Park Resort is the closest Colorado ski resort to Denver, making it easily accessible from Denver International Airport.

While only 67 miles from Denver, the resort still feels secluded and private, offering spectacular views of the Rocky Mountains.

The Mountain: Winter Park Resort offers two mountains to explore, Winter Park and Mary Jane.

Between the two mountains, 3,081 skiable acres are available, as well as 166 runs, the Parsenn Bowl, glade skiing, and off-trail terrain.

The mountains are also easily accessible, with 23 lifts that include 3 high-speed express quads and a 10-person gondola.

Additionally, the resort gets nearly 350 inches of annual snowfall.

Although beginners are welcome at the resort, advanced and expert skill levels will find the most areas to explore.

Moreover, skiers and riders will find a wide array of slopes and drops, with the north side having the steepest slope and the south side having the gentlest.

Opening and Closing: Winter Park Resort is estimated to open on November 24, 2024 and close on May 8, 2025.

The Town: The tiny town of Winter Park offers a variety of restaurants and bars, as well as numerous shops and boutiques.

Additionally, you can take a break from the slopes and go snowmobiling, tubing, or sightseeing.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: You can find accommodations in Winter Park, but it will be a bit pricey if you don’t book something significantly in advance.

For more options and budget-friendly rooms, head to Denver or Granby.

While Denver is only 67 miles away and can offer anything you might need, Granby is 20 miles outside of Winter Park, not to mention a small town offering a rustic Colorado atmosphere.  

Official Site:

14. Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
@Breckenridge Ski Resort

Breckenridge Ski Resort has a laid-back feel, as well as a commitment to providing amenities and services to all visitors.

Although the resort isn’t cheap, it also isn’t as expensive as many of the other Colorado ski resorts. 

The resort also offers shuttle transportation to and from the airport, in addition to your accommodations.

Moreover, the resort is accessible from the town of Breckenridge with ski-to-town trails and a free bus system.

The Mountain: As a part of the Rocky Mountains, Breckenridge Ski Resort offers 5 peaks, altogether offering almost 3,000 acres of skiable area.

With 187 trails, you will have a vast amount of area to explore, whatever skill level you may be.

Additionally, the resort receives an impressive 370 inches of snowfall each year.

Skiers and riders alike can access the mountains easily with 33 lifts that include 6 high-speed quads.

For advanced and expert skill levels, Peak 10 offers numerous black and double-black runs, and Peak 6 provides extreme terrain.

Intermediate skiers and riders will want to head to Peak 7 or 9, while beginners can comfortably explore areas of Peak 9 and 6.

Central to the resort is Peak 8, where you will find beginner and intermediate trails, advanced runs, and access to expert areas, as well as bowls.

Also on offer is 25 acres of terrain parks.

Visit Park Lane for jump line rails, jibs, and boxes.

For easier practice, head to Frontier and allow yourself to get used to terrain parks with moderate boxes and jumps.

Opening and Closing: Breckenridge Ski Resort will open on November 11, 2024 and is estimated to close on May 5, 2024.

The Town: With a population of a little over 5,000, the town of Breckenridge conveys the Victorian charm of its history while also being able to offer great dining and shopping experiences.

Additionally, the town offers winter activities outside of downhill skiing and snowboarding with a Nordic center and gondola rides.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: The town of Breckenridge offers both affordable accommodations and luxury lodging, making it a great place to stay.

Moreover, the town has enough stores and markets to fulfill your needs, so there won’t be too many reasons to go elsewhere.

Official Site:

15. Purgatory Resort

Purgatory Resort, Colorado
@Purgatory Resort

Located in Durango, Colorado, Purgatory Resort is nestled against the San Juan Mountains.

The resort also has numerous amenities if you choose to stay at their resort, along with winter activities that include sleigh rides, tubing, and snowcat scenic tours, as well as dinner excursions and snowmobiling adventures.

The Mountain: Purgatory Mountain boasts over 1,500 acres of skiable area, not to mention 6 terrain parks and 105 runs.

12 lifts make accessing the mountain easy so that you can access the runs that are suitable for beginners, intermediate, and advanced skiers and riders.

Additionally, Snowcat skiing is made readily available for those who are experts.

Explore challenging terrain as you discover massive bowls, trees, gullies, and chutes, not to mention open cruiser glades.

With 260 inches of yearly snowfall, the mountain is a great place for beginner lessons, with wide open spaces available, as well as gentle slopes.

The Purgatory Ski and Snowboard School also offers lessons for those with more advanced skill levels who want to journey over more challenging terrain.

If you want a break from skiing or snowboarding, head to Purgatory’s Snow Coaster Tubing Hill for some fun with the kids.

Opening and Closing: Purgatory Resort is estimated to open on November 23, 2024 and close April 22, 2025.

The Town: Durango is home to a population of almost 20,000 people, making it small enough to convey the charm of a small Colorado town while also providing interesting activities and whatever necessities you may need.

You can take a scenic train ride from Durango to Silverton, visit museums, dine at both casual and high-end restaurants, and go on shopping excursions.

Additionally, your family will enjoy a break from the slopes with a trip to the local ice rink or some time at the recreation center.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: Purgatory Resort itself is a wonderful place to stay during your vacation, with an array of options that range from affordable to top-tier luxury.

With your resort lodging, you’ll enjoy amenities that include a hot tub, pool, and a full kitchen or kitchenette, as well as a private deck.

If you are looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, Durango also has a variety of accommodations on offer.

Official Site:

16. Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
@Steamboat Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort offers some great deals on lodging for skiers and snowboarders, as well as numerous winter activities for the whole family.

For those who want more than just a ski trip, the resort has it all.

Go for winter horseback rides, ride on the scenic gondola, and take a snowmobile tour, not to mention go ice skating or visiting the local museum.

The Mountain: Steamboat Ski Resort is impressive in many ways.

With 170 runs spread over nearly 3,000 acres of skiable area and 6 peaks, you will be able to easily explore the mountain.

23 lifts are available, including 2 gondolas and 6 high-speed quads.

The average snowfall for the resort is 400 inches, allowing skiers and riders to access any and every trail.

Additionally, the resort offers 4 terrain parks and even night skiing.

Beginners will want to take the lower mountain lifts, while intermediate skill levels can take the same lifts, plus 2 additional that head to Sunshine Peak.

Advanced and expert levels can take the high-speed quads to black and double-black runs.

Opening and Closing: Steamboat Ski Resort is estimated to open November 25, 2024 and close April 13, 2025.

The Town: Steamboat Springs is a town that is big enough to fulfill your needs, as well as keep you entertained.

Soak in the Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs at the end of a day on the slopes before dining at one of the many restaurants on offer.

Additionally, the town is home to a multitude of unique local shops and lively bars.

Nearby Towns and Accommodation Options: While accommodations in Steamboat Springs can be pricey, there are budget-friendly accommodations available.

Moreover, the town is a great place for your home base while on vacation because of easy access to supplies, entertainment, and family-friendly activities.

Official Site:

Other Ski Resorts to Consider

  • Copper Mountain Ski Resort: Located in Summit County, Colorado, this ski resort is about 75 miles from Denver.

A large resort, it has 2,465 acres of skiable area, over 140 runs, and gets 310 inches of average snowfall each year.

Additionally, it has an East Village and Center Village, both of which provide dining and lodging, as well as entertainment.

  • Keystone Resort: Located in the small town of Keystone, Colorado, this resort is owned by Vail Resorts.

Three mountains are offered, with 135 runs for all skill levels, as well as night skiing.

Moreover, the resort provides over 3,000 acres of skiable area and a terrain park.

The town offers lodging, although it can be a bit steep in price, so you may need to head to Frisco for more affordable accommodations.

Ski Passes and Deals

  • Ski Country Pass: This pass includes several benefits under three different types of programs.

The Colorado Ski Country Gold Pass is for those who are avid skiers or riders.

The pass provides complete access to 21 participating ski resorts, such as Aspen Highlands, Loveland, and Winter Park, as well as many others.

With the Colorado Gems Card, you will receive either 2-for-1 lift tickets or a 30% discount at 10 select Colorado ski resorts.

For those with children, the Passport Program is perfect.

The program allows children in 3rd through 6th grade access to member areas at participating resorts.

  • Epic Pass: With Epic Pass, you receive a 20% discount on numerous amenities throughout the year, including lodging and dining, as well as lessons and equipment rentals.

Additionally, you can get discounts on amazing perks like heli-skiing, ski resort transportation to and from your airport, and ski school instruction.

  • Ikon Pass: This pass makes skiing throughout the season more affordable with 2, 3, and 4-day sessions

Moreover, the pass gives special discounts to military, students, and nurses, as well as kids up to the age of 12.

Some of the participating resorts include Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Snowmass, Winter Park, and Steamboat.

Ski Tips for Colorado

Ski Tips for Colorado
Tomas Marek | Shutterstock

Be Aware of Your Budget: When on your trip to one of the Colorado ski resorts you’ve chosen, keep in mind that some resorts will be pricier than others.

Amenities such as dining, shopping, and add-on activities can cost more if you are purchasing them at the resort rather than in town.

Additionally, many resorts offer bundles for lodging and dining, which may seem more expensive, but can save you money in the long run.

Moreover, keep an eye out for discounted lift tickets and accommodations, booking as far in advance as possible to get the best deal.

Take a break from the slopes: While the main purpose on your trip to a ski resort is skiing or riding, you should also take the time to explore the towns and outdoor areas outside of the runs.

Many of the ski towns in Colorado offer a unique experience that you won’t want to miss, with quaint atmospheres, quirky locals, and unique tours, as well as activities that are fun for the whole family.

Pack appropriately: If you are new to skiing, you may need to keep in mind that dressing in your typical winter gear won’t work for hitting the slopes of Colorado.

To stay comfortable, don’t wear jeans or clothing that is uncomfortable when you are active.

Bring lots of clothes that can be layered since you may start out on the cold side but will soon warm up as you ski or ride down the mountainside.

Don’t forget to bring a coat and pants that are waterproof, as there is nothing worse than trying to ski down a hill while soaking wet.

Get advice from locals: If you are wondering what the best skis are for you to rent, ask employees at the equipment rental facility.

Additionally, get to know local skiers while you are on the mountain and find out where the best food and drinks are, as well as what must-sees should be on your list.

Even if you are an expert skier, little-known skiing spots can be revealed by simply chatting with the people you share a gondola ride with.

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado Skiing

Frequently Asked Questions About Colorado Skiing
Jacob Boomsma | Shutterstock

How soon should I book my lift ticket?

While the best time to buy your ski pass is at the end of the season for the following season, not everyone has that foresight.

If you have waited until just now to start planning your trip, you should buy your ticket as soon as possible.

Not only are you more likely to get a better deal the sooner you book your ticket, but you also will want to get your pass before they run out.

What are the best places to learn how to ski in Colorado?

For beginners, most Colorado ski resorts offer instructors and great beginner slopes.

Loveland, Winter Park, and Beaver Creek are particularly good with beginners, and offers gentle slopes, as well as a family-friendly atmosphere that helps put new skiers at ease.

Additionally, Keystone offers fantastic instructions for those learning how to ski or ride, with progressive lessons that will get you on runs in no time.

How do I plan my Colorado ski trip?

If this is your first ski vacation to Colorado, fear not.

Planning your trip isn’t as difficult as it may seem.

The most important thing to remember is that you’ll want to pick a ski resort that is right for you, whether it be one that is budget-friendly and laid-back or more luxurious and larger.

Once you’ve chosen the resort you want, go through a checklist of lift tickets, ski lessons, and equipment, booking each one as soon as possible for better deals and ensuring you get what you need.

Decide how you want to get to the resort, as some resorts offer shuttle services to and from nearby airports and accommodations, making your vacation much simpler.

Moreover, you may want to check out what attractions are near your ski resort and plan an itinerary that includes more than the slopes.

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Additional Ski Resorts in the Rocky Mountains: Although Colorado has what many consider some of the best skiing in the world, you will find numerous ski destinations throughout the Rocky Mountains that offer fantastic winter conditions and amenities. world-class Ski resorts of Utah have earned a reputation for providing both luxury and affordable ski areas, as well as mountains with diverse terrain. During a ski trip to Utah, you will find wide-open slopes for beginners, terrain parks for skill levels of every range, and intermediate, advanced, and expert runs. What’s more, many of the ski resorts of the state offer backcountry tours that include historical information. Montana ski resorts for families also have a lot to offer for a trip to the Rocky Mountains. 

Skiing in Montana and New Mexico: While Colorado offers ski villages right on the mountainside, Montana has many large towns situated around its ski areas, allowing you to find everything you need close at hand. Additionally, Montana’s fantastic ski conditions, combined with spectacular views, attract visitors from all over. You’ll discover great weather and snow conditions at the best ski resorts in New Mexico. The state offers plenty of budget-friendly locations and a distinct southwest atmosphere. Spend your time off the slopes visiting charming towns like Santa Fe and Taos.

Ski at Lake Tahoe: You’ll find luxury ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, where a tradition of winter sports has been thriving for decades. Not only will you discover slopes that are perfect for kids to learn on, but also diverse terrain that will make everyone happy. Additionally, Lake Tahoe offers numerous winter activities for when you want a variety of experiences. Take out a snowmobile and explore the area around the lake or visit a Nordic center and go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Moreover, you’ll find nearby attractions to visit with your family, restaurants to try out and plenty of photo opportunities with the breathtaking views.

Eastern ski resorts: While skiing in the Eastern United States isn’t as well known as out West, there are plenty of places you can enjoy a ski trip with your family or friends. North Carolina skiing is a great option, with state-of-the-art snowmaking operations in most of the ski areas, as well as temperate weather conditions during the winter. Additionally, the mountain towns of North Carolina are known for warm hospitality and excellent amenities that include charming lodging options, diverse restaurants, and plenty of shopping. Another option in the East is New Hampshire. You’ll find the best New Hampshire ski resorts offer plenty of terrain options, including beautiful glades to ski through, vast backcountry, and well-groomed runs for all skill levels.

See you on the next one!