Colorado is known the world over as one of the best ski destinations. In certain winter conditions, the snowfall can be extra deep. It comes as no surprise that Colorado is filled with some of the best ski resorts in the United States and the world. Plus, your body is going to reap the health benefits of skiing.
And the best ski resorts in Colorado are varied offering anything from luxurious world-class resorts, single lift family-operated resorts and everything in between. The best ski resort for you and your family will often come down to your personal preference.
These are the 10 best ski resorts in Colorado.
1. Vail Mountain resort
It is hard to talk about skiing in Colorado without the mention of a Vail mountain resort. Not only is it the biggest ski resort in the state but it also among the largest in the world. One of its highlights is the seven-back bowls. These glorious runs are enough to keep any skier occupied.
Your entire ski season could be focused on just these runs. Most of them face the front side allowing you to view the ski town of Vail. That said, some skiers will prefer not to venture into the back bowls.
Vail mountain resort features different varied terrain. This makes it suitable for all level skiers from beginners to intermediaries to expert skiers. What makes the Vail resort so special is that regardless of the weather conditions, you can almost always find great conditions for fun skiing on some of the many runs available.
The best ski goggles will increase contrast helping you make the most of your time on the slopes.
There are well-groomed runs that are suited for the beginner and the intermediate skier. However, if you are in for a bit of a challenge, you can head out to the backside where you can find excellent tree runs and moguls.
Granted Vail mountain resort may not be the highest resort in the area. Nevertheless, it still receives plenty of snow which could be as much as 350 inches each season. There is a lot of skiable areas to explore covering about 5829 acres.
As far as accommodation goes, you need not travel far. Right at the base of the resort is Vail town. Here there are plenty of luxury accommodation as well as high-end shopping for the discerning skier.
While accommodation in Vail is pricey, there is still a way for the budget skier to make the most of their time at Vail Mountain Resort. Many towns are surrounding Vail that offer affordable and cheap accommodation such as the towns of Eagle, Silverthorne, Frisco, and Avon.
Why we love Vail
- Huge skiable terrain
- Runs suited for any level skier
- Provides all the amenities you need
- European feel
2. Aspen Snowmass
The ski resort is situated near the towns of Snowmass and Aspen. It is four ski areas situated on the four mountains which include Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Snowmass. This provides plenty of skiable areas.
Buttermilk is a popular ski area mainly for its role in hosting the winter-X games. Here you will find plenty of beginner and intermediate runs.
Contrary to Buttermilk, there are no runs for the beginner on Aspen mountain. While Aspen highlands may offer beginner and intermediate runs, what it is most popular with are the steep runs for the advanced skier.
Snowmass is a huge area and covers up to 3000 acres. Of the four skiable areas, Snowmass is the largest. It is popular with beginners and families owing to its long gentle runs. Keep your kids safe from the cold with the best ski jackets for kids.
The town of Aspen has been made famous for hosting many celebrities. Many celebrities own property surrounding Aspen Snowmass ski resort. Here you can’t help but get the feel of an authentic mountain town. There is a reason for this. Aspen Snowmass ski resort is built around a former mining town.
Why we love Aspen Highlands
- Few people
- Affordable accommodation
- Huge areas for skiing
3. Telluride Ski Resort
If there is one thing about the Telluride ski resort it is the surrounding landscape that is simply breathtaking. This is a top-end ski resort and the terrain is easy to navigate making it a popular resort for locals and international skiers as well. It is situated in the remote San Juan mountains and receives plenty of snowfall each ski season.
If you are in search of one of the best verticals in all of Colorado, then you need to check out the Telluride ski resort. With a base elevation of 8,725 feet and over 2000 acres of skiable terrain, and let’s not forget the 4425-foot drop, get ready to test your abilities
That said, the Telluride ski resort still caters to the beginner and intermediate skier. With around 300 inches of snowfall every season, Telluride ski resort is a must-visit for many skiers looking for a different and unique experience. If you plan on bringing your skis, be sure to go through the how-to buy skis guide.
Moving between the towns of Mountain Village and Telluride is simple thanks to the free gondola. What’s more, it gets easier to reach the ski hill from any of the villages. If you just want to enjoy the landscape, the great thing is that you don’t need to wear skis for a ride on the gondola.
However, after a fun day of skiing slopes and enjoying the spectacular landscape, you can ski right down to Telluride. If it is too steep for you, simply hitch a ride in the gondola.
Telluride town is special. It is not owned by the ski resort but is instead a real and authentic ski town. The streets are full of many coffee shops, restaurants, and different sites. There are also plenty of events to look forward to in the town all through the year.
While it is a great option to find accommodation in Telluride town, the prices may get steep during the peak season. But don’t let this discourage you. There are nearby towns where you can find much cheaper accommodation.
Why we love Telluride
- Provides you with all the amenities you need
- Great nightlife
- Powdery pistes
4. Beaver Creek Resort
Beaver Creek Resort is owned and operated by Vail. It is situated a short distance from Vail. You can also drive to the resort from Denver, a distance that will take two hours. There is a friendly atmosphere here and the customer service will make you feel welcome. The well-groomed runs are divided between 1800 acres of terrain.
While there are some steep slopes for the advanced skier, Beaver Creek ski resort is best known for its beginner and intermediate runs and has some of the best in Colorado. The runs receive lots of grooming to make them perfect for the new skiers.
Beaver Creek Resort is set around the lowest elevation of all the ski resorts to be found in the area. This is what makes it among the best places for beginners and intermediate skiers to test. If you plan on heading to ski resorts that are set much higher up, then a visit to Beaver Creek will help lessen the effects of altitude sickness.
To keep your face safe from the snow make sure you are using the best ski helmets with visors.
But there are more than just beautiful runs to look forward to. Every day at 3 pm, you can munch on fresh-baked treats that are handed out to skiers returning from the slopes as well as skiers who happen to be hanging around the base.
When you get to the town, you never have to worry about crossing the snow as the sidewalks are heated which melts away the snow and makes it easy to walk.
Situated right at the base of Beaver Creek resort in Beaver Creek village. After spending your day skiing and snowboarding, you can make the most of your time at the village where you get to relax and watch the other skiers at the slopes as they make their way down. There is a pedestrian-only area situated behind the establishments with a nice and cozy outdoor area where you can enjoy the firepit.
Why we love Beaver Creek
- Luxury accommodation
- Few people
- Great pampering
- Green and blue runs for the beginner and intermediate
- Great mountain vistas
5. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge is a popular ski resort with advanced skiers and is well known for the super high alpine bowls that will get your adrenaline pumping. Another feature that makes Breckenridge so popular is the landscape which is simple to navigate making this among the best ski resorts in Colorado.
Skiing in Breckenridge often involves getting to high elevations. A highlight of the resort is the Imperial chairlift. This lift is the highest in North America rising to 12,998 feet.
There are slopes for the beginner and intermediate skier offering blue, green as well as black runs. There are also plenty of moguls and some awesome beginner runs.
Breckenridge has plenty to offer. You can enjoy nicely groomed runs that pass through the trees. But you don’t always have to get to the high elevations with the chairlifts. You can still reach some awesome skiing terrain that is located farther down.
At the base is the small and fun town of Breckenridge. If you plan on skiing in Spring, you can grab a bite as you sit and relax on a patio watching the beautiful afternoon sun on the slopes.
The fact that it is cheap to park in the town makes it easy to access the resort. That said, the accommodation prices may be high during the peak skiing season. The great thing is that you can still find affordable accommodation in the nearby town of Silverthorne.
Why we love Breckenridge
- Highest lift in North America
- 5 peaks with lots of ski runs
- Beautiful landscape
6. Keystone Ski Resort
The resort constitutes three mountains any of which will take you further into the wilderness. But there is an advantage to this. The more you go the fewer crowds there will be. If you prefer skiing away from crowds the keystone resort offers a great opportunity for this and is one of the main reasons why it is so popular.
There is varied terrain here to suit every skill level. Keystone Ski resort is among the larger resorts in Colorado with over 20 chairlifts.
The best runs for beginners can be found on Decorum mountain. When you want slightly more challenging terrain, you can move further to the North peak. Here you can find moguls and some steep runs.
If you are an experienced skier, however, check out the Outback. Here you will find the highest peak at the resort rising slightly under 12,000 feet. Just make sure you are well protected from the cold with the best ski jackets.
And for the best accommodation, there are two villages in the resort. These include Lakeside and River run with the main village being the latter. Here you can access plenty of dining opportunities and options. Even better is that there is free parking. This makes skiing at Keystone Ski resort easy and affordable.
Lakeside village, on the other hand, is situated near a small lake. A highlight of this ski village in winter is when the lake freezes over and becomes a huge ice-skating rink. There is plenty to do and experience here other than skiing and snowboarding including horse-sleigh rides, yoga, and an art studio.
Why we love Keystone Resort
- Great for family
- Night skiing
- Wide and long runs
7. Purgatory Ski Resort
Before 2015, this resort was known as the Durango Mountain Resort. It is mostly known for being a family-oriented resort set close to Durango in the San Juan mountains. The atmosphere here is friendly and welcoming. Purgatory Ski resort offers great value with affordable amenities and lifts tickets.
Even with the less steep slopes that are best suited for beginners and intermediates, there are still some areas where advanced skiers can have plenty of fun.
There are many accommodation options near and around Purgatory Ski resort. Note however there isn’t any village situated at the base of the resort. Many skiers will often stay at Durango and make their way to Purgatory resort every day. Situated just 20 minutes away, it is simply to access the ski resort.
Why we love Purgatory Ski Resort
- Family-friendly runs
- Affordable amenities
- Plenty of accommodation near and around Purgatory
8. Steamboat Ski Resort
The main mountain on which the steamboat mountain resort is centered is mount Werner. The ski resort is situated right outside of steamboat springs. With over 330 inches of snow each season, it receives among the most snow in Colorado and is a popular ski resort with locals.
Steamboat Ski resort is not set at particularly high elevation and is a great choice for skiers who are concerned about the effects of high altitude. If you are beginners ensure that you are using the best beginner skis.
There is a strong cowboy culture at Steamboat springs and gives off a wild west feel. There are many festivals and events that you can look forward to with most of them based around the Wild West theme.
Why we love Steamboat
- Glade skiing
- Varied skiing experiences
- Affordable accommodation
9. Copper Mountain Ski resort
Copper Mountain Ski resort is set close to Denver and is an only one-hour drive away. Its main advantage is how simple it is to locate. You can easily spot the runs as you drive on the interstate -70. There are more than 2,365 acres of skiable terrain and 23 chair lifts to get you atop the hills.
Skiers have plenty of areas to explore at Copper Mountain Ski resort. Here you will find runs that will cater for all level skiers. This resort is set high and may not be ideal for people who have problems with altitude.
You will need the best ski poles if you are to explore the runs.
Very often after a storm, the runs are covered with fresh powder perfect for fast skiing. At the base of the mountain is a skiing village that is divided into the Central village, the East Village and the West village all offering plenty of accommodation and ding options.
Why we love Copper Mountain
- High altitude runs
- Plenty of runs and lifts
- plenty of affordable accommodation
10. Arapahoe Basin Resort
Arapahoe Basin ski resort is well known by its other name A-Basin and is situated on Loveland pass. With a summit elevation of 13,050 feet, it is popular for being among the highest ski resorts in Colorado. It is also well known for its spring skiing with plenty of terrain and wide-open spaces.
Arapahoe Basin resort also offers varying terrain which caters to all level skiers. However, note that the resort doesn’t have any towns at the base. However, it is very close to Keystone and Breckenridge. Just make sure you have the right pair of ski boots for you.
Why we love Arapahoe Basin
- Close to Keystone ski resort
- Runs for any level skier
- Long ski seasons
Globo Surf Overview
Colorado offers everything the avid skier needs to have a great time in the mountains. plenty of world-class ski resorts many of which have towns at their bases provide the best in skiing, dining, and accommodation.
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- Best ski resorts in Colorado, planetware.com