5 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado

There’s no place like Colorado when it comes to winter vacation and winter sports.

The first snowflakes signify a magical season, a joyous time for skiers, snowboarders, and winter lovers in general.

Colorado is home to 28 ski resorts and cozy picturesque towns that will charm even those who are not much of outdoor adventurers.

We have some of the best ideas for winter vacations in Colorado that have been popular for many years now among travelers. 

Check Out The BEST Colorado Ski Resorts Below :

1. Breckenridge

ski slope at Breckenridge

Breckenridge is a mountain full of adventures. At the foothills, the atmosphere is vibrant and festive. If you’re planning to spend a couple of days here, it is best to find accommodation for all budgets in the town. There are also plenty of options for dining, drinking, and shopping. During the winter, Breckenridge gets very crowded, so you’d probably want to start planning your vacation early.

It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Denver International Airport. There are private shuttles and SUV companies that can drive you from Denver Airport to Breckenridge so that you don’t have to worry about driving in the mountains. 

Breckenridge is ideal for beginners, but there's also an intermediate terrain across all the Peaks at Breckenridge for more experienced skiers. Apart from skiing, you can also do other activities like the Alpine coaster, dog sledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and snowcat tours.

January is the best time to visit Breckenridge because this is when events like Ullr Fest and the International Snow Sculpture Championships take place. Christmas holidays may sound like the most idyllic time of the year to spend in a ski resort, but Breckenridge gets extremely crowded during the Christmas Day and New Year. Accommodation is pretty pricey then, and you’ll end up waiting in a long queue to take the lift to the mountain.

2. Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride is a famous western ski resort town that mesmerizes visitors with its stunning mountain views. Although it’s mostly known for its exceptional advanced level terrain, it also has tracks for beginners and intermediate skiers.

telluride ski resort in colorado

Telluride Ski Resort is a 7 hour drive from Denver, so it will be more convenient to fly into Telluride Regional Airport (20 minutes drive) or Montrose Regional Airport (1.5-hour drive). Check out off-site Denver Airport parking options so your car is secure and you can save money on airport parking while you’re away.

Skiers and snowboarders who search for the best don’t mind that Telluride is remote compared to other ski resorts. Around 60 percent of the mountain terrain is dedicated to beginners and intermediates, so there’s literally room for everyone. More activities to take part in are heli-skiing, ice climbing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, snow biking, and sledding.

Words cannot describe the majestic beauty of this historic western town. There’s even a free gondola ride that takes you from the town of Telluride to the Mountain Village. If you want a break from the slopes, visit the Telluride Historical Museum to experience a different perspective of the mountain.

Because of the difficulty to reach Telluride, large crowds don’t usually flock in the town and the resort with some exceptions like Christmas holidays, Martin Luther King weekend, and President's Day weekend. From January to March, you skip the crowds, and the snow is just great.

scenic lake in vail colorado

3. Vail

Only 2.5 hours from Denver, Vail is the largest ski area in Colorado. It has 5.300 acres with terrains suitable for beginners to experts. Vail combines a luxurious ski experience with a charming town full of food and shopping options.

The whole town is pedestrianized, so strolling to the shops, cafes, and restaurants is the perfect closure to a day spent skiing. What excites visitors the most is the luxurious chalets which bring a European Alp’s flair in Colorado.

There are three base areas: Vail Village, Golden Pean, and Lionshead. The two main beginner areas are at the base of Golden Peak and above Lionshead, next to Eagle’s Nest.

Here, you can enjoy more winter activities including ice skating, snowmobiling for kids, ski biking, snowshoeing, tubing, and a spa retreat. So, even if you’re not a skier, Vail can be attractive for every visitor.

The season-opening in Vail is on the Friday before Thanksgiving, and the closing is in mid-April. The best time to visit Vail is in February and March, where there is plenty of snow for winter activities. In December, crowds floοd the resort and accommodation prices are high.

4. Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat is a little further away from Denver, taking a 3.5-hour drive to reach the resort. It is a great option for those who want to avoid crowds. The highlights are the geothermal hot springs and the experience of an authentic Western ski town.

In Steamboat, you’re skiing on a mountain range of over 2,900 acres. Although it serves up terrain for all levels, advanced skiers will absolutely adore glade skiing here, which is considered to be the best in Colorado. Families are welcome to this ski resort, and kids under 12 can ride the lift free of charge. And after a day on the slopes, what’s better than relaxing in the hot springs.

The snowiest months are January and February. Also, in February, the annual Steamboat Winter Festival is held, highlighting the winter sports tradition of the area. Because of the low summit elevation of the mountain, the snow quality won’t be ideal for skiing in late March and the beginning of April. Martin Luther King weekend and President's Day weekend are the most crowded. However, this resort is usually more laid back as it’s a bit further away from Denver.

lake view at keystone, colorado

5. Keystone Resort

Being the closest ski resort to Denver makes Keystone a popular weekend getaway during winter. It is a family-friendly ski resort, with a ‘kidtopia’ playground and other family activities. It is one of the top terrain parks in the USA, and it even has its own lift. 

The night skiing experience offered here is definitely one of the reasons why snow lovers choose Keystone. After dark, several ski trails are perfectly lit and ready for you to take them over. Keystone resort has spots for beginners who try skiing for the first time. On Dercum Mountain, there are also beginner trails.

For a little change, try snow biking, snowcat tours, tobogganing, and tubing. Kids and adults alike will feel like living a fairytale in the scenic sleigh ride. 

No matter your budget, you can find reasonably priced lodging, bed and breakfast hotels, or even luxurious condos. Overall, rates here are lower than other ski resorts in Colorado but offer the same quality of services. Expect crowds during the winter, especially from December to February. In the first two weeks of January, you’ll find better deals, and plus, you’ll have all that snow to yourself.

In Brief

Colorado is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world. From the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beautiful Colorado Rockies, skiing in Colorado is an unforgettable experience. The state is home to some of the best ski resorts in the country, offering an array of terrain and activities for all levels of skiers. From the luxurious resorts of Vail and Aspen to the family-friendly resorts of Breckenridge and Keystone, Colorado has something for everyone. In addition to downhill skiing, Colorado's ski resorts also offer snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and more.

People Also Ask

What part of Colorado is best for skiing?

Colorado is known as one of the best places in the world for skiing, and it's easy to see why. The best ski resorts in Colorado offer a wide range of terrain, from beginner to expert, and the scenery is simply stunning. With over 25 ski resorts across the state, there is something for everyone. Many of the resorts are located in the Rocky Mountains, offering some of the most breathtaking views in the country. The most popular resorts include Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Winter Park.

Why is Breckenridge so popular?

Breckenridge is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, and it's popularity is well-deserved. In addition to having some of the best slopes and ski runs in the state, Breckenridge also offers a variety of activities for all ages and skill levels. From beginner to advanced skiers, Breckenridge has something for everyone. The town itself is charming and inviting, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Is Breckenridge skiing expensive?

Breckenridge is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, and it's also one of the most expensive. The cost of lift tickets, equipment rentals, and lodging can add up quickly, and the cost of food and beverages can also be high. However, there are ways to save money while skiing in Breckenridge. For example, you can purchase multi-day passes and take advantage of early-bird discounts. You can also rent equipment from local shops instead of buying it, and you can look for lodging deals online or through local travel agencies.

Where do celebrities ski in Colorado?

Colorado is known for its incredible skiing and snowboarding conditions, and it's no surprise that celebrities flock to the state to take advantage of the amazing slopes. There are many great ski resorts in Colorado, and celebrities often choose to ski at some of the best ski resorts in Colorado. Breckenridge, Vail, and Aspen are some of the most popular resorts, and they offer world-class skiing and snowboarding experiences. Other resorts such as Telluride, Copper Mountain, and Beaver Creek also provide fantastic skiing and snowboarding opportunities. Celebrities love to ski in Colorado because of the great conditions, the variety of resorts, and the luxurious amenities available.

 

Author - Olivia Poglianich
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the ski and snowboard space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.

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