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These Are the Best Colorado Ski Resorts

These Are the Best Colorado Ski Resorts

These Are the Best Colorado Ski Resorts

It can be overwhelming to select the best Colorado ski resorts because there are so many excellent resorts in the state. 

How do you narrow it down? Do you choose a high-end resort, the largest one, a family-friendly resort, or one that’s budget-friendly? 

We searched and found five ski resorts with the highest marks in these categories.

Let’s dive in!

Voted the most popular Colorado ski resort, Breckenridge, boasts North America’s highest chairlift and base elevations. The Imperial Express SuperChair sits at 12,840 feet with a hill summit height of 12,998 feet. The base altitude is 9,600 feet which means good snow, but altitude sickness is possible if you’re not used to the elevation. 

Breckenridge has skiing for all levels. It’s a favorite for skiers looking to up their game, but beginner trails are at the base of peaks 8 and 9.

Besides the skiing, Breckenridge has a lively nightlife with bistros, bars, saloons, and a brewery. There are also plenty of family-friendly activities, including ice skating, an alpine slide, and a mountain-top kids’ museum. 

Where to stay

Whether you want to be where all the action happens, or you want something quiet and budget-friendly, you should be able to find it in Breckenridge. If you stay at the base, you’ll be close to the slopes, nightlife, restaurants, and shopping. Being so close might be a little tough on the budget, though. 

Silverthrone and Frisco are other options that are still close enough to enjoy the slopes but easy on the wallet.

Season

The ski season typically runs from Mid-November to the first week of May. Always reach out to the resort for exact dates.

Vail – Largest Colorado Ski Resort

Of course, Vail made the list. It’s often rated as one of the best ski resorts nationwide, and it’s the largest ski area in Colorado at 5,289 acres. Vail screams luxury and comfort with a European-designed village, heated sidewalks, extravagant accommodations, fine dining, and upscale shopping. The skiing is excellent, with plenty of runs for all ski levels. 

Vail is an all-ages resort with unique opportunities to learn about the local environment at the Vail Nature Center and Nature Discovery Center. The Nature Discovery Center offers nature hikes and snowshoe tours. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Vail Nordic School with backcountry tours and adventures. 

Where to Stay

There are four base villages close to the lifts: Vail Village, Golden Peak, Lionshead, and Cascade Village. If you’re interested in a bustling snow village, choose Vail Village. Need something family-friendly? Head to Golden Peak. Lionshead is a mini Vail Village. Lastly, Cascade Village is quiet and 10 minutes from Vail Village. 

For more affordable accommodations, seek out Silverthorne, Frisco, Avon, all 30 minutes away, or Eagle at just 10 minutes away. 

Season

Vail’s ski season usually runs from mid-November through mid-April. Contact the resort directly for exact dates. 

Pro Tip: If you cannot make it to Colorado this winter but still want to play in the snow, check out these Places to Find Snow in the Southwest.

Two guys snowboarding standing on hill.
Colorado is sprawling with stunning ski resorts.

Aspen Snowmass – Celebrity Colorado Ski Resort

Ready to ski with the celebrities? Then look no further than Aspen! Of course, since it’s popular among stars, it’s not a budget-friendly experience. Aspen is an upscale resort with an authentic mountain town feel due to its mining camp roots. 

Aspen has four ski areas, Snowmass, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain, on 3,000 acres. The area offers exceptional intermediate skiing. The base elevation is 8,100 feet, and the top elevation is 12,500 feet. 

If you have kids, you might want to check out Ullr Nights, a winter wonderland at Elk Camp! It’s an evening with fire dancers, tubing, s’mores, hot chocolate, and an alpine coaster, all by a brilliant bonfire.

Where to Stay

Most people stay at Snowmass Village and the Town of Aspen. Snowmass is a traditional ski village with the largest ski area. It’s great for families with less nightlife and close to the beginner ski school. The Town of Aspen, at the base of Aspen Mountain, is lively with eateries, bars, shops, and galleries. 

Season

The ski season varies from ski area to ski area but generally runs from Mid-November to the 1st week of May. Always reach out to the resort for exact dates.

Winter Park – Better on Your Wallet Colorado Ski Resort

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly ski resort, you might want to explore Winter Park. The mountain resort is the fourth largest in Colorado, with 3,081 acres. It’s easy to get to Winter Park from Denver via train from Union Station. 

Winter Park is also kid-friendly with snow tubing, ice bumper cars, and snowmobiling. Oh, you might even have a chance to meet the Winter park Safety Patrol Dog Team. The resort also has a highly-rated ski school.

Where to Stay

Since Winter Park is so affordable, you might be tempted to stay in the ski village to stay close to everything. However, lodgings are limited, and all the conveniences could end up being a budget buster.

Old Town Winter Park and Downtown Winter Park are also options. Old Town is closer to the slopes. Winter Park is 10 minutes further out, but it has plenty of dining, shopping, and nightlife to choose from. 

Season

Ski season at Winter park often runs from late November to early May. Be sure to reach out to the resort for exact dates.

Pro Tip: Whether you’re closing up shop for the winter or taking your RV to Colorado for some skiing, this is How To Winterize Your RV.

Woman skiing in Colorado.
Spend the winter cruising down the slopes in Colorado.

Keystone – Best Family-Friendly Colorado Ski Resort

While all the Colorado ski resorts we have discussed have family-friendly options, Keystone is often singled-out as one of the best for families.

The resort is spread over three mountains. Beginner skiers should try out Dercum Mountain and then head to North Peak. Intermediate and advanced skiers can take on the Outback at around 12,000 feet. 

While at Keystone, make sure to take the whole family to Kidtopia for face painting, fort building, scavenger hunts, cookie hours, disco tubing, and more fun. Oh, and the kids can even ski with the Keystone Mascot, Riperoo. The resort also offers extensive night skiing. 

Where to Stay

River Run Village is a pedestrian-friendly base area and home to Kidtopia headquarters. If you prefer a quieter stay, look into Mountain House.

Season

The Keystone ski season generally runs from mid-October to mid-April. Make sure you reach out to the resort for exact dates.

It Might Be Hard to Choose Just One

There you have it, the five best Colorado ski resorts! We hope this helps you narrow down the list to find the perfect ski resort for you and your family.

Which one do you plan to stay at on your next ski trip? Or have you added all of them to your list?

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Ed Hibbs

Saturday 15th of January 2022

Having skied most of the ski resorts in Colorado numerous times over the last 50 years (I go every year), I feel that you missed possibly the best one of all, Steamboat Springs. It's certainly much higher on my list than Breckenridge, Keystone and Winter Park. Vail and Aspen (Aspen and Snowmass are the best of the four Aspen resorts) are good but seriously expensive, crowded and parking is $$$ at Vail. Steamboat is a huge mountain for all levels, great hosts to ski around at your level and introduce you to the mountain, better affordability, free bus service to get you around the village/condo/lodging areas and into/around town. Billy Kidd skis regularly and hangs around the base to chat (famous Olympic skier). The town is old west style and their winter carnival including ski jorjng down the main street is great. The whole resort and town is awesome. ⛷⛷⛷

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