When you start to list Colorado ski resorts, it becomes clear why the Centennial State is such a popular ski vacation destination. Included on a Colorado ski area list are some of the best ski best in the entire world. The most renowned Colorado ski resorts are large and relatively glamorous, though there are also plenty of smaller, more affordable ones that also deserve a nod. At any rate, finding a Colorado ski resort that suits your taste and preference shouldn't be hard. In fact, chances are good that more than one will appeal to your needs.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
The Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is one of the first ski resorts in the country to open. It's also one of the last to close and is among the highest. In addition to the famed East Wall, which provides some excellent terrain for advanced skiers, the Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, or A-Basin as it is also known, features the 400-acre Montezuma Bowl. This newer terrain offers a delightful mix of bowls, glades, chutes, and cornices.
Aspen Ski Resort
Should you be looking to list Colorado ski resorts according to fame, Aspen would deserve a place at the top. In fact, this might just be Colorado's most famous ski resort. It's also one of the largest and most upscale. The rich and famous often drop into Aspen for some fun on the slopes, and once the sun sets over the slopes, the resort's legendary nightlife kicks into full gear.
Bachelor Gulch is an exclusive ski-in and ski-out resort community that can be found on Beaver Creek Mountain. The community is anchored by a luxurious Ritz-Carlton lodge and has a very rustic and intimate appeal. It also boasts some excellent ski and snowboard runs and is connected to the slopes at Arrowhead Village and the Beaver Creek Resort by a series of trails.
Beaver Creek is just one more ski resort that deserves inclusion on an upscale Colorado ski area list. This resort near Vail is operated by Vail Resorts and is especially known for its refined appeal. The small and charming village at the base of the mountain is a joy to explore on foot, and there are runs to suit all levels.
Breckenridge is one of the most popular Colorado ski resorts. Found in Summit County, this family-friendly resort offers terrain for all levels, and its Old West-style village area is home to some great bars, restaurants, and shops.
Copper Mountain is one of the resorts that helps to make Summit County such a prime Colorado destination for skiers and snowboarders. A village that features accommodations and restaurants can be found at the base of the mountain at Copper Mountain. As far as the terrain is concerned, it hardly gets any better. In fact, some consider this to be the best overall ski resort in the state.
If your idea of an ideal Colorado Ski Area list puts beginner-friendly resorts at the top, you could expect to see Crested Butte at the top. This unpretentious resort has an older ski town feel and its runs cater primarily to beginners and intermediate level skiers and snowboarders. That being said, the free-skiing areas at Crested Butte offer some of the most challenging terrain on the planet, so there is more than enough to keep advanced-level visitors happy.
Durango Mountain Resort
There aren't a lot of ski resorts in southern Colorado, but that doesn't mean that it isn't excellent ski country. In the southwest part of the state is where you find the small and attractive Durango Mountain Resort. Among other things, this resort boasts a lovely little village, some great tree runs, and some of the best weather of any Colorado ski resort.
This is one of the smallest ski resorts in Colorado and is also known for being the closest to Denver. The Mile High City is just 35 miles away. Lift tickets are relatively cheap. Snowboarders and beginning skiers are especially encouraged to keep this resort in mind, as are those who want to enjoy some night skiing. Echo Mountain is one of the few resorts in the state that offers night skiing.
Eldora Ski Area
The Eldora Ski Area is another relatively small Colorado ski resort that is among the closest to Denver. What it lacks in size, the Eldora Ski Area makes up for in quality. Variety is the name of the game when it comes to the runs, and it's also worth noting that Eldora Ski Area discounts are relatively easy to come by.
Keystone is another Summit County resort that skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts will want to keep in mind while in the area. A modern ski resort, Keystone offers three separate mountains suitable for all levels. The open bowls offer some of the best runs and can be reached by way of snowcat. Night skiing can be enjoyed at Keystone, and there are several lodging options.
The Little Nell is less of a ski area than it is a famed hotel. This is the most luxurious ski-in and ski-out hotel lodging in ritzy Aspen, which is saying quite a lot. Right outside of the hotel, guests can hop on a gondola to access the slopes. At the hotel, the facilities include one of the best restaurants in Colorado and a bar that figures among the village's best apres-ski spots.
Loveland Ski Area
The list of Colorado ski resorts that are close to Denver is a relatively long one. One of the resorts on that list is the Loveland Ski Resort. This popular resort offers two skiing areas and is just 56 miles from Denver. As is true of A-Basin, this is one of the first resorts in the country to open and one of the last to close.
Monarch Ski Area
This is one of the best ski resorts in southern Colorado, and the rates are relatively low. A varied terrain and reduced crowds also make Monarch worth keeping in mind. Advanced skiers are likely to find favor with the newer Mirkwood Basin, which features glades, chutes, cliffs, and tree runs.
Powderhorn Ski Area
This ski resort in western Colorado boasts a unique location on the side of a large, table top mountain. The views of the desert expanse below are breathtaking, and while the runs cater primarily to families and beginners, there are certainly enough challenges for the more advanced.
Ski Cooper is one of the most successful small ski resorts in Colorado. In fact, it is also among the most successful smaller ski areas in the entire country. In addition to 400 acres of skiable terrain on the main side of the mountain, Ski Cooper also offers 2,400 acres of backcountry terrain that can be accessed by snowcats.
Part of Aspen, Snowmass has long been one of the most popular and upscale ski mountains in Colorado. It's the largest of the four Aspen mountains and is linked to Aspen proper by free shuttle buses. You'll find the longest vertical drop in the United States at Snowmass, which is just one of the reasons why it deserves a visit.
Steamboat Ski Resort
This is third-largest ski mountain in Colorado after Vail and Snowmass, and as far as the conditions are concerned, they are about as ideal as they get. Some of the best snow in Colorado falls on the Steamboat slopes, and unlike most of the smaller resorts, it features a village with extended dining and lodging options.