Colorado’s iconic snowfall in the winter makes the state the perfect destination for skiing and snowboarding. Home to 25 ski areas and resorts, Colorado’s Rocky Mountains offer epic terrain for riders of all skill levels. From secluded, peaceful spots, to mega resorts that are among the largest in the world, Colorado has it. These are the 15 best skiing spots in Colorado.
Located in Summit County, west of Denver, Keystone offers 3,000 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders. The resort features great skiing and a cute little village. Keystone’s terrain is made up of three mountains, and the area’s runs are perfect for all skill levels. Enjoy a longer ski day at Keystone by embracing night skiing at the resort. With 20 lifts and 3,000 feet of vertical gain, this ski area is sure to please any avid skier or boarder.
In the San Juan Mountains, the city of Telluride has become one of the most scenic ski areas in the country with towering peaks surrounding this ski town. Enjoy over 2,000 acres of terrain, various ski runs fit for all skill levels and a free gondola. Head to the highest ski run in Telluride at 13,150 feet to catch incredible views of the Rockies.
The area of Aspen and Snowmass are perfect for the skiing addict. Visit this area to be near four ski areas, Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk, all of which offer great terrain and runs. Aspen and Snowmass are the most popular ski areas that are connected by a free shuttle. Snowmass’ ski area actually has one of the highest vertical rises in the country and is great for families.
Beaver Creek has 1,800 acres of terrain and, being only 20 minutes from Vail, is consider Vail’s sister resort. The ski area does cater to all skill levels but is known for making beginners feel at ease with an excellent ski school. At a base elevation of 7,400, this ski resort is lower than many of the other resorts in the area, making it a great option for tourists worried about altitude sickness.
Breckenridge’s local vibe, Victorian-style homes and awesome terrain make it a great place to ski in the state. With 2,900 acres of terrain and four parks and pipe areas for all skill levels, it is no wonder why Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in America. This ski resort, which is home to the highest lift in North America, was the first to allow snowboarding.
Vail is arguably one of the most popular ski areas in the nation. With 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, Vail remains of the biggest ski areas in the world. Beginners will enjoy the groomed trails on the front side of the mountain, while more advanced riders will find the back bowls both challenging and exhilarating. Improvements to lift lines and the construction of a gondola caters to this resorts growing popularity.
Located in northwest Colorado, the ski resort in Steamboat Springs boasts beautiful views and topnotch terrain. Enjoy nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain that spans across six peaks. The snow in Steamboat Springs is so pristine and special that it has its own name. Referred to as “champagne powder,” the snow has a light, dry and smooth consistency.
In the San Juan Mountains, outside of Durango is Purgatory Resort. Formerly known as Durango Mountain Resort, this ski area has five terrain parks and thousands of acres for both skiing and snowboarding. Although there are some challenging runs, this ski area is more catered toward beginner and intermediate riders.
Arapahoe Basin, known as A-basin among locals, has the longest ski season not only in Colorado but North America. From mid-October to early June, enjoy the highest elevation terrain park in the country with the summit elevation at 13,050 feet. This family friendly ski area is easily reachable from Denver and is near other ski areas such as Keystone and Breckenridge.
Just about an hour from Denver, Copper Mountain has an awesome terrain layout that caters to all skill levels. With 23 lifts and 2,465 acres of skiable terrain, this ski area is perfect for families and skiers and snowboarders alike.
Silverton Mountain is Colorado’s steepest and highest ski area. Catered for more advanced riders, Silverton offers great skiing on ungroomed trails. Don’t expect a posh experience. There is only one double chairlift that brings skiers up to some of the most beautiful scenery in Colorado. Although this ski area doesn’t have all the amenities that other mega ski areas offer, the unique and rugged experience is coveted by all experienced riders.
Located in Pagosa Springs, Wolf Creek Ski Area is known for getting the most snow out of all the resorts in Colorado. With the average of 430 inches of snow a year, Wolf Creek is sure to present fresh powder. Expect shorter lift lines than more popular resorts but still some awesome terrain that caters to both skiers and snowboarders.
Crested Butte, located in Gunnison County, received 300 inches of snowfall annually and offers 1,200 acres of skiable area. This ski town features Victorian-style architecture and a down-to-earth vibe. All skill levels will find fun runs without the crowds at Crested Butte.
Near Grand Junction, Powderhorn offers a different view that is typical of Colorado’s ski resorts. Located on the Grand Mesa, which is the largest flattop mountain in the world, desert views can be seen from the runs. Powderhorn offers 1,600 acres of skiable terrain that are mostly beginner and intermediate runs.
Being only 67 miles from Denver, Winter Park Resort is a popular ski destination in the colorful state. For nearly 75 years, Winter Park has offered riders with varied terrain, 300 days of sunshine and 320 inches of snowfall a year. Don’t let its popularity deter you away from this ski area. The high-speed lift reduces lift line wait so everyone can enjoy Winter Park’s incredible slopes.