Best Colorado Ski Resorts

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Colorful Colorado delivers an unbeatable skiing and snowboarding experience, with something for all skill levels. There are over two dozen Colorado ski resorts and we’re serving up all the details for the best ones to help you plan your winter ski vacation. 

Skiing at Keystone Resort Colorado

Colorado is one of those ski destinations that deserves a spot on everyone’s bucket list. From sprawling upscale resorts spanning several thousands of acres to small family-run operations with a distinctly local feel, there are seemingly endless Colorado ski resorts to enjoy. 

You can find some of the best skiing in the entire world right here in Colorado, with a little bit of variety for everyone. 

Most ski resorts in Colorado have a well-balanced spread of beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert terrain, and several offer fun extras like night skiing, sledding and tubing hills, and winter festivals. Many mountain towns that support Colorado ski resorts are also well-developed and have fantastic options for food, shopping, and lodging, making them a destination in and of themselves. 

Planning your Colorado ski vacation can be a bit overwhelming with so many very different options (especially if you’re new to skiing here!). So we’ve narrowed down our list to the top ski resorts in Colorado. 

Whether you’re a first-timer or well-seasoned on the slopes, a local Coloradoan or traveling just to ski, this guide will help you find the best Colorado ski resort to fit your travel needs. 

Quick note: Throughout this article we use the verb “skiing” to reflect both skiing and snowboarding options. All Colorado ski resorts mentioned in this article are great for snowboarders and skiers alike. 

Colorado ski resorts covered

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Psst! If you have more time, be sure to check out our bucket list of epic things to do in Colorado!


Map of Colorado ski resorts

map of Colorado ski resorts

This map shows the top Colorado ski resorts from our list to give you an idea of where in the state each resort is located. 

Best time to go skiing in Colorado

A Basin Colorado ski resort_STOCK-U

Colorado as a whole has a fairly long ski season, with opening day for most of the resorts in mid- to late-November and the end of the season in early- to mid-April (or even later depending on the snow!). 

You’ll find a few Colorado ski resorts that open as early as mid-October and a handful with end-of-season dates as late as May. Generally, January and February are considered to be the best months to ski in Colorado.

Early-season skiing in Colorado can be hit or miss, so it’s always a good idea to check mountain conditions before heading up. Also, keep in mind that some Colorado ski resorts that open very early in the season don’t operate at 100%. 

For example, some resorts don’t operate all of their lifts until later in the season, while others may have their ski area running early on, but not their restaurants. You can typically find some great prices on lodging and lift tickets before the mountains are 100% open, and this is also an excellent time to take advantage of fewer crowds. 

Conditions in lower-elevation parts of the state may still be sporadic even through mid-December, but all ski resorts in Colorado are generally in full swing by the end of the year. 

As always, conditions are entirely dependent on the weather. Colder years with more early-season snow see things open a bit earlier, while warmer temperatures and less snow can push things back a few weeks. 

Most Colorado ski resorts overestimate their opening day and underestimate the end of the season, so you can almost always count on getting at least a few extra days out of the official posted dates. 

Eagle County Colorado Ski Resort_STOCK-U

By the beginning of the new year, the slopes at all Colorado ski resorts should be fully open and they should all have a solid base of snowpack, with plenty of ‘fresh pow’ falling on a regular basis. 

January is usually the coldest month for skiing in Colorado, but the fantastic snow conditions and abundance of bluebird days make it well worth bearing the freezing temps. 

Of course, winter holiday weekends including New Year’s, MLK Day, and President’s Day are some of the busiest skiing weekends of the year, but you can dodge crowds by hitting the slopes mid-week or avoiding some of the most popular Colorado ski resorts. 

March brings warmer temperatures that really help to pack the snowbase, making it a great month to ski in Colorado. It can get very busy, particularly during the middle of the month for spring break, as people seek out great skiing conditions with slightly warmer, sunny weather.

April is the close of ski season in Colorado, with most resorts shutting down in the first half of the month. You can still catch some good skiing during this time, and one of the biggest advantages is that crowds begin to thin out significantly. 

Just like early-season skiing, there’s a chance that some Colorado ski resorts may operate at less than 100%, gradually closing down restaurants, lodging, and other amenities. 

Breckenridge Colorado Ski Resort_STOCK-U

Remember that everything related to skiing is weather-dependent, and resorts are more than happy to extend their season if they have the snow. Breckenridge was able to stay open until June 9 and May 31 in recent years (!!), so you can definitely luck out and find some late-season skiing. 

Of course, there’s no guarantee that any ski resorts in Colorado will remain open beyond the regular season, but if so, you can expect fewer crowds and more affordable hotels and lift tickets. 

To recap, January and February generally provide the best overall mountain conditions, but an early or late-season trip can be significantly more affordable and less crowded. There certainly isn’t a bad time to go skiing in Colorado! 

Psst! For an in-depth guide on the seasonal weather patterns and other factors, check out our complete guide on the best time to visit Colorado.

Collective Season Passes

Aspen Snowmass Colorado Ski Resort_STOCK-U

If you typically go skiing at least a few times per year, a season pass can save you a ton of money. There are three main collective season passes that give you access not just to Colorado ski resorts, but different resorts all over the world. 

Not only is a season pass a great way to save money, it also offers you variety, allowing you to ski at different resorts. 

Please note: All prices listed are for the 22/23 ski season at the time of writing this article.

Epic Pass

The Epic Pass is one of the most popular options when it comes to collective season passes. Owned and operated by Vail Resorts, the full Epic Pass gives you access to more than 50 resorts throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. 

While some of the international resorts have limits and restrictions, the Epic Pass offers unlimited access to 36 resorts in the United States, including the five owned by Vail in Colorado.

This is a fantastic option if you like to check out different Colorado ski resorts, or travel to different parts of the country or even internationally. 

The five Colorado ski resorts included in the Epic Pass are:

  • Vail
  • Beaver Creek
  • Breckenridge
  • Keystone
  • Crested Butte

In addition to the Epic Pass, there’s also the Epic Local Pass, which grants you unlimited season-long access to Breckenridge, Crested Butte, and Keystone, plus 10 days combined (excluding holidays) between Vail and Beaver Creek. 

While the Epic Local Pass has a few more restrictions than the standard Epic Pass, you still get unlimited access to 29 resorts in the US and limited access to several more in the US, Switzerland, and Japan. 

There are also several other options that come with slightly less flexibility, like single- and multi-day passes where you choose specific resort access. Depending on your destination(s), they’re absolutely still worth checking out — saving some money is always a good thing! 

At the time of this writing (2022), the full Epic Pass costs $899 and the Epic Local Pass costs $669. 

Ikon Pass

The Ikon Pass is another popular collective pass that gets you direct access to some of the best skiing in Colorado. This pass gives you unlimited access to 14 resorts including Steamboat, Winter Park, Copper Mountain Resort, and Eldora Mountain Resort. You can also get up to seven days each at 39 different destinations including Aspen Snowmass and Arapahoe Basin, with no blackout dates. 

The Ikon Base Pass offers unlimited access to 13 destinations with a few blackout dates at some of the resorts. Luckily, Winter Park, Copper Mountain Resort, and Eldora Mountain Resort are all included with no blackout dates. 

You can also get up to five days each at an additional 34 destinations, many with blackouts. Arapahoe Basin is included on that list of 34 resorts with no restrictions, while Steamboat is included with some blackout dates. 

At the time of this writing (2022), the Ikon Pass costs $1,179 and the Ikon Base Pass comes in at $869. 

In addition to the Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass, there are two additional options: the Ikon Base Plus Pass and the Ikon Session Pass, which you can read about on their website. 

Summit Value Pass

Billed as “the ultimate pass to access Keystone and Breck,” the Summit Value Pass is offered by Epic Pass and offers passholders unlimited access to Keystone and unlimited access excluding holidays at Breckenridge. 

Both of these Colorado ski resorts are easily accessible from Denver, close to I-70 and about 80 miles from the city. If you ski either resort regularly, this pass is an excellent option as a more affordable alternative to the full Epic Pass. 

In addition to Keystone and Breckenridge access, the Summit Value Pass gets you 50% discounted lift tickets at Crested Butte, plus eight other ski resorts throughout the Rockies and special rates at Vail resorts and Beaver Creek. 

The Summit Value Pass is $540 at the time of this writing (2022). 

What to pack for skiing in Colorado

Snowboarding

Your packing list for a Colorado ski trip will vary slightly based on a few factors. If you don’t own your own skis or other gear, or you’re flying in and simply don’t want to deal with checking them on the plane, don’t worry — every resort and ski shop in the state has skis, snowboards, helmets, poles, and boots available to rent. 

While you may find some other gear like ski coats, snow pants, goggles, or gloves for rent, these items aren’t quite as common so it’s probably easier and more comfortable for you to bring your own.

What to pack

  • Waterproof snow pants and jacket
  • Multiple light layers for both tops and bottoms (i.e.; thermal underwear and a lightweight long-sleeve shirt)
  • Goggles 
  • Gloves/mittens
  • A warm winter hat
  • Neck warmer or Buff
  • Warm, tall socks, preferably wool 
  • Backpack to hold keys, phone, snacks, water, and anything other small belongings while skiing
  • Waterproof boots or shoes for walking around the resort
  • Warm sweaters to wear while not skiing
  • Nice clothes for dinner and après-ski bars and gatherings
  • An extra set of everything so you don’t have sweaty socks and layers after your first day
  • Sunglasses 
  • Hand warmers
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen

Outside of this list, bring the normal essentials you like to travel with. A portable, wireless phone charger can be useful on the slopes, but keep in mind that your phone may not work if it gets too cold. 

If you bring your own skis or snowboard, you may also want to bring a ski lock and any other accessories you typically use with your gear.


1. Arapahoe Basin

Arapahoe Basin Colorado Ski Resort (A Basin)
Image source: Arapahoe Basin
  • Average annual snowfall: 282 in / 176 cm
  • Skiable area: 1,428 acres /  578 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 10,780 ft / 3,286 m
  • Elevation at summit: 13,050 ft / 3,978 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 64 miles / 103 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $59-99 on weekdays, $109 on weekends and holidays
  • Season Pass: Full season $619 midweek (M-F) or Sunday Pass; $439 for 7 days with the Ikon Pass
  • Website: https://www.arapahoebasin.com/ 

Arapahoe Basin, or “A-Basin” for short, is known locally as “The Legend” for good reason. 

This mountain is just over an hour from Denver, so it’s very accessible. Plus, as one of the highest-elevation ski areas in North America, the ski season at A-Basin sometimes extends into early summer!

The terrain at this Colorado ski resort is broken down into 7% beginner, 20% intermediate, 49% advanced, and 24% expert difficulty. There’s a bit of everything, with nearly 75% of the mountain suitable for advanced and expert skiers and boarders. 

There are 147 total runs, six chair lifts, and three surface lifts to help you enjoy A-Basin’s 2,530 feet of vertical drop. 

2. Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass Colorado Ski Resort_STOCK-U 2
  • Average annual snowfall: 295 in / 749 cm
  • Skiable area: 5,517 acres / 2,233 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 8,104 ft / 2,470 m
  • Elevation at summit:  12,510 ft / 3,813 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 169 miles / 270 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $189 on weekdays, $199 on weekends
  • SeasonPass: $2,799 (includes all four Aspen mountains); up to 7 days included in Ikon Pass
  • Website: https://www.aspensnowmass.com/

Aspen Snowmass certainly needs no introduction. This massive collection of four mountains just a few hours west of Denver is highly regarded as one of the best ski areas in North America, let alone one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. 

Aspen has become a legendary name in the ski world, a beacon for winter sports enthusiasts who want world-class terrain coupled with fantastic dining, shopping, accommodations, and nightlife. 

A lift ticket here gives you access to all four Aspen ski areas: Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. There are shuttles to take you between them if you don’t want to drive. 

Aspen Snowmass offers over 4,400 feet of vertical drop and there are 336 runs in total across the four mountains, along with 31 chair/gondola lifts and 9 surface lifts. The terrain is split up by 6% at the beginner level, 50% for intermediate skiers, and 44% for experts. 

3. Beaver Creek

Image source: Beaver Creek
  • Average annual snowfall: 230 in / 584 cm
  • Skiable area: 1,832 acres / 741 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 8,100 ft / 2,469 m
  • Elevation at summit:  11,440 ft / 3,487 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 108 miles / 174 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $191-$275, depending on day
  • SeasonPass: Included in Epic Pass
  • Website: https://www.beavercreek.com/ 

Beaver Creek is one of the best Colorado ski resorts for families, with 38% of the terrain rated for beginners and 30% for intermediate skiers. More experienced skiers will still find plenty to challenge them, as 24% of the runs are rated as advanced and 8% as expert. 

The resort has 150 trails to choose from with 13 chair lifts, two gondolas, and nine surface lifts servicing them. 

Part of the Vail Resorts group, Beaver Creek accepts the Epic Pass to give you unlimited access to this resort, as well as all of the others owned by Vail. There are plenty of options for ski-in/out lodging and everything you may need in terms of equipment rentals, lessons, shopping, restaurants, and more located across the four villages at the resort. 

4. Breckenridge

Breckenridge Colorado Ski Resort_STOCK-U 3
  • Average annual snowfall: 304 in / 772 cm
  • Skiable area: 2,908 acres / 1,179 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,600 ft / 2,926 m
  • Elevation at summit: 12,998 ft / 3,962 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 80 miles / 129 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $161-$208
  • SeasonPass: Included in Epic Pass and Epic Local Pass, plus Summit Value Pass
  • Website: https://www.breckenridge.com/ 

Breckenridge is the quintessential Colorado ski mountain, with more than 60 years of history. 

The 187 trails here have a great mix of terrain difficulty, with 13% for beginners, 23% intermediate, 36% rated for advanced skiers, and 28% reserved for experts. The 3,400-foot vertical provides plenty of interesting and challenging terrain, not to mention gorgeous scenery. 

Best of all, Breck is just 1.5 hours from Denver and easily accessible from I-70! 

Not only is Breckenridge known for its terrain, but the town also has 11 on-mountain restaurants, a whopping 156 locally-owned boutiques, and plenty of cafes, bars, nightclubs, and galleries. 

One of the biggest draws of skiing at Breck is its especially long season, usually lasting around 200 days and providing more than six months of skiing each year!

5. Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain Colorado ski resort_STOCK-U
  • Average annual snowfall: 240 in / 607 cm
  • Skiable area: 2,527 acres / 1,023 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,712 ft / 2,960 m
  • Elevation at summit:  12,313 ft / 3,753 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 78 miles / 126 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $99-$179
  • SeasonPass: $799; also has unlimited access with the Ikon Pass
  • Website: https://www.coppercolorado.com/ 

Copper Mountain is a fantastic family-friendly ski area less than two hours from Denver. It’s in the heart of Summit County, but you’d hardly guess — it’s one of the least crowded resorts in the area! 

There are 150 runs covering 2,527 acres of skiable terrain, divided up by 25% at the beginner level, 24% intermediate, 34% advanced, and 17% for experts. Copper Mountain also has 24 different high-speed, large-capacity lifts. 

Despite it being one of the quieter ski resorts in Colorado, you’ll find no shortage of activities and amenities to enjoy at Copper Mountain. 

The resort has a massive tubing hill with its own dedicated magic carpet lift, as well as a sledding area and snow maze. Plus lots of other facilities like the mountain coaster, athletic club, ice skating in the village, and an indoor facility for skateboarding, scooters, bikes, trampolines, indoor skiing and snowboard training. 

For those wanting a full getaway beyond the slopes, Copper Mountain is one of the best Colorado ski resorts!

6. Crested Butte

Crested Butte Colorado ski resort (Ski CB)
Image source: Crested Butte
  • Average annual snowfall: 199 in / 505 cm
  • Skiable area: 1,547 acres / 626 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,375 ft / 2,858 m
  • Elevation at summit: 12,162 ft / 3,707 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 200 miles / 322 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $95-$143
  • SeasonPass: Included in Epic Pass
  • Website: https://www.skicb.com/ 

Historic Crested Butte is often revered as “the last great ski town in Colorado,” as it has maintained much of its original charm over the decades. 

The resort has 121 runs across its 1,547 acres of skiable terrain, which is listed as 14% beginner, 25% intermediate, 25% advanced, and 36% expert. It’s definitely a smaller resort, but the terrain is right up there with some of the larger Colorado ski resorts and as a bonus, Crested Butte enjoys far fewer crowds!

Many more advanced skiers seek out Crested Butte for its unique experiences and backcountry terrain. The backcountry region here sees an average of 600 inches of snow every year! Take a private cat-skiing experience to see it for yourself or, back on the slopes, sign up to take lessons from Olympians.

7. Echo Mountain

Echo Mountain (Coloradoski.com)
Image source: Colorado Ski
  • Average annual snowfall: 47 in / 119 cm
  • Skiable area: 60 acres / 24 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 10,050 ft / 3,063 m
  • Elevation at summit:  10650 ft / 3,246 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 36 miles / 58 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $58-$62
  • SeasonPass: $269 with holiday blackouts
  • Website: https://echomntn.com/ 

Less than an hour from downtown Denver, Echo Mountain is widely considered one of the most affordable and family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado. Front Range residents and visitors to Denver love it because it’s easy to take a day trip, rather than plan an entire getaway. 

Echo Mountain is a smaller ski area made up of nine runs, most of which are beginner and intermediate terrain. There is also one advanced run through the glades. The mountain is serviced by one triple lift and two surface lifts, and there’s also a 6-lane tubing hill. Try the unique, super fun experience of night tubing!

8. Eldora Mountain

Woodward Eldora (Eldora.com)
Image source: Eldora
  • Average annual snowfall: 200 in / 508 cm
  • Skiable area: 680 acres / 275 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,200 ft / 2,804 m
  • Elevation at summit: 10,600 ft / 3,231 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 50 miles / 80 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $99
  • SeasonPass: $719 full season pass; $439 weekday pass; unlimited access with Ikon Pass
  • Website: https://www.eldora.com/ 

Eldora is just 20 miles west of Boulder, so it’s easy to get to, even for a quick day trip, and packs a nice punch. In fact, you can even take shuttle buses from the Denver metro.

The 61 runs are 18% beginner level, 48% intermediate, 18% advanced, and 16% expert, geared mostly toward casual skiers and locals. The mountain has seven chair lifts and three surface lifts. 

What Eldora is perhaps best known for is the world-class Woodward Mountain Park, an innovative terrain park and learning program. The park features a large base area learning zone, multiple freestyle zones, and areas set up with different levels of obstacles and other challenges for learning and perfecting tricks. In addition, Eldora has 26 miles (42 kilometers) of Nordic skiing and snowshoe trails.

9. Granby Ranch

Granby Ranch Colorado Ski Resort (GR)
Image source: Granby Ranch
  • Average annual snowfall: 92 in / 234 cm
  • Skiable area: 406 acres / 146 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 8,202 ft / 2,500 m
  • Elevation at summit:  9,202 ft / 2,085 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 86 miles / 138 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $234 for two-day lift pack; no single-day lift tickets
  • SeasonPass: $499
  • Website: https://granbyranch.com/ 

Granby Ranch is well-known as one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for learning to ski. The 41 runs are divided up by 37% for beginners, 37% for intermediate skiers, and 26% for experts, and there are also several terrain parks and kids’ zones. 

The resort is divided between two peaks, one facing east and one facing west. The East mountain has almost all beginner and intermediate terrain, while the West Mountain features more advanced and expert terrain.

This family-owned resort usually has few, if any, crowds and great mountain conditions. In fact, Granby Ranch has a bit of a reputation for extending its ski season more often than not! It’s also easy to get to from Denver (“just two right turns,” as the resort likes to say), offers free parking, and even has night skiing.  

10. Keystone

Skiing at Keystone Resort Colorado
  • Average annual snowfall: 215 in / 546 cm
  • Skiable area: 3,148 acres / 1,274 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,280 ft / 2,829 m
  • Elevation at summit: 12,408 ft / 3,782 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 69 miles / 111 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $143-$180
  • SeasonPass: Included in Epic Pass, Epic Local Pass, Keystone Plus Pass, and Summit Value Pass
  • Website: https://www.keystoneresort.com/ 

Keystone is paradise for intermediate skiers, it’s easily accessible from Denver, and it often opens in October. Not to mention it’s one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado. 

The skiable area spans 3,148 acres with 128 runs across three peaks, with 20 lifts serving them. The runs are split up by 16% for beginners, 43% for intermediate skiers, and 41% advanced terrain, and the vertical is over 3,120 feet. 

Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Keystone offers snow tubing, sleigh rides, snow biking, and ice skating. The slopes and tubing hills are also open at night. 

The large resort town has lots to do for families and adults alike, and kids under 12 even ski free with on-mountain lodging packages. There are dozens of restaurants, bars, and shops, and Keystone offers Kidtopia, a completely free program with activities and special events catering to little ones.  

11. Steamboat

Steamboat Springs Colorado ski resort
  • Average annual snowfall: 272 in / 691 cm
  • Skiable area: 2,965 acres / 1,200 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 6,900 ft / 2,103 m
  • Elevation at summit: 10,568 ft / 3,221 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 154 miles / 248 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $108-$216
  • SeasonPass: Unlimited access included with the Ikon or Ikon Base Pass
  • Website: https://www.steamboat.com/ 

Steamboat is one of the larger and favorable Colorado ski resorts, encompassing 2,900 skiable acres across seven mountain peaks with 169 runs, all serviced by 18 lifts. 

Known as “Ski Town, USA,” Steamboat is a ski mecca, with more Olympians making their homebase here than any other ski area in the country. Steamboat’s snow quality and conditions are one of the biggest draws — the snow is so light, fine, and dry that it’s been coined “champagne powder.”

The resort boasts some of the best tree skiing in all of North America, and the two halfpipes and several terrain parks make Steamboat a dream for freestyle riders. There are plenty of options to choose from for every skill level and terrain preference, including learning areas and beginner runs that are groomed every day. 

Steamboat can understandably get crowded, but the ski area is massive enough that lines aren’t usually much of a problem. 

12. Telluride

Telluride Colorado ski resort (ski Telluride)
Image source: Telluride
  • Average annual snowfall: 221 in / 561 cm
  • Skiable area: 2,000 acres / 809 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 8,725 ft / 2,695 m
  • Elevation at summit: 13,150 ft / 4,008 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 350 miles / 563 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $162-$219
  • SeasonPass: $2,600 for unlimited access with no blackout dates; up to 7 days also included with the Epic Pass
  • Website: https://tellurideskiresort.com/ 

Telluride is considered by many to be the very best of all Colorado ski resorts. Some would go so far as to extend that to all of the US and even North America! 

The 147 runs take advantage of the monster 4,425-foot vertical you’ll find here. But amazingly, nearly 60% of the terrain is dedicated to beginner and intermediate-level runs. 

There’s also 34% rated as expert, plus terrain parks and Nordic skiing trails, so there’s truly something for everyone at Telluride. There are even four hike-in areas for experts that aren’t accessible by lifts!

Telluride may live in the shadow of the marketing prowess of other Colorado ski resorts including Vail, Breck, Steamboat, and Aspen, but this mountain is hard to beat when it comes down to pure skiing and snowboarding, not to mention incredible scenery. 

The town always has festivals and other fun events going on, and the fun definitely doesn’t end when the lifts shut down. Splurge on a dinner reservation at Alpino Vino, the highest restaurant in America at an elevation of 11,966 feet!

13. Vail

Image source: Vail
  • Average annual snowfall: 245 in / 262 cm
  • Skiable area: 5,289 acres / 2,140 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 8,120 ft / 2,475 m
  • Elevation at summit:  11,570 ft / 3,527 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 97 miles / 156 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $166-$247
  • SeasonPass: Unlimited access with Epic Pass; unlimited access with holiday blackouts with Epic Local Pass
  • Website: https://www.vail.com/ 

Vail needs no introduction — this is the Big Daddy of skiing in the US, not to mention ski resorts in Colorado. This absolute monster of a ski resort spans more than 5,000 acres and has 267 total runs, making it the fourth largest ski area in North America. 

The terrain is fantastic with plenty of variety. The 267 runs are divided into 22% beginner, 34% intermediate, 41% advanced, and just 2% expert. 

There are 31 lifts to move the crowds to the top of the mountain. Vail definitely gets crowded, but things actually tend to move quickly, so wait times usually aren’t horrible. Just don’t go to Vail expecting solitude!

The four different areas at the base of the mountains have restaurants, shopping, lodging, family activities, and everything else you could possibly want on a ski trip. Best of all, all four areas are connected via free buses and heated walkways to make getting around Vail a breeze! 

Keep in mind that you have the Epic Pass, you get access to ALL of Vail’s 41 ski resorts around the world. 

14. Winter Park

Winter Park Colorado ski resort (WP)
Image source: Winter Park
  • Average annual snowfall: 310 in / 787 cm
  • Skiable area: 3,081 acres / 1,247 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 9,000 ft / 2,743 m
  • Elevation at summit: 12,060 ft / 3,676 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 66 miles / 156 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: Starting at $108 for adults when bought in multi-day packages; starting at $143 for single-day tickets
  • SeasonPass: $649; unlimited access also included with Ikon Pass
  • Website: https://www.winterparkresort.com/ 

As the longest continually operating ski resort in Colorado and the fourth largest in the state, there are lots of reasons to go skiing at Winter Park. The 3,000-plus skiable acres feature 168 runs, divided between two main mountains, Winter Park and Mary Jane. 

Winter Park has lots of groomed trails for some relaxed, family-friendly riding, while Mary Jane has some incredible tree skiing and awesome mogul runs. The terrain is listed as 24% beginner, 22% intermediate, 50% advanced, and 4% expert, offering a nice mix for all skill levels.

You’ll also find a high-alpine, intermediate-friendly ski area in the Parsenn Bowl, which features jaw-dropping 360-degree views from the top. There’s also a popular tubing park, as well as  groomed cross-country and snowshoeing trails to enjoy.

Winter Park is just 1.5 hours from Denver, and you can take the Winter Park Express train to avoid the notoriously grid-locked traffic on I-70. 

15. Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek Colorado Ski Resort (WC ski)
Image source: Wolf Creek
  • Average annual snowfall: 331 in / 841 cm
  • Skiable area: 1,600 acres / 649 hectares
  • Elevation at base: 10,300 ft / 3,139 m
  • Elevation at summit: 11,904 ft / 3,628 m
  • Exact Location
  • Distance from Denver: 260 miles / 418 km
  • Lift Ticket Price: $82-92 
  • SeasonPass: $998 unrestricted, $749 with 44 blackout dates
  • Website: https://wolfcreekski.com/ 

If you’re looking to enjoy the slopes well away from any crowds or prefer a low-key vibe as opposed to an upscale resort feel, look no further than Wolf Creek. 

Tucked into the rugged San Juans in southwest Colorado, almost perfectly equidistant from both Denver and Albuquerque, it has a fantastic reputation as one of the best “small” ski resorts in Colorado. 

Wolf Creek has 1,600 acres of terrain with 133 runs and 10 lifts. This area’s geography means it gets the most snow in Colorado, giving it some of the best tree skiing in the state. 

There are tons of advanced and expert glade runs here, but you can still find a nice variety for all levels. Of the runs, 20% are beginner, 35% intermediate, 25% advanced, and 20% expert. 

Note that Wolf Creek is one of very few Colorado ski resorts that isn’t part of a multi-resort pass (part of what helps keep it pristine and uncrowded!).


Planning a trip out west?

We have TONS of resources on travel in the US and how to make the most out of your trip. Check out our Ultimate USA Travel Guide for everything you need to know, or read some of our favorite articles below.

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Colorado Ski Resorts | Two Wandering Soles
Colorado Ski Resorts | Two Wandering Soles

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Have you ever been skiing or snowboarding at any of the Colorado ski resorts on this list? Which is your favorite? Leave your comment below and let us know!

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