Colorado offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world, and snowfall amounts during major storms can be spectacular. Ski resorts range from top-end, world-class resorts with seemingly endless terrain to single-lift, family-run operations that deliver skiers to groomed runs and some of the best hike-to possibilities in the country. Finding the right resort typically comes down to personal taste, skiing preferences, skill level, budget, convenience of location, and even what time of year you want to ski.
Many of the major Colorado ski resorts are within a couple of hours’ drive from Denver, including Breckenridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creek. Aspen and Steamboat are slightly farther afield but still within range of Denver. In the more remote southwest portion of Colorado are Purgatory and Telluride, along with a number of other smaller resorts. Unlike some ski resorts in Utah, all of the resorts in Colorado are open to both skiers and snowboarders. Get inspired and plan your trip with our list of the best ski resorts in Colorado.
Vail Mountain Resort
The Mountain: When it comes to skiing in Colorado, Vail is the biggest name around. This is one of the largest resorts in the world and home to some of the best terrain in Colorado. The seven back bowls are enough to occupy skiers for a whole season, and you could certainly spend an endless amount of time right here. This is if you manage to drag yourself off the long groomed runs, which stretch along the front side, overlooking the town of Vail. And certainly there are people who never do venture into the back bowls.
The extensive and varied terrain means the resort can easily accommodate all ski levels, from beginners to experts, and you can almost always find good conditions somewhere on the mountain regardless of the weather. Beginners and intermediates tend to enjoy the front groomed runs, more advanced skiers and experts will find excellent tree skiing, moguls, and steeps on the back side.
Vail is not as high as some of the other resorts in the area but still receives a heavy amount of snow, with more than 350 inches per season. Spread over 5,289 acres, the hill has 31 lifts, three terrain parks, and does an extensive amount of grooming; great for beginner and intermediate level skiers.