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10 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado, 2022/23

10 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado, 2022/23 | SnowPak | Top-Rated Colorado Ski Resorts | Best Colorado Ski Resorts | Top Ski Resort Mountains in Colorado | Colorado Ski Mountains
Heather Burke
Written by Heather Burke / Photos by Greg Burke
Last updated September 9, 2022

If there's one state that we can call 'ski paradise’, it's definitely Colorado. Home of several world-class ski resorts, Colorado has some of the best terrain diversity, snow quality, off-slope amenities, and more. 

With over 30 ski resorts, from the famous household names Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge, to family favorites like Keystone, Steamboat, and Winter Park, it can be hard to choose the right resort for you. To help, our ski travel specialists have put together a list of the best ski resorts in Colorado.

1. Breckenridge Ski Resort

breckenridge ski resort
Breck in a snapshot

Why Ski Breckenridge

With 187 trails spread across 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, Breckenridge has some of the best ski slopes in Colorado. It is also home to North America’s highest chairlift, the Imperial Express SuperChair, soaring to a height of 12,840 feet! Don’t forget to take this opportunity to catch a glimpse of Colorado’s breathtaking peaks when you're at the top! The ski resort also boasts one of the highest base elevations in Colorado at 9,600 feet, creating the perfect formula for making good quality snow. Just beware altitude sickness is a thing here. Breck’s centerpiece is unquestionably Peak 8, offering everything from groomers, to award-winning terrain parks and powder-filled bowls.

Beginner Skiing

Breckenridge has some of the best beginner skiing in Colorado. The lower half of Peak 9 is entirely beginner terrain with 2 magic carpets and the ski school. Peak 8 is another great ski spot that is readily accessible from a gondola in the main town.

Where to Stay

With a town that was voted one of the best ski towns in the US, Breckenridge’s Main Street is lined with bistros, bars, saloons, and a brewery, while activities like dog-sledding and snowmobiling are just nearby. Breckenridge is known for having affordable lodging compared to other big-name resorts such as Aspen and Vail. Most people stay at the base of the mountain or in town.

Base

Most people stay around the base of Peaks 7, 8, and 9 or around the 4 O’clock area. These areas are ideal for chairlift access but will put you further from town. Staying at the base of Peak 9 is ideal for first-timers thanks to the green slopes and amenities being within walking distance. Beaver Run Resort has long been a popular affordable choice for skiers looking for ski-in/ski-out convenience in Peak 9. Peak 7 and 8 offer more luxury ski-in/ski-out accommodations and connect to town via the free BreckConnect Gondola, which takes about 10 minutes.

Town

Staying in the historic town of Breckenridge is perfect for those looking to be close to restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. You can access the resort via the BreckConnect Gondola on the north edge of the town or by shuttle to one of the other chairlifts. Aside from the legendary après ski scene, you’ll be near other activities including art galleries and ghost tours.

Getting Around

Within the Resort

It’s easy to get around Breckenridge if you don’t have a car. The most popular access point is Breckenridge Station located at the center of town. This takes you straight up to Peak 8 base station which has amenities and beginner areas, making for ideal family skiing.

There are two free bus services that ferry skiers and riders to and from the mountain. Breck Free Ride serves stops all over the town and its nearby surroundings, including all the resort’s base areas. Additionally, many lodgings offer their own shuttles around town so always remember to check.

Within Summit County

The Summit Stage bus system serves Colorado resorts throughout Summit County, including Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and Keystone. The bus service stops every 30 minutes or so.

Known for

Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado with a world-renown ski town

Highlights

  • Breckenridge has tons of activities besides skiing such as dog-sledding and snowmobiling
  • Experience the unforgettable nightlife in this vibrant Colorado ski town
  • Offers a diverse range of resort lodgings from affordable to lavishly high-end
  • Due to its popularity, big crowds at the resort are a pain

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 11 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: May 30 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 104 miles (2.5 hour drive)
Map View
breckenridge ski resort
Breck in a snapshot

Why Ski Breckenridge

With 187 trails spread across 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, Breckenridge has some of the best ski slopes in Colorado. It is also home to North America’s highest chairlift, the Imperial Express SuperChair, soaring to a height of 12,840 feet! Don’t forget to take this opportunity to catch a glimpse of Colorado’s breathtaking peaks when you're at the top! The ski resort also boasts one of the highest base elevations in Colorado at 9,600 feet, creating the perfect formula for making good quality snow. Just beware altitude sickness is a thing here. Breck’s centerpiece is unquestionably Peak 8, offering everything from groomers, to award-winning terrain parks and powder-filled bowls.

Beginner Skiing

Breckenridge has some of the best beginner skiing in Colorado. The lower half of Peak 9 is entirely beginner terrain with 2 magic carpets and the ski school. Peak 8 is another great ski spot that is readily accessible from a gondola in the main town.

Where to Stay

With a town that was voted one of the best ski towns in the US, Breckenridge’s Main Street is lined with bistros, bars, saloons, and a brewery, while activities like dog-sledding and snowmobiling are just nearby. Breckenridge is known for having affordable lodging compared to other big-name resorts such as Aspen and Vail. Most people stay at the base of the mountain or in town.

Base

Most people stay around the base of Peaks 7, 8, and 9 or around the 4 O’clock area. These areas are ideal for chairlift access but will put you further from town. Staying at the base of Peak 9 is ideal for first-timers thanks to the green slopes and amenities being within walking distance. Beaver Run Resort has long been a popular affordable choice for skiers looking for ski-in/ski-out convenience in Peak 9. Peak 7 and 8 offer more luxury ski-in/ski-out accommodations and connect to town via the free BreckConnect Gondola, which takes about 10 minutes.

Town

Staying in the historic town of Breckenridge is perfect for those looking to be close to restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. You can access the resort via the BreckConnect Gondola on the north edge of the town or by shuttle to one of the other chairlifts. Aside from the legendary après ski scene, you’ll be near other activities including art galleries and ghost tours.

Getting Around

Within the Resort

It’s easy to get around Breckenridge if you don’t have a car. The most popular access point is Breckenridge Station located at the center of town. This takes you straight up to Peak 8 base station which has amenities and beginner areas, making for ideal family skiing.

There are two free bus services that ferry skiers and riders to and from the mountain. Breck Free Ride serves stops all over the town and its nearby surroundings, including all the resort’s base areas. Additionally, many lodgings offer their own shuttles around town so always remember to check.

Within Summit County

The Summit Stage bus system serves Colorado resorts throughout Summit County, including Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and Keystone. The bus service stops every 30 minutes or so.

2. Vail Ski Resort

Vail ski resort and town
Vail is as much about the skiing as it is the resort | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Vail

Vail is one of the biggest and baddest of Colorado ski resorts. As the flagship mountain of Vail Resorts, the company behind the EPIC Pass, it is one of the most iconic and recognized resorts in North American skiing. Often touted as the crowning glory of Colorado ski resorts, Vail has it all; from enormous terrain to a world-class ski village. Having a look at the official trail map before you go will come in handy when you get on the mountain. The resort has charming European-style villages, with plenty of restaurants, shops and après options. That said, Vail can come with crowds and a price tag.

The Mountain

It's big, real big. Vail is spread across 5,317 acres of skiable terrain and along the broad front face of a ridge running generally east to west, with an equally broad terrain on the backside consisting of seven "Back Bowls". This terrain is serviced by 31 state-of-the-art lifts and has something for every level of skier. Although Vail may not be crowned as the ski resort with the highest elevation, it is still a fierce competitor, soaring up to 11,570 feet.

Beginner Skiing

There are two main beginner skiing areas that are easily accessible - one at the base of Golden Peak and the other above the Lionshead area clustered around the Little Eagle Lift. Both areas have magic carpets, ski schools and slow-moving lifts which are ideal for beginners to learn skiing.

Where to Stay

The three main areas are Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. Altogether they're stretched across 7 miles which is served by a free bus system.

Vail Village

Vail Village is at the heart of the resort. It is where most of the shops, restaurants and bars are located. The majority of lodging here are mostly high-end options with ski in ski out or walk access to the lifts.

Lionshead Village

Lionshead is about a 10-15 walk and a 5 minute drive from Vail Village. Although somewhat smaller, it still has plenty of dining and apres ski options as well as access to the slopes via Born Free Express Lift and the Eagle Bahn Gondola.

Golden Peak

Golden Peak is on the east end of the resort. It's quieter and more residential than the rest of the resort village, but it's also convenient to the race area and superpipe where events like the Burton US Open are held. It's also close to beginner skiing and one of the ski schools which makes it a good choice for families.

Nearby Areas

Cascade Village is another 5 minute drive to the west of Lionshead. It’s away from the hustle and bustle but is served by its own lift. East Vail and West Vail are both up to 25 minutes away from the center of the resort by bus but offer more affordable lodging whilst West Vail has more shops and dining options.

Getting Around

Within Vail Village, you’ll find that most places are within walking distance. To travel between the base villages, the free Town of Vail buses operate throughout the resort, as well as to East and West Vail. The resort has a dedicated app to track bus locations and parking availability.

Known for

Vail is world-famous for its extensive terrain, legendary back bowls and top notch guest experience

Highlights

  • Vail boasts the largest ski area in Colorado giving skiers generous terrain choice
  • Vail’s charming ski town offers endless dining and shopping options
  • One of the best luxurious experiences in Colorado
  • Large crowds and premium price tags are also factors to consider when choosing Vail

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 11 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 24 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Eagle County Regional Airport - 34 miles (50 minute drive)
Denver Intl. Airport - 120 miles (2.5 hour drive)
Map View
Vail ski resort and town
Vail is as much about the skiing as it is the resort | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Vail

Vail is one of the biggest and baddest of Colorado ski resorts. As the flagship mountain of Vail Resorts, the company behind the EPIC Pass, it is one of the most iconic and recognized resorts in North American skiing. Often touted as the crowning glory of Colorado ski resorts, Vail has it all; from enormous terrain to a world-class ski village. Having a look at the official trail map before you go will come in handy when you get on the mountain. The resort has charming European-style villages, with plenty of restaurants, shops and après options. That said, Vail can come with crowds and a price tag.

The Mountain

It's big, real big. Vail is spread across 5,317 acres of skiable terrain and along the broad front face of a ridge running generally east to west, with an equally broad terrain on the backside consisting of seven "Back Bowls". This terrain is serviced by 31 state-of-the-art lifts and has something for every level of skier. Although Vail may not be crowned as the ski resort with the highest elevation, it is still a fierce competitor, soaring up to 11,570 feet.

Beginner Skiing

There are two main beginner skiing areas that are easily accessible - one at the base of Golden Peak and the other above the Lionshead area clustered around the Little Eagle Lift. Both areas have magic carpets, ski schools and slow-moving lifts which are ideal for beginners to learn skiing.

Where to Stay

The three main areas are Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead. Altogether they're stretched across 7 miles which is served by a free bus system.

Vail Village

Vail Village is at the heart of the resort. It is where most of the shops, restaurants and bars are located. The majority of lodging here are mostly high-end options with ski in ski out or walk access to the lifts.

Lionshead Village

Lionshead is about a 10-15 walk and a 5 minute drive from Vail Village. Although somewhat smaller, it still has plenty of dining and apres ski options as well as access to the slopes via Born Free Express Lift and the Eagle Bahn Gondola.

Golden Peak

Golden Peak is on the east end of the resort. It's quieter and more residential than the rest of the resort village, but it's also convenient to the race area and superpipe where events like the Burton US Open are held. It's also close to beginner skiing and one of the ski schools which makes it a good choice for families.

Nearby Areas

Cascade Village is another 5 minute drive to the west of Lionshead. It’s away from the hustle and bustle but is served by its own lift. East Vail and West Vail are both up to 25 minutes away from the center of the resort by bus but offer more affordable lodging whilst West Vail has more shops and dining options.

Getting Around

Within Vail Village, you’ll find that most places are within walking distance. To travel between the base villages, the free Town of Vail buses operate throughout the resort, as well as to East and West Vail. The resort has a dedicated app to track bus locations and parking availability.

3. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

aspen highlands mountain views
Aspen needs no introduction

Why Ski Aspen

A ski mecca for the rich and famous, Aspen has grown into four standalone ski resorts since the flagship resort Aspen Mountain opened way back in 1946. It is now joined by Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands, each offering a distinctly different skiing experience. Lift tickets at one resort allows skiing across all four Aspen ski resorts, spanning 5,517 acres of skiable terrain in total but you'll need a ride because the ski resorts are spread across 9 mi. There are endless dining, nightlife and shopping options in the upscale town, which holds a reputation for attracting the rich and famous. It’s no doubt an expensive option, but the fantastic après-ski scene attracts hordes of skiers each year.

The Four Mountains

Aspen Mountain is the most accessible of the ski resorts from downtown Aspen and is collectively known as the 'skier's mountain' as it primarily appeals to intermediates with nearly half the runs rated blue and the remainder carved up for advanced skiing. Check out the official Aspen Mountain trail map to get familiar with the terrain. If it's your first time skiing, best head down to the sister resorts Snowmass or Buttermilk.

Snowmass has a mix of skiing terrain and is located further out from the other three ski resorts but has the highest elevation of 12,510 feet. This resort is ideal for skiing with families or beginners. Check out the Snowmass trail map to see where the best place to begin is.

Buttermilk is one of Aspen's smaller ski resorts and known to cater for beginner and family skiing. The Winter X games are hosted here annually (at least until 2024). Want to know how to make the most of Buttermilk? Have a look at the official trail map here.

Aspen Highlands is another great mountain for advanced skiing but unlike Aspen Mountain, does have a few beginner runs. We recommend doing some research on how to get up the mountain through the official Aspen Highlands trail map. It is between Snowmass Village and downtown Aspen.

Where to Stay

Snowmass Village and the Town of Aspen are the main locations to stay in when visiting Aspen ski resorts.

Snowmass Village

Stay here to have close access to Snowmass resort, with the largest terrain of the four ski resorts. Aspen Snowmass is the best option for families, as it has less nightlife than downtown Aspen. You’ll still enjoy the charming atmosphere of the pedestrian-only village with restaurants and shops, along with activities like tubing and an indoor climbing wall. The other three ski resorts and Aspens town itself, are about a 15 to 20 minute drive away. Viceroy Snowmass can be a great option for ski-in/ski-out lodging in Snowmass.

Town of Aspen

In downtown Aspen, you’ll be at the base of Aspen Mountain and amongst one of the greatest après ski scenes. The former mining town has plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. There aren’t any beginner trails at Aspen Mountain resort, but Buttermilk is just a 10 minute drive away.

Getting Around

The local RFTA bus system regularly operates free routes between the four ski resorts. Many hotels also offer their own shuttles to and from the slopes. The resorts have a dedicated app to check parking availability before arriving.

Known for

Aspen has four distinctive ski areas on one lift ticket clustered around a famous Colorado ski town

Highlights

  • Upscale and lively Colorado town with tons of food and shopping
  • Access to four ski areas on one lift ticket
  • One of the most varied ski and snowboard experiences in the state
  • Expensive Colorado ski experience

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 24 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 16 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Aspen/ Pitkin County Airport - 8 miles (15 minute drive)
Map View
aspen highlands mountain views
Aspen needs no introduction

Why Ski Aspen

A ski mecca for the rich and famous, Aspen has grown into four standalone ski resorts since the flagship resort Aspen Mountain opened way back in 1946. It is now joined by Snowmass, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands, each offering a distinctly different skiing experience. Lift tickets at one resort allows skiing across all four Aspen ski resorts, spanning 5,517 acres of skiable terrain in total but you'll need a ride because the ski resorts are spread across 9 mi. There are endless dining, nightlife and shopping options in the upscale town, which holds a reputation for attracting the rich and famous. It’s no doubt an expensive option, but the fantastic après-ski scene attracts hordes of skiers each year.

The Four Mountains

Aspen Mountain is the most accessible of the ski resorts from downtown Aspen and is collectively known as the 'skier's mountain' as it primarily appeals to intermediates with nearly half the runs rated blue and the remainder carved up for advanced skiing. Check out the official Aspen Mountain trail map to get familiar with the terrain. If it's your first time skiing, best head down to the sister resorts Snowmass or Buttermilk.

Snowmass has a mix of skiing terrain and is located further out from the other three ski resorts but has the highest elevation of 12,510 feet. This resort is ideal for skiing with families or beginners. Check out the Snowmass trail map to see where the best place to begin is.

Buttermilk is one of Aspen's smaller ski resorts and known to cater for beginner and family skiing. The Winter X games are hosted here annually (at least until 2024). Want to know how to make the most of Buttermilk? Have a look at the official trail map here.

Aspen Highlands is another great mountain for advanced skiing but unlike Aspen Mountain, does have a few beginner runs. We recommend doing some research on how to get up the mountain through the official Aspen Highlands trail map. It is between Snowmass Village and downtown Aspen.

Where to Stay

Snowmass Village and the Town of Aspen are the main locations to stay in when visiting Aspen ski resorts.

Snowmass Village

Stay here to have close access to Snowmass resort, with the largest terrain of the four ski resorts. Aspen Snowmass is the best option for families, as it has less nightlife than downtown Aspen. You’ll still enjoy the charming atmosphere of the pedestrian-only village with restaurants and shops, along with activities like tubing and an indoor climbing wall. The other three ski resorts and Aspens town itself, are about a 15 to 20 minute drive away. Viceroy Snowmass can be a great option for ski-in/ski-out lodging in Snowmass.

Town of Aspen

In downtown Aspen, you’ll be at the base of Aspen Mountain and amongst one of the greatest après ski scenes. The former mining town has plenty of restaurants, bars, shops and galleries. There aren’t any beginner trails at Aspen Mountain resort, but Buttermilk is just a 10 minute drive away.

Getting Around

The local RFTA bus system regularly operates free routes between the four ski resorts. Many hotels also offer their own shuttles to and from the slopes. The resorts have a dedicated app to check parking availability before arriving.

4. Winter Park Resort

Vasquez Cirque Territory at Winter Park ski resort
Vasquez Cirque | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Winter Park

Winter Park is a family-friendly mountain and one of the more affordable ski resorts in Colorado. There are 7 territories across 2 interconnected mountains, each with their own base area and reaching a total of 3,081 acres of skiable terrain. This makes it the fourth largest resort in the state! The base village is more relaxed compared to other large resorts in Colorado, but you’ll still find a range of dining and shopping options. There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities outside of skiing including the tube park, ice bumper cars and snowmobiling. Winter Park is easily accessible from Denver as it's relatively close to the city and the only ski resort in the US that has an Amtrak service via the Winter Park Express!

The Skiing

The resort is split into seven territories, each with its own distinct skiing personality. The beginner areas are at the base of the mountain in the Winter Park Territory which is also very family-friendly with plenty of groomers. Mary Jane is famed for its monster moguls and tree skiing. It’s the place to be if you're a fan of knee-shocking bumps and blitzing through trees. The one gripe we have is that the lift layout and connections are not the best for efficient skiing which is a problem for older resorts. Get familiar with the mountain by checking out the official trail map

Where to Stay

There are two main areas to stay in; the Winter Park Village at the base of the mountain or in the surrounding areas.

Village at Winter Park

Staying here is the most convenient option for getting on the slopes and being amongst the resort restaurants and shops. Keep in mind that the number of lodging options are limited, and the price of convenience can add up. For more dining and shopping options, Main Street in downtown Winter Park is just a 10 minute drive away.

Nearby Areas

If you’re willing to drive to the slopes each morning, you might save some money by staying in one of the nearby areas. With lodging options just a few miles from the slopes, downtown Winter Park is a 10 minute drive from the resort, but you’ll have access to all of the dining, shopping and nightlife options on Main Street. Best Western Alpenglo Lodge can be a great alternative to Winter Park village’s more expensive options yet still close to the resort. 

Getting Around

The Lift is a free shuttle service that loops between the resort and the towns of Winter Park and Fraser throughout the day and into the night. The shuttle’s downloadable app allows you to track the bus in real-time.

Known for

Winter Park is the closest large ski resort to Denver and is ideal for families

Highlights

  • Easily accessible from Denver including the weekend train between Denver Union Station and the resort
  • Excellent range of terrain for different abilities including mogul runs
  • Family-friendly resort with great ski school programs and tubing activities
  • Smaller base area compared to larger Colorado resorts

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 16 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: May 21 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 90 miles (2 hour drive)
Map View
Vasquez Cirque Territory at Winter Park ski resort
Vasquez Cirque | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Winter Park

Winter Park is a family-friendly mountain and one of the more affordable ski resorts in Colorado. There are 7 territories across 2 interconnected mountains, each with their own base area and reaching a total of 3,081 acres of skiable terrain. This makes it the fourth largest resort in the state! The base village is more relaxed compared to other large resorts in Colorado, but you’ll still find a range of dining and shopping options. There are also plenty of kid-friendly activities outside of skiing including the tube park, ice bumper cars and snowmobiling. Winter Park is easily accessible from Denver as it's relatively close to the city and the only ski resort in the US that has an Amtrak service via the Winter Park Express!

The Skiing

The resort is split into seven territories, each with its own distinct skiing personality. The beginner areas are at the base of the mountain in the Winter Park Territory which is also very family-friendly with plenty of groomers. Mary Jane is famed for its monster moguls and tree skiing. It’s the place to be if you're a fan of knee-shocking bumps and blitzing through trees. The one gripe we have is that the lift layout and connections are not the best for efficient skiing which is a problem for older resorts. Get familiar with the mountain by checking out the official trail map

Where to Stay

There are two main areas to stay in; the Winter Park Village at the base of the mountain or in the surrounding areas.

Village at Winter Park

Staying here is the most convenient option for getting on the slopes and being amongst the resort restaurants and shops. Keep in mind that the number of lodging options are limited, and the price of convenience can add up. For more dining and shopping options, Main Street in downtown Winter Park is just a 10 minute drive away.

Nearby Areas

If you’re willing to drive to the slopes each morning, you might save some money by staying in one of the nearby areas. With lodging options just a few miles from the slopes, downtown Winter Park is a 10 minute drive from the resort, but you’ll have access to all of the dining, shopping and nightlife options on Main Street. Best Western Alpenglo Lodge can be a great alternative to Winter Park village’s more expensive options yet still close to the resort. 

Getting Around

The Lift is a free shuttle service that loops between the resort and the towns of Winter Park and Fraser throughout the day and into the night. The shuttle’s downloadable app allows you to track the bus in real-time.

5. Beaver Creek Resort

views of gore range surround Beaver Creek
Views of Gore Range while skiing Beaver Creek | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek’s luxurious amenities sets it apart from other Colorado resorts - pampering guests with everything from escalators between the village and the chairlift and free freshly-baked cookies. Beginner and intermediate skiers and riders will get the most out of the scenic, well-groomed terrain here. The highest point is the summit of Beaver Creek Mountain at 11,440 feet, served by both the Cinch Express Chairlift and the Red Buffalo Express Chairlift. If you’re worried about altitude sickness, Beaver Creek has the lowest base elevation of the big resorts in Colorado, making it a good option for people flying in from lower elevations. The ski area is smaller than neighboring Vail with 2,082 acres of skiable terrain, but it attracts less crowds.

Despite all the top-notch amenities, it’s not the place to come if you’re looking for nightlife in the base villages or a budget-friendly vacation.

The Skiing

Immaculately groomed green and blue runs make up the large portion of skiing here, and unlike many other ski resorts, most trails at Beaver Creek don't flow straight down the fall line. Instead, they leisurely wind down the resort for a scenic and unique skiing experience. There’s a nice chunk of expert terrain too, but if that’s your goal, you’ll find bumpier bumps at Winter Park or steeper chutes at Arapahoe Basin. Check out Beaver Creek’s official trail map to plan ahead.

Where to Stay

You can stay in one of the villages at the base of the mountain, or nearby in the Town of Avon.

Base

Out of the three base villages, Beaver Creek Village is the heart of the resort. Stay here to have close access to a large portion of the resort’s terrain. You’ll also find most of the resort dining and shopping options in this pedestrian-friendly village, as well as an ice-skating rink and fire pit. When it comes to somewhere to stay, The Osprey Lodge and The Charter both offer exquisite ski-in/ski-out accommodation slap bang in the center of Beaver Creek Village. Bachelor Gulch Village and Arrowhead Village don’t have as many lodging or dining options.

Town

The Town of Avon is located about a 7 to 10 minute drive away from Beaver Creek Village but is connected to the mountain via a 3 minute gondola ride. Lodging is more affordable in Avon, and you’ll find a range of dining and shopping options, including grocery stores.

Getting Around

There are free shuttle and bus services operating between Avon and Beaver Creek Village. A free, on-demand shuttle service, Village Connect, is also offered throughout the resort and has a downloadable app to track the shuttle in real-time. The ECO Transit bus system operates a paid service between Vail and Beaver Creek resorts during the ski season.

Known for

Beaver Creek is Vail's little sister that offers luxurious pampering

Highlights

  • Beaver Creek is the best ski resort for the ultimate getaway experience with upscale dining options
  • It doesn’t suffer from the same crowds as its bigger sister Vail
  • Top-notch grooming and superb upper terrain for beginners
  • Relatively expensive compared to other Colorado resorts

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 23 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 17 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Eagle County Regional Airport - 28 miles (30 minute drive)
Denver Intl. Airport - 130 miles (3 hour drive)
Map View
views of gore range surround Beaver Creek
Views of Gore Range while skiing Beaver Creek | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek’s luxurious amenities sets it apart from other Colorado resorts - pampering guests with everything from escalators between the village and the chairlift and free freshly-baked cookies. Beginner and intermediate skiers and riders will get the most out of the scenic, well-groomed terrain here. The highest point is the summit of Beaver Creek Mountain at 11,440 feet, served by both the Cinch Express Chairlift and the Red Buffalo Express Chairlift. If you’re worried about altitude sickness, Beaver Creek has the lowest base elevation of the big resorts in Colorado, making it a good option for people flying in from lower elevations. The ski area is smaller than neighboring Vail with 2,082 acres of skiable terrain, but it attracts less crowds.

Despite all the top-notch amenities, it’s not the place to come if you’re looking for nightlife in the base villages or a budget-friendly vacation.

The Skiing

Immaculately groomed green and blue runs make up the large portion of skiing here, and unlike many other ski resorts, most trails at Beaver Creek don't flow straight down the fall line. Instead, they leisurely wind down the resort for a scenic and unique skiing experience. There’s a nice chunk of expert terrain too, but if that’s your goal, you’ll find bumpier bumps at Winter Park or steeper chutes at Arapahoe Basin. Check out Beaver Creek’s official trail map to plan ahead.

Where to Stay

You can stay in one of the villages at the base of the mountain, or nearby in the Town of Avon.

Base

Out of the three base villages, Beaver Creek Village is the heart of the resort. Stay here to have close access to a large portion of the resort’s terrain. You’ll also find most of the resort dining and shopping options in this pedestrian-friendly village, as well as an ice-skating rink and fire pit. When it comes to somewhere to stay, The Osprey Lodge and The Charter both offer exquisite ski-in/ski-out accommodation slap bang in the center of Beaver Creek Village. Bachelor Gulch Village and Arrowhead Village don’t have as many lodging or dining options.

Town

The Town of Avon is located about a 7 to 10 minute drive away from Beaver Creek Village but is connected to the mountain via a 3 minute gondola ride. Lodging is more affordable in Avon, and you’ll find a range of dining and shopping options, including grocery stores.

Getting Around

There are free shuttle and bus services operating between Avon and Beaver Creek Village. A free, on-demand shuttle service, Village Connect, is also offered throughout the resort and has a downloadable app to track the shuttle in real-time. The ECO Transit bus system operates a paid service between Vail and Beaver Creek resorts during the ski season.

6. Keystone Resort

north peak at Keystone
Skiing Keystone | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Keystone

Keystone is one of the best ski resorts near Denver, especially since it is tailored towards families who are after the big mountain skiing experience. Apart from its 3,149 acres of skiable terrain and 3,128 feet vertical drop, Keystone has lots of family friendly activities outside of skiing such as tubing, sleigh rides and the Kidtopia kids program. While the resort is less expensive than higher-end resorts like Vail or Beaver Creek, it can get crowded due to its popularity.

Other draw cards for Keystone are its night skiing and terrain parks. It has the largest number of trails lit up after dark here, which solidifies Keystone's claim of having Colorado's longest ski day. The 60 acres A51 Terrain Park is also regarded as one of the best in Colorado, with its own dedicated chairlift that will keep you skiing all day!

Where to Stay

River Run Village and Mountain House are the two villages that sit right at the base of the first peak, Dercum Mountain.

River Run Village

Located at the heart of Keystone’s base area, the pedestrian-friendly village has a range of shops and eateries and is home to the Kidtopia Headquarters. Staying in River Run Village will give you close access to the River Run Gondola, which is a scenic ride to the peak. If convenience is what you’re looking for, Timbers and Lone Eagle and River Run Village are popular ski-in/ski-out options in this area.

Mountain House Area

About a 5 to 10 minute drive from River Run Village is the quieter Mountain House area. It’s the best place to access the base learning area and Keystone’s famous terrain park, Area 51. There isn’t a gondola here so you’ll need to take two chairlifts to get to the peak.

Getting Around

Getting around Keystone is no hassle! Keystone Transportation offers a convenient schedule that will take you to and from your lodging to the skiing base areas. There are shuttle stops throughout Keystone with the free shuttle stopping every 20 minutes or so. To get around nearby towns and resorts including Frisco, Silverthorne and Breckenridge, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus.

Known for

Keystone is one of the best family-friendly resorts in Colorado and has the largest night skiing operation in the state

Highlights

  • Keystone is popular for its Kidtopia play area and endless family-friendly programs
  • Great for beginner skiing as the learning area is located at the bottom and top of the mountain
  • Boasting one of the best terrain parks in Colorado with its own lift
  • Crowds can be a problem if you're skiing on a weekend

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 01 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 17 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 90 miles (2 hour drive)
Map View
north peak at Keystone
Skiing Keystone | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Keystone

Keystone is one of the best ski resorts near Denver, especially since it is tailored towards families who are after the big mountain skiing experience. Apart from its 3,149 acres of skiable terrain and 3,128 feet vertical drop, Keystone has lots of family friendly activities outside of skiing such as tubing, sleigh rides and the Kidtopia kids program. While the resort is less expensive than higher-end resorts like Vail or Beaver Creek, it can get crowded due to its popularity.

Other draw cards for Keystone are its night skiing and terrain parks. It has the largest number of trails lit up after dark here, which solidifies Keystone's claim of having Colorado's longest ski day. The 60 acres A51 Terrain Park is also regarded as one of the best in Colorado, with its own dedicated chairlift that will keep you skiing all day!

Where to Stay

River Run Village and Mountain House are the two villages that sit right at the base of the first peak, Dercum Mountain.

River Run Village

Located at the heart of Keystone’s base area, the pedestrian-friendly village has a range of shops and eateries and is home to the Kidtopia Headquarters. Staying in River Run Village will give you close access to the River Run Gondola, which is a scenic ride to the peak. If convenience is what you’re looking for, Timbers and Lone Eagle and River Run Village are popular ski-in/ski-out options in this area.

Mountain House Area

About a 5 to 10 minute drive from River Run Village is the quieter Mountain House area. It’s the best place to access the base learning area and Keystone’s famous terrain park, Area 51. There isn’t a gondola here so you’ll need to take two chairlifts to get to the peak.

Getting Around

Getting around Keystone is no hassle! Keystone Transportation offers a convenient schedule that will take you to and from your lodging to the skiing base areas. There are shuttle stops throughout Keystone with the free shuttle stopping every 20 minutes or so. To get around nearby towns and resorts including Frisco, Silverthorne and Breckenridge, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus.

7. Steamboat Ski Resort

steamboat springs ski resort
Welcome to Steamboat! | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Steamboat

Being located close to an authentic cowboy town with relaxing geothermal hot springs, Steamboat offers a unique Colorado ski experience. Skiers of all abilities can enjoy the resort's 2,965 acres of “Champagne Powder” snow and famous glade skiing. Plus, the resort has a relatively low summit elevation of 10,568 feet so it can be a good option to avoid altitude sickness. 

Steamboat is a popular resort among families, with a Kids’ Vacation Center and the new Skeeter’s Ice Rink. Although Steamboat is located further out from major airports and less accessible compared to other Colorado ski resorts, that ultimately means less crowds.

The Skiing

Where Steamboat really excels is in its glade skiing, which is some of the best in Colorado. There are just swathes of terrain to make fresh tracks between the trees. Head up to Sunshine Peak and go over the backside to Morningside Park - here you'll find the best tree runs in Colorado. The snow is also fantastic here - without getting too deep into the science, there's a desert off the west where most snowstorms come from which can dry out the moisture, turning the snow into tiny flakes that are incredibly easy to blow through, even when you're knee-deep in it.

Where to Stay

There are two main areas to stay, on-mountain or in downtown Steamboat Springs.

On-Mountain

Lodging in the base area is conveniently close to the lifts, as well as the resort's dining and shopping. Another option is the Mountain Village area which is adjacent to the base. There are plenty of lodges and condominiums that are a short walk or drive to the slopes. There isn’t much nightlife in either area, but you can always head to downtown Steamboat Springs.

Downtown

Stay in downtown Steamboat Springs to experience the Wild West town. There aren’t as many lodging options to choose from but you’ll be close to restaurants, bars, shops and some hot springs. The ski resort is just a 10 minute drive away.

Getting Around

The Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) is a free bus system that operates between the ski resort and downtown. Many hotels also offer their own shuttle service to take guests to and from the slopes.

Known for

Steamboat is renowned for its trademark “Champagne Powder”, laid-back Colorado ski town and natural hot springs

Highlights

  • Opportunity to unwind in one of the many geothermal hot springs!
  • Located in a small authentic Colorado Western town
  • Best uncrowded ski resort in Colorado
  • A bit further out from Denver

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 23 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 09 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Yampa Valley Regional Airport - 28 miles (40 minute drive)
Denver Intl. Airport - 180 miles (3.5 hour drive)
Map View
steamboat springs ski resort
Welcome to Steamboat! | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Steamboat

Being located close to an authentic cowboy town with relaxing geothermal hot springs, Steamboat offers a unique Colorado ski experience. Skiers of all abilities can enjoy the resort's 2,965 acres of “Champagne Powder” snow and famous glade skiing. Plus, the resort has a relatively low summit elevation of 10,568 feet so it can be a good option to avoid altitude sickness. 

Steamboat is a popular resort among families, with a Kids’ Vacation Center and the new Skeeter’s Ice Rink. Although Steamboat is located further out from major airports and less accessible compared to other Colorado ski resorts, that ultimately means less crowds.

The Skiing

Where Steamboat really excels is in its glade skiing, which is some of the best in Colorado. There are just swathes of terrain to make fresh tracks between the trees. Head up to Sunshine Peak and go over the backside to Morningside Park - here you'll find the best tree runs in Colorado. The snow is also fantastic here - without getting too deep into the science, there's a desert off the west where most snowstorms come from which can dry out the moisture, turning the snow into tiny flakes that are incredibly easy to blow through, even when you're knee-deep in it.

Where to Stay

There are two main areas to stay, on-mountain or in downtown Steamboat Springs.

On-Mountain

Lodging in the base area is conveniently close to the lifts, as well as the resort's dining and shopping. Another option is the Mountain Village area which is adjacent to the base. There are plenty of lodges and condominiums that are a short walk or drive to the slopes. There isn’t much nightlife in either area, but you can always head to downtown Steamboat Springs.

Downtown

Stay in downtown Steamboat Springs to experience the Wild West town. There aren’t as many lodging options to choose from but you’ll be close to restaurants, bars, shops and some hot springs. The ski resort is just a 10 minute drive away.

Getting Around

The Steamboat Springs Transit (SST) is a free bus system that operates between the ski resort and downtown. Many hotels also offer their own shuttle service to take guests to and from the slopes.

8. Telluride Ski Resort

telluride gondola
Going up Telluride Gondola – Ready to go skiing! | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Telluride

Telluride stands out for its stunning scenery and Wild West town. Offering more than 2,000 acres of skiable area and 11,904 feet summit elevation, Telluride’s terrain is varied and perfect for all ability levels. Beginners can experience high alpine territory and mountain vistas usually reserved only for experienced riders while advanced skiers can enjoy expert terrain with intense chutes and bowls. Exploring the shops and eateries in the former mining town are also a key part of the experience. 

Relative to most Colorado resorts, it can be quite difficult to reach from Denver, but this means there are fewer crowds. Typically, our customers fly into Montrose Regional Airport to reduce commute time.

Where to Stay

The main areas to stay are on-mountain in Mountain Village or at the base of the mountain in the town of Telluride. There are plenty of ski-in/ski-out options for easy access in both areas such as Mountain Lodge Telluride and Camel's Garden Hotel.

On-Mountain

Mountain Village can be a convenient choice for families. You’ll be close to beginner and intermediate terrain, the ski school, kids camp and ice skating. There are restaurants and shops but the options are limited compared to the town of Telluride.

Town

Stay in town to enjoy the bustling Western atmosphere and its restaurants, bars, shops and nightlife. You’ll also be close to intermediate and advanced slopes.

Getting Around

The free gondola operates between Mountain Village and the town of Telluride, from 6:30 AM to midnight. The ride takes 13 minutes one way. The town is easy to walk around, but there is also a free shuttle service called the Galloping Goose which operates a loop.

Known for

Telluride has a well-deserved reputation for epic terrain, extraordinary views and excellent skiing facilities

Highlights

  • Located in a historic Colorado western town with jaw-dropping scenery
  • Telluride has the best laid out mountain in Colorado, making it easy to get around
  • Fantastic variety of quality terrain, from gentle groomers to extreme off-piste
  • Difficult to reach from Denver, Colorado

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 24 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 02 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Telluride Regional Airport - 8 miles (20 minute drive)
Montrose Regional Airport - 70 miles (1.5 hour drive)
Map View
telluride gondola
Going up Telluride Gondola – Ready to go skiing! | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Telluride

Telluride stands out for its stunning scenery and Wild West town. Offering more than 2,000 acres of skiable area and 11,904 feet summit elevation, Telluride’s terrain is varied and perfect for all ability levels. Beginners can experience high alpine territory and mountain vistas usually reserved only for experienced riders while advanced skiers can enjoy expert terrain with intense chutes and bowls. Exploring the shops and eateries in the former mining town are also a key part of the experience. 

Relative to most Colorado resorts, it can be quite difficult to reach from Denver, but this means there are fewer crowds. Typically, our customers fly into Montrose Regional Airport to reduce commute time.

Where to Stay

The main areas to stay are on-mountain in Mountain Village or at the base of the mountain in the town of Telluride. There are plenty of ski-in/ski-out options for easy access in both areas such as Mountain Lodge Telluride and Camel's Garden Hotel.

On-Mountain

Mountain Village can be a convenient choice for families. You’ll be close to beginner and intermediate terrain, the ski school, kids camp and ice skating. There are restaurants and shops but the options are limited compared to the town of Telluride.

Town

Stay in town to enjoy the bustling Western atmosphere and its restaurants, bars, shops and nightlife. You’ll also be close to intermediate and advanced slopes.

Getting Around

The free gondola operates between Mountain Village and the town of Telluride, from 6:30 AM to midnight. The ride takes 13 minutes one way. The town is easy to walk around, but there is also a free shuttle service called the Galloping Goose which operates a loop.

9. Copper Mountain

on mountain chief looking into copper bowl at copper mountain
On Mountain Chief skiing into Copper Bowl

Why Ski Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain is ideal for those looking to ski big name ski resorts in Colorado on a more affordable budget. The terrain is well-distributed, with its 2,465 acres of skiable area naturally split into three sections, advanced, intermediate and beginner terrain. Outside of skiing, there are a plethora of family friendly activities available - a four-laned tubing hill, the Rocky Mountain Coaster as well as an indoor training facility with trampolines and foam pits to keep the kids busy.

Where to Stay

There are three villages that sit at the base of Copper Mountain: Center Village, East Village and West Village. Check out the location of these villages in the official Copper Mountain trail map

Center Village

Home to the resort's dining and shopping options, most people like to stay here to be close to the action. You’ll have the best access to the intermediate slopes, the Rocky Mountain Coaster and ice skating on West Lake.

East Village

You’ll find Copper’s tubing hill and JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern in the East Village. But unless you’re more of an advanced skier, you won’t find much else on this end of the resort.

West Village

West Village is quieter, with limited amenities, but you’ll have the best access to a wealth of green terrain. The ski school is also based here, making it ideal for beginners and families.

Getting Around

To travel between Copper Mountain villages, the Village Shuttle operates a number of routes in a continuous loop. Alternatively, the Copper Coach is a free, on-demand ride service for overnight guests. To get to and from nearby towns and resorts including Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge and Keystone, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus.

Known for

Copper Mountain is famous for having naturally divided ski terrain and a down to earth Colorado vibe

Highlights

  • Copper Mountain is one of Colorado’s best family friendly resorts with plenty of kids activities
  • An affordable option compared to other Colorado ski resorts
  • Fantastic variety of terrain to suit all ability levels
  • Not much of a town compared to other Colorado resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Nov 14 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Apr 23 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 100 miles (2 hour drive)
Map View
on mountain chief looking into copper bowl at copper mountain
On Mountain Chief skiing into Copper Bowl

Why Ski Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain is ideal for those looking to ski big name ski resorts in Colorado on a more affordable budget. The terrain is well-distributed, with its 2,465 acres of skiable area naturally split into three sections, advanced, intermediate and beginner terrain. Outside of skiing, there are a plethora of family friendly activities available - a four-laned tubing hill, the Rocky Mountain Coaster as well as an indoor training facility with trampolines and foam pits to keep the kids busy.

Where to Stay

There are three villages that sit at the base of Copper Mountain: Center Village, East Village and West Village. Check out the location of these villages in the official Copper Mountain trail map

Center Village

Home to the resort's dining and shopping options, most people like to stay here to be close to the action. You’ll have the best access to the intermediate slopes, the Rocky Mountain Coaster and ice skating on West Lake.

East Village

You’ll find Copper’s tubing hill and JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern in the East Village. But unless you’re more of an advanced skier, you won’t find much else on this end of the resort.

West Village

West Village is quieter, with limited amenities, but you’ll have the best access to a wealth of green terrain. The ski school is also based here, making it ideal for beginners and families.

Getting Around

To travel between Copper Mountain villages, the Village Shuttle operates a number of routes in a continuous loop. Alternatively, the Copper Coach is a free, on-demand ride service for overnight guests. To get to and from nearby towns and resorts including Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge and Keystone, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus.

10. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

view looking from arapahoe basin summit
Looking down from A-Basin Summit | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Arapahoe Basin

A-Basin is all about extreme skiing rather than the amenities. It’s one of the best ski resorts in Colorado with 1,428 acre of skiable terrain for advanced skiers who don’t mind a no-frills experience. With a summit elevation of 13,050 feet, A-Basin is known for having some of the highest skiing landscapes in Colorado. Its season can go from October to June which makes it the longest ski season in Colorado. A-Basin’s laid-back atmosphere comes to life with its parking lot après scene. However, there's limited dining and no lodging at the base, but it’s just a short drive from nearby towns and Colorado resorts. 

Where to Stay

There isn’t any lodging at the base, but most visitors stay at accommodations near Colorado resorts and towns. The closest locations to A-Basin are Keystone Resort, just a 10 minute drive away and the town of Silverthorne, a 20 minute drive away.

Getting Around

Walking around A-Basin itself is easy, thanks to the compact base area. To get to the resort, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus from nearby Colorado ski resorts including Keystone and Breckenridge or the Silverthorne and Frisco town centers.

Known for

Arapahoe Basin has gained a reputation of having a “local's mountain” vibe in Colorado and offering extreme terrain

Highlights

  • Arapahoe Basin boasts one of the longest ski seasons (October - June)
  • Incredible advanced terrain
  • Budget friendly compared to other Colorado ski resorts
  • Very limited amenities and no lodging at the base

22/23 Ski Season:

  • Opening Date: Oct 22 2022(Estimated open date based on historical data)
  • Closing Date: Jun 04 2023(Estimated close date based on historical data)

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 88 miles (2 hour drive)
Map View
view looking from arapahoe basin summit
Looking down from A-Basin Summit | Photo Copyright: Greg Burke

Why Ski Arapahoe Basin

A-Basin is all about extreme skiing rather than the amenities. It’s one of the best ski resorts in Colorado with 1,428 acre of skiable terrain for advanced skiers who don’t mind a no-frills experience. With a summit elevation of 13,050 feet, A-Basin is known for having some of the highest skiing landscapes in Colorado. Its season can go from October to June which makes it the longest ski season in Colorado. A-Basin’s laid-back atmosphere comes to life with its parking lot après scene. However, there's limited dining and no lodging at the base, but it’s just a short drive from nearby towns and Colorado resorts. 

Where to Stay

There isn’t any lodging at the base, but most visitors stay at accommodations near Colorado resorts and towns. The closest locations to A-Basin are Keystone Resort, just a 10 minute drive away and the town of Silverthorne, a 20 minute drive away.

Getting Around

Walking around A-Basin itself is easy, thanks to the compact base area. To get to the resort, you can catch the free Summit Stage bus from nearby Colorado ski resorts including Keystone and Breckenridge or the Silverthorne and Frisco town centers.

10 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado, 2022/23 | SnowPak | Top-Rated Colorado Ski Resorts | Best Colorado Ski Resorts | Top Ski Resort Mountains in Colorado | Colorado Ski Mountains
Breckenridge
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