The 6 Best Closest Ski Resorts Near Denver

The 6 Best Closest Ski Resorts Near Denver - UPDATED 2020/21
Kylie Dingman
Written by Kylie Dingman / Photos by Greg Burke
Last updated May 15, 2020
Map View

Denver is the gateway to some of the best skiing in the US but many of the popular resorts are actually a few hours away. Thankfully, there are a handful of ski areas that are roughly an hour’s drive from downtown which will satisfy your powder cravings. Here's a quick list on the closest resorts to Denver based on drive time.

Map View

Known for

Closest large ski resort to Denver, ideal for families

Highlights

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

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 90 mi (2 hour drive)
Vasquez Cirque Territory at Winter Park ski resort
Vasquez Cirque

Winter Park is one of the most affordable ski destinations in Colorado, making it a popular option for family ski trips. The resort has two main interconnected mountains with 3,081 ac of skiable terrain that have separate base areas; Winter Park and Mary Jane. Winter Park is catered towards beginners, intermediates, and park shredders. Mary Jane’s terrain is more difficult and is characterized by its black diamond mogul runs. You will be able to find lodging in the Village at the base of the resort which are most suited for families that value proximity to the slopes. If you’re willing to lodge a few miles away, in the town of Winter Park, you will find very affordable options that will give you access to more restaurants, bars and shops.

Map View

Known for

One of the best family-friendly resorts in Colorado, with night skiing

Highlights

  • Kidtopia play area and endless family-friendly programs
  • Beginner runs and learning area at the top of the mountain
  • One of the country’s top terrain parks, with its own lift
  • Crowds can be a problem, especially on weekends

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 90 mi (2 hour drive)
north peak at Keystone
North Peak at Keystone

Keystone treads the middle ground between luxury ski resorts like Vail and bustling ski towns like Breckenridge, offering an affordable experience while remaining competitive in other aspects. This place is a family favourite because it’s easy for groups with different skiing abilities to stay together on the mountain. Having a huge ski area means the terrain will keep you skiing or boarding new trails for days on end. Though there's not much extreme terrain here, Keystone has one of the country’s best terrain parks. All sorts of different accommodation options are available here, and there’s usually something to suit most budgets, with prices a notch lower than at Aspen and Vail.

Map View

Known for

Small “local's mountain” vibe offering extreme chutes and gnarly steeps

Highlights

  • Great advanced terrain
  • Budget friendly compared to other Colorado ski resorts
  • One of the longest ski seasons (Nov - May)
  • Very limited amenities and no lodging at the base

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 88 mi (2 hour drive)
view looking from arapahoe basin summit
Looking down from A-Basin Summit

Arapahoe or A-Basin is one of the best places in Colorado for spring skiing. With a summit elevation reaching 13,050 ft, it allows the resort to stay open into June and sometimes even later. Arapahoe is easy to reach from Denver making it a no-brainer for skiers that want to take a quick weekend ski trip. However, Arapahoe doesn’t have a town at its base and you’ll have to find accommodation in surrounding areas such as Keystone which is only a 10 minute drive away or Silverthorne and Frisco which are more affordable options.

Map View

Known for

Variety of terrain given its size

Highlights

  • Variety of terrain for a small ski area including glades
  • Snowmaking possible on all groomed runs
  • Great ski resort for a day trip from Denver
  • Small ski area

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 66 mi (1.5 hour drive)
view from indian peaks eldora mountain
View from Indian Peaks, Eldora

Eldora Mountain is the second closest ski resort to Denver, about an hour’s drive away. For a small resort by Colorado standards, Eldora has a decent variety of terrain. There are 11 lifts which serve everything – easy greens, cruisey blues, challenging blacks and double blacks. In addition to alpine skiing, the resort has roughly 25 mi of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. The only thing we don’t like here are the wind holds which sometimes close off most of the terrain. All in all, it’s got a really good balance between what the mountain offers for its price and convenience.

Map View

Known for

Local's mountain with free cat skiing along the Continental Divide

Highlights

  • Free cat skiing
  • Enjoys a long season (often mid-October to mid-May)
  • Few crowds
  • Minimal amentities and no lodging at base

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 80 mi (1.5 hour drive)
the continental divide loveland
The Continental Divide

Here at Loveland, you’ll find that classic mid-West ski experience – a small base lodge serving up inexpensive hot cocoa and comfort food, filled with locals who are all about skiing. While Loveland’s mountain stats are roughly on par with Breckenridge and Copper Mountain, it has a higher elevation which means it enjoys a longer season than most resorts and even has free cat skiing. It is often overlooked by destination skiers because it lacks the amenities of its rival resorts to the west. For restaurants beyond those offered at the base area, you either need to drive to Silverthorne or Georgetown. For lodging, you’ll find plenty in Silverthorne.

Map View

Known for

Closest resort to Denver, although small in size

Highlights

  • Under an hour's drive away from Denver!
  • Your cheapest ski option near Denver
  • Night-skiing available on the whole mountain
  • Tiny ski area served by 1 chairlift

Closest airports

Denver Intl. Airport - 60 mi (1.5 hour drive)
breckenridge ski resort colorado
Colorado has a lot of offer… if you’re willing to drive

Echo is the closest resort to Denver but if you are driving, make sure your car has all-wheel drive, as the winding roads can get ‘interesting’ during the winter. Coming in at only 600 ft of vertical drop, all runs are a top-to-bottom affair, and all serviced by a single triple chair. If you’re a beginner skier, traveling on a budget, or value proximity to Denver, then Echo Mountain would no doubt be the best place to try out the sport in a low-commitment setting. But if you’re a powderhound at heart, Echo Mountain will disappoint.

The 6 Best Closest Ski Resorts Near Denver
Winter Park Resort
Keystone Resort
Arapahoe Basin
Eldora
Loveland
Echo Mountain
Winter Park Resort