Ski Resorts in Colorado

The Southern Rockies in Colorado is known for its incredible snow quality, high elevation, cold temperatures, and great snowmaking; all of which make it ideal for early season skiing.

Pros

  • The highest concentration of world famous ski resorts
  • Exceptional snow quality – light and fluffy ‘Champagne powder’
  • Unbeatable elevation

Cons

  • Less snowfall than Utah and California
  • Expensive to ski and stay at some resorts
  • Terrible traffic on the I-70 highway (main route for a large number of resorts)

Getting there

  • Fly into Denver International Airport: it’s the main gateway to most Colorado ski resorts.
  • Best way to resorts from Denver is by driving or taking a shuttle bus (where possible). Majority of ski destinations are a few hours’ drive away but the closest ski resorts to Denver can be as close as a 1-hour drive.
  • Things you need to know: Most of the big name resorts require traveling on the I-70 highway which is notorious for its bad traffic. Our guide to driving the I-70 will tell you how to avoid the worst of it.
  • Where to stay: Larger ski resorts in Colorado have a base village with an array of accommodation options, though be prepared to pay a bit for it. For smaller resorts, nearby towns generally offer some choices. If you’re skiing in the Summit County area, the towns of Frisco and Silverthorne offer a range of affordable lodging.

Colorado is also home to all the big household names as well as a number of hidden gems which are often overlooked. That’s why we’ve teamed up with the locals and our writers who have skied the area to bring you a list of the 10 best ski resorts in Colorado!

If it’s your first time in Colorado, then you’ll want to ski the big names. These are large resorts with strong brands and are very popular with destination skiers. The mountains are nothing to scoff at, and you can expect top-notch amenities, activities and après ski options in town. This also means that most things (food, lodging, lift tickets) come at a premium and a good chance of crowds.

These resorts have a good balance of what locals keep coming back for: variety in terrain, cheap lift tickets, and tranquil mountains. They are more low-key than other Colorado resorts and often overlooked by destination skiers, so are able to maintain a more relaxed atmosphere. The trade-off is that the amenities are a bit lacking.

There’s a seemingly endless choice of ski resorts here but which ones are best for families? Our local insider Alan Murakami has raised twin boys on the snow and has found the 3 best ski resorts in Colorado based on accessibility, facilities, and affordability.

StatResorts
Best for BeginnersButtermilk
Best for IntermediatesCopper Mountain, Snowmass
Best for Advanced and ExpertsArapahoe Basin, Telluride, Aspen Highlands
Best for All-rounderBeaver Creek, Copper Mountain
Highest Summit ElevationSilverton Mountain 
Highest number of runsVail
Largest ski areaVail
Highest number of liftsBreckenridge
Resort Areas in

Colorado

Ski resorts in

Colorado

Arapahoe Basin
10% 30% 60%
Aspen Highlands
0% 23% 77%
Aspen Mountain
0% 48% 52%
Beaver Creek
19% 42% 39%
Breckenridge
11% 31% 58%
Buttermilk
35% 39% 26%
Copper Mountain
21% 25% 54%
Crested Butte
26% 57% 17%
Echo Mountain
10% 75% 15%
Eldora
18% 43% 39%
Keystone
14% 29% 57%
Loveland
13% 41% 46%
Monarch Mountain
23% 28% 49%
Powderhorn
20% 50% 30%
Purgatory
20% 45% 35%
Snowmass
5% 48% 47%
Steamboat
14% 42% 44%
Telluride
23% 36% 41%
Vail
18% 29% 53%
Winter Park Resort
24% 37% 39%
Wolf Creek
20% 35% 45%