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Colorado Ski Areas

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Colorado Ski Areas

Wow! Colorado offers some of the best, if not the best skiing and boarding terrain in the United States. And it doesn't get much better than all the choices you'll have just west of Denver along the I-70 corridor. There is something for everyone: long groomed greenie slopes; deep and steep bowls; black diamonds that are thigh burners; intermediate trails and mild bumps; unbelievable terrain parks; and back country skiing that is unmatched. As good, there is a wide range of lodging options, plenty of good restaurants and fun nightlife, and even upscale shopping. And if you don't want to ski or board, then there are sleigh and dog sled rides, paragliding, trout fishing, tubing, cross country ski trails, and fantastic snowmobile trails.

Read about our fun Colorado Skiing Vacation where we skied, went snowmobiling, tubing, rode snowbikes down the mountain, went on a horse drawn sleigh ride, cross county skied to dinner in a yurt, and more.

Colorado Ski Areas
Colorado Ski Area Facts Colorado Ski Area Description Colorado Ski Area Picture

Arapahoe Basin

888-Arapahoe

Dillon, CO

No Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 13,050', Base - 10,780', Vertical Rise - 2,270'

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 7
  • Skiable Acres - 900
  • Number of Trails - 105
  • Longest Trail - 1.5 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 2
  • Beginner -10%
  • Intermediate - 30%
  • Advanced/Expert - 60%

Arapahoe Basin has one of the longest ski seasons in North America open from October to early June. One of the closest areas with good bowls, advanced and expert runs, and lower prices. This is where a lot of the Denver skiers play. A-Basin offer 360 degree views from summit, groomed runs, bowls, chutes, and glades.

From May to June, you're likely to find the locals have backed their vehicles up to the base of the mountain, brought their chairs, grills, and coolers and between runs are having a party and good time in the parking lot.

Black Mountain Lodge, located mid mountain, offers an Alpine Bistro menu and panoramic views of Black Mountain, the East Wall, and the Continental Divide from its deck. No lodging is available and the 6th Alley Bar is a great apres spot.

Aspen Highlands

970-925-1220

Aspen, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,675', Base - 8,040', Vertical Rise - 3,635'

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 5
  • Skiable Acres - 1,010
  • Number of Trails - 118
  • Longest Trail - 3.5 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 0
  • Beginner - 18%
  • Intermediate - 30%
  • Advanced/Expert - 52%

Celebrating over 50 years as the locals' favorite, Aspen Highlands boasts breathtaking vistas of the surrounding Maroon Bells and an abundance of expert terrain and groomed cruisers.

A hike to the 12,392' summit of Highland Bowl gives advanced skiers access to the ultimate in-bounds back country for a real skiing rush.

Aspen Highlands

Aspen Mountain

970-925-1220

Aspen, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,212', Base - 7,945', Vertical Rise - 3,267'

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 8
  • Skiable Acres - 673
  • Number of Trails - 76
  • Longest Trail - 3 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 0
  • Beginner - 0%
  • Intermediate - 48%
  • Advanced/Expert - 52%

Aspen Mountain is famous for its black-diamond terrain giving skiers glades, bumps, and steeps once you step off the lift. Aspen is home to the rich and famous and the town is quaint with lots of upscale shops, great restaurants, and fun nightlife.

There are plenty of lodging options ranging from huge beautiful homes to ski in/out options. For apres spots try Ajax Tavern, J-Bar at the Hotel Jerome, The Bar at the Little Nell, and La Cantina.

Aspen Mountain

Buttermilk

970-925-1220

Aspen, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 9,900', Base - 7,870', Vertical Rise - 2,030'

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 9
  • Skiable Acres - 435
  • Number of Trails - 44
  • Longest Trail - 3 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 2
  • Beginner - 35%
  • Intermediate - 39%
  • Advanced/Expert - 26%

Buttermilk has built its 50 year reputation on wide open and gently rolling trails that cater to beginners and families. They can also boast of the new Olympic-caliber, 22' super pipe in the legendary terrain park. Buttermilk is the home of the ESPN Winter X Games through 2012 and is rated #1 for "best pipe" by Transworld Snowboarding Magazine.

The Cliffhouse atop Buttermilk serves Mongolian BBQ and spectacular views. Bumps, at the base, has good pasta and is the apres ski spot.

Buttermilk Ski Area

Beaver Creek

970 754-4636

Beaver Creek, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,440', Base - 7,400', Vertical Rise - 4,040'

 

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 20 including 10 high speed quads
  • Skiable Acres - 1,805
  • Number of Trails - 146
  • Longest Trail - 2.75 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 1
  • Beginner - 34%
  • Intermediate - 39%
  • Expert - 27%

Beaver Creek is the perfect ski resort for a family ski vacation. It offers fantastic beginner runs as well as challenging and fun expert terrain, several choices for ski in ski out lodging, abundant family activities (six lane tubing hill, kids ski school, and more), plenty of shops, restaurants, bars, and apres ski options in the Beaver Creek Village.

For beginners and intermediate skiers, half of the skiable terrain is groomed each day and the other half offers plenty of powder, bumps, and tree skiing for the thrill-seekers. Check out BeaverCreekExtreme.com for info on extreme terrain, chutes, steep tree runs, double black diamonds, and terrain parks.

Beaver Creek Ski Area

970-496-5455

Breckenridge, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 12,998', Base - 9,600', Vertical Rise - 3,398'

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 30
  • Skiable Acres - 2,358
  • Number of Trails - 155
  • Longest Trail - 3.5 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 5
  • Beginner - 14%
  • Intermediate - 31%
  • Advanced/Expert - 55%

Breckenridge was named one of the top five ski locations in the world by the BBC in October 2006 and was ranked as the ninth best resort in the U.S. by SKI Magazine in 2008.

Four interconnected mountains in the Ten Mile Range of Summit County come together to create the Breckenridge ski area. These mountains, better known as Peaks 7, 8, 9, and 10, provide impeccable terrain for skiers and boarders of various levels.

Breckenridge Ski Area

Copper Mountain

800 458-8386

Copper Mountain, Co

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 12,313', Base - 9,712', Vertical Rise - 2,601

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 22
  • Skiable Acres - 2,465
  • Number of Trails -125
  • Longest Trail - 2.8 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 3
  • Beginner - 21%
  • Intermediate - 25%
  • Advanced/Expert - 54%

Copper's terrain is naturally divided for skiers of all abilities. The top of the mountain offers 4 excellent bowls for advanced and expert skiers. Copper is one of the largest and least crowded in the area.

The base has three sections with lodging, restaurants, bars, live music, and lift access. Kids will enjoy the tubing at East Village and the area at base of East Village is a perfect place for the youngsters and beginners.

Woodward at Copper is the world's only indoor ski and snowboard camp and training facility in the world.

Keystone

800-468-5004

Keystone, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,980', Base - 9,280', Vertical Rise - 3,128'

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 20
  • Skiable Acres - 2,870
  • Number of Trails - 135
  • Longest Trail - 3.5 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 2
  • Beginner - 19%
  • Intermediate - 32%
  • Advanced/Expert - 49%

The resort makes every effort to ensure memorable family vacations with good customer service and easy planning for parents and kids. Everyone here is friendly, friendly, friendly.

Keystone has three peaks, one behind another. In front is Dercum Mountain which is laced with beginner and intermediate terrain, plus some expert glades on its backside. In the middle is North Peak, and finally, The Outback. Other than one snaking green-circle trail, these latter peaks have just blue and black terrain.

Keystone Ski Area

Loveland

303-571-5580

Georgetown, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 13,010', Base - 10,800', Vertical Rise - 2,210'

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 10
  • Skiable Acres - 1,670
  • Number of Trails - 93
  • Longest Trail - 2 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 1
  • Beginner - 13%
  • Intermediate - 41%
  • Advanced/Expert - 46%

Just a short distance from Denver, locals love Loveland for its deep snow, expansive terrain, friendly, low-key atmosphere, lack of lift lines, free slope-side parking and separate beginner area offering an unintimidating learning area.

For lodging, stay in Denver, Dillon, Frisco, or Georgetown. The Rathskeller Bar at Loveland Basin is the place to hang after skiing - live music and a party atmosphere.

Loveland Ski Area

Ski Cooper

719-486-2277

Leadville, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,700', Base - 10,500', Vertical Rise - 1,200'

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 5
  • Skiable Acres - 400
  • Number of Trails - 26
  • Longest Trail - 1.25 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 1
  • Beginner - 30%
  • Intermediate - 40%
  • Advanced/Expert - 30%

Ski Cooper is where you can forget the hustle and bustle of the mega areas with their high prices and crowds. Ski Cooper offers a laid back and affordable ski experience for the family.

Don't expect high speed quads or hundreds of runs, or other fancy frills. Beginners and intermediates will enjoy this mountain.

The T Bar offers breakfast and lunch. Historic Leadville is the place for lodging, restaurants, and pubs.

Ski Cooper Mountain

Snowmass

970-925-1220

Aspen, CO

Snowmass Hospitality Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 12,510', Base - 8,104', Vertical Rise - 4,406'  

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 21
  • Skiable Acres - 3,132
  • Number of Trails - 91
  • Longest Trail - 5.3 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 3
  • Beginner - 6%
  • Intermediate - 50%
  • Advanced/Expert - 44%

Snowmass boasts of the most vertical drop, 4,406 feet, in the USA and offers a great variety of terrain for advanced, intermediate, and expert skiers.

Snowmass Village has upscale lodging with lots of ski in/out options, plenty of excellent shops and restaurants, and fun bars/pubs. with the sheer volume of terrain you must come back for multiple visits.

Snowmass Skiing

Vail

866-650-9020

Vail, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 11,570', Base - 8,120', Vertical Rise - 3,450'

 

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 34 including a 12 passenger gondola
  • Skiable Acres - 5,289
  • Number of Trails - 193
  • Longest Trail - 4 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 3
  • Beginner - 18%
  • Intermediate - 29%
  • Expert - 53%

With over 5,200 acres, Vail is the largest single ski mountain in North America. Vail offers skiers of all levels something to enjoy including 7 powdery bowls, fantastic back country skiing in the Blue Sky Basin, and 1500 acres of groomed terrain plus a yearly average of 346 inches of snowfall and 300 days of sunshine!

Vail is known for it's back bowls - 7 natural bowls with fluffy powder stretching over six miles wide. Blue Sky Basin is 645 acres of intermediate to expert natural, gladed terrain that is typically only available to skiers who hike or helicopter in.

Winter Park/Mary Jane

970-726-1564

Winter Park, CO

Lodging

Elevation: Peak - 12,060', Base - 9,000', Vertical Rise - 3,060'

Terrain & Services

  • Total Lifts - 24
  • Skiable Acres - 3,078
  • Number of Trails - 142
  • Longest Trail - 5.1 miles
  • Terrain Parks - 5
  • Beginner - 8%
  • Intermediate/Advanced - 17%/19%
  • Most Difficult /Expert - 53%/3%
If you are looking for VW sized bumps you need to visit Winter Park Resort also known for its huge annual snowfall with an average of 29 feet.This is an authentic Colorado resort and a favorite with the locals.
Mary Jane WinterPark Ski Area

Some Fast Facts About Other Colorado Ski Areas

 

Crested Butte

In the heartland of Colorado's Rocky Mountains, the old western style family friendly resort of Crested Butte has more challenging and extreme double black diamond terrain than any other resort in Colorado. Plus vibrant Victorian store-fronts, expressive local characters, and small town heritage.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 300"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 12,162'
    • Base - 9,375'
    • Vertical Rise - 3,062'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 23%
    • Intermediate - 57%
    • Advanced/Expert - 20%
    • Skiable Acres - 1,167
    • Number of Trails - 121
    • Longest Trail - 2.6 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 3
    • Total Lifts - 16

 

Echo Mountain

Denver's closest, cheapest, and freshest ski and snowboard area is close, welcoming, and very affordable.

 

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 215"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 10,650'
    • Base - 10,050'
    • Vertical Rise - 600'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner -
    • Intermediate -
    • Advanced/Expert -
    • Skiable Acres - 85
    • Number of Trails -
    • Longest Trail -
    • Terrain Parks - Yes
    • Total Lifts - 3

Eldora Mountain Resort

Close to Denver with charming local flavor and is best known for its diverse terrain, cross-country center, and outstanding children's SnowSports school.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 300'
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 10,800'
    • Base - 9,200'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,600'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 20%
    • Intermediate - 50%
    • Advanced/Expert - 30%
    • Skiable Acres - 680
    • Number of Trails - 53
    • Longest Trail - 3 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 3
    • Total Lifts - 12

 

Howelsen Hill

Located in downtown Steamboat Springs, Howelsen Hill offers affordable skiing and snowboarding - a great training hill. In fact you just might see present and future Olympians training here.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 150"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 7,136'
    • Base - 6,696'
    • Vertical Rise - 440'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 25%
    • Intermediate - 20%
    • Advanced/Expert - 55%
    • Skiable Acres - 50
    • Number of Trails - 15
    • Longest Trail - 1 mile
    • Terrain Parks - 0
    • Total Lifts - 4

       

Monarch Mountain

Where to go to get away from the crowds and small enough that you can park at the base of the mountain making it convenient and affordable for families with kids.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 350"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 11,952'
    • Base - 10,790'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,162'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 14%
    • Intermediate - 28%
    • Advanced/Expert - 27%/31%
    • Skiable Acres - 800
    • Number of Trails - 63
    • Longest Trail - 1 mile
    • Terrain Parks - 3
    • Total Lifts - 7

Powderhorn

Sitting on the edge of the Grand Mesa, Powderhorn prides itself as an affordable mountain getaway with a reputation for outstanding tree skiing and diverse terrain.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 250"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 9,850'
    • Base - 8,200'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,650'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 20%
    • Intermediate - 50%
    • Advanced/Expert - 30%
    • Skiable Acres - 1,600
    • Number of Trails - 46
    • Longest Trail - 1.5 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 2
    • Total Lifts - 4

Purgatory

In the heart of the San Juan Mountains, Purgatory is well known for it's unmatched scenery, terraced terrain that is ideal for all levels, and a historic town.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 260"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 10,822'
    • Base - 8,793'
    • Vertical Rise - 2,029'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 23%
    • Intermediate - 51%
    • Advanced/Expert - 26%
    • Skiable Acres - 1,20+
    • Number of Trails - 85
    • Longest Trail - 2.5 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 2
    • Total Lifts - 10

 

Silverton Mountain

Unparalleled big mountain powder with guided and unguided skiing with an emphasis on adventure. Silverton Mountain has non-groomed advanced and expert terrain only.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 400"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 13,487'
    • Base - 10,400'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,900'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 0%
    • Intermediate - 0%
    • Advanced/Expert - 100%
    • Skiable Acres - 1,819
    • Number of Trails - 69
    • Longest Trail - 2.5 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 1
    • Total Lifts - 1

Solvista Basin

A family favorite with great learn to ski and ride programs, convenient access, and affordable prices, plus stunning scenery, consistent trail grooming, and superior customer service.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 220"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 9,202'
    • Base - 8,202'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,000'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 50%
    • Intermediate - 30%
    • Advanced/Expert - 20%
    • Skiable Acres - 400
    • Number of Trails - 33
    • Longest Trail - 1.5 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 2
    • Total Lifts - 6

 

Steamboat Springs

An authentic western town with a big fun mountain to ski. Champagne powder, legendary trees, Olympic heritage, plenty of off mountain activities, lots of lodging options, and family oriented.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 352
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 10,568'
    • Base - 6,900'
    • Vertical Rise - 3,668'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 14%
    • Intermediate - 42%
    • Advanced/Expert - 44%
    • Skiable Acres - 2,965
    • Number of Trails - 165
    • Longest Trail - 4 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 3
    • Total Lifts - 18

 

Sunlight Mountain Resort

The hallmark of Sunlight is affordability and friendliness plus hundreds of acres of diverse terrain for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities - cruising corduroys, heart stopping steeps, and fantastic tree skiing at family friendly prices.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 250"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 9,895'
    • Base - 7,885'
    • Vertical Rise - 2,010'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 20%
    • Intermediate - 50%
    • Advanced/Expert - 25%
    • Skiable Acres - 470
    • Number of Trails - 67
    • Longest Trail - 2.5 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 2
    • Total Lifts - 3

Telluride

14,000 foot peaks offer you a spectacular ski experience plus a historic and colorful town which is just 8 blocks wide and 12 blocks long but filled with Victorian homes, award winning restaurants, and lively nightlife.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 309"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 13,320'
    • Base - 8,750'
    • Vertical Rise - 4,425'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 23%
    • Intermediate - 36%
    • Advanced/Expert - 41%
    • Skiable Acres - 2,000
    • Number of Trails - 120
    • Longest Trail - 4.6 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 3
    • Total Lifts - 18

 

Wolf Creek

Wolf Creek has a reputation for excellent early season skiing along with superior powder snow throughout the winter. There is fun terrain for every ski level.

Fast Facts

  • Average Snowfall: 465"
  • Elevation:
    • Peak - 11,904'
    • Base - 10,300'
    • Vertical Rise - 1,604'
  • Terrain:
    • Beginner - 20%
    • Intermediate - 35%
    • Advanced/Expert - 25%/20%
    • Skiable Acres - 1,600
    • Number of Trails - 77
    • Longest Trail - 2 miles
    • Terrain Parks - 0
    • Total Lifts - 7
 

Some of the above information came from the 2009/2010 Colorado Winter Vacation Planner - make sure you pick up a current copy during your stay.

Powder Travel has some great information and reviews on several Colorado Ski Areas.

 

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