When it comes to ski resort options in Colorado, there are no lack of choices. It’s one of the best states to go skiing in the US. It can be difficult to narrow down which resorts should be on the top of your Colorado skiing bucket list. Most skiers will agree that ski and snow conditions are the most important factors when planning a Colorado ski vacation. The ski villages at the base of the mountains are also important when it comes to deciding on a destination. We put together a list of the five best ski resorts in Colorado to help you narrow down which one is best for you. The après-ski opportunities, atmosphere, and accommodation options have all been taken into consideration when compiling this list.
5 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado
Vail Mountain Resort
When it comes to skiing in Colorado, Vail Mountain Resort is one of the biggest resorts around. At 5,289 acres, it is the third-largest single-mountain ski resort in the US. With 31 lifts, 3,450 feet of vertical, and 195 runs, Vail Mountain Resort is epic.
The extensive and varied terrain means the resort can accommodate all levels of skiers from beginners to experts. Beginner and intermediate skiers enjoy the front groomed runs, while more advanced skiers and experts will find excellent tree skiing, moguls, and the seven legendary Back Bowls.
There is a wide variety of lodging options in the Vail area. Vail Village is the center of all the action while Golden Peak is a great area for families, and Cascade is a quiet village.
Besides being one of the best places in North America to ski, Vail offers ice skating, dog sledding, snowboarding, the Mountain Coaster, horseback riding, fireside s’mores, adventure zones, and more so you’ll never run out of things to do at Vail Mountain Resort.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
No Colorado ski resort list would be complete without Breckenridge Ski Resort.
Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the most visited ski resorts in the western hemisphere.
Breckenridge has terrain for everyone, with green, blue, and black diamond runs lower down on the mountain, moguls, and beginner-friendly areas. From groomed runs through the trees to extraordinary high alpine bowls that you can access with a lift, Breckenridge is the complete package. And with even a minimal amount of hiking off the Imperial Chairlift, you can find some outstanding terrain. The exposed bowls offer unparalleled skiing opportunities for advanced skiers. This is the place to come for anyone looking to push their skill level beyond intermediate.
The skiing is high, with a base elevation that begins at 9,600 feet. The Imperial Chairlift on Peak 8 is the highest lift in North America, and the hill’s summit elevation is 12,998 feet.
You can’t go wrong taking a Breckenridge ski vacation, especially if you stay on-site and utilize the amazing ski in/ski out properties.
Within driving distance of Breckenridge, you can find snowmobile rentals, carriage rides, historic tours, gondola rides, snowcat tours, snowshoeing, indoor and outdoor ice skating, ski and snowborading lessons, and much more. One of our favorite activities at Breckenridge, other than skiing, is riding 2,500 feet down the mountain on the Gold Runner Coaster.
The main street in Breckenridge is very walkable and has lovely shops and restaurants. There are play areas and museums for the kids and plenty of choices for the adults.
Snowmass is a ski resort located in the Town of Snowmass Village near Aspen, Colorado. Snowmass is the largest of the four Aspen Snowmass mountains, comprising more than 3,100 acres. Aspen Snowmass is a combination of four ski areas around Aspen and Snowmass Village. The four mountains together, which consist of Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk, cover a massive amount of terrain, rivaling Vail in sheer size.
During winter, Snowmass is covered with perfect Colorado powder, and it offers slopes for all levels from serene to extreme. Twenty-one lifts deliver you to more than 3,300 acres of trails, terrain parks and pipes, on-mountain dining and accommodations, and picturesque views.
But it isn’t just about the size or the slopes at Aspen Snowmass. It’s about the people, the welcoming vibe, and the picturesque village that makes you feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie.
From the moment you arrive at Aspen Snowmass, you’ll feel the warmth of the people. I challenge you to find one employee that doesn’t greet you with a smile and a warm greeting. No other mountain offers the same level of “down home” feel that you’ll find at Aspen Snowmass.
Snowmass Village has a very traditional ski village atmosphere, with pedestrian-only streets lined with shops and restaurants. This is a good place to base yourself if you plan on skiing at Snowmass.
From world-class skiing to high class dining, Snowmass Village is the ultimate playground. With 90% slopeside lodging, you can find the perfect place to stay in Snowmass, Colorado.
Beaver Creek is one of my favorite places to visit in the US regardless of the season.
It’s known as a luxury, family-friendly mountain because of its top-notch ski school and five-star services. It’s also home to some seriously challenging terrain, including the Birds of Prey World Cup racecourse, which features a vertical drop of 2,470 feet.
With over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain, this hill offers a full range of runs for all abilities but it is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners. The resort does an exceptional amount of grooming, creating perfect conditions for new skiers.
At Beaver Creek, it’s all about the little things. There are escalators to transport you to the slopes from the plaza and bus area. There are slope-side ski valets to store your gear and warm your boots, and multiple equipment rental locations found all over the village. There are plenty of dining options and picture-perfect accommodations. The attention to detail continues with free cookies handed out daily at the bottom of the slopes. Little is left to be desired at Beaver Creek.
Keystone Resort ranks as one of the top family resorts for skiing and snowboarding in the world. This world-class, three-mountain resort offers more than 3,000 skiable acres of terrain, with plenty of terrain options for everyone in the family. From gentle groomers, rolling cruisers and steep bumps to powder-filled bowls and the award winning A51 Terrain Park, Keystone is the perfect playground for all ability levels from beginners to rippers.
Keystone is spread over three mountains, each taking you back farther into the wilderness, away from the resort. As a result, the deeper you go, often the less crowded the skiing becomes. This is a large resort with 20 lifts and terrain to suit every ability, making it perfect for families.
The runs on the first mountain, Decorum Mountain, are primarily groomed cruisers and beginner runs. Beyond this is North Peak with slightly more advanced terrain, including moguls and steep runs. At the back is The Outback, with the resort’s highest peak at just under 12,000 feet. This area is also designed for intermediate and advanced skiers and boarders.
For those looking for even more adventure, the resort offers CAT skiing, providing access to a number of bowls. Keystone Resort also lays claim to “Colorado’s longest ski day” due to its night skiing schedule.
Keystone also has the largest night skiing in Colorado, available on most weekends and holidays.
Aside from hitting the ski slopes, Keystone offers lots of other great winter attractions like cross country skiing, skating, tubing, or a horse-drawn stagecoach.