Colorado is a gorgeous state with some of the most epic mountain towns in the United States. If you are a ski or snowboard enthusiast, then a winter getaway to one of the many mountain towns in Colorado is a must. From the softest powder snow to beautiful ski-in chalets, your winter wonderland dream vacation awaits.
Here are the 15 top-rated Colorado ski resorts and why they are loved.
1. Aspen Snowmass / Aspen Buttermilk
Aspen Snowmass is probably the most widely known ski destination in Colorado. It holds a prestigious reputation as one of the best in the world and sees visitors from all over. Aspen has several ski mountains with the most popular being Snowmass, which gets almost 300 inches of snow and has over 3,100 feet of skiable terrain with 20 lifts. This is a great mountain to stay on for a week at a time. There is also Buttermilk Mountain which is home to the X Games and features an awesome terrain park, making this mountain a destination for every ski and snowboard enthusiast.
Staying in Aspen can be quite expensive, but that is because you can expect world-class accommodations at every hotel. The dining scene is incredible and there is high-end shopping, making the area popular with celebrities.
2. Vail Ski Resort
Vail is one of the higher-end mountains and communities in Colorado. Located off I-70, it can be easier to get to in the winter than Aspen. Vail is in what is definitely considered a high country, reaching almost 12,000 feet in elevation. It gets over 350 inches of snowfall each season. Vail Mountain has over 31 lifts and over 5,200 acres of terrain making this a great weeklong destination.
Vail has a lot of high-end mountainside cabins, hotels, and ski-in options. With a bustling mountain town downtown area with lots of restaurants and shopping, Vail makes for a great vacation getaway even for the non-skier.
3. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Breckenridge, often shortened to Breck, is a world-known ski town with a great mountain that serves all levels of skiers. Breck has 31 lifts with over 2,300 feet of terrain and is a popular mountain for travelers as well as locals. Breck is nestled in Summit County nearby Keystone and Copper, so if you choose you could visit other nearby mountains.
Breckenridge is a popular destination for families or even singles looking for a winter escape. Non-skiers can try snowshoeing, snowmobiling, or just hit the downtown. Downtown Breckenridge is a beautiful town like something from a movie. There are lots of food, nightlife, shopping, art galleries, and breweries to explore.
4. Copper Mountain
Copper Mountain is an exciting resort to visit any time of the year. In the winter, it sees over 278 inches of snow and has 22 lifts with over 2,400 feet of terrain. Copper is one of the lesser talked about mountains worldwide, but is a Colorado favorite. The resort has lots of food options and great hotel and cabin experiences for the whole family. There is even a single-person roller coaster that takes you on an epic adventure through the mountains. In the summer, Copper is a top choice for downhill mountain biking. Getting to Copper is easy because it is right off I-70 right by the towns of Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Dillon, and Frisco.
5. Telluride Ski Resort
Telluride Ski Resort is often the number one rated ski resort in Colorado. Its small-town charm paired with incredible San Juan Mountain views make this a worldwide destination. Telluride is in the area known as the Swiss Alps of Colorado. Telluride Ski Resort gets over 276 inches of snow, has 18 lifts with over 2,000 acres of terrain. People love taking the gondola up to the mountain for the full Colorado experience.
Telluride is a little more off the beaten path than some of the more known mountains and is a good 5-6 hour drive from Denver. There is a small airport nearby so guests can fly directly to this amazing destination.
6. Crested Butte Ski Resort
Crested Butte is a gorgeous area in Colorado that is off the beaten path but worth the journey to get there. Crested Butte Ski Resort has over 250 inches of snow, with 1,500 feet of terrain and 16 lifts. In the summer, it is known for being the best for downhill mountain biking. In fact, Crested Butte is where mountain biking really transformed into the popular sport it is today. The options for lodging are all incredible from resorts to cozy condos, and you can expect nothing but breathtaking views.
8. Keystone Ski Resort
Keystone is a great mountain for beginners to extremists. Keystone Resort has night riding and even a terrain park with fun jumps for tricksters. Keystone is the second largest mountain as far as terrain, just behind Vail, with over 3,148 acres and 20 lifts. Located om Summit County, it is an easy drive from Denver and is nearby the towns of Breckenridge, Silverthorne, Frisco, and Dillon.
- Loveland Ski Area
Loveland is the closest mountain to Denver making it a great choice for those who want to hang out in the city as well. Loveland has 10 lifts and 1800 acres. Loveland is a more affordable mountain with just as much awesome terrain as the most notable mountains in Colorado. The summit of Loveland is over 12,700 feet and has incredible views when you make it to the top. Most lifts have options for easy and difficult terrain, and there is usually an abundance of untouched powder runs.
Visitors can stay in the nearby towns of Dillon, Georgetown, or Idaho Springs where there are tons of amazing restaurants and lodging options. Loveland is usually the first mountain to open and the last mountain to close in Colorado giving it the longest season. It closes in July so you can be skiing in the summer months. Loveland Ski has conveniently located off I-70 and just 45 minutes away from Denver. It is located before the tunnel making it easy to get to even in a snowstorm.
9. Steamboat Ski Resort
Steamboat is a top-rated mountain destination for seeing ski and snowboard enthusiasts from around the world. With almost 3,000 acres of skiable terrain and 18 lifts, this mountain can keep you busy for a long trip. It gets the second most snow in the state, just behind Purgatory, at 368 inches a season. Steamboat Springs has incredible lodging options right on the mountain so you can ski in and ski out of your room for a weekend of fun.
Steamboat Springs is located in Northern Colorado and is a popular town with lots to do. There is a cute downtown area with great hotel options, entertainment, shopping, and dining options.
Strawberry Hot Springs is a nearby remote hot spring that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This naturally fed spring from the earth is the number one hot spring destination in Colorado. If you are in the Steamboat area, a soak in Strawberry Hot Springs should be on your to-do list.
10. Monarch Ski
Monarch Mountain is located near Salida, Colorado which is not off the main highway. The traffic to get to Monarch is usually better, and it is not as crowded as the most popular mountains in Colorado. There is an abundance of terrain for beginners to advanced skiers. Monarch is a smaller mountain with 800 acres of terrain and 7 lifts. Don’t let the size fool you though, because Monarch is a top-rated mountain loved by locals and travelers. The runs are long and have amazing views of the Continental Divide.
Salida is a great town to stay in with hotel options usually with hot tubs or hot springs. Nearby there are amazing natural hot spring options, from private chalets with hot springs to the world-class Mount Princeton Hot Spring Resort.
11. Wolf Creek Ski Resort
Wolf Creek is in Southern Colorado and very close to the New Mexico border. It is located in the San Juan Mountains which is a highly rated mountain range known for its spectacular views and for getting the best powder. Wolf Creek gets the most snow in the entire state – just under 400 inches a season! It beats out even the top-rated resorts like Vail and Aspen. With 7 lifts and 1600 acres of terrain, this mountain is worth the travel.
Wolf Creek is near the cute mountain town of Pagosa Springs. Located downtown Pagosa Springs is a world-class hot spring resort that sits on a river. The downtown area has incredible food options and great places to stay. If you stay at Pagosa Hot Springs you have unlimited 24-hour hot spring access.
12. Beaver Creek Ski Resort
Beaver Creek is a smaller mountain compared to the mega-resorts, however, its terrain and accommodations are just as elite. This mountain is highly rated and sees over 325 inches of snow, constantly boasting great power. There are 25 lifts with over 1,815 acres of terrain, featuring a terrain park and even cross-country options. Beaver Creek is located in Avon, Colorado which is just down the street from Vail, making it a great option for those traveling to Vail to check out as well.
13. Winter Park Ski Resort
Winter Park is the 4th largest ski mountain with 25 lifts and over 3,000 acres of terrain. They see a lot of snow, with over 347 inches, promising a lot of fresh powder. It has previously been called the Best Ski Resort in America and has been in operation for over 80 years. There is more to do than just ski too. There is snow tubing, snowshoeing, and lots of fun winter activities for the whole family.
14. Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort
Sunlight Mountain is the smallest mountain on this list, with only 3 lifts total and under 500 acres of terrain. Despite its small size in comparison to the others, this mountain is still top-rated and sees over 232 inches of snow every year. The summit of Sunlight is 9,895 ft so it can be an easier adjustment for those traveling from sea level.
Sunlight is located just outside of Glenwood Springs which is a beautiful mountain town with an abundance of hot springs. Visitors can ski Sunlight during the day, and soak their sore muscles in a relaxing hot spring in the evening.
Guests flying into Denver can easily rent a car or take a shuttle to Glenwood Springs. There is a downtown area with a variety of shopping and plenty of nearby hotels to choose from. The area has a lot of newly renovated options and is conveniently located right off I-70. Glenwood Springs has several breweries and a wide selection of restaurant options as well.
15. Purgatory Ski Resort
Purgatory Ski Resort is located in Durango, Colorado which is an off-the-beaten-path destination. Durango is a beautiful town with several hot springs to enjoy after a day of skiing. Located in the San Juan Mountains, the area is known as the Swiss Alps of Colorado with cute mountain towns surrounded by epic peaks.
Purgatory has 1360 acres of terrain and 10 lifts. The summit is almost 11,000 feet in elevation and they get over 264 inches of snow. Purgatory is an older mountain with a classic feel, but definitely a Colorado favorite.