Best Colorado Ski Resorts for a Perfect Winter Vacation
We'll just come right out and say it: Colorado has the best skiing in the U.S. Sorry to anyone who disagrees; sometimes, the truth is uncomfortable.
The state has so many visit-worthy ski resorts that it can be dizzying to choose where to go. Luckily, you'll find something to fit your exact needs, whether you want a glitzy après-ski scene or a laid-back family atmosphere, and whether you're looking for beginner-friendly slopes or deserted trails for experts.
Check out the best Colorado ski resorts for an active snow-filled getaway.
Note: We may earn money from affiliate partners if you buy through links on our site.
10. Eldora Ski Resort
Just 21 miles from Boulder, Eldora is a favored playground for the city's snow sports aficionados. The resort boasts 61 trails and 680 skiable acres suited to different levels. And if this is your first time skiing, you can go with confidence, as Eldora is considered the state's best beginner's slope. This is because — unlike in other places — you won't run into expert skiers at the end of their run, so you won't have to worry about falling and going slowly while others whisk past you.
If this resort has a flaw, it's that it doesn't have any lodging, but there are plenty of cabins to be rented in nearby Netherland. Or, if you don't mind the drive, simply stay in beautiful Boulder.
Where to stay: Creekside Netherland Cabin
9. Silverton Mountain Ski Resort
Silverton Mountain is basically the opposite of Eldora, as it's recommended only for advanced or expert-level skiers. This isn't the place to come if you want to be pampered. Rather, it's perfect for anyone who wants to spend as much time on the mountain with few people around.
The average snowfall is 400 inches (which the resort proudly points out is more than the number of daily visitors). A single chairlift will take you up the mountain. Or, if you want something more thrilling, splurge on a heli-skiing adventure.
Where to stay: Historic Silverton Lodge
8. Winter Park Ski Resort
Denver's closest major ski resort, Winter Park is one of the most-visited snow sports destinations in the state. You'll have 3,000 skiable acres in the imposing Rocky Mountains.
Skiers appreciate the variety of activities they can partake in, which include bowl skiing, snowcat skiing and snowshoeing. And if you aren't quite ready to put your ski skills to the test, you're always welcome to enjoy the powdery snow by tubing.
Where to stay: Winter Park Mountain Lodge
7. Copper Mountain Ski Resort
Another famed resort near Denver, Copper Mountain is proud of its 140 trails and 2,500 acres available to skiers and snowboarders. Its terrain offers easy slopes for beginners but also trails challenging enough to train the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Olympic team.
Besides skiing, people choose Copper Mountain for its three pedestrian villages, where you can stroll around, taking in Colorado's famed breathtaking beauty.
Where to stay: Element 29 Hotel
6. Powderhorn Mountain Ski Resort
Located near Grand Junction in western Colorado, Powderhorn doesn't get as many out-of-state skiers as resorts near the state capital. And this can definitely be a good thing. Family-friendly and blessed with an average of 250 inches of snow, this is an underrated gem you should definitely check out.
The resort is perched on Grand Mesa, the world's largest flattop mountain. So, you can count on the terrain being as interesting for sports as it is astonishing.
Where to stay: Indian Creek Lodge
5. Telluride Ski Resort
Considered one of the prettiest small towns in Colorado, Telluride gives skiers access to 13 and 14 thousand peaks in the San Juan Mountains. With 2,000 acres of skiable land — 50 percent of which are beginner and intermediate runs — it's no mystery why this resort is so popular.
After a day of fun in the snow, you'll have plenty to do in town. Admire Victorian architecture along Main Street, and enjoy world-class dining. At night, treat yourself to a beer at Telluride Brewing Company's brewpub.
Where to stay: Viking Lodge
4. Breckenridge Ski Resort
This alpine ski resort is one of the most visited, not just in the state but in the entire U.S. This is the place for people who want to come with a large group of friends and alternate between skiing and partying. Or partying while skiing.
Breckenridge offers a total of five peaks and 3,000 acres as well as a lively après-ski scene that is laid back and a ton of fun. Look into concert offerings, as there are events throughout the season.
Where to stay: The Lodge at Breckenridge
3. Steamboat Springs Ski Resort
For those that consider Breckenridge to be too energetic, you'll find family-friendly Steamboat Springs. The vibe here is calm and laid back, as this is a ranching town that lives at a slower pace. But that by no means translates to boring. On the contrary, you'll find that activities like ice skating, snowmobiling and winter horseback riding complement skiing.
Locals like to boast that they have the most winter Olympians out of anywhere else in the country, which is why Steamboat Springs is often called Ski Town USA. Sure, it's a bit more out-of-the-way than other resorts in the state, but this is a plus in our book.
Where to stay: Steamboat Grand
2. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort
Aspen has several ski resorts from which visitors can choose. But if you can visit just one, make it Snowmass. For one, it has the largest mountain in the area, which means more options for different levels. Beginners have manicured groomers that make for easy learning, while more advanced athletes can have fun with the bumps and jumps.
Though the resort is a bit farther from the town of Aspen than others, it offers a wide variety of dining options and bars to keep you entertained after you're done skiing.
Where to stay: Capitol Peak Lodge by Snowmass Mountain Lodging
1. Vail Ski Resort
Far & Wide recently polled readers to determine the best ski destination in the United States. The undisputed winner was Vail, Colorado. Revolving around Vail Mountain, this gigantic resort has almost 5,300 acres open to skiers, making it one of the largest in the country.
You'll find seven black bowls and 195 trails but also numerous ski-in and ski-out hotels and a fine-dining scene worth a trip.
Where to stay: The Lodge at Vail