10 Best Colorado Ski Resorts
The 10 best ski resorts in Colorado encompass a wide range of slopes, terrain and activities for beginners, experts and even non-skiers. The resorts hope for the perfect balance of snow: Enough to cover the slopes, but not so much that people can't get to the mountain. But with 55 peaks higher than 14,000 feet in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, it's unlikely that you'll find it difficult any time to make it to one of these great Colorado ski resorts. Here they are, listed alphabetically.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Aspen
Four ski areas with more than 320 ski runs and a ritzy reputation make this Colorado ski resort a worldwide magnet for celebrities and ski enthusiasts alike.
Be sure to check out:The nightlife; there's no telling which celebrity might be shaking his or her booty on the dance floor.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Beaver Creek
Of the 10 best ski resorts in Colorado, this is the youngest, having opened in 1980. It's since grown to more than 1,800 acres of skiable area.
Be sure to check out: The shops, restaurant, bars and art galleries in Beaver Creek Village.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Breckenridge
Sure you can hit the slopes at this legendary Colorado ski resort, but you might want to also tour the Country Boy mine or go dogsledding with a team of Siberian Huskies.
Be sure to check out: The Breckenridge Brewery & Pub for hearty food and some of the best hand-crafted beer in the country.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Keystone
Recently expanded terrain parks make this Colorado ski resort a top destination for everyone from beginning to expert snowboarders. There's plenty for skiers of all skill levels as well, with 116 trails on more than 3,000 acres of skiable area.
Be sure to check out: The Summit House on the peak of Dercum Mountain, where you can enjoy an affordable meal or sip hot chocolate or an adult beverage in comfort at 11,640 feet above sea level.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Purgatory (Durango)
Despite its ominous name, a family-friendly atmosphere permeates this Colorado ski resort, with plenty of activities for children and teens. Of course, experts have plenty to choose from as well, such as tree-skiing runs and two terrain parks.
Be sure to check out: Moonlight snowshoe tours.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Steamboat Springs
This Colorado ski resort town has produced 69 Winter Olympians, more than any other town in North America. Perhaps its 2,965 acres of permitted ski terrain has something to do with that.
Be sure to check out: Mountaintop evening dining at one of the resort area's three restaurants that you'll need to ride on a gondola to enjoy.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Silverton
Beginners need not apply at this Colorado Ski Resort. The highest ski area in North America requires all lift riders to be outfitted with avalanche gear. Its "easiest run" has a 35-degree slope; 30 degrees is considered steep at other resorts.
Be sure to check out: The Montanya Distillers tasting room in town, where you can sample the craft distillery's small-batch rums.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Telluride
The longest run at this Colorado ski resort is the 4.6-mile "Galloping Goose." But don't let that scare you off if you're a novice: Twenty-three percent of its 125 total trails are beginner level.
Be sure to check out: The Eco Adventures Program, which offers such activities as snowmobile tours, ice climbing and heli-skiing.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Vail
This is the largest of the 10 best Colorado ski resorts – in fact, at more than 5,000 acres, it's the largest in the United States.
Be sure to check out: The Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts: Winter Park
This is the closest of the 10 best Colorado ski resorts to the Denver, and therefore one of the most popular with locals. The resort makes its snow early in the season to guarantee a pre-Thanksgiving opening.
Be sure to check out: The helmet cam rentals, so you can bring home DVD of a your-eyes-view of your adventures, taken from a camera strapped to your goggles.
Photo by Gerard Walen