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The Best Ski Resorts in Colorado to Book Now

The ski resorts of Colorado are up and running for another winter season, so now is the time to book your Colorado ski resort vacation.

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Skier skiing downhill in high mountains, Matterhorn area, SwitzerlandSamot/Shutterstock

Skiing for all ages and levels

Whether you’re just getting started on the slopes, plan to head straight to the double black diamond trails, or prefer the less strenuous après ski activities, there are Colorado ski resorts ready to host you, your family, and friends this winter. Here are the best ski resorts for beginners to book now, the ski resorts with the most affordable skiing in Colorado, the Colorado ski resort kids will love most, the closest ski resort to Denver, and more advice for your next ski destination vacation. You’ll also want to check out these 11 vacations perfect for people who love winter.

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The best Colorado ski resort for kids

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Already ranking as one of the ski resorts you must visit in 2020, Beaver Creek is also the one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for kids and families thanks to “its innovative 3 p.m. cookie program: Warm cookies served at the end of the ski day as you leave the slopes,” reports But that’s not all, Beaver Creek Resort is beloved by families because there is children’s story time on the hill, Thursday-night lights (a glow-stick ski procession followed by fireworks), snow tubing, and ice skating too. Beaver Creek also has the “Ski Girls Rock program, an exclusive ski camp for girls designed by Olympic gold medalist and World Alpine ski champion Lindsey Vonn.”


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The best Colorado ski resort for beginners

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Located in Leadville, the modestly-sized mountain at Cooper is one of the oldest ski resorts in the United States and features a “huge beginner area with the state’s longest Magic Carpet conveyor lift,” according to Nomad Colorado. The site goes on to point out that the carpet isn’t the only bit of magic here because, “Cooper has no lift lines, not even on the weekends!” Of course, there’s also a ski school for beginners to get their feet wet and snowy. Skiing in Colorado makes for an excellent wintertime destination vacation; find out the best winter destinations in each state.


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The easiest ski resort to get to

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Of the many ski areas in Colorado, Loveland is the ski resort the closest to Denver—it’s just 53 miles from downtown and 80 miles from the airport. Loveland offers free snowcat skiing along the Continental Divide, spans around and over the Eisenhower Tunnel, and according to Bearfoot Theory, “on a powder day at Loveland, riding the bowls from the second-highest quad lift in the world is the best feeling in the world; shortly followed by the feeling of leaving behind the Summit County traffic and taking the Loveland Pass exit to the free parking lots at the base.” Discover the best weekend getaway in every state.


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Most affordable ski resort in Colorado

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At just $68 per day for adults and $45 for kids and seniors, Sunlight Mountain offers the perfect mix of great skiing at a great price, especially for this prime location (one hour north of Aspen) among Colorado ski resorts. Uncover Colorado says to “get ready for some of the best skiing of your life if you come here after it snows.” The site also reports that “if you purchase your tickets online at Sunlight in advance you can save money off already reasonable day passes.” Find out 24 inexpensive winter travel deals for 2020.


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Best Colorado ski resort for learning to ski

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Nomad Colorado notes that while “Buttermilk [Ski Area] is probably best known as the home of the Winter X Games and the Red Bull Double Pipe event, the mountain is also easy-going for beginners and families.” This is because Buttermilk offers novices the chance to go skiing in Colorado on an extensive amount of uncrowded beginner terrain. Nomad Colorado goes on to say that, “Beginners can ski throughout the entire Colorado ski resort on very easy slopes, and there’s the Panda Hill practice area in the valley with a double chair lift, tow rope, and people mover,” making Buttermilk the ideal ski destination for families to start skiing. Find out 40 affordable destinations for a family vacation. 

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Best month to ski in Colorado

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Skiing in Colorado is reliably “on” from late November to mid-April but for the best mix of smaller crowds and fresh snow, “February is the best time to ski in Colorado,” says Undercover Tourist. This is because “the base depth of snow on the mountains is at its deepest, and there is plenty of powder still pouring in.” Plus, by February, all the Colorado ski resorts are fully open, meaning there are acres and acres of terrain for optimum skiing in Colorado. Although if you wait until March, you will likely see warmer temps. Pro tip: avoid Presidents’ Day weekend and the crowds that the holiday brings. Find out the best places to travel every month of the year.


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The most expensive ski resort in Colorado

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In Out There Colorado’s ranking of the most expensive ski resorts in Colorado, The Aspen Mountains ring up the highest charge on your credit card. While the current season’s $162 one-day lift ticket price is eye-popping, the important caveat is that you get access to four of the best snow skiing mountains in Colorado (Aspen Snowmass, Highlands, Buttermilk, and Ajax) for that one price.



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Best mountain to ski in Colorado

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According to Snowpak, not only is Telluride the best ski resort in Colorado, it is the best in the country. This is because there are “over 2,000 acres of outstanding ski terrain, 148 trails, and more than 300 inches of velvety powder blanketing the mountain each year.” The snow skiing expert site goes on to point out that “Telluride serves up everything from kid’s nursery slopes to intense off-piste.” Here are the other best places to ski in the United States.


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Best night skiing in Colorado

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Of all the ski towns and resorts in Colorado, Keystone offers the longest snow skiing day and the best opportunity to watch a stunning sunset on the slopes. The resort advertises that “in the winter, treat yourself and your family to après-ski specials, unique dinner experiences, and night skiing beneath the stars until 8 p.m., on multiple lighted trails on weekends and peak holiday periods.” Keystone is also one of the best spring break destinations if you want to avoid the crowds.


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The best ski town in Colorado

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With a trio of interstate exits, Vail isn’t only accessible, you can also make your friends back home super jealous with Instagram photos of the snowfall in the famous ski town. As PlanetWare notes, “Vail caters largely to high-end travelers, with luxury accommodation, fine dining, and upscale shopping.” Stay at the recently renovated Vail Marriott Residence Mountain Resort to take advantage of the Icelantic Skis package; a demo of the brand’s all-mountain or backcountry touring skis and other goodies are included in the price. Vail is one of the destinations that is absolutely better in winter.


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Best hot springs for a soak after skiing in Colorado

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Per Colorado Ski Country USA, The Glenwood Hot Springs Resort “has the world’s largest hot springs pool, and is amongst Colorado’s most popular hot springs destinations.” If you fancy a relaxing swim to ease your achy bones and muscles after a day of snow skiing at Sunlight Mountain Resort just 12 miles away, Glenwood has hot springs waiting for you. Read on for 10 of the most gorgeous hot springs in the world.


Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment, and more for Reader's Digest. Jeff has also written for Parents Magazine, Esquire, PBS, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. He is the proud dad of teen daughters. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK.