Colorado Ski Towns Best Places to Live

Colorado Ski Towns

Where are the best places to live with easy ski resort access?

ski resort access Colorado is full of world-class ski resorts and ski towns. Any one of these top-notch resorts has a community or town situated right at the base of the ski area. These ski areas cover large mountainous acreage and ski resort access can be obtained from a variety of places. Making slopeside access or living nearby very possible.

The main downside to this ski lifestyle is that it’s rather expensive. Housing is very expensive and unobtainable except for the wealthy elite these days. What used to be the “Ski Bum” lifestyle is not available anymore. However, if skiing or riding is a priority for you, check out other nearby Colorado towns. With so many high-quality ski areas in Colorado, any small town is not that far away. Plus there are ways to work into the immediate ski resort community if that’s what you truly desire.

Here is a quick breakdown of the most popular Ski Resorts in Colorado and their respective cost of living index.

Most Popular Colorado Resorts


Resort Name


COL Index

Aspen, Snowmass, Buttermilk Ski Resort


Telluride Ski Resort


Crested Butte Mountain Resort




Beaver Creek Resort - Avon


Copper Mountain


Breckenridge Ski Resort


Keystone Resort


Winter Park Resort


Steamboat Springs Resort


ski resort access slope

Inexpensive ski towns in Colorado

The idea of inexpensive does not really coincide with Colorado ski towns. The easiest way to find a Colorado ski town that will fit your needs is to start off by understanding where you fit into the national cost of living index. The index of 100 represents the national average cost of living. Anything higher than 100 is that percent more expensive and visa-versa. Aspen’s cost of living index is 305. That means it is 205 % higher than the national average. The variables that are taken into account for calculating this number are the median home cost, utilities, transportation, health, grocery, and miscellaneous costs. Generally speaking in Colorado, it’s the housing cost that contributes to the high cost of living index, but look around.

What is the most affordable Colorado ski town to live in?

Affordable ski towns are hard to find anymore, but here is a list of lesser-known ski resorts that would fall into the idea of an affordable ski town. Unlike the above most popular ski resorts. Many of the lesser-known resorts don't have immediate ski resort access from a base area ski town. Other than a base at the ski area and a few ski chalets, most people have to live in the mentioned nearby town.

Lesser-known Colorado Resorts

Resort Name / Nearby Town


COL Index

Sunlight Mnt Resort - Glenwood Springs (near Glenwood)


Powderhorn Mnt resort - Grand Junction (WS, Grand Junction)


Silverton Mountain Ski Area - Silverton (SW Co, Silverton)


Purgatory Resort - Durango (SW Co, near Durango)


Wolf Creek Resort - Del Norte (SW CO, near Del Norte)


Monarch Mountain - Salida (S Central, near Salida)


Ski Cooper - Breck, Copper (Central, near Breckenridge)


Arapahoe Basin Ski Area (Central, near Dillon)


Loveland Ski Area (central, near Dillon)


Eldora Mountain Resort (front range, near Nederland)


Ski Granby Ranch - Granby (Granby)


Ski Towns and Living Further Away from the Lifts

Whether you intend to live further away or that’s the only option available to you. The further away you get from ski resorts, housing is easier to find, and the cost of living goes down. It’s not a bad idea and perhaps a blessing in disguise. There are plenty of small Colorado mountain towns that are affordable.  Many of these towns are around or below the average national cost of living index.


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