Colorado Ski Resort Guide – compare resorts

Colorado Ski Resorts Guide

Colorado Ski Resort Guide

Ski Snowboard Resorts, Schools, Terrain Parks, Special Services and Features

This  Colorado Ski Resort Guide will help you navigate our world-famous resorts. You’ll find outstanding ski and snowboard schools, special services, and unique features throughout these ski resorts. Colorado is the place to be whether you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, want to advance your skills or check out something new such as guided tours or snowcat skiing.

Want to find specific resorts? Here’s the list:

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Colorado Ski Schools

In general, most ski resorts offer lessons for both skiing and snowboarding. They’re similar in offering private or group lessons, which can be scheduled for full or half days. What sets ski schools apart often depends on location, pricing, and other special ski and snowboarding services and programs, such as guided tours, children’s programs, or custom learning opportunities.

Special Ski Resort Features

This Colorado Ski Resort Guide includes details about special services, programs, and unique features offered at all the Colorado resorts. You can quickly compare these opportunities and find something that suits the needs of the group you are vacationing with. Even better, you might find something new you want to check out.

View the Colorado Map of Ski Resorts for an integrated list of all ski and snowboard resorts. View all of Colorado’s resort webcams for live snow conditions.

Pro tip: If you’re looking for lots of trails, terrain parks & pipes, and off-mountain activities, the popular resorts might be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for fewer crowds and a lower price tag while still experiencing Colorado’s world-class skiing and snowboarding, check out the lesser-known Colorado resorts.

*  lift tickets and gear rentals are usually sold separately from lessons. 

Colorado’s Most Popular Ski Resorts

Aspen Snowmass Buttermilk – ski resort guide (Central) 

Aspen Snowmass is a winter complex of ski resorts in Pitkin County, Colorado. This resort complex comprises four adjacent mountains: Aspen Mountain, AspenSki Resorts Aspen Snowmass Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Aspen Snowmass offers 5,500+ acres of skiable terrain and is known for high-end restaurants and accommodations.

Each mountain is a little different. Aspen Mountain consists up 673 skiable acres and retains a unique cultural flavor from earlier recreational skiing days in Colorado. Aspen Highlands offers 1,010 skiable acres and is considered to be the most intense skiing in the state. Buttermilk is located halfway between Aspen and Snowmass Village and is considered the easiest area of the four; however, it’s home to the winter X-games and boasts one of Colorado’s best superpipes. Lastly, Snowmass is the largest of the four areas, with 3,363 skiable acres, and is known for its wide cruiser runs, family-friendly atmosphere, and extensive “ski-in ski-out” lodging.

Distance from Denver: 4 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 4.5 hours
Closest Airport: Aspen/Pitkin County Airport, in Aspen.

Aspen Snowmass Ski & Snowboard School

Aspen Snowmass offers ski and snowboard lessons for children and adults, private lessons, and ski and snowboard programs across the four mountains.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $753
  • Adult group lessons – half day starting at $269 (5 max)
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $242 (5 max)

Other Notable Services & Programs:

Group Lessons & Clinic Validation Pass – receive 50% off the in-resort rate for group lessons and clinics, ages 3 and up.
Buttermilk Deluxe – solo or up to 4 participants. Experience the mountain that hosted the X Games. Provide any instruction to improve any technique you want to focus on.
Guided Experiences – explore legendary terrain on your terms with a personalized ski guide. Ski like a local and enjoy priority lift access, location flexibility, and ski/snowboard storage.
Highlands Kids Program – focus on strong fundamental skills and exposure to many aspects of the sport.
Race Clinic – a 3-hour adult race clinic for blue zone skiers.
Women’s Edge – hone your skills and develop lasting relationships.
Uphill access – available at all 4 areas, follow rules and routes.
Nordic Center – Aspen Snowmass Nordic Trail System, 60 miles of trails that connect Aspen, Snowmass, and Basalt. With a complete pro shop, lessons, and sales.
Local’s Clinics – join like-minded skiers and riders for various clinics.
Snowbiking Private Lesson – experience the rush of sliding down the slopes on a snow bike.
Adaptive Program – yes, Challenge Aspen, and Ascendigo programs, please call.
Childcare – Treehouse Kids Adventure Center ages 2.5 – 3. One hour of skiing, snacks, lunch, playtime, and nap in an age-specific room.

Aspen Specs

Skiable area – 673 acres
Trail classifications – 0% beginner, 48% intermediate, 26% advanced, 26% expert
Total Runs – 76
Terrain Parks – 0
Longest run – 3 miles
Lifts – 8 total, 1 gondola
Average Snowfall – 300” per year
Top Elevation – 11,212 ft
Base elevation – 7,945 ft

Aspen Highlands Specs

Skiable area – 1,010 acres
Trail classifications – 0% beginner, 23% intermediate, 12% advanced, 65% expert
Total Runs – 118
Terrain Parks – 0
Longest run – 3.5 miles
Lifts – 5 total
Average Snowfall – 300” per year
Top Elevation – 12,392 ft
Base elevation – 8,040 ft

Buttermilk Specs

Skiable area – 435 acres
Trail classifications – 35% beginner, 39% intermediate, 26% advanced
Total Runs – 44
Terrain Parks – 2 (1 superpipe)
Longest run – 3 miles
Lifts – 8 total
Average Snowfall – 200” per year
Top Elevation – 9,900 ft
Base elevation – 7,870 ft

Snowmass Specs

Skiable area – 3,362
Trail classifications – 6% beginner, 47% intermediate, 17% advanced, 30% expert
Total Runs – 94
Terrain Parks – 3 (1 Superpipe and 1 Mini pipe)
Longest run – 5.3 miles (Longshot)
Lifts – 16
Average Snowfall – 277” per year
Top Elevation – 12,510 ft
Base elevation – 8,104

Vail – ski resort guide (Central)

Vail Resort is located near the town of Vail in Eagle County and boasts 5,317 skiable acres. It’s about 30 miles east of Silverthorne. You will need a ski resort guide to navigate this central location, which includes several world-classVail areas: Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone. Vail has three sections: The Front-side, the Blue Sky Basin, and the Back Bowls. It features seven back bowls, a terrain park with two pipes (including one superpipe), and intermediate-gladed terrain in Blue Sky Basin. Interestingly, Vail’s newest state-of-the-art gondola is the fastest of its kind and lifts you 2,000 vertical feet in only 7.5 minutes. Vail always has an assortment of events, activities, and services going on off the slopes. A winter vacation in Vail can include a robust list of experiences.

Distance from Denver: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Vail Ski & Snowboard School

Vail offers group ski and snowboard lessons for children and adults and private lessons. They have a “Green Run Guarantee” for first-timers ages seven and up, which means you’ll be skiing green runs in three lessons, or your fourth lesson is free. 

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $1040
  • Adult group ages 16+ lessons – half day starting at $249
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $330

Other Notable Services & Programs:

Green Run Guarantee – a “Green Run Guarantee” promise for first-timers ages 7 and up, which means you’ll be skiing green runs in three lessons, or your fourth lesson is free.
DEVO – a multi-session youth ski & snowboard program that empowers youth to excel as athletes and develop as people.
Adult Signature Programs – focused learning systems to develop the mind-body connection.
Nordic School – specializing in backcountry tours and adventures.
Complimentary mountain host tours – a chance to ski with a host guide with extensive knowledge of Vail Mountain.
Nature Discovery Center – an exhibit featuring the region’s highest-altitude nature center. Free educational snowshoe tours.
Adaptive Program – yes, lessons for skiers and riders.
Uphill Access – yes, follow rules and stay on routes.
Childcare – Small World Play School will entertain and provide care for members 24 months to 6 years of age.

Vail Specs

Skiable area – 5,317 acres
Trail classifications: 18% Beginner, 29% Intermediate, and 53% Advanced.
Total Runs: 195
Terrain Parks: 2 parks (1 Superpipe)
Longest run – 4 miles, Riva Ridge
Lifts – 31 total, 2 Gondolas
Average Snowfall – 354” a year
Top Elevation – 11,579’
Base elevation – 8,120’

Beaver Creek (Central)

Beaver Creek resort lies just south of Avon, CO., and comprises three villages, the main Beaver Creek Village, Bachelor Gulch, and Arrowhead to the west. The resort isBeaver Creek owned and operated by Vail Resorts and hosts World Cup events regularly. Beaver Creek Resort has adopted the golf club model and has several private signature clubs to choose from. Known for its upscale family-oriented accommodations, diverse mountain terrain, and Robert Trent Jones, Jr. Golf Course.

Distance from Denver: 1 hour and 45 minutes
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Ski & Snowboarding School at Beaver Creek

The Ski & Snowboarding school offers group or private lessons for children and adults. Rental equipment is not included, and a valid ticket or pass is required. Discount tickets are available with ski school booking. Epic pass holder rewards are available.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Adult group – half day starting at $264
  • Children’s group lessons – full day starting at $476

Other Notable Services & Programs

Green Run Guarantee – a “Green Run Guarantee” promise for first-timers ages 7 and up, which means you’ll be skiing green runs in three lessons, or your fourth lesson is free.
BEAVO – a multi-session ski and snowboard program for youth. Participants will grow their mountain awareness and learn new skills in a team-driven atmosphere.
Nordic & snowshoe – McCoy Park is a spectacular lift-accessed natural area that combines Nordic, snowshoe, and alpine trails. 19 kilometers of groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Complete with Eaton Haus restaurant. Special lift ticket access.
Adaptive program – yes, programs dedicated to skiing and snowboarding for individuals with disabilities.
First tracks – First tracks allow participants to reserve unadulterated groomed runs. So you can experience the delight of carving “first tracks” down select runs at Beaver Creek. Followed by a gourmet breakfast at Beaver Creek’s exclusive on-mountain cabin.
Uphill access – yes, allowed on designated routes. See safety and travel policy.
Childcare  – Small World Play School will entertain and provide care for members 24 months to 6 years of age.

Beaver Creek Specs

Skiable area – 2,082 acres
Trail classifications: 19% Beginner, 43% Intermediate, and 38% Advanced/Expert.
Total Runs: 167
Terrain Parks: 4 parks
Longest run – 2.75 miles, Centennial
Lifts – 25 total, 2 Gondolas, 1 Chondola
Average Snowfall – 310” a year
Top Elevation – 11,440’
Base elevation – 8,100’

Keystone (Central) – Ski Resort Guide

Keystone Resort is the largest ski area in Summit County. It’s spread across three peaks–Dercum Mountain (11,640 feet), North Peak (111,660 feet), and the OutbackKeystone (11,980 feet). This popular family destination ski resort, referenced as “your favorite mountain playground,” has special kid features such as Kidtopia, fort building, scavenger hunts, disco tubing, and more. The resort also hosts the A51 Terrain Park, a 60-acre freestyle skiing mecca, with 100-plus features. Keystone is the only location in Summit County to offer lighted night skiing, and it’s the largest night skiing area in Colorado.

Distance from Denver: 1 hour 30 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $835
  • Adult group ages 15+ lessons – half day starting at $179
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $239

Other Notable Services & Programs

Green Run Guarantee – a “Green Run Guarantee” promise for first-timers ages 7 and up, which means you’ll be skiing green runs in three lessons, or your fourth lesson is free.
Multi-Week Kids Programs – offer a fun, safe, social, and supportive learning environment. Choose from the Kroosers or the All Mountain Performace programs.
Family Adventure Tours – snowcat tours for all ages.
Family Adventure Tours – snowcat tours for all ages.
Adaptive Programs – a Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center (BOEC) program to provide skiing and snowboarding lessons for a full spectrum of individuals with diverse disabilities. Scholarships are available, please inquire.
North Peak Cat Shuttle – take a quick trip to Keystone’s high alpine bowls.
Uphill access – Designated uphill routes only must abide by rules and regulations.
Nordic Center – Keystone Nordic Center has over 17k of groomed trails and access to 40k of nearby backcountry trails: lessons and guided snowshoe tours.
Childcare – Ski and ride fun for children ages 3+.

Keystone Specs

Skiable area – 3,148 acres
Trail classifications: 19% Beginner, 32% Intermediate, and 49% Advanced/Expert.
Total Runs: 135
Terrain Parks: A51Terrain Park, over 100 features
Longest run – 3.5 miles, Schoolmarm
Lifts – 18 total, 2 Gondolas
Average Snowfall – 310” a year
Top Elevation – 12,408’
Base elevation – 9,280’

Breckenridge (Central)

Just west of the Continental Divide in Summit County, Breckenridge Ski Resort (called ‘Breck’ for short) is one of the most visited ski resorts in the western hemisphereBreckenridge and has 2,908 skiable acres. It’s spread out across five peaks (Peak 6, 7, 8, 9, and 10). The resort includes everything from beginner trails to a stamina-building 3.5-mile-long run to expert-level high alpine terrain. Breckenridge is also a vibrant “ski-in ski-out” mountain town with a historic feel, restaurants, shops, and more.

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School

The ski and snowboard school offers group and private lessons for children and adults of all ability levels. A valid lift ticket or season pass is required to participate. It’s recommended to book online to access online-only pricing on some lesson options.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $910
  • Adult group ages 15+ lessons – half day starting at $190
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $275

Other Notable Services & Programs

Green Run Guarantee – a “Green Run Guarantee” promise for first-timers ages 7 and up, which means you’ll be skiing green runs in three lessons, or your fourth lesson is free.
All-Terrain Youth Program
– explore new challenges based on participants’ interests, skill levels, and weather conditions. Includes a prize to commemorate the experience and completion of the challenge.
Seasonal Youth Programs – multi-week programs Breck Bombers and Breck All Mountain Team help with everything from confidence, technique, and an introduction to competitive events.
Breck Adult Ski & Snowboard Club – join the club and ski with the locals to master your techniques.
Custom Club – pick the pro you want to ski with, what day, and up to eight friends.
Women’s Program – designed by women and taught by women. Choose either Women’s Camp or Breck Belles.
High Alpine – Explore above treeline, spans across multiple peaks, an adventure learning experience.
Breckenridge Nordic Center – enjoy 2000 acres, cross-country ski or snowshoe. Lessons, rentals, or take a snowcat tour. Nordic Lodge available for event hosting.
Breckenridge Recreation Center – a gym, ice arena, tennis center, nordic center, open space and trails, and more.
Mountain Top Children’s Museum – hands-on exhibits promote learning. School-age programs or sponsor an exhibit.
Gold Runner Coaster – open year-round, access via the free gondola.
Adaptive Program – yes, BOEC adaptive ski and snowboarding program.
Childcare – 18 months and up, three childcare centers to choose from.

Breckenridge Specs

Skiable area – 2,908
Trail classifications – 14% beginner, 34% intermediate, 19% advanced, 36% expert
Total runs – 187
Terrain parks – 2 (Park Lane and Frontier)
Longest run – 3.5 miles (4 O’Clock)
Lifts – 35 lifts (including 4 t-bars and 11 magic carpets)
Average snowfall – 370” per year
Top elevation: 12,998 ft
Base elevation: 9,600 ft
Night skiing: No

Copper Mountain (Central)

Copper Mountain Ski Resort is located in Summit County, about an hour and a half drive west of Denver when taking Highway 70. It includes various runs within eachCopper Mnt mountain section for different ability levels. It is one of the few ski areas that offer nearly 360-degree skiing on three separate peaks: Union Peak, Copper Mountain, and Tucker Mountain. Three centralized pedestrian villages offer slope-side lodging, dining, shopping, and activities.

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $659
  • Adult group ages 18+ lessons – half day starting at $179
  • Children’s group lessons – full day only,  starting at $329

Other Notable Services & Programs

Adult Programs – Adult (age 50+) seasonal programs are offered for those at green/blue+ ability levels. Participants receive tips to improve skiing, hone safety skills and mountain awareness, create new friendships, and support a healthy and active lifestyle.
First tracks – a daily upgrade that provides access to dedicated express lift lanes and 30 minutes of early up time.
Youth Seasonal Programs – youth (ages 3-17) multi-week ski/snowboard sessions. Participants are grouped by age and ability level.
Copper Guides – A private tour with an instructor who will show you new terrain and areas on the hill. Private uphill tours are also for folks interested in an introductory backcountry experience.
Private Terrain Park Lessons – Woodward Private Lessons for intermediate skiers/riders. Instructors guide you within your ability level to terrain you may never have experienced before. Adult Clinics – terrain and skill-specific so intermediate (blue) skiers/riders can brush up on old skills and learn something new.
Uphill access – rather than a lift, climb up the mountain on special routes and ski back down.
The Woodward Barn – 19,400 ft action sports playground featuring multiple skate/scooter/BMX zones and training features like a tumble track and trampolines.
NASTAR racing – take a run down a racing course and see your time at the bottom.
The Rocky Mountain Coaster – is open year-round.
Adaptive Program – yes, home to Adaptive Action Sports.
Childcare – Copper Mountain Child Care: ages 6 months to 6 years.

Copper Mountain Specs

Skiable area – 2,507
Trail classifications – 21% Beginner, 25% Intermediate, 36% Advanced, and 18% Expert.
Total runs – 140
Terrain parks – 1 (Woodward Mountain Park featuring a network of terrain zones)
Longest run – 1.7 mi (Collage)
Lifts – 23 total
Average snowfall – 310” per year
Top elevation: 12,313 ft
Base elevation: 9,712 ft
Night skiing: No

Crested Butte – ski resort guide (Central)

Located in Gunnison County Co., is nestled in a high valley of the Rockies; more specifically, it’s in the southwest region of Colorado and the western part of the ElkCrested Butte Mountain Range. Crested Butte is known for offering extreme and diverse terrain. They revolutionized skiing by starting Freeski and telemark skiing extreme competitions early on. This area is considered an adventure ski destination. It does have an abundance of green and blue groomed trails to more advanced longer trails, including the famous extreme limits of the North Face and Headwall.

Distance from Denver: 4.25 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 5 hours
Closest Airport: Eagle County Regional Airport, 4 hours

Crested Butte Ski & Snowboard School

Crested Butte Ski & Snowboarding School boasts about creating custom learning experiences for individuals or groups. Their world-class guides are available to show you around. Experience the mountain according to your ability level and make it a day to remember.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – 3 hours, starting at $579
  • Adult group lessons – half day starting at $169
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $275

Other Notable Services & Programs

Ski with an Olympian – ski with Wendy Fisher, an icon in big mountain skiing—private lessons of a max of 6 people, full and half day options. Explore the mountain with Wendy.
Uphill Access – Yes, call for details (970-349-2345)
Mountain Sports Team – choose your level of participation from fundamental techniques to higher-level alpine racing, snowboarding, freeride, and telemark skiing.
Kids Winter Sports program – educational programs for skiing and snowboarding to suit the kids’ needs in the Gunnison Valley.
Junior DEVO Team – for both skiers and riders, a development team to increase the commitment of young athletes to their sport.
Adaptive Program – yes, Adaptive Sports Center.
Childcare – contact the resort.

Crested Butte Specs

Trail Classification: 23% Beginner, 57% Intermediate, 20% Advanced/Expert
Total Runs: 121
Terrain Parks: 2
Longest run: 2.6 miles; Peak to Treasury
Lifts – 16 (4 high-speed quads)
Average Snowfall: 300”
Top elevation – 12,170’
Base elevation – 9,115’
Night skiing -No

Winter Park (NC)

With over 80 years of history, Winter Park Resort is Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort, featuring seven territories across 3,081 acres of award-winningWinter Park terrain. From groomers to black diamonds and everything in between, there’s something for everyone. Winter Park Resort is also home to one of the world’s largest and oldest disabled skiing programs, the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hours

Winter Park Ski & Snowboard School

The Home of Guest Centered Teaching, the Winter Park ski and snowboard school prides itself on an individualized, custom-tailored teaching approach. They urge booking 72 hours in advance to get added savings and streamline the check-in process.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half day starting at $229
  • Adult group ages 15+ lessons – half day starting at $159
  • Children’s group lessons – half day starting at $209

Other Notable Services & Programs

Multi-week Lessons – for kids ages 4-14 of all skill levels. Build relationships with peers and improve skills.
Specialty Ski Lesson Clinics – master skills with one of 3 specialty ski clinics: Trees and Steeps, Bumps, or Women’s Only.
Free Mountain Host Tours – free mountain orientation tours are offered daily.
Guided Ski & Riding – skip the lift lines, choose your guide and experience, and find the powder stash.
Sunset Guided Skiing and Riding – grab a headlamp and hit the slopes after the lifts close.
Guided Snowshoe Tours – an off-the-beaten-path adventure.
Scenic Snowcat Tours – a unique mountain sightseeing experience.
Intro to Uphill – learn more about touring equipment and a new way to explore the mountain.
Moonlit Uphill Events – after lifts close, an event guide will get you set up to power up the mountain under the light of the moon and stars.
Nordic Centers – experience some of the best cross-country skiing in North America. 1200 k of groomed world-class Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, and fat biking. Complete pro shop, rentals, and lessons. Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Snow Mountain Ranch.
Adaptive Program – yes, the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Extensive racing programs and more are available.
Childcare – Grand Kids Learning Center, contact for more info.

Winter Park Specs

Skiable area – 3,081 acres
Trail classifications – 8% beginner, 18% intermediate, 19% advanced, 52% most difficult, 3% expert only
Total runs – 166
Terrain parks – 6 (features an 18-foot superpipe and more than 80 other progressive features)
Longest run – 5.1 miles
Lifts – 23 total
Average snowfall – 344.6” per year
Top elevation: 12,060 ft
Base elevation: 9,000 ft
Night skiing: No

Steamboat Ski Resort (NW)

Steamboat Resort is located in northwest Colorado and operates right out of the town of Steamboat Springs. This town is known for producing more Olympians thanSteamboat Springs any town in the United States (over 100) and has a rich history as a ranching town. Soon to be the second largest ski resort in Colorado, Steamboat is known for its light, dry snow and varied, accessible landscape. They offer a terrain-based dedicated learning center at Greenhorn Ranch and have one of the premier half-pipes in North America, the Mavericks Superpipe. The resort is also served by 16 nonstop flights to the Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

Distance from Denver: 3 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 3.5 hours
Closest Airport – Yampa Valley Regional Airport, 25 miles west of Steamboat.

Steamboat Ski & Snowboard School

The ski school at Steamboat Resort offers a variety of lessons for both skiers and riders, private instruction, and group or family options. They boast about having the highest instructor return rates in the county. These instructors can develop long-term relationships with their clientele. No matter your ability level, you will gain the skills and confidence to reach the next level.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – half-day starting at $699
  • Children’s private lessons – ages 2-4 at $279
  • Adult group ages 15+ lessons – half-day starting at $249
  • Children’s group lessons – half-day starting at $309

Other Notable Services & Programs

Minibusters Ski and Snowboard Lessons – a five-week program for children ages 5-6 of all ability levels.
Trailbusters Ski and Snowboard Lessons – a five-week program for children ages 7-17 of all ability levels.
Little Toots – a four-week program for children 3.5 – 4 years old that runs every Friday in January, either AM or PM.
Steamboat Powder Cats – Snowcat skiing
Nordic Centers – At Steamboat Touring Center, The Haymaker, and Howelsen Hill. Full pro shop at the Touring Center and Haymaker, including lessons, snowshoeing, rentals, sales, and cafe.
Snow biking – Fat biking at Howelsen Hill, groomed trails.
Mountain Tours – familiarize yourself with the terrain while learning Steamboat history.
Night Skiing – night skiing at both Steamboat and Howelsen Hill ski resorts.
Adaptive Program – Steamboat STARS offers adaptive programs and activities year-round.
Uphill access – yes, stay on route and follow rules.
Childcare – Happy Camp Lessons, a one-stop shop for families with small children ages 3 – 6. Choose from a variety of learning options. Includes lift access, lunch, instruction, and equipment rental option.

Steamboat Resort Specs

Skiable area – 2,965 acres
Trail classifications – 14% beginner, 42% advanced, 42% intermediate, 44% advanced
Total runs – 170
Terrain parks – 4
Longest run – 3 miles (Why Not)
Lifts – 23 total
Average snowfall – 400” per year
Top elevation – 10,568
Base elevation – 6,900
Night skiing -Yes

Howelsen Hill at Steamboat

This accompanying resort/area has a long historical significance as the original ski hill in Steamboat. In addition to housing world-class ski jumps, it has been the fundamental development center for the Steamboat Winter Sports Club (SWSC), which has produced an astounding number of Olympic athletes. Howelsen Hill is considered one of the most affordable places to ski and ride with perks such as children 4 years and under ski for free, and “Ski Free Sunday.” Daily lift tickets and passes are very affordable.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Sledding Hill – free, open to the public
Beacon Training Park – A signed area with buried transmit boxes. An area dedicated to learning backcountry safety skills.
Ski Free Sunday – public free skiing.
Sledding Tubing Hill – open all day, everyday.
Season Pass Perks – Hogadon Basin Ski Area Casper, WY., Snow King Mountain Resort Jackson Hole, WY., and Mont du Lac Resort Superior, WI.
Nordic Skiing – groomed Nordic trails, world-class ski jumps, upper mountain backcountry skiing, and ski touring.
Snowbiking – groomed snow biking trails.
SSWSC – Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, a premier Colorado winter sports club for the development of youth athletes.
Uphill Access – stay on routes, no dogs in ski area boundary. Upper Mountain has no restrictions.

Howelsen Hill Resort Specs

Skiable area 
Trail Classification:  beginner, intermediate, advanced – all available
Total runs – 17 Alpine, 9 Nordic
Terrain Parks: 1
Longest run: Blackmoore
Lifts – 4 (1 poma, triple chair, 2 surface)
Average snowfall – 400” per year
Top elevation – 7,136’
Base elevation – 6,696’
Night skiing -Yes

Telluride (SW)

Telluride Ski Resort is located in the southwest corner of Colorado. The town itself is a box canyon formed by the surrounding high and dramatic San Juan MountainTelluride peaks. The revealing display of mountain tops shows off the highest concentration of 13,000’ and 14,000’ foot peaks in North America. Ski and snowboard runs drop right into town, officially obscuring the distinction between life and recreation.

The ski resort spans the historic town of Telluride and the modern alpine community of Mountain Village, Colorado. The resort is known for its expert and extreme ski and snowboard terrain but has over 50% beginner and intermediate runs as well.

It is reputable for its eclectic mix of residents, musical events, and radical mountain terrain. The expanding Mountain Village adds the nouveau ski and golf club element to the mystique. A stay at Telluride will exuberate deep within your fanciful self-being.

Distance from Denver: 6.5 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 7 hours
Closest Airport:  Telluride Regional Airport: 5.6 miles

Telluride Ski & Snowboard School

Telluride Ski School provides either private or group lessons and full or half-day reservations. “Build your lesson” style scheduling allows you to purchase only the lesson or include lift tickets and equipment rentals. They offer early-season discounts.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • All-day adult beginner experience $295
  • Private lessons – half day starting at $605
  • Adult group lessons – half day starting at $150
  • Children’s group lessons – starting at $275

Other Notable Services & Programs

Max 5 Adult Group Lessons – spend the day with a snow pro to learn and advance your skills.
Development Squad – a 7-session full-day youth ski and snowboard program.
Women’s Weekend – 3 days of no-frills weekend camp focused on ski improvement. Offered twice through the winter season.
Making friends with moguls camp – learn techniques to make friends with moguls.
Silver Skier Program – offered to skiers 50 years and up. January through February, Thursday mornings. Ski with top pros from the ski school. A great social experience.
Guided Heli-skiing and Snowboarding – Access over 200 acres of Colorado’s premiere backcountry. Expect an average of 6 runs over the day, totaling 10 – 14,000’.
Adaptive Program – a year-round nonprofit adaptive program for those with physical and cognitive disabilities. Adaptive equipment and special instruction are available.
Telluride Nordic Association – a complete nordic center, lessons, clinics, youth programs, and pro shop.
Childcare – Cubs Camp Nursery, ages 1 – 4 years.
Kids snow camp and happy hour

HIKE to Terrain
All skiers and riders must use extreme caution. Check daily avalanche reports.
Black Iron Bowl – an upper-mountain area accessible via lift 12 with a short hike out Prospect Ridge. Skiable terrain is anywhere between a 10 – 30 minute hike.
Gold Hill Chutes – There are several chutes 1 – 2 and 6 – 10 all accessible via a varying degree of hiking. All chutes are not open continually, so check for current info on the signs.
Bald Mountain – Accessible via an access gate on upper Galloping Goose, lift 12 area. Home to some of the longest-lasting powder stashes on the mountain.

Telluride Resort Specs

Skiable area – 2,000 acres
Trail Classification:  23% Beginner, 36% Intermediate, 41 % Advanced/Expert
Total runs – 127
Terrain Parks: 3
Longest run: 4.6 miles “Galloping Goose”
Lifts – 12 chairlifts, 2 gondolas
Average snowfall – 330” per year
Top elevation – 13,150’
Base elevation – 8,725’
Night skiing -No


Colorado’s lesser-known ski resorts are commonly referred to as Colorado’s “Gem” Ski Resorts. These resorts are smaller in terms of the total number of skiable acres, and most don’t have much in the way of “ski town” accommodations at their base area either. However, they often stand out as family-oriented resorts with excellent programs for kids and lower price tags on everything associated with the resort experience. You will also discover that some of these “Gem” resorts have exceptional and unique ski/snowboard opportunities for the more advanced.

Loveland (Central, Front Range)

Loveland Ski Area is located near Georgetown, CO., right at the Eisenhower Tunnel’s eastern portal and within the Arapahoe National Forest. It is one of the closest skiLoveland areas to Denver, making it a local’s favorite. The area is actually a combination of Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley, served by bus. Due to its high elevation, it’s one of the first areas to open, usually in October, and the season often extends into May. Lift tickets are less expensive, and lift lines are shorter because of no on-site lodging.

Distance from Denver: 1.5 hours
Distance from Denver International Airport: 1.75  hours

Loveland Ski & Snowboard School

The home to those who just want to ski or ride. Loveland is a true winter wonderland and offers lessons, clinics, special classes, guides, and more for both skiers and riders at affordable prices.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – 2 hours, starting at $235
  • Adult group lessons – 2.5 hours, starting at $169
  • Children’s group lessons – half day starting at $169

Other Notable Services & Programs

The Ridge Cat –  Ride the free 18-passenger Ridge Snowcat to Loveland’s most exhilarating terrain.
Family Private – learn to ski with your family, up to four family participants at one time.
3-Class Pass – lessons for ages 3-6, include 3(2) hour private lessons with no blackout dates.
3-Class Pass (big kids) – lessons for ages 7-14, includes 3 full-day lessons plus a free season pass. Comes with a lift ticket, equipment rental, and lunch.
Loveland Explorers – a six-week Sunday program for kids to learn from top-level coaches. For intermediate or advanced-level skiers or riders.
Women’s Only Clinics – for intermediate to expert women to ski with other women in an engaging environment.
Loveland Freeride Experience – guided by pro-skier Eden Mond. Eben will guide adult skiers to reach their next skill level, gain confidence, and show Loveland’s hidden gems.
Telemark Clinics – advance your telemark skills with private lessons.
Uphill Access – Yes, sign the Season Pass waiver, order an uphill pass, and stay on routes.
Childcare – yes, ages 2.5 to 13 years.

Loveland Resort Specs

Skiable area: 1,800 acres
Trail Classification
: 13% Beginner, 41% Intermediate, 46% Advanced/Expert
Total Runs: 94
Terrain Parks: 1
Longest run: 2 miles
Lifts – 10
Average Snowfall: 422”
Top elevation – 13,010’
Base elevation – 10,800’
Night skiing -No

Arapahoe Basin (Central, Front Range)

Arapahoe Basin (A-Basin) is located south of Loveland Pass on U.S. Highway 6 in Summit County. It’s known for its extended season–usually staying open until earlyA Basin June and sometimes into early July, whereas most other northern ski areas close in early April. Known for its advanced and expert terrain, there are runs for beginner and intermediate skiers and riders too. A-Basin prides itself on offering scenic yet unpretentious settings without huge price tags for things like dining.

Distance from Denver: 1h 14min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 1h 33min

A-Basin Ski & Snowboard School

Learn to ski or ride at A-Basin because they offer smaller class sizes, a gorgeous setting, and free parking with easy access, and a laid-back atmosphere. Learn in an area dedicated to the beginner via the Molly Hogan lift. Or, hire a guide to explore the mountain with. Ski and ride programs include a Kids Club for ages 3 and up. All Lift Tickets & Pass must be purchased online.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – 3 hours, starting at $449
  • Group lessons for adults or children – 3 hours, starting at $200 (includes ticket and rental equipment)

Other Notable Services & Programs

Learning Hill Lift Ticket – includes 2 magic carpets and 1 four-person chair. All-day ticket $49.
Passholder Benefits – ski days at Bridger Bowl, Taos, Monarch, Silverton, and Bluebird Backcountry. Discounts on food & drink, uphill passes, ski/snowboard tunes, and summer activities. Plus, other pass specials or regulations.
Uphill Access – Yes, you must purchase a pass online. Check terrain status first. Uphill events throughout the season.

A-Basin Specs

Skiable area – 1,428 acres
Trail classifications: 7% beginner, 20% intermediate, 49% advanced, 24% expert
Total runs: 145
Terrain parks: 5 parks
Longest run – 1.5 miles
Lifts – 9 chairs (1 high-speed quad, 3 quads, 1 triple, 1 double), 2 magic carpets & 1 surface lift
Average snowfall – 350” a year
Top elevation: 13,050 ft
Base elevation: 10,780 ft
Night skiing: No

Eldora Ski Resort (Front Range)

Eldora is a ski resort in the southwest corner of Boulder County, Colorado, near the unincorporated community of Eldora and three miles west of the town of Nederland. EldoraEldora is only 21 miles from Boulder and 47 miles from Denver and can be accessed via the Ski-n-Ride bus that runs between Boulder and the ski area several times a day. The resort mostly caters to day skiers and riders due to the lack of any accommodations. The variety of terrain includes very challenging elements as well as beginner-friendly trails located on Hawk Mountain.

Distance from Boulder: 36 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 1h 16min

Eldora Ski & Snowboard School

Eldora Resort is located close to the Boulder-Denver metro area.  Eldora’s friendly instructors, small class size, and laid-back vibe make it one of the best places to learn in Colorado. They offer a wide range of lessons and programs for both kids and adults. Build a lifelong love of skiing or riding right in your backyard.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – starting at $259
  • Group lessons for adults or children – starting at $249 (includes lift ticket and lunch)

Other Notable Services & Programs

Eldorables multi-week program – ages 4-6, experience games, activities, and mountain exploration.
Trek multi-week program – ages 7-14, make friends, build self-confidence. Develop skills for a lifetime of fun on the snow—non-competitive, fun-based learning for skiers, riders, or cross-country skiing.
Women’s multi-week program – Join in with supportive and fun instructors and like-minded women who want to hone their skills in skiing, snowboarding, telemark skiing, or Nordic skiing.
Master multi-week program – ages 18+improve your masters’ race technique or learn new skills, and stay in shape: blends gate training, freeskiing drills, and technical feedback.
Nordic Center – learn to ski via personalized instruction for all ability levels, private or group lessons—classes for skate or classic Nordic skiers.
Women’s Nordic Program – join like-minded women to improve your technique and fitness levels.
Uphill access – yes, check the calendar. A pass and armband are required.

Eldora Specs

Skiable area – 680 acres
Trail classifications: 20% beginner, 50% more difficult, 30% most difficult
Total runs: 53
Terrain parks: 4 parks
Longest run – 3 miles
Lifts – 7 chairlifts, 2 quads, 2 surface lifts
Average snowfall – 300” a year
Top elevation: 10,600 ft
Base elevation: 9,360 ft
Night skiing: No

Sunlight Ski Resort (West Central)

Sunlight Mountain is in Garfield County in the White River National Forest, south of Glenwood Springs. The resort has a surprising variety of terrain for its size, includingSunlight Resort beginner cruiser runs and a section of steep chutes. With only three chairlifts facilitating a vertical drop exceeding 2,010’, the social experience is light-hearted and friendly.

Distance from Denver: 3 h 44 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 4 h
Closest Airport: Glenwood Springs Municipal Airport: 39 mins

Sunlight Ski & Snowboard School

Sunlight ski & snowboarding school is considered the best deal for learning the sport, with 75% of the terrain ideally suited to newbies. Sunlight instructors are certified, seasoned professionals. You will not find a better value with the combined instructor quality and affordability.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – 2 hours, starting at $265 (includes rental and lift ticket)
  • Group lessons for children – ages 4-6, starting at $155 (includes lift ticket, rentals, and helmet)

Other Notable Services & Programs

Learn to Shine Program – valid for 3 two-hour lessons, including lift ticket, rental, plus a 5-day season pass.
Sunny Sessions – ages 4-6 choose the day/time for 3 lessons.
Three Amigos – just for 3-year-olds.
Adaptive Program – yes, custom-tailored lessons are available.
Uphill access – yes, must have uphill pass, sign uphill passport waiver, stay on route.
Snowmobile Tours – adventure for the whole family.

Sunlight Specs

Skiable area – 680 acres
Trail classifications: 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 20% advanced, 5% expert
Total runs: 67
Terrain parks: 1
Longest run – 2.5 miles
Lifts – 3 chairlifts
Average snowfall – 250” a year
Top elevation: 9,895 ft
Base elevation: 7,885 ft
Night skiing: No

Ski Cooper

Opened in 1942, Ski Cooper, located in the Leadville area, is one of Colorado’s oldest resorts. Originally open as the training site for the 10th Mountain Division. It remainsCooper small and laid-back, potentially due to its similarly named and much larger neighboring resort, Copper Mountain. Ski Cooper’s scaled-down 64 trails spanning 480 lift-served acres and noted family-friendly resort adds to its underrated reputation.

Ski Cooper has always been a beginner and intermediate mountain (some call it a “mecca for beginner and intermediate riders”). With the opening of Tennessee Creek Basin, you’ll find even more green and blue groomers, as well as bumps, glades, an expansive terrain park, and a superpipe. Colorado’s longest Magic Carpet conveyor lift is in this park, too.

Get real and try snowcat tours on Chicago Ridge, featuring wide-open powder bowls and glades that cover an additional 2,600 acres. The snow is dry and light, with a high base elevation of 10,500.

Known for its friendly atmosphere, affordability, and accessibility. You can anticipate no crowds or wait in lift lines, and easy parking access. Enjoy exceptional views of Mount Elbert and Mount Massive.

Distance from Denver: 3 h 40 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 4 h

Ski Cooper Ski & Snowboard School

Ski Cooper offers affordable private or semi-private 2-hour lessons for similar ages and ability levels. Ages 3 and up for ski lessons and ages 6 and up for snowboard lessons. They do not offer open group lessons, only lessons to individuals and people traveling together.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Adult group private lesson – starting at $179, plus discounts on lift tickets.
  • Children’s all-day group lesson – starting at $280, plus a discount on lift tickets.
  • Family private lesson – starting at $799, plus discounts on lift tickets.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Copper Guides – up to 6 participants in a full day or 4 in a half day, guided experience of Copper.
Women’s Wednesday – build skills and lasting friendships in this multi-week program.
Over the Hill Gang – up to 46 days of skiing with OHG Guides. Open to blue and above ability level.
Woodward Copper – a youth paradise located at the resort. Year-round skiing & snowboarding on real snow. 20,000 sqft indoor training facility: skateparks, trampolines, foam pits, indoor ski & snowboard training. Open to BMXers, mountain bikers, scooter riders, and other athletes.
Woodward Park – a network of featured terrain zones for all ability levels on Ski Copper.
Uphill Skiing – yes, must have a pass and stay on route.
Adaptive Program – yes, home to adaptive action sports.
Childcare – yes, 6 months to 6 years.
The Rocky Mountain Coaster – an alpine coaster, open for winter, all ages welcome.

Youth Programs:

  • Copper Ski & Snowboard 3-day sessions – multi-week program for ages 4-5yr and 6-12yr. Plus lunch, a Copper season pass, and GPS tracking.
  • Copper Ski & Snowboard Club 6-day program – Multiweek program for ages 6-17. Advanced beginners and above. Plus lunch, a Copper season pass, and GPS tracking.
  • Park Rats – a multiweek freestyle lesson program for ages 8-17. Plus lunch, a Copper seasons pass, a Woodward Barn pass, and GPS tracking
  • Trailblazers – a lesson program for ages 3-5. Three half days of skiing or snowboarding. Plus lunch, a Copper season pass, and GPS tracking.

Youth Camps:

  • Indoor Barn-only lessons & classes
  • Indoor Barn-only private lessons

Ski Cooper Specs

Lift served, skiable area – 470 acres
Snowcat served – 2,400 acres
Trail classifications – 31% beginner, 35% intermediate, 34% advanced/expert
Total runs – 60
Terrain parks – None
Longest run – 1.4 miles (Trails End)
Lifts – 1 Triple, 1 Double, 3 Surface
Average snowfall – 250”
Top elevation – 11,700 ft
Base elevation – 10,500 ft
Night skiing -No

Purgatory (SW)

Purgatory Ski Resort is located in the San Juan Mountains, 25 miles north of Durango. It’s named for Purgatory Creek, which runs down the mountain. Purgatory is known for itsPurgatory views of the San Juan Mountains, surrounding scenery, terrain for all abilities, and a vibrant, historic downtown. The resort is well suited to beginners and intermediates.

Distance from Denver: 7h 4min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 7h 30min
Closest Airport: La Plata County Airport, Durango. 55 mins

Purgatory Ski & Snowboard School

From first-timers to experts, Purgatory has a lesson option for everyone.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – two hours or up to five hours, starting at $329
  • Adult group (max 5 people) – age 13+, half-day starting at $99
  • Youth group (max 5) – ages 7-12, half-day starting at $99
  • Child group – ages 4-6, full-day starting at $229, lunch included.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Snowcat Skiing – the largest cat skiing operation in Colorado, 35,000 acres.
The Dev Team
– for more advanced kids ages 6-12, tryouts at the beginning of the season.
Lil’ Burners – ages 4-6, an eight-week ski or ride program.
Snowburners – ages (7-12), an eight-week ski or ride program.
Men’s and Women’s Clinics – gender-specific multi-week programs.
Women’s Ski/Ride Camp – a two-day camp for intermediate to advanced skiers or riders.
Snowshoe Tours – a guided experience.
Snowcat scenic tours – a 2-hour scenic mountain tour.
Nordic Skiing – 20km of groomed Nordic trails. Pro shop, lessons available.
Adaptive Program – yes, through Adaptive Sports Association.
Uphill access – no, see access policy.
Childcare – yes, at The Den
Mountain coaster – year-round
Tubing – family fun
Snowmobile adventure tours – explore 75 miles of trails.

Purgatory Specs

Skiable area – 1,650 acres
Trail classifications – 22% beginner, 35% intermediate, 43% advanced
Total runs – 105
Terrain parks – 6
Longest run – 1.3 miles
Lifts – 12 lifts
Average snowfall – 260”
Top elevation – 10,822 ft
Base elevation – 8,793 ft
Night skiing -No

Wolf Creek (SW, Central)

Wolf Creek Ski Resort is in southwest Colorado on Wolf Creek Pass between Pagosa Springs and South Fork. This area receives more average snowfall than any otherWolf Creek resort in Colorado. It’s also a more affordable ski resort for the budget-minded vacationer.

Distance from Denver: 4 hr 33 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 5 hr
Closest Airport: Durango Airport 1 hr 45 min

Wolf Creek Ski & Snowboard School

Specializing in age-specific children’s group lessons. Broken out between never-ever and more advanced skiers and riders.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – one-hour lesson, starting at $115
  • Private group lessons (max 5 people) – starting at $515
  • Youth group – ages 5-8, half-day starting at $104
  • Youth group- ages 9-12, 2-hour lesson, starting at $94
  • Beginner group – ages 13+, 2-hour lesson, starting at $94

Other Notable Services & Programs

Wolf Creek Pups – for kids ages 5-8. Full and half-day skiers, lunch included.
Wolf Riders – for kids ages 5-8. Full and half-day riders, lunch included.
Ms. Monday – ladies special, package deal on lift ticket and lesson.
Tuesday Turns & Technique Series – lift/lesson combo special open to skiers and riders.
Forever Young Clinics – lift/lesson special for boomer skiers and riders.
Camp Robbers – a four-week skiing series introducing kids (5-8) to the sport.
Nordic Skiing – over 6 miles of complimentary Nordic trails. Dogs welcome.
Adaptive Program – not apparent.
Uphill access – backcountry gate access via the resort, expert terrain only.
Childcare – private lessons available to children under 5.

Wolf Creek Specs

Skiable area – 1,600 acres
Trail classifications – 20% beginner, 35% intermediate, 25% advanced, 20% expert
Total runs – 77
Terrain parks – no
Longest run – 2 miles, Navajo Trail
Lifts – 8 lifts, 2 high-speed quads
Average snowfall – 430”
Top elevation – 11,904 ft
Base elevation – 10,300 ft
Night skiing -No

Monarch Ski Resort (S Central)

Monarch Ski and Snowboard Resort is located in south-central Colorado 20 miles from Salida on U.S. Highway 50. This resort has a long history of local development,Monarch enthusiasm, and support, enabling it to be what it is today. They have recently expanded operations to include snowcat skiing and grooming more runs. There is no lodging at the resort. The closest lodging is in Salida, Buena Vista, Gunnison, and other small towns nearby.

Distance from Denver: 2 hr 53 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 2 hr 30 min
Closest Airport: Gunnison airport, 45 miles from Monarch Resort.

Monarch Ski & Snowboard School

Lessons are offered for skiing, snowboarding, and telemark of all ages and ability levels.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

  • Private lessons – full or half-day, must call, discounts available
  • Adult + Child lessons – two hours, starting at $239

Other Notable Services & Programs

  • Racing
  • Women’s Adventure
  • Free-heeling (telemark)
  • Cruisers and carving
  • Steep terrain
  • Bumps and moguls
  • Glades and trees
  • All mountain exploration

Snowcat Skiing – access an additional 1,635 acres, Mirkwood Basin. Bowls, glades, chutes, and tree skiing.
Caterpillars – ages 3-4, a multi-week program that uses games and activities to foster the sport.
Butterflies – ages 5-6, a multi-week program for new or progressing skiers with an experienced adult.
Discoverers – ages 7-16, an 8-week development program
Shredders – ages 7-16, an 8-session series for the blue and black youth.
Rippers – ages 7-16, for advanced skiers/riders ready to rip in more technical terrain.
Team Monarch – a focus on competitive development for skiers and riders.
Uphill access – yes, limited restrictions; please follow guidelines, stay on routes, and pass required.
Tubing park – yes, fun for everyone. One-hour-long sessions.
Childcare – yes, ages 3-6, with or without lessons, contact the children’s center.
Adaptive program – yes, please call.

Monarch Specs

Skiable area – 800 acres
Access via Snowcat – 1,635 acres
Trail classifications – 14% beginner, 28% intermediate, 27% advanced, 31% expert
Total runs – 63
Terrain parks – 2
Longest run – 1 mile
Lifts – 5 lifts, 1 high-speed quad
Average snowfall – 400”
Top elevation – 11,960 ft
Base elevation – 10,790 ft
Night skiing -No

Echo Mountain Ski Resort

Echo Mountain Resort is a ski, snowboarding, and tubing area located west of Evergreen. It is the closest ski resort to Denver, just 36 miles, and the only fully lit (100% lights)Echo ski area in Colorado. A close, affordable, fun place to learn and advance your ski or riding skills. Music played throughout the area, including the tubing hill.  Free parking is just steps from the slopes.

Distance from Denver: 51 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 1 hr 8 min

Echo Moutain Ski & Snowboard School

They don’t have a traditional ski school. Instead, they have Echo Ambassadors. These folks are found throughout the beginner area and near the lodge. Need help or if you have “hit a wall,” reach out to someone in a Green and Navy Echo jacket for pointers, tips, and suggestions. They are happy to help with photos too.

Ski Snowboarding Lesson Cost

Free, reach out to an Ambassador for tips and help.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Tubing hill – yes, extensive. Night tubing too.

Echo Mountain Specs

Skiable area – 226+ acres
Trail classifications – 20% beginner, 35% intermediate, 25% advanced, 20% expert
Total runs – 13
Terrain parks – no
Longest run – .4 miles, Pops
Lifts – 3 lifts
Average snowfall – 275”
Top elevation – 10,650 ft
Base elevation – 10,050 ft
Night skiing -Yes, 100% lit.

Kendall (SW) Ski resort

This is a small ski resort and snowboarding area located at the town of Silverton. Considered “the cheapest ski area in the west.” Adult lift tickets are $20, children’s tickets are $15,Kendall and seniors’ $10. Backcountry and cross-country skiing are available from the same area. In addition to the Kendall area, Silverton has a variety of other winter activities to enjoy.

Originally developed by the Grand Imperial Hotel in the 1950s, and operated without a permit, it subsequently closed and reopened in the 60s.

Distance from Denver: 6 hr 30 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 6 hr 45 min
Closest Airport: Durango, La Plata County Airport airport, 1 hr 30 min

Kendall Ski & Snowboard School

There does not appear to be any lesson programs. However, the Kendall area is very beginner-friendly. It is an excellent place for advanced beginners to improve their skills.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Backcountry skiing – a bounty of backcountry skiing easily accessible from Kendal and surrounding areas. Be aware of avalanches.
Guided Snow-cat skiing – experience expert and extreme backcountry skiing with professional guides.
Nordic / Cross-country skiing – There is a town loop plus 3 other areas nearby.
Snowshoeing – plenty, rentals available at Grand Imperial Hotel.
Snowmobiling – over 150 miles of maintained trails. Access from town or Molas Pass.
Ice climbing – a variety of places.
Ice skating & sledding – town ice skating rink, free of charge, at Kendall Mountain Recreation Area. Sledding & tubing hill in the same location.

Kendall Mountain Specs

Skiable area – 16 acres
Trail classifications – 50% beginner, 40% intermediate, 10% advanced
Total runs – 7
Terrain parks – Three runs, small jumps, rails & features
Longest run – 2 miles, Navajo Trail
Lifts – 1 chairlift, 1 tow rope
Average snowfall – 200”
Summit Elevation – 9,313 ft
Base elevation – 9,300 ft
Vertical Rise – 283 ft
Night skiing -No

Silverton Mountain

A unique expert-only ski and ride area right out of Silverton, Colorado. One chairlift accesses 1,819 acres of pristine high alpine terrain—untouched, completely natural skiSilverton Mnt conditions except for avalanche mitigation. With no, grooming or cut ski runs, the mountain is left in its natural state. The chairlift drops off at the top of a cirque which accesses hiking along a ridge to huge vertical drops of up to 3,000’ in a single run.

Distance from Denver: 6 hr 48 min
Distance from Denver International Airport: 7 hr
Closest airport: Durango, 1 h 4 min. Check website for more details.

Silverton Mountain Ski & Snowboard School

No ski school or terrain park. Expert skiers/riders only. Guided experiences and Heli skiing and riding from Silverton and Telluride. Avalanche safety gear required.

Other Notable Services & Programs

Guided Skiing/Ride – groups of up to 8 people will hike from 5 minutes up to an hour for each run to access large bowls, steeps, and tight chutes with an expert guide. During heavy snowfall, skiing and riding is done primarily in the trees. Groups are formed based on hiking level (fast, medium, slow) and friends.
Unguided Skiing/Ride – you are not required to have a guide. The chair opens at 9 am.
Heli Skiing – access over 40 square miles of Colorado’s finest terrain. Offered 7-days a week, a 6 run Heli Day.
Telluride Heli Skiing/Ride – same thing but start and finish at telluride.
Single run Heli drop – only mountain in the US that offers a single run drop.

Silverton Mountain Specs

Skiable area – 1,819 acres
Heli and Hike accessible acres – 36,000 acres
Trail classifications – 100% advanced
Total runs
Terrain parks – none
Longest run – over 3,000′ vertical drop
Lifts – 1 chairlift
Average snowfall – 450+”
Summit Elevation – 13,487 ft
Base elevation – 10,400 ft
Vertical Rise – 3,087 ft
Night skiing -No

by Kathleen Fitzsimmons

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