In awe of the many Colorado ski resorts? We’ve got the low down on which is best for you.
The spectacular snow covered mountains of Colorado are one of the USA’s — and the world’s — most popular places for ski travel.
The breathtaking Rocky Mountains enjoy heavy snowfall and glorious sunshine, and provide a variety of skiing and snowboarding opportunities above 10,000 feet.
Also known as Ski Country USA, Colorado is a huge hive of resorts — but not all are created equal.
We’ve compiled this huge guide to the best ski resorts in Colorado so you can plan your dream snow vacation.
Let’s take it away…
- 1 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado
- 1.1 Vail
- 1.2 Aspen
- 1.3 Copper Mountain
- 1.4 Breckenridge
- 1.5 Steamboat Springs
- 1.6 Telluride
- 1.7 Beaver Creek
Best Ski Resorts in Colorado
With nearly 5300 acres of varied terrain, a vertical drop of 3041 ft, nearly year-round sunshine, an average snowfall of 360 inches a year, and seven legendary back bowls, Vail is definitely one of the best ski resorts in Colorado.
This huge resort has something for everyone — no matter if you’re a beginner or an expert skier.
The three main base areas include Golden Peak which is perfect for novices or those who prefer to go slow, and there are some excellent ski schools.
The quieter back bowls offer unprecedented skiing for more advanced skiers, and the Blue Sky Basin offers adventurous skiing on backcountry trails with advanced trails.
Although this is an incredibly popular resort which can get very busy, it’s happily large enough for you to be easily able to experience tranquil skiing without bumping into the crowds.
All types of après ski entertainment are available at Vail, with more than 10 bars serving craft ales and whiskeys, creative cocktails, and world class wines.
There are nearly 80 different restaurants and bistros, which cater for everything from high end dining to BBQs on the slopes.
There’s even a bowling alley, an outdoor ice rink, and a spa for when you want to wind down after an energetic day on the slopes. The shopping opportunities in Vail are abundant too, with hundreds of shops including clothing and jewelry boutiques, art galleries, designer brands, and ski supplies.
A member of the leading hotels in the world group, the 5 star boutique Sonnenalp Hotel (which means ‘sun on the mountains’) is the perfect luxury location for your holiday in Vail.
Located in the heart of Vail village, Sonnenalp boasts roaring open fires, a heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool, a cozy library, a superb spa offering indulgent treatments to rejuvenate mind and body, a wealth of activities for little ones at the kid’s club, and an 18 hole golf course for the warmer months.
The sumptuous suites each have a comfortable living area decorated in traditional Bavarian style with gas log fire, and a large bathroom with heated floor.
Guests can enjoy traditional European cuisine at the Swiss Chalet restaurant, elegant European gluten free fare at Ludwig’s restaurant, or for more casual dining the Bully Ranch which dishes up hearty Western style burgers and more.
Cocktails and live music can be enjoyed beside the fire on Friday and Saturday nights.
- Central village location
- 5 minutes walk from ski lift
- Spa, steam rooms and sauna
- Swimming pool
- Golf course
- Tennis courts
- Fitness center
- Kid’s club
- 4 different dining options
Glamorous Aspen has long been a haunt of the rich and famous, and it’s little wonder when you consider the world class facilities and incredible trails that this vast resort of 5,300 acres has on offer.
There are over 300 marked trails in the four resorts that make up Aspen, catering for all levels of experience. Halfpipes, tree runs and backcountry skiing are all in the midst to be enjoyed too.
With 3,572 ft of vertical descent, Aspen experiences 300 inches of average snowfall per year and is made up of four different resorts.
Snowmass has excellent facilities for children and beginners (plus an exciting alpine rollercoaster), while Aspen Mountain with its black-diamond terrain has hosted World Cup races for decades and is ideal for advanced skiers. Buttermilk features amazing parks and pipes which are great for pros, but also a good mixture of family-friendly beginner runs and legendary terrain park challenges. Lastly Aspen Highlands features extreme Colorado steeps with wide-open runs, breathtaking views, plenty of beginner and intermediate runs, and hike-accessible terrain that is some of the steepest in the state.
For entertainment away from the slopes, Aspen is also a winner. The après ski is lively, with Aspen and Snowmass village bursting with bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Exclusive cocktail lounges, romantic European restaurants, hip bars with live music, plenty of activities for the kids, and a snowcat ride up to the infamous Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro with its authentic Alpine atmosphere, elegant cuisine, open wood fires and iconic views are just some of the treats on offer.
In the villages, enchanting boutiques, glitzy designer fashions, fine art galleries, and gourmet food and drink products make for some seriously sensational shopping.
Oozing opulence, 5 star hotel The Little Nell offers world class service.
Cosmopolitan yet intimate and timeless, the rooms and suites offer all the comforts of a luxurious private home.
All rooms feature gas log fireplaces and most benefit from private balconies, many with mountain views. There are even luxury amenities for your pets should you wish to bring them along for your vacation.
The Element 47 restaurant offers silver service dining with Italian gourmet cuisine, and the sophisticated Ajax Tavern with its sun soaked terrace features high end casual dining.
At the hotel’s health center you can pamper body, mind and spirit with everything from spa and massage treatments, yoga classes or a vigorous workout with the high tech gym equipment. There is also a heated outdoor pool, and custom designed adventures and experiences are available.
- Ski to door access
- Swimming pool
- Health and fitness center
- 2 restaurants
- 3 bars
- Exclusive concierge services
- Pet friendly
Copper Mountain ski resort Colorado has almost 2,500 acres of terrain neatly separated into different areas to accommodate different levels of skiing ability, enabling beginners to learn safely and experts to experience an adrenaline rush without being slowed down by others on the slopes.
Around a quarter of the 126 marked trails are dedicated to intermediate skill levels, around 20% to beginners, and the rest allocated to the experts.
At 2,410 ft of vertical descent, Copper Mountain benefits from an average yearly snowfall of around 310 inches, and boasts 140 trails in total, as well as four famed bowls and some impressive parks and pipes.
This is one of the least busy ski resorts in Colorado, but is nevertheless one of the best — particularly for beginners and intermediates thanks to its excellent ski schools with award winning instructors.
There’s a pleasant, laid back atmosphere here, which can be felt both on the slopes and in the resort’s specially created ski villages, which makes Copper Mountain particularly well suited to families.
Plus, there are a huge number of restaurants to choose from — mostly casual establishments serving American fare –and although the nightlife doesn’t revolve around partying way into the wee hours, there are plenty of fun and fabulous bars with happy hours and live music to while away the evening.
This cozy condo is found in the hub of Center Village on Copper Mountain, and features beautiful views of the hills.
Conveniently situated only a short 2 minute stroll from the American Flyer and American Eagle ski lifts — as well as the ice skating rinks — the apartment features one bedroom but can accommodate up to six guests owing to the daybed and futon.
The kitchen and bathroom are fully equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay, and guests have full access to a shared Jacuzzi, hot tub, sauna and laundry room.
- Convenient access to ski lifts
- Village center location
- Nice views
- Hot tub and Jacuzzi
- Fully equipped kitchen
- Satellite TV with Netflix
With an average annual snowfall of 353 inches (with January, February and March being the snowiest months), plus a vertical drop of 3,398 ft and a skiable area of almost 3,000 acres, it’s no surprise that Breckenridge is ranked as one of Colorado’s best ski resorts — and it’s definitely one of the most popular.
The four mountain peaks are packed with terrific skiing terrain, with half of the trails being green or blue for beginners and intermediates, and the rest being made up of challenging terrains for experts including wide alpine bowls, tree skiing trails, and long mogul runs, and the infamous Imperial Express SuperChair — the highest chairlift in north America.
In addition to sensational skiing, Breckenridge is renowned for its awesome terrain parks boasting superlative jumps, pipes and rails which attract some of the world’s best park and pipe skiers and snowboarders.
The charming mountain town of Breckenridge is a genuine Western gold mining town founded in the 1850s — many consider it to be the perfect mountain town.
The historic Victorian buildings house chic boutiques, art galleries, quaint antique stores, designer fashion stores and much more.
There is a newly built indoor/outdoor theater where it’s possible to catch live shows and music acts, and the energetic après ski scene features inviting pubs, classy bars, and kicking nightclubs. The multitude of restaurants offer everything from French fine dining to pizzas and steakhouses.
This 3 star boutique lodge nestling on a forested cliff at 10,200 feet boasts 45 delightful guest rooms full of rustic charm with modern amenities, many of which have fireplaces and private balconies overlooking the mountains.
Located just five miles from Breckenridge town, the hotel benefits from a sumptuous luxury spa and wellness center with treatments to transform you inside and out, and a romantic restaurant with breathtaking views where all the dishes are created using the finest locally sourced, sustainable ingredients.
During the ski season a free shuttle is available to take you directly from the lodge to the slopes.
- Luxury spa and wellness center
- Sensational views
- Free shuttle
- Pet friendly
Based around an authentic Western town overlooking the Yampa Valley, and with 165 trails over 3,000 skiable acres with a vertical drop of 2,479 feet, Steamboat Springs benefits from 336 inches of average annual snowfall every year.
The terrain is varied to suit all skill levels, but is particularly well adapted for intermediate skiers, with nearly 50% of the trails being blue or easy black runs.
Expert skiers seeking thrills may find Steamboat a little less challenging, but will still find plenty of great trails to discover.
Beginners will love the gentler slopes of the beginner’s trails which are spread all over the mountain. There are no bowls or moguls at Steamboat, but there is some exhilarating tree skiing to be had.
The town of Steamboat Springs is a wonderful town with a true Western history, and plenty of cowboys and wranglers can be seen in the streets as well as on the slopes.
This is the heart of cowboy country, and the nightlife here is casual and fun, with bars, beers, rustic inspired cocktails and live bluegrass high on the agenda.
Après ski is where the most fun is at, as most places tend to close at a reasonable hour.
Restaurants here are good quality but fairly low key, and the focus is more on affordable upscale pub food than fine dining — think tasty gourmet comfort food.
The stylish 4 star Sheraton Steamboat Resort has everything you need for the perfect stay for your skiing vacation.
This fun filled retreat is perfect for families, and is the only resort in the area to offer a full ski in/ski out service thanks to its location right next to the Christie Peak express chairlift.
Spacious villas are full of welcoming features including gas fireplaces, private balconies, high tech entertainment systems and whirlpool tubs, but also benefit from practical, fully equipped kitchen spaces, laundry facilities and everything else you need to self cater.
A day spa offers a variety of relaxing treatments, as well as hot tubs to soothe away your aches and pains. A climate controlled outdoor pool is on site, as well as an impressive 18 hole golf course.
A play room filled with video games, pool and other activities is great for keeping the kids happy, and there’s a free shuttle service provided to take you into Steamboat town.
Four different eating options cater to every taste, from casual restaurant fare to delicious baked goods.
- Outdoor swimming pool
- Fitness center
- Day spa
- Hot tubs
- Restaurant and cafe
- Play room
- Free shuttle
With a vertical drop of 3,830 feet, Telluride is one of the highest altitude ski resorts in Colorado.
2,000 acres of fantastic mixed terrain offer everything from beginner skiing at 11,815 feet, long, groomed intermediate runs, and bumpy steep mogul runs, rugged bowls and wide expanses of powder fields for the experts — and all with magnificent panoramic mountain views.
Telluride is a relatively peaceful and crowd free resort, with great snow conditions and 336 inches of average snowfall per year.
Take a look at this awesome guide to the whole resort:
The recently opened Revelation Bowl (an Alpine area dedicated to advanced skiers) and the Gold Hill Chutes with incredible steeps have added even more pulling power to this peaceful resort
There’s no need to take your car anywhere in Telluride thanks to the unique pedestrian gondola which connects everything.
The historic town of Telluride is tucked into a canyon surrounded by towering mountains, and is a picturesque place full of prettily painted wooden houses. The gondola connects Telluride town to the more modern Mountain Village — a European style village embracing green practices and sustainable growth high up in the spruce covered mountains.
The dining scene at Telluride is second to none with over 60 different restaurants with exceptional cuisine from all over the world and at home where you can wine and dine.
The evening brings an incredible nightlife scene that fuses historic and contemporary, with traditional saloon bars and taverns alongside high class restaurants serving cocktails and fine wines.
The Hotel Telluride is a boutique chalet style hotel with a European feel located in the center of historic downtown Telluride.
The sophisticated, contemporary rooms and suites each feature awe-inspiring views of the San Juan Mountains. Many suites benefit from gas log fires, private balconies and/or Jacuzzi tub.
This is a very pet friendly hotel, so expect the needs of your furry friends to be catered for too.
There is a fitness center and spa, and a sun deck with hot tubs and saunas for the ultimate in relaxation. The 4 star hotel’s West End Bistro offers casual American cuisine in a comfortable lodge setting made using fresh, local ingredients.
Exploring town and travelling to and from the slopes is easy and free thanks to Hotel Telluride’s free shuttle and gondola service.
- Fitness center
- Spa, sauna and hot tubs
- Free shuttle and Gondola service
- Central location
- Excellent views
- Pet friendly
The ultimate in luxury, Beaver Creek is skiing for those who appreciate a lavish and indulgent experience, and slopeside ski valets are on hand nonstop to help you with everything from carrying your equipment to warming your boots.
With just over 1,800 acres of skiable terrain with an enormous vertical descent of 1,231 meters (known as the Birds of Prey run), Beaver Creek is not the biggest ski resort in Colorado — but it is certainly one of the best.
Snowfall here averages 325 inches per year, and the terrain features plenty of wide, groomed trails which are well adapted to novice and intermediate skiers — in fact, there are few ski resorts that can offer a comparable skiing experience for beginners.
Because Beaver Creek is so well known for offering excellent ski for beginners and intermediates, this leaves nearly 40% of more difficult terrain relatively uncrowded for the experts.
As you would expect from such a luxurious destination, Beaver Creek town is a picture perfect combination of old world charm and lavish modern amenities, rich with award winning restaurants, upscale galleries, high-end boutiques and first-rate lodging options for the most refined of guests.
The nightlife here rarely gets rowdy, but the après ski has a lot to offer with excellent cocktail bars, pleasant sunny terraces and plenty of places to grab some beers.
The glittering 5 star Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort overlooks scenic Beaver Creek Mountain, and makes for the perfect setting to experience the vacation of your dreams.
Guests benefit from ski-in/ski-out access plus hiking and biking trails on the doorstep, and outdoor activities continue all year round with a heated outdoor poor and fire pits to stay cozy as you watch the sun set.
The word class spa offers a full wellness experience including soothing body treatments and massages plus healing water treatments, and the state of the art fitness center has everything you need to get your blood pumping including a range of fitness classes.
There are five different dining options available, including the 8100 Mountainside Bar and Grill specializing in local, natural and organic dishes featuring Colorado’s best microbrews, wines and spirits and using hand selected fresh produce and ingredients from Colorado farms and other natural purveyors in the country.
The elegant and spacious rooms and suites feature premium amenities, high tech entertainment systems and lush linens with spectacular alpine views.
- Heated outdoor pool
- Ski-in/ski-out access
- Wellness Spa
- Fitness Centre
- 5 dining options
- Sauna and hot tub
- Close to hiking and biking trails
What are your picks for the best ski resorts in Colorado?