Colorado Real Estate News

Best Ski Resorts in Colorado

Approximately 470 ski resorts are operating in the United States as of 2021. One of the top locations to ski in the nation is the Colorado Rocky Mountains, with upwards of 32 ski resorts open during peak winter months. Each destination offers a unique experience, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran. Finding the right resort in Colorado depends on your own unique personal taste, skill level, and budget. Keeping that in mind, here’s a list of the top Colorado ski resorts. 


Vail Ski Resort 

Originally a training base for the 10th Mountain Division during World War Two, Vail Ski Resort boasts over 5,300 acres of breathtaking terrain. Located about two hours away from the Denver International Airport, Vail has activities for skiers and non-skiers alike, making it an ideal destination for a family getaway.  

There are two base areas at the foot of the mountain (Lion’s Head, Vail Village), providing easy access to Colorado’s largest ski area.  There are plenty of blue and green runs for the novice skier, including Born-Free, one of the longest runs in America. We recommend heading to the expansive back bowls and an even deeper journey to Blue Sky Basin for the expert skier.  

Once you’re done skiing for the day, the beautiful town of Vail has heated cobblestone streets and is designed to resemble the European Alps with its many chalets. There is a plethora of fine dining and shopping to keep you occupied while your boots are drying. It’s enough to make you consider buying a home in Colorado to stay here forever. 

Adult Lift Ticket: $189 – $221 

Child Lift Ticket: $134 – $144 

Senior Lift Ticket: $187 – $199 


Steamboat Springs 

Located in Yampa Valley on State Highway 40, Steamboat Springs is a true cowboy town. About a three and a half hour drive from Denver, this can’t miss resort claims bragging rights for having some of the best champagne powder in the world. Known for its expansive tree skiing, Steamboat has produced more Olympic athletes than any other town in Colorado. For the young ones, the resort offers a fantastic kids camp, private lessons, and group lessons.  

After your long day on the mountain, reward yourself and the family by going to Strawberry Hot Springs – a natural geothermal pool nestled on the edge of town. Afterwards, head downtown to enjoy dinner overlooking the Yampa River. We recommend Salt & Lime or Mazzola’s Italian. Once you experience Steamboat, we promise you’ll want to return annually, or even make this diamond in the rough for your next vacation home.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $179 – $207 

Child Lift Ticket: $123 – $145 

Senior Lift Ticket: $177 – $197 


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Breckenridge 

Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski resorts in the state, with 187 trails spread across five mountain peaks. You’ll also find North America’s highest chairlift, the Imperial Express Superchair at a whopping 12,840 feet! The ski resort rests at an impressive elevation of 9,600 feet, which means you’ll get quality snow, but also be aware of altitude sickness if you’re not used to being so far above sea level.  

Breckenridge is only an hour and a half from Denver, making it an easy day trip or the perfect winter getaway. It is also located near Frisco and Lake Dillon and a short drive to Silverthorne for shopping at one of Colorado’s premier outlet malls. 

Adult Lift Ticket: $178 – $191 

Child Lift Ticket: $110 – $123 

Senior Lift Ticket: $161 – $179 


Winter Park/Mary Jane 

Winter Park won the vote for the best ski resort in North America for the third year in a row. With 3,081 acres of terrain and 166 runs, it appeals to different ability levels, making it ideal for the whole family. Winter Park is also one of the more affordable resorts in Colorado and is only an hour and a half drive from Denver. 

Once you are done carving up the mountain, you’ll also find a slew of activities appealing to kids and adults alike. The resort offers ice bumper cars, snowmobiling, ice skating, snowshoe tours, and a tube park. Relax with a cold beverage or hot chocolate at Pepperonis or Goodies Mountain Creperie, and enjoy elegant dining at Deno’s Mountain Bistro or Fontenot’s Seafood and Grill. 

Adult Lift Ticket: $131 – $146 

Child Lift Ticket: $89 – $97 


Aspen Snowmass 

With a combination of four different ski locations around both Aspen and Snowmass Village, you’ll find a wide selection of terrain to slice some turns. Aspen Snowmass manages to rival even Vail for its massive size.  

Snowmass Mountain has over 3,000 acres of gorgeous runs and trails, ideal for skiers of an intermediate level. Buttermilk is best known for hosting winter weather sports such as the Winter X-games. You’ll find both beginner-friendly and intermediate runs at Buttermilk. Aspen Highlands is considered the local’s choice, fraught with double black diamonds and steep runs. Also known as Ajax, Aspen Mountain has a brand new gondola, providing easy access to this iconic mountain.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $191 – $217 

Child Lift Ticket: $138 – $146 


Beaver Creek 

Beaver Creek is only twenty minutes from Vail and is considered a sibling resort that excels at luxury. If you’re in search of the ultimate pampering experience, then Beaver Creek is for you. You’ll get everything from escalators between the village and the chairlift, freshly baked cookies, and an array of shopping and fine dining. Scattered throughout the village is a new artistic playground with oversized sculptures, perfect for picture taking and memories to last a lifetime.  

At Beaver Creek, you’ll find a less crowded environment but also a similar experience to Vail in terms of the gorgeous scenery and fabulous terrain. Birds of Prey is an iconic run home to Olympic trial competitions, and Red Buffalo is the perfect playground for beginners and intermediate skiers.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $199 – $220 

Child Lift Ticket: $131 – $144 

Senior Lift Ticket: $189 – $201 


Telluride Ski Resort 

Telluride is a remote town set high up in the San Juan Mountains. There is only one road in and out of this hidden mountain gem, with towering peaks overlooking a narrow, almost daunting valley. If you enjoy vertical ski environments, then Telluride is perfect for you. You’ll find over 2,000 acres of terrain, with a base elevation that starts at 8,725 feet and then tops off at 13,150 feet at the peak. Whether you are a beginner or advanced skier, you’ll find it all at Telluride. If you’re a hardcore expert, there’s a hike-to terrain offering extreme skiing. 

After you’re done skiing for the day, you’ll find that Telluride is an authentic mountain town with original, historical homes lining the quaint streets. The locals stay all year long, but this is also a popular, of-the-beaten-path destination for adventure seekers. Warm by a fire pit enjoying a cold beer and nibbling on local, farm-raised cuisine at the mountain base.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $199 – $205 

Child Lift Ticket: $110 – $119 

Senior Lift Ticket: $167 – $179 


Keystone Resort 

Spread across three mountains, Keystone offers ski trails that take you through the wilderness and away from the resort itself. Dercum Mountain offers runs best suited for those who enjoy leisurely gliding and jaw-dropping scenery. North Peak has a bit more advanced terrain, including steep runs to get your legs burning. The Outback has the resort’s highest peak at 12,000 feet and is suited for intermediate level and above. 

You’ll find two different villages at Keystone: River Run and Lakeside. River Run is the primary village at the mountain base, with various dining options and excellent shopping. Additionally, parking here is free, compared to being at a Vail premium. Lakeside Village is as the name sounds. Nestled around a small lake, Lakeside Village is a scenic little village with luxury hotels, shops, and restaurants on the water’s shore. During the winter, the lake freezes over and becomes a massive skating rink. 

Adult Lift Ticket: $141 – $159 

Child Lift Ticket: $82 – $92 

Senior Lift Ticket: $131 – $149  


Purgatory Resort 

Once known as Durango Mountain Resort, Purgatory Mountain Resort is a family-oriented destination despite how its name sounds. This unknown resort is right outside of Durango in the San Juan Mountains. Here you’ll find mostly ski runs that are suited for those at a beginner or intermediate level. However, Purgatory has established an array of runs to attract skiers at a more advanced level in recent years. 

One of the biggest attractions of Purgatory is it offers a money-saving program. Children 12 years of age and under get a pass to ski for free. On top of that, there are no blackout dates. There are excellent options for lodging in town, plus fantastic amenities including transportation, shuttle services, and direct flights to Durango.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $102 – $110 


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Copper Mountain 

About an hour and a half from Denver, Copper Mountain is perhaps the most family-focused resort on our list. With 23 lifts spread out across 2,465 acres, you will find a mix of runs for all skill levels and abilities. There are numerous parking lots at the mountain base, including several free lots, plus complimentary shuttle service to the mountain.  

You can also check out the Kids Club, which offers supervised activities for kids ages 4-12 throughout the day. In addition to skiing, the resort offers ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, sleigh rides, and more.  

Although Copper Mountain is a tiny town, it’s centrally located to Vail and Frisco, making it accessible for day-outings or overnight stays in both locations.  

Adult Lift Ticket: $171 – $197 

Child Lift Ticket: $113 – $124 


Arapahoe Basin 

Referred to by locals as “A-Basin,” Arapahoe Basin is one of the more elevated resorts on our list. The mountain falls within Loveland Pass and has a summit elevation of 13,050 feet. Because its base elevation is 10,780 feet, Arapahoe can often stay open past June, so if you’re searching for a place to ski in the spring, then Arapahoe Basin is your best bet. 

While the resort used to be known for having limited terrain and best suited for beginner to intermediate level, Arapahoe has worked hard to change that. The resort invested in a multi-year expansion and now has a hike-to destination for advanced skiers. 

Overall, you’ll find a more old-school, relaxed atmosphere at Arapahoe Basin. It’s commonplace for people to be seen eating lunch at picnic tables and watching skiers come down the runs. 

Adult Lift Ticket: $107 – $119 

Child Lift Ticket: $71 – $89 

Senior Lift Ticket: $80 – $89 


Conclusion 

Colorado is home to the breathtaking Rocky Mountains and leads the nation’s ultimate skiing and winter experience. If you love the outdoors and are thinking of moving to Colorado, we would be honored to help you find your new, perfect home. A real estate transaction can be a complex journey loaded with unexpected bumps and turns. Kentwood brokers intimately know the Colorado real estate market and will guide you down the best path and through any difficulties that may come up. Interested in buying a home? We can provide home buying tips, market trends, and lifestyle topics. Please reach out to us and let us know how you’re doing and how we can help. 

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