As much as we love the Colorado Rockies in the summer, we love them even more in the winter! Whether you want to experience the famed resorts of Aspen and nearby Snowmass, the quintessential town of Breckenridge, the newly renovated Copper Mountain or the incredibly unique Crested Butte, we promise that you will receive the best that the Colorado Rockies have to offer. Between these top resorts there are countless slopes, chutes, bowls, glades and terrain parks just waiting for you to shred on. You can enjoy incredible cuisine at over 9,000 feet, shop for souvenirs on the most charming main streets and most importantly, ski or snowboard to your heart’s desire with some of the best skiing in the Western United States.
Learn more about what makes these resorts to amazing for your next ski vacation:
Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Known for dining, luxury vacation and expert skiing
Home to the "Power of Four" ski resorts—Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass—and a thriving downtown scene, you can experience four unique getaways in one with a ski trip to Aspen. Beginner skiers and first-timers will Buttermilk and Snowmass, as they are plentiful in groomers and have designated "learn to ski" zones for adults and children. Expert skiers who are looking to fulfill their ski dreams can look to Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands, as they are both known for fantastic expert skiing and snowboarding.
When you're not skiing, you can explore Aspen's Victorian-style streets in hunt of world-class cuisine and the best places for après-ski, including Ajax Tavern and Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. You'll also be able to catch breathtaking views of the 14,000-foot Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak through parts of town and on the mountain.
Photo: Breckenridge Ski Resort
Known for family vacation, ski in, ski out and terrain parks
Breckenridge is one of the most popular ski destinations in Colorado, and for good reason! This versatile ski town and mountain have virtually anything you could possibly want for a winter getaway: world-class skiing for all levels, a thriving nightlife, a plethora of lodging options, amazing restaurants and a historic downtown scene with plenty to do.
Beginner skiers can comfortably learn and grow their ski skill set at the base of Peaks 8 and 9, while intermediates have their pick of pristine groomed runs at Breckenridge, as well as bowls from the new Peak 6 terrain. Expert skiers will relish the challenging runs off of the summit of Peak 8, the bowls around Peak 7 and the leg-burning moguls on Peak 10.
Photo: Copper Mountain
Known for intermediate skiing, family vacation and ski in, ski out
If you're looking for the convenience of staying in one place, Copper Mountain is the ski destination for you. The mountain terrain is naturally divided into sections based on difficulty, making it easy to determine which areas you want to ski on. Almost the entire right side (looking onward)—West Village area—is for beginners, the area—above Center Village—is great for intermediates and the right side—East Village—is made of almost all black runs. 54 percent of Copper's terrain is made for expert and advanced skiers and riders, making it great if you've done this thing a time or two.
Copper Mountain is also home to Woodward at Copper, an on- and off-snow training facility for terrain park and halfpipe progression. This somewhat self-contained resort is great for families and those who are looking to find everything located in the same place, including ski school, equipment rentals, restaurants and other winter activities.
Photo: Crested Butte Mountain Resort
Known for expert skiing, budget vacation and family vacation
There is something different about a ski vacation to Crested Butte, which is why the town attracts a different type of person: someone who willing to drive further, ski harder and dive deeper. Crested Butte offers a unique and beautiful experience that can't be found anywhere else, from its charming and colorful streets the jagged peaks of Mt. Crested Butte, you'll never want to leave and go back into the "real world" after visiting this spunky and individual ski town, otherwise acclaimed as "Colorado's last great ski town."
Crested Butte is mainly known for expert skiing (steep and extreme), but the vast majority of the terrain ranges from intermediate to advanced intermediate. The top parts of the mountain offer skiers and riders more challenging and technical runs, whereas the bottom section is great for beginners and intermediates.
Known for intermediate skiing, nightlife and shopping
As the fourth largest ski resort in North America, Vail truly has something for everyone. With terrain to please any type of skier or snowboarder, Vail's 5,289 acres offer pristine bowl skiing, an assortment of meandering intermediate trails, many beginner areas and tons of steep and deep terrain in the Back Bowls and Blue Sky Basin. Beginner skiing at Vail can be found by all three base villages—Golden Peak, Vail Village and Lionshead Village. At its heart, however, Vail is an intermediate skier's paradise, from the wide-open Back Bowls to the many zippy runs, there is enough to keep any skier busy day after day. But if you are looking for that expert terrain, Blue Sky Basin is the place to be, with cornice drops, leg-burning moguls and open powder fields abound.
When you're off the mountain, you can treat yourself to world-class cuisine, some of the best mountain shopping in the West, divine spa treatments and much more! If you're still looking to enjoy the fresh mountain air and stunning views of the Gore Range, head to Adventure Ridge, which offers activities like snow tubing, fat biking, bungee trampoline-ing, and more.
Photo: Telluride Ski Resort
Known for expert skiing, luxury vacation and dining
Telluride is one of Colorado’s most beautiful mountain towns, and boasts SKI Magazine's shortlist as a top five destination in the annual Resort Guide. While it make take you longer to reach the stunning box canyon in the San Juan Mountains, you'll be surely rewarded once your see Telluride's tall peaks reaching far above its charming streets. There are also two main areas to Telluride: Downtown and Mountain Village. While Downtown still holds the look and feel of a historic mining town, Mountain Village is more reminiscent of contemporary resort villages.
The slopes in Telluride also offer terrain for all levels and abilities, from groomed beginner runs to challenging, rock-littered terrain. Most of Telluride's skiing also offers unparalleled and panoramic views of the San Juan Mountains that bring back visitors year after year.
Photo: Steamboat Resort
Known for family vacation, intermediate skiing and ski in, ski out
Steamboat is one of Colorado's snowfall leaders, packing in over 350 inches annually. Its celebrated Champagne Powder and Western heritage offer visitors a unique spin a classic ski town, and skiing isn't bad either. The terrain is well dispersed, allowing skiers and riders the ability to explore all over the mountain, and even ski together in some cases. The front side of the mountain is great for first-timers, families and beginners, while the backside offers tons of well-spaced trees and steeps for intermediate and expert skiers and riders.
Off the mountain, Steamboat delivers a high-quality foodie scene, amenities and lodging for every budget and some of the best affordable ski in, ski out condos. Visitors can also enjoy over nine miles of Nordic ski trails, snow tubing, winter horseback riding, sleigh rides, hot air ballooning, snowmobiling and hot spring excursions.