The Elite Selection of Colorado's Ski Resorts: A Comprehensive Guide for All Skiers

Last Update: Apr 27, 2024 |

In the realm of skiing, Colorado reigns supreme. This state is a celebrated destination for ski enthusiasts, offering a stunning variety of terrain, impeccable snow quality, and exceptional amenities off the slopes. With a lineup of over 30 ski resorts, including household names like Vail, Aspen, and Breckenridge, and family favorites such as Keystone, Steamboat, and Winter Park, picking the perfect resort can be a delightful challenge. Our team of ski travel experts has curated a list of Colorado’s finest ski resorts to guide your choice.

1. Breckenridge Ski Resort

guide for all skiers

Renowned For

Breckenridge stands as one of Colorado's most visited ski resorts, boasting an internationally recognized ski town.


  • Offering more than just skiing, Breckenridge is home to activities like dog-sledding and snowmobiling.
  • Enjoy vibrant nightlife in this bustling ski town.
  • Accommodation ranges from budget-friendly to luxury lodging.
  • Be mindful of large crowds due to its popularity.

Nearest Airports

Denver International Airport - 104 miles away, approximately a 2.5-hour drive.

Why Ski Breckenridge

Breckenridge’s vast terrain spans 2,908 acres with 187 trails, making it a top skiing destination in Colorado. The Imperial Express SuperChair, North America’s highest chairlift, reaches an altitude of 12,840 feet, offering stunning views of Colorado's peaks. The resort's high base elevation at 9,600 feet contributes to excellent snow quality. Peak 8 is the heart of the resort, featuring groomers, terrain parks, and powder-filled bowls. The EPIC Ski Pass program provides access to the resort.

The Town

Voted one of the best ski towns in the US, Breckenridge's Main Street is lined with eateries, bars, and a brewery. The town also offers a perfect balance of lodging, après-ski entertainment, and non-skiing activities at competitive prices.

2. Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort

Known For

Vail is world-renowned for its vast terrain, legendary back bowls, and exceptional guest experience.


  • The largest ski area in Colorado, offering a wide range of terrain.
  • A charming ski town with endless dining and shopping options.
  • Luxury at its finest in Colorado.
  • Consider the potential for large crowds and high costs.

Nearest Airports

  • Eagle County Regional Airport - 34 miles (50-minute drive).
  • Denver International Airport - 120 miles (2.5-hour drive).

Why Ski Vail

Vail stands as a monumental ski destination in Colorado. As Vail Resorts' flagship mountain and part of the EPIC Pass program, it offers a vast terrain and a world-class ski village. With a mix of European-style villages and plenty of après options, Vail is a complete skiing experience, albeit with potential crowds and premium pricing.

The Mountain

Spanning 5,317 acres, Vail’s terrain stretches across a ridge with extensive front and back areas. It features 31 modern lifts and diverse trails for all skill levels. The resort reaches up to 11,570 feet and offers two beginner skiing areas at Golden Peak and Lionshead.

The Town

Comprising Golden Peak, Vail Village, and Lionshead, these areas span 7 miles and are connected by a free bus system.

Vail Village

The hub of the resort, Vail Village hosts most shops, restaurants, and bars, offering mainly high-end lodging with convenient access to the lifts.

Lionshead Village

A short distance from Vail Village, Lionshead boasts dining, après ski options, and access to the slopes via key lifts.

Golden Peak

A quieter, more residential area, Golden Peak is close to beginner skiing areas and the race arena, making it ideal for families.

3. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort

Celebrated For

Aspen combines four unique ski areas on one lift ticket, centered around a famed Colorado ski town.


  • A lively and upscale town brimming with dining and shopping options.
  • Access four distinct ski areas with one ticket.
  • Offers one of Colorado's most varied ski and snowboard experiences.
  • A premium skiing destination.

Nearest Airports

  • Aspen/Pitkin County Airport - 8 miles (15-minute drive).
  • Denver International Airport - 220 miles (4-hour drive).

Why Ski Aspen

A haven for the affluent, Aspen comprises four distinct resorts: Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands, each offering a unique skiing experience. The town, known for attracting celebrities, boasts an array of dining, nightlife, and shopping venues. Although pricier, Aspen's superb après-ski scene makes it a popular choice.

The Four Mountains

Each mountain offers a distinct skiing experience, from Aspen Mountain's intermediate and advanced runs to Snowmass's family-friendly terrain. Buttermilk caters to beginners and hosts the Winter X games, while Aspen Highlands is ideal for advanced skiing.

The Town

Choose between Snowmass Village and downtown Aspen for lodging, with Snowmass offering a family-oriented atmosphere and downtown Aspen providing a vibrant après ski scene.

4. Winter Park Resort

Winter Park Resort

Famed For

Winter Park, the closest major ski resort to Denver, is perfect for families.


  • Easily accessible from Denver, including weekend train service.
  • Varied terrain suitable for all abilities.
  • A family-oriented resort with excellent ski schools and tubing activities.
  • A more intimate base area compared to larger resorts.

Nearest Airports

Denver International Airport - 90 miles (2-hour drive).

Why Ski Winter Park

Winter Park, known for its family-friendly atmosphere, is one of Colorado's more affordable ski resorts. With 3,081 acres across two mountains and seven distinct territories, it ranks as the state's fourth-largest resort. The resort offers a relaxed village atmosphere with dining and shopping options, plus kid-friendly activities like tubing and snowmobiling. It's also the only U.S. ski resort with direct Amtrak service.

The Mountain

The resort features seven territories, each with its own skiing personality. Winter Park Territory is ideal for families and beginners, while Mary Jane is celebrated for its challenging moguls and tree skiing.

The Town

Accommodation options are split between Winter Park Village and the surrounding areas. The village offers convenience for slope access and resort amenities, while downtown Winter Park, a short drive away, provides a wider range of dining and shopping options.

5. Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek Resort

Recognized For

Beaver Creek, often referred to as Vail's sophisticated sibling, offers an indulgent skiing experience.


  • Beaver Creek delivers an unparalleled ski getaway with upscale dining.
  • Less crowded than its larger counterpart, Vail.
  • Exceptional grooming and excellent beginner terrain.
  • A pricier option among Colorado resorts.

Nearest Airports

  • Eagle County Regional Airport - 28 miles (30-minute drive).
  • Denver International Airport - 130 miles (3-hour drive).

Why Ski Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek sets itself apart with luxurious amenities like escalators to the chairlifts and complimentary cookies. It caters well to beginner and intermediate skiers with scenic, well-groomed runs. The summit of Beaver Creek Mountain, the highest point, is accessible via key chairlifts. The resort's lower base elevation is a plus for visitors acclimating to altitude. Although smaller than Vail with 2,082 acres, Beaver Creek offers a less crowded skiing experience.

The Mountain

The resort is known for its beautifully groomed runs that meander down the mountain, providing a scenic skiing experience. It also offers challenging expert terrain, but those seeking more extreme skiing may prefer other resorts.

The Town

Beaver Creek Village is the resort's core, with easy access to most terrain and hosting the majority of dining and shopping venues. The nearby Town of Avon provides more affordable lodging and is connected to the mountain by a short gondola ride.

To enhance your ski trip experience, consider using a car service from Denver to Breckenridge or a car service from Denver airport to Beaver Creek for a comfortable and hassle-free journey to these top Colorado ski destinations.

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