Colorado has excellent ski resorts. The state is blessed with a long ski season, which can begin as early as November, and end as late as June. Most areas get a consistently high snowfall, and many have terrain that is suitable for many skiing levels. Colorado is also famous for its affordable season passes, which often include access to a number of resorts. Choosing the "best" resort is difficult, because the concept is subjective. However, the following resorts have the most varied terrain, excellent ski schools, modern lift systems, good season pass deals and easy access by public transportation. Some resorts get extra credit for having an interesting ski town.
Steamboat Ski Resort
They call it Ski Town, USA, and for a good reason. Steamboat has produced more than 47 Olympic skiers and snowboarders, which is more than any other North American town. In fact, former Olympian Deb Armstrong is the director of skiing at Steamboat. Olympians aside, Steamboat has great perks for the basic recreational skiers. It was recently purchased by Intrawest, which owns Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Whistler, Tremblant and a number of other ski resorts in North America. Each year, Intrawest offers visitors and season-pass holders a variety of multi-resort deals. Steamboat has an efficient lift system. It includes a gondola, which is a blessing in the cold weather. Many of the trails at Steamboat wind around the mountain, which means that you get more vertical on a single run. The town has an authentic cowboy culture, which can be fun for kids, or for people interested in Western U.S. history.
2305 Mt. Werner Circle
Steamboat, CO 80487
Beaver Creek is part of the Vail family of resorts, which includes Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge. Some season pass and multi-day lift ticket options include days at the other Vail Resort properties. While Vail Ski Resort itself gets more press, locals know that Beaver Creek is actually the better ski area. Although it is not as large as Vail, much of Vail's size is based on the cat tracks, which are narrow trails that connect the different areas. In contrast, Beaver Creek has a variety of wide open trails. In some cases, half the trail is groomed, and the other half is a mogul run, which makes it easy for people of varying levels to ski the same trail. Beaver Creek customer service is superb. The staff goes out of its way to help guests in any way that they can. This includes greeting them at the top of the lift and offering advice on the best trails for their terrain preferences.
Beaver Creek Ski Resort
There was a time when Breckenridge would not have made it to the "best of Colorado" list, since its terrain was considered too easy for advanced skiers and riders. This changed with the Imperial Express Super Chair, which is the highest lift in North America, and offers lift-serviced access to backcountry terrain. Breckenridge also has some of the best beginner terrain in Colorado, as well as an exciting Victorian town with a wide variety of off-slope activities.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
PO Box 1058
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.