Vail is the largest single-resort in the United States and the second largest in North America. With over 5,200 acres of terrain, Vail is the essence of a "major resort". You'll find three terrain parks, seven bowls and 193 trails spread over three distinct mountain areas. Vail is truly gigantic.
Vail is part of a larger ski corporation that also owns other Colorado resorts such as Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Keystone. It's not difficult to find inter-resort deals. The Epic Pass, a season pass to all four Vail Resorts' Colorado resorts plus Heavenly in California, was one of the best deals of the 2008/2009 season.
P.O. Box 7
Vail, CO 81658
At 2,000 acres, Telluride can't compete with Vail in terms of size. However, Telluride does offer one of the largest vertical drops in the United States. Dropping 4,425 feet (3,845 lift-served) from one of the highest ski resort peak elevations in North America (13,150 feet), Telluride gives its patrons some serious vertical. This vertical has contributed to Telluride's reputation as one of Colorado's most challenging resorts. You'll find all kinds of expert terrain at the resort including many hike-to options.
Telluride Ski Resort
565 Mountain Village Blvd.
Telluride, CO 81435
Aspen is probably Colorado's most infamous ski resort town. Home to serious skiers and avid non-skiers alike, Aspen offers glitz and glam like few other ski resorts in North America. Beyond its flashy exterior, Aspen was made famous because of its world-class slopes. The resort town is home to four separate resorts: Aspen, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk. Among these four resorts, you'll find every type of terrain and feature you could ask for including challenging steeps, meticulously-groomed cruisers and a Superpipe.
601 E Dean Street
Aspen, CO 81612
Those not intimately familiar with Colorado skiing may never have heard of Wolf Creek. Indeed, this resort tucked away in the southwest of Colorado, over 240 miles from Denver, is one of Colorado's more anonymous resorts. However, in skiing, anonymous is often a good feature. That can lead to shorter lift lines, less crowded slopes and more fresh snow. When it comes to the latter, Wolf Creek has no superior in Colorado. With an annual snowfall average of 465 inches, Wolf Creek is the snowfall champion of America's skiing state. In a sport that relies on snow for its very existence, such an impressive snowfall total is more than enough to earn Wolf Creek a spot on this list.
Wolf Creek Ski Area
P.O. Box 2800
Pagosa Springs, CO 81147
Silverton is perhaps better termed an "anti-resort" than a ski resort. Consisting of just one chairlift and a yurt as a base lodge, Silverton is miles away from Aspen in terms of amenities. However, the skiing is a truly unique, world-class experience. After riding the single lift, hike the ridge line to the route of your choice and plunge in. Given its limited access and caps on the number of skiers, you're bound to find fresh snow and truly thrilling, demanding terrain. With 100% of its terrain classified as advanced or expert, Silverton is a must-ski for any true, hardcore skier.
P.O. Box 654
Silverton, CO 81433