List of Colorado Ski Resorts

List of Colorado Ski Resorts
The very word "Colorado" conjures images of light powder snow and high-elevation, world-class resorts. Colorado courts skiers from around the globe, offering exhaustive deals and packages. Many resorts have destination status, with vast public and private transportation networks and ski-in/ski-out accommodations. Most areas, typically wrapped in quaint, expensive tourist-magnet villages, have hiking, climbing and biking opportunities in summer and alpine skiing (cross-country too) and terrain parks, sledding and snowmobiling in winter. The Colorado Pass is valid at five ski areas fairly close to Denver.


Four distinct areas make up the Aspen complex south of Glenwood Springs on Highway 82, about 4 hours from Denver. Families love the vast, groomed glides and glades (glades are forested venues with comfortable space to ski between the trees) of Snowmass, and its 24 lifts offer access to 4,406 vertical feet (that's four Eiffel Towers) and 91 trails. Aspen Highlands' claim to fame is steeps, ably represented at Olympic and Highland Bowls and Steeplechase run. Buttermilk is the choice for beginning skiers, with groomed slopes on gently rolling terrain. Buttermilk hosts the ESPN Winter X Games through 2010. At Aspen Mountain, with a vertical rise of 3,267 and a variety of difficulty, skiers can take a steep plunge right into Aspen Village.

Aspen Resorts
P.O. Box 1248
Aspen, CO 81612
(970) 925-1220
(800) 308-6935


Rumored to have been named for cries of "To Hell You Ride" by miners as they approached the town but probably named for the element tellurium, Telluride, is a beautifully restored mining town in southwest Colorado where Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank. Its 18 lifts take skiers to runs of all ability levels, and there is even a gondola between the ski village and town of Telluride. From the 13,150 summit, 4,425 vertical feet can be skied and 115 trails sampled.

Telluride Ski & Golf
565 Mt. Village Blvd.
Telluride, CO 81435
(970) 728-6900


The charm of this old cattle ranch town on Highway 40 is more tempting to many skiers than the glitzier resorts to the south. Steamboat's skiing spans five peaks in northwest Colorado, with 142 trails, a 3,668 vertical drop and the longest superpipe in the United States.

Steamboat Ski & Resort Corporation
2305 Mt. Werner Circle
Steamboat, CO 80487
(877) 237-2628


Vail, located about midway between Grand Junction and Denver on Highway 70, is the country's largest ski area, with 33 lifts on two mountains and featuring a variety of terrain at all ability levels, splendid Back Bowls and incredible snow conditions. Lightly developed Blue Sky Basin offers natural meadows and glades in contrast to the more common wide, groomed experience at Vail. Upscale Vail Village is a minefield of pricey boutiques.

Vail Resorts
P.O. Box 7
Vail, CO 81658
(970) 476-5601


Yet another picturesque old mining town made into a lavish ski resort, Breckenridge, 104 miles west from Denver, has great multi-difficulty skiing from 30 lifts, a 3,398 total vertical rise and North America's highest chairlift. From beginner trails off Chair 7 on Peak 8, including 3.5-mile Four O' Clock run, to the 45-degree pitches on Peak 7, Breckenridge pleases a wide profile of skiers.

Breckenridge Resort
P.O. Box 1058
Breckenridge, CO 80424
(800) 789-7669

Crested Butte

This slightly less tricked-out resort, 30 miles from Gunnison in western Colorado, has retained some old-world charm and is in a visually stunning part of the state. Crested Butte is big enough to indulge many skill levels but small enough to avoid overwhelming skiers.

Crested Butte Mountain Resort
12 Snowmass Rd.
P.O. Box 5700
Mt. Crested Butte, CO 81225
(970) 349-2222
(888) 945-3356

Article Written By Barry Truman

Barry Truman has published many outdoor activity articles in the past five years with International Real Travel Adventures, the Everett Herald and Seattle Post Intelligencer newspapers, Backpacking Light Magazine and He has a forestry degree from the University of Washington.

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