Photo courtesy Gunnison-Crested Butte Tourism Association
Snow report: 888-272-7246, ext. 1
Snapshot: Steep and long—that’s A-Basin’s terrain and season, respectively. With one of the most challenging runs and one of the longest ski seasons in North America, Arapahoe Basin delivers unmatched views of the Continental Divide. This season’s doubled terrain offerings in pristine Montezuma Bowl, coupled with A-Basin’s springtime base-area “beach,” continue to make it the perennial locals’ haunt.
(Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Snowmass)
Snow report: 888-277-3676
Snapshot: With four complementary mountains near the historic and picturesque town of Aspen, Aspen Snowmass provides beginners to extreme skiers alike a variety of terrain to explore on more than 5,000 combined acres and 300 trails. This season, the world’s premier action sports event, Winter X Games, comes to Buttermilk for the eighth straight year, while the resort corporation continues to push the envelope in environmentally sound initiatives, on and off mountain.
Snow report: 970-476-5601, ext. 7
Snapshot: “Not exactly roughing it” couldn’t be a more fitting descriptor for what you’ll find at Beaver Creek—from luxurious accommodations and upscale dining and shopping to heated walkways and mountain ambassadors who attend to your every need. Beaver Creek’s mountain terrain is captivatingly diverse, and this season a new high-speed quad chairlift in Rose Bowl will distribute skiers around the mountain for fewer lift lines and quicker access to wide-open runs.
Snow report: 800-842-8062, ext. 7
Snapshot: Celebrating its 50th anniversary, this quintessential Colorado resort is four diverse mountains in one, anchored to a charming downtown by the BreckConnect gondola. Breckenridge raises the bar every season, from the mountain’s cutting-edge, 22-foot superpipe and annual stop for the Winter Dew Tour to the historic village’s ever-expanding dining and shopping options and quirky winter festivals.
Snow report: 888-556-2627
Snapshot: One the state’s most accessible ski areas, Copper Mountain is a straight shot from Denver off Interstate 70, and features naturally divided easy-to-expert terrain for skiers and boarders. A network of mini base villages links lodging, restaurants, bars, shops, the ski school area, and ground-breaking indoor and on-mountain competitive snowsports training facilities. This season, a new connector trail and quad lift replacing High Point Lift make skier circulation in West Village quicker than ever.
Snow report: 888-867-6933
Snapshot: Just far enough off the beaten path, the charming town of Crested Butte and its modern mountain just up the hill provide the perfect mix of historic charm and contemporary luxuries. Improvements this season include renovations at the popular mid-mountain Paradise Warming Hut, enhanced kids’ ski trails, an on-mountain zip-line canopy tour, and an infusion of new demo and rental equipment.
Snow Report: 303-325-7347, ext. 3
Snapshot: Small but mighty, Echo Mountain is Colorado’s newest—and Denver’s closest—ski area, just west of Evergreen. This freestyle snow park continues to add terrain and trick-riding features each year while expanding offerings for beginners. In addition to continuing nighttime riding under lights and affordable kids’ lessons, Echo has improved its ski trails and made park features even more challenging.
Snow report: 303-440-8700
Snapshot: Just 21 miles from Boulder, Eldora is a quick drive away—or RTD bus ride if you prefer delivery 50 feet from the lift. With additional upgrades to one of the state’s best snowmaking systems, plus beginner terrain and the Kids’ Adventure Zone, double-black diamond terrain in Corona Bowl and onsite cross-country skiing trails, Eldora provides an accessible mix of winter adventures in Boulder’s backyard.
Snow report: 800-842-8062 ext. 7
Snapshot: Kids love Keystone. With Kidtopia, the largest free family event in the Rockies, and a wildly popular Kids’ Adventure Zone and renowned ski school, Keystone is family skiing at its finest. In addition to three diverse mountain zones, Keystone boasts the state’s largest nighttime ski operations, as well as exceptional alternative experiences like ice skating, four-diamond dining, sleigh rides and eco-friendly outdoor adventures.
Snow Report: 303-571-5580, ext. 221
Lodging: 800-225-LOVE (5683)
Snapshot: Drive 53 miles from Denver, park slopeside for free, buy an affordable lift ticket, jump on line-free lifts, take in breathtaking views from the highest lift-served terrain in the world and ride down. Repeat. That’s a day at locals’ favorite Loveland Ski Area. This season, Loveland adds new snowmaking capabilities in Loveland Valley and Loveland Basin, a facelift to Ptarmigan Roost Cabin, and a new triple lift to replace Chair 4.
Snow report: 888-996-7669
Snapshot: At Monarch, expect more snow for less money. This ski area’s deliciously powder-coated terrain features beginner runs, groomed cruisers and adventurous tree skiing, plus backcountry snowcat-assisted skiing in Gunnison National Forest. Upgrades at Monarch this season include a new lift on Snowflake run, a renovated parking lot, expanded demo and rental gear, and a new 14-person touring snowcat.
Snow report: 970-268-5300
Snapshot: Powderhorn is perched on the world’s largest flat-top mountain, near Grand Junction. Locals often ski a few powder runs in the morning and come down to the valley to shoot nine holes of golf in the afternoon. In addition to affordable tickets, dedicated glade skiing and quiet slopes, Powderhorn—now under new ownership—will enhance its terrain parks, family ski programs and ski-and-stay packages.
Snow report: 970-247-9000
Snapshot: As part of its 25-year expansion project, Purgatory continues a base-area overhaul with exciting new lodging, dining and skier services. With its natural “terraced” terrain, Purgatory, in a quiet corner of southwest Colorado, appeals to skiers of all abilities. New this season is challenging, high-angle grooming on expert terrain and the Purgatory Plunge Zip-Line, which launches riders at 35 mph from the Purgatory Village Tower over the “ski beach.”
Snow report: 970-387-5706
Snapshot: Heavily endowed with snow, Silverton is a big-mountain, free-skiing paradise. Here the annual snowfall tops 400 inches, which exceeds the number of daily skier visitors. A single lift (and expert guides if you need them) takes riders to the state’s most expert, backcountry-style, ungroomed terrain. For the truly adventurous, there are also helicopter drops into Silverton’s most extreme sections.
Snow report: 719-486-2277
Snapshot: The home ski area for the high-altitude mining town of Leadville, this delightfully down-to-earth and affordable family ski area serves up plenty of beginner terrain while still accommodating experts in the glades and bowls on Ski Cooper’s Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours. This season, kids will enjoy a new 770-foot-long magic carpet, which replaces Printer Boy Platter.
Snow report: 866-SOL-VISTA (765-8478) ext. 4
Main: 866-765-8478 ext 2
Lodging: 866-765-8478 ext. 1
Snapshot: Just up the road from Winter Park, easy and affordable SolVista Basin features interconnected beginner and intermediate mountain zones that funnel to a family-friendly base area. Nordic trails, luxury condos, a golf course and hot springs are nearby. SolVista Basin’s latest improvements include plenty of terrain park upgrades: new log jibs, a 6-foot satellite dish, an all-natural log park off Jackalope run, and Progression Park, a beginner base-area terrain park.
Snow report: 970-879-7300
Snapshot: In addition to a diverse mix of professional snowsports-training facilities for its famous Winter Olympians, Steamboat is loaded with mountain adventures—steeps, bumps, cruisers and tree runs. And the area’s distinct microclimate produces dumps of light, fluffy snow, known as “Champagne powder,” that turns it all to magic. In addition to the multiyear project to connect the base area with Ski Time Square, Steamboat has enhanced its snowmaking, created heated walkways in the Gondola Square base area and added a new après-ski bar in the Steamboat Grand’s Cabin Restaurant.
Snow report: 800-445-7931
Snapshot: A family favorite just outside Glenwood Springs, Sunlight is affordable and easy to navigate. For experts, a few runs on The Heathen, boasting a 52-degree pitch, will leave quads burning and lungs heaving. Surrounded by the beautiful White River National Forest, Sunlight is also known for its complementary snowshoe, cross-country ski and snowmobile terrain adjacent to the base.
Snow report: 970-728-7425
Snapshot: Carved into a picturesque box canyon, Telluride is southwestern Colorado’s mountain jewel. From mining roots to modern mountain amenities, Telluride has achieved a new degree of eclectic. A free town gondola links an interesting and eccentric village to an adventurous mountain, luxury lodging, spas, fine dining and boutique shopping. Telluride’s hottest new terrain includes four distinct hike-to ski areas—Bald Mountain, Black Iron Bowl, Gold Hill Chutes and Palmyra Peaks.
Snow report: 800-842-8062 ext. 7
Snapshot: Vail is North America’s largest ski mountain. As such, it requires days, if not years, to explore its famed back bowls, endless groomed runs, tree havens and assorted terrain parks. Vail’s European charm remains, even as multiyear modernization projects update base-area amenities for greater convenience. This season, check out a new 13,000-square-foot table-service restaurant at Mid Vail.
Snow report: 303-572-SNOW
Snapshot: Convenient and comfortable, Winter Park is an ideal learn-to-ski area for the Front Range. Its outstanding ski and ride schools teach beginners the basics, and adaptive riders through the renowned National Sports Center for the Disabled. Experts can improve bump-skiing skills at sister mountain Mary Jane. In addition to general infrastructure and service improvements, this season Winter Park adds a new snowcat for enhanced grooming, a beginner bypass trail to the Village at Winter Park and terrain park feature upgrades.
Snow report: 800-SKI-WOLF (754-9653)
Snapshot: With abundant snowfall, it’s a good thing Wolf Creek continues to invest in its fleet of grooming snowcats, in southwestern Colorado. This ski area features big-mountain views, a relaxed atmosphere, and fun and affordable Local Appreciation Days. Participants in the popular Fun Race Series will enjoy a new race hut this season, while visitors will appreciate expanded rental options including Nordic skate and classic touring skis.