The Colorado Rockies are famous for providing some of the best skiing in the entire nation with a mountain for just about everyone. The state is home to 25 ski areas and two of the country’s most-visited ski resorts, Vail Mountain and Breckenridge, which each average over 1.6 million annual visits, according to Travel + Leisure.
But which are the very best places to ski down Colorado’s gorgeous slopes?
Breckenridge Ski Resort
There’s a reason so many skiers head to Breckenridge every winter. It’s home to five mountain peaks and the highest chairlift in North America. The Imperial Express SuperChair takes riders more than 12,8000 feet, providing some of the most breathtaking views in Colorado, while the 187 trails provide options for every skill level with unmatched terrain for gliding down that pristine powder.
Monarch Mountain is a local favorite and popular with those who fly into Colorado Springs, located about 125 miles from COS Airport. It offers lots of natural snow and fantastic terrain along with a laid-back, friendly vibe. There are six lifts to whisk you up the mountain where you’ll find over 50 trails that range from easy, beginner greens to expert double black diamonds. This one may have you searching through Colorado Springs real estate so that you can enjoy outstanding skiing without having to catch a flight.
Part of Aspen Snowmass, a four-mountain destination near the world-famous town of Aspen, avid skiers often note Snowmass as the one of the to mountains in the Rockies, an impressive feat in a region filled with premier runs. You can easily spend a vacation skiing the terrain here without covering the same ground twice. It offers everything from outstanding beginner facilities for newbies to expert terrain in the Cirque, High Alpine and Burnt Mountain Glades, with the most vertical skiing of any other area in the nation.
You’ll find 4,406 vertical feet, nearly 100 trails, over 20 chairlifts and more than 3,330 acres of terrain.
Copper Mountain offers some of the best backcountry around, with a wide range of challenges for experts like the bumps in Union and Resolution bowls, though there is plenty of variety for beginner and intermediate skiers on the north facing peaks of the mountain too. Its massive Woodward Camp features a progression training center as well as an indoor ski and snowboard terrain park.
America’s second largest ski resort and one of its most popular is frequently called a “ski nirvana.” The terrain is diverse with something to please skiers (and snowboarders) of all levels. Beginners and intermediates can take advantage of the front-groomed runs, while experts and the more advanced will enjoy the moguls, tree skiing and steeps on the back side.
Some of the best budget-friendly, crowd-free skiing can be found near Leadville at Cooper, formerly and sometimes still referred to as Ski Cooper. Not to be mistaken with Copper, it’s one of the state’s most affordable resorts, with the ski hill utilized mostly by locals. Rarely a line for the lifts, you can head up and down all day and never have to wait. For those looking for something more extreme, similar to Vail’s back bowls, snowcat access skiing is available too.