Silverton Mountain is an adrenaline junkies paradise, featuring some of the steepest terrain in the state. This no-frills resort strictly caters to the advanced and expert skier. It’s a true rugged ski experience where runs are not clearly defined anywhere on the mountain and trails are not groomed. Silverton offers an authentic mountain experience with plenty of adventure and only one chair lift. After exploring the 1,819 acres of terrain, skiers can kick up the excitement by conquering an additional 22,000 acres accessible only by helicopter or hiking.
Telluride ski resort is well-laid out and easy to navigate with the area’s advanced terrain best suited for expert skiers and boarders. The resort delivers 2,000 skiable acres with a 4,425 foot vertical drop. Tucked away in Colorad’s San Juan Mountains, Telluride ski resort is one of the furthest resorts from Denver International Airport and more commonly accessed via a hopper flight directly to the nearby Telluride Regional Airport or the more reliable Montrose Regional Airport.Tellurideis known for its stunning scenic views and wild west feel. There are plenty of shops and eateries throughout this charming former mining town.
Conveniently located an hour outsideDenver, Arapahoe Basin offers some of North America’s highest skiable terrain and one of the longest ski seasons in the state of Colorado. The terrain is varied throughout its 1,428 acres but mainly suits intermediate and expert level skiers. The mountain features tree glades, high alpine bowls, and remarkable off-piste options for those up for the challenge. Arapahoe, known locally as A-Basin, actively limits crowds for a safer, more enjoyable time on the mountain. Along with its impressive terrain, A-Basin boasts one of the highest base elevations in the state – an impressive 10,520 feet.
Offering plenty of wide-open steep trails, Loveland ski area is ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers and offers a separate area for beginners near the base area. Each year the mountain receives an impressive 422 inches of snowfall across its 1,800 acres of skiable terrain. As added bonuses, Loveland offers free snowcat skiing along the Continental Divide and is one of the state’s most easily accessible ski areas, located just 53 miles outside of Denver.
Known locally as Breck, Breckenridge ski resort delivers a world-class skiing experience just a two-hour drive from Denver International Airport. Along with 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, this Rocky Mountain resort boasts an impressive 12,998-foot summit elevation. The mountain’s notable height means a longer ski season compared to area resorts. Breck’s terrain suits every breed of powder hound from beginner to advanced. When the ski day is done, head to downtown Breck where this former mining town has maintained that old-west vibe with a lively nightlife featuring saloons, breweries, restaurants, and boutique shops. Off-slope activities include guided snowshoe adventures, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, and igloo building.
Known as one of Colorado’s premier family ski destinations, Keystone ski resort delivers a big mountain ski experience the whole family can enjoy. Located 2 hours from Denver International Airport, Keystone offers beginner skiing runs at the mountain’s summit, Kidtopia play area, and countless family-friendly programs. But the fun doesn’t end at sundown as Keystone boasts Colorado’s longest ski day by lighting up more trails than any other area resort. Off-mountain family activities include sleigh rides and tubing. Compared to higher-end resorts, Keystone is considered more affordable but the mountain can get crowded.
Known as Vail’s little sister resort, Copper Mountain provides the same pampered ski experience as its larger neighbor with fewer crowds and more affordability. A unique feature to this 2,465 acre resort is its naturally divided terrain separating beginner, intermediate, and advanced ski areas. Forming a natural progression from west to east, West Village best serves beginner skiers, followed by mostly intermediate runs in Center Village with advanced and expert level skiing in East Village. In addition to its varied terrain, off-mountain activities include ice skating, tubing, and an alpine coaster, all under a two hour drive from Denver International Airport.
Crested Butte, CO
Crested Butte mountain resort is remotely located in the middle of the Colorado, a five-hour drive fromDenverand surrounded by 1.7 million acres of National Forest. This off-the-beaten-path ski mountain offers an authentic Colorado experience. It’s a self-proclaimed “ real Colorado ski town,” and visitors won’t even find a traffic light in town. Its secluded location is known to expert skiers as home to the best lift-served extreme terrain in the country. Skiers and riders can explore 1,547 acres of varied terrain with a 2,775-foot vertical drop and base elevation of 9,375 feet.
Winter Park, CO
Nestled along the Continental Divide, Winter Park ski resort is located 67 miles northwest ofDenver, making it one of the closest resorts to Denver International Airport. The mountain’s 3,081 skiable acres offer diverse terrain, affordable lift tickets, and a family-friendly environment. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities on and off the mountain, including tubing, snowmobiling, and ice bumper cars. In addition to family-friendly activities, advanced skiers and boards can appreciate Winter Park’s well-groomed trails, challenging tree skiing, backcountry exploring, and mogul skiing.
Pagosa Springs, CO
Colorado powder magnets know to head to Wolf Creek with an impressive 430 inches of annual snowfall. This Southern Colorado resort offers a good mix of terrain across its 1,600 skiable acres. Wolf Creek ski area is known for an even mix of green, blue, and black runs, so there’s something for every level skier to experience. Along with delivering quality powder, Wolf Creek is known for its early-season skiing. Check out the resort’s longest run, Navajo Trail, for a two-mile descent to the base.
Encompassing 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, Vail ski resort is touted as Colorado’s largest ski resort and the second largest in the nation. Skiers can access all three villages, Golden Peak, Vail, and Lionshead, via a complimentary shuttle. All three charming European-styled villages are known for their lively aprés-ski scene, upscale shops, and gourmet eateries. When it’s time to hit the slopes, the mountain’s front side boasts a diverse web of trails from beginner to expert, but intermediate and advanced skiers come to Vail to experience its legendary Back Bowls. Along with its expansive acreage, Vail offers a 3,45- foot vertical drop and an impressive 11,570 foot summit depth.
Beaver Creek ski resort is known for upping the luxury game with unparalleled customer service, high-end amenities, and immaculately groomed slopes. Skiers and riders can explore the resort's 1,800 acres of skiable terrain spanning three distinct villages. The main village, charming Beaver Creek is the resort’s hub with five-star dining, luxury accommodations, and boutique shops. The smaller village of Bachelor Gulch houses the Ritz-Carlton and private mountain lodges while Arrowhead Village is mostly homes and condos. The mountain offers terrain for all ski levels with an average 325 inches of snowfall, and a measurable 3,340 vertical drop.
Known as the trendy ski spot for the rich and famous,Aspenprovides an upscale shopping and dining experience along with an enviable aprés-ski scene. One Aspen Snowmass lift-ticket gains access to four distinct ski areas encompassing 3,342 acres of skiable terrain with a 4,406-foot vertical descent. Aspen Resort is the most easily accessible from downtown and its challenging terrain earns the reputation as a “skier’s mountain.” Its additional ski areas, Snowmass and Buttermilk, offer plenty of beginner trails, appealing to families and those new to the sport. The fourth ski area, Aspen Highland, offers advanced terrain attracting the more advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Noted as California’s highest ski resort, Mammoth Mountain truly lives up to its name. The mountain packs an impressive 11,053-foot summit with 3,500 skiable acres, and is California’s highest lift-serviced ski resort. Mammoth experiences an annual average of 300 days of California sunshine, ensuring plenty of bluebird days on the slopes. Its lofty elevation means its ski season extends into the summer months – the second longest ski season in North America. Mammoth offers equally impressive off-mountain activities, with 19 miles of cross-country and snowshoeing terrain, snowcat tours, and extensive snowmobiling excursions throughout the Eastern Sierra backcountry
Snowbird offers an exhilarating 3,240-foot vertical descent, but that isn’t the only thing drawing skiers to “The Bird.” More than 2,500 skiable acres of terrain are equally divided among beginner, intermediate and expert level skiers. In addition, the mountain offers adrenaline junkies an opportunity to explore Utah’s backcountry on an epic heli-skiing adventure. Snowbird is open from November to June – longest ski season in Utah – so visitors can experience all Snowbird has to offer well into spring. Visitors have access to a full-service resort with four lodges to choose from, all located within the village.
Brian Head, UT
Located in the mountains of southern Utah, Brian Head is one of Utah’s smaller resorts, but its 650 acres have plenty worth bragging about. At 9,600 feet, the resort is home to the state’s highest base elevation and offers a 1,320-foot vertical drop. Nearby Cedar Breaks National Monument and Bryce Canyon National Park are the backdrop for scenic red rock views. Meanwhile, Brian Head’s terrain suits every breed of powder hound that comes to experience its 360 inches of annual snowfall. Along with plenty of alpine adventures, Brian Head has two snow tubing areas and a terrain park.
Nestled in the rugged San Juan Mountains of Southwest Colorado, Purgatory Resort is 25 miles from historic downtown Durango. The mountain delivers an affordable family-friendly ski getaway with some of the shortest lift lines around. Throughout its 1,605 acres of skiable terrain are runs for every ski level offering the perfect blend of wide open, well-groomed runs and steep tree skiing. Though not one of Colorado's largest ski resorts, Purgatory does offer slope side lodging, a charming village with shops and eateries amidst stunning views of the San Juan Mountains.
Eagle Point, located in the Tushar Mountain range in southern Utah, is often praised for short lift lines, uncrowded slopes, and exceptional customer service. As one of Utah’s smaller resorts, Eagle Point offers a relaxing alternative to nearby larger ski destinations. The mountain encompasses 650 skiable acres with a 1,500-foot vertical drop. Beginners enjoy the wide, well-groomed green runs, while more advanced skiers can head for the steep powder-filled glades. While it’s not as conveniently located to the airport as many other state resorts, Eagle Point is a scenic three-hour drive from either Las Vegas or Salt Lake City airports.
Steamboat Springs, CO
Steamboat is known for its unusually dry snow producing its legendary Champaign Powder. Along with snow that tickles your nose like the bubbly libation, Steamboat is also synonymous with some of the best glade skiing in the state of Colorado. The resort delivers 2,939 skiable acres, a 3,668-foot vertical rise with a 6,900-foot base elevation. Located in northwest Colorado, 3.5 hours from Denver International Airport, Steamboat isn’t the most easily accessible resort from Denver, but visitors can expect fewer crowds due to its remote location and can opt to fly directly to Yampa Valley Regional Airport, just 30 minutes fromSteamboat Springs. The town delivers a laid-back Colorado vibe and soothing geothermal hot springs, both ensuring a relaxing ski getaway.
This world-renowned powder skiing destination has been family-owned and operated since 1938 and offers 2,614 skiable acres of terrain. But leave your snowboard at home as Alta is a ski-only resort. Since the resort is perfectly perched atop Little Cottonwood Canyon, one of the country’s snowiest locations, the mountain witnesses an average of 537 inches of light and powdery flakes each year. In addition, it’s one of the most conveniently located resorts within the state, sitting just a 45 minute drive from Salt Lake City.
Brighton sets itself apart as Utah’s only resort with 100 percent of its terrain accessible from its high-speed lifts. This feature enables skiers of varying levels to ride the lifts together, choose their desired runs, and meet up at the bottom, which is great for families and groups. Ideally situated atop Big Cottonwood Canyon, Brighton welcomes more than 500 inches of fluffy powder each year across its 1,050 skiable acres. Along with family-friendly amenities like plenty of bunny slopes, a top-notch ski school and affordable lift tickets, Brighton is where kids under 10 can ski free with a ticketed adult. The fun doesn’t end at sunset, Brighton offers excellent night skiing with 22 runs across 200 lighted acres.
June Lake, CA
South Lake Tahoe, CA
Encompassing 4,800 acres of expansive terrain, Heavenly Mountain is the largest ski area in California. Its southern Lake Tahoe location delivers sweeping views of both the alpine lake and nearby Carson Valley. The resort is located on the California-Nevada border, with a web of varied runs carrying skiers through two states. Along with its enviable size, Heavenly is known for its assertive snowmaking capabilities, boasting the largest grooming and snowmaking fleet on the west coast. Its unmatched terrain is enhanced by five challenging terrain parks, the best tree-skiing in North America, and a lively aprés-ski scene.
Considered one of Utah’s best-kept secrets, Solitude is known for short lift lines and uncrowded trails. Though one of the state’s smaller resorts, this 1,200-acre ski area packs 80 runs, three bowls, and plenty of moguls and well-groomed trails. Located in the Big Cottonwood Canyon of the Wasatch Mountains, Solitude experiences plenty of fresh power with an annual snowfall of more than 500 inches. Along with epic alpine skiing, Solitude has more than 12 miles of Nordic skiing trails, not to mention an ice skating rink at the Village base.
Park City, UT
It’s no wonder that Park City became the training grounds for the U.S. ski team and was chosen to host the 2002 Olympics snowboarding events and giant slalom. Encompassing 7,300 acres of skiable terrain with two distinct base areas, Park City Mountain Resort is credited as the largest resort in the U.S. Located in the heart of charmingPark City, a short 35-minute drive from Salt Lake City, this famed resort provides an impressive variety of terrain, ranging from novice to expert level, spread across 330 trails, 43 lifts and six terrain parks. With so much acreage to cover, the resort seldom feels crowded.
Glenwood Springs, CO