The Colorado Rockies offer a distinct experience for skiers and snowboarders with high altitude dry light snow, small western town charm, incredible tree and open bowl skiing, and some of the most celebrated resorts in the US.
Snow: Growing up skiing primarily in Lake Tahoe I was completely blown away the first several trips skiing Colorado’s dry and light snow. With high altitude, dry air, and consistent cold temperatures, Colorado holds on to “hero snow” much longer compared to other Western Ski Destinations. And… it often takes much less new snow (compared to Tahoe) to turn into powder skiing conditions. It’s not uncommon for Colorado to get several 3-6″ snow falls during a week, only making the snow deeper and deeper, opposed to Tahoe where it’s more of 1-2 days and gone.
Small Town Charm: There is something magical about Colorado’s small towns including Crested Butte, Telluride, Breckenridge, Aspen, and Steamboat. Although they are each quite unique and individual, each captures the old 1800’s mining town architecture and charm. Further, each of these areas are dominated by cattle ranching bringing out the Cowboy in all of us. You really get a sense of something magical, and outside of our normal busy city lives…stepping into a different time and place with wooden boardwalks, cowboy shops, tin ceilings, and “saloons”.
Skiing / Terrain: Colorado offers a diverse range of ski slopes, all at quite high altitudes. Most all resorts offer a variety of tree cut runs, wide open aspen glades, steep cutes, and open bowls. With dry, high altitude conditions the snow really makes all the difference, even if it’s man made. There is something about the Colorado snow that enables it to be groomed and stay cold, crisp and grippy (aka. “Hero Snow”) making this region shine for Intermediate and Advanced skiers alike.
Where to Ski & Best Ski Resorts in Colorado: Great ski resorts are plentiful in Colorado and it’s challenging to say that there is truly a #1 – but we do rank these resorts by which ones are the most fun to visit. The only resort on the list that doesn’t offer a wide appeal to all skiers is Silverton which is exclusively for expert and backcountry oriented skiers.
Colorado’s Top Ten Best Ski Resorts