Ski season is here! Living in Colorado it’s easy to take for granted all the amazing terrain we have access to. We all have our favorite mountain but don’t forget about the rest of our amazing state! We have had some great early snow, and this could be the perfect year to get out and find another mountain to love. If you live in Colorado Springs here are a few ideas to help you plan your trip to some of the great Colorado ski areas.
Summit county is the go-to destination for many Denver residents. It is just over an hour East of Denver but that is easily doubled by brutal traffic during busy times on I-70. For Springs residents it is often faster to take highway 24 to Hartsel and jump on Highway 9 North. The number of ski areas and variety of terrain packed into a relatively small area is hard to beat and there are plenty of towns to visit and other mountain activities to discover. Breckenridge, Keystone, A-Basin, Loveland, and Copper Mountain are all within a short drive of each other. If you don’t want to stay at one of the resorts, Frisco and Silverthorne are centrally located towns that make a great home base and will give the non-skiers in your group something to do during the day while you hit the mountain. Just a bit further west you have Vail and Beaver Creek which are definitely worth the extra travel time. Vail has 5300 skiable acres and a town at the base that offers tons of additional activities. Head North about an hour from Frisco and you can check out Winter park which has over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain and is the closest major mountain to Denver. Past Summit county about 4 ½ hours from the Springs via I-70 there is the iconic ski town of Aspen. Aspen Mountain, Highlands, Buttermilk, and Snowmass offer tons of terrain and dozens of lifts along with a town that sports some amazing restaurants, shops, and even museums that could easily keep you busy for a weeklong vacation.
If you are looking for a smaller mountain you can head south at Hartsel towards Buena Vista and Salida to check out Monarch Mountain which is about 3 hours from the Springs. One of my favorite things about Monarch is that all the trails lead back to the same base so it’s hard to lose your group. If you are looking to practice with your little ones you won’t have to worry about them getting lost on the mountain and the lift ticket pricing is quite a bit lower than most of the bigger mountains. There isn’t as much terrain here but there is a good variety and definitely something for everyone. Keep heading west and you’ll come to Crested Butte Ski Resort. Crested Butte is about 1 ½ hours from Monarch and a total of 4 hours from Colorado Springs. It is a well-known Colorado ski resort that offers 1500 acres of varied terrain, an adventure park, and a town with plenty of shopping, dining, and activities for the rest of the family. Add about 3 more hours to the trip and you end up in Telluride. If you have been wanting to try Heli-ski there are lessons available in Telluride and the opportunity to ski untouched terrain in the San Juan mountains could be the trip of a lifetime. There is also plenty to do off the slopes for all ages so don’t hesitate to bring the family.
Hopefully this gives you a few ideas but there are plenty of other great ski areas in our wonderful state so make sure to do some of your own research before you plan your trip. We access to some amazing mountains in Colorado so don’t let another season pass you by!