5 Reasons Colorado Has the Best Skiing in the Country

Written by Miguel Conner
Published: December 7, 2023
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The cold months may make nature barren, but they are far from barren when it comes to stimulating activities, indoor or outdoor. Without a doubt, skiing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in the country. In 2021, 18.1 million people went skiing, which doesn’t even include snowboarding!

The US brims with snowy mountains and terrains for skiing – and all the rewards and amenities that come with it: hospitable resorts, exotic shopping, picturesque towns, dynamic nightlife, and stunning panoramas. But what state holds the trophy for the skiing experience in its totality?

However, playing John Denver or hiring John Elway is unnecessary. The clear winner has to be Colorado.

Time to go down the exciting slope of reasons Colorado has the best skiing in the country:

Quality of Snow

Delirium Dive Sunshine Village Ski Resort

Colorado is so famous for its types of snow that unique titles are assigned.

©tapit/iStock via Getty Images

Excellent skiing snow and Colorado are almost exclusive to one another. The state receives an average annual snowfall of 217 inches. The snowfall can vary significantly yearly, depending on the region. For example, some ski resorts with the highest average snowfall in Colorado include Wolf Creek, Loveland, Silverton Mountain, Breckenridge, and Vail, with snowfall ranging from 360 to 480 inches. Resorts like Arapahoe Basin typically open from mid-October until May. Sometimes, the skiing season extends to June and even part of July, offering a long and reliable ski season. In short, a lack of snowy terrain will never be an issue.

Just as important, Colorado is famous for its light, fluffy powder snow, a result of the state’s dry climate. This type of snow is a dream for skiers. So renowned is its powder snow that areas possess their own names, like the “Champagne Powder” at Steamboat.

Therefore, the quality and consistency of the snow in Colorado are two of the main reasons it’s such a favored skiing destination.

Abundance of Resorts

Skiers and snowboarders ascend the Alpine Springs chairlift at the Aspen Snowmass ski resort, in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado on a partly cloudy winter day.

The state hosts more than two dozen magnificent resorts.

©David A Litman/Shutterstock.com

The number of ski resorts in Colorado is staggering (it’s home to 28 ski resorts, to be exact). Whether skiers or snowboarders are on the hunt for a world-class resort with all the amenities or a more quaint, laid-back experience, Colorado answers the call. The variety of resorts means that no matter the skill level or budget, vacationers or sportspeople can find a resort that fits the proverbial bill. Some popular resorts include Vail, Breckenridge, Aspen, Telluride, and Steamboat. Each rewards visitors with distinctive charm and attractions.

Whether a resort is worth the money really depends on what a skier wants to experience, on or off the slopes. Conventional wisdom claims that states like Utah provide more bang for the buck, but Colorado is no money pit. For example, Arapahoe Basin offers the fourth-lowest vacation rentals in the entire country.

Diverse Terrain

Skier skiing downhill during sunny day in high mountains

There is a terrain for every level of skiing level in Colorado.

©Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock.com

Colorado boasts the eighth-largest state when it comes to land area. It’s also one of the country’s most ecologically diverse terrains. The state even houses an active volcano with one of the largest eruptions in history!

So, it’s no shock that much of the Colorado real estate caters to skiers of all expertise. Whether a person is a beginner skier or a double diamond expert, a suitable terrain is ready in the Centennial State. The state is legendary for its alpine bowls, tree skiing, and steep chutes, providing an extensive variety of experiences for skiers and snowboarders. Some resorts, like Telluride, are known for their challenging terrain, while others, like Winter Park, are suitable for beginners and families.

Lastly, it goes without saying that breathtaking beauty goes hand in hand with any of that region’s skiing environments.

Charming Ski Towns

Breckenridge, Colorado

Beautiful but bustling towns welcome skiers to Colorado.

©iStock.com/Sean Pavone

One of the features that separates Colorado from other skiing meccas is its enthralling ski towns. Distinct yet always gorgeous atmospheres soak locations like Breckenridge, Aspen, and Telluride. A wide range of amenities is universal for these locations. Visitors will find no shortage of cozy cabins, luxury hotels, or budget-friendly hostels. The ski towns are also famous for their local breweries, unique festivals, and vibrant nightlife, providing a total winter experience for visitors. Whether one wants to participate in a wine tasting or dance the night away, there’s an option while skiing in Colorado.

Proximity to Denver

Denver Colorado Skyline in Snow Feb 2013

Denver is close to many world-class resorts and hosts an airport that’s accessible to most of the country.

©tvirbickis/iStock via Getty Images

Life is busy, and vacations must be experienced fully. Few want to spend hours on buses in the wilderness or hopping around airports on their way to a skiing destination. Welcome to Denver, home of the largest airport in the country and accessible to any part of the country. What’s more, many skiing resorts and towns surround the Mile-High City. Several of them are less than a two-hour drive, making them easily accessible for both locals and visitors. Think about it: a family or group of friends can fly into Denver in the morning and be on the slopes in the afternoon. It also makes it possible to go up and back in a day, which is a massive advantage for those who don’t have the time or money for an extended ski trip. Vacationers can also enjoy the many tourist, entertainment, or shopping options of Denver, the state’s largest city.

In short, Colorado is an unmatched paradise for skiers. Regardless of the season, it’s a paradise for sportspeople and vacationers alike. But daring its slopes provides a memorable experience.

You can’t ask for more from a vacation.

Summary of Colorado Skiing BenefitsFeatured Takaway
Quality of SnowAbundant powder snow for best skiing
Abundance of Resorts28 resorts of all types
Diverse TerrainsAlpine bowls, tree skiing, steep chute, and more
Charming Ski TownsLocal breweries, nightlife, and fun festivals
Proximity to DenverResorts available less than two hours from city by car

The photo featured at the top of this post is © iStock.com/Josh Hild

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