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For a major city, there are a plethora of options to go skiing near Denver. This city makes it easy; fly into the international airport, rent a car, and in less than 2 hours, you can have world class skiing and snowboarding at your fingertips. There are dozens of options in one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the country. There’s a reason why so many professionals train here. The snow is perfect, the runs are epic, and the après-ski is legendary. Check out our list below of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Denver!

Top Places to Go Snowboarding & Skiing Near Denver

Eldora Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 50 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: All

Located in the Nederland area, Eldora is a smaller sized resort with a great variety of slopes. Filling 680 acres of skiable area, Eldora holds about 65 runs with about half rated as intermediate. The setup of the park is such that as you move ski lifts from left to right, the slopes get more difficult, making it difficult to get lost. These runs are shorter than some of the ones on other larger nearby resorts, but the smaller crowds make up for it. The resort prides itself on owning Colorado’s best snowmaking system. It claims that their system covers 100% of all the skiable areas in the park. The park is ideal for those living near Boulder but it’s close proximity to major highways makes it a great choice for those looking to ski near Denver.

How to get there: Take I-25N and exit onto US-36W. Turn left onto CO-119 and then turn right onto Eldora Ave. Continue for about 3 miles until you arrive at the resort.

Loveland Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 56 miles (~1 hour)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: All

Loveland is known as the local hidden gem. Its access right off the highway makes it extremely easy to get to. It’s also one of the cheapest resorts in Colorado: adult ski lift tickets for the 2020 season were $89 for a full day and $75 after 12 pm. Even with this pricing, the resort still has several restaurants, grills, bars, and a summit cafe. You’ll truly get the best bang for your buck here.

For the beginners, this park has you covered. The western annex of the park, accessible by shuttle or car, is made up of only beginner or intermediate runs. You can spend all day out at this area to sharpen your skills. The main part of the resort is still beginner friendly, and you can take several green slopes down from above the tree line. The whole resort is made up of about 94 runs with half rated at advanced or higher, offering something for every level of skier and snowboarder. If you are really seeking adventure, take lift 4 up to the top and hop on a snow cat to ski from the mountain ridge all the way back down.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. The resort is immediately off the interstate at exit 216.

View of the black diamond slopes at Loveland

Echo Mountain

  • Distance from Denver: 36 miles (~50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: Mostly intermediate and beginner

Echo mountain prides itself on being the closest resort to Denver. There’s truth in that. With less than an hour’s drive from the city center, you could easily get some skiing in at the crack of dawn and be back in the city before lunch. This is probably the smallest ski resort you’ll see in Colorado: there’s only one ski lift and 9 runs. Most of the park is open in the evening for nighttime skiing and there’s a small terrain park on the main run. Beginners beware! Echo Mountain is mostly an intermediate mountain with only a handful of short beginner runs.

What Echo lacks in size it makes up for in affordability and charm. An advance purchase weekend ticket to Echo Mountain during the high season will only run you $62! This makes this resort one of the most affordable places to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. Exit onto CO-74W and then turn right on Squaw Pass Rd and continue until the resort.

Arapahoe Basin

  • Distance from Denver: 64 miles (~1 hour 15 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: No
  • Ability Level: Mostly advanced to expert

Affectionately known as “The Beach” by its frequent fliers, Arapahoe Basin is famed for its laid back and local culture. It’s situated at 10,520 feet above sea level, making its base one of the highest in elevation. For comparison, Eldora’s summit sits at 10,600 feet! This resort also boasts the longest ski season in the state, running from October to early June.

There are 147 trails that make up the park, and the distribution skews towards difficult and expert level trails. Lift tickets will run you about $100 on a weekend during peak season. The park regularly offers discounted multi-day passes.

How to get there: Take US-60W to I-70W. Take exit 216 to US-6W and cross the Loveland summit. The resort will be a couple of miles after descending.

Keystone Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 69 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

One of the larger resorts in Colorado, Keystone has something for everybody. With over 128 runs and 3000 acres of skiable area, you can spend your whole vacation here. The park encompasses three main peaks and a large ridge line. Highlights include an enormous A51 terrain park, night skiing, and snowcat skiing on the upper bowls. For advanced skiers, take the Outback Express Lift to access the North and South bowls, where there is a huge area for powder skiing and tree skiing. The resort has many of the common amenities including a nearby lodge, a ski village, and restaurants on the peaks. This is one of the closest destinations for big resort skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-60W to I-70W. Take exit 216 to US-6W and cross the Loveland summit. The resort will be a couple of miles after descending. You will pass Arapahoe Basin on the way there.

Keystone from the slopes

Winter Park Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 66 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort, Winter Park has won numerous accolades and awards throughout its long history. Now, the park spans over 3,000 skiable acres and covers 7 territories, each with their own specific design and grooming schedules. Mary Jane mountain is the park’s prized peak. Known for its many bumps and tree skiing, snowboarders and skiers from around the globe come here for these slopes.

There are about 166 runs in Winter Park total, with a good distribution in difficulty, depending on what territory you are in. You can easily spend several days at this resort. The longest run is almost 5 miles in length, giving you a good run for your money. Choose from several different options in accommodations, including lofts, traditional hotel rooms, or a “platinum” lodging experience.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W. Take exit 232 onto US-40W and continue until Winter Park Dr.

Copper Mountain

  • Distance from Denver: 123 miles (~1 hours 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

Located a couple of miles past Keystone, Copper Mountain sits at the heart of the Colorado Rockies. 2,490 acres of skiable terrain make this one of the larger parks in the state. 140 marked trails make up slopes, with an even breakdown between difficulty levels. The resort is incredibly efficient. It has 24 chairlifts and can ferry around several tens of thousands of skiers up the mountain per hour. Even with this level of infrastructure and capacity, you’ll rarely deal with big crowds and the resort is known for having a friendly, laid back attitude.

For those preferring not to ski, Copper Mountain has several other activities in the resort including a tubing hill and mile long alpine coaster! For après-ski, you’ll have a huge selection of restaurants, cafes, bars, and dessert places to enjoy. For those wanting a large resort to go skiing near Denver, this is the closest one.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 195 to CO-91. The resort will be off Copper Rd.

Breckenridge Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 81 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Advanced

You’ve probably heard of it. Breckenridge is one of Colorado’s most famous ski resort. It sits right in the middle of the mountains next to a moderately sized ski town. 34 ski lifts and 2,908 acres make up this massive resort that brings in visitors from all over the world. Though the trails tend to skew more towards the advanced level skier, there’s something for everyone here looking to go skiing near Denver. The unique layout of this resort will have you skiing down the slope directly into the middle of town.

If you’re looking for terrain parks, this is the place to go. Four large terrain parks are located within the park and the crown jewel of it all is a massive 18 foot halfpipe. Many famous pro snowboarders and skiers have trained here. The terrain parks have won several awards, including several first place awards for best park. Even if you can’t do any jumps and spins, this part of the resort is worth coming to watch the pros ski.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 203 to CO-9. Turn right on Ski Hill Rd and continue to the resort.

Photo credit: Ben Onken (Flickr CC)

Vail Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 97 miles (~1 hour 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes, in town
  • Ability Level: Advanced

5,317 acres of skiable terrain make up this massive ski resort. There are 195 runs spread out over the park, with many of the more difficult trails hidden in the park’s signature back bowls. The front side of the park is composed of mostly the beginner and intermediate runs, while the 7 back bowls and Blue Sky Basin offer unparalleled backcountry skiing. With so much variety to offer, Vail is truly one of the best places to go skiing near Denver.

After a busy day on the slopes, head back down to the village of Vail. Bells throughout the town will toll at the end of the ski day to signify the transition to the famed Vail après-ski. Take part in various happy hours across the village or take a dip in the hot tubs in several different lodges to relax and unwind.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 176. Turn left onto Vail Rd to go across the highway. The resort and ski town is on the south side of the interstate.

Granby Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 86 miles (~1 hour 50 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Privately owned vacation homes nearby
  • Ability Level: Beginner

Billed as one of the most beginner friendly resorts, Granby Ranch is the place to go to learn how to ski. The park prides itself on operating with families in mind, and so all trails lead back down to the same place so that no one gets lost from their families. The east mountain has all of the beginner and intermediate trails, while the west mountain is exclusively black diamonds and intermediate. This is a smaller resort with only 41 runs so don’t expect many crowds. The lift prices are on par with Loveland’s, meaning you’ll get one of the best deals to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and then take exit 232 towards US-40W. Then take a right on Village Rd and the ski area will be to your right.

Beaver Creek Ski Resort

  • Distance from Denver: 109 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: All

A great place to learn how to ski, Beaver Creek’s unique design is such that the terrain becomes progressively more difficult as you transition to different areas on the mountain. While some mountain limit their beginner slopes to the shortest hills on one shallow side of the mountain, Beaver Creek attempts to be inclusive. Several beginner trails snake their way down from the summit of the mountain and cross several different areas of the park, giving the skier a small taste of the many different types of terrains to come with increasing skill and difficulty.

150 runs make up the slopes in this resort, with the distribution skewed more towards beginner and intermediate runs. Sorry experts; there are only a handful of double black diamonds here. Regardless, this resort offer an excellent experience for those looking to go skiing near Denver. The quaint alpine village offers all amenities expected at a large resort. When you visit, be sure to try the famous fresh baked cookies!

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 167. Turn left onto Avon Rd and the resort is south of the interstate.

Photo credit: David Herholz (Flickr CC)

Ski Cooper

  • Distance from Denver: 109 miles (~2 hours)
  • Accommodations Available: No. Lodging in nearby Leadville.
  • Ability Level: All

Priding itself on an authentic skiing experience, Ski Cooper is an old mountain park that dates back to the 1940s. 60 trails spread across 5 lifts means no crowds even during peak season. Take a snow cat up to the Chicago Ridge where you can ski down 2600 acres of completely open bowls made up of the finest and softest powder.

When you are finished for the day, head down to nearby Leadville, the nation’s highest city. Located at over 10,000 feet of elevation, this wild west mining town has lots of charm and culture. This is the perfect destination for those looking to go skiing near Denver.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and continue past Eisenhower tunnel until exit 195. Take this onto CO-91S and continue onto US-24N on the right. Take the right onto Tennessee Pass Rd and the ski area will be on your right.

Snow Mountain Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 80 miles (~1 hour 40 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Nordic – All

Snow Mountain Ranch isn’t a traditional ski resort. It’s run by the YMCA of the Rockies and is geared at providing fun for the whole entire family. You can rent cozy cabins with panoramic views of the Rockies. Any cabin, lodge, or yurt booking allows you free access ice-skating, tubing, and cross-country skiing, provided you have your own equipment.

Skiing here is made up entirely of Nordic and cross country trails, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. There’s no alpine/downhill skiing run by Snow Mountain Ranch. For that, you’ll have to take a short drive to either Granby Ranch or Winter Park. Regardless, a stay at Snow Mountain Ranch offers a perfect getaway from the bustle of the city.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and take exit 232 toward US-40W. Continue North past Winter Park until you get to CO-53. Turn left here and the ranch will be up ahead.

Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Distance from Denver: 67 miles (~1 hour 20 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Campgrounds, or stay in nearby Estes Park
  • Ability Level: Advanced (all backcountry)

While there are no formal ski trails in RMNP, this is the place for wild and epic backcountry skiing near Denver. In 1992, Hidden Valley, the park’s only operated ski area, closed its doors. The trails remain but have long since been groomed or maintained. The park’s main road, Trail Ridge, passes right next to Hidden Valley, making this place easily accessible. There are no lifts operating so you’ll have to hike your way up the hill.

There are many more areas that are easily accessible with a good pair of snowshoes or cross-country skis. Unfortunately, this means that beginner-level skiing is very limited here. If you do choose to head out to experience some true backcountry skiing, we recommend you hire a guide to ensure you are making safe decisions on the trail. Colorado Mountain School is highly recommended by locals and experienced skiers for guided backcountry ski trips.

One extra note: Trail Ridge road is closed during most of the Winter. This means you’ll either have to hike to your trails or wait until late May or June for the road to open up. Don’t worry though; because of the high elevation, snow still persists on the mountaintops well into summer.

How to get there: Start on I-25 heading north. Take exit 217A and continue onto US-36W, passing Boulder and going all the way up to Estes Park. Continue on this road to access the eastern park entrance.

Photo Credit: Mia & Steve Mestdagh (Flickr CC)

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

  • Distance from Denver: 77 miles (~1 hour 30 minutes)
  • Accommodations Available: Yes
  • Ability Level: Nordic – All

Another Nordic skiing center, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is located in the private Ranch Creek valley right in the Continental Divide. The area was a historically important site for the Arapahoe and Ute tribes; It’s said that the area was a site of constant battles and feuds between the two tribes, and the name was created when the two tribes buried the Devil and left his thumb exposed as a reminder of the horrors of war.

If your are looking for good Nordic skiing near Denver, this is the place. It was named the best cross-country ski resort in the continent twice in a row! 120 kilometers of trails surround the ranch, ranging in difficulty from easy to hard. Stay at the lodge or rent a private cabin and enjoy the tranquility and seclusion that the area offers.

How to get there: Take US-6W to I-70W and take exit 232 toward US-40W. Continue North past Winter Park until you get to CO-83. Continue east to get to the resort.

Additional Resources for Skiing Near Denver

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

Related Links to Skiing Near Denver

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