Best ski areas for the family:
People have been skiing at this community hill in Steamboat Springs since 1915, making it the oldest continuously operating ski spot in Colorado. There’s lots of terrain for beginners, but advanced riders and skiers will find plenty to savor as well. Howelsen continues to produce Olympians at the largest natural ski-jumping complex in North America, so there are plenty of hotdoggers to watch when you’ve had your fill of the powder.
Skiable acres: 50
Trails: 17% Easy: 25% Intermediate: 20% Advanced: 55%
Only a few miles off Interstate 70 in Summit County, Keystone offers three mountains across a wide swath of snow-covered forest. While largely an intermediate mountain, there’s plenty of expert terrain. An acclaimed snowboard park, night riding and snowcat skiing are among the features that keep enthusiasts coming back.
Skiable acres: 3,148
Trails: 131% Easy: 14% Intermediate: 29% Advanced/Expert: 57%
The closest skiing spot to Denver goes above, over and under (seriously, with a ski tunnel) Interstate 70, but once you’re in the great expanse of bowls and chutes above timberline, the city will feel a long way off. It’s also one of the first places in Colorado to begin running its lifts each season, usually battling Arapahoe Basin for first-to-open honors.
Skiable acres: 1,800
Trails: 93% Easy: 13% Intermediate: 41% Advanced: 22% Expert: 24%
Monarch sits along the Continental Divide, so whether storms track north or south, it usually gets decent snow. With affordable lift tickets, it’s a popular ski area for Pikes Peak region skiers looking to avoid crowds. Families will appreciate the trail diversity, not to mention the panoramic view of the southern end of the majestic Sawatch Mountains.
Skiable acres: 800
Trails: 63% Easy: 14% Intermediate: 28% Advanced: 58%
This ski area in western Colorado sits on the Grand Mesa, one of the world’s larger flattop mountains, making it unique among Colorado’s ski spots. It has gained a reputation for tree and glade skiing, and every so often gets pummeled by snowstorms that draw skiers from around the state. The focus here is on beginner and intermediate skiing.
Skiable acres: 1,600
Trails: 63% Easy: 20% Intermediate: 50% Advanced: 30%
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