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Colorado Ski Resorts Near Denver

9 Spectacular Colorado Ski Resorts Near Denver (By a Local)

Are you planning a ski trip near Denver and overwhelmed with choices? Denver’s proximity to some of the best ski resorts in Colorado makes it a prime location for ski enthusiasts. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the top 7 ski resorts near Denver, each offering unique experiences, amenities, and terrain to suit skiers of all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, looking for family fun or challenging slopes, this guide has you covered.

Table of Contents

Map of Ski Resorts Near Denver

9 Best Colorado Ski Resorts Near Denver

While Colorado is home to dozens of ski resorts, I picked these seven because they’re all within 100 miles of downtown Denver and are among my favorites. Here are the best Colorado ski resorts near Denver, starting with Breckenridge Ski Resort!

1. Breckenridge Ski Resort

Situated approximately 80 miles from Denver, Breckenridge is renowned for its historic town charm, diverse ski terrain, and lively après-ski culture. It offers a good balance of trails for beginners, intermediates, and experts.

  • Location: About 80 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Offers a mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced trails
  • Unique Features: Historic mining town with vibrant après-ski scene
  • Ideal For: Skiers who enjoy a blend of great skiing and lively town atmosphere
  • Additional Info: Breckenridge is not just about skiing; the town offers shopping, dining, and cultural experiences, making it perfect for a comprehensive ski vacation.

2. Eldora Mountain Resort

Located about 50 miles from Denver, near Nederland, Eldora is a great option for those looking to avoid longer drives into the mountains. It offers a variety of runs and is known for being a family-friendly and beginner-friendly resort.

  • Location: Approximately 50 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Varied, with beginner to advanced runs
  • Unique Features: Proximity to Boulder, family-friendly, great for beginners
  • Ideal For: Those looking for a quick ski trip without the long drive
  • Additional Info: Eldora is a hidden gem that offers a more laid-back experience without the hustle of bigger resorts.

3. Winter Park Resort

Just 67 miles from Denver, Winter Park is a popular choice due to its proximity to the city. The resort boasts varied terrain for all levels, including the challenging Mary Jane area.

  • Location: 67 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Diverse, including the challenging Mary Jane area
  • Unique Features: Proximity to Denver, variety of terrain
  • Ideal For: Skiers of all levels, especially those who enjoy a mix of easy and challenging runs
  • Additional Info: Winter Park is known for its stunning scenery and is a favorite among locals. You can ride the “Ski Train” from Union Station in Denver to Winter Park (book early, tickets sell out fast).

4. Keystone Resort

Roughly 70 miles from Denver, Keystone is a family-oriented resort with a wide range of trails, night skiing, and a relaxed vibe.

  • Location: About 70 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Wide range, including night skiing options
  • Unique Features: Family-oriented, night skiing
  • Ideal For: Families and night-skiing enthusiasts
  • Additional Info: Keystone is perfect for those who want to extend their ski hours into the night, offering a unique skiing experience under the stars.

5. Arapahoe Basin Resort

About 68 miles from Denver, “A-Basin” is famed for having one of the longest skiing seasons in North America and offers challenging slopes that are a favorite among both locals and visitors.

  • Location: 68 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Challenging, known for its long ski season
  • Unique Features: Extended season, high elevation
  • Ideal For: Experienced skiers looking for a longer season
  • Additional Info: A-Basin has a distinct culture and vibe, favored by locals and those looking for a more rugged skiing experience.

6. Copper Mountain Resort

Approximately 75 miles away from Denver, Copper Mountain is celebrated for its naturally divided terrain, catering to different skill levels, making it an ideal destination for skiers and snowboarders across the board.

  • Location: 75 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: Naturally divided for different skill levels
  • Unique Features: Organized terrain, great for all skill levels
  • Ideal For: Skiers and snowboarders across all skill levels
  • Additional Info: Copper Mountain’s layout makes it easy for groups of varying skills to enjoy the slopes without straying far from each other.

7. Loveland Ski Area Resort

One of the closest resorts to Denver, located around 53 miles away, Loveland is appreciated for its high elevation, affordability, and less crowded slopes, making it a preferred choice for those seeking a more laid-back skiing experience.

  • Location: 53 miles from Denver
  • Terrain: High elevation, diverse runs
  • Unique Features: Proximity to Denver, affordability, less crowded
  • Ideal For: Those seeking a more relaxed, budget-friendly skiing experience
  • Additional Info: Loveland offers a no-frills skiing experience with fewer crowds, making it ideal for those looking to escape the more commercialized resorts.

8. Vail Ski Resort

Located about 100 miles from Denver, Vail Ski Resort is celebrated for its expansive terrain, including the famous Back Bowls, and its luxurious European-style village. It’s the go-to destination for those seeking a world-class skiing experience with diverse runs and upscale après-ski amenities.

  • Location: Approximately 100 miles from Denver.
  • Terrain: Featuring one of the largest and most varied terrains in the world, including the legendary Back Bowls.
  • Unique Features: Known for its luxurious European-style village with upscale amenities, fine dining, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Ideal For: Skiers and snowboarders seeking a premium, expansive skiing experience with a variety of après-ski activities.
  • Additional Info: Vail is not just about skiing; its renowned ski school is perfect for beginners, and the resort offers a range of non-skiing activities like snowmobiling and dog sledding.

9. Echo Mountain Resort

Just 36 miles from Denver, near Idaho Springs, Echo Mountain Resort is known for its convenience and accessibility. It offers a variety of slopes suitable for all skill levels and is ideal for those seeking a quick, less crowded skiing experience, including night skiing opportunities.

  • Location: Just 36 miles from Denver, near Idaho Springs.
  • Terrain: Offers a balanced mix of beginner, intermediate, and advanced slopes.
  • Unique Features: As the closest ski resort to Denver, it’s ideal for quick trips and offers night skiing.
  • Ideal For: Those looking for a convenient, less crowded skiing experience, perfect for after-work escapades or half-day trips.
  • Additional Info: Echo Mountain’s laid-back, family-friendly atmosphere makes it a great place for beginners or those who prefer a quieter environment. Affordable lesson packages and equipment rentals are also available.

Essential Ski Gear for Your Colorado Adventure

To ensure you have the best experience on the slopes, having the right gear is crucial. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or a beginner, here are some top gear recommendations to enhance your skiing adventure.

(Note: The links included are affiliate links, and we may earn a commission from purchases made through these links at no additional cost to you.)

Hand Warmers

This zippo hand warmer lasts 12 hours using the same fuel that your lighter burns. If you’d prefer something electric, the HeatBank 6+ Pro will last you 6 hours on a full charge. For traditionalists, Ignik hand warmers do the trick and can be reused if you put them back in the resealable bag they come in.

Rocky Talkie Radios

Rocky Talkie Two-way radios are durable, water-resistant, and designed to last long in sub-freezing temperatures. They are a great tool to have with you while visiting any of the Colorado ski resorts near Denver so your group can stay in contact. Buy a Pair

Avalanche Safety Gear

If you plan to venture into or near avalanche terrain, get the training and gear you need to survive a slide. That means an avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel, along with the skills and practice required to use them in real-life. Your life is worth the investment. 

Balaclava (Neck Gaiter)

Colorado ski resorts near Denver and elsewhere experience high winds throughout the winter. It is important to cover up your neck to stay warm and avoid frostbite using a balaclava or neck gaiter, like this one from Black Diamond.

Things to Do in Breckenridge

Safety Tips and Lessons for Skiing in Colorado

Skiing in Colorado can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s crucial to prioritize safety, especially if you’re new to the state or the sport. Here are some essential safety tips and lessons to ensure a fun and secure skiing experience:

1) Understand the Altitude:

Colorado’s ski resorts are at high altitudes, which can lead to altitude sickness. Acclimatize by spending a day or two at a lower altitude before hitting the slopes and stay hydrated.

2) Know Your Skill Level:

Overestimating your abilities can lead to accidents. Stick to trails that match your skill level, and don’t hesitate to take a ski lesson or two, regardless of your experience.

3) Be Avalanche Aware:

If venturing into backcountry areas, be aware of avalanche risks. Consider taking an avalanche safety course, carry appropriate gear (beacon, shovel, probe), and always check the local avalanche forecast.

4) Watch the Weather:

Mountain weather can change rapidly. Check the forecast before heading out and be prepared for changing conditions.

5) Follow the Skier Responsibility Code:

This includes staying in control, yielding to others when necessary, and being aware of your surroundings. If you cause an accident, you can be held legally responsible.

6) Rest and Recover:

Skiing at high altitudes can be taxing on the body. Take breaks, rest well, and don’t push yourself too hard, especially on your first few days.

7) Wear Proper Gear:

Besides the core ski equipment, ensure you have proper cold-weather gear including layers, a good quality helmet, goggles, and sunscreen. The high altitude means stronger UV rays, so sun protection is a must.

Learn more in our complete mountain safety guide.

Colorado Ski Resorts Near Denver


Each of these resorts near Denver offers something unique, from family-friendly slopes to challenging terrains and vibrant après-ski scenes. When planning your ski trip, consider the type of experience you’re looking for, the skill levels of your group, and the amenities you desire. Whether it’s a day trip or an extended vacation, these resorts promise a memorable skiing adventure.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you do not see your question addressed below, leave a comment at the bottom of our page and I will get you an answer as soon as possible.

Q: What are the best months to ski in Colorado?

A: The prime months for skiing in Colorado are typically from December to March. During this period, the resorts have abundant snowfall, providing excellent conditions. However, some resorts open as early as November and can stay open until late April or early May.

A: Denver International Airport (DIA) is the most convenient and best airport for skiing in Colorado. It offers the most flight options and is centrally located, providing access to many of the state’s top ski resorts.

A: The closest ski mountains to Denver include Echo Mountain, Eldora, and Loveland Ski Area. These resorts are within a 50-70 mile range from Denver and offer a mix of terrains suitable for various skill levels.

A: The nearest ski resort to Denver is Echo Mountain, located about 36 miles away, making it a convenient option for those looking for a quick trip to the slopes.

A: Breckenridge is closer to Denver. It’s about 80 miles away, compared to Vail, which is approximately 100 miles from Denver. Both resorts are easily accessible by car, with travel times depending on traffic and weather conditions.

A: Both Keystone and Winter Park have their unique appeals. Keystone is known for its family-friendly atmosphere and night skiing options, making it great for a more extended skiing experience. Winter Park is favored for its proximity to Denver and offers diverse terrain, including the challenging Mary Jane area. The choice depends on your personal preferences and what you’re looking for in a ski experience.

A: Colorado boasts around 28 active ski resorts, ranging from world-famous destinations like Vail and Aspen to lesser-known gems. Each resort offers unique experiences catering to different skiing levels and preferences.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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