The state of Colorado serves up amazing ski getaways all over the state. There are a few ski resorts near Denver that are perfect for a day trip, weekend getaway or full vacation for solo skiers, couples, families and ski groups. These five ski areas are less than two hours’ drive from Denver the next time you need some powder therapy.
First up, Eldora Mountain offers convenience and excitement in the foothills southwest of Boulder. It is one of the ski resorts close to Denver. The ski resort sits right along Interstate 70 West, only about 50 miles from Downtown Denver. The mountain has more than 700 ski able acres. That’s a good amount of vertical drop for a smaller foothills resort. The mountain typically receives plenty of snow. Its 11 lifts give skiers easy access to a plethora of runs that range from easy beginner slopes and cruising intermediates to challenging advanced and expert trails that are used for training by the local university ski team.
All told, Eldora Mountain is a great balance of price and convenience. It’s ideal for newbies who want to learn to ski at a smaller resort where there’s room to grow without battling long lift lines and overly excessive crowds. Sure, it can get busy at Eldora Mountain just like everywhere else. But, weekday skiing usually has less traffic – so hit the resort during the week and you won’t be disappointed. Eldora Mountain has wide bowls, excellent glade skiing and about 25 miles of Nordic and snowshoeing trails to boot.
Less than 60 miles west of Denver along Interstate 70 West, Loveland Ski Area sits at the Eisenhower Tunnel. If you’ve ever travelled to the tunnel from mid-October through mid-May, then you’ve probably seen lifts filled with skiers heading up the mountain while you’re heading toward the tunnel entrance on the west side.
Loveland is a local’s mountain that’s simple but thrilling. There’s a small base lodge with no frills but everything you need for fun on the mountain. The lifts take you way above the tree line. Dress accordingly so you’ll be able to enjoy the open runs and exciting vertical drop as you ski the Continental Divide. There’s free cat skiing every day, too!
The convenience of Loveland coupled with the great runs and lack of mountain pass closures make it a reliable powder outing. The nearby towns of Georgetown and Silverthorne are a good place to snag a snack, dinner, gas up, visit retail shops or reserve a hotel room.
OK, now we’re getting serious here. Arapahoe Basin is a smaller local’s mountain that has lots of great advanced terrain with excellent steeps and extreme chutes. A-Basin is a more budget-friendly ski resorts compared to other nearby resorts and has one of the longest ski seasons on average (November through June, sometimes later.)
The ski resort is a top spot in Colorado for spring skiing. With a summit elevation greater than 13,000 feet, the snow is still deep in March and April compared to other resorts with a lower elevation. The resort is ideal of intermediate and advanced skiers who want big powder and love skiing chutes and steeps.
At Arapahoe Basin, there are limited amenities and no lodging at the base. If you want to ski at A-Basin, look for overnight lodging at Keystone. It’s only about a 10-minute drive from the base area at Arapahoe Basin. The nearby town of Silverthorne and Frisco provide lots of lodging, dining and entertainment choices.
Winter Park is only 65 miles from downtown Denver via Highway 40 at Idaho Springs making it one of the ski resorts close to Denver. Not only are you headed up for excellent skiing, but there’s beautiful scenery along the way to the world-class ski resort.
Family-friendly Winter Park is the longest continually operated ski resort in the state. It has everything you’d want at a premier resort – a fun and safe ski school, easy greens, challenging blues, and nasty blacks and double blacks. At Winter Park, there’s everything: epic moguls, breathtaking glades, ample powder stashes and a big-time terrain park that’s a hit with both skiers and snowboarders alike. In total, there are more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain.
Around the resort, there’s plenty of lodging and dining, and the base area has cool spots like an outdoor ice rink and a full-service spa. The Winter Park Express train transports skiers and boarders from Denver’s Union Station to the Winter Park base village on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from January through March.
Ski enthusiasts love Keystone for its family-friendly atmosphere, night skiing and top-rated terrain park all within two hours from Denver. That makes it one of the ski resorts close to Denver. It was originally planned to be the site of the Alpine Events of the ill-fated Denver 1976 Olympic Bid. But thats another story… Keystone presents the ideal middle ground – it’s not ultra-luxurious or too laid back. It’s just about right. The mountain has diverse terrain. It is ideal for larger ski groups that have skiers and snowboarders at different experience levels. It’s massive ski area also means there’s plenty of fresh powder to explore, even on busy days.
Keystone has four awesome bowls available for expert skiing (double black diamond). The Area 51 Terrain Park offers skill progressions for newbies, intermediates and experts. The dedicated learning area for beginners is one of the nation’s best ski schools.
In the evening, skiers can hit the slopes from sunset until about 9 p.m. for Colorado’s largest selection of night skiing . Ski runs are mostly greens and blues.
To get to Keystone, take Interstate 70 West to Silverthorne and then take Highway 6 South to the resort entrance. There are lots of lodging and dining options in the area.