Regardless of why you’re in Denver, its proximity to the Rocky Mountains and their snowy peaks is the perfect backdrop for imagining a ski holiday. Fortunately, those traveling to Denver, whether it be for business or leisure, can turn that winter wonderland daydream into a reality. Spend a day or two hitting the slopes at some of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts, less than a 2-hour drive away. From the extreme terrain of Arapahoe Basin to the family-friendly atmosphere of Keystone Ski Resort, there’s a destination for everyone easily accessible from Denver.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
For an experience that takes a step past thrill-seeking, Arapahoe Basin is the place to go. Its summit, which reaches 13,050-feet is impressive, to say the least, and one of the highest ski areas in North America. Not for the faint of heart, expert skiers unafraid of demanding terrain and extreme slopes can try and take on the challenge offered by the Basin. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area is a 1.5-hour drive from Denver, relatively inexpensive, and is open from October to almost as late as July so you can get your skiing fix in almost year-round.
Loveland Ski Area
Take on the slopes at Loveland Ski Area earlier in the day and still have time to fit a beer or two in from one of Denver’s many craft breweries that evening. A local favorite, Loveland Ski Area is not like the glamorous resorts you would find in Aspen but gets the job done when it comes to providing an opportunity for a shorter skiing session. The ski area has more than 1,800 acres of terrain with free snowcat skiing along the Continental Divide. Only an hour’s drive from downtown Denver, you can enjoy uncrowded slopes or check out their lesson program for new skiers.
Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort’s vast and diverse terrain spread over 2,800-acres and reliable skiing conditions cater to skiers of all different levels. The closest major destination resort to Denver, Winter Park Resort is an approximately 2-hour drive from Denver International Airport and offers breathtaking scenery that transports you a world away from the busy city. Either take a day trip or stay at the resort to enjoy its base camp amenities of a spa, restaurants, and other winter activities.
Keystone Ski Resort
One of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts and only a 1.5-hour drive from Denver, Keystone has something for everyone and is known for its family-friendly atmosphere. The resort’s ski area covers more than 3,000-acres of terrain separated into 6 different parks to accommodate skiers of varying levels. Somewhere between luxury and budget, Keystone Ski Resort offers the full package at affordable rates with plenty of activities other than skiing on offer. Indulge in some après-ski at one of the many restaurants found at the resort’s base or relax in a hot tub after a day of snow fun.
Not even an hour’s drive from Denver, Echo Mountain is a great location for the less than committed skier and budget-minded traveler. It’s easily accessible by car or bus, and those who can’t dedicate a full day, but interested in some simple skiing can enjoy free basic facilities like close-in parking and public Wi-Fi. The resort’s proximity to Denver, its freestyle terrain park, and nighttime skiing certainly make Echo Mountain a worthwhile visit.
Copper Mountain Resort
Another local favorite, Copper Mountain has a casual resort feeling that still offers a more quiet and romantic vibe for visitors looking for something a bit more intimate near Denver. Stay in Center Village for walking access to facilities and restaurants or consider booking a little further away for more budget-friendly accommodation. Regardless of where you stay, take advantage of Copper Mountain’s diverse topography that has naturally separated sections of advanced, intermediate and beginner terrain.
Eldora Mountain Resort
When it comes to price, convenience, and terrain, Eldora Mountain Resort is hard to beat. Only a 1-hour and 15-minute drive from Denver, the resort is known for its snow-making system and as the training ground for the University of Colorado’s ski team. Either glide down its diverse range of terrain and slopes or explore its 25-mile cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Expect a community and laid back vibe while here and take the opportunity to stay in the hip city of Boulder.