It’s time to dust off your snowboard and dig up your snow sports gear. The 2014/2015 Colorado ski season kicked off on October 13, when Arapahoe Basin opened its lifts to the public. By now, most parks have opened for business.
The first month of the season wasn’t all that spectacular, but the next several months should be packed with fresh powder to tackle. If you’re new to Denver or are just now getting acquainted with the official state winter sport, you might find this introductory guide to Denver area ski resorts useful.
Also known as “A-Basin” and “The Basin,” Arapahoe Basin is known for its stunning views, having plenty of terrain for the skilled and experienced skier, and staying open until July, longer than most Denver area ski resorts. While it receives most of its praise from advanced and expert skiers, A-Basin actually has some great bunny slopes and first-rate ski instruction. Perched elegantly at the top of A-Basin’s Black Mountain Express run, the Black Mountain Lodge is a great place to enjoy an Alpine-influenced meal.
Home of the year-round ski and snowboard training camp Woodward at Copper, Copper Mountain offers impressive runs for skiers of all skill levels and is a great place to attend ski school. With lift pass prices falling between those at Loveland and Breckenridge, Copper Mountain also attracts many experienced skiers who want the most mountain for their buck. Located just off the I-70 between Frisco and Vail Pass, Copper Mountain is roughly a 90-minute drive from downtown Denver.
Nationally recognized names in the company of other Colorado ski destinations like Aspen, Telluride, and Vail, Breckenridge is a ski resort every Denver skier must experience at least once. While it receives no dearth of out-of-town visitors, the town and the mountain offer enough charm, fresh powder, and exciting runs to delight even the most seasoned snow sportsman. Boasting runs that vary in length and difficulty level, high-quality food and drink, and other sources of quintessential mountain town entertainment, Breckenridge is worthy of its popularity. It takes roughly 90 minutes to reach from downtown Denver.
Often paired with Breckenridge due to its proximity and the fact that the two resorts share the same owner, Keystone has excellent ski terrain and resort amenities that makes it a haven in its own right. Owned and operated by Vail Resorts, it has a somewhat upscale feel and prices to match. It is, however, an excellent family ski destination. It also boasts slopes that can intimidate even some of Colorado’s most experienced skiers, as well as night skiing. Keystone is about an hour-and-a-half’s drive from downtown Denver.
In spite of getting a bad rap from some ski snobs, the Loveland Ski Area is an easily accessible resort that offers plenty of excitement for people of all skill level. It also boasts the closest location of any Denver area ski destination to downtown and the cheapest single-day lift tickets. Usually among the earliest ski parks to open for the season and the last to close, Loveland is reliably open for business. If you want to have an economical yet fun and challenging skiing experience, Loveland may be perfect for you.
With a large ski village and almost enough slopes to accommodate the high volume of traffic the resort sees, Winter Park is an amenable place to have a vacation. With a renowned ski school and plenty of green runs, the resort is also a good place to learn to ski. Less than an hour-and-a-half from downtown Denver in decent traffic, Winter Park can be visited on day trips. In order to avoid extreme delays or disappointment upon arrival, check traffic along U.S. 40 and ski conditions at the resort. This season, Winter Park is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a favorite destination for Colorado ski bums.
Residents of the Boulder – Broomfield area can reach Eldora Mountain Ski Resort from their apartments in less than 30 minutes on a good day. With nearly 700 acres of skiable terrain, Eldora also appeals to intermediate and advanced skiers who want to spend some time on less traveled slopes. Eldora has some great downhill runs, but the resort is also exceptionally popular with Nordic skiers.
It’s no secret that Colorado is home to many of North America’s best ski runs. Do you get out often enough in the wintertime to enjoy them? Open your calendar and set aside a few weekends for skiing or snowboarding at the area’s fantastic ski resorts. They’re closer to your apartment than you often think. If you’re planning on hitting the slopes more than just a few times over the next five or six months, now is the time to consider a season pass.
Take advantage of the nature available to you as a Denver apartment resident. Get out there in the high Rockies on the board or skis of your choosing. Talk about a great way to Live Life + Love Life.
What is your favorite Denver area ski resort and why? Let us know by leaving a comment!
Like what you just read? Why not subscribe to the AMLI Blog so you don’t miss another post?