Ski resorts in Colorado - a good reason to plan out your winter vacation

29.11.2010 In: Travel tips

There are many great ski resorts in the state of Colorado. Determining which is the best ski resort in Colorado for your ski vacation is often dependent upon skier ability, desired terrain, nightlife, and other available resort activities. The best ski resort for a Colorado local might not be the best ski resort for the destination ski resort vacationer.

Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort

Aspen and Snowmass Village are located in the Roaring Fork Valley of Central Colorado. They host two of Aspen Skiing Company's four ski resorts that are all located within a 12 mile radius. Aspen Mountain offers expert skiers steeps, bumps and glades while Snowmass offers vast terrain for every ability level of skier and snowboarder. It is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for locals and destination ski vacationers.

A ski vacation at Aspen/Snowmass is the perfect destination resort for skiers and non-skiers alike. Skiers and snowboarders can take the free ski shuttle to all four ski resorts while non-skiers can take in a variety of local activities. One can go dog sledding, take in a hot air balloon ride, snowmobiling, an after dinner sleigh ride, or shop at some of finest stores in Colorado. Teens and children can take advantage of programs offered at the new Treehouse Kids' Adventure Center at Snowmass Village.

Transportation is quick, easy, and efficient at Aspen/Snowmass. Upon arrival at Sardy Field, one can take either take the free bus system or the hotel's shuttle to one's lodging. Once at Snowmass the free Snowmass shuttle system covers the entire resort. Since 90% of Snowmass' lodging is ski-in ski-out, you won't need it to access the slopes. In Aspen, everything is within walking distance of downtown.

What sets Aspen/Snowmass apart as one of the best ski resorts in Colorado is the combination of amenities, guest service, and the sheer size of ski accessible terrain. Your lift ticket is good at Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass - all on the same day. Once at the mountain, guest services will try everything to make sure your experience is a pleasant one. Need tissues, sunscreen, gloves, goggles, or a granola bar? Just ask. Don't like crowds on the slopes? They don't exist at any of the Aspen Skiing Company mountain's - even during the holidays.

Aspen/Snowmass can be as expensive or as budget-friendly as you like. Five star luxury lodging can be had at the St. Regis or more economical lodging can be found at the nearby St. Moritz. If one flies into Aspen during non-peak travel periods, reasonable airfares into Aspen can be found. Once on the ground in Aspen a rental car is completely unnecessary. Lift tickets are expensive but no more so than any other Colorado destination ski resort.

If you are looking for a Colorado ski resort with easy access, efficient transportation, ski-in/ski-out lodging, activities, fine dining, nightlife, expansive beginner terrain, tons of intermediate cruisers, and adrenaline-junkie terrain - Aspen/Snowmass is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. In a nutshell - great snow without the crowds of Front Range skiers and snowboarders.

Steamboat Ski Resort

Steamboat Ski Resort is located on the outskirts of Steamboat Springs, Colorado in the Yampa Valley of Northwest Colorado. What started as authentic cattle ranching town is now nicknamed "Ski Town USA" and produced more winter Olympians than any other town in the USA. With its dry light champagne powder and famous tree skiing, it's one of the best ski resorts in Colorado.

Several factors make Steamboat Ski Resort one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. To complement the bountiful powder and tree skiing, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy 2,965 acres of skiable terrain at an elevation-friendly 6,900 to 9,000 ft. No gasping for air at this intermediate skiers paradise. And when the day is done, there's plenty of lively apres-ski at The Tugboat or the Gondola Pub & Grill.

If skiing and snowboarding isn't your thing, there are plenty of alternate activities. Learn to ride a ski bike in one morning without all the falling of other snowsports. Take a snowmobile tour on Rabbit Ears Pass. Go on a dinner sleigh ride at a local ranch. Discover one of the local tubing hills. Improve your winter driving skills at the Bridgestone Winter Driving School. At the end of the day, take in one of the local hot springs.

Steamboat Ski Resort can be moderately expensive compared to Colorado Front Range ski resorts and lift ticket discounts are hard to come by. Lodging can range from expensive luxury slopeside homes to budget-friendly ski-in/ski-out vacation rentals. For the ultimate cheap lodging - go winter camping at Steamboat Campground.

While direct flights into Hayden can be a little pricey, one can skip the rental car contracts by taking Alpine Taxi to Steamboat Springs. Once in town, the expansive in-town bus system is free. Lift tickets are pricey but no more so than any other destination ski resort. Buying multi-day adult ski passes reduces the price while children can take advantage of the Kids Ski Free program.

A combination of qualities and amenities makes Steamboat Ski Resort one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. Steamboat Springs is a real town filled with authentic friendly western charm. Skiers of all ability range can enjoy the available terrain. Powderhounds will be fulfilled with the copious snowfall. And due to its distance from the Front Range, the slopes are rarely crowded with people.

Vail Ski Resort

Vail Ski Resort is located next to the town of Vail in the Vail Valley of north central Colorado. It lies 97 miles west of Denver next to Interstate 70. It is the largest ski resort in Colorado and is a popular destination resort for Colorado locals and international ski vacationers. It is one of best ski resorts in Colorado.

Vail was founded in 1962 by two members of the famed 10th Mountain Division and opened with just 3 lifts. Today, Vail covers 5289 acres, has 31 lifts, and an average annual snowfall of 350 inches. While Vail is one the best ski resorts in Colorado for vacationing skiers and snowboarders, non-skiers can have fun too. Activities can include: snowshoe tours, ski biking, tubing, nature classes, and world class shopping. Everyone can enjoy the legendary apres-ski.

Vail's combination of skiable terrain, and fantastic nightlife make it one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. Once up the front side chairlifts, one can escape to Vail's famous Back Bowls or over to Blue Sky Basin. Nothing could be finer the morning after a fresh powder dump. With local knowledge, one can experience face shots all day. At day's end, one can partake in the apres-ski at the infamous Red Lion or the deck at Garfinkel's. For dinner one can experience fine dining from a number of nationally renowned chefs.

Since Vail is an internationally popular ski resort for the rich and famous, it is an expensive place to take a ski vacation. Few discounts are available on lodging, lift tickets, or airfare into Eagle County Airport. One can save a little by booking lodging and lift tickets in advance. Those planning a two-week stay can save money by purchasing an Epic Pass pre-season while those staying for a week should consider buying an Epic 7-Pack.

Once in Vail, the free shuttle bus system is convenient and eliminates parking hassles. Take a shuttle service from the airport or expect to pay premium fees for close-in commercial parking. Free parking is available in perimeter parking lots on the bus system.

While Vail is expensive, it offers amenities that make it one of the best ski resorts in Colorado. During peak ski season vacationers are practically guaranteed a variety of skiable terrain for every ability, good snow conditions, fantastic nightlife, fine dining, and world class shopping opportunities. For college students, Spring Break at Vail is one massive party backed up with nationally known musical acts.

Also look into a Breckenridge Ski Resort for your next family vacation.