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Comparing Colorado Ski Resorts

          Aspen Mountain Gondola  Copper Mountain Howelsen Hill Families ski Winter Park, Colorado  

       

Trying to pick the best area for your Colorado family ski vacation? Here’s a cheat sheet with the vital stats from Colorado ski areas to give you an idea of what each has to offer.
 
Of course, many other factors go into your decision, like ease of access from highways or airports, snow type and depth, and scenery from the lifts.
 
When perusing the following table, keep in mind that one area’s expert runs are another’s intermediate terrain, and vice versa. Also, lifts may be two-person chair lifts, gondolas, poma-lifts, or moving carpets for ski schools.
 
Different ski resorts list acreage differently. Some list total acres permitted for ski area use, while others list patrolled or skiable terrain. So take those numbers with a grain of salt, although they can give you a rough estimate about the size of a place.
 
Families who are trying skiing for the first time, may be better served by choosing a small, inexpensive area, because they will probably not have the skills to ski all the runs on a huge mountain. On the other hand, with good lessons at the ski school, kids will improve quickly, and after several days of skiing, they will be bored with limited ski runs and need opportunities to test themselves on more advanced slopes. 
 
If you are the parent of pre-teens or young teenagers who are venturing out on their own, you may prefer a resort with fewer lifts, and thus fewer places to search when it’s time to wrangle those colts back into the lodge. 
 
Whatever your preferences and needs, use this chart as a beginning for planning a great family ski vacation.


Loveland Ski Area, Colorado Steamboat Ski Area, Colorado View from Buttermilk Ski Area, near Aspen, Colorado Skiing on Aspen Mountain 
Colorado Ski Area Chart:

 

Ski Area

Acreage

% beginner

% intermediate

% adv. & expert

Vertical rise (ft.)

# of trails

# of lifts

Distance from Denver (miles)

Website

1

Arapahoe Basin

900

10

30

60

2270

105

7

68

www.arapahoebasin.com

2

Aspen Highlands

1028

18

30

52

3635

118

5

220

www.aspensnowmass.com/highlands

3

Aspen (Ajax) Mountain

673

0

48

52

3267 

76

8

220

www.aspensnowmass.com/aspenmountain

4

Beaver Creek

1815

19

43

38

4040 

149

17

 109

http://beavercreek.snow.com/home/ 

5

Breckenridge

2358

14

31

55

3398 

155

30

 81

http://breckenridge.snow.com/home/

6

Buttermilk

470

35

39

26 (no expert)

2030

44

9

220

www.aspensnowmass.com/buttermilk

7

Copper Mountain

2450

21

25

54

2601 ft.

126

22

78

www.coppercolorado.com


 

Ski Area

Acreage

% beginner

% inter-mediate

% adv. & expert

Vertical rise

# of trails

# of lifts

Distance from Denver (miles)

Website

8

Crested Butte

1167

23

57

20

2775

121

16

230 miles

www.skicb.com/

9

Durango Mountain

1200

23

51

26

2029

85

9

 362

www.durangomountainresort.com/

10

Eldora

680

20

50

30

1600

 

12

47

www.eldora.com/

11

Howelsen Hill Ski Area

30

 

 

 

440

15

4

160

http://steamboatsprings.net/

departments/parks_recreation/

facilities/howelsen_hill_ski_area/

12

Keystone

3148

19

32

49

3128 ft.

135

20

 71

http://keystone.snow.com/Home

 

Ski Area

Acreage

% beginner

% inter-mediate

% adv. & expert

Vertical rise

# of trails

# of lifts

Distance from Denver (miles)

Website

13

Loveland Ski Area

1365

13

41

46

2410

 

9

53

www.skiloveland.com/

14

Monarch

800

14

28

58

1162

63

5

157

www.skimonarch.com/

15

Powderhorn Resort

1600

20

50

30

1650

 

4

250

www.powderhorn.com/

16

Ski Cooper

400 – by lift

2400 – by snowcat

30

40

30

1200

26

5

130

www.skicooper.com/

 

Ski Area

Acreage

% beginner

% inter-mediate

% adv. & expert

Vertical rise (in feet) 

# of trails

# of lifts

Distance from Denver (in miles)

Website

17

Snowmass

3132

6

50

44

4406

91

24

220

www.aspensnowmass.com/snowmass/ 

18

SolVista Basin

406

30

50

20

1000

37

5

78

www.granbyranch.com/ski/index_ski.asp 

19

 Steamboat

2965

14

42

44

3668 

165

18

157

www.steamboat.com/

20

Sunlight Mountain Resort

470

20

55

25

2010 

67

4

160

www.sunlightmtn.com/

21

Telluride

2000

21

32

47

4425

115

18

330

http://tellurideskiresort.com/

22

Vail

5289

18

29

53

3450 

193

31

 97

http://vail.snow.com/Home/

23

Winter Park

3078

9

34

57

3060 

143

25

67

www.skiwinterpark.com/

24

Wolf Creek Ski Area

1600

20

35

45

1604

 

7

246

www.wolfcreekski.com/