Where to Ski in Colorado: Vail, Aspen, Breckinridge, Telluride

If you've ever wanted to take a skiing trip to Colorado, here's information you can use to help you plan your skiing vacation. We provide information on the top ski resort towns in Colorado, such as Aspen, Vail, Breckinridge, and Silverthorne; including the types of ski runs they offer, how to get there, where to stay and eat, and other activities you can enjoy when not on the ski slopes. Some of the world's best skiing can be found right in Colorado, and we'll give you a head start on planning your ski trip, including places to go online for more information or to book your trip and transportation. Before heading off on your skiing trip, check our sources and information in this article so that your trip will be all that you expect it to be. As always, we can't hope to provide all the information you'll need, but we can be a big help in getting you started, plus provide information on where to look for more details. If you're ready, we are too. Follow along as our article details how to get to your chosen resort, pick a place to stay, area activities if you'd like to do more than ski, and other useful information. Ready? Let's go!

Best Ski Towns and Resorts

Colorado is home to at least 17 world-class ski areas, where you will find great ski conditions and breath-taking Rocky Mountain scenery for your skiing pleasure and adventure, as well as wonderful places to stay and things to do while not on the ski slopes.

  • Aspen/Snowmass
    Two towns, four mountains, 4,993 acres of skiing, 42 lifts, 335 trails. Aspen Highlands is the locals' favorite mountain, and is just 3 miles from downtown Aspen and is accessible by free shuttle. Great slopes for beginners and expert skiiers, as well as snowboarders. Aspen Mountain is more than 11,000 feet high, and is a favorite among upper-intermediate to advanced skiiers. Also available are snowcat tours to ski areas.
  • Vail
    Located just 100 miles west of Denver, Vail is America's largest ski destination with 5,289 acres of skiable terrain. You'll find a wide variety of trails for all ski levels, from beginner to advanced. Vail is also home to one of the best ski and snowboarding schools around. There are more than 250 shops in the town of Vail, along with 100 restaurants and bars, plenty of lodging, and a free intra-resort bus system.
  • Breckinridge Ski Resort
    There are 146 trails spanning four mountain peaks at Breckinridge. From beginners to expert skiiers and snowboarders, there's something for all skiiers on one or more of these peaks. And when you're through on the slopes, you can also enjoy snowmobiling, dogsledding, ice skating, historic tours and a live theater, among other activities.
  • Telluride Ski Resort
    Well known, but not as well-used as some of Colorado's ski resorts, if you're looking for the place with the shortest ski lift lines, yet the most unsurpassed beauty and skiing condtions, consider this resort. Eighty-five percent of all the area's accomodations are within walking distance of chairlifts or the gondola's Station Telluride. For another adventure, try the nearby Mountain Village. Accessible by a 12-minute gondola ride or by skiis, Mountain Village is home to numerous boutiques, shops, restaurants, hotels, and an unmatched view.

Other popular Colorado ski destinations include Winter Park Resort, Wolf Creek Ski Area, Crested Butte Mountain Resort, and Powderhorn Resort. You can find more information on these and other ski resorts at There just isn't room here to review all of them.

Getting There

If you're flying in, the nearest major airport to most major ski areas is Denver International Airport. You can rent a car from any of the major car rental agencies and pick your vehicle up at their counter at DIA. Here are distances from DIA (Denver International Airport) to some of the major ski resorts in Colorado.

One of the closer ski resorts, Breckinridge is about 82 miles west of Denver off of I-70.
Winter Park
Located about 66 miles northwest of Denver on US Hwy. 40.
Vail is 97 miles west of Denver, on I-70. You can also get shuttle service between DIA and Vail.
Telluride is pretty far from Denver, but you can fly into the Telluride Regional Airport from either Denver (5 daily flights) or Phoenix (2 flights). Or you can fly to Montrose Regional Airport with flights from Denver, Chicago, Newark, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Salt Lake City and Newark.

If you're driving, you may find it easier to travel this way, plus toting your ski equipment along with you is much less of a hassle. Vail, Aspen, Winter Park, and Breckinridge are just a few of the ski resorts with fairly easy access off of I-70, west through Denver or East through Grand Junction. Telluride and Crested Butte are in the western part of the state, more easily accessible from either east or west by travelling south out of Grand Junction on State hwy. 50 to hwy. 550 for Telluride, or if going to Crested Butte, continuing east from Montrose on hwy. 50 to Gunnison, then turning north on Hwy 135, among other routes. Study out your road atlas for other options.

Lodging, Dining, Other Attractions

When it comes to choosing lodging and dining accomodations, you'll find plenty of choices and price ranges, including lodges, condominiums and hotels. Here are just a few choices for a few of the ski areas.

Aspen's Mountain House Lodge features 24 rooms and suites, with prices ranging from $99 to $139 per night. Independence Square Lodge offers room rates from $115 to $339 per night, located in downtown Aspen. These are just a few of the many lodging choices you will have if you're coming to Aspen. Dine in the hotels or lodges in Aspen, or choose from many cuisine types, including American, Steakhouses, French, Italian, Oriental, and more.
If you're coming to Vail for your ski vacation, you won't run out of lodging choices, priced to fit any budget. Examples include the Evergreen Lodge, with prices ranging from $125 to $410; a couple of resorts run by Marriott, with room rates from $149 to $209 per night, and if money really is no object--check out "Rent Vail," which handles private vacation homes and condos, and whose rates run anywhere between $395 to $3,595 per night. For dining, everything from deli and fast foods to Steakhouses, American, Mexican, Italian and Oriental are yours to choose from. There are several Starbucks coffeehouses here as well.

When you're not skiing, you can enjoy shopping and sightseeing activities as well as the nightlife in these ski resorts. Relax at a spa or health club, enjoy live theater, museums, snowmobile tours, and more.

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