Skiing is a core component of living in Colorado, an integral part of our history and culture, and one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time outdoors during the winter. We are lucky to have nine ski resorts along the Front Range within a two-hour drive. However, with rising costs and heavy traffic sometimes the hassle may not seem worth it.
We have compiled a list of our favorite family friendly ski resorts along the Front Range to ensure everyone has a great day:
1) Loveland Ski Area Situated 12 miles outside of Georgetown right at the Eisenhower tunnel, Loveland ski area provides all the aspects of a world class ski resort for a fraction of the cost. They have a separate bunny hill away from the rest of the mountain, which means less pressure on beginners, and an excellent ski school. Couple all that with an average of 423 inches of snow per year (more than any other Front Range resort) and you have a hidden gem. Cost of a day pass: Adult $63, Children (6-14) $28, children 5 and under free.
2) Eldora 21 miles West of Boulder, above the town of Nederland, lays Eldora ski resort. Eldora stands out for its inexpensive ski passes, non-existent lift lines, and easy terrain—making it a great choice to learn how to ski. Added bonus: since Eldora is situated off the beaten path there’s no having to jockey traffic to get up and down I-70. Cost of a day pass: Adult $89, Children (6-15) $49, children 5 and under free.
3) Arapahoe Basin The Legend—one of the oldest ski resorts in Colorado, A-Basin has great expert terrain for those who are looking for more of a challenge. Their high alpine terrain also means that they are one of the first resorts opened in all of North America each season, and one of the last to close. The atmosphere at A-Basin is second to none, and everyone is in high spirits, making this as fun a place as any to ski. They also offer ski lessons that accommodate all types of skiers and snowboarders. Cost of a day pass: Adult $85, youth (15-18) $70, child (6-14) $40, children 5 and under free.
4) Copper Mountain Copper is a local favorite of many Denver area skiers offering naturally divided terrain, large 4-person and 6-person lifts that access beautiful corduroy groomers and inexpensive and discount lift tickets. Coupled with their ski school, Copper Mountain offers a ski school program known as Copper Choppers, which buses kids up and back from locations throughout the Denver Area, and takes them to the mountain where they get ski and snowboard lessons. Cost of lift ticket: Adult $138, Children (6-12) $69, Children 5 and under free.
5) Winter Park/Mary Jane Another local favorite, Winter Park sits on the other side of Berthoud Pass and avoids much of the dreadful traffic that is associated with I-70. This Mountain has everything: great easy terrain for beginners, a separate mountain “Mary Jane” for more difficult skiing, free and easily accessible parking, and a great atmosphere. They also offer a program similar to Copper Choppers known as the Eskimo Club. Cost of a day pass: Adult $129, Child (6-12) $74, children 5 and under free.
If you are looking for affordability, numerous ski resorts offer reduced lift ticket prices and 4-pack deals, which are far more inexpensive to buy in the summer. The State of Colorado also has a program where 5th graders can ski at 20 different ski areas for three days apiece, free of charge! And 6th graders only have to pay $99 for four days! Learn more about this program here. Remember, with any physical activity safety is of top importance so be sure to wear a helmet and proper equipment.
Skiing and snowboarding is one of the best ways to spend one’s winter, and our family favorite resorts are affordable, easily accessible, and provide great terrain to learn to ski and snowboard. What is your favorite resort to ski/snowboard? Why should your resort be on our list? Tell us in the comments below.