Vail ski resort

Our favorite Colorado ski resorts near Denver

Denver is one of the easiest U.S. cities to fly into and access a large number of world class ski resorts.  The Colorado capital city has a large international airport with flights on over 20 major airlines from most major cities in the U.S., plus Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the UK.  Not only is Denver a popular ski destination because of its proximity to so many renowned ski resorts, but also because of the ease of access to these resorts.  Visitors can jump on Interstate 70 (I-70) at the airport and be in the mountains in less than an hour.

With so many great ski resorts near Denver, how do you choose?  There are definitely some standouts.  Read on for our top 5 ski resorts near Denver and why we chose them.

winter park ski resort


Winter Park Resort is the closest major ski resort to Denver airport, and Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort.  It’s known for it’s 3,000+ acres of skiable terrain and 1,200+ acres of backcountry terrain.  Within the 3,000 acres are 7 different territories, ranging from the family friendly Winter Park territory to off the beaten path Vasquez Ridge and its famous powder stashes.  The legendary Mary Jane territory is known for tree skiing and moguls.

Why Winter Park made our list

  • Despite being just 67 miles from Denver, Winter Park’s location tucked away in the Rockies feels as remote as the most off-the-beaten-path ski resort.
  • The resort is a relatively straightforward drive from Denver.
  • There’s even an option to take the Amtrak train from downtown Denver right to Winter Park, a scenic ride to skip the winter driving!
  • If you are looking for tree skiing, the tree runs on Mary Jane can’t be beat.

copper mountain, colorado


Copper Mountain is 75 miles from Denver and is home to a variety of award-winning terrain. The resort’s 2500 acres of terrain follows a fall-line path that includes everything from mellow rolling terrain to steep fast runs.  Beginners can head over to the west side for easier runs, while experienced skiers can ski the intermediate and advanced runs in the center and eastern side of the resort.  There are plentiful trails for all levels of skiers and riders.

Why Copper Mountain made our list

  • The incredible perks at Copper like free snowcat access to Tucker Mountain for expert skiers, free parking, and the free Summit County bus system that can take you into Frisco or Breckenridge.
  • The base village at Copper Mountain has so many activities, restaurants and lodging, that you may not want to leave at all.  Apres ski hangouts rival Breckenride – try out cozy local dives like Jack’s Slopeside Bar and Grill, and Incline’s
  • These freebies combined with the lower lift ticket prices will make your trip to Copper much easier on the wallet.

peak 8 breckenridge ski snowboard snowshoe rentals


Breckenridge Ski Resort is just 100 miles from Denver airport, and typically less than a 2-hour drive.   With its 3000 acres of skiable terrain, five distinct peaks, and 187 ski trails, Breckenridge is one of the most popular resorts in Colorado. There’s a good mix of trails for everyone, and Breck’s many runs cater to all levels of skiers. The resort features an elevation summit of 12,998 feet – the highest in Colorado, and the starting point for Breck’s famous 3398 feet vertical drop. Thirty-four lifts service the resort, including the highest chairlift in North America – the Imperial Express.

Why Breckenridge made our list

  • The fun doesn’t stop at the runs. Fuel up after your day on the mountain at one of 11 on-the-mountain après ski restaurants and bars.
  • Beyond the mountain, you will find a quaint historic district, complete with many shops and more than 90 restaurants catering to every taste.
  • Although Breckenridge is as popular as it gets in Colorado, it really can’t be missed. The five distinct peaks spread people out, and if you avoid Saturdays and holidays, you may feel like you have the runs to yourself.

Vail ski resort


Vail is 120 miles from Denver airport, which is typically a 2-hour drive, depending on weather and traffic.  Vail Resort’s wonderful combination of 5200 acres of terrain, 300+ days of sunshine and 370+ inches of snow each year make it a must-visit ski destination. While Vail can be viewed as upscale or expensive, we believe it’s worth it because of the resort’s epic terrain… you must visit at least once.  Though it’s one of the most popular resorts in the U.S., it’s massive amount of terrain really spreads people out.

Why Vail Resort made our list

  • Vail Resort’s huge amount of terrain and the legendary back bowls.  These 7 bowls on the back side cover more acres than many entire ski areas and have been called a “Disneyland of snow sports”.
  • Vail’s two base villages boast endless shops, restaurants, and other activities for non-ski days.
  • The stunning views of the surrounding Gore and Sawatch mountain ranges as you ski.

Colorado ski resorts


If you are looking for something new in Colorado for your ski trip, head up to Steamboat Springs. Steamboat is known for its incredible tree skiing for skiers of all abilities and its fluffy “champagne powder” snow. If you catch Steamboat during a snowstorm, you will realize the snow is worth the hype.  The resort’s almost 3000 acres of terrain has enough steeps to satisfy the experts, but it’s also well known for its expansive and un-intimidating intermediate trails.   The town is situated in northern Colorado about a three hour drive from Denver, which makes it a bit more secluded than some other ski resorts along the I-70 corridor.

Why Steamboat made our list

  • Steamboat is great for the whole family with a good mix of trails across the resort.  Kid-friendly activities are plentiful and showcase Steamboat’s Wild West roots.
  • Steamboat’s namesake hot springs are a fantastic way to relax after a day on the slopes.
  • There’s a ton of choices for après-ski.  The base village has plenty of spots like the Double Diamonds bar where the party can last all night.  Or head into the downtown for an even wider variety of food and drinks.


Check out our map of the Colorado ski resorts near Denver, plus the rest of the major resorts across the state.

With so many resorts to choose from, we hope you’ve been inspired by our favorite ski resorts near Denver.  Once you’ve decided on the perfect resort for your ski trip, check out our top tips for planning your ski trip to Colorado!

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