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If you only get out to Colorado to ski once a year, you want to ensure that you choose the perfect time to go. There are many good options when it comes to skiing in Colorado and luckily, you have a period of several months that should offer you a great skiing experience.
February and into the springtime is a great time to make the big ski trip to Colorado. You’ll have some dependably great weather the all of the slopes should be open and waiting for your arrival. If you have a specific ski resort in mind, you may want to check when the best time to visit would be based on their snowfall — as answers may vary.
Ski Resorts In Colorado
Your Guide to the Colorado Ski Season
Typically, ski and snowboarding season begins mid to late November. Though this month doesn’t usually see heavy snowfall and the weather can still be a bit sporadic. A couple of Colorado resorts try to open as early as October (such as Arapahoe Basin) but oftentimes won’t be at full capacity as of yet.
Every ski resort will vary as to how much snowfall they’ve received on any given day, week, and month. Many people make reservations well in advance, so looking at prior years is a good way to gauge what you should expect from your time at the resort.
Planning a trip for November isn’t typically the best idea, as skiing capabilities may still be a bit limited. If you already live in Colorado and can easily hop over to a resort, it may be worth your time for the day. However, if you’re making a big trip to the state — November is still a bit early to have the best possible experience.
The benefit of a trip early in the season is that hotels and lift tickets oftentimes are cheaper than they will be as the season really begins to kick off. If you’re a local Coloradan, then a November trip to the mountains may be a good choice to kick off the season.
The idea of celebrating Christmas at a ski resort may sound like a dream to many people. However, snow can still be a bit hit or miss at this time of the year, Keep in mind that resorts may still be operating at limited capacity as they aren’t able to open all of the runs without enough snow.
The ski towns will be beautiful at this time of the year, with all of the holiday decor and many families love to experience the magic of the festivities. If you’re willing to sacrifice significant snowfall, December can be a great choice for a family-friendly vacation.
This month is where it begins to get really fun — as many resorts are open at full capacity by mid-January. However, January is also typically the coldest month so some extra layers may be necessary to keep you nice and warm on the slopes.
It’s key to avoid these resorts during school holidays and on the weekends when children and their families are able to flock to the slopes as well. If avoiding a crowd is important to you, stick to the weekdays.
February is one of the most popular months to ski in Colorado — as it’s decidedly one of the best (if not the best) months to ski in the state. The base depth of the snow on the mountains is at a good level and plenty of fresh snow is still reliably falling at this point in the year.
Presidents’ Day weekend can be a bit crowded, so if at all possible it’s recommended to plan your trip another time. If you don’t mind the crowds, you just have to make sure you book well in advance as you’re going to have some competition.
March is another great option for skiing in Colorado, although it gets pretty crowded during spring break as people from all over the states are traveling in on their week off. Resorts are fully operational and there are some sunnier days, making for a less brutally cold experience.
Going skiing in Colorado in early March before the spring breakers roll in is a great choice if you can swing it. You’ll have your choice of runs to explore and fewer people crowded you by the lifts.
Many resorts close in early to mid-April but you may have the chance to hit a couple more slopes before they do. Going early in the month is the best choice and you’re likely to find some discounted rates as many people aren’t trying to ski during this time.
Depending on weather conditions during any given year, it’s possible that resorts stay open until the summer! That’s not always the case, however, and April usually marks the end of the season.
Where Should You Ski in Colorado?
Depending on what your preferences are, you may have a specific location or resort already in mind. If so, it’s best to check their website to see the weather conditions and what’s open and closed currently.
Some ski resorts peak earlier in the season than others, just due to location and elevation. When you’re trying to book a ski trip well in advance, it can be difficult to know what the exact weather and snow totals will be — as reservations oftentimes require some planning months beforehand.
There are 28 ski resorts to choose from in Colorado — so there are options for every individual. Some are more popular than others but they all have a unique offering for visitors.
Top Choices for Ski Resorts in Colorado
Vail is a popular resort and they are typically reliable for early winter skiing. It’s also a great destination for the holidays if you’re looking for beautiful decor and lights. Other options for skiing early in the season include Wolf Creek and Steamboat.
If you’re looking to book your Colorado trip mid-season, you’re in luck because many of the big resorts are open and fully operational. Aspen Snowmass, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Beaver Creek are all solid options and are classic ski destinations.
Once the springtime rolls around, you’ll want to keep your eye on the resorts with the higher elevation that have north-facing mountains — as they will typically have snow until later in the year. These resorts include Telluride, Crested Butte, and Aspen Mountain.
Making the Most of Your Colorado Ski Trip
Families look forward to skiing every season and taking a trip to beautiful Colorado can be something that’s anxiously awaited every year. To ensure that you get the best experience and the best bang for your buck, it’s important to do a bit of research beforehand.
Skiing earlier in the season can save you some money but you may need to sacrifice some of the runs not being open yet. Going during the peak of the season will likely correlate with more crowds and expensive tickets and hotels — but you’re guaranteed to see plenty of snowfall and lifts working at full capacity.
There are many amazing ski resorts to choose from in the state of Colorado, as it boasts of some of the best mountains and slopes in the world. There are family-friendly resorts and also opportunities for those who are seeking more of an adrenaline rush.
NewToSki.com is where over 1 million people a year come to learn more about skiing. I share everything I wish someone had told me when I was learning to ski. My name is Simon & I've been skiing since 2005. This winter, our family is taking a 3-month camper ski trip across the Alps. If you enjoy our articles, please join the free email club. We'd love to have you.
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