New To Ski

9 Best Ski Resorts For Families In The Rocky Mountains (All Ages)

by Travis McCullough | Updated: October 27th, 2022
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From British Columbia all the way down to New Mexico, the Rocky Mountains is arguably the best range for skiing in North America.  Some of the biggest mountains, best resorts, and deepest snow lie within its borders, but which are the premier family-friendly ski resorts in the Rockies?

Here is a list of our favorite Rocky Mountain Resorts that are great for the whole family.  Be sure to consider any of these mountains before planning your next winter family vacation. Although all the resorts offer great family skiing Jackson Hole and Breckenridge Ski Resort excel, with great snow, a good range of trail difficulty and plenty of activities.

Our Top Picks

    9. Wolf Creek Ski Area, Colorado

    Wolf Creek
    Photo by Zach Dischner at licensed under CC BY 2.0

    One of the smaller and lesser-known gems of Colorado is Wolf Creek Ski Area.  Just because this resort is small, doesn’t mean it can’t compare to larger Colorado counterparts.  Quietly nestled in remote southwestern Colorado, Wolf Creek consistently offers the highest natural snowfall in the state, along with a quiet and intimate setting that is rarely crowded.  

    Fun For Kids

    Terrain-wise, Wolf Creek offers everything from the mellowest bunny hill runs to the hardest moguled steeps.  It’s a great opportunity for kids of all skill levels because Wolf Creek’s ski school offers child lessons for both beginners and more advanced.

    Family Skiing

    Although this mountain isn’t as easy to commute to as some of the resorts on the front range, the extra travel time pays dividends in fewer crowds and shorter lift lines. The 10 lifts that span Wolf Creek provide families with an experience that feels much more expansive than the existing 1600 acres.

    Off The Slopes

    If you want a change of scene from the main mountain, then be sure to check out Wolf Creek’s cross-country skiing options.  There are two nordic tracks, totaling over 6 miles of groomed trails which will keep the family busy all day with beautiful views around the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests.

    What We Love About Wolf Creek Ski Area

    •  Consistently receives more snow annually than any other Colorado resort
    • One of Colorado’s most economical family skiing options
    • Quiet and intimate experience

    Wolf Creek Ski Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation11904 ft / 3628 m
    Skiable Terrain1600 acres
    Lifts10
    Runs77

    8. Snow King Mountain Resort, Wyoming

    Snow King Mountain

    Fun For Kids

    Two of Snow King’s most coveted attractions are its Alpine Slide and Cowboy Coaster, both of which are family-friendly activities that will get your adrenaline pumping.  If coasters aren’t your thing, be sure to check out the multiple tubing options that Snow King has to offer.

    Snow King’s Alpine Slide consists of a track, a half mile long with a vertical drop of 350 feet. Riders will take in the picturesque landscape as they reach speeds of 25mph during their descent.  The Cowboy Coaster is a high-speed version of the Alpine Slide, where riders descend over 480 feet down the mountain while taking in the beautiful views of the resort.

    Family Skiing

    One of the drawbacks of skiing at nearby Jackson Hole is its popularity which draws massive crowds, especially during the holiday season. Luckily Snow King manages to remain largely uncrowded for most of the season.  It is a great family option when you combine this lack of crowds with inexpensive lift tickets and ample beginner terrain.

    Off The Slopes

    Snow King is nestled right next to downtown Jackson Hole making off-mountain activities just a quick stroll away.  Jackson hosts a myriad of shopping and dining options that are worth checking out when in the area.

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    What We Love About Snow King Mountain Resort

    •  Adrenaline-pumping kids activities
    • Close proximity to downtown
    • Night-skiing availability

    Snow King Mountain Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation7808 ft / 479 m
    Skiable Terrain400 acres
    Lifts7
    Runs32

    7. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming

    Jackson hole ski
    Photo by Zach Dischner licensed under CC BY 2.0

    Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is one of the most revered gems of the Rocky Mountain range.  It is famous for its more advanced terrain, like the world-renowned Corbett’s Couloir, but it also offers plenty of beginner and intermediate terrain that the whole family can enjoy.

    Jackson Hole has a reputation for snowfall, with a yearly average of 459 inches, especially during spring.  It makes a great option for a family skiing trip in both early and late season.

    43% of its terrain is rated beginner and intermediate and the other 57% is designated advanced and expert, so it’s not hard to find runs that will keep most satisfied, even if you have some experts in the family.  There are also 6 terrain parks, including a jib park for those looking to brush up on their freestyle skills.

    Fun For Kids

    For those with less experience, including younger ones, Jackson Hole’s Mountain Sports School offers one of the most comprehensive ski school operations in the country.  They offer both private and group lessons for all age groups, which can be a great option if your family’s skills differ greatly.

    Jackson Hole also offers a nordic track (for cross country skiing), an ice skating rink, tubing, and opportunities for spotting wildlife. Jackson hole parlay gets its reputation from the sheer variety of activities on offer.

    Family Skiing

    What makes Jackson Hole such a great fit for families, especially those who are new to skiing, is how the mountain is separated into different areas based on terrain difficulty.  Most of the lifts only serve one type of terrain, so there’s no need to worry about accidentally finding yourself at the top of a black diamond run, as the only way down.

    Jackson Hole has no shortage of high-speed quad chairs and gondolas, which takes the headache out of keeping track of the entire family on a busy day.  You can even purchase cheaper lift tickets if you plan on sticking to the beginner lifts for the day.

    See Also:  6 Best Minnesota Ski Resorts for Beginners

    Off The Slopes

    If you are looking to take a day off of the mountain and explore what Jackson Hole has to offer, look no further because one of the best National Parks is right around the corner!  Yellowstone National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest are just 70 miles north of Teton Village, making them a viable option for a day trip.

    What We Love About Jackson Hole Mountain Resort

    • Wide variety in terrain difficulty
    • Extensive lodging options that won’t break the bank
    • Teton Village’s unique architecture and feel
    • Heavy winter and spring snowfall
    • Proximity to other outdoor recreation options
    • Plenty of ski-in ski-out hotels and condos

    Jackson Hole Mountain Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation10450ft / 3185m
    Skiable Terrain2,500 acres
    Lifts13
    Runs131

    6. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado

    steamboat

    Steamboat Ski Resort is one of Colorado’s larger ski areas, which sits at a considerably lower elevation than other resorts in the State.  Most skiers don’t generally consider the elevation of a resort when choosing a vacation, but for those who are prone to altitude sickness, Steamboat is a safe selection.

    Steamboat was built with family skiing in mind and amenities such as the red wagon system.  A simple yet effective idea, where Steamboat provides wagons for hauling family gear from place to place, with multiple pick-up and drop-off points for added accessibility.

    Fun For Kids

    Steamboat offers ski lessons for children starting from 5 years, ranging all the way up to 18.  The resort offers group lessons or individual lessons, for those who prefer the faster learning of a one on one experience.

    Family Skiing

    Steamboat’s terrain was cleverly designed so that it is advantageous for beginner and expert skiers alike. All of the beginner terrain is easily accessible at the bottom of the mountain and the expert terrain toward the top.  This segregation of terrain ensures that your entire family will have no problem sticking together on terrain that is within their skill level.

    Steamboat also offers private lessons in which five members of your family can learn together. Family members are able to stick together and you know there are going to be plenty of laughs along the way.

    Off The Slopes

    The town of Steamboat Springs has a great reputation in North America for off-mountain activities.  These activities include restaurants, tubing, alpine slides, horseback riding, and the famous Strawberry Park Hot Springs.

    Strawberry Park Hot Springs is in woods just outside of downtown Steamboat.  It offers multiple pools at different temperatures, so that the entire family can enjoy a soak under the stars after a long day on the slopes.

    What We Love About Steamboat Ski Resort

    • One of the lowest elevation resorts in Colorado
    • Great family-friendly nightlife including the natural hot springs
    • Emphasis on childcare
    • Extensive ski school options for the entire family

    Steamboat Ski Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation10568 ft / 3221 m
    Skiable Terrain2965 acres
    Lifts18
    Runs165

    5. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

    breckenridge
    Photo by Jonathan Fox at licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

    Breckenridge Ski Resort is a notable Rocky Mountain ski area that provides plenty of terrain, split between five different peaks.  With a whopping 35 lifts and 187 runs, Breckenridge is sure to have something that the entire family can enjoy.

    Fun For Kids

    Children will love Breck’s Kid Adventure Zones, which can be found on different peaks throughout the resort.  These zones are kid-friendly trails that branch off of beginner or intermediate terrain. They are decorated with different themes and obstacles, so your kids are bound to come back for more.

    Family Skiing

    The planning that went into creating Breck’s five peaks makes an ideal skiing experience for large families with varying abilities.  For example, most of the intermediate terrain is found on Peak 6 and Peak 7, while the beginner runs are mostly around the bases of Peak 8 and Peak 9, and Peak 10 is reserved for the experts.

    Off The Slopes

    Breckenridge has a rich and vibrant history. There are countless tours to learn about Breck’s evolution from a quaint mining town in the late 1800s to the premier skiing destination that it is today.

    If history isn’t your thing, Breckenridge is overflowing with restaurants, retail stores, and hiking trails that will keep you busy morning, noon and night.  Breck is one of Colorado’s mountain towns that truly has something for everyone.

    What We Love About Breckenridge Ski Resort

    •  The Five Peaks clearly separate terrain based on difficulty
    •  Kid Adventure Zones designed just for children
    • Diverse off-mountain activities

    Breckenridge Ski Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation12998 ft / 3962 m
    Skiable Terrain2908 acres
    Lifts35
    Runs187

    4. Big Sky Resort, Montana

    big sky

    Montana is dubbed big sky country for a reason, and it is only fitting that this resort resides in the big sky State.  This is the second largest resort on the list and one of the most expansive in the US. It offers 5800 acres of skiable terrain, 36 lifts, and over 300 runs!

    Fun For Kids

    Big Sky promotes family skiing and goes out of its way to get kids on skis at an early age.  Kids younger than six ski free and youngsters under 12 will receive a free lift ticket when they take part in a ski school lesson. This is great for families on a budget or for those who are just trying out the sport.

    Family Skiing

    Even with Big Sky’s popularity, its massive acreage helps spread out the crowds that flock to Montana’s favorite resort.  It’s a breeze for families who want to check out the beginner and intermediate terrain that is located at the top of the mountain.

    Off The Slopes

    Big Sky has no shortage of slopeside lodging opportunities, making the transfer from the ski hill to the hot tub as easy as possible.  Restaurants and specialty retail shops fill the lower streets so the whole family can immerse themselves in Big Sky’s Rocky Mountain culture.

    What We Love About Big Sky Resort

    •  The massive size and extensive beginner terrain
    • Ski-in ski-out lodging
    • Close proximity to Yellowstone National Park

    Big Sky Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation11166ft / 3403m
    Skiable Terrain5800 acres
    Lifts36
    Runs317

    3. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah

    Saturday on the slopes
    Photo by Rudi Riet under CC BY-SA 2.0

    The legendary Rocky Mountain ski area of Park City Mountain Resort is a haven for families who love to ski and it is one of the largest resorts in the United States. With the extent of the terrain and the impressive snowfall it’s easy to see why this resort is such a premier destination for families of all sizes and skiing abilities.

    See Also:  10 Best Ski Resorts Near Zurich (Plan Your Swiss Ski Trip)

    Park City has the most skiable terrain out of any US resort with an impressive 7,300 acres; 60% of which is designated for beginners and intermediate skiers.  So, no matter if your family is new to the sport or you are seasoned skiers, Park City has terrain for everyone.

    Fun For Kids

    Kids love Park City because it not only has enough terrain to keep them busy day in and day out but because there are also so many other activities on the mountain that they will love. Some of the other kid-friendly activities include:

    • Tubing
    • Zip-lining
    • Alpine rollercoaster/slide
    • Dog sledding
    • Snowmobiling
    • Gondola rides

    And this is just a taste of what Park City has to offer!

    Family Skiing

    There’s no need to be concerned if this is the first ski destination for your young ones.  Park City has over 550 acres of strictly beginner terrain, so if you are looking for a mountain that will stoke the flames of your kid’s passion for skiing, then look no further.

    Park City boasts one of the best and most comprehensive ski school programs in the country for those family members who are still getting the hang of the sport.  There are also child care services at the Little Adventures Children Center, if you feel like sampling some of Park City’s more advanced terrain.

    Off The Slopes

    Park City offers a great selection of family-friendly things to do and lodging options that will have you coming back year after year.  There is plenty of good accommodation in Park City that will give you gorgeous views of the mountain, as well as neighboring Salt Lake City.

    If you need a day to rest your legs you can always visit Park City’s old mining operations, restaurants, concert venues, ice skating rinks, or even Salt Lake City, which is a short 35-minute drive away. You’ll never find yourself short of finding something to do in Park City.

    What We Love About Park City Mountain Resort

    • Huge mountain with extensive terrain for skiers of all abilities
    • Plenty of powder
    • A short trip away from Salt Lake City
    • Numerous off-mountain activities
    • Family-friendly atmosphere

    Park City Mountain Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation10026ft / 3056m
    Skiable Terrain7300 acres
    Lifts44
    Runs341

    2. Angel Fire Ski Resort, New Mexico

    Angel Fire

    Toward the southern tip of the Rocky Mountains lies Angel Fire Ski Resort, one of New Mexico’s few high-elevation ski resorts.  Most people don’t associate New Mexico with a long ski season, but Angel Fire’s base elevation sits at 8,600ft, which allows it to stay open well into March in most seasons.

    Fun For Kids

    Angel Fire offers group private lessons, where up to four family members can participate in the same lesson.  This is a great option for families, especially for those with younger skiers who need an extra helping hand.

    Family Skiing

    Angel Fire is similar to Jackson Hole, in that the mountain is divided into two sections, which offer different skill levels of terrain. The majority of the green and blue runs are on one face of the mountain, while all of the blue and black runs are on the other face. 77% of the mountain’s 81 runs are beginner and intermediate trails, so there is plenty of choice for novices and experts alike.

    Off The Slopes

    Angel Fire’s quaint and rustic feel is what creates its appeal, from the small businesses that were built at the turn of the 19th century to the chalets that mimic those found in the Swiss Alps. Angel Fire is a breath of fresh air from the hectic and bustling streets of downtown Vail, CO.

    Just because the resort is rural doesn’t mean it lacks the ample lodging that is offered by larger resort towns.  There are plenty of reasonably priced hotels, cabins, and slopeside options that can accommodate the entire family.

    What We Love About Angel Fire Ski Resort

    • Intimate vibe compared to large resorts
    • Longer ski season due to high elevation
    • A large variety of beginner terrain
    • Ski-in ski-out lodging opportunities

    Angel Fire Ski Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation10,667ft / 3254m
    Skiable Terrain560 acres
    Lifts7
    Runs81

    1. Sun Valley Resort, Idaho

    bald-mountain

    Sun Valley Resort is known for its diverse terrain and occasional celebs, but not many skiers know that it is a premier family skiing destination as well.  It consists of two peaks, Bald Mountain and Dollar Mountain, that offer epic days of skiing for the whole family, no matter what their skill level.

    Fun For Kids

    Dollar Mountain is a great destination for kids who are looking to test themselves, and enjoy long days on snow.  This peak offers numerous beginner runs, and terrain parks, as well as a tubing run that kids of all ages are guaranteed to enjoy.

    Sun Valley also has a state-of-the-art ski school, that kids of all ages will enjoy while honing their craft.  Lessons start at age 3 on both of its peaks, and beginners can test their skills on Dollar Mountain and transfer over to Baldy once they are ready to tackle more technical terrain.

    Family Skiing

    Once the family has settled in and conquered Dollar Mountain, you can head over to the other half of Sun Valley and experience everything that Bald Mountain has to offer.  Baldy has more of the resort’s intermediate, advanced, and expert terrain, making it a great option for families who are looking to stretch their legs.

    Sun Valley consistently receives over 150 ins of snow annually and 250 ins is not unheard of.  Since Baldy sits at over 9000 feet, it receives a higher percentage of snowfall than Dollar Mountain, so be sure to get the whole family over to this peak to truly reap the benefits of Sun Valley’s heavy snowfall.

    Off The Slopes

    Sun Valley has no shortage of family-friendly activities that will keep everyone entertained, no matter what their age.  One of the gems of Sun Valley is its Olympic ice skating rink, which is open to the public and hosts various ice shows, where Olympic skaters from around the world come to showcase their skills.

    Sun Valley is also home to numerous world-class restaurants, retail shops, Nordic tracks, snowmobiling, and even the Sawtooth Botanical gardens.   

    What We Love About Sun Valley Resort

    •  High yearly average snowfall
    • Multiple peaks for skiers of all abilities
    • Tons of family fun off of the mountain

    Sun Valley Resort Stats

    Summit Elevation9150ft / 2789m
    Skiable Terrain2434 acres
    Lifts18
    Runs121

    Conclusion

    The Rocky Mountains host some of the best world-class ski resorts. If you’re looking for panoramic views, amazing snow and exceptional lodging and entertainment then you won’t be disappointed. Regardless of which mountain you choose for your next family vacation, you can be sure that any of the above resorts will make a great fit that the entire family will enjoy.

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