Colorado: The West's Winter Institution
Colorado offers 33,143 acres of ski terrain (excluding backcountry acreage). Though the state offers year-round entertainment for the outdoor lover, winter is the specialty here.
Colorado, as you know, is a big state with big mountains. And a big state with big mountains equates to a big-time ski hub. Colorado offers 33,143 acres of ski terrain (excluding backcountry acreage). Though the state offers year-round entertainment for the outdoor lover, winter is the specialty here.
There is the Summit County area with 6,814 skiable acres all its own. Summit County skiing consists of four ski areas: Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone. This is perhaps the most heavily skied areas in the state as it is only an hour-and-a-half drive from Denver on I-70 West. The crowds come for good reason though; Summit County offers fantastic skiing from the less-developed and steep-terrained A-Basin to the very well developed and popular resorts of Breckenridge and Keystone to the balanced Copper Mountain.
Then there is Aspen. Aspen offers four mountains for the ready skier. Though the prices may be higher at Aspen than other ski areas, you'll have plenty of room to roam. On the four mountains are the extreme Y and B-Zones of Highland Bowl along with plenty of terrain for those not yet ready to tackle such precipitous lines.
Down in the San Juan Range, Telluride displays the spectacular beauty of Colorado like no other ski area. The San Juan Mountains contain the highest concentration of 14ers in Colorado. So whether you are out to enjoy the slopes or you want to spend a day checking out the town, expect aesthetic pleasure from the Telluride area.
In another valley deep in the San Jaun Mountains lies Silverton. Silverton's locations allows for superb wintersports with relatively sparse traffic. You certainly won't find the resort atmosphere of a Breckenridge or Aspen. What you will find are frozen cascades waiting to be climbed and fresh snow ready to be skied. Silverton is much more than a ski area. If you are ready to mix you winter ski vacation with some other winter sports give snowshoing or ice climbing a try while in Silverton.
Winter Park is the perfect place for the beginner and the extreme downhillers. The Park consists of two parts: Winter Park and Mary Jane. The former being the domain of those somewhere less than advanced and the latter for the advanced. Another desirable feature of Winter Park is its location: less than 70 miles west of Denver.
Eldora, just a short drive from Boulder on US Highway 119, is a great place to hone your skills. They may not have the extreme lines of some resorts or the size of others, but Eldora is Colorado skiing all the same. Come prepared for a great day of skiing or boarding in uncrowded conditions. Find food and lodging in Nederland.
In Durango rises a mountain named after Dante's second canticle in his Commedia--Purgatory. Although Virgil won't be cutting down the slopes with you, you are sure to enjoy yourself on runs (Catharsis and Pandemonium, to name two) that might have shaken Dante's confidence.
The Wolf Creek Pass area is no joke when wintertime. Because of its location, this pass gets enormous amounts of snowfall every year. The location also keeps the amount of skiing relatively low giving those who do make the trip some excellent backcountry slopes to jump on.
Colorado is the state for winter fun. The amount of skiing available borders on excessive, but go ahead, gorge yourself on the fine white stuff. Come to Colorado and experience all that winter sports should be.
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