Colorado is famous for its skiing. That’s because when it comes to snow, Colorado has the best (and most). The state gets more than 300 inches of snow annually, and there are plenty of ski resorts here for you to enjoy.
Different Colorado ski resorts have their opening dates. You’ll need to know which resort, or resorts, you want to visit so you know when they will open. Most Colorado ski resorts open in November, but some open in October or December.
November is the Magic Month
While some Colorado ski resorts open in October or as late as December, most open in November. The Denver Post, a popular Colorado newspaper, provided opening dates for the most popular Colorado ski resorts in 2021. Arapahoe Basin opened on October 17, Keystone on October 22, and Loveland on October 30, while Cooper opened on December 8, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk, and Granby Ranch on December 11, and Sunlight on December 12. But let’s get to the November opening dates. These included:
Wolf Creek: November 6
Breckenridge: November 12
Vail: November 12
Winter Park: November 17
Eldora: November 19
Purgatory: November 20
Copper Mountain: November 22
Crested Butte: November 24
Aspen Mountain: November 25
Snowmass: November 25
Silverton: November 25
Powderhorn: November 26
Steamboat: November 27
How Early Do Resorts Open in Colorado?
While many Colorado ski resorts open in November, some begin welcoming visitors as early as October. One reason for this is high altitude. Loveland Ski Area, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin are three spots that tend to be the first ski resorts to open every year in North America.
Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin enjoy high base elevation, sitting 11,000 feet above sea level. The fact that skiing is one of Colorado’s most famous attractions also propels early opening dates. The state’s countless resorts don’t want to disappoint the tourists who want to enjoy these winter sports wonderlands.
When Do Ski Resorts Close in Colorado?
Colorado ski resorts are known for their late closing dates in addition to how early they open. Arapahoe Basin is known for staying open the latest. This resort is known to still have snow as far into the year as the first days of July. Late May is generally the latest a ski resort will close in Colorado.
Featuring some resorts that open as early as October and close as late as May, Colorado is revered for its long ski season, attracting skiing devotees from around the globe.
Why is Colorado Good for Skiing?
Colorado’s long ski season is one of its major attractions. This state is the most popular skiing destination in the United States, and it enjoys the best snow and landscape for the sport. Also, Colorado offers among the United States’ largest ski resorts.
The largest ski spot in all of Colorado by size is Vail. The region spans 5,289 acres of land, including 193 different trails. It has an impressive width of 7 miles.
Keystone is another enormous ski resort that spans three mountains and 3,148 acres. Other noteworthy locations in the state of Colorado include Winter Park, Copper Mountain, and Breckenridge Ski Resort.
If you would prefer smaller resorts, Colorado also has them in abundance. Skiing beginners often prefer these kinds of areas. Some examples include Ski Granby Ranch and Wolf Creek Ski Area.
Colorado also has the right kinds of snow. Certain types of snow are ideal for skiing. These include fresh snow and powder snow (including packed powder).
What is Fresh Snow?
Along with powder snow (which we’ll get to later), fresh snow is great for skiers and snowboarders. However, for visitors to enjoy the full extent of its perks, fresh snow needs to remain truly untouched and pristine. Once other skiers and snowboarders have traveled over it, it won’t be as coveted as before. Specifically, the slope will become uneven from the contours of previous tracks.
What is Powder Snow?
Powder snow is invaluable among skiers and snowboarders, and you’ll find it in spades at Colorado’s ski resorts. Powder snow has much less moisture than other kinds of snow, which creates its advantages. When you ski on powder snow, you have the ideal conditions for your sport. When it comes to thick layers of powder snow, always manage weight on your skis so that the majority is on the back.
Packed powder is powder snow that has been pushed down and compressed. It’s smoother, and it still offers plenty of perks. If you’re a skiing beginner, packed powder is the best kind of snow.
What is the Largest Ski Resort in Colorado?
Vail is Colorado’s largest ski resort, with around 21 square kilometers of space. This resort offers many different skiing options, with a variety of terrains. Whether you are just starting or have years of experience, Vail has everything you could need.
If you want to find luxury accommodations at Vail ski resort, you will find plenty of options. The most upscale is the Four Seasons Resort Vail. This ski resort has large and well-appointed rooms, always in line with the Four Seasons brand. When you stay there, you get in-room fireplaces and other lavish amenities.
Another great Vail hotel is Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa. Like Four Seasons Resort Vail, Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa offers a high-end experience. At Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa, you get down duvets, fireplaces, and views of the picturesque skiing terrain. The best feature of Vail Mountain Lodge & Spa is its Vail Vitality Center. The wellness center and spa offer the help of trainers and even doctors.
Wolf Creek Gets the Most Snow
Those wanting the resort that typically receives the most snowfall each year should look into this spot. Wolf Creek Ski Area’s yearly snow average is 430 inches.
As we’ve seen here, Colorado is known for fantastic ski resorts that open early and stay open late in the year. If you’re an eager skier, you can’t do better than Colorado.
More about our TFVG Author
A seasoned traveller, Dad, and avid sports tourist, James foundered The Family Vacation Guide to share his expert vacation experiences- especially when it comes to being a travelling family man.
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