While skiing at Aspen or Steamboat is wonderful, if budget is a concern, it pays to know about some of Colorado’s hidden gems – Colorado Ski Resorts where adults can ski for 20% to 30% less than at the bigger venues. For instance:
Despite being a smaller mountain, for being so close to Denver, A-Basin offers shorter lift lines, a variety of terrain, a great ski atmosphere and adult lift tickets for $48-$73 if you book in advance.
With steep bowls and a great terrain park, Copper has a lot to offer and adult lift tickets run $70 to $84 a day if you pre-purchased a two-day pass.
This resort, only 53-miles from Denver, gets an average of 400 inches of snow each year, but is largely overlooked by tourists. With 93 trails and 1,570 skiable acres — there’s a lot to love about Loveland, including a $49 to $61 regular-season adult lift ticket if you purchase online and ahead. For $99, you get a lift ticket, ski or snowboard rental, plus all the needed clothing –jacket, hat, goggles and gloves – so you could try the sport without investing a fortune in equipment.
If you’re in the military, Eldora is where you want to ski. About 45-minutes from Denver, Eldora offers five-times as many runs as Echo and far more for advanced skiers. Last year regular season lift tickets ran $72, but if you show an active-duty military ID, they cut the daily rate to $43.
If you can manage a longer drive – about three hours from Denver – and can live without the massive vertical drops of Aspen, Monarch has short lift lines and is known for great powder snow with adult lift tickets that can run as low as $52 if pre-purchased online and ahead.
Generations of Western Colorado families have learned to ski and ride at Powderhorn Mountain Resort and many of them come back year after year with their families. With powder fields to explore, trails that duck in and out of the trees and groomed runs of all levels, Powderhorn is a dream come true for young skiers and riders. Parents feel comfortable turning their kids loose because there is only one base area, so getting lost is difficult. Located forty-five minutes from Grand Junction, Colorado, Powderhorn is remote, surrounded by stunning natural beauty and not much else. If you come to Powderhorn, you come to ski and ride. Lift tickets are $59 for Adults, $30 for Children and $51 for Seniors.
Located 80 miles west of Denver, Granby Ranch is a family-owned resort perfect for seasoned skiers who want their kids to learn in a friendly, safe environment. Parking is close to the lifts and the terrain was designed with families in mind. All trails begin at one point up top and end at the base, allowing parents and kids to ski at their own levels with no chance of getting lost. Adult lift tickets are $58 to $63. Junior lift tickets $39 to $42. For military (with military ID), they offer 50% off, making military adult lift tickets just $29.
If powder skiing is your passion, Wolf Creek is known as a consistent home to some of Colorado’s best. The trade off here for the six-hour drive from Denver is last year you got it with adult lift tickets at $56.
by Jason Kornfeld