Spring Skiing 101: Your Guide to Colorado’s Iconic SlopesAmanda Molitor
There is nothing like spring skiing in Colorado. Blue skies and warming temperatures make for great days on the mountain. Can’t decide where to spend your next ski day? Here’s a guide to help you find the right resort no matter your skill level or lifestyle.
Beginner and Family-Friendly Slopes
Just 75 miles west of Denver, Copper Mountain is a favorite ski spot for Coloradans of all ages and skill levels. First timers can get their ski legs by taking a lesson from the mountain’s friendly staff before heading out to try a run on their own. Although Copper Mountain has three sections, West Village, Center Village, and East Village, the West Village will be the best starting point for beginners. Here you’ll find plenty of smooth green runs and a few easy blues where you can practice your “pizza” and “french-fries” or sharpen your turns. Once you and your legs have had enough, head over to the pedestrian-friendly Center Village for some delicious food and hard-earned hot chocolate.
Nordic skiing, a type of skiing that includes cross-country skiing, takes skiers off the traditional slopes and allows them to explore Colorado’s snowy terrain at their own speed. Crested Butte is the capital of Nordic skiing in Colorado. If you visit this scenic skiing community, check out the Crested Butte Nordic Center. This organization is dedicated to providing individuals of all ages and abilities the opportunity to learn, enjoy and improve in the sports of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The Crested Butte Nordic Center offers rentals, lessons, tours, and even gourmet backcountry dining in addition to maintaining the area’s 50 kilometers of scenic cross-country ski and snowshoe trails around the Town of Crested Butte.
Back Bowls Skiing
Back bowl skiing is all about getting an adrenaline rush and experiencing the mountain in its more natural state. Ask any skier in Colorado and they will tell you that Vail’s Legendary Back Bowls really are as amazing as they sound. Encompassing approximately 3,017 acres of terrain, there’s plenty of epic runs to choose from. Although back bowls in general have a reputation as being expert-only territory, intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders with a sense of adventure can succeed here too. Learn more about each run by reading this guide to Vail’s back bowls.
Located just an hour and 20 minutes from Denver, Winter Park is another fantastic option for thrill-seeking back bowl skiers and snowboarders. Take America’s highest six-person chairlift up to Parsen Bowl, an intermediate-friendly bowl with 1,600 vertical feet of wide-open space to carve through the snow that ends with some glades for fun tree runs. And don’t forget your phone! The top of the bowl offers awe-inspiring, 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains. Learn more about the bowls and the seven other must-see slopes at Winter Park by visiting winterparkresort.com.
Since 1946, Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, known locally as “A-Basin,” has been a long-time favorite for its relaxed vibe and expert-level slopes. This mountain is comprised of more than 1,400 acres, nine chairlifts, and boasts the longest ski and ride season in the state – sometimes open as late as the 4th of July! But more importantly, A-Basin features some of the highest terrain in the nation, and Colorado’s steepest in-bound slopes. If you really want to prove your skills and dedication to the sport, try the 13,050-foot hike up to East Wall, where you can take in some of the best views and skiing – after you’ve caught your breath.
In Southwest Colorado, the historic town of Telluride is home some of the state’s best skiing and views. With a total of 148 trails and 19 lifts on more than 2,000 acres of skiable terrain, skiers are not likely to grow bored of these slopes. Advanced skiers and snowboarders can take on Telluride’s double-black diamond trails, some of which require hiking. Local favorites for fearless skiers include Mountain Quail, Dihedral Chute, Genevieve, Giant Steps, and Electra to Lower Dynamo. Get the full breakdown on these expert runs on telluride.com.
The All-in-One Ski Resort
Breckenridge, one of the state’s most famous ski resorts, is ideal for those looking for the total package and for groups with members at varying skill levels. Here, there is plenty of room to take a first stab at skiing on the bunny hill as well as more exciting slopes for those who live to shred fresh snow. Beginners will want to make their way over to Peak 9, where they can practice their technique on the green and blue runs. For intermediate skiers, Peak 7 is blue groomer heaven. Advanced skiers will fall in love with Horseshoe Bowl on Peak 8.
Elevate your skiing experience at two of Colorado’s most luxurious resorts, Beaver Creek and Aspen Snowmass. These highly sought-after resorts are known for frequent celebrity sightings and their luxe lifestyles.
Beaver Creek is a family-friendly mountain with a host of green and blue slopes that are perfect for beginners or warm-up runs. But you won’t have to sacrifice more challenging terrain at this high-end resort thanks to the many expert-level runs on the mountain. Additionally, Beaver Creek is home to Birds of Prey racecourse, the nation’s only run included in the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup. At the end of the day, change out of your ski boots and take a stroll through Beaver Creek’s Bavarian-style village which is lined with shops and restaurants for your enjoyment.
For the out-of-towners looking for the most convenient way to access the slopes, Aspen Snowmass might be the right resort. Guests can fly into Aspen-Pitkin Country Airport and then drive just a few minutes into Aspen or Snowmass Village. Comprised of four mountains, Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk, this resort community offers high-end alpine experiences for all ages and skill levels. For those in search for a mix of ski and après activities, Aspen Mountain, with its pristine runs on-mountain dining options, is a great place to start.
For more insider information on some of the best skiing spots in the state, or to learn more about the real estate markets in these resort communities, contact LIV Sotheby’s International Realty.