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The mountain state of Colorado has some of the best family ski areas in the country. There is no better combination of factors than 300 inches of average snowfall and 300 days of sunshine in the majestic Colorado Rockies. Creating a list of the best Colorado ski resorts for families is no easy task. Mountain resources are needed for:
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Some of these ski towns may be more suitable for younger children or first-time skiers. Some may be better for families with teenagers who want to park freely or watch an exciting ski or snowboard championship. No matter your skill level, we’ve got you covered!
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Our advice for planning your ski trip isn’t much different from what we’ve been recommending for years: Plan to be flexible. Have a plan A, B, or even C. Buy travel insurance and know your cancellation policy. Book your accommodation and ski hire and book your ski lessons as soon as possible.
Finally, be patient. Ski trips are a lot of fun, but can be very tiring, especially with young children, until you finally get them into ski lessons.
Tip: Did you know you can rent your ski equipment? Ski sets are available for rent at 90% off retail price and ship directly to your destination with free shipping and returns. This is a great option for families with children who outgrow their ski gear every season. Set includes jacket, pants, goggles, gloves and extra snow boots. See all rental options here.
Where to Go on Your Ski Vacation in Colorado Don’t forget to download the ski trip list too!
Best Colorado Ski Towns For Your Winter Vacation
Between Snowmass, Aspen Mountain (Ajax), Aspen Highlands and Surmilk, skiers will find more than 5,300 skiable acres, 337 runs and 42 lifts. There are ski slopes for the whole family to enjoy.
Of these mountains, Snowmass Ski Area is the most family-friendly, but also the second largest in the state. There are lots of fun family activities and the ski area is ideal for families with wide open pistes. Don’t miss a trip to the Alps on Breathtaker!
Families can rent children’s equipment (ages 7-12) and receive a free lift ticket from Four Mountain Sports. They will provide free lift tickets for the same number of days as the rental (with accommodations booked through Stay Aspen Snowmass).
The first phase of the Snowmass base village’s $600 million renovation includes the Limelight Hotel Snowmass, a ski-in/ski-out area, an event space with a free rink, multiple fire pits for outdoor socializing, and the Collective Snowmass. It makes for a cozy village with everything you need, from easy access to the ski slopes to fun family activities.
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Collective Snowmass has an art playroom and a selfie room. It also has a unique, healthy and delicious MixSix restaurant.
Last winter, a new restaurant opened at the top of the Village Express lift. Be sure to make a reservation for dinner at Sam’s. Our family would make another trip to Snowmass to enjoy this special Italian culinary experience again. Oh, and the view isn’t too shabby with large glass windows that reveal an almost panoramic view of the mountain.
Tip: Take the family in search of branded s’mores carts that look like giant marshmallows. Or make your own s’mores at home with these s’mores recipes.
Beaver Creek Ski Area has 1,832 acres of skiable terrain, 150 trails and 24 lifts. Locals learn to ski here for a reason. The resort’s Haymeadow Express Gondola and Haymeadow Park learning area are perfect for beginner skiers and young children. Our 11-year-old has always visited Mt. while traveling around, visit the resort’s theme parks, Jack Rabbit Alleys and Ghost Town. And every chance he gets, he stops by Candy’s booth.
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Beaver Creek has ski-in/ski-out access. In addition, the resort does a good job of making everything at the resort affordable. A free shuttle and bus system runs every few minutes through all the houses and apartment complexes to the main bus station.
With the expansion of Beaver Creek’s snow protection system at Red Buffalo Park and a newly renovated children’s ski school, Beaver Creek is more family-friendly than ever.
Read more: What to buy and rent for a family ski vacation 3. Vail Ski Area
Vail is best known for its legendary backcountry, but Vail Mountain has something for everyone. There are many neat runs. Blue Sky Basin is one of my favorite areas with lots of intermediate runs. It’s so amazing, spacious and has really fun runs.
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Vail Valley is also home to several unique Vail outdoor skating rinks. A clean, convenient and free bus system makes everything in the city accessible, including world-class restaurants and shopping.
I love the vast landscape and beautiful grounds of Vail. While there are plenty of courses for beginners, intermediate skiers and seniors will be able to take advantage of the terrain and use the legendary backboards. Families with older children or teenagers will probably enjoy Vail the most.
The world’s largest snow castle is fun for kids at Keystone Resort. Photo Courtesy: Keystone Resort/ Jack Affleck
Keystone has 3,148 skiable acres, 128 trails and 20 lifts. Additionally, Keystone has plenty of things to do off the beaten path. This Colorado ski resort is one of the closest ski resorts to Denver. It has one of the largest snow castles in North America, with a series of tunnels, slides and mazes within its walls.
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Keystone Ski Area boasts a Free Kids Ski Program, which provides free lift tickets for children 12 and under when guests book a stay at the resort for at least two nights.
The resort also offers snow tubing, family snowcat rides, ice skating, skiing, and more. such as winter activities are offered.
Free dedicated family parking and little red buggies to help transport equipment and kids to and from the slopes make the experience easy.
Families with older children may want to try family private lessons. Then they can spend more time together in the snow. Sounds like the perfect way to spend the day to me!
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A Colorado favorite, Copper Mountain is known for its 2,490 acres of skiing, 142 runs and 23 lifts. The naturally divided terrain has separate sections of advanced, intermediate and beginner runs, offering a variety of options for all levels of skiing and riding skills.
An excellent ski school and a large area for beginners make it ideal for families. Skiers can explore Tucker Mountain’s 273 acres of expert terrain via the Three Bears chair lift, which provides access to terrain previously only available to snowcats or hikers.
Breckenridge Ski Area has 2,908 acres, 187 trails and 34 lifts. But more importantly, it has a charming main street with plenty of restaurant and shopping options.
Younger kids will enjoy Peak 9, where they’ll find starting areas as well as nice places to take a break. Skilled youngsters will dig the more difficult routes of Peak 10. Families can enjoy cross-country skiing, dog sledding, ice skating at Breckenridge, or rapid alpine tours.
Colorado’s Best Ski Package
The Winter Park has a total of 3,081 ski areas, including 166 slopes and 25 lifts. The ski train that runs between Union Station and Winter Park allows visitors to skip the trip. One of the closest ski resorts to Denver in Colorado.
A tip for advanced ski families is to book First Slopes. The first track is only available for blue, blue black and black skiers and riders. This ride helps develop skills on the slopes and exposes skiers to runs they haven’t skied yet.
The iconic Sunnyside lift is a high-speed six-passenger lift that gives skiers and riders quick access to Mary Jane’s vast and diverse terrain.
Tip: If you won’t be staying at the resort, you may want to consider the YMCA at Rocky Snow Mountain Ranch. It’s a hub for family-friendly winter activities and a short 20-minute drive to the slopes of Winter Park.
The Hythe, A Luxury Collection Resort, Vail
Steamboat’s total of 2,965 ski areas includes 165 runs and 18 lifts, offering families a variety of ski areas. Steamboat Springs offers free lift tickets for children 12 and younger with the purchase of adult lift tickets for 5 days or more. There are many restaurants in the family town.
This beautiful ski town is known for its biking trails and wildflowers as well as its skiing. With 1,547 skiable acres, 121 trails and 15 lifts, Crested Butte offers approximately 20% beginner terrain and another 30% intermediate terrain.
Telluride is a historic mining town in the San Juan Mountains. This is a gorgeous and somewhat remote area of Colorado. But it’s a favorite of Texans who come north to ski.
The mountain offers more than 2,000 ski slopes, 127 trails and 18 lifts, with 23% of the mountain as beginner terrain.
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While Sunlight Mountain Resort doesn’t offer the on-site accommodations and activities of other ski resorts, we love that it’s Colorado’s best family ski resort. Another advantage is its location near the famous Glenwood Springs
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