Colorado Springs isn't as close to major ski destinations as Denver. However, it's still possible to make a one-day ski trip out of the second-largest city in Colorado, as some resorts can be reached in less than 2.5 hours drive. The closest of them is the spectacular Breckenridge, located just west of the Continental Divide. Some resorts in Colorado open as early as October, however, with limited runs and lifts operating. By mid-November, most resorts are open in full capacity. The season lasts through May, although some places stay open even in June. The best time to ski and snowboard in Colorado is January and February due to the large quantity of snow and stable cool weather.
Breckenridge or simply Breck could be arguably called the best ski resort in Colorado. World-class skiing over 5 peaks is complemented with evening activities at a historical 1859-mining town with an authentic atmosphere dating back to the gold rush days. It also offers gourmet dining and plenty of other activities besides skiing or boarding, such as the Race of the Santas, snowshoeing, and riding Breckenridge Gondola. However, its main attraction is, of course, its superb alpine terrain. The resort offers some serious elevation and boasts the highest chairlift in North America. Breckenridge can be reached from Colorado Springs by either car or shuttle in slightly more than two hours. If you drive a little further, you can reach a neighboring Keystone resort, which offers the largest night skiing in the state, snow tubing, and ice-skating.
vertical: 3,398 ft (1,036 m) area: 2,908 ac (1,177 ha) runs: 162 lifts: 32 season: mid-November to mid-May
Loveland Ski Area
If you keep driving north from Breck, you'll get to Loveland, located atop the Continental Divide about 120 mi (190 km) from Colorado Springs. It is known for its abundant snow, remarkable terrain, and a long season stretching from October through mid-May. With about 100 runs and 1,800 ac (730 ha) of terrain, it offers a quintessential Colorado ski experience. The resort caters to beginners with several easy trails in Loveland Valley. It also offers snowcat skiing.
vertical: 2,210 ft (674 m) area: 1,800 ac (730 ha) runs: 94 lifts: 9 season: October to mid-May
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
A-Basin is one of the most popular Colorado resorts that can be reached from Colorado Springs in 2 hours 16 minutes (130 mi or 209 km) by I-25 and I-70. With 1,400 ac (567 ha) of skiable terrain, it suits advanced and intermediate riders. It's not the best option for families, rather for the young and hip crowd. The resort is known for its parties and gatherings at the Beach parking lot, located next to the chairlifts. However, the main attraction of the resort is its excellent terrain, with plenty of challenges and extreme spots.
vertical: 2,530 ft (771 m) area: 1,400 ac (567 ha) runs: 145 lifts: 12 season: October to June
Monarch seems like a smaller mountain in comparison to its great rivals. However, as a southern resort, it's one of the favorite winter destinations for the residents of Colorado Springs that can be reached from the city in less than 2.5 hours. Even during peak ski season, you can enjoy thinner crowds and reasonable prices. Find nearby accommodations in the charming mountain town of Salida.
vertical: 1,162 ft (354 m) area: 800 ac (320 ha) runs: 66 lifts: 7 season: late-November to mid-April