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Skiing and Snowboarding near Denver

Some of Colorado's top ski resorts can be easily reached from the state capital

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Last updated: by Olga Valchyshen
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Being surrounded by the Rocky Mountains, the capital city of Denver has access to a variety of world-class ski resorts, located within a two-hour drive. The Mile High City boasts lots of transportation options: trains, shuttles, and buses that will take you right to your resort and back in no time. First snowstorms hit the Rocky Mountains in October, and by the end of this month, some ski resorts already open their gates, but with a limited number of trails and lifts in operation. Most resorts start to operate fully in late November and stay open until May or June. Sometimes, the season extends even into early July. However, the best time for a skiing or snowboarding adventure in Denver area is January and February.

Arapahoe Basin Ski Area

A-basin resort 2020
A-basin resort
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A-Basin is one of Colorado's most popular resorts and has been operating since 1946. With 1,400 ac (570 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 base chairlifts. However, the main attraction of the resort is its excellent terrain, with plenty of challenges and extreme spots. A-Basin is located in 66 mi (106 km) from Denver and can be reached by bus, tram, or car. It has one of the longest seasons in North America, operating from mid-October till June or even July.

vertical: 2,530 ft (771 m) area: 1,400 ac (570 ha) runs: 145 lifts: 12 season: mid-October to June

Loveland Ski Area

Loveland, located atop the Continental Divide in about 53 mi (85 km) west of Denver, 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. Loveland Ski Area doesn't have lodging at the base. It can be reached from Denver by car or shuttle.

vertical: 2,210 ft (674 m) area: 1,800 ac (730 ha) runs: 94 lifts: 9 season: October to mid-May

Winter Park

The oldest continually operated ski resort in Colorado, Winter Park is one of the most favorite winter destinations among locals. You can get here in just two hours, taking a ski train from Denver's Union Station to the base area. Its 3,000 ac (1,200 ha) offer a variety to beginners as well as experts. On Fridays and Saturdays, the resort operates the night-skiing program. The resort is great for families. There're sledding, hayrides, snow-tubing, sleigh, and other fun activities.

vertical: 3,060 ft (933 m) area: 3,081 ac (1,247 ha) runs: 166 lifts: 25 season: November to mid-May

Breckenridge

Breckenridge or simply Breck is thought by many to be the best ski resort in Colorado. World-class skiing over 5 peaks is complemented with 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.

vertical: 3,398 ft (1,036 m) area: 2,908 ac (1,177 ha) runs: 162 lifts: 32 season: mid-November to mid-May

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