Fort Collins is located north of Denver and in proximity to some of the best ski destinations of the state, such as Loveland, A-Basin, or Breckenridge, which are concentrated in Colorado's famous Summit county. The ski season in northern Colorado starts as early as October, however, with limited runs available. 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.
Loveland Ski Area
Loveland is located within a two hours' drive (116 mi or 187 km) from Fort Collins. Sitting atop the Continental Divide, the resort 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 Fort Collins in 2 hours 12 minutes (125 mi or 200 km). 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 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 (570 ha) runs: 145 lifts: 12 season: October to June
Breckenridge or simply Breck is considered 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