Look no further than Colorado for great getaways at resorts surrounded by picturesque mountains and white-powder slopes.
Enjoy gondola rides to snow-capped peaks in some of North America’s top winter destinations. Try snow sports and ice skating. Browse artisan goods in boutiques and savor a cup of hot chocolate or a local beer paired with a fabulous meal. Don’t think of ski resorts as winter-only destinations; they teem with fun in the summer months. After arriving at Denver International Airport (DEN), start your adventure by exploring Colorado’s gateway city before making your way toward one or more of these mountain towns.
Aspen/Snowmass: Double Your Fun
In west-central Colorado, explore Aspen and Snowmass, two charming and sophisticated towns that are a 20-minute drive from each other. Stay in luxury accommodations and visit boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and bars when you’re not enjoying outdoor activities.
Winter Adventures: Ski four world-class mountains – Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Buttermilk and Snowmass. Nearby, see the Maroon Bells, two amazing peaks that soar 4,200 meters above sea level and are believed to be North America’s most photographed mountains. Buy lift tickets, take a ski lesson and hit the slopes. Go snow tubing, learn to ride a snowbike and take a guided snowshoe tour. Ride the thrilling Breathtaker Alpine Coaster through a forest.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: Tour the outstanding Aspen Art Museum and admire artwork at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass Village. Stroll through the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies nature preserve, or see a show at the Wheeler Opera House, built in 1889. Go sightseeing via the Elk Camp Gondola in Snowmass Base Village, the Silver Queen at Aspen Mountain and the Summit Express Lift at Buttermilk.
The lights of Snowmass’ Base Village illuminating the valley
Breckenridge: Old West Vibes
This former mining town about 130 kilometers west of Denver features Old West-style buildings, an arts district and a variety of restaurants, breweries, distilleries and wineries. You’ll welcome the laid-back atmosphere in the high-altitude town of 2,900 meters.
Winter Adventures: Surrounded by five scenic peaks, Breckenridge Ski Resort is ideal for winter recreation, especially since the long ski season lasts from November until April. Hit the trails on a dog sledding excursion or rent a fat-tire bike to ride in the snow. Go snowshoeing, snowmobiling or cross-country skiing, then take the kids sledding or for a ride in a sleigh.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: Warm up next to one of the outdoor fireplaces along Main Street during a break from shopping among more than 200 stores. Go on a guided ghost tour or venture into an underground mine. Hop aboard the highest lift chair in the USA, and perfect your moves at one of four terrain parks. Explore 187 trails that range from verdant pathways to rugged terrain above the tree line.
Skiers strolling through Breckenridge on a snowy day
Steamboat: Hot Springs in a Skiing Getaway
Steamboat’s nickname is Ski Town, USA, so you know you’ll find plenty of action on the slopes of this north-central Colorado resort in the Yampa Valley of the Rocky Mountains. On the banks of the Yampa River, go biking year-round, follow the Brew Trail or shop for western apparel.
Winter Adventures: There are six peaks and 165 trails surrounding Steamboat Ski Resort. The trademarked light and dry Champagne Powder snow here naturally contains about 6% water instead of the usual 15%. Enroll in the SnowSports School to perfect your skiing and snowboarding skills. For something new, try night skiing, go ice fishing, learn how to guide a dog sled team, or go snow tubing.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: Relax and rejuvenate with a soak in the historic Old Town Hot Springs downtown or at Strawberry Park Hot Springs in the valley. See Mount Werner from your seat in a gondola. Ride the Outlaw Mountain Coaster and dine at mountain food courts and lodges. Learn about the cultural history of Indigenous Americans, pioneers and cowboys on a guided tour, then view exhibits at the Tread of Pioneers Museum.
Skiing across fresh powder through a mountain forest in Steamboat
Telluride: Ski-In, Ski-Out in a Canyon Town
Enjoy the charming downtown of this former mining town in a box canyon with San Juan Mountain peaks as a backdrop. You’ll discover ski-in, ski-out lodging and experiences and many more reasons why Condé Nast ranked it the No. 1 Ski Resort in North America.
Winter Adventures: Telluride’s excellent expert ski terrain includes The Plunge, Gold Hill and Palmyra Peak. There’s also a fantastic beginner hill at elevation, so everyone can enjoy the incredible views. Adventurers can take a helicopter to more remote places for a heli-skiing experience. Sign up for snowshoe and snowbike tours in addition to snowmobile and sleigh rides. Reserve your spot to use the San Juan Hut System to ski trails leading to backcountry huts.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: Stroll Colorado Avenue, stopping often to eat and shop. Go ice skating at the outdoor rink downtown. Take in a show at the Sheridan Opera House and learn about the area at the Telluride Historical Museum. Ride a free gondola to reach the lovely and kid-friendly town of Mountain Village, where you can stay in ski-in, ski-out accommodations and relish entertainment, boutiques and restaurants.
An epic view from the slopes in Telluride
Vail: A Family-Friendly Paradise
You’ll find plenty of things to see and do in Vail Village, Lionshead and West Vail, the three pedestrian-friendly villages at Colorado’s largest resort mountain. The all-season destination at the base of Vail Mountain is about 160 kilometers west of Denver. Enjoy taking in the sights, shopping and relaxing. You won’t even have to drive yourself; just hop on free shuttles around the area.
Winter Adventures: Ski on fluffy powder during a season that extends into mid-April. You’ll find 193 groomed trails on tree-lined slopes, the open-terrain Back Bowls and challenging pipes and jump areas for snowboarders. Take a tour on snowshoes, snow tubes or ski bikes, and go ice skating at outdoor rinks.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: After shopping at boutiques and galleries, check out the lively nightlife. Marvel at athletes’ accomplishments at the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. Ride the Eagle Bahn Gondola to the Adventure Ridge snow park, see beautiful botanicals at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens, and enjoy attending an array of music and art events.
A wide-open slope among mountaintops in Vail
Winter Park: Great Views and Mountain Life
Just 108 kilometers northwest of Denver, this is a convenient place to explore Colorado’s high country in the Rocky Mountains. Travelers are welcome in the authentic and tiny (with populations in the low 700s) high-mountain communities of Winter Park and Fraser.
Winter Adventures: It’s easy to get here to play outdoors. The Ski Train runs select weekends from Denver’s Union Station to the base of Winter Park. Venture out with an experienced guide on exhilarating Ski and Ride, Snowcat, snowshoe or ski bike outings. The sunset ski option is especially exciting. Ask the Adventure Concierge to help you match the region’s experiences with your interests.
Can’t-Miss Experiences: Enjoy skiing, mountaineering and wildlife watching at Rocky Mountain National Park, home to several 4,000-plus meter peaks. Drive the length of the park’s 264-kilometer Scenic Loop for stunning overlook views and places to go hiking and mountain biking. See the sights from a different perspective on hot-air balloon or zip line tours.