If you plan on having an epic family ski vacation, Vail, Colorado, might be the place for you. It is one of the best ski resorts in the world and has a variety of activities for everyone. In addition, Vail is a year-round destination.
With over 5,200 acres of terrain, Vail is one of the largest ski resorts in the world. It also has the third-largest number of runs in the US.
With over 30 lifts and over 3,450 feet of vertical, it’s easy to see why it’s regarded as one of the best ski areas in the country.
The article covers the best ski resorts in Vail, Colorado.
Where Is Vail, Colorado?
Located in the White River National Forest, Vail is a small town home to the massive Vail Ski resort. It’s also a summertime destination that offers various activities such as hiking and cultural festivals.
In addition, this area is known for its winter sports activities, such as snowboarding and skiing.
The town of Vail is a home rule municipality located in Eagle County, Colorado. It’s also known for its numerous events and activities.
Some of these include the Vail Film Festival and the Snow Days. The town is also known for its restaurants and hotels. According to the census data made available in 2020, Vail is home to 4,835 residents.
The Vail Ski resort features over 5,200 acres of terrain. It also has 33 lifts and over 200 trails. These trails are located on three faces: the Blue Sky Basin, the Front Side, and the Back Bowls.
Best Ski Resorts in Vail, Colorado
Due to its extensive ski area and quaint village, Vail is the largest ski resort in Colorado. It draws in visitors from all around the world due to its legendary ski slopes.
These are the best ski resorts in Vail, Colorado:
1. Vail Ski Resort
Most people think of Colorado when they think about skiing, and Vail usually comes to mind.
This mountain town is a legend in the skiing community and is a must-visit destination for anyone who enjoys winter sports.
With over 5,000 acres of terrain, Vail is considered one of the biggest ski resorts in the world. With a variety of activities for everyone, it’s an excellent choice for winter sports lovers.
One of the most popular areas of Vail is Golden Peak, which features a variety of activities and facilities for adults and children. These include a race course, a terrain park, and a ski and snowboard school.
Aside from the slopes, Vail has various other attractions to keep everyone entertained.
These include the Lionshead Village, West Vail, Cascade Village, and Vail Village. This is, without a doubt, the best ski resort in Vail, Colorado.
See Also: Best Ski Resorts on the East Coast
2. Beaver Creek Resort
If you’re looking for a more lavish winter vacation, look no further than the magnificent and award-winning Beaver Creek resort.
This area is known for its beautiful mountain scenery and diverse terrain. It features over 2,000 acres of groomed trails and runs.
For advanced skiers, take the Birds of Prey course, which features 14 runs designed to challenge even the most experienced riders. This course has over 20,000 vertical feet of expert terrain.
For intermediate and beginner skiers, hop on the Haymeadow Express to reach Red Buffalo Park and Haymeadow Park.
For those looking for more challenging terrain, try Gunder’s in Bachelor Gulch, C Prime in the Rose Bowl, and Larkspur Bowl. This also ranks as one of the best ski resorts in Vail, Colorado.
3. Ski Cooper
One of the most popular ski areas in Ski Cooper, which features over 480 acres of terrain. It also has 60 trails and five chair lifts.
Located at an elevation of 10,500 feet, the ski area has a vertical drop of 1,200 feet. It receives an average of 260 inches of snow annually.
Unlike other nearby resorts, Ski Cooper lacks large crowds and noise. It offers a family-friendly atmosphere and is known for its unique grooming techniques.
This area’s main draw is its soft, dry, and light snow conditions. With that in mind, it’s an excellent choice for winter sports lovers.
4. Copper Mountain
One of the most popular ski destinations in Vail, Colorado, is Copper Mountain, located near Vail and Denver.
This ski mountain has plenty of beginner and expert terrains. It also has several challenging bowls.
Aside from its snowboard and ski terrain, the resort has various attractions, such as the Rocky Mountain Coaster and the Woodward Copper Barn.
The latter features an indoor training facility that measures 19,400 square feet. This ski resort makes our list of one of the best ski resorts in Vail, Colorado.
5. Breckenridge Ski Resort
One of the best places to ski and ride in the area is Peak 8 in Breckenridge, Colorado.
This mountain resort features several bowls, terrain parks, and advanced runs. It also offers lessons for both beginner and advanced riders.
Besides skiing, this area has various outdoor activities such as dog sledding, tubing, and snowmobiling.
In addition, downtown Denver has several bars, restaurants, and shops that are great for winter sports lovers.
6. Aspen Mountain Ski Resort
The Aspen area has four ski resorts. One of these is Aspen Mountain, which is close to downtown.
Although it lacks beginner runs, it has plenty of black diamonds and blues. If you’re an experienced user, this ski resort is an excellent choice.
7. Aspen Snowmass Ski Resort
One can easily access Aspen’s ski resorts with a single ticket. One of the most popular is the Aspen Snowmass, between Highlands and Aspen Mountain. It has numerous non-ski activities, such as ice skating and zip lines.
8. Aspen Highlands
A less popular resort in Aspen is the Aspen Highlands, known for its expert skiing and the magnificent views of the Maroon Bells. This area is also a hangout for advanced skiers.
9. Aspen Buttermilk Mountain
The best local ski resort in Aspen is Buttermilk, known for its terrain parks and beginner runs.
It also serves as the site of the X Games. This area is an excellent choice for riders and freestyle skiers.
10. Keystone Resort
One of the best local ski resorts near Vail, Colorado, is Keystone, known for its family-friendly atmosphere.
It also has attractions such as a Kidtopia play area and free gear wagons. Although lift tickets are expensive in other regions, Keystone’s entry is less costly.
Keystone has plenty of beginner and intermediate runs, so new skiers have plenty of options. The resort also offers night skiing, which starts at 8 pm on weekends and holidays.
11. Steamboat Resort
Steamboat Resort is one of the best local ski resorts near Vail, Colorado, known for its pillowy, fluffy snow.
Also, this area could be an excellent choice if you’re a fan of tree skiing. The mountain at the resort is lower than most others, which makes it ideal for people with altitude sickness.
It has an average annual snowfall of 336 inches with an elevation of over 3,200 meters.
12. Loveland Ski Area
One of the area’s most popular local ski areas is the Loveland Ski Area, located along the Loveland Pass.
It has challenging runs and is also known for its free snow-cat skiing. Another popular area is the Loveland Valley, which is easier for beginner skiers.
It has an elevation of more than 3,900 meters and an average annual snowfall of 422 inches.
13. Purgatory Resort
Located in the San Juan Mountains, the resort of Purgatory is an affordable option for families looking for various terrain parks and beginner and intermediate runs.
It’s around 20 minutes away from Durango. With an average annual snowfall of 260 inches and an elevation of more than 3,200 meters, this resort makes our list of the best ski resorts close to Vail, Colorado.
14. Silverton Mountain
One of the most challenging terrain parks in Colorado is located in the town of Silverton.
This resort features a double chairlift that can take you to various areas. If you’re not a fan of hiking, you can also take advantage of its heli-ski facility.
Unlike other resorts in the area, this resort does not groom its snow. Therefore, every individual who goes up the mountain must carry avalanche equipment.
Guides are also available. It has an average annual snowfall of 400 inches and an elevation of over 4,000 meters.
15. Crested Butte
Located in the town of Crested Butte, this resort is known for its varied terrain parks and runs. It’s also one of the best mountain towns in the state.
You can get lift tickets or the Epic Pass if you plan to visit this area. It has an average annual snowfall of 234 inches and an elevation of more than 3,700 meters.
16. Eldora Mountain
Eldora Mountain is less than two hours away from Boulder and is a popular choice for locals.
This resort offers a laid-back atmosphere and is known for its various runs and terrain parks.
Its children’s center is also an excellent choice for families. It has an average annual snowfall of 300 inches and an elevation of 3,230 meters.
17. Sunlight Mountain Resort
Sunlight is an excellent choice for families with a budget-friendly atmosphere and plenty of activities. It offers a variety of activities, such as snowboarding and boarding.
After a day of hard work, you can take a break and enjoy the hot springs in nearby Glenwood.
The Sunlight Mountain Resort boasts an average annual snowfall of approximately 250 inches and an elevation of more than 2,400 meters.
See Also: Best Ski Resorts in Pennsylvania
18. Monarch Mountain
One of the lesser-known resorts in Colorado, Monarch offers a variety of activities and is known for its incredible views.
This area is an excellent choice if you’re a fan of alternative activities, such as snow-cat skiing. This fantastic resort has an average annual snowfall of 350 inches and an elevation of 3,643 meters.
19. Granby Ranch
Granby Ranch is a smaller resort that features over 400 acres of terrain. It’s located about 20 miles away from Winter Park.
Granby Ranch also has a couple of runs and a mountain village. Granby has only 38 trails and two peaks compared to other facilities on this list, making it a smaller choice.
The trails at Granby Ranch have varying terrains that are ideal for different skill levels. This area is a good choice for families looking for a more enjoyable and relaxing ski vacation.
It also has night skiing. This is great for people who like to take a break from the slopes after dark.
20. Echo Mountain Resort
One of the smaller resorts in Colorado is Echo Mountain, located about two hours from Downtown Denver. Unfortunately, it only has one chair lift, and it only has nine runs.
Not having the same variety of terrain as other facilities have made it one of the most disappointing choices in the area.
Echo Mountain is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option for snowboarding and skiing.
It has a variety of terrains that are designed for experienced riders. It also offers night skiing, which is very rare at other resorts.
21. Arapahoe Basin Ski Area
A-Basin is another small facility that is located in Colorado. It has a variety of trails and runs that are ideal for experienced riders and beginner skiers. However, it also has limited dining options.
A-Basin is an excellent choice if you’re looking for an alternative to the usual family-oriented ski vacation.
It’s around 15 minutes from Downtown Denver and has a postal address close to Dillon. Although it may not be the best choice for everyone, it should still be considered.
Best Time to Visit Vail, Colorado
The best time to visit Vail is during the winter, which is December to March. However, this season also brings snowmobile and ski season, which can cause a considerable crowd.
How Much Does It Cost to Visit Vail, Colorado?
The average cost of a 7-day trip to Vail is around $2,624 for solo travelers. For families, it’s $8,835, while for couples, it’s $4,713.
There are various accommodations in Vail, such as hotels and vacation rentals. Hotel costs range from $100 to $300 per night.