Breckenridge (credit: CBS)
The Rocky Mountains play host to some of the most breathtaking ski resorts in the country. One of the most amazing feelings is zipping up to the top of a snow-capped mountain and staring in awe at the incredible views before taking the plunge through the powdery snow. These five Colorado resorts are not only known for their atmosphere and terrain, they can proudly boast some of the state’s best views.
12 Snowmass Road
Crested Butte, CO 81224
Nestled in a remote area of Colorado, the spectacular snow-capped peaks of Crested Butte are like none other found in our Rocky Mountain state. Simply the sight of Gothic Mountain will take the breath away from any skier. The top of each chairlift will offer spectacular views made up of trees, mountains and hardly anything manmade. It is a rare treat to find a fabulous ski area with amazing runs, luxury hotels and a lack of over development. The drive time of a little over four hours is well worth the trip to escape the normality of typical ski resorts. Out in the middle of nowhere is this quaint and charming little ski town that feels nothing like a resort.
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40 Village Road
Avon, CO 81620
Everyone deserves a luxurious skiing experience at least once in their lifetime. Step away just up the road from the often snobby Vail vibes and discover the warm atmosphere of Beaver Creek. This well-known Colorado ski resort offers gorgeous mountain views, spacious runs for every level of skier and warm chocolate chip cookies. Not only does this resort offer the luxury of ski-in/ski-out hotels, it serves up warm cookies to tired skiers at the base of the mountain around 3 every afternoon. Beaver Creek has a World Cup downhill track called Birds of Prey along with some of the most amazing powder conditions around. There is no escaping the fact that the lift tickets and hotel accommodations are a bit pricey, but again, the extra dollars will leave skiers and riders with an unforgettable experience.
565 Mountain Village Blvd.
Telluride, CO 81435
Imagine the breathtaking beauty of being surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Telluride skiing offers the natural charm and beauty that most resorts lack. This former gold rush town is isolated, charming and unique. Known as a box canyon, the Telluride area is known to skiers and riders as one of the most beautiful winter resorts in the country. Although there are some nice beginning runs, the terrain caters to the more adventurous skiers who are looking to ski at the top of the world. Telluride is really Colorado’s hidden gem and is a must visit for winter enthusiasts.
85 Parsenn Road
Winter Park, CO 80482
A chairlift ride to the top of most every Winter Park and Mary Jane slope is an adventure in itself. It is almost impossible to stare straight ahead when a valley soaked with gorgeous snow-capped pine trees and hills is stealing your attention. Beautiful clear days are plentiful and the view from the Panoramic ski lift is a must see. Winter Park offers everything a skier and rider looks for in a resort with the major bonus of being able to skip the drive through the dreaded Eisenhower Tunnel. There are lots of restaurants and pubs just steps from the lifts and in the downtown area. Mark those calendars for March 7-9 when the annual Snowball Music Festival will promise fun live music, fireworks, a snow-sculpting contest and more.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
1599 Ski Hill Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424
Breckenridge knows how to welcome its visitors. This resort offers gorgeous scenery, a vast area for skiers and riders to explore and plenty of activities for everyone. This ski area has an added bonus unknown to many Denverites. The insanely crowded I-70 traffic can be avoided by traveling Highway 285 to Fairplay to Colorado Nine for a less stressful trip. Once the sun falls behind the mountain, the pubs and hangouts come alive to rejuvenate after a long fun day on the slopes. This charming city is known for some amazing hotels and condo rental deals in order to enjoy all that beautiful Breckenridge has to offer.
Colleen Bement is a freelance writer covering all things Denver. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.