So you want to come to Colorado for skiing? Sheesh … Texans. Just kidding. Come on up and have fun.

Snowboarding at Eldora Mountain Resort
Snowboarding at Eldora Mountain Resort

The closest skiing near Boulder is Eldora Mountain Resort which is about a 45 minute drive from Boulder. It’s not really a “resort” since there is nowhere to stay on or near the mountain, but it’s a nice day trip from town. It’s a small ski area, with short, mostly green and blue, runs and a couple of little lodges for lunch. They offer lessons and you can rent equipment at the mountain (though we recommend renting in Boulder). Lift tickets run around $70/day, the slopes are open from 9-4pm, and the season usually runs from late November to early April. It’s often very windy on the mountain, so be prepared. They also have a nordic center for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but there are many free trails in the area you should visit first.

If you’re looking for something bigger with more of a “ski resort” feel, try Winter Park, about an hour and a half drive from Boulder. It’s more expensive than Eldora, but it has many more lifts and much longer runs, you can stay right on the mountain, it has a sledding park, shops, restaurants, etc. Lift tickets are usually around $100/day. Winter Park also includes Mary Jane territory for those extra bumpy rides, basically a whole other ski area right next door. Also nearby is YMCA of the Rockies/Snow Mountain Ranch and Granby Ranch for nordic skiing and snowshoeing.

Skiing at Loveland Ski Area
Skiing at Loveland Ski Area

Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin are two other ski areas relatively close to Boulder, and both areas usually have the longest ski season in Colorado, if not North America. Arapahoe Basin is often open from October to June, with Loveland usually a bit shorter season. Neither have places to stay on the mountain, or much in the way of amenities, but they are favorites with Denver-locals for being close, cheap and long.

Of course Colorado has a box full of other ski resorts and area. Some of the closer areas to Boulder are Breckenridge (2 hours from Boulder), Copper Mountain (2 hours) and Vail (2.5 hours). Just a word of warning about these resorts: traffic and weather to and from Boulder/Denver during Winter, especially on weekends, can often double or triple drive times. It sucks. But plan accordingly and you’ll be fine.

Finally, one of our favorite ski areas isn’t close to Boulder, but we love Wolf Creek. Thirty minutes from Pagosa Springs in southwest Colorado, it boasts the most snow in Colorado. Snow dumps there, the people are super friendly, and Pagosa Springs rocks. So don’t go there. Leave it for us.

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