- Aspen: Not only does Aspen have predictably superior ski terrain ranging from some of the most expert runs in Colorado to what Ski magazine has called the best mountain in America for beginners (Buttermilk), but it's also one of the most fun, genuinely historic ski towns in Colorado. Although it might come off at first as somewhat glitzy and certainly expensive, Aspen is a real town, with longtime, year-round residents and a history that goes beyond the slopes.
- Breckenridge: The lure of Breckenridge lies in its fabulous trails for skiers of all abilities, its location in an old gold-prospecting settlement, and its abundance of ski-in/ski-out lodging. It's also less expensive than Aspen and Vail, more rustic in feel, and appealing to families for its variety of après-ski activities.
- Telluride: The funky historic town of Telluride at the bottom of the slopes and the posh Mountain Village at the mountain base offer the best of both worlds, as does the resort's diverse terrain, with plenty of snow for skiers of all levels.
- Vail: This is it, the big one, America's flagship ski resort, as well as one of its largest, with 5,289 acres of skiable terrain, 193 trails, and 34 lifts. Every serious skier needs to ski Vail at least once. Its free bus system makes it easy to get around, but be prepared for steep prices, and don't look for Victorian charm -- all you'll find are rows of condominiums.
- Crested Butte: My favorite ski town in Colorado also features some of the most challenging skiing and a complete dearth of lift lines. While the untracked powder is legendary, the grooming is also some of the best in the state.
- Steamboat: The snow at Steamboat is the stuff of legend: champagne powder that is perfect for skiing and snowboarding. The mountain has plenty of room to roam, and Steamboat Springs is an authentic cowboy town with more personality than most resort areas in Colorado.
- Arapahoe Basin: One of the highest, snowiest, and longest-lasting resorts (it often stays open until midsummer), A-Basin, one of the few Summit County resorts not owned by Vail Resorts, is beloved by locals.
- Loveland: Topping out just above 13,000 feet on “the Ridge,” Loveland is one of the favorite resorts for Denver's day skiers, and it features low prices and plenty of terrain for every skill level.
- Wolf Creek:The state's snowiest resort, Wolf Creek Ski Area is known for Alberta Peak's perfectly timbered terrain and the groomed slopes off the other chairs.
- Monarch Mountain: Near the river-rat mecca of Salida, Monarch has some of the state's best snow, friendliest staff, and some terrific bowl skiing.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.