There are few experiences as exciting as gliding down slopes at a top-notch ski resort. With the Rocky Mountains running through the state, Colorado boasts amazing ski areas perfect for spending an extended weekend or week-long vacation. From the number and variation of trails and chairlifts, there are an abundance of factors that separate a run-of-the-mill ski resort from one of the best. Book a stay at a Colorado vacation rental so you can see for yourself why this scenic state is famous for its slopes and winter sports. When you’re ready to start planning your trip, check out these top ski resorts in Colorado.

1. Vail Ski Resort

Skier going down a steep hill.
Source: Flickr/Snow Snow

With more than 190 trails and 30 lifts, Vail Ski Resort offers something for everyone in your party. A little over two hour east of Grand Junction and two hours west of Denver, Vail is easily accessible from both airports if you need to fly in for your vacation. The resort is known for its powdery snow. The ski school at the resort offers lessons for people of all ages and skill levels for both skiing and snowboarding. You can even book a private family lesson. Whether you’re skiing or not, take a ride up on the gondola and have lunch at Bistro Fourteen. In addition to skiing, the resort offers Forest Flyer Mountain Coaster, a dedicated tubing track, groomed snowmobiling trails, and a snow biking tour for intermediate and advanced skiers.

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2. Keystone Ski Resort

Variety of skiers on the slopes.
Source: Flickr/Robert Tadlock

Known as a family-friendly resort, Keystone Ski Resort features 20 lifts and more than 120 different trails for all level of skiers. This resort sits a little over two hours west and south of Denver, making it the city to fly into if you’re traveling by plane. There are three distinct mountain peaks at this along with three separate areas for lessons. There are also five bowls in the resort, and the snow is always powdery. Kids love playing on the large fort made from snow and riding in the heated snowcat as it navigates off-road areas. Don ice skates and visit one of the two ice rinks to practice your spins, or opt for a yoga class. Enroll younger children in Kidtopia for a day of fun while the adults hit the slopes.

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3. Beaver Creek Ski Resort

Ski lift over a snowy mountain.
Source: Flickr/Laszlo Ilyes

Powder snow covers the 150 trails and more than 20 lifts move skiers to the trails they want to ski at Beaver Creek Ski Resort. This low-key ski resort sees smaller crowds during the season, making it a great place to unwind. It takes less than two hours of driving west from Denver and more than two hours driving east from Grand Junction to arrive at the resort. This resort covers several mountains, offers three terrain parks, and has groomed cross-country ski trails. If you’re at least an intermediate skier, take one of the free Mountain Welcome Tours when you arrive. For kids, there is a Kid’s Adventure Zone with trails designed for various skiing levels. Head over to Beaver Creek Village every afternoon for Cookie Time to enjoy free, freshly baked cookies.

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4. Steamboat Ski Resort

Tracks going down a snowy mountain
Source: Flickr/Murray Foubister

Serious skiers love spending time on the slopes of Steamboat Ski Resort. This resort does offer beginner slopes, but they are less than 15 percent of the available trails, making it a great place for intermediate and expert skiers who love powdery snow. Located about halfway between Grand Junction and Denver, it’s an ideal location for out-of-state visitors. The resort offers a 165 trails and the longest gives you three miles of powder snow to zoom down the mountain. Attend one of the several festivals hosted by the town each season, including Winter Carnival and Winter Wondergrass. In addition to skiing lessons, opt to include a snowboarding lesson. Several companies in town offer sleigh ride dinners that include a horse or snowcat-drown sleigh to the restaurant.

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5. Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort

Mountains overlooking ski slopes.
Source: Flickr/Robert Tadlock

When you’re looking for a luxury ski vacation, then the Aspen/Snowmass Ski Resort is on your must-visit list. The resort offers 43 lifts, 94 runs, and more than 40 days of powdered snow each season. Located three and a half hours south and west of Denver, this resort is known for its celebrity visitors. Take a stroll through the downtown Snowmass area for upscale shopping and cozy cafes for a snack or hot cup of Joe. On Friday nights, take the gondola up to the top to celebrate Ullr Nights, a nod to the Norse god of skiing. Enjoy tubing, s’mores by the fire, hot chocolate, live music and so much more. Learn more about the area with a free Aces Naturalist Tour on skis or snowshoes.

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6. Breckenridge Ski Resort

Mountains at sunset.
Source: Shutterstock/welcomia

Featuring lifts and more than 180 powder snow covered trails, Breckenridge Ski Resort is one of the state’s best vacation destinations. The resort is about an hour and a half from Denver, and several companies offer shuttles from the airport to the resort. Hop aboard the resorts Alpine Coaster to zoom down the track with snow rising above you on both sides. Take a tour of the Country Boy Mine, or opt for a little dog sledding with Good Time Adventure Tours. Visit in the last week of January to check out the cool sculptures at the International Snow Sculpture Championship.

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