9 Great Colorado Ski Resorts for Beginners

Colorado is a skier’s paradise and home to over 30 ski resorts. There is a lot of different terrain between them, and a few are better suited to beginners than others. If you know where to get on the snow, you can ensure your experience is amazing. 

I’m Christine, the founder of this blog and a lifelong skier. I get out in the snow as often as possible during the winter. I’ve spent time at many resorts in Colorado and know through first-hand experience which of them are suitable for beginners. 

This post will highlight the best Colorado ski resorts for beginners. I’ll give you some background and key information on each location to provide you with a good idea of what it’s like to ski there and why you might want to visit. 

Let’s get rolling. 

1. Keystone

  • Opening Day: November 1 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Family-friendly, easy to access, variety of terrain, night skiing
  • Resort website: https://www.keystoneresort.com/

Keystone is probably the best ski resort in Colorado for beginners. This is a very easy and accessible mountain, which makes it a solid location for anyone just learning how to ski to get the hang of things. 

The resort has plenty of beginner terrain to keep you busy while you are learning how to turn or snow-plow, and there is plenty of room to spread out, so you don’t clog up the runs. This is good news for newbies worried about being in the way. 

Keystone also has an excellent ski lesson program with highly qualified instructors who know what they are doing. Taking lessons is essential to learning, and you’ll pick up the basics quicker if you do. 

This mountain also has plenty of amenities, with readily available food and lodging options, making it an excellent place for a first-time ski trip. There is also plenty of intermediate terrain when you are ready to take things up a level. 

2. Snowmass

Snowmass is another good option for beginner skiers, and it comes with the legendary status of being a part of the well-known ski resorts around Aspen. This is the spot to check out if you want a luxury ski experience as a beginner. 

There is a lot of beginner-friendly terrain at Snowmass, so you can start out slowly and work your way up to something more advanced when you are ready. There’s a great learning area and plenty of green runs to spend the day on here. 

You also get access to an excellent ski-lesson program here. If you really want to improve quickly, consider going with a private lesson, which gives you access to a personal ski instructor who can help you gain skills directly. 

Snowmass is a beautiful ski resort as well, so you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful natural sights of Colorado in the winter here. And you don’t need to go on advanced runs to access unreal views and picture-perfect settings. 

3. Copper Mountain

  • Opening Day: November 15 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 20 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Easy to access, inviting atmosphere
  • Resort website: https://www.coppercolorado.com/

Copper Mountain is a very popular ski resort in Colorado, and it’s also one of the best options for beginners in the state. The resort has plenty of runs that beginners can explore and many other excellent features to take advantage of. 

One of the best things about Copper is that it’s very easy to access from the highway that runs through the heart of ski country in Colorado. This is good news for anyone flying in from out of state who wants to get on the slopes quickly. 

The beginner area here is large, and there is plenty of room to practice the skills you’ve learned from a ski instructor. You can ride a small bunny hill lift and work on your turns or snow plow until you’re ready for the rest of the mountain. 

Copper Mountain doesn’t have the most extensive dining and lodging options, but there are still plenty of places to stay in nearby towns. You don’t have a lot of on-slope options compared to other resorts in the state. 

4. Steamboat Springs

  • Opening Day: November 20 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Glades, powder, family-friendly 
  • Resort website: https://www.steamboat.com/

Steamboat Springs takes a little more effort to reach than some other resorts in Colorado, but if you’re up for the drive, you’ll be rewarded with an unreal skiing experience. And this is another good location for beginners in the state. 

Steamboat is well-known for its glade skiing, which is basically tree skiing through the Aspens. Most locations with this terrain aren’t beginner-friendly, but Steamboat is a nice exception to this rule. 

With a very family-friendly atmosphere and plenty of accommodations right at the resort and in the nearby town of the same name, Steamboat Springs is a top location to consider if you are planning a family ski trip. 

There are also hot springs nearby the resort, which is one of the best ways to wind down and warm up after a long day on the slopes. 

5. Loveland

  • Opening Day: November 10 (Average)
  • Closing Day: May 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Affordable, closer to the city
  • Resort website: https://skiloveland.com/

Skiing is expensive, no matter what your ability level is. But as a beginner, the cost of lift tickets can be a factor that keeps you away from the slopes and limits your ability to improve. That’s why more affordable resorts like Loveland are worth looking into. 

This is a smaller mountain compared to some of the other resorts listed here, but Loveland is separated into two sections, with one that caters more to beginners. Loveland Valley is an ideal place to learn how to ski, and I highly recommend it. 

The bunny slope at Loveland is very easy to access and close to the lodge if you want to warm up or grab a bite to eat during your ski day. You can easily spin laps on the two lifts in the Valley to get more experience in a hurry. 

Loveland is also one of the closest ski resorts to the city of Denver, making it very easy to access if you are flying in from out of state. That’s another good reason to choose to ski here. 

6. Vail

  • Opening Day: November 15 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 20 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Lots of terrain, great snow, world-class amenities
  • Resort website: https://www.vail.com/ 

Vail is one of the most well-known ski resorts in the world for many reasons. It has some of the best snow you can find and is one of the largest resorts in the US. It’s also a good place for beginners to experience unforgettable skiing. 

This is another location where you can expect all sorts of luxury if that’s the skiing experience you want. There is a ton of shopping, dining, and lodging right at the two main base areas of the mountain. 

But there is plenty of beginner terrain here and an excellent ski school where you can take a lesson or two. With good snow and plenty of it, this makes for ideal learning conditions for skiers from all walks of life. 

The front side of Vail is better suited to beginners than the back, as there are more green and blue runs here. And there is still plenty of runs to access until you are ready for more challenging terrain. 

7. Eldora

  • Opening Day: November 18 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 15 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Affordable, the closest resort to the city
  • Resort website: https://www.eldora.com/

If you want to find the closest resort to the major population centers in Colorado, Eldora is a great option. It’s only about an hour from the cities along the Front Range and even closer if you live or are staying in Boulder. 

Eldora is a pretty small resort, but it’s also very affordable. This is another good option to explore if you don’t want to spend all your hard-earned money while learning how to ski. 

There is a good amount of beginner and intermediate terrain here, which is perfect for learning all of the basics. You can also take advantage of an excellent ski school to improve your abilities and move past the beginner stage in no time. 

You won’t find many places to stay or eat at Eldora, but because it’s so close to the cities, you really don’t need to. It’s also another family-friendly spot that everyone you are skiing with is sure to appreciate. 

8. Winter Park

Winter Park is one of the most popular ski resorts in Colorado for people to visit from out of state, especially those looking for a different experience than the super-luxury resort names like Aspen and Vail. 

This is a very family-friendly location, which also means it is an excellent place for beginners. There is plenty of beginner terrain to explore here, and you have access to various green and blue runs. 

The ski school at Winter Park is also fantastic, and you can choose between taking a group or private lesson depending on your preferences or budget. Either way, you will surely be a better skier after the lesson than before. 

Winter Park also offers a lot of diverse terrain to explore, whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned skier. It’s also a great location in Colorado, full of natural beauty and epic views. 

9. Beaver Creek

  • Opening Day: November 23 (Average)
  • Closing Day: April 10 (Average)
  • Best Known For: Long runs, luxury atmosphere 
  • Resort website: https://www.beavercreek.com/

Beaver Creek is another solid skiing location for beginners to explore. This spot is close to Vail and is one of the sister resorts you can use with an Epic Pass if you have one. There is a lot of beginner-friendly access here. 

I like Beaver Creek because it has some really long runs that you can bomb down and have a lot of fun. But if you’re not ready to approach top speeds, a lot of more mellow terrain is also available. 

The ski school here is excellent, and although it’s a bit expensive, you’ll have access to instructors who are sure to help you improve with hands-on help. A lesson is always recommended if you can afford it. 

Final Thoughts

Colorado is one of the best skiing destinations in the world, and it’s worth visiting here if you have any interest in the sport. Every resort on this list has terrain and amenities that make them good for beginners. 

You never want to let small things get in your way when you are learning how to ski, and skiing can be an intimidating sport. That’s why I always suggest getting a ski lesson or two when you are just learning. 

Have you ever skied at any of the resorts in Colorado mentioned here? Let me know in the comments below.

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  • Marcia Hubbard

    First, let me say the information provided is invaluable. I would like to know how to find out which (if any) provide transportation to and from airport to lodge and if Colorado or New Mexico is the most economical for beginners.

    • Christine

      Hi Marcia,

      Happy to hear that this post helped you out! That’s always the goal. I’m not sure if there are any transport services directly related to the resorts themselves, but I know there are several different shuttle companies that should be able to pick you up from the airport and drop you off at the resort. The larger resorts (Vail, Snowmass, Keystone) might have more options with that in mind. I’d also check with whatever lodging you are using, as they might be able to direct you better or have shuttle services in place, or at least recommendations. Hope that helps!