Colorado Ski Travel Tips
Tips for Choosing a Ski Resort
- South-West Colorado Gets the Most Snowfall - This area includes the Telluride Ski Resort. This is an ideal place for an early season ski vacation because this area is likely to receive the most snowfall during the early winter season.
- Consider Multiple Resort Lift Ticket Areas - There are several resorts in Colorado where you can purchase a lift ticket that is also valid at some of the other nearby resorts. This includes Aspen/Snowmass; where lift tickets are valid at Aspen, Buttermilk, Aspen Highlands, and Snowmass. Vail Resorts also offers passes that are good at various combinations of the following resorts; Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Arapahoe Basin.
- Don't Forget the Smaller Ski Areas - Some of these small ski mountains can still have plenty of steep and challenging terrain. Arapahoe Basin and the Loveland Ski Area are both located on the Continental Divide so they receive more snowfall than all of the ski resorts just down the road. These are often two of the first resorts to open each year, and they are among the last to close every spring. Lift tickets are also cheaper here than at the surrounding resorts.
- Look for Deals and Packages - Vacationers can combine travel products and find discounted lift tickets, ski rentals, lodging, and transportation. Check the Colorado Ski Authority deals page for current offerings below.
Dealing with the Altitude
Much of the ski terrain in Colorado is located around 10,000 feet above sea level. You can read about how the altitude affects your body and your everyday life here - high altitude living.
- Wear Sunscreen - The high altitude of the Colorado Rocky Mountains allows the sun to reach our bodies without having to penetrate through as much of the atmosphere. This causes people to become sunburnt faster than they would at a lower altitude.
- Stay Hydrated - The high altitude also results in thinner air that holds less moisture than the air at lower altitudes. This can contribute to dehydration.
CO Driving Tips
The State of Colorado consists of mountainous roads and passes as well as flat farmlands and deserts. Some of the mountain passes will close during the winter season while others will remain open. It is essential to study your route ahead of time and plan according to weather conditions. You can visit this page; Driving in Colorado for more info about driving through Colorado.
You don't need a car in order to enjoy your ski vacation here. There are several Mountain Shuttle Services that can transport skiers to and from the airports - and many of the top ski resort hotels are located within walking distance of all the amenities that you will need.
More Colorado Vacation Tips
- Bring your ski boots on the airplane! - Hats, gloves, skis, and the rest of your ski equipment can be easily replaced or rented after you arrive. Your ski boots will be harder to replace without you noticing a big difference. This is especially true if you have had a lot of custom boot work done.
- Late January is a Great Time to Visit - This is somewhat of an off-peak season here in Colorado. Lodging rates are lower and lift lines are not as long. There is also more likely to be healthy snow coverage than during Christmas Week.
- Make Restaurant Reservations in Advance - This is especially true if you are interested in enjoying a fine dining menu during the 7:30 rush. There will be a very large amount of people trying to get into a small number of select restaurants in these ski resort towns.
- Book Private Family Lessons - This isn't just about learning how to ski. You'll get a guide to the mountain, advice about the town, and best of all; you get to use the ski school lift line. This is a priceless privilege on powder days. Keep in mind, private lessons are more expensive than regular group lessons.
- Colorado Casinos and Gambling... There is plenty of nightlife in most resort towns, but there is only one area of Colorado where gambling is allowed. This is in Blackhawk/Central City. The closest major ski resorts to these casinos are Winter Park and the ski resorts of Summit County.
- Don't Forget to Adjust Your Watch - The State of Colorado is located in the Rocky Mountain Time Zone. This time zone is 2 hours behind the east coast, and 7 hours behind GMT.
- Consider Buying Travel Insurance - Mountain travel can be more difficult here than in a typical vacation spot. Airports are affected by the weather more often. Mountain passes can be closed due to snowstorms. The likelihood of you being delayed is increased when you choose to vacation here in Colorado.
- Service Gratuity - This travel tip is mostly here for the international skiers and snowboarders who will be visiting Colorado on vacation. Standard gratuity for a restaurant bill in the US is usually 20% (Sometimes 15% to 20%). This is not built into the menu pricing like you might find in some European countries.
- Bring Many Clothing Layers - The dry air allows the temperature to change rapidly in the Rocky Mountains. This means that it can get very cold at night, and during a sunny day the temperature can rise significantly. This means that you should plan on wearing lots of layers of clothing that can be shed throughout the day.
- The Drinking Age in Colorado is 21 - Please drink responsibly. You can expect to need a valid ID that shows your birth date and photo.