When it comes to winter wonderlands, Colorado USA stands tall as the ultimate destination for Aussie snow lovers.
With its breathtaking Rocky Mountain landscapes, 28 ski areas, natural hot springs and vibrant city and ski town life, there’s more to this bucket-list destination than “just” an impressive lineup of 58 peaks over 4267m high.
It truly is the snow state that creeps under your skin and into your heart. Here’s why.
The ski/board adventures for every level
Colorado is a mecca for skiers and snowboarders of all levels. From world-renowned resorts like Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge to hidden gems like powder heaven Wolf Creek and local’s choice Eldora Mountain.
Like it steep and deep? Silverton Mountain lift accessed backcountry style terrain is the state’s highest and steepest ski area; test your thighs at Aspen Highlands, where 65% of the resort is double black; hike the “stairs” at Telluride to the famed chutes or take on Crested Butte’s Rambo run (the steepest tree cut run in North America).
Like it more laid back? Keystone has plenty of “slow zone” runs to keep things at your pace and Beaver Creek is famous for uber groomed luxe runs and freshly baked complimentary cookies every afternoon.
Got kids? Vail has a bunch of the coolest kids zone spots including Adventure Ridge filled with ski biking, snow shoeing, snow tubing and Aspen’s Snowmass boasts a multilevel, 2,300-square-meter childcare facility.
Our local tip? The best kept secret Loveland Ski Area is launching a guided snowcat operation in Dry Gulch in the 23/24 season.
The hot springs
A Colorado ski trip is not complete without a soak in one of the state’s 30 hot springs. Enjoy a blissful escape from the winter chill by soaking your cares away in mineral-rich waters surrounded by snow-capped peaks.
Whether you seek a secluded wilderness retreat or a vibrant social scene, Colorado’s hot springs have something for everyone ranging from Dunton Hot Springs luxury retreat near Telluride, to Pagosa Hot Springs and its’ 25 individual pools.
Try Steamboat Spring’s Strawberry Park after a day skiing Steamboat and slip into thermal pools set amongst stone masonry in the woods or make a stopover on a ski road trip in Glenwood Springs home to the world’s largest hot spring pool.
Denver, the coolest mountain gateway city
With the likes of Breckenridge Ski Resort, Keystone Resort, Winter Park Resort, Copper Mountain Resort, Loveland Ski Area and Arapahoe Basin Ski Area all within two hours drive, there’s no reason not to immerse yourself in Denver’s eclectic culture before or after spending some thrilling days out on the slopes.
Discover the city’s coolest precincts from LoDo (Lower Downtown) to SoHi (South Highlands) and immerse yourself in craft distilleries, breweries, independent boutiques, galleries, entertainment and sports.
If you’re on the hunt for a hipster vibe, you’ll find it in RiNo (River North Art District), Denver’s thriving art district. It’s a hub for creativity and innovative culinary experiences. Or, maybe SoBo (South Broadway) is more your flavour with its bohemian flair and mix of independent shops, vintage stores, art galleries and live music venues.
National Parks filled with nature
Colorado boasts an abundance of National Parks and in great news for snow lovers, many of these protected areas can be accessed in the winter months.
You’ll have plenty of reasons to lace up your boots and explore snow-dusted trails throughout your ski holiday amongst some of our favourite winter haunts including Rocky Mountain National Park, Great Sand Dunes National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison located between Telluride and Crested Butte and, Mesa Verde National Park.
Exploring these natural landscapes in winter offers up a unique and serene setting with fewer crowds and more space to marvel at frozen waterfalls and wild winter wildlife.
When the chairs stop turning
There is so much to do for skiers and boarders once the lifts stop turning at the end of a Colorado winter day.
Go outdoor ice skating at Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Vail. Take a horse drawn sleigh ride in Steamboat, munch on bourban infused fireside s’mores at Breckenridge Distillery, or jump on a snowmobile ride for a ghost town tour near Alta in the backcountry hills also behind Telluride.
Another way to enjoy some high-speed thrills is on the aptly named Breathtaker Alpine Coaster in Aspen Snowmass where you’ll weave through almost 2km of forest, racing up to 45km per hour.
Every corner of this state packs a unique punch with winter experiences not to be missed.
Prepare to fall head over heels for Colorado’s snow filled charm. We sure have.