Best Destinations for Early Season Skiing in Colorado
Snag Some Time on the Slopes Before Winter Hits its Peak
Ski season is just around the corner here in Colorado, and some resorts are already boasting early season snow and operational ski lifts. If you’re looking to get warmed up before the peak season hits, check out some of the best resorts for early season skiing throughout the state.
Loveland generally begins making snow in late September and is always one of the first resorts to open. It’s not just the first area open in Colorado, either. Loveland has been the first mountain in the country to open eight out of the past fourteen ski seasons. Despite a valiant effort, Vermont’s Killington grabbed the first spot in 2015.
Loveland is well-loved for its local feel, and the ski area even has free snowcat skiing across the Continental Divide. Opening day always has at least one top-to-bottom run with 1,000 vertical feet, too.
Arapahoe Basin, affectionately known as A-Basin, is another Colorado ski spot that tends to open earlier in the season (they often close later, too, with the season running into June). The resort has some of the highest skiable terrain in North America. Combine that with its snow making capabilities and you can generally assume that there will be something to warm up on by the end of October.
Like Loveland, Arapahoe Basin also has a local vibe that you won’t find at many of the larger ski resorts. If you arrive early enough you can grab a spot at the infamous Beach, which makes for a great place to relax and unwind in between runs.
If you want to get away from the crowds, then head out to Wolf Creek in Pagosa Springs. Located far enough away from I-70 to grant you some peace and quiet, you won’t be battling the Summit County crowds. This year, they opened even earlier than anticipated– on Halloween Weekend! The resort boasts having the most snow in Colorado, and you can’t beat the scenery of the San Juan and Rio Grande National Forests as you explore.If you prefer hiking to your runs, this is the place to do it.
Keystone’s three mountains make it the largest resort in Summit County, and it typically opens in early November. It’s also a quick 90 minute drive from Denver (traffic permitting, of course.)
Keystone’s terrain park is considered to be one of the best in North America, so add this resort to your shortlist if that’s your gig. If that’s not enough to make you love the resort, how does night skiing sound? Keystone has the biggest and best night skiing in Colorado.
If you can make it to some of these resorts during the early ski season, you’ll be ready for full days of fresh powder by the time the snow really begins to fall!