Skiing and Snowboarding on the Western Slope | RMHP Blog



Skiing and Snowboarding on the Western Slope

Finding Powder at Colorado’s Western Slope Ski Resorts


Whether you’re looking for your first ski hill or are a seasoned park rider, there’s a powder spot for you on the Western Slope. The western mountains are far less crowded than the more well-known Front Range ski resorts, and there’s no shortage of terrain to explore all winter long.


But first, let’s kick things off with a refresher on some important skiing and snowboarding safety tips. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll be more than ready to hit the slopes.


Ski and snowboard safety tips

Before you head to the mountains, it’s important to understand the most important rules of skiing and snowboarding “etiquette”:

  • Always maintain control and be aware of your surroundings.
  • Anyone ahead of you has the right of way.
  • Only stop in safe places, out of the way of ski traffic.
  • Whenever skiing downhill and merging onto a new trail, look uphill and yield.
  • Understand how to enter and exit the lifts safely.
  • Respect warnings and closed trails.


Beyond the basics, here are some additional tips to ensure a fun outing:

  • Get in shape. You certainly can ski yourself into shape, but you’ll have more fun if you enter the season with some conditioning. Here are some great cross training ideas.
  • Wear sunscreen. Yup, you still need to slather on the SPF during winter, especially on your face, especially at high altitudes, and especially around the light-reflective snow.
  • Dress in layers. Your body temperature will fluctuate throughout the day, so plan accordingly.
  • Always warm up. Prep yourself physically and mentally by doing a few warm up runs.


Now that we’ve gotten the safety talk out of the way, let’s move onto the fun stuff — where to ski and snowboard on the Western Slope.


Top ski resorts on Colorado’s Western Slope

Powderhorn Mountain Resort

If you’re near the Grand Mesa, you should add skiing at Powderhorn to your itinerary. It’s a great place for beginners and intermediates, with more than 70 percent of the resort’s terrain geared toward those groups.


Aspen Snowmass

There’s a reason people fly into Aspen from around the world. The conditions are excellent and there are tons of runs across four mountains.


Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride has earned accolades, with Conde Nast Traveler magazine readers naming it North America’s #1 ski resort. The area gets an average of more than 300 inches of snow each year, has 2,000 skiable acres for all skill levels, and has minimal life lines.


Wolf Creek Ski Area

Located between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, Wolf Creek’s conditions rarely disappoint. The area is best known for having the “most snow in Colorado,” receiving approximately 430 inches of powder every year. The stunning hike-to terrain is also worth a mention.


Monarch Mountain

This independent ski resort is a local favorite, most well-known for its picture-perfect tree runs. Lift tickets are affordable, the runs aren’t crowded, and the atmosphere is relaxed and friendly.