When to Go Skiing in Colorado – The Best Month to Ski

Colorado is known for it’s long ski season but the best time for skiing in Colorado is February. All the ski resorts are open, the snow is deep and some of the crowds get lighter depending on where you go.

We will look at why February is the best time for skiing in Colorado, some days that you should go and other periods when you should avoid skiing in Colorado.

Skiing at Keystone Mountain, Colorado
Skiing at Keystone Mountain, Colorado. Photo Credit reid.neureiter (Flickr CC)

What is the Best Time of Year for Skiing in Colorado?

Known for being one of the best states to ski in the U.S., Colorado sees its fair share of visitors. Whether you are flying out from the east coast, coming up from Texas, making the trip in from out west or just a local, going at the best time of the year will make all the difference.

The best time of year to ski in Colorado is generally run from December through February. During these months, there are many great trails to enjoy, as well as ample snow cover. If you want to be almost guaranteed that all the trails will be open then late January and into February are the top times to go.

When Do Colorado Ski Resorts Open?

You now know the best time for skiing in Colorado but when do the resorts open?

The opening dates for Colorado ski resorts vary every year, depending on the weather conditions. Generally, they open in late November or early December. However, some resorts may open as early as October, while others may not open until January. It all depends on the snowfall and the location of the resort.

So if you’re planning a ski trip to Colorado, be sure to check the resort’s website to find out their opening date. That way, you can make sure to book your trip during that time period. Another thing you will want to do is monitor the weather for skiing in Colorado.

Colorado Ski Weather: Staying Updated

Ski vacation at Keystone
Ski vacation at Keystone. Photo Credit reid.neureiter (Flickr CC)

Even in the planning phase of your ski trip, you’ll want to monitor the Colorado weather for your ski trip. This means keeping an eye on how much snow the resorts are getting in the early months of the season so you know which trails are opening up and how much terrain is open.

As you get closer to your skiing date or trip, you’ll want to stay on top of the weather so you know what to pack, which skis to bring and even which vehicle to take to the resort.

The weather in Colorado can fluctuate quickly up in the mountains during ski season so keeping an eye on it will help for a safe and fun ski trip.

When Do Colorado Ski Resorts Close?

As ski season rapidly approaches, Coloradoans are still anxious to hit the slopes. It’s always important to know those closing dates so you can get in some last runs.

Some resorts, start to wind up their seasons in April while a few extend into early May. Closing dates sometimes move by a week or two and are announced a month or two out from the close of the season.

If you’re planning on skiing in Colorado this year, be sure to check the resort’s website to find out when they plan on closing. Another place to keep up to date is on their socials like Twitter. That’s where we see and track a lot of the resorts’ opening and closing dates.

A Look at the Colorado Ski Season: Month by Month

The Colorado ski season is like a curve, it builds up to a peak in the middle with the best skiing in February and then it tapers off from there before the ski resorts close.

Skiing in Colorado in November

Some of the best skiing in the country is in Colorado. In November, the temperatures in the mountains are just starting to get cold enough for skiing. Snow starts to come in and the excitement ramps up as resorts start to open or plan their opening date for the following month.

The resorts vary in terms of their terrain, so there is something for everyone. Some resorts are more family-friendly, while others have more challenging terrain for experienced skiers. Even in the early season there is still challenging trails to ride if you are willing to pick specific ski resorts.

November is a great time to visit Colorado if you want to ski, and there are plenty of deals available on lift tickets and lodging since it is the start of the season and all the terrain isn’t open yet.

A Look at December Colorado Skiing

December skiing in Colorado starts to see higher prices. Lift tickets and lodging go up, especially closer to the end of December and the holidays. This is when places like Vail and Breck can get to their highest prices. At least you can find slopes for all skill levels, from beginner to expert since a fair amount of snow has usually fallen by December end.

Heading to the resorts in December means that not only are more trails open but quite a few of the resorts are decorated for Christmas which is pretty to look at. Aside from the higher prices which are to be expected, skiing in December is a great time to go.

January Powder in Colorado

January skiing at Keystone and Breckenridge
January skiing at Keystone and Breckenridge. Photo Credit reid.neureiter (Flickr CC)

The last two weeks in January are prime time for skiing in Colorado. The skiing is true world-class skiing. Keep an eye on the weather for those January powder dumps because you can be in for a real treat if you ski from mid to late January.

February Means Open Trails at Colorado Ski Resorts

February is the month to ski and snowboard in Colorado. With the slopes open and better lift lines than during the holidays, it is the perfect time for ski trip. Across the state, there are thousands of acres to ski in February. A few resorts you should take advantage of in February include –

Prices continue to be average to high for lift tickets and lodging in February as the resorts know this is the best month for skiing. A lot of people fly in to take advantage of all the pristine snow but don’t worry, there is plenty for you too.

March Skiing in Colorado: An Outlook

Spring break ski vacation at Beaver Creek
Spring break ski vacation at Beaver Creek. Photo Credit reid.neureiter (Flickr CC)

March is no exception to Colorado’s world-class ski season. In March, many of the resorts offer special deals on lift tickets and equipment rentals, as well as packages that include lodging and meals. The slopes are still covered in fresh snow, and the temperatures are usually mild, making for perfect skiing conditions.

While many people head skiing in January and February, don’t write off March. You can head to the Colorado resorts while some people are already thinking about spring.

April: Late Season Colorado Skiing

If you’re looking for an affordable ski trip, consider hitting the slopes in Colorado this April. The month of April is one of the cheapest times to go skiing in Colorado because the resorts are trying to draw out any last-minute vacationers or day trippers to the slopes.

How to Get Started Skiing in Colorado: Plan a Trip

Skiing moguls at Keystone and Breckenridge
Skiing moguls at Keystone and Breckenridge. Photo Credit reid.neureiter (Flickr CC)

To get started skiing in Colorado, you’ll need to pick a month and pick a resort. Some of the cheapest lodging can be off the resort grounds and through private rental.

Let’s look at a few of the top ski resorts you can visit.

Where to Ski in Colorado: Resorts Worth a Mention

Have your month picked out? Perfect, then you are ready to start comparing ski resorts in Colorado. While most people think of Vail and Breckenridge, here are 5 that you should look into for the ski season:

  • Winter Park – Great for advanced skiers.
  • Crested Butte – If you like the village life.
  • Aspen – A Colorado classic.
  • Buttermilk – Perfect for new skiers.
  • Steamboat – Use your Ikon pass.

How to Get the Most Out of Skiing in Colorado

While you don’t need to be an expert to go skiing in Colorado or take a ski trip there, it doesn’t hurt to have a base level of skiing before taking a trip. If you haven’t skied before then no stress, they can teach you are the resort but just keep in mind you won’t be able to ski as much terrain as intermediate to experts.

You should be just about sorted for skiing in Colorado. Make a plan for when you will visit, where you will visit and what to pack. That’s about it if you want to ski Colorado during the best time of the year.

Final Thoughts on the Best Time for Skiing in Colorado

There are multiple months to go skiing in Colorado so even if you can’t make the best time for skiing in Colorado which is the January to February timeframe then there is still time to catch early or late season skiing.

Consider yourself lucky if you get to ski in Colorado this year. Many people would be itching to get your spot on the slopes or at a ski resort in Colorado.

Jessie Gonzalez writes for Proper Peaks and lives in Stockton, CA. One of her favorite things about snowboarding is seeing beginners get started and watching them enjoy the sport.

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