It’s no surprise that Colorado is home to some of the most prestigious ski resorts in the United States. With its fresh powder and diverse terrain, Colorado is by far one of the best places in the world to experience the thrill of riding. Hosting a number of renowned resorts such as Aspen and Vail, Colorado offers immaculately groomed cruisers, expert terrain and a number of family-oriented mountains. Also home to top-notch ski programs for adults and children, families can learn and perfect their skills together. A number of ski resorts offer children’s programs, along with slope-side lodging and ski-in/ski-out properties, as well.
Colorado is the ultimate blank canvas for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, so check out our favorite family ski resorts in Colorado.
1. Aspen Snowmass
With four mountains collectively forming one massive Colorado family ski resort, visitors from all over the world flock to Aspen and Snowmass for some of the most mind-blowing skiing in Colorado (and perhaps even the planet). With more than 5,500 acres of terrain, four mountains, and one lift ticket, you can finally experience “The Power of Fours.”
With immaculately groomed cruisers and expert terrain, the Aspen Highlands mountain offers a variety of trails for all skill levels. If you’re looking for challenging, big mountain terrain—look no further than this mountain.
As the oldest of the four areas, Aspen Mountain provides skiers and snowboarders with more difficult trails, bumps, and steeps. This mountain doesn’t provide beginner trails, so stick to the other mountains if you are a timid or novice rider.
If you’re looking for a more family-oriented mountain to cruise down, Buttermilk is the perfect place for you. This ski area provides gently rolling hills and wide-open spaces that cater to newbies and families. However, more experienced and expert riders shouldn’t shy away from this mountain just because Buttermilk provides novices with ideal terrain. This mountain is also home to a 22-foot superpipe, two terrain parks, and an X Games-style course.
As the largest of the four areas and bigger than the previous three combined, Snowmass features 96 trails, 21 lifts, three terrain parks, half pipes, and more.
There are plenty of family activities and attractions if you’re looking to get away from the slopes at this family ski resort in Colorado, including snowmobile tours, ice skating, rock climbing, and campfires. The nature-themed Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center offers children fun and educational ways to explore the Colorado mountains. You may not be able to see it all in one trip, so don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Recommended Hotel: Viceroy Snowmass
Related: Best Ski and Snowsuits for Kids
2. Keystone Resort
Keystone Resort is expansive, with three mountains (and villages at each base), more than 3,100 acres of skiable terrain, 128 trails (including one that is 3.5 miles long) and 21 chair lifts and gondolas for all skill levels. Beginners will love Keystone for the variety of lesson options (private, group and family lessons), and experts will love this Colorado family ski resort for its back bowls with more rugged terrain. There’s also night skiing at Keystone.
This Colorado ski resort also offers the world’s first digital mountain assistant, Emma. Families can text Emma and ask her what ski trails are open for the day, where’s the best place to get lunch on the mountain, is there snow in the forecast, or even ask Emma to tell a joke.
But if skis or boards are not on your family’s to-do list, Keystone offers plenty to do that doesn’t require sliding down a mountain on your feet. There’s a snowcat vehicle mountain tour that allows families to explore the mountaintop without having to be in full ski gear. There’s also snow tubing, snow shoeing, ice skating at two different rinks, and horse-drawn sleigh rides. The villages at the base of the mountains offer shopping, restaurants, fire pits and a weekly fireworks display.
Kidtopia is a fun, indoor activity area that parents can enjoy with their children. Games, toys, books and arts and craft activities can always be found inside Kidtopia. Kids (and parents!) will love to meet the resort’s avalanche rescue dogs and learn how they do their jobs at one of the weekly Kidtopia programs.
There’s a day care available to parents who may want to hit the slopes if the kids aren’t quite ready to ski, but Ski School is an even better “day care” option for the kids who are ready to hit the slopes. Kids under 12 years old ski free when two nights of accommodations are booked at Keystone.
Keystone has a wide variety of accommodation options for all size families. There are hotel guestrooms, one- to four-bedroom condos and three- to four-bedroom townhouses. The condos and townhouses feature a fully equipped kitchen, perfect for families who want to maximize time on the mountain and/or save money on meals.
Recommended: Keystone Lodge and Spa
3. Beaver Creek
With a standout kids’ ski school, a variety of slope-side accommodations, and special touches like warm chocolate chip cookies served at the base of the mountain at 3 p.m. every day, Beaver Creek is a popular family ski resort in Colorado. A truly upscale mountain resort, Beaver Creek might make for a pricey ski vacation—but also one of the most enjoyable for families.
At Beaver Creek, there are three ski mountains with three separate base areas—Beaver Creek Village, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead—but you’ll find most of the off-mountain action in the shops and restaurants around “the Village,” a quaint pedestrian plaza that’s fun to walk around. The digital mountain assistant, Emma, can also be used at Beaver Creek.
In addition to skiing, Beaver Creek offers plenty of off-mountain activities for families, such as tubing, ice skating (open year-round), family snowshoeing, on-mountain story time, and a late-afternoon “parade” down the ski hill, during which kids can wave glow sticks in the air. Other weekly events include Family Fun Nights, including face painting and music, and rail jams, where kids learn how to master some elements of a terrain park. During peak vacationing times such as Christmas, Presidents Day Weekend and spring break, “Beaver Creek Loves Kids” is offered, which includes activities such as special movie nights and fun photo-ops.
And don’t dismiss Beaver Creek as a family vacation destination for the summer months. Summertime brings lots of kid-friendly activities such as mini-golf, bungee trampoline jumping, and wall climbing. There are also all sorts of outdoor adventure activities to take part in, like horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, and whitewater rafting. The chairlift runs year-round, so you can always enjoy a scenic ride to the top of the mountain. Whatever the time of year, you’ll find plenty of ways for your family to enjoy the outdoors at Beaver Creek.
Recommended Hotel: The Osprey at Beaver Creek, A RockResort
4. Breckenridge Ski Resort
Spanning across four massive peaks, Breckenridge has beautifully groomed trails, endless amounts of terrain, and extraordinary views. With well over 2,000 acres of terrain for skiers and snowboarders, this resort is the perfect family ski resort in Colorado. Breckenridge features 34 lifts and 187 trails, with its longest trail sprawling more than 3.5 miles. There’s plenty of terrain for all riding abilities, including beginner, intermediate and experienced trails. More experienced riders can shred down the double black diamond bowls for extra thrills and excitement. Breckenridge also features five terrain parks—one for every skill level and riding ability. The digital mountain assistant, Emma, can also be used here.
At the base of the mountain, the resort offers three conveniently located childcare centers. Each childcare location provides exciting and fun activities for children ages 8 weeks to 5 years.
Since there’s more to Breckenridge then just skiing and snowboarding, families can take a snowshoeing tour, go ice skating, or take a dog sledding ride with Siberian Huskies.
Recommended Hotel: Mountain Thunder Lodge
5. Steamboat Ski Resort
Nestled in an old western community and stretched out over six peaks, Steamboat offers skiers and snowboarders more than 2,900 acres of diverse terrain. With its claim to fame “Champagne Powder” snow—snow that is very smooth and dry—Steamboat offers some of the best riding conditions in the Colorado area. With its longest run over three miles long, and beginner and intermediate trails taking up approximately 56 percent (14 percent for beginner and 42 percent for intermediate) of Steamboat’s terrain, families will have more than enough trails to explore. For more experienced riders— don’t worry! Steamboat hasn’t forgotten about you. With steep, challenging black and double black diamond trails, as well as a terrain park and super-pipe, you’ll be more than satisfied.
Children and adults alike can learn and develop their skills in an exciting and controlled environment. There are several children’s ski options available, with programs starting for ages 2.5 and up. Specialty and private clinics are perfect for those looking to get some extra one-on-one time at this family ski resort in Colorado. Childcare services are also available for those ages 6 months to 6 years, offering a variety of fun and age-appropriate activities.
Recommended Hotel: Trailhead Lodge
6. Vail Ski Resort
Boasting more than 5,200 acres of terrain, Vail is one of the largest Colorado family ski resorts in the U.S. Featuring three distinct skiing experiences, the Front-side, the Back Bowls, and Blue Sky Basin, this mountain resort, which also features the digital mountain assistant, Emma, offers plenty of wide open terrain for all skill levels. With 195 trails, two terrain parks, one super-pipe, and one mini-pipe, Vail Mountain is the ultimate blank canvas for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts. And Vail’s never-ending, diverse terrain is just the beginning.
Vail’s Ski & Snowboarding School offers both children and adult programs for the ultimate learning experience. Whether you’re just starting out, or your looking to perfect your skills on the slopes, there are programs for everyone at this family ski resort in Colorado. Children’s private and group lessons are available for those aged 3 and up. Kids can learn the basics or take on new and exciting skills as they learn and grow. A childcare facility offers supervised, age-appropriate activities for kids ages 2 months to 6 years. Kids can enjoy games, movies, snow play, snacks, and more.
Recommended Hotel: The Sebastian – Vail
Families looking for a western-cowboy-country vibe in a family ski resort in Colorado will love a visit to Telluride. This stunning ski town was originally founded in 1878 as a gold mining town. Today, it offers 18 lifts and 147 trails, one of which is a whopping 4.6 miles long. From beginner lessons to advanced hike-to terrain on the back bowls (or even heli-skiing!)—all ski and snowboard skill levels can be accommodated at Telluride. Children under 5 years old ski free here, too.
When the family wants to take a break from the slopes, but still enjoy the Colorado Rockies, there are guided snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice climbing tours. Snowbiking, Nordic skiing and a kids winter camp, for ages 5 to 12, round out just some of the outdoor activities available at this family ski resort in Colorado. Families can even hop on a free gondola to Mountain Village, whether they’re skiing or just wanting to check out the views.
Telluride’s Main Street still looks like a Western-style gold mining town, with a gorgeous snowcapped mountain backdrop in the distance. Families can stroll the street for shopping, taking photos or eating at the many restaurants.
Recommended Hotel: Mountain Lodge Telluride