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5 Top Colorado Ski Resorts: Where Local Families Go

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Family Skiing at Keystone

When looking for a Colorado family ski resort, local residents flock to resorts that are affordable and less crowded.  This allows the whole family to have both quantity and quality time on the slopes. Locals also seek resorts that have excellent programs that effectively teach how to ski and/or snowboard at reasonable prices.

Ski Cooper  (Not to be confused with Copper Mountain Ski Resort)

1.5 hours from Denver. Leadville, CO Map

Lift Tickets at the Window: Children 5 and Under FREE, Children $23, Adult $42

Ski Cooper

Ski Cooper is a lesser-known and wonderfully affordable family resort that is close to Denver. Although there is no lodging available on site, you can stay at the nearby town of Leadville.  Ski Cooper does offer nice “bunny” slopes, and has an excellent children’s program. There is even a 2-hour lesson for children as young as 4 called the Panda Cubs. If your family is learning to ski or snowboard, this is an excellent way to experience it without making a big investment.  The Kid’s Lesson includes equipment rental, lift tickets, and an optional lunch. 

 
3.5 hours from Denver Salida, CO  Map

 

Lift Tickets at the Window:  Children 6 and Under Free, Junior (7-12) $20, Teens (13-15), $34 Adults 16+ $56   Save more Online

Monarch Mountain is known for its friendly, old-fashion atmosphere.  The location means fewer people and virtually no lines at the lifts. The resort has no lodging available, but the town of Salida is close by.  Monarch allows you to enjoy open runs and excellent natural snow conditions.  Their Ski and Ride School guarantees it will have you turning, stopping, and riding the beginner chairlift by the end of your lesson.  The Kid’s Lesson includes: All Day Lift Ticket, Equipment and Helmet Rental, Snack, and 3.5 Hours of Group Instruction.

Loveland

1 hour from Denver, Georgetown, CO Map

Lift Tickets at the Window: Children 5 and Under FREE, Children (6-14) $25, Adults (15+) $59

This resort is affordable and extremely close to Denver.  Loveland has varied terrain that gives each run its own flavor.  It provides families with an excellent ski experience without breaking the bank.  Family Private Lessons allow you to learn to ski or snowboard together.  Up to 4 members (age 7 and older) learn together with the same instructor for a 2 hour FIRST TIME lesson, which also includes beginner lift tickets and equipment rental for 4 people. 

Crested Butte  

4 hours from Denver, Crested Butte, CO  Map

Lift Tickets at the Window: Children 6 and Under Ski FREE, Children (7-12) $30, Teen (13-17) $53, Adults $59

Crested Butte

Crested Butte offers some of the steepest lift-served ski terrain in the US, and still has some of the most family friendly skiing in Colorado. What makes it even better is the lack of crowds. You don’t have to worry about your kids getting lost in a sea of people. No matter your experience level (from bunny slope to black diamond), you will find a run to challenge you.  Crested Butte even has lessons available for children as young as 3 years old.

Keystone

1.5 hours from Denver, Keystone, Co Map

Lift Tickets Online: Children 4 and Under Ski FREE, Children (5-12) $42, Adults 13+ $61  * Keystone/A Basin combo-ticket price

Keystone is made up of three mountains and offers skiing for the whole family; whether you are a beginner or an expert.  This is a better-known resort and a little touristy.  In addition to skiing and snowboarding, Keystone also offers: sleigh rides, tubing, snow shoeing, ice skating, and snowmobiling. The night skiing is great.  Keystone’s renowned Children’s Ski and Ride is another plus, but note that rentals and lift tickets are not included in the lesson price.

Don’t let the expense cause you to miss showing your children the joy skiing and snowboarding.  Go where the locals go!