Whether you love skiing or are the ultimate lover of the cold, something you must live in this life is to travel to Colorado in the United States during the winter season. Not only the cities are dyed white by all the falling snow, but there are also plenty of Colorado ski centers to explore, enjoy with your family and, of course, ski if you want to.
Here the ski resorts are small cities that work and come to life during the winter season. You can find shops of all kinds, ice skating rinks, restaurants, pubs, hotels, mansions and whatever you can think of. The bad thing is the price… everything is very expensive, but shopping without buying and walking around does not hurt anyone and you will surely enjoy too!
We have been fortunate to visit this destination several times. We just love the mountains and if we can do double ski season (winter in Chile and winter in the northern hemisphere) we take it blindly. Colorado has a lot to offer during the winter; because the Rocky Mountains pass through the area the winter is completely snowy and cold… an absolutely wonderful place!. Everything is prepared for working perfectly despite the cold and the snow. Your only concern will be to dress properly and stay warm because the temperatures are very low. You can read our post with tips to get dressed on a trip to the cold to prepare well.
- 1 Information about the State of Colorado in the United States
- 2 Winter and ski in Colorado, United States.
- 3 What other activities can be done in winter in Colorado?
- 4 The moment of truth: The cost of vacationing in Colorado during the Winter
Information about the State of Colorado in the United States
Centrally located in the United States, the State of Colorado is highly popular with tourists, especially in winter. The Rocky Mountains that pass through here are the highest of all the mountain range, the reason why there are mountain tops of more than 4.000 meters of height. Keep this in mind during your trip because you can suffer from altitude sickness, here we tell you how to avoid it.
Due to the above, the excellent quality of the snow and a winter that last almost 6 months, several ski resorts have been built. Some of them are among the bests in the United States and, also, the world. All these ski resorts in Colorado are located in beautiful spots, with trees of an intense green bordering the slopes or forests of pines and perennial trees that in this season adorn the mountains of different brown colors.
How to get to Colorado
80% of foreigners who arrive in Colorado do so through one of the airports in the state. The cheapest way is to get to the Denver International Airport and from there move, but there are also other smaller airports in the mountains, which, of course, are more expensive.
How to move around the towns of Colorado?
There are several ways to get around Colorado.
If you decide to visit more than one town during your trip, without a doubt the easiest and most efficient way is to rent your own car at the airport where you land (usually Denver). We recommend you search well because you can find excellent deals and spend little money, just remember to rent one with 4 wheel drive because you will have to drive on snow and ice. Find here 12 tips for renting a car abroad.
If on the other hand, you are only going to visit one ski center or town during your stay, then you can opt for other forms of transport. The best thing would be to rent a shuttle (shared bus) that will take you to the place you want (the price will depend on how far it is, some places like Aspen are up to 4 hours from Denver). Once there you can take local buses that will move you from your accommodation to the Ski Center or to other places in the town. This is the United States and everything is designed to make your life as easy as possible.
Winter and ski in Colorado, United States.
As we told you before, Colorado is home to many ski resorts. The main ones are 23, some bigger than others in terms of kilometers of tracks and services offered. In this web, you can find them.
The ski season generally goes from October to April, but not with all centers open. Each one decides freely when initial and finish their season depending on the amount of snow; It will always depend on the snowfall that year. In general, those that open for more time are “Arapahoe Basin” and “Loveland”.
Once you make the decision to go skiing in Colorado in the United States you must choose which are the centers that you are interested in knowing. For this, it is best to look at the following variables:
- Your budget: The smaller ski centers are usually also cheaper. Find out the price of the tickets.
- Closeness to some town outside the resort and shuttle buses: It is not necessary to stay in the same center that you will be skiing. Many are in places with towns in the surroundings that have free shuttle buses passing every hour or every few minutes. Find out well before reserving something impulsively.
- Distance between the ski resorts: Try to build a logical route that does not make you move too much between ski centers, although if you rent your own car you can make these movements without a problem, baring in mind the gasoline price.
What other activities can be done in winter in Colorado?
Ok … we know that not everyone likes to ski and you may be afraid of facing the mountain with nothing but a pair of boards on your feet, but luckily in Colorado, you can finds activities for all tastes:
City tour around Denver:
If you like cities you can visit Denver, the capital of Colorado, and learn more about its history and places of interest in the area.
Visit a frozen lake:
Walking on a frozen lake is a unique experience. Just knowing that you are over millions of liters of water will boost your adrenaline. You can even get lucky and see some local people fishing through a small hole in the ice.
Larger resorts such as Vail have ice skating rinks, but there are also many others in the towns, lakes and other ski resorts. You dare to put skating shoes and slide through the ice?
Many tourist agencies organize snowmobile rides in the mountains. For Americans, security is extremely important, so they will give you all the necessary elements for you to enjoy and be safe at the same time.
Get lost in the roads of Colorado (but please use a good GPS):
Our favorite… When we no longer want to continue skiing or we are tired we love to take the car, look at a map and randomly decide which road to take. We have found wonderful landscapes such as huge train tracks passing over a road, frozen lakes, rivers that run between blocks of ice when spring begins, beautiful viewpoints and more.
In addition, there are many small towns that at first sight seem abandoned. They have a style of “far west” with small shops served by their owners and historic canteens where you can have a good beer.
Walk through the “town” of Vail:
We put it in quotes because this town was created after the ski center and is designed to offer activities in winter to their guests, both skiers, and non-skiers. Restaurants, shops, German-style houses with flowers on the windows, lovely pedestrian streets. You can not miss it if you’re close!
Surely you have seen this place in more than one movie, and also is the favorite of the famous and film producers. The organized streets and pedestrian walks make it very special, as well as looking at one of Aspen’s ski centers. A marvel.
Is it only possible to go to the malls if you have a lot of money to spend? Completely false! There are a lot of outlets in the area with surely cheaper prices than in your own country. Find the one that suits you best in distance and immerse yourself in shopping.
The moment of truth: The cost of vacationing in Colorado during the Winter
Impressively expensive. We’re not going to lie to you, it is as if some ski centers have a competition for who charges more. Traveling to Colorado for skiing is not something that suits all pockets, a ticket for the day can cost USD 180 and a single lunch USD 40.
How to save in Colorado?
Yes, you can save and not spend your life savings in a week. If you really want to visit this destination (I understand you!) then these tips can help you save a couple of dollars:
- Do not go in high season. Avoid being in Colorado during vacations or holidays like Christmas and spring break.
- Look for accommodation away from ski resorts but with good public bus access. Also, find a place to stay that has a good kitchen so you can cook and save a lot of money in restaurants and food.
- DO NOT CHOOSE TO VISIT ASPEN AND / OR VAIL. They are by far the most expensive places in Colorado.
If you are going skiing in Colorado
- The cheapest will always be to go skiing in Colorado the last days of the season (March and April). But, bear in mind that the snow may not be at its peak and in the evenings it may be more soup and therefore more difficult to ski. Also, you can take advantage of the incredible liquidations of winter clothes in stores during this months. Prices go down by 50% or even more! Perfect to renew your equipment. But beware … if you book very early for April thinking that will be the closing month the season and the snowfall is not enough, they might close the ski centers before you arrive, and it is your loss.
- Quote online for ski center tickets with discounts. Even in local shops in the villages you can find cheaper last minute tickets.
- Abuse the shuttle services to the ski centers that many towns have. So you can save on gasoline and transportation
- Do not buy tickets for only one day if you know you will be several days in there. It will always be more convenient to buy packages of 3 or more tickets at the same time. These multi-day passes can be much cheaper, just ask the prices well!
- If you are going to need to rent equipment (skis, boots, canes) then do it in places outside the resorts. Renting in the villages will always be much cheaper.
- Take your own snack to eat at the ski center. The restaurants in the mountain between ski lifts are really expensive, but they always offer free water and will not tell you anything if you sit down to eat your own snack or lunch.