Best Family Ski Resorts in Colorado

There are lots of great ski resorts in Colorado, all with different types of slopes, facilities and places to see, but which ones are good for families? Looking for a resort for you and your friends is definitely not the same as looking for a resort for you and your family.

For example, there are many resorts that have a lot of good facilities for ordinary skiers, but not that many for the younger ones, which can make them somewhat unsafe for children.

And of course, when going on a skiing trip with your family, accessibility, affordability, safety, and off-resort activities all play a role.

With all of this in mind, we’ve compiled a list with the best family-friendly resorts in Colorado, places where you and your family will definitely have a great time.

Keystone Resort

We start off our list with the Keystone resort which is one of the most popular resorts in Colorado. It has a vast ski area that covers more than 3 000 acres so that every skier can find a track that will suit their style and experience level. 

The resort is known for having premium-grade groomers where more experienced skiers can easily get their adrenaline fix. And if the slopes are not your idea of having fun with skis, you can always hit the terrain park, which by the way is connected with its own ski lift.

Pros

  • Large ski area
  • Parking is near the slopes
  • Interchangeable slopes, so you can keep an eye on your kids while riding
  • Plenty of budget options for dining and other activities
  • Budget-friendly accommodation in the vicinity (10-20 minutes by car)

Cons

  • Slopes can be a bit busy, especially on weekends
  • Not a lot of extreme slopes

Why It’s A Good Choice For Families…

Transport & Parking

Hitting the slopes as a family can sometimes be a logistical nightmare, but not if you go to Keystone. There are parking lots near the slots so you won’t have to drag your equipment for long distances. 

Of course, if you go to the resort a bit late you might end up with the spots that are the furthest from the slopes, but this won’t be a problem as there are free wagons that can help you transport all your gear to the slopes! 

And the best part? The parking lots are free!

Terrain

Keystone’s large net of interchangeable slopes will allow you and your family to stay together while skiing, so it’s really easy to have fun and be able to make sure that all of your family is safe and sound. 

You’ll just need to spend some time planning and going over the map to find the slopes that will suit you all, and you’re all set. The only downside of Keystone’s ski area is that there aren’t many slopes for extreme riders.

Off-the-slopes Activities 

Done with the slopes? Just kidding, we know you’re not, but you’re really hungry, so now it’s time to find a place to fuel up. Keystone has a lot of restaurants and lounge-bars where you can go to eat with your family, and the resort strikes a good balance between budget-friendly eats and high-end fine dining.

Accommodation

And after you’re done for the day, it’s time to retreat to your chambers. Now, if you don’t want to spend loads of money on accommodation, you’ll need to look for lodgings that are located in the nearby villages, as the ones in Keystone can get pricey when winter season comes around.

Copper Mountain Resort

The Copper Mountain resort is located near Keystone, but it offers a totally different skiing experience. The resort itself has ski terrain which is divided into experience levels – beginner, intermediate, and expert. And if you’d like to go for an all-family activity on the slopes, you can go for snow tubing! 

The terrain is in pristine condition, thanks to a combination of snowfall and snowmaking, providing the perfect conditions for any skier. All in all, Copper Mountain resort is one of the best places for a family to be during the winter holidays.

Pros

  • Great child care and training facilities
  • The snow tubing terrain is one of the best ones in USA!
  • Budget-friendly accommodation near the resort
  • For the weekends, the snowcats are free for all who want to ski above the treeline

Cons

  • Snowfall is not consistent, and snowmaking isn’t enough sometimes
  • Not that many extreme or standout runs

Why It’s A Good Choice For Families…

Great Facilities & Parking Spots

As any good family-friendly resort, Copper Mountain has great child care and training facilities where you can leave your kids for a part of the day, or just get them a lesson in skiing, snowboarding, or anything that has to do with winter sports. There are numerous coaches and trainers available, so your kid can learn how to ski or snowboard from experts.

When it comes to parking spots, it’s not as convenient as some other resorts on this list, as it comes with a price, and the closer your parking spot is to the slopes, the more expensive it will be.

If you’re looking for free parking, there are a lot of spots in the nearby villages, but this means that you will need to take the (probably) crowded but free shuttle bus to the slopes.

Skiing & Tubing

The first thing we think of when we talk about resorts is ski terrain, but that’s not the only thing they offer. Not everyone wants to ski, right? Well, for those people, there is the option of snow tubing! 

This doesn’t require skills or training, you just have to be a bit careful not to end up with your face in the snow! But don’t get us wrong, the trails on Copper Mountain are very good and while there aren’t many extreme tracks, there’s plenty for you to get your adrenaline fix.

An added plus for all who want to dip their skis in the upper levels, you can take the snowcats to the terrain above the treeline. Free of charge during the weekends!

Accommodation

Now, most people expect to break the bank on accommodation when they hit the mountain, but if you find the lodgings on Copper Mountain a bit out of your budget, you can pick some of the more affordable places to stay located 15-20 minutes away in the nearby villages.

Off The Slopes

There are many places where you can go and grab something to eat, but the ones in Center Village are the most popular among tourists, and also, you can find some bars where there’s a jolly atmosphere all day long. Not many bars that work past midnight though.

Steamboat Resort

A resort known for being the home of many Winter Olympics athletes, Steamboat is considered to be one of the main skiing and snowboarding hubs in North America. 

With amazing terrain, great facilities, and an authentic Western look, you’ll find it hard not to like this mountain gem. It has quite the history, with the first skiing tracks dating back to 1915. Ever since people have come back to this place, which led to the birth and development of Steamboat Springs.

Pros

  • Amazing glade skiing terrain
  • Hot springs 
  • Champagne-grade powder
  • It doesn’t get crowded
  • Many events
  • Affordable dining options

Cons

  • A bit far off main roads
  • Pricey and limited accommodation
  • Potential poor snow conditions in lower areas

Why It’s A Good Choice For Families…

Skiing Terrain & Transport

Glade skiing is not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re looking for it, Steamboat’s ski tracks are among your best options. Also, if you’re looking for some excitement and want to try your hand gliding through challenging terrains, the tree runs here are amazing, and there are tracks for both beginners and experienced skiers.

But the best thing has to be the snow quality. There’s a reason they call it champagne powder. It’s perfectly light and soft, and allows you to glide through it without losing a lot of power and speed. 

What makes it this way? The deserts located far west from the resort is the place where the snow and rain come from, and the desert sucks the excess moisture from the clouds, leaving crisp and flaky snow that is just a dream to glide through. Add to this the fact that the trails here rarely get overcrowded, so you won’t have to wait in line to have a crack at it – and you have your answer.

But, those deserts can also cause a bit of a problem, as Steamboat is known to have periods where it doesn’t get much snow, so make sure you follow weather reports.

Amenities & Events

There are many places where you can grab a bite without breaking the bank, and while there may not be as many child-care facilities as other places, there are still enough for you to find a place for your kids if you decide to have a day for just you and your partner. 

As for having fun, you’re free to try out for one of the many events that take place both on and off the trails. Many bars, restaurants, and other businesses hold events that are fun for both adults and kids!

The town is also home to geothermal springs, so if you’re looking for a place to chill after you’re done skiing, or if your body aches from all the tricks and flicks, hit one of the springs to regenerate those weary muscles.

Accommodation

There is a wide selection of accommodation in Steamboat, and all differ in price, from affordable to luxurious. Keep in mind that the cheaper ones always go first, so make sure you book on time!

Beaver Creek

The newest Colorado resort, Beaver Creek, is setting new standards in being a place where you can find some of the best ski terrain and the best places to stay. 

Of course, all of that comes with a price tag that might deter some, but if you’re looking for a place that will satisfy your every wish, then Beaver Creek is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • Great groomed terrain, perfect for beginners and intermediates
  • The Birds Of Prey Downhill Worldcup is held here, a great event for families
  • Free cookies for your kids at the base of Centennial Express
  • Great ski-lift connections

Cons

  • Can be a bit pricey for families, if you add up the price of your accommodation, dining, and skiing
  • No skiing area above the treeline

Why It’s A Good Choice For Families…

Great Terrain

The resort is full of tracks that are perfect for beginners and intermediates looking to get their adrenaline fix for the season. The one thing that makes this terrain perfect is the spotless grooming of the tracks, which makes this resort one of the best resorts with groomers not just in Colorado, but in the whole USA.

There is also a decent amount of advanced and expert tracks which will allow you to get some extra excitement if that’s what you want, but if you are looking for skiing tracks above the tree-line and in peak altitudes, you will be better off at other resorts, as Beaver Creek has no tracks above the trees on the mountain.

Getting Around

Modern ski lifts will help you get around the mountain fast and easy. The high-speed lifts ensure that you won’t have to wait long for your turn, and you can quickly find and get to a trail that isn’t overcrowded so that you and your family can have fun and be safe at the same time.

Events, Events, Events

For a resort that has a small village that is easy to navigate and get around in, Beaver Creek has a rich program that is filled with events that will be fun for both adults and younger ones. The main event has to be the Birds of Prey Downhill Worldcup which takes place here, and here you will be able not only see cool tricks and flicks performed by some of the best snowboarders in the world, but also take part in some of the activities!

Accommodation & Off-piste Activites

When it comes to accommodation, Beaver Creek offers only the best, and as such, it comes at a price that might not be suitable for all families. But, considering all the amenities and pampering you will receive if you decide to spend your winter days here, the prices are well worth it.

Buttermilk

A small but precious gem located near the great Aspen resorts, Buttermilk is a cozy, family-friendly resort that packs amazing facilities and trails where many skiers have made their first steps, and due to it’s location, it’s a popular choice for skiers who are not fans of big crowds and like a more-relaxed winter vacation. Simply said, it’s a dream come true for families.

Pros

  • As family-friendly as it gets when it comes to resorts
  • Mellow terrain perfect for beginners and intermediates looking for a chill ride
  • Has some of the best terrain parks and events in North America
  • Rarely overcrowded
  • Close to Aspen city

Cons

  • Lacking in advanced and steep terrain
  • Is the smallest of all the resorts in the Aspen area
  • Not a lot of off-the-slopes activities and events
  • Can be tricky to find accommodation

Why It’s A Good Choice For Families…

Great Terrain For Families

The many beginner-friendly trails are perfect for you and your family to be skiing all together, and considering there aren’t that many skiers on the trails at all times, you will also feel very safe.

Buttermilk is also considered to be the best place for any aspiring skiers to take their first steps.

Excitement

Now, the lack of exciting trails doesn’t mean that you won’t have a chance to get your adrenaline fix, as Buttermilk has some of the most exciting terrain parks. 

Just how exciting? 

The ESPN Winter X Games are held here, and this is definitely an event you and your family will enjoy, with some of the best skiers and snowboarders performing amazing tricks and flicks.

Off-the-slopes Activities & Events

This family ski resort is the smallest one on our list, and as such, it doesn’t have as many places for you and your family to see or that many things to do off the slopes. But there’s no reason to panic, as Aspen city is just 15 minutes away, and there are shuttles that can take you. Aspen city has a lot to offer in terms of après ski entertainment.

Accommodation

As with any small but famous place, accommodation can be a bit hard to come by. Buttermilk doesn’t have a lot of lodgings, and if you plan on spending your winter season here, you should plan ahead and book early, as the rooms and studios get filled up quite fast.

If you don’t find a place to stay, you can turn to Aspen city to find one. As we already mentioned above, it’s close and there’s a shuttle that goes back and forth to Buttermilk.

You can check out more on our USA Ski Resorts page.

Article by:
Abby Ward
Senior Content Writer at Bluehouse
Last Updated August 2020