Think it’s hard to please Mom’s need for safety, Dad’s need for bumps and the kids’ need for confidence on the slopes? It doesn’t have to be! These Colorado ski resorts are sure to please the whole bunch and make for an ideal family vacation.
Here are my favorite family-friendly resorts in the four main ski regions of Colorado.
On the Front Range – Winter Park Resort
Winter Park is Colorado’s longest-running ski mountain and my family’s most favorite destination. There are three interconnected mountain peaks, which share a common lift ticket: Winter Park, Mary Jane and Vasquez Ridge. Like steep terrain, moguls and tree skiing? Then Mary Jane is where to go. Dig off-the-beaten path snow stashes? Vasquez Ridge is for you. The Winter Park side is awesome for the multi-age family experience with snow tubing, ice skating, easy-to-master blue and green runs and a fantastic kid ski program. My 7-year-old is already skiing expert terrain, and my 5-year-old is confidently flying down the greens because of their time in the Winter Park ski school.
More family-friendly Front Range resorts to consider: Copper Mountain and Loveland Ski Area
South Central Colorado – Monarch Mountain
Monarch Mountain is a hidden gem outside of Salida, Colorado. Not only is there always an abundance of fresh snow, its old school charm makes this resort a not-to-miss for family fun. I love the little touches scattered about the resort that make a ski day with kids so much easier. Forget Jr.’s hat and gloves? No problem! They offer a clothing rental service. Other great touches include: warming huts, hydration stations and the world’s highest Starbucks. Dad will definitely want to check out the Snowcat Skiing into incredible backcountry terrain and mom can rest assured little ones are taken care with very friendly ski school instructors. We love Monarch!
Southwest Colorado – Telluride Ski Resort
If you are looking to splurge with the family on a ski vacation, Telluride should be at the top of your list. Stunning jagged peaks make for a dramatic backdrop to the quaint downtown. There are more than 2,000 skiable acres. So not only do you get unbelievable views, you’ll feel like you get them to yourself. We think the Telluride Ski Resort’s Eco Adventure Program is particularly awesome. If you’re looking for an alternative to skiing or riding, you can experience snowshoeing, build snow caves or ice skate. They also offer a Kid’s Happy Hour — kids get some fun after-skiing activities, and parents can take another couple of runs and enjoy après ski. Kids learn how to make candles, snowflakes or crafts from recycled material; they create collages, poems and stories with words cut out of magazines, bottle cap magnets and much more.
More family-friendly Southwest Colorado resorts to consider: Purgatory and Crested Butte
Northwest Colorado – Sunlight Mountain Resort
Sunlight Mountain prides itself on being “attainable, affordable and packed with what counts most — Colorado snow.” Put that in proximity to the world’s largest hot springs pool (and create an awesome package deal) and you’re speaking my language! Not only can you ski and swim with one low price, there is free parking, a large variety of terrain and kids 12 and under ski free with a paying adult. Sweet deal.
Another family-friendly Northwest resort to consider: Powderhorn
There is something for everyone in Colorado and if you’re willing to go off the beaten path, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Have you skied in Colorado with your family? What have been your favorite resorts? I’d love to hear in the comments below.