January 10, 2017
According to TopTens.com, Colorado is the best state in the nation for great skiing and snowboarding. With five resorts within 90 minutes of your front door, you can leave your house after breakfast and make it back for an early dinner!
Echo Mountain is just 50 miles from Aurora in Idaho Springs. Echo is also one of two resorts in Colorado to offer night skiing (the other is Keystone). Echo’s base elevation is 10,500 feet and its vertical drop is 660 feet. It has three lifts and 15 trails and averages 250 inches of snowfall per year, opening in mid-December and staying open until late April or early May. One triple chairlift and two surface lifts serve 15 runs on 85 acres that break down into 20 percent beginner, 65 percent intermediate and 15 percent expert terrain. Echo’s main attraction is its terrain park, which offers glades and tree skiing.
Echo Mountain, 19285 Highway 103 Idaho Springs, 303-325-7347
Eldora Mountain Resort is a hidden gem up the hill from Boulder, Colorado, just 51 miles from Aurora with 680 skiable acres. The terrain provides many options for all types of skiers and snowboarders on the resort’s 53 trails.
Eldora claims to have the best snowmaking system in Colorado with 100 percent coverage of its groomed terrain. The mountain was challenging enough to host Olympic ski teams from around the world prior to the 2002 Games. Experienced skiers and snowboarders will want to explore the most difficult trail at Eldora – the double black-diamond terrain of Corona Bowl. The resort operates 11 lifts to serve its combination of 20 percent beginner, 50 percent intermediate and 30 percent expert trails.
Eldora Mountain Resort, 2861 Eldora Ski Rd., #140, Nederland, 303-440-8700
Loveland Ski Area is 70 miles from Aurora right at Loveland Pass at the Eisenhower Tunnel on I-70. The base elevation at Loveland is 10,800 feet and the top of the lift terrain is at 12,700 feet. You can access more terrain by hiking as high as 13,010 feet. The hike-to terrain on the ridge above Chair 9 provides powder skiing and incredible views of the Continental Divide.
Loveland has a vertical drop of 2,210 feet and 1,570 acres of skiing on 93 trails, with 10 lifts. The mountain averages over 400 inches of snowfall per year and has one of the longest seasons in the state, usually racing nearby Arapahoe Basin to be the first to open in early October and staying open through mid-May. Loveland has 13 percent beginner terrain, 41 percent intermediate terrain and 46 percent expert terrain.
Loveland Ski Area, Exit 216 Interstate 70, Georgetown, 303-569-3203
Nicknamed “The Legend” for its epic high mountain terrain Arapahoe Basin is 78 miles from Aurora and offers some of the highest skiable terrain in North America. Arapahoe Basin is mostly known for advanced and expert terrain, but it also has runs for the novice and intermediate skier, with open bowl skiing and snowboarding as well as a children’s program. Arapahoe Basin is known for its extended season, usually staying open until early June and sometimes into early July, whereas most other northern ski areas close in early April.
One of its signature runs, Pallavicini, is among Colorado’s longest and steepest trails. With a base elevation of 10,780 feet and annual snowfall of 350 inches, 109 trails include 960 skiable acres served by eight chair lifts.
Arapahoe Basin, 28194 US-6, Keystone, 970-468-0718
Winter Park is 80 miles northwest of Aurora on the west side of Berthoud Pass. The main Winter Park area is popular with beginners and intermediates, offering a lot of well-groomed “cruiser” intermediate trails. Mary Jane is the expert’s choice, with long steep bump runs and some of the most popular tree skiing in Colorado. Parsenn Bowl is an open bowl with intermediate powder skiing, while Vasquez Ridge has steep powder.
Winter Park’s base elevation is 9,000 feet, and Mary Jane and Parsenn Bowl’s peak elevation is 12,060 feet. Winter Park has 143 trails and 3,060 acres of skiing. The terrain breakdown is eight percent beginner, 17 percent intermediate, 19 percent advanced intermediate, 53 percent difficult and three percent experts only. Winter Park usually opens in mid-November and stays open till mid-April.
Winter Park, 239 Winter Park Dr., Winter Park, 303-316-1564
Keystone Resort is the largest ski resort in Summit County, consisting of three mountains with skiing for every level. Those mountains also make Keystone Resort the largest operation in Colorado to offer night skiing, with floodlights illuminating several trails. Night skiing starts after sunset and continues as late as 9:00 p.m.
Keystone is about 84 miles from Aurora and consists of three mountains and five bowls, which offer skiing at every level. The 131 trails are broken down into 14-percent beginner, 29-percent intermediate and 57-percent expert.
Keystone Resort, 21996 US-6, Dillon, 970-468-0718
Resort Living at Southshore!
Residents of Southshore enjoy a master-planned community chock-full of amenities and near Aurora’s most popular area attractions. Tour one of the beautiful models at Village Homes and check out the new collection designs from Richmond American Homes. With both ranch and two-story models, homes in this Aurora community are priced from the $400s to the $700s. And, watch for new models coming from Century Communities – details coming soon!