OT: CO ski resorts for beginners and non-skiers


I’m taking the kids (13 & 8; beginners) and wife (non-skier) to CO for spring break. Need beginner runs for kids and ample non-skiing activities for the wife.

Sounds like Breckenridge is a zoo. Aspen seems to lack beginner runs. Kind of leaning toward Vail at the moment.

Thoughts? Other, better options?


I think @coloradohog will be able to give you the best answer.

We’ve been to Breckenridge on Spring Break and had a lot of fun. My wife was a first-time skier (it was my second time, but first in about 10 years) and we went through the ski school together. I didn’t think the slopes were too crowded.

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I took my son to Vail and we got ski lessons from none other than @coloradohog himself. Not that they took. The bunny slope wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t ready for anything more advanced.

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Telluride. No question. Hands down best resort in north america. Book it


Vail is my favorite resort I’ve ever been to. it’s huge, with 3 bowls, and LOTS of skiing for any level of skier. also robust ski school that taught all my boys. Wife could not ask for a better village (Vail or Lions Head) to “not ski” in.

Winter Park is also huge, also has plenty of runs for any level, and is closer to Denver. Not as much shopping at all as Vail, but still very nice. But being so close to Denver, lots of Denver-ites ski there, there’s even a train that goes back and forth Denver-Winter Park daily. The down side of that is that the Denverites can be impatient with newbies. But you know CO, overall just lots of friendly people, just may need to ignore a couple in Winter Park. Also great ski school here.

Can’t go wrong-but be careful, your kids will LOVE it and you’ll be heading back every spring break!


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Grew up going to Breck, but that many peaks and acres draws a crowd. All the resorts on the I-70 corridor are going to have lots of people on Spring Break. I’ve done Vail, Beaver Creek, Copper, and Keystone. My kids learned at Beaver Creek, and they’re ski school is really, really good. However, mine were 6 & 4, so not sure if it’d be the same for your older. Vail and Beaver Creek are close enough though can ski the other if you got bored. Used to be a 3-day or more ticket allowed you to hop resorts (and also to Breck).

Vail and Beaver Creek have plenty of shopping, spas, and other snow activities like tubing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling.

I’ve become more a fan of the Utah peaks for ease of travel and less crowds, but would probably say Vail/Beaver Creek offer the widest array of options for families. Just remember to bring your checkbook. And…your credit card. And…maybe a home equity line on your house.

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Got married in Aspen many years ago. Probably one of the top Ski Resorts in the world. Lots to do in town for non Skiers…Hard to beat the Big Burn in Snowmass for intermediate skiing . Last three times we went we went to Breckenridge. Love that place…I think you would be pleased with any of the major areas…I would not recommend Winter Park. Too close to Denver and at times very crowded.

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Snowmass is great for beginners, and there are plenty of shuttle buses for the wife to take into Aspen to finish maxing out your credit card after she shops all of the places in Snowmass. I agree that Winterpark is a little too close to Denver, but all the places will be packed on spring break, assuming the snow is good.

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For me it was Vail by a large margin. Vail Village is the best apres ski area also (well next to Zermatt Switzerland). Vail is also an enormous mountain with a large variety of slopes from beginners to experts. As another poster said, get lessons from Colorado Hog.

I enjoyed skiing Snowmass (not much apres ski) and if your wife wanted to check out Aspen, it’s only about a 15 minute bus ride. Aspen mountain isn’t great for beginners.

Lake Tahoe is beautiful (I like Heavenly resort), but I would prefer Vail if skiing is the primary reason for the trip.

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The only time I went “all in” and did a ski-in, ski-out place was to Lake Tahoe, All my other ski trips (as a college student) were budget trips where we stayed a long way from the slopes! (And usually had to walk through the snow from the sleeping cabins to the shower house!) Loved Tahoe, but the best part was it turns out my wife got pregnant there with out youngest son! LOL. We say he (now 24 years old) was our souvenir from that trip!

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Thanks to all! Great advice. Really appreciate your time.

I did take my kids around the age of yours to Breckenridge, we stayed on the slopes, but it seemed the dinning options weren’t real handy.

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Telluride! You won’t have the crowds you get from the resorts off I40 and it’s gorgeous. It’s got challenging runs as well as steep runs. Also, once you get to town you can park and use the gondola from Mountain Village to Telluride. My favorite place. The only drawback I might saw about going there in spring break is if it gets warm early and they don’t get new snow in March. It can happen. My son learned to ski there and we’ve been a few times. This time we’re trying something different and going to Montana for spring break skiing.

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Vail for sure. Best mountain and great ski school for all ages. Amazing food and Apres Ski. We split our time as a family between Breckenridge and Vail. Breckenridge because it’s only 45 minutes from our home and Vail because it’s the best mountain.


Hello Little Hock. I am an instructor at Vail. I am there right now. Worked the last 4 days and booked private until New year. As you can see, you have a lot of choices and all are good.

Give me a call at303 887-2639 and I can help you with whatever info you need. I know them all. Glad to help a fellow Arkie!


Vail-lots of beginner and intermediate slopes. Easy access-fly into Denver and take the freeway west-Vail is on the freeway.

You are right about Aspen-very few beginner slopes. And it’s a longer drive off the freeway to get to, unless you have your own jet.

Have fun. It’s a great sport. Kids that age will pick it up fast.

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We stayed in Frisco and liked - you can take a free shuttle to either Breckenridge or Copper Mountain

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Thank you, @coloradohog!

Will do. Appreciate your help.

Never been skiing but hope to at some point.

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Crested Butte.
Been to all the previously mentioned in CO. CB is a nice break from the typical places that folks tend to migrate to. Have fun.

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