Snow is already falling in the high country, and the lifts are already spinning at several Colorado ski resorts: It’s time to start preparing for ski season.
Here’s the scoop on ski season this year, with some notable dates and information about how to make the most of your time on the slopes this winter.
Eldora Opening Day: Nov. 11
Boulder County’s beloved ski resort, Eldora, has scheduled its opening day for Nov. 11 and we can’t wait. This is an especially exciting year to ski at Eldora because the resort is celebrating its 60th anniversary. (They’re even offering a special 60th-anniversary coffee table book to mark the occasion!)
Remember that Boulder County is requiring Eldora to charge a $10 fee for single-occupancy vehicles to park there on weekends and holidays, plus non-holiday weekdays with 10 or more inches of snow in the forecast. As such, it’s best to carpool and get dibs on the special high-occupancy vehicle parking at Eldora. Even better, hop on the free RTD buses or Eldora’s shuttle buses from Boulder, which are part of Eldora’s Sustainable Transportation initiatives. Riding the bus or the shuttle is super convenient and easy, as there are myriad pick-up and drop-off times to fit into your schedule. And if you want to have a few apres-ski drinks afterward, there’s no worry about how you’ll get back down the winding canyon, either. It’s a win-win-win for everyone, including Mother Earth.
If you don’t already have your Ikon pass or season pass to Eldora, they’re still on sale. You can also buy an uphill season pass if you prefer to earn your turns, as well as a Nordic season pass. And if you or your loved ones could use a refresher, Eldora also has tons of options for lessons.
Other Colorado Ski Resort Opening Dates
A handful of Colorado resorts are already open, including Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Breckenridge and Wolf Creek. Below are project opening dates for many other resorts in the Centennial State.
- Vail Ski Resort: Nov. 11
- Copper Mountain: Nov. 14
- Winter Park Resort: Nov. 17
- Purgatory Resort: Nov. 19
- Beaver Creek Resort: Nov. 23
- Crested Butte Ski Resort: Nov. 23
- Steamboat Ski Resort: Nov. 23
- Telluride Ski Resort: Nov. 23
- Aspen Snowmass: Nov. 24
- Powderhorn Mountain Resort: Nov. 25
- Sunlight Mountain Resort: Dec. 9
Where to Ski This Season
If you’re looking to get out of town for a few ski trips this winter, here are our recommendations.
Head north to Idaho to ski or snowboard at Schweitzer, which has some of the best tree skiing on the planet. Book a room at the brand new Humbird Hotel, which has a gorgeous design and an intimate, boutique-y vibe, plus several delicious restaurants. It’s easy to get to Schweitzer from Colorado: Simply hop on. direct flight from Denver International Airport to Spokane, then make the quick drive over to Schweitzer, which is near the town of Sandpoint, Idaho.
Schweitzer has more than 2,900 acres of lift-served terrain, which makes it the largest ski area in Idaho and Washington (it’s right near the border with Washington!). The glade skiing, in particular, is fabulous at Schweitzer, so if you love the serenity of gliding through snow-speckled trees, then Schweitzer is for you: There are more than 1,200 acres of trees alone.
You won’t find long lines at Schweitzer, either, thanks to its high-speed six-seater, three high-speed quads and six other lifts.
Why settle for just one ski resort when you can explore three? Located inside Banff National Park—Canada’s first national park—Banff Sunshine Village, Lake Louise Ski Resort and Mt. Norquay offer unparalleled access to the stunning natural scenery of the Canadian Rockies.
Together, the SkiBig3 resorts—situated in Alberta, Canada—offer more than 7,700 acres of skiable terrain, 362 runs and 29 lifts. And, on average, they receive more than 30 feet of snow each winter.
After you’re done skiing for the day, be sure to check out the great restaurants, bars, shopping, museums and other attractions of Banff and Lake Louise. There are many new restaurants in the region, including Bluebird, Lupo, Three Bears Brewery, Shoku Izakaya, Farm & Fire, Una Pizza & Wine and Hello Sunshine, to name a few.