But when is the best time to ski Colorado?
That depends on what you’re looking for in a ski vacation!
Here’s your ultimate guide to the best months to ski and snowboard in Colorado, based on what you want out of your winter vacation. You’ll learn when the best time to visit Colorado is.
In This Article
- What is the Ski Season in Colorado?
- What is the Best Month to Ski in Colorado?
- What is the Best Month for Snow and Ski Conditions?
- What is the Best Month for the Most Attractive Pricing?
- What is the Best Month for Spring Skiing?
- The Month-by-Month Guide to Skiing in Colorado
- In Conclusion
What is the Ski Season in Colorado?
The ski season in Colorado starts as early as mid-October! As a matter of fact, every year there’s a race to see which Colorado ski resort will open first.
Each start of the ski season, we anxiously wait and watch to see who wins the “opening day” race!
When does ski season start? On average, the ski season in Colorado starts approximately November 20 through around April 15. Sometimes, this date is extended due to great snowfall in the spring!
After the race to opening day, many other Colorado ski resorts open on or around Thanksgiving. For example, Aspen, Snowmass, Copper Mountain, Steamboat, Winter Park, Beaver Creek, and Crested Butte all have openings close to Thanksgiving.
Breckenridge Ski Resort opens about two weeks earlier than Thanksgiving, closer to November 12th.
What is the Best Month to Ski in Colorado?
Your “best” ski or snowboard experience may be different from mine, so I’ve broken it down into categories below. Some months are better for very snowy conditions in the Colorado mountains and other months are better for value pricing or warmer, sunnier weather! Here you’ll learn when is the best time to ski in Colorado.
What is the Best Month for Snow and Ski Conditions?
If you’re looking for cold, fluffy snow and lots of it, the end of January through the entire month of February and into early March is going to be the best time to visit Colorado.
By the time we’re into mid-February, Colorado is solidly into the winter season of skiing and snowboarding.
What this means is that all of the Colorado ski resorts will have a great base of snowfall. It’s very likely that the ski and snowboard conditions in mid-February will be superb when you arrive! The temperatures will be cold, keeping the snow fluffy and light for your ski vacation. It’s a good idea to dress warm!
You’ll also find more crowds on the ski slopes since it’s a very popular time for a ski vacation.
You’ll especially experience more skiers during the third week in February when kids have a vacation from school during President’s day and the weekend.
President’s weekend is one of the busiest weekends for Colorado ski resorts and travel in general.
The ski resorts in the Colorado mountains are large and expansive with lots of wide-open ski runs. So, even if there’s a crowd at the gondola first thing in the morning, it usually spreads out as the day goes on.
Valentine’s day is also a lovely time for a ski vacation! You’ll find great snow conditions and many of the ski resorts and hotels will have special deals or promotions for a romantic ski weekend with your love.
Once you’re at the ski resort, you’ll also find specials offered at restaurants, spas, and hotels with enchanting Valentine’s day experiences on offer!
This post is all about the best time to ski in Colorado.
What is the Best Month for the Most Attractive Pricing?
You’ll find lower lift ticket prices at Colorado ski resorts in the early and late ski seasons. The early ski season begins when the resorts open in mid-November and stretch to mid-December, the week leading up to Christmas.
Another great time for value pricing starts in early January, just about a week after New Year’s. Some ski hotels will offer great promotions during this time for a ski vacation!
The late-season for skiing is considered April, from about April 1st to the closing of the ski resort. Generally, Colorado ski resorts will lower their lift rates in April providing guests with a great value. You’ll find hotel rates to be lower too.
What is the Best Month for Spring Skiing?
Spring skiing can be found in Colorado in March and April. Spring skiing is wonderful because the temperatures are warmer and ski days in Colorado are usually filled with abundant sunshine.
The chances of you returning home from your Colorado ski vacation with a “goggle tan” are high in March and April!
With the warmer spring-like temperatures, you’ll be able to enjoy lunch outside with your friends or family and really take in the “vibe” of spring skiing in Colorado.
Apres-ski drinks after a fun day of skiing or snowboarding is one of the most fun ways to spend an afternoon in Colorado! Especially in late March and early April.
The snow conditions will be a bit mushier, which comes along with warmer temperatures. So if you’re looking for the best ski conditions, January and February are going to be a little better with fluffier, lighter, colder snow.
The Month-by-Month Guide to Skiing in Colorado
Skiing in Colorado in November
November skiing conditions can be unpredictable. Snowfall has the potential to be either abundant or non-existent in Colorado in November.
The Colorado ski resorts will be operating on whatever amount of snowfall they’ve received plus snow from their artificial snowmaking machines.
Planning a ski trip in November will be a great value! November in Colorado ski resorts will be less expensive than in the middle of the ski season. If you’re looking for a good value and are willing to take a chance on the snow conditions then Colorado in November is a great time to plan a ski trip.
Plan on fewer ski runs being open at that time, and you’ll be setting correct expectations.
This post is all about the best time to ski in Colorado.
Skiing in Colorado in December
December skiing in the Colorado mountains can also be unpredictable, especially in the first half of the month. Snowfall and temperatures can be sporadic in December causing uncertain snow conditions. Yet, this also means that there could be a big snowstorm and conditions could be fantastic!
Ski resorts decorate their villages and towns for the holiday season in such beautiful ways. Being in the mountains in December is a special, festive time, filled with trees strewn with lights and a vibrant charm spread throughout the ski resort. Hotels will have holiday decorations and a warm, cozy energy about them.
Many hotels in ski resorts will schedule special holiday events during this time in December! Christmas carolers, cookie making, menorah lighting, and visits by Santa are just a few holiday events to look forward to on a December calendar.
Again, similar to November, you will likely find great promotions and value in lift ticket pricing and hotel rates in early December. Once closer to Christmas, those rates will increase, as the festive holiday season is one of the highest seasons in ski country. This holiday season extends until the end of the first week in January.
Skiing in Colorado in January
January ski conditions get better as the month progresses. January in Colorado is typically very cold so the snow that falls is great for skiing and snowboarding! The base of snow at Colorado ski resorts increases quite a bit in January, making it so the ski resorts can open more and more ski runs to enjoy.
You could still find some great deals and promotions in early January. Once we’re further along into mid-January and most of the resort’s terrain is open the prices increase.
Late January skiing is great! By then, you’ll have fantastic snow, and the chillier temperatures keep the snow light and fluffy – perfect for powder skiing.
Skiing in Colorado in February
The snow at Colorado ski resorts in February is the best! By this time, Colorado snowfall should be at a high in the mountains, making it the perfect time to hit the slopes. All of the ski terrain will be open and the ski season will be in full swing.
Pricing for lift tickets and hotels will be on the higher side as February is considered to be the high season for skiing in Colorado. It’s also one of the best times to ski in Colorado!
President’s weekend is one of the busiest holiday weekends at Colorado ski resorts since kids are out of school and many families decide to take a ski vacation. Expect to see more crowds during President’s weekend and lift lines to be a little longer. For snow conditions, February is one of the best times to visit Colorado.
Skiing in Colorado in March
March skiing is wonderful because of the great snow conditions and pleasant weather. There’s typically a lot of snow on the Colorado mountains at this point, making it a skiing and snowboarding paradise!
The average temperatures in Colorado are higher in March, so the days will be a little bit warmer and sunnier. The warmer temperatures can make the snow softer, especially towards the end of March. March is the perfect time to enjoy time outside in the sun on the slopes, as the warmth and typical Colorado blue sky make it a lot more comfortable. March also tends to be the snowiest month in Colorado! If you schedule your ski vacation for March you have a greater chance of skiing in fresh powder.
The ski slopes in Colorado in March tend to be more crowded because of spring break. Families like to bring the kids skiing and snowboarding during March because they have a break from school. If you aren’t bringing your kids skiing, try to make plans for early in the month or late, for fewer crowds.
This post is all about the best time to ski in Colorado.
Skiing in Colorado in April
April is a warmer month so the snow becomes slushier and heavier.
The upsides to skiing conditions in Colorado in April are the sunshine and longer days! Spring is in the air and you can feel it on the ski slopes. If it’s warm enough, you won’t even need a jacket!
On the flip side, a snowstorm could come through at any time in April in Colorado and provide the resorts with some new fresh snow.
Pricing for lift tickets and lodging will be back down to lower rates as April is a slower season for the ski business. It’s one of the best times to visit Colorado if you prefer lots of sunshine and warmth and are looking for lower pricing.
When Does Ski Season End in Colorado?
Ski resorts in Colorado close in mid-April. But, sometimes the ski season will be extended and they’ll stay open longer if the snow is great! Thus, in a fantastic snow year, you could end up with a longer ski season! You can find yourself skiing into late April!
So, to answer the question of when does the ski season end in Colorado, well, it depends on the snow. Typically, mid-April but always open for change.
Packing Tips for a Ski Trip
You can find the best ski trip packing list here! This list will prepare you with what to wear, the ski accessories you’ll need, equipment, and even some extra things you might not be thinking about!
I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide to the best months to ski or snowboard in Colorado!
I’ve outlined the best months to hit the slopes and what to expect when you go. This way, you can make the very best decision when planning your winter ski vacation. And if you’re a late-season skier and curious when does the ski season end in Colorado, you’ll find this information here too.
With this information in hand, you’re ready to plan your winter ski trip to Colorado that will have you shredding powder on some of the most legendary runs in North America. You now know the best times to visit Colorado!
The next time you’re planning a ski trip to Colorado, be sure to keep this guide in mind!
Whether you’re a seasoned expert skier or snowboarder or a beginner just starting out, this guide will help you know when exactly to go.
Looking for where to stay in Aspen Snowmass? Click here to read about 23 of the BEST hotels and resorts in Aspen, Colorado.