Where and How To Snowboard In Colorado: A Guide

Colorado is the place to be for skiers and snowboarders in the United States.

It has the best terrain parks and slopes, as well as the biggest mountains and most favorable conditions.

In this guide, we’ll tell you all that you need to know about snowboarding in the Rocky Mountain State, including the best snowboard resorts, the average costs, and more.

Whether you’re planning a spot of night skiing or an epic snowboarding adventure, you’ll find what you’re looking for here.

How Much Does it Cost to Snowboard in Colorado?

If you’re paying by the day, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 depending on the size of the resort.

The longer you stay, the cheaper those daily prices will be, with most resorts offering great value for stays of around three days.

That’s just the lift ticket, though.

If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably need some snowboarding gear (rentals begin at around $40 a day) and also need to think about transport and accommodation.

Generally speaking, snowboarding is not cheap, but it will be more cost-effective if you’re within driving distance of those Colorado ski resorts and already own some gear.

What Time of Year Can You Snowboard in Colorado?

Typically, Colorado ski resorts are open longer than resorts in other parts of the country.

However, the actual dates differ from resort to resort.

Most open in early October and close in late April.

One of the most notable exceptions is Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, which often remains open until June and can even stay open until early July.

What Are the Best Colorado Ski Resorts?

Colorado is known for its snowboarding and ski resorts.

They are some of the best in the world, and the following list is the cream of the crop.

The resorts and prices discussed below were checked for single-night stays during early December.

Prices may vary depending on when you stay and when you book.

Telluride Ski Resort

Telluride Ski Resort has more than 2,000 acres of terrain for you to cover.

There are slopes for all skill levels and a free gondola that transports snowboarders and skiers from the towns of Telluride and Mountain Village.

You can stay in either Telluride or Mountain Village and there are many great options available.

Make a beeline for the UTE Terrain Park, as it serves as the perfect introduction to the resort.

Where to Stay in Telluride Ski Resort

  • Most Convenient – The Peaks Resort and Spa ($400): The Peaks is just 350 yards from the ski lift and it includes everything you need for a comfortable stay.
  • Most Luxurious – Mountain Village Dream ($350): Although it’s not the most expensive option, you will struggle to find a more beautiful and cozier hotel than this.
  • Most Affordable – The Bivvi Hostel Telluride ($150): At $150 a night, the Bivvi Hostel is a bargain for your stay in Telluride.
  • Best Choice Overall – Mountain Village Dream ($350): A great all-round option for your stay in Telluride.

Keystone Resort

Keystone is famous for its world-class terrain parks, including the 60-acre Area 51, which welcomes both beginners and experienced boarders.

There is a dedicated chair lift providing access so you can spend all day at the park.

It’s not just the terrain park, either, as Keystone is a great all-round resort for skiers and boarders.

Where to Stay in Keystone Resort

  • Most Luxurious – Timbers and Lone Eagle by Keystone Resort ($480): There are more expensive options available, but this one has everything you need for a comfortable stay.
  • Most Affordable – The Keystone Lodge and Span by Keystone Resort ($250): A very affordable stay in a beautiful part of the world.
  • Best Choice Overall – Timbers and Lone Eagle by Keystone Resort ($480): A fantastic option that has an incredibly high rating on most booking sites. At the time of writing, we tried booking several months in advance and there were no rooms available, so you’ll need to act quickly.

Vail Mountain Resort

Vail Mountain Resort is the largest in Colorado, as well as one of the biggest in the world.

There are long runs that span the side of the mountain and overlook the town of Vail.

There are slopes here for snowboarders of all levels and the beautiful town of Vail has plenty of restaurants, grocery stores, and accommodation.

Where to Stay in Vail Mountain

  • Most Convenient – Arrabelle at Vail Square ($560): Although it’s expensive, the Arrabelle is just 100 yards from a ski lift and includes a ski pass vendor and ski storage.
  • Most Luxurious – Four Seasons Resort Vail ($830): The Four Seasons is a truly beautiful location. It’s about 750 yards from the ski lift but it’s a truly magical place to spend your vacation in Vail.
  • Most Affordable – Tivoli Lodge ($270): The listed price is actually deeply discounted at the time of writing and the initial price is listed at $440. If you can get a room in this hotel for sub $280, it’s a bargain.
  • Best Choice Overall – Grand Hyatt ($450): At between $400 and $500 per night on average, the Grand Hyatt is definitely not a cheap option, but it’s only 1 mile from the center of town and is easily one of the most beautiful hotels around.

If the options above are out of your price range, check out the nearby towns of Silverthorne, Avon, Eagle, and Frisco.

Purgatory Mountain Ski Resort

Purgatory Mountain Resort used to go by the name Durango Mountain Resort.

It is located outside of Durango and is a very friendly and relaxed location that offers great value for money in the San Juan Mountains.

Despite its ominous name, Purgatory is best for beginner skiers and boarders and also has plenty of slopes tailored toward intermediates.

Where to Stay in Purgatory Mountain Resort

  • Most Convenient: Purgatory Townhome ($300): Located just a stone’s throw from the resort. It’s a very popular location and was all booked out when we did our research.
  • Most Luxurious: DoubleTree by Hilton ($180): If you’re looking for 5-star accommodation, there isn’t much on offer, but this is still a decent hotel in the low to medium price range.
  • Most Affordable: Days Inn by Wyndham Durango ($75): A very cheap location that covers all of the basics and is a short drive from the resort.
  • Best Choice Overall: General Palmer Hotel ($170): A Durango hotel with a four-star rating and lots of great reviews on booking sites.

More Great Resorts in Colorado

There are many ski resorts in CO, and the above list is just a snippet of the options at your disposal.

It’s by no means a complete list, and we have included a few more options below:

Steamboat Ski Resort

Located outside the town of Steamboat Springs, this resort is based on Mount Werner and is famous for its powder snow.

The town of Steamboat Springs has an Old West vibe and is perfect if you’re looking for a rustic break.

Copper Mountain

Copper Mountain is less than an hour’s drive from Denver and spans nearly 2,500 acres of terrain with 23 ski lifts.

The elevation is very high and Copper Mountain slopes into a beautiful little village with lots of shops and places to stay.

Aspen Snowmass

Aspen Snowmass spans four ski and snowboard areas, including Aspen Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Buttermilk.

Aspen Mountain and Aspen Highlands are best for experienced riders and Snowmass Village has lots of beautiful shops.

As for the town of Aspen, it’s probably one of the most famous ski towns of all and is known to attract lots of celebrity guests, many of whom don’t even venture onto the slopes.

Beaver Creek Resort

Beaver Creek is part of the Vail Resorts family and is a short trek from Vail.

It is a very friendly resort with around 1,800 acres and the town is welcoming and cozy.

Breckenridge Ski Resort

Lots of high skiing and snowboarding opportunities with plenty of equipment rentals and facilities for children.

The town of Breckenridge is cute, quaint, and offers gondola access to the mountain.

Winter Park

Winter Park is a low-cost resort that’s tailor-made for snowboarders. It includes a huge superpipe with over 85 features.

What Equipment Will I Need to Snowboard in Colorado?

You can buy equipment in advance of visiting Colorado ski resorts or you can drop by some of the local rental shops.

If you’re new to the sport, we recommend the latter, as there’s no point stocking up on expensive equipment just to discover that it’s not for you.

The equipment you will need for snowboarding in Colorado includes:

  • A Snowboard
  • Snowboard Boots
  • Bindings
  • Snowboard Pants
  • A Snowboarding or Skiing Jacket
  • Base Layers
  • Gloves
  • A Helmet
  • Goggles

You may also want to wear a snug hat underneath your helmet, providing extra protection against the harsh Colorado winters.