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Colorado: Where Snow Goes to Live Its Best Life

There’s a reason why Colorado is the #1 destination for skiers, snowboarders, and snow sports lovers of all kinds.

There are those Rocky Mountains. The views! The fresh mountain air! The sun’s sunniness! Why, Colorado’s skies put the blue in bluebird days. (Didja know that Colorado has more days of sunshine than Florida? Yeah we do.)

Colorado is home to some of the largest ski resorts in the country, as well as some of the state’s classic Gems. (See what we did there?) And those ski areas are open longer and later than almost anywhere else, which means the aforementioned skiers, snowboarders, and snow sports lovers of all kinds—we count ourselves among them, and we bet you do too—get more days making tracks on the aforementioned Rocky Mountains under the aforementioned azure skies. (That’s right, we said it: azure.)

But we who live in this glorious state, with its glorious mountains and weather and winter destinations, know that the essential ingredient, the secret sauce that makes Colorado a skier and snowboarder’s dream, is the snow. Because the snow in Colorado is some of the best in the world for skiing and snowboarding.

Why?

Colorado’s high elevation provides ideal conditions for snowfall. Many of the state’s ski resorts are located above 10,000 feet, which means that they receive large amounts of that pow-pow-powdery stuff each year. And, because of geography, the snow that falls is light and dry. Why? A lot of the storms that bring it originate in the Pacific Ocean and, on their eastward way towards the great state of Colorado, they pass right across three of the four main deserts in the US, including the Mojave. But whether those storms originate in the Pacific Ocean or Canada, their journey over deserts and other mountainous areas consumes a lot of their moisture. And just like you, they get dehydrated.

Which means that by the time most of those storm clouds hit Colorado, they’re gasping for water. Then, thanks to orographic lift, which Wikipedia reliably assures us is the scientific name for the rise that occurs when an air mass is forced from a low elevation to a higher elevation as it moves over rising terrain, the clouds climb and, as they do, they cool and voila: snow! Flurries! Blizzards even!

And, just to close the loop on this uniquely Coloradan phenomenon, dry snow, especially at elevation, is snow that stays in good condition for longer, allowing for more consistent skiing and riding throughout the state’s longer-than-average ski and snowboard season.

That season is in full swing, and it shows no signs of stopping anytime soon. So get yourself a Gems Card, if you don’t have one already, and hit the slopes, you bright, bold beginners and back bowl buffs, you careful carvers and half-pipe hotshots, you freestyle aficionados and powder pros! Here in Colorado Ski Country USA, there’s a mountain for everyone, and the snow that falls on them is the best in the world.