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Night Moves: Where to ski and ride after dark in Colorado

Night Skiing
Night skiing at Steamboat Resort 

By Sarah Tuff Dunn

Last chair, 2:30. Last chair: 3:15. Last chair: 4pm. Sigh. Signs that another ski day is about to come to a close in Colorado Ski Country.

Or are they? Because there’s no such thing as last chair (or one in the afternoon, anyway) when you can click back into your skis or strap into your snowboard at one of these ski areas for much less than the cost of a regular lift ticket once the rest of the world has retreated into their cars, the bars and their condos.

Steamboat Springs: Starting at 5:30 p.m., head to the Christie Peak Express to climb to 8,000 feet and hit Sitz, See Me, Vogue, Stampede and L’il. tickets from $29.

Granby Ranch: Twenty miles from Winter Park, Granby Ranch features four special nights of skiing from 5 to 8 p.m.—December 28, January 15, February 15 and March 14. Just $15 gets you free hot chocolate and cookies, too.

Night Skiing at Echo Mountain 

Echo Mountain: This newly revitalized resort now offers skiing and riding Wednesday through Saturday nights from 4:30 to 9 p.m.; rip intermediate trails for $30 when you buy tickets in advance online.

Skiing and riding, my family and I have found—first in New England and now in Colorado—take on a new dimension after dark. Conversations become a bit deeper as we ride the lift, peering down below at the lights’ spellbinding glow. We count the stars as they begin to pinprick the indigo sky, and sip from a tiny Thermos of hot chocolate tucked into my parka. And then we slide off into the night, simultaneously enveloped by darkness and illuminated by light. The only last chair seems to be the one dancing in our heads as we finally head home and drift off to sleep.


Sarah Tuff Dunn

Sarah Tuff Dunn recently moved to Louisville, Colorado, with her husband, Carlton, and their two children, Dillon, 12, and Harper, 10. They’re looking forward to exploring the world-class skiing in Colorado, aided by the Colorado Ski Country 5th and 6th Grade Passport Program. Sarah has been writing professionally for nearly 25 years and her work has appeared in The New York Times, SKI, Skiing and Powder, among other publications. Read more of Sarah’s stories here and follow along with her Colorado skiing journey here