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Six Unique Colorado Skiing and Riding Experiences

Photo Credit: Aspen Snowmass

Colorado is home to some of the most unique skiing and riding experiences around. If you’re looking for a winter activity to remember – or one that will inspire envy among your friends and family – look no further than these incredible, off-the-beaten-path ways to enjoy Colorado’s ski areas.  

  1. Enjoy your powder turns with a side of live music. The only thing better than a great day of spring skiing or riding is an après ski party accompanied by live music. There are lots of opportunities to get your groove on at Colorado ski areas this spring, including Arapahoe Basin’s Shakin’ at the Basin Spring Concert Series, Copper Live, the Eldora Music Series, and Springalicious at Steamboat Resort. Almost all Colorado ski areas host live music throughout the spring, so be sure to plan your trip to coincide with free slope-sides concerts.


  1. Check out new lifts and terrain expansions. One of the most unique Colorado skiing and riding experiences is to ride a new chairlift, or ski and ride on a new terrain expansion, before most of the world gets the chance. And Colorado ski areas are always reinvesting in their mountains, so there are lots of opportunities to be one of the first to earn bragging rights. Recent additions in the last few years have included Arapahoe Basin’s 468-acre terrain expansion into the Beavers and the Steep Gullies, including the new four-person Beavers chairlift; the three-phase terrain expansion and new lift on East Ridge at Sunlight; Copper Mountain’s 273 acres of new expert terrain on Tucker Mountain with the new Three Bears chairlift; Steamboat’s 355 acres of new terrain in the Pioneer Ridge area; and many more!


  1. Plan a Gems Card weekend. It’s the best way to see Colorado’s hidden gem ski areas in style. Gems mountains are known for being affordable, authentic, easy to access, and having incredible skiing and riding. And with the Gems Card, you’ll get even better deals at each ski area – get 30% off your lift tickets, or bring a friend for 2-for-1 lift tickets! Some Gems Card weekends we’ve explored in the past include the Front Range Gems Card Weekend, the Central Colorado Gems Card Weekend, and the Southwest Gems Card Weekend.


  1. Pair skiing or riding with world-class winter activities. Everyone knows Colorado is home to some of the best skiing and riding in the world, but did you know it’s also jam-packed with winter activities that will thrill the whole family? Colorado ski areas have everything from mountain coasters and snowmobiling to tubing, ice skating, snowshoeing, and sleigh rides. There’s no shortage of snowy activities available, for skiers and non-skiers alike.


  1. Hit the spring slopes in beachy attire. In Colorado, you can count on getting bundled up in cold-weather gear to ride powder in a mid-winter blizzard. But skiing and riding lasts well into the spring, offering the opportunity to cruise the slopes in shorts and Hawaiian t-shirts – or even a bikini. Several ski areas also host beachy-themed events, like pond skims, concerts, and Arapahoe Basin’s late-May Swimwear Day. Don’t forget the sunscreen!


  1. Go skiing or riding under the stars. Although Colorado may be known for its bluebird skies and sunny ski days, Colorado ski areas also offer skiing under the stars. Several ski areas offer regular night skiing, including Echo Mountain, Steamboat Resort, and Hesperus Ski Area. Several more ski areas offer occasional night-time access to the slopes, like Full Moon Dinners, Snowcat Dining Excursions, and Guided Gourmet Snowshoeing. There’s no better stargazing than from Colorado’s ski slopes!

Kathryn Robinson is a professional communicator at the intersection of the outdoor industry and higher education. After transplanting to Colorado from Florida, she learned to ski for the first time in her early twenties and never looked back. When she’s not on the slopes, she’s working with the Outdoor Recreation Economy program at CU Boulder, hiking, kayaking, or spending time with her family.