Great Places for Families to Ski and Snowboard in Colorado

December 13, 2023

We have world-class skiing here in Colorado, but skiing with a family can be a little difficult. Lift ticket prices add up quickly, and lugging everyone's gear from the parking lot to the chair lift can ruin the day. That's why our family has started to check out the smaller, independent ski resorts. They're usually more affordable, and parking is closer to the action. 

The ski resorts listed below already have more affordable lift ticket prices, but you can get an even better deal with these programs:

  • Gems Card: For $48, participants can choose two 2-for-1 lift tickets OR two 30% off lift tickets (OR one of each deal) at EACH of the following Colorado ski areas: Arapahoe Basin, Cooper, Echo Mountain, Eldora, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Purgatory, Sunlight.
  • Kids ski cheap with the 3rd-6th Grade CSCUSA Passport Program: Participants get four (4) days of skiing or snowboarding at EACH of CSCUSA's 20 member resorts for $65: Arapahoe Basin, Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, Cooper, Copper Mountain, Echo Mountain, Eldora, Granby Ranch, Hesperus, Howelsen Hill, Loveland, Monarch, Powderhorn, Purgatory, Snowmass, Steamboat, Sunlight, Telluride, and Winter Park

Places to add to your list for family skiing:
Listed in alphabetical order, here are some of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts to visit this year:

Arapahoe Basin
Guests can enjoy 1,428 acres of skiable terrain with a summit elevation of 13,050 ft. A-Basin, as the locals call it, is typically open October - June.

Skiiers and snowboarders can enjoy 480 acres of terrain with a summit elevation of 11,700 ft. Cooper is typically open for skiing from December through April. This is one of our new favorites. I love the varied terrain for beginners, plus they have a huge magic carpet for new skiers. 

Echo Mountain
Ski or snowboard your way across this 60-acre snow haven. Add tubing to your itinerary here as well. Echo Mountain is typically open November through April. 

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Eldora is known for being a great place for learning how to ski and snowboard due to its mellow terrain. You can explore nearly 700 acres of snowy mountain fun beginning in November.

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Granby Ranch
Ski day or night with the whole family across 400 acres of diverse terrain. Grandy Ranch is typically open from December through April.

Kendall Mountain
Kendall Mountain may be one of the smallest Rocky Mountain resorts at 16 acres, but it offers mighty big fun for families. With a smaller footprint and lower costs, Kendall Mountain is a family-friendly option that is great for beginner skiers and snowboarders. Tentative Opening Day for the 2023 season is December 15 at 11am.

With its close proximity to the Denver metro area, Loveland is a great skiing spot for locals and tourists alike. Adventure across 1,800 acres of beautiful snowy mountainsides. Loveland typically opens for winter operations in November.

Monarch Mountain
800 acres of fresh-powdered mountainside await families at Monarch Mountain during the winter season. Don't forget your sunscreen- the summit reaches almost 12,000 feet!

At the edge of Grand Mesa sits a winter wonderland that's ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Powderhorn offers 1,600 acres of family-friendly adventures and tree-skiing for more experienced athletes.

Sunlight Mountain Resort
Skip the crowds with family fun at Sunlight Mountain Resort, a 730-acre escape for skiers and snowboarders alike. Wrap up your vacation by warming up in the hot springs.

Get more information about Colorado's best ski resorts for families by visiting