This Colorado Ski Safari visits many of the best areas in the Rocky Mountains. It’s a scenic drive, bringing you to amazing ski terrain and fun ski towns. Flying into Denver – it’s a ski a tour. You can then fly out of Aspen Montrose, or Eagle Vail, or return to Denver. These are great ski villages and legendary après ski towns too, so you can stay a few nights at each! Here’s our recommended ski tour and itinerary:
Copper Mountain – Vail – Beaver Creek – Snowmass – Aspen Mountain – Aspen Highlands
Denver – Copper Mountain – 1:50
Copper Mountain – Vail – 30 Minutes
Vail – Beaver Creek – 20 Minutes
Beaver Creek – Snowmass at Aspen – 1:45
Snowmass – Aspen Mountain – 20 Minutes
Aspen Mountain – Aspen Highlands – 10 Minutes
Aspen Highlands – Denver – 3:50
We recommend driving, renting a car, preferably four-wheel drive or you will need chains for the snowy Vail Pass. This Colorado ski tour starts with under two-hour’s drive west from Denver airport on the infamous I70 to Copper Mountain, your first ski stop.
We suggest you bring your own skis, snowboard, since renting ski equipment at each resort is time consuming and expensive. Also look into buying an Epic and Ikon Pass in advance – saving you money versus pricy day lift tickets, Copper and Aspen are IKON resorts, while Vail and Beaver Creek are EPIC.
Copper is just under two hours from Denver (DEN), super convenient, just off I70, an easy first destination, for your first ski day, even arrival day skiing. Copper has a bunch of fun groomers on the front side served by swift high-capacity lifts. Copper’s upper mountain gets more interesting, less tame out back on Tucker Mountain and Copper Bowl where its double black – not groomed. Copper’s 2,500 acres of skiable terrain reaches up to 12,441’ so be sure you acclimate to the elevation by drinking plenty of water. Copper has a great base village for on-mountain lodging and après ski. See our Review of Copper skiing.
Copper to Vail is just a half hour on I-70 over Vail Pass – which reaches elevations of 10,500’ and can be snowy – check road conditions for closures.
Vail is an amazing ski resorts with so ,much terrain – over 5,200 acres! And Vail village is a beautiful replica of a Bavarian Alps ski town with chalet lodging, brick pedestrian streets and plenty of après ski options. You’ll want to ski Vail for a few days, to explore the 200 trails on the well-pitched, but not-too-steep, front side plus the immense 3000-acre above-tree-line Back Bowls. Vail has fun après ski, live entertainment, and so many lodging options. See our review of Vail.
Beaver Creek is just 15-minutes from Vail, in the town of Avon. We love Beaver Creek for its fewer crowds – particularly on weekends, long fall line trails and the perfectly planned mountain village. The Beav’ is like Vail’s smart little sister, not as huge, but still interesting, and a bit more posh with its Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch area and upscale homes and hotels. See our Beaver Creek ski review.
Ski Beaver Creek before heading to Aspen – under two hours away.
Aspen is special – a great ski town with four unique ski areas, see our Aspen ski review. Plan several days in this iconic ski resort to ski massive Snowmass, and challenging Aspen Highlands, plus the main ski resort in town – Aspen or Ajax as locals call it. Aspen aprés ski is legendary. You may want to lodge slopeside at Snowmass at the Viceroy or Limelight, or in town at St Regis, Hotel Jerome or Little Nell, or at The Ritz at Aspen Highlands base.
Your heart of Colorado ski safari concludes with a 4-hour drive back to Denver, unless you arrange to fly out of Aspen, or Eagle Vail.
See more Ski Safaris
and our Guide to Top Ski Destinations
Top New England Ski Resorts for Families
Top Western Ski Resorts for Families
Top Family Ski Resorts in Utah
Top Canada Ski Resorts for Families
Top European Ski Resorts for Families