When most people picture Colorado in the winter, they picture pristine ski slopes, powdery fresh snow, and picturesque mountain views.
The unbeatable ski slopes and the quirky towns that accompany them have long been a draw for Mike and me. In fact, we first met in Steamboat Springs, a famous ski town in Colorado.
For us, the perfect ski and snowboard conditions always involve powder. There’s nothing better than hitting your first run of the day and realizing it’s a bluebird day.
Those mornings when the air is clear and blue, and the runs are covered in fresh powder from the night before, are unbeatable.
Colorado Ski Resorts With The Most Powder Days (Over The Past Decade)
Here are the top five Colorado ski resorts that see the highest number of powder days. To compile this list, we ranked resorts based on their 10-year cumulative powder days, but we also provided an annual average so that you’ll know what to expect.
1. A Basin – 856 days (approx 85.6 days per year)
A Basin tops our list with an incredible 85.6 days average days of powder per year. That’s almost three full months of powder days each year.
For many years, A Basin is even able to open before Halloween because of its high elevation in the Colorado Rockies. For that reason, it’s not usually a good choice if you’re trying to adjust to Colorado’s high altitudes; Winter Park or Eldora would be better options.
If you’re lucky enough to enjoy clear skies throughout the day at A Basin, be sure to stick around for the sunsets. They’re simply unparalleled.
2. Loveland Ski Area – 811 days (81.1 per year)
Loveland Ski Area is only a short drive from the Eisenhower Tunnel, not far from where we used to live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
This resort is popular with locals in Denver, so you can expect long lines for the ski lifts and congestion on the drive up. Still, it’s popular for a reason: there are diverse runs that cater to beginners and advanced skiers, so there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Loveland typically enjoys a long ski season. The resort is able to open before Halloween some years, but not quite as often as A Basin.
To unwind after a long day of skiing at Loveland Ski Area, you might even go for a dip in one of the area’s hot springs.
3. Winter Park – 771 days (77.1 per year)
Winter Park tends to get overlooked in the Colorado ski resort scene. Although it’s less glamorous than, say, Vail or Aspen, it boasts more powder days than either of those resorts. It’s also much closer to Denver, and there’s even a ski train that runs from Union Station to Winter Park.
Despite its proximity and the ski train, Winter Park is still less crowded than many of the other Colorado ski resorts on this list.
The resort has fabulous tree skiing for more advanced skiers, as well as trails that cater to beginners and advanced skiers.
Most of all, Winter Park is known for its consistent snow. In fact, it was the second snowiest resort in Colorado over the past decade, with 289.33 feet of snow, it’s nothing to sneeze at.
4. Breckenridge – 764 days (76.4 per year)
Breckenridge has long been a destination for powder chasers in the Rocky Mountains. This resort sees a stunning 76 days of powder per year, less than a day behind Winter Park.
The resort spans five peaks, each of which offers a unique skiing experience. No matter your experience level, you can find challenging runs. Then, hop back on the chair lift and try something completely different the next time.
In addition to having world-class runs and dependable snowfall, Breckenridge boasts one of the most charming ski towns in Colorado.
You can wander around the shops, restaurants, and breweries in the evenings, and you’ll probably meet some quirky locals and skiers while you’re there.
5. Copper Mountain – 722 days (72.2 per year)
You probably won’t hear Copper Mountain getting thrown around as much as, say, Breck or Loveland, but it’s definitely worth trying when you’re in Colorado. Trust us, it’s an under-the-radar type of resort, which is definitely part of its charm.
Copper Mountain is unpretentious and unassuming. You won’t find glamor or glittery facades at Copper Mountain; it’s a ski-first kind of place.
To boot, it also gets a heck of a lot of powder days. Copper Mountain came in fifth for all ski resorts in Colorado, with an impressive 72.2 days of powder per year and 722 days in total over the past decade. Not too shabby.
The town near Copper Mountain is also well worth a visit. It packs a lot of charm while being cozy and full of modern amenities. Be sure to stop for a hot cocoa, a beer, or just to have a look around after a day on the slopes.
Additional Colorado Powder Day Stats
Don’t worry if your favorite Colorado ski resort didn’t make our list because there are still plenty of powder days to be enjoyed across the Rocky Mountains.
For instance, Keystone, Steamboat, and Vail didn’t trail far behind. Each of those resorts sees over two months’ worth of powder days each year.
Here are the remaining ski resorts we didn’t outline above.
ᐧKeystone – 690 days (69 days per year)
ᐧSteamboat – 680 days (68 per year)
ᐧVail – 660 days (66 per year)
ᐧBeaver Creek – 627 days (62.7 per year)
ᐧMonarch – 589 days (58.9 per year)
ᐧEldora – 557 days (55.7 days per year)
ᐧCrested Butte – 531 days (53.1 days per year)
ᐧWolf Creek – 513 days (51.3 per year)
ᐧTelluride – 470 days (47 days per day)
ᐧSunlight Mountain Resort – 426 days (42.6 days per year)
ᐧPurgatory – 415 days (41.5 per year)
ᐧGranby Ranch – 374 days (37.4 days per year)
ᐧSilverton – 355 days (35.5 per year)
ᐧPowderhorn – 338 days (33.8 days per year)
ᐧEcho Mountain – 121 days (12.1 days per year)
What is a powder day for skiing?
When skiing, a powder day is when the slopes are covered in powdery snow after a heavy overnight snowfall. Skiing and snowboarding on powder is usually preferable because it’s a softer and more natural feeling.
Most skiers agree that the best conditions for skiing are ‘bluebird days’ when the sky is clear and the slopes are covered in powder.
What are the busiest ski days in Colorado?
The busiest ski days in Colorado typically coincide with holidays and school breaks. From Christmas to New Years is typically very busy with skiers in Colorado, as are the weekends before Martin Luther King Day and President’s Day.
The Wrap-Up: Colorado Ski Resorts With The Most Powder Days
There’s nothing quite like your first run on a bluebird morning when you get to carve your way through a layer of fresh powder.
Although all Colorado ski resorts see a decent number of powder days throughout the year, some resorts are definitely more powdery than others.
The great thing about a powder day is that it’s great for both skiers and snowboarders. I am an avid snowboarder, and Mike is a skier, but we both know that we’ll always have great runs on powder days.
Resort towns tend to book up quickly, so start planning now if you want to visit a Colorado ski resort before the end of the season.
To increase your odds of experiencing a Colorado powder day, be sure to plan for at least a few days on the mountain.