6 Tips for Planning your First Colorado Ski Trip

Having it be my first ski trip to Colorado, I definitely ran into some mishaps while traveling. Here are 6 helpful tips to maximize your time when planning your first Colorado Ski trip!

Back Bowls in Vail, CO
Back Bowls in Vail, CO

Visiting Vail Ski Resort in Colorado?

Learn how to Plan the Ultimate Skip Trip to Vail, Colorado.

6 Tips for Planning your First Colorado Ski Trip

Tip #1: Plan the first day in Denver to prevent altitude sickness

plan to watch the sunset at Red Rocks Amphitheater before your start your Colorado ski trip
Watching the sunset at Red Rocks Amphitheater, Colorado

When planning for your Colorado ski trip, skip the skiing for at least 24 hours after arriving in Denver.

Altitude sickness is a real thing.

Let your body get acclimated with the higher elevation, so you’re not huffing-and-puffing and struggling up and down the mountain.

What should you do instead? Explore the city!

Tip #2: Rent a car, especially with AWD

When planning your transportation for your Colorado ski trip, I would HIGHLY recommend to not drive to and from the ski resort every day.

Our experience: Four hours of driving each day definitely took a toll on our bodies, and Highway 70 is so sketchy at night, especially when it’s snowing. We definitely wished we saved our time from driving to explore more of the mountain’s main villages.

Reserve cars well in advance. AWD vehicles get reserved quickly during this season.

Tip #3: Stay at the ski resort for at least 2-3 days

snowboarder on a ski lift in Beaver Creek Ski Resort Colorado
Beaver Creek Ski Resort, Colorado

When planning your ski trip, plan to stay at a Colorado ski resort for at least 2-3 days. There is so much to see when visiting these large ski resorts.

One day isn’t possibly enough to explore all of the best runs.

Explore the frontside one day, then backside for the next; or split different peaks for different days.

Stay at a ski resort for at least 2 days to fully enjoy the resort and its main village.

That being said, note that I recommend at minimum a total of 4-5 days for your whole ski trip for visiting one resort.

I’m so glad I took off two weeks, so I was able to enjoy the city of Denver, as well as multiple ski resorts!

List of the resorts I visited (from favorite to least):

  1. Vail
  2. Breckenridge
  3. Beaver Creek

Note that these resorts are all under the Epic Local Pass, which brings me to my next tip…

Tip #4: Buy the Epic Local Pass

snowboarder at the back bowls in Vail Ski Resort Colorado
Back Bowls at Vail Ski Resort, Colorado

Okay, to be honest… Purchasing the Epic Local Pass for the season was SO well worth it.

Staring at that $700 price tag initially deterred me, but by the end of the day (or the season really), it basically pays off itself, especially during your trip to Colorado.

Why you should purchase the Epic Local Pass:

  • It saves time from going in the ticket line
  • You never feel rushed going through the mountain or day, because “you need to make this one day worth it.” You have the whole season!
  • You’ll for sure go more than “7 times” to make it worth your money
  • Discounts for food and retail

Trust me. Just buy it!

Tip #5: Bring your own snowboard / ski gear

snowboarder with mountains at Breckenridge Ski Resort Colorado
Snowboarding at Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado

If you’re planning your ski trip to Colorado for the recommended time of 4-5 days, I’d recommend bringing your own gear, or at least bringing a majority of items, so you’re not worrying about rentals every day and waiting in line. Plus, more time to eat, sleep, or pregame, right?!

Forgot to pack some items?

Check out the REI in Denver! Interior was worth seeing, if you’re a fan of the store. Plus, grab whatever you forgot to pack. Colorado skiing was waaay chillier than Washington, so I’d recommend grabbing some hand warmers!

Tip #6: Explore the main villages and nearby attractions

When planning your ski trip, plan some extra time to explore the main villages and nearby attractions. Some of my favorite parts of the trip was walking down the beautifully lit streets, enjoying the local eateries, and really taking in the winter holiday season.

Breckenridge’s and Vail’s main villages were so much fun and worth checking out!

Looking for something else outside the ski resorts?

Final Thoughts

Hoping you’re able to maximize your time during your Colorado Ski Trip with these tips.

As always, feel free to comment below if you have any questions!

Check out my other posts on Colorado Skiing and Snowboarding

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