Top 3 Best Ski Resorts in Colorado for Beginners
Trying out any sport for the first time can be both intimidating and challenging. Because you may be new to this thrilling and invigorating sport, perhaps it’s best that you take a few moments to read this and discover what we’ve found to be the three best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners. This is particularly true for skiing since, among other things, the gear and equipment may be overwhelming to use as a novice. Also, things like the entire concept of chair lifts between massive snow-capped peaks may sound a bit daunting. All these factors make the sport look extremely challenging. Something that helps to make a big difference, in Colorado, is the presence of many beginner and avid skiers in the region from all across the world. You may be a beginner, but so will many other people be, as well.
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If you’re a beginner learning how to ski, or perhaps bringing your family to these Colorado ski areas for the first time, then it’s not only necessary but also essential that you look for a resort that will adequately cater to you. Fortunately, in Colorado, you’ll find quite a lot of ski resorts that serve beginner level skiers. Some of the things that you will want your resort to have will be helpful instructors, flexible lessons, easy to ski trails, and some off-mountain activities. Hopefully, you will find a bunch of resorts offering a mix of these things in Colorado. The following are the top three of the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners and first-timers.
The Keystone Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners. Situated two hours of drive away from Denver, it’s a resort that comprises of three various mountain peaks having more than 3000 acres of terrain. You will find chairlifts, gondolas, and magic carpet lifts all around you once you are at Keystone Resort. Out of the 3148 acres, 19 percent is reserved for beginner skiing. This is a pretty big chunk of the trail that beginners can enjoy, with stunning views of Keystone’s Independence Mountain, Keystone Peak, and Wapiti Peak. These views really set Keystone Resort apart from other resorts in the area since it gives beginners a unique experience of the alpines in the region.
Also, it’s important to note that the beginners here are not entirely sectioned off to a different area. This is because the trails are scattered throughout the mountains, making it easier for you to ski together as a family despite being at different levels of expertise. Moreover, the trails are placed as such that you can ski separately by splitting off, but then converge and come back for lunch or snacks. The longest run at the resort is almost 3.5 miles long and includes the trail for beginners, so skiers of all skill levels can ski together.
The learning area at Keystone is at the height of 11640 feet on Dercum Mountain, yet another reason beginners will absolutely love skiing at Keystone. Furthermore, there is another trail which is called the base area, having a chairlift and many magic carpets. The learning area is a slow skiing zone where beginners and first-timers will be safe and comfortable while practicing and learning the sport. This area also has a magic carpet and a small chairlift for you to diversify your experience.
There are also a variety of options available to you for skiing lessons, and the resort is perfect for beginner-level ski and snowboard instructions. One another great thing about the resort is that the instructors here are very patient regardless of how many mistakes you make. They help you learn to ski in an enjoyable and stress-free environment. This makes it several times more comfortable for beginners to learn the sport as skiing is already on its own, a daunting and challenging activity to do. There is also flexibility in terms of the lessons you want to choose. You can pick any lesson category from private, semi-private, group and family. An added bonus to learning skiing here is that many instructors around here are multilingual. Thus, it is even easier for you to learn the sport and break the language barrier if you are not a local tourist.
At Keystone, once you feel ready to ski trails that are novice and longer, you can simply take the Schoolmarm trail. As a first-timer, you will have to take a gondola to the learning area and will learn to use skis along with moving around on a slightly inclined surface. Once you learn through detailed instructions and frequent practice of how to stop and fall, you will be riding the magic carpet. It will be an experience of its kind where a rubber belt like that of a conveyer will take you up a small incline. After reaching the hilltop, it will be time for you to ski side by side with your instructor down the hill.
Apart from all this, the lodging at Keystone is also suited to beginners and first-timers since it is warm and welcoming. There are more than 700 accommodation spaces that are like condos. In addition to that, there are free buses that make transportation easier within the area. It also has a separate transportation system within the resort that is free of cost and helps you commute easily between the lots and the lodges.
Also, since beginners may not be skiing all the time and might need breaks, Keystone Resort offers other activities for them as well. There is a spa and a fitness center and very scenic and beautiful dinner sleigh rides, snow tubing, ice skating, and other adventure tours. The resort also offers a program for kids called “Kidtopia”, which consists of several creative activities.
Another one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners, is Telluride. Telluride is the perfect resort for you if you are a beginner and prefer less crowded spaces with breathtaking views of the mountainous terrains. Contrary to other comparable resorts, Telluride extends a plethora of terrain options to the beginners, with 23 percent of its 2000 acres’ terrain dedicated to beginners. These ski trails are situated more than 11000 feet above sea level, giving anyone skiing here an unforgettable experience. One of the prime Telluride beginner ski areas is made up of the runs off of the Prospect Bowl Express lift. It allows first-time skiers to discover the entire mountain and ski on the runs of the green circle.
The beginner level terrain is recently built and has a 320 feet covered lift made of a magic carpet. The experience of riding this lift is enhanced during windy or snowy weather on the slopes. Also, majority of the ski trails for beginners are separate from those of the experts or skiers at other levels. Thus, when you are skiing, you will be accompanied by people on the trails who are also beginners like you. For novice snowboarders, there is a separate terrain park called the Ute Park Beginner Terrain Park. It’s an area where beginners learn to do jumps and other tricks while snowboarding. Moreover, the blue trails can be accessed through all the lifts of the resort, making it easier for the intermediate level skiers to ski together.
Beginners can access their trails here using the Prospective Bowl Express chairlift. From this chairlift, you will take the Galloping Goose run, which is the longest to Madison, and when you will look up from the bottom of the run, you will be mesmerized by the beautiful view of the Palmyra Peak. While coming back from the run, you can choose to slow down and take your time appreciating the beauty all around. The run will then lead you to the Big Billie’s Restaurant.
The resort itself is a unique experience due to its split personality. This particular ski resort links the two district enclaves, which are Mountain Village and Town. It’s a resort that is neither too big nor too small. It’s just the right size for a full-blown ski resort with fantastic bars, restaurants, and shops. You will absolutely love the vibe and the views in the new construction that has taken place in Mountain Village as it’s surrounded by beautiful mountains.
Some of the features that make Telluride the best skiing spot for beginners include easy to manage and extensive slopes, dedicated beginner’s area, particular areas for slower skiers, valley runs that are easy, an abundance of practice lifts near the base and at the feeder lift in the resort.
There is also a ski school called the Telluride Ski School that helps first time skiers and beginners progress and improve their skills. Lessons with this ski school will significantly enhance your skiing experience. The school uses a mixture of conventional American teaching system along with contemporary, and customizable techniques for imparting skiing knowledge in a better and effective manner. Moreover, you will find the privilege of private lessons, which will include a maximum of 5 students. This lesson can include your entire friends’ group or family as well. For children, there are group lessons with the size of the group varying between 3-4. Children can also get private lessons at Telluride.
Other things that you can explore at this resort apart from skiing are ice climbing, snowmobiling, and snowshoeing tours. You can also explore Downtown Telluride and Main Street, which are highly recommended by the tourists who visit Telluride.
Granby Ranch is another one of the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners. Tucked inside the Rocky Mountains, Granby Ranch is a hidden treasure. It’s a small, family-owned resort and is considered to be one of the best skiing spots for beginners to learn the sport. It’s based on the conventional family value of togetherness. It features two gigantic mountains, out of which one is purely dedicated for beginner level skiing with green and blue runs. Since it’s operated by a family, this resort is suited to take care of families. Comparatively, it’s a smaller resort with only 400 acres of terrain with about a mean of 41 trails. All the trails from both the mountains eventually converge at the base area so you can easily meet or have a break with your family and friends while skiing.
This resort is considered to be the ideal spot for beginner level skiers and for families who are looking forward to ski together. Moreover, it’s also extremely affordable, so it’s an experience that you can go on for year after year. Also, you get the chance to ski during the night under a sky full of stars. Night Skiing is a fun and memorable experience, but to be able to try it, you will need to check if it’s available. It takes place over the weekends and is usually not available in the first week of the month. For families, night skiing is easier at Granby Ranch since the elders can be confident and stress-free about their children skiing without daylight. This is because the starting and ending point for all the trails is the same. This is an added bonus, unlike other big resorts that Granby Ranch offers. Children are less likely to get lost in the mountain and woods.
The resort is not very complicated. Due to its size, location and construction, Granby Ranch is easily accessible from Denver and is easy to park, afford and ski. This makes the resort a perfect spot for beginners. The first-time skiers can quickly locate things around the resort and focus all their energy and time in learning to ski than worry about directions and accessibility. Granby Ranch also offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing for all its visitors. You can access these skiing and snowshoeing trails even if you are taking a chairlift or heading right onto the golf covered draped in snow via your vacation rental.
The skiing lessons that you can participate in range from being in a group, small group to being fully private. They can also be either full-day or half-day lessons, depending on what you prefer and whether you want to explore other activities as well. The instructors around Granby Ranch are also very positive and give all their students individual attention regardless of their skill level. Moreover, they make the lessons fun and creative, which makes it easier for beginners to learn the sport. It significantly improves the environment and, hence, leads to better and practical learning. With the sport being so challenging itself, this particular feature makes it a little bit less daunting and entertaining.
Other things that you can do at the resort include live music sessions and taking part in events that happen throughout the month, such as bonfires and art sessions for kids. You can also participate in hiking, biking, golfing, and fishing if you visit the resort during the warmer season. The lodging options at the resort include slope side condos, townhouses, cabins, and luxury homes. It’s true that all these options are beautiful to spend your vacations in and give you a warm, homely feeling during your mountain getaway. You can also get a luxurious accommodation on the slope side, which is located at the base of the resort. You can also enjoy your lunch and dinner at Granby Ranch Grill, which will give you a warm and cozy feeling right in the middle of the mountains. On the other hand, for breakfast and morning coffee, you can visit the Barista Station before beginning your ski lessons.
It’s true that skiing is not an easy sport to learn or master. It has its own challenges, and the gear and equipment also make the sport appear daunting. Yet, skiing is next-level fun and entertainment once you learn the skills and practice them. The feeling while sliding down the slopes is next to none, and you will enjoy every bit of it. However, the key to learning is choosing a resort that will provide you with comfort and learning opportunities at the same time.
The key features every beginner would like to have in a skiing resort will basically be a combination of easy to manage slopes, designated tracks for beginners, a skiing school with a variety of lessons, patient and helpful instructors and easy to navigate resort. It will be a bonus if the lodging in the area is cozy, warm, and pleasant with a range of options and also if there are various eateries within the vicinity. First-time skiers may also be looking forward to other activities than skiing since they may have time on their hands. So, for them, a resort should also offer a couple of other activities too, such as golf or bonfire.
In Colorado, which is called the skier’s paradise, it’s not challenging to locate resorts. Due to its popularity, you will be able to spot a resort quickly. However, if you are a beginner, then you need to do some research before blindly choosing a resort. A ski resort for you needs to have the facilities that will cater to you and help you learn to ski. There are few resorts in Colorado that are best suited for this. Keystone, Telluride, Granby Ranch are our three picks out of all these. They have specific trails for beginners and also have other entertainment and fun options for you to explore. The ski schools are also well-equipped with kind and skillful instructors.
So, if you’re a newbie who is planning a skiing vacation, please feel free to choose any of the aforementioned three best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners!