The best season for adventure and cozy relaxation is right around the corner. To that end, here’s our guide to authentic winter escapes in Colorado and Wyoming.
Eldora: Real Good. Real Close.
For the 2023–24 season, Eldora has expanded its parking lots and, as required by Boulder County, will be implementing parking fees for single-occupancy vehicles (SOVs) on certain days.
Eldora Ski Resort, a Rocky Mountain gem nestled just outside the charming town of Nederland, Colorado, is a winter paradise that’s as convenient as it is breathtaking. Located just 21 miles west of downtown Boulder, Eldora offers outdoor enthusiasts a memorable winter mountain experience with less of the driving hassle.
Proximity and Transportation
Eldora proves to be an ideal choice for Front Range residents seeking to avoid the hassle of ski traffic. Convenient public transportation options seamlessly connect downtown Boulder to the ski resort. You can easily board the RTD’s NB bus at the Downtown Boulder Station and disembark just a stone’s throw away from the Alpenglow chairlift. In alignment with Boulder County’s commitment to sustainable transportation and Eldora’s own Play Forever sustainability ethos, the resort offers complimentary RTD tickets for travelers on the NB bus route. Additionally, on Saturdays, Sundays, and select days, visitors can enjoy complimentary round-trip shuttle services between Boulder and Eldora, further enhancing the accessibility and eco-conscious appeal of this winter destination.
Eldora boasts Colorado’s best snowmaking system and 100% coverage of groomed terrain, so there is never a worry about the quality and quantity of snow! The most difficult trails at Eldora can be found off the Corona lift, where skiers and snowboarders alike can enjoy double black diamond glades with steeps, cliffs, gullies, and more. Rentals and Lessons are available for kids to adults. Eldora’s friendly instructors, manageable size, and laid-back vibe make it the best place to learn new skills—right in your backyard.
Community and Events
Eldora also hosts many events to bring the community together. Visitors can attend 5k/10k runs, music festivals, freestyle competitions, retail sales, and more. Due to the proximity to Boulder, there are many other activities and events in town that make the ski community so close-knit. Not to mention the extensive variety of excellent dining, shopping and lodging options.
Affordable Winter Fun at Ski Cooper, CO
For the best deals on day passes, buy your tickets on skicooper.com at least two days in advance of your visit.
Get the authentic Colorado winter experience without the crowds and sky-high prices. Ski Cooper is an approachable ski resort in Leadville—perfect for families and advanced skiers. Feel the love for skiing right in the heart of the Rockies, for a great price.
Soft Snow and Less Crowds
Ski Cooper prides itself on having the softest snow surface in Colorado, and terrain variety for all abilities. From some of the best beginner trails in the country to epic powder, glades, and bumps, skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels are sure to find their flow in the natural snow here. The smiling faces and family-friendly atmosphere also makes Ski Cooper an excellent place for a family winter getaway without sacrificing the authentic Colorado resort experience. Alternatively, if you are looking to avoid busy weekend pow days, the lack of crowds and two-minute lift lines make Cooper the perfect option for a single-day weekend escape.
Passes and Tickets
Don’t have a big-name ski pass? No problem. This season, Cooper joined the Powder Alliance to explore more terrain. This means that Ski Cooper’s Season Pass offers unlimited skiing and snowboarding at Cooper, plus three free days from a choice of 21 premier winter destinations over three different countries. If you are not ready to commit to a pass, Cooper also offers extremely affordable day-pass lift tickets, as low as $30 on some Thursdays.
Off the Slopes
When you’re finished shredding the slopes, many options to refuel on the mountain or at the base await. Chow down on a burger off the grill with great summit views at the Ridgeview Café. Or, head to the Cooper Lodge to grab a drink from the full-service bar and an Irish specialty dish at Katie O’Rourke’s Irish Pub. For the meat lovers, The Timberline Taproom serves Colorado craft brews with mouthwatering smoked meats like the smoked beef and brisket chili.
The resort also has events for the whole family to enjoy, like the 10th Mountain Day on Friday, Feb. 23. Celebrate Ski Cooper’s founding in 1942 by the men of the 10th Mountain Division with a parade of flags down the Molly Mayfield Trail.
Endless Pow Days at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, WY
The 2023–24 season has been extended an extra week to give guests 143 days of mountain fun!
Spend less time in lift lines and more time on the slopes at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. With a successful 2022–2023 season under its belt, Jackson Hole is looking forward to welcoming skiers and snowboarders once again to experience the wonderful Wyoming powder.
What could be better than light, fluffy snow that seems to never end? Last season, Jackson Hole experienced its snowiest winter ever, reporting 41 days with 6 inches or more of new snow. Intermediate and expert skiers will delight in knowing that Rendezvous Bowl also experienced a record-setting 595 inches of total snowfall. This half-mile-wide and ~800-veritical-foot slope is steep and has no cat tracks, so first-timers beware. Other slopes and runs experienced excellent conditions thanks to the constant snowfall, cold temperatures, and overall quality of snow. Even on nonrecord-setting years, Jackson Hole has plenty of pow to go around.
Increased Slope Time
If you are tired of long lift lines and packed slopes, Jackson Hole has you covered. Last year, resort guests enjoyed not only record snow, but greater access to the mountain with reduced lift and wait times and advanced ticket sales. Opening the season with five lifts helped this effort, thanks to early season snowfall, continuous snowmaking efforts, and cool temps, which will hopefully continue into the 2023–24 season.
The new Thunder lift—in addition to the Aerial Tram, Sublette and Marmot lifts, and the Bridger Gondola—allows guests to enjoy 4,139 vertical feet of terrain, including Rendezvous Bowl, Cheyenne Bowl, Gros Ventre, and Tram Line. Thunder lift’s opening noticeably shortened the wait times by less than half of the previous year, giving guests more time on the snow.
Plus, the somewhat newly implemented reservation system only allows for a limited number of skiers on the slopes, and less crowds as well. Guests are able to gain greater mountain access with advanced ticket sales and required reservations for Ikon and Mountain Collective passholders. This is just one reason why Jackson Hole is truly a perfect winter destination.
The Mountain Sports School
Looking to take it to the next level? Check out the Mountain Sport School, which offers classes for beginners to experts. Learn the basics of performing an avalanche transceiver search before experiencing the backcountry, or take a private lesson to perfect specific skills. The Kids Ranch is a great way for your little ones to spend the ski vacation by exploring unique adventure trails and collecting fun stickers.
A Full Winter Vacation
Experience the highest level of service on and off the slopes. Whether you need to rent some skis, have a quick snack, or stay the night, you are sure to encounter smiling faces happy to assist you. Jackson Hole and Teton Village offer a thriving farm-to-table scene and progressive chef community, relaxing accommodations, unique shopping options, and plenty of nightlife featuring live music.
A Wild Winter in Sheridan, WY
The Bighorn Mountains have consistently been rated as one of the best places in the U.S. for snowmobiling.
Looking for a powder paradise? Well, look no further. Nestled in the heart of the Bighorn Mountains, Sheridan is a haven for all sorts of winter activities. Whether you’re drawn to the thrill of snow sports, the tranquility of snowy trails, or simply the allure of a crackling fireplace in a historic lodge, Sheridan in winter promises moments of enchantment and unforgettable memories.
Winter is the perfect season to bring the whole family to Sheridan. While the temperatures may be cold, the welcome is always warm. Take the kids sledding at The Bowl or the Trail End State Historic Site, where the rushes of adrenaline will be sure to tucker them out. Or sit behind the glass at a Sheridan Hawks hockey game, where the energy levels are truly unmatched.
Sheridan’s WYO Winter Rodeo comes to town on Feb. 10, and is something you won’t want to miss. Considered Wyoming’s wildest winter event, attendees at Sheridan County Fairgrounds can expect competitive skijoring and vendors selling delicious treats. The popular event is perfect for the whole family and exemplifies the charming winter spirit of Sheridan.
If you are looking for a little more thrill, the mountains of Sheridan are sure to impress. In the Northern Bighorn Mountains, Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area offers three lifts, 23 runs, and 1,000 feet of vertical rise on 225 acres for downhill or cross-country skiing and snowboarding. Other activities to enjoy in the area include fat biking, nordic and snowshoe trails, backpacking, and snowmobiling through Wyoming’s finest powder.
Once you are ready to warm up, there are plenty of restaurants, breweries, shops, and places to stay in Sheridan. Downtown Sheridan, off Broadway and Main Street, you can expect to find everything from cozy cafes and upscale dining experiences. Antique shops, specialty stores and boutiques call out to the shopaholics, while comfortable inns await your slumber. For a more rustic experience of Sheridan, cabins and retreats are also a great place to call home for the night.