TOP 10 SMALL SKI AREAS IN COLORADO
Colorado is known for its world-renowned ski resorts. The major players (Vail, Aspen, Breckenridge, etc.) can be very crowded and expensive. Many locals have found that Colorado's smaller ski areas are hidden gems at a great value. Here is a list of Colorado's best small ski areas.
 
10.
SUNLIGHT

Sunlight is a very small ski area with only three lifts. Sunlight takes pride in being a better value option than the mega resorts. One of the best parts of a trip to Sunlight is staying in nearby Glenwood Springs.

9.
ELDORA

Eldora is best known for being the closest ski area to Boulder and Denver. Eldora has a good balance of terrain, with options for beginners through experts. Eldora is the place for day-skiers who want to get on the slopes as quickly as possible.

8.
POWDERHORN

Skiers describe Powderhorn as a unique experience, as the resort is built on the side of a flat-top mountain. This gives views for days. The skiing is best known for the long groomers and the terrain parks.

Powderhorn has one of the shortest ski seasons so make sure to confirm that it is open.

7.
MONARCH

Monarch is a little out of the way, but well worth the trip. Visitors typically stay in nearby Buena Vista, where they can spend their evenings relaxing in the hot springs. Monarch gets the 4th most snow of any resort in the state. The ski area is very affordable, with adult lift tickets around $90. Monarch has difficult terrain as half the runs are either black or double-black.

6.
BUTTERMILK

Buttermilk is the smallest and easiest of Aspen's four mountains. The Inn at Aspen is located at the base of Buttermilk, which is great for tourists who don't want to drive to the mountain.

Buttermilk has a good balance of difficulty, as one third of the runs are greens, one third are blues, and one third are blacks.
Buttermilk is best known for the terrain park. Buttermilk regularly hosts the ESPN Winter X Games.

Pro tip - The Inn at Aspen has an amazing restaurant/bar at the base of Buttermilk. It is called Home Team BBQ and the food is stellar.

5.
LOVELAND

Loveland is often overlooked for top ten lists, but only because it is so familiar. It is the closest to Denver of any resort along the I-70 stretch. The resort has the highest base and second highest summit (behind A-Basin) of any mountain in Colorado. It is a great option for a day trip from Denver.

4.
PURGATORY

Purgatory has a little bit of everything. The resort caters to families who typically stay in nearby Durango. Purgatory has tree skiing, two terrain parks, and plenty of intermediate skiing (over 50% of the runs are blues).

If you do stay in Durango, there is a shuttle that will take you to the ski area.

3.
WOLF CREEK

What Wolf Creek lacks in accessibility (it is a 4.5 hour drive from Denver), it makes up for in lots and lots of snow. Wolf Creek easily averages the most amount of snow of any resort in Colorado.

2.
ASPEN HIGHLANDS

Aspen Highlands is one of four ski areas in Aspen, and it is a favorite of locals. Highlands has a dramatic peak that you can see as you drive up to the resort. The area is best known for its expert terrain, especially the Highland Bowl.

1.
ARAPAHOE BASIN

Arapahoe Basin, or "A-Basin" as the locals call it, is Colorado's highest elevation ski area. The mountains tops out over 13,000 feet. Nearly every year, A-Basin is the first Colorado ski area to open (October) and the last to close (June). This is a no-frills resort that locals love. It is only an hour from Denver.

Pro tip - Turn your visit at A-Bay into a party day by booking a space at "the beach". This is the first row of parking next to the lifts and it basically turns into a tailgate party.

VEBO SMALL SKI AREAS EXPERIENCES IN COLORADO