"COLORADO - CHAMPAGNE POWDERLANDS?" Top 5 Page for this destination Colorado by mtncorg

Colorado Travel Guide: 5,758 reviews and 12,415 photos

A State shaped like Wyoming, Colorado shares magnificence in geography with its neighbor. Unlike Wyoming, many more people call Colorado 'home' - Denver is one of the fastest growing metroplexes in the US as it morphs out among the plains of the Front Range in all directions. Slightly under 1/2 of the State belongs to the farmlands of the Great Plains - maybe not an area likely to attract the casual tourist. The larger part of the State lies in the geographically complex zone of the Rocky Mountains - not a monolithic range of mountains like the Alps, Himalayas, Appalachians, Andes or Cascades as suggested by the name, but a complicated series of mountain chains interspersed by arid basins. This area is not one where you will find a lot of people - that is reserved for the cities lying along the Front Range (this IS a dramatic range of mountains that abruptly end at the edge of the Great Plains): Fort Collins-Boulder-Denver-Colorado Springs- and with a little extrapolation, Puebla. It is in the Rocky Mountains that you can find Colorado's soul, however, written in the mountains and the history - both ancient, in the case of southwestern Colorado, and more recent, in the many areas of mineral exploitation, rail expansion and outdoor travel industry.

The Front Range cities are enjoyable stops with many diversions - fine brewpubs exist both in Denver and Fort Collins. Many VT pages are so devoted. My trips to Colorado have usually involved alpine ski trips. I learned to ski as a young adult in Europe and thought there could be no better skiing. Then I discovered the Rocky Mountain resorts - Idaho, Montana, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico - but Colorado is probably the area that comes to mind for most ski enthusiasts around the US and the World. Resorts of World-class standing can be found in various regions of the Rocky Mountain areas of Colorado: Telluride, Aspen-Snowmass, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs - but in Summit County, about 2 hours east of Denver along I-70, and adjoining areas of Eagle and Grand Counties, the ski industry probably reaches its apex: Beaver Creek, Vail, Copper Mountain, Breckinridge, Keystone, Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park/Mary Jane. There is a constant battle between the Coloradan and Utahn tourist bureaus as to where the best snow and resorts are to be found. There is something to be said for both causes. Truth be told, it probably depends upon the particular snowfall in any one season. I tend to favor Colorado, but that is because I have been there more often and have friends with which to stay and from whom I can depend upon to get ski lift ticket reductions which local residents enjoy. A $92 per day Copper Mountain lift ticket is enjoyed much better at the $33 per day price afforded by a Powpow Platter card purchased online from one of the Intrawest resort websites: Copper Mountain, Winter Park, Steamboat Springs. If you can arrange to find out options beforehand, you can save a lot of money with your skiing - not unlike when flying. A little education can go a long way!!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Superb skiing, grand scenery, histroical West, stadia-crazed Denver
  • Cons:Weekend ski crowds and on I-70 from Denver can be a real drag; snows not always consistent
  • In a nutshell:Alpine Circus provided in Historical Setting
  • Intro Updated Feb 16, 2010
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Reviews (27)

Comments (14)

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2013 at 4:28 AM

    You have lots of choices for skiing, but to me, the day lift price sounds quite expensive.
    Hard to imagine a house with 21 garages, the house must have enormous!

  • karenincalifornia's Profile Photo
    Mar 13, 2010 at 3:24 PM

    Quite an encyclopaedia of CO ski resorts! Have you hit them all? It sure pays to have well-placed friends, huh?

  • mirliya's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2010 at 8:27 AM

    Mt. Massive looms to the south from Ski Cooper :) Mark,I loved this picture! Greetings from Istanbul .Dilek

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Feb 16, 2010 at 12:26 PM

    Fine detailed descriptions of Colorado's skiing areas! I wonder if they managed to sell that house with 21 garages, given the current state of the real estate market. Nice rustic opera house in Leadville! I like the story of the molybdenum mine.

  • dongix's Profile Photo
    Jan 23, 2007 at 7:54 PM

    Nice informative pages. We went to Colorado last year (not for skiing though). The view in the mountains was breathtaking.

  • Teledude's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2005 at 9:39 PM

    Great Colorado pages, I dearly miss my old adopted state here in Japan...nothing compares. Ic an't believe you mentioned Creede! I used to live there back in 1992. Great town...but unfortunately getting more developed lately. Nice mountain pages!

  • Jeannette1's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2005 at 3:35 PM

    I visited Colorado for the first time in October. It is truly a beautiful state. I enjoyed looking at your pics. The Creede hotel sounds very "off the beaten path" :-)

  • KristaB's Profile Photo
    Dec 27, 2004 at 2:51 PM

    Yes, it is an amazing destination for skiers, still seems too far to venture over just for skiing, but we are a bit crazy, almost went to Houston for Christmas (yep, I know it was snowing!) Rent carving skis and you'll see!

  • Stephen-KarenConn's Profile Photo
    Sep 15, 2004 at 5:29 AM

    Very informative pages. Most of my trips to Colorado have been in summer. I hiked/climbed to the top of Mt. Elbert about 20 years ago. Saw lightening strike a rock just a few yards from me and I felt the tingle. Scarey, but exciting since I survived.

  • ophiru's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2004 at 10:02 PM

    Hi ! Great pictures and tips ! i love your mountain pages !

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