4 affordable ski resorts in Colorado with hotels near

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Now that Ullr, the Nordic snow god, has orchestrated the winter magic that makes skiing in the Rockies so enjoyable, it’s time to plan your long-awaited Colorado ski or snowboard vacation. Colorado’s ski season continues through April (although some resorts have enough spring snow for the lifts to operate until May), so you still have time to hit the slopes this season.

The state is known for its chic ski resorts, with celebrities walking around Aspen in their furry boots. But there are also resorts that offer fun ski trips with a more realistic budget.

When planning your ski vacation, there are many things that contribute to affordability, from lift tickets and parking, to equipment rentals and hotel stays. Here are some of Colorado’s most affordable ski resorts, along with accommodation options nearby.

Editor’s note: COVID-19 protocols for ski areas are current at time of posting. However, due to the evolving nature of COVID-19, check with state and county public health websites and individual ski resorts for the latest information on case rates and policies before traveling. You should also stay current on any COVID-19-related travel restrictions that your home state, city, or county may have in place.

Monarch mountain

A lone skier enjoys an empty ski slope atop Monarch Mountain.

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The beauty of skiing at Monarch Mountain is that you trade the hustle and bustle of a bustling resort for a smooth skiing experience with wide open bowls, steep drops, and beginner-friendly greens. You can park your rental car at the foot of the mountain and walk straight to the ski lifts, which appeals to anyone who’s ever tried to lug gear and a child bound to a ski school through a snowy abyss.

Monarch is an all-natural snow mountain, which means the opening day is determined by Mother Nature. Once the powder begins to fall, however, the area accumulates impressive snow totals, averaging 350 inches per year. Monarch also has a tube park, with groomed trails to descend.


Same-day adult tickets start at $ 99. But pro tip: With a $ 59 “migration” lift ticket, Monarch is winning over those with season passes in other mountains.

Note: Chaffee County, where Monarch Mountain is located, currently recommends wearing masks in public and requires them to be used by people ages 2 and older in county buildings.

Where to stay near Monarch Mountain

Renovated roadside motels have made a comeback, and there’s no better example than the Instagram-friendly Amigo Motor Lodge (rates per night start at $ 85). The well-designed Salida hotel near Monarch Mountain has eye-catching road sign messages, traditional guest rooms as well as Airstream stays, plus plenty of succulents, rattan swings, faux fur throws, and beds. southwest splash on decorative pillows.

L'Amigo Motor Lodge - Book

L’Amigo Motor Lodge – Book

hotels.com


Eldora Mountain Resort

Snowboarders Get on a ski lift at Eldora Ski Resort near Boulder, Colorado.

Snowboarders Get on a ski lift at Eldora Ski Resort near Boulder, Colorado.

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If your vacation isn’t all about skiing, but you want a day or two on the slopes, consider Eldora, which has 680 acres of skiable terrain and is located approximately 20 miles from Boulder.

A backlit skier flies through the trees in Vail, Colorado.

A backlit skier flies through the trees in Vail, Colorado.

Rich Crowder / Getty Images

With smaller crowds and less traffic on the way, Eldora (which opened in November of this season) has a laid back vibe. Advanced skiers can take on a challenge off the Corona lift, where they will be greeted with double black diamonds. As an alternative to downhill skiing, the Eldora Nordic Center offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, with separate packages required.

Adult tickets start at $ 99. Eldora is on the Ikon Pass.

Note: Boulder County currently has a Universal Masking Policy. which requires people 2 years of age and older to wear masks in indoor public spaces. Eldora has a vaccine requirement for all employees.

Where to stay near Eldora

Retreat to nearby Boulder and stay at the St Julien Hotel and Spa (nightly rates start at $ 395), a hotel located right next to the Pearl Street Pedestrian Mall. Give those leg muscles a bit of pampering at the spa, which features a “Colorado Bliss” CBD massage that includes lavender and sage.

Hotel & Spa Saint-Julien

Hotel & Spa Saint-Julien

tripadvisor.com


Or, for a budget stay, head to the Hilton Garden Inn Boulder (nightly rates start at $ 129), which has a boutique feel with local art, Boulder-made snacks, and playful pops of color. .

Hilton Garden Inn Boulder

Hilton Garden Inn Boulder

hilton.com


Vail Ski Resort

Vail and affordable belong to the same phrase? Probably not. But the flaw here is if you are an Epic Pass holder. This golden ticket gives you all-season access to Vail, which is the fourth largest ski area in the United States and an absolute Colorado classic that’s worth planning a vacation if you’re coming to ski or snowboard. (The Epic Pass costs $ 879, which includes this year’s 20% price reduction).

Vail has 195 trails spread over 5,317 skiable acres. Daring Greyhounds love the unkempt surprises the Siberian and Mongolian bowl offers while the Sun Up and Sun Down bowls offer spectacular views. There’s a lot to discover here and even Colorado natives feel like Vail, which opened for the 2021-22 season in November, has endless roads to explore.

Note: Eagle County, where Vail is located, has a county-wide mask mandate for interior spaces. Vail Ski Resort requires face coverings on the gondola and proof of vaccination for visitors 12 and older is required to eat indoors at mountain restaurants.

Where to stay in Vail

For a hygge-meets-luxury stay, book a room at The Hythe (rates per night start at $ 309). The hotel recently unveiled its $ 40 million makeover, and it has warm touches throughout, including bespoke lobby furniture draped in faux fur throws, woven wool lanterns, and a huge fireplace. But for the best après-ski vibes, the all-new Margie’s Haas located in the hotel will serve raclette at the table.

La Hythe - Vail

La Hythe – Vail

hotels.com


Purgatory station

A skier on a ski lift ascending through snow covered pine trees at the Purgatory Resort.

A skier on a ski lift ascending through snow covered pine trees at the Purgatory Resort.

Kara Grubis / Getty Images

Known for its ski value, you can get weekday lift tickets early in the season for as little as $ 39 per day at the Purgatory Resort, located in the San Juan Mountains near Durango and open for the season in November. In January, those weekday prices climb to around $ 71, but it’s still a steal.

Purgatory has 1,600 skiable acres, several snow parks and many fun activities to complete your ski vacation. You can ride the Inferno Mountain Coaster, which you control with hand brakes for a slow, scenic ride or a fast, adrenaline-filled adventure. Roller coaster carriages can zoom up to 25 miles an hour, and the 4,000-foot-long track has plenty of twists and turns.

Note: Although a mask warrant is not in place, San Juan Basin Public Health recommends that people mask themselves when in businesses and indoor public spaces.

Where to stay near Purgatory

Nearby, Durango offers several accommodation options. The Strater Hotel (nightly rates start at $ 147) is a restored historic hotel that doubles as a living history museum, chronicling the mining tales of the area. This downtown Durango spot has an old western saloon where you can sit up to the bar as well as a regular lineup of live music that you can enjoy after taking off your ski boots for the day.

Historic Strater Hotel

Historic Strater Hotel

hotels.com


Or for a contemporary stay, the Springhill Suites by Marriott (nightly rates start at $ 87) have spacious suites, an outdoor fireplace, indoor pool, and hot tub.

Springhill Suites by Marriott Durango

Springhill Suites by Marriott Durango

hotels.com


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