Ski season isn’t set in stone, but when planning your Colorado ski vacation, it’s helpful to know that most ski resorts do fall within a general window: November-ish through April-ish. The majority of them tend to open in late November or early December and try to stay open as long as possible. But that window tends to start closing in April when the spring sunshine begins to melt the snow.
An occasionally snowy winter can extend the ski season, however. It’s not uncommon for ski resorts to change their dates in the middle of the season, so keep your eyes on resort websites for announcements that may contribute to a last-minute springtime ski vacation. Often, ski resorts will announce extended dates in late March or toward the end of their season, when they realize the snow is going to hold out for a while longer than planned.
The 2020–2021 Colorado Ski Season
Most ski resorts open in early November and plan to end by early or mid-April. However, there are some exceptions, with some resorts not opening until December and others staying open throughout May.
- Keystone: November 6, 2020, to April 4, 2021
- Breckenridge: November 13, 2020, to May 31, 2021
- Copper: November 30, 2020, to April 25, 2021
- Vail: November 20, 2020, to April 11, 2021
- Crested Butte: November 25, 2020, to April 4, 2021
- Steamboat: November 21, 2020, to April 14, 2021
- Beaver Creek: November 25, 2020, to April 4, 2021
- Telluride: December 1, 2020, to April 5, 2021
- Aspen Snowmass: November 26, 2020, to April 18, 2021
- Buttermilk: December 18, 2020, to April 4, 2021
- Aspen Highlands: December 12, 2020, to April 4, 2021
Resorts always underestimate when choosing a closing date, so even though the estimated end-of-season dates fall in early April, many resorts actually stay open well into May. It all depends on the year's snowfall and how the season turns out.
The snow report conveniently provides day-to-day accounts of snowfall, base depth, lifts open, acres open, and other weather conditions for all of Colorado's ski resorts. These conditions change daily, so when you're planning a trip to the mountains always check the most current conditions.
The Ski Resort With the Longest Season
Arapahoe Basin, which doesn't estimate its closing date, is known for its extra-long ski season. "A-Basin," as visitors affectionately call it, is often open well into June, two whole months later than other Colorado ski resorts.
It opens the slopes earlier than other resorts, too. You can typically expect lifts to start running from mid- to late-October. This can offer more than a month of bonus ski time on the front end and as many as two months on the back end. Not only does A-Basin offer Colorado’s longest ski and ride season, but it claims to offer the longest season in all of North America.
A-Basin, located on the Continental Divide in Summit County, usually sees more than 350 inches of snow every year, which translates to some of the best skiing in the world (and also some of the toughest runs around). A-Basin’s terrain stretches across nearly 1,000 acres. Get up to the top quickly with its high-speed chairlift (the summit hits 13,050 feet above sea level). Then pick from more than 100 trails to make your way down.
The 400-acre Montezuma Bowl hugely increased the resort's skiable terrain when it opened in the 2007 season. You'll find this on the backside of A-Basin, and it is reserved for more advanced skiers. Its 36 runs are blue, black, and double black, making A-Basin a draw for the die-hard locals and ski fanatics. With A-Basin's long season, they can get their fix all the way into the summer. It’s no wonder Arapahoe Basin’s nickname is, “The Legend.”