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Top Skiing Destinations on the IKON Pass near Denver, Colorado

Updated: Apr 29

Skiing was never a huge part of my childhood growing up, I actually didn't start until I was late into high school. Being in Colorado, I knew it was time to get serious about this hobby - especially because I finally had the financial means to enjoy it. I knew some people who were getting the IKON pass, so that was a large influence in my decision to choose that over the EPIC.

Below i've ranked them in order of my favorite to least favorite (just out of the ones I visited this season).

1. Aspen Snowmass

This was by far my favorite mountain I skied at this past winter. We got dumped on with tons of powder and blessed with bluebird days as well. Aspen was very steep and narrow, so we only did on day there, but Snowmass is where you should spend the majority of your time. The blues are long and so much fun, they even have a tree run called "Long Shot" that is over 5 miles long. The trees are pretty spread out if you're still getting used to them and the mountain is just so wide and diverse to explore. It's well known for a reason, and the views are unbeatable at the top! If you're feeling extra adventurous, try the T bar at the top of the mountain and it feels like you're being dragged into heaven. It's gorgeous!

2. Steamboat Springs

Steamboat has it all. From being closer to Denver than aspen, the hot springs, adorable ski town, and a very diverse mountain that even offers night skiing! Steamboat is best visited in mid February and after a large snowstorm because the trees get covered in snow and frozen with hoarfrost. It's a truly beautiful thing to see, and the runs are equally enjoyable.

5. Winter Park Resort

This is a Denver favorite, which means there'll be a lot of traffic. I love Winter Park because there is so much diversity in terrain and it's only about an hour and 10 minutes away from Denver. It's the perfect day trip and weekend skiing. The only downside is Berthoud Pass is a pretty dangerous road, especially when it's snowing. Don't attempt to go here with 2WD on a powder day because that mountain pass gets very icy and is prone to whiteouts. They have it all here and it's definitely my favorite local ski resort. The Pano lift on the far left side has some amazing views and great trees for an intermediate level skier. The whole mountain has so much to offer. I recommend parking by the Mary Jane Base Area as it gets you the best access for trails and parking is usually available.

6. Copper Mountain

Copper is about on the same level as Winter Park. Most people I know from Denver really love Copper. It's got a great vibe and there are so many options for terrain. When I was first starting out in the ski season, I actually found that their greens and blues were very steep, which is why I didn't like it. The runs are long and they're more enjoyable once you've warmed up for the season, in my opinion.

7. A-basin

This ski resort is tucked right within Loveland pass, which is one of the most breathtaking scenic areas near Denver. This resort is pretty small, but it's open very late into the season due to its location and it has such a cool, old-school, local vibe going on. Lots of people enjoy a few runs and then hanging out on "the beach"

8. Taos Ski Valley New Mexico

A lot of people are hit or miss on Taos. Everything was fine, but it wasn't anything special to me. I've noticed the people who like Taos the most are the ones who like steep terrain and go up to the Kachina run which is advanced. The town of Taos itself makes for a cute little weekend getaway. New Mexico has its own culture that can be fun to explore, but I wouldn't say the mountain is comparable to many of the Colorado mountains. It's pretty steep, so for those who enjoy blue runs, there isn't as much to offer. The resort is also pretty old school and outdated, it feels like you've taken a time machine and are back in the 80s or something; the lifts can be pretty slow! However, there is a super stunning hike, Williams Lake, very close to the resort (actually you access it from the side of the resort); that is very worthwhile!

9. Eldora

We jokingly refer to Eldora as "El-Snore-A" because it's pretty underwhelming. This resort is more of a one and done for me. It's small and close to Denver though; it's about a 45 minute drive. The drive through Boulder Canyon is actually very pretty though. I would only recommend going here when you're learning to ski or snowboard because it's less popular and more forgiving than other Colorado mountains. This mountain honestly reminds me a lot of the ones back home on the east coast, it's very small and doesn't have much to offer in terms of views.


Hi! I'm Jackie and my dog is Sora. I work remote as an engineer, but I love to spend my free time in nature and by traveling to new places. I take my camera wherever I go, and sometimes my drone.

Somewhere With Sora is a Seattle-based lifestyle and travel blog that provides helpful travel and adventure tips for all kinds of trips, with or without the dogs.

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