Best Spring Skiing in Colorado

YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO LATE-SEASON COLORADO SKIING

Updated 10/17/19 for 2020 Colorado spring skiing season

Sun and Snow in the Rockies

After Colorado's epic 2018-2019 ski season, we're thrilled to see what spring skiing in Colorado holds this year. 

With 28 world-class resorts (see our page on comparing Colorado ski resorts here), Colorado is arguably the epicenter of North American ski culture. And spring is quite possibly the best time of year to ski these majestic mountains. The high elevation often brings “bluebird” conditions in the months of March and April. Complete with sunny, blue skies that make spring skiing so enjoyable – it’s a unique treat that Coloradans cherish.

The best part? You typically don’t have to sacrifice excellent snow conditions to enjoy the milder weather. March and April are often the heaviest months for Colorado snowfall, so you’re equally likely to be cruising through fresh powder as you are to be getting a suntan. Now how’s that for a two-for-one?

Colorado in March

Skiing in Colorado in March can be confusing to out-of-towners. Colorado actually sees its highest monthly snowfall in March -- around 25-30 inches on average in the high country. However, these dumps of snow are typically followed by warm, spring-like days, when you'll see people skiing in shorts and t-shirts. The combination of heavy snowstorms and bluebird days creates a great apre-ski scene, so you're likely to see some kind of event or party going on during the weekends and Spring Break.

As for snow quality, in a "normal" year, it can be mixed. However, after an incredible winter like what we saw in 2019, epic skiing exists deep into the season. The snow was so good, Breckenridge stayed open through Memorial Day, which it plans to do in 2020 as well. 

Here's a quick breakdown of the average March highs and lows of a few resorts in Colorado.

Breckenridge: 48°/20°
Vail: 43°/16°
Telluride: 43°/14°
Steamboat: 43°/16°

Colorado in April

In 2019, we saw enormous amounts of snow, and skiing conditions were the best they'd been in 20 years, with A-Basin staying open well into June. 

For many, April is a time for fun last runs of the season with friends, mixing other activities in thanks to the longer days, and resort-sponsored events. Concerts, parties, and festivals are common. If you're looking for a great spring skiing experience, head to any of the resorts for their final-day festivities. Below is a list of 2019 Colorado ski resort closing dates. 

And here's a look at April's average highs and lows: 
Breckenridge: 54°/26°
Vail: 50°/23°
Telluride: 51°/22°
Steamboat: 54°/25°

The 2020 closing dates for Colorado ski resorts are: 
A-Basin: June 6 
Breck: May 25
Beaver Creek: April 12
Vail: April 19
Telluride: April 5
Steamboat: April 12

Spring Break Featured Homes

The best homes ~ when you want them most

Every week we feature a few homes that would be perfect for a Colorado Spring Break getaway.

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Mountain Kingdom: Breckenridge

6 Bedrooms
Sleeps 21 guests
5 full bathrooms and 2 half bathrooms
Incredible mountain views from outdoor deck and hot tub
Click here for booking information

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Clearview at the Meadows: Beaver Creek

3 Bedrooms
Sleeps 8 guests 
Steps from chairlifts at Beaver Creek
Click here to learn more

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Seventh Heaven: Breckenridge

5 Bedrooms
Sleeps 17 guests
5 full bathrooms, one half bath
 Incredible amenities, featured in Better Homes and Gardens and the Travel Channel
Click here to view or book this home 

Where to Ski in Colorado in March and April

The resort you choose comes down to a couple qualifications, including when you’re traveling, and who’s in your group.

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Spring Skiing at Arapahoe Basin

  • Arapahoe Basin, also known as “A-basin”, “A-Bay” or simply “The Basin”, is perhaps the favorite local spot. For decades, it held its allegiance to Vail Resorts, however in winter 2019-2020, A-Basin made headlines by switching to the Alterra-backed Ikon Pass.
  • Arapahoe is a great spot for younger folks looking to let loose and get a true taste of Colorado life. But, we don’t recommend it for tourist groups looking for family activities or resort amenities.
  • Tailgating and picnicking are a-ok. Bring your own grill and cook up some barbecue in the parking lot. Or contact the resort to reserve a spot on the “beach”and take your party slope-side.
  • Dogs are welcome in the parking lot and beach, so feel free to bring along a furry friend.
  • If DIY isn’t your style, grab a beverage from the bar at the base lodge and head out to the sun deck to watch skiers come down. And enjoy phenomenal views of the basin’s unique topography.
  • If you’re driving up from Denver, take the Loveland Pass off I-70 to enjoy breathtaking views at the Continental Divide. Just be forewarned, it’s a doozy of a drive with no guard rails. If weather conditions are not ideal, you’ll want to take Highway 6 instead.
  • Arapahoe Basin stays open much later into the Spring than other Colorado resorts. You can often ski here until June or even July, depending on snow conditions, thanks to its high elevation and primarily north-facing slopes.
Where to stay when skiing at A-Basin

While there isn't a resort at the base of the mountain, there's plenty of lodging options nearby. Check out our vacation rentals in Breckenridge, just a 30-minute drive from the lifts.

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Spring Skiing at Breckenridge

In the 2018-2019 ski season, Breckenridge reigned supreme. With the highest chairlift in North America, it opened on November 7 and officially closed on June 9, and locals boasted the resort and town saw the heaviest snowfalls in as long as 120 years. By the end of the season, more than 32 feet of snow had fallen. 
  • Big news for 2019-2020! This year, Breckenridge is opening as early as November 8, and if conditions are as excellent as last year, the resort will stay open well into June. This makes it one of our top picks for Colorado's best spring skiing mountains. 
  • This is a large-scale resort, so you know it’s great for big groups of adults or families. Enjoy sprawling on-mountain patios with bars and food offerings outdoors. Soak up some sun and say hi to fellow skiers. For an even deeper dive into Breckenridge, check out our complete guide to the town, resort, and surrounding mountains, or our list of the Top 15 Family Activities in Breckenridge.
  • Breckenridge also boasts a vibrant downtown and nightlife scene for après-ski adventures.
  • The ski area is projected to close on May 25, 2020. But, they have added an additional weekend in the past when snowfall is above average. Stay tuned.

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Be on the lookout for these events in Breckenridge in March and April

Helly Hansen Big Mountain Challenge
Youth Ski League Championships
Easter Weekend
Breck Spring Beer Festival
Breck Chili Cookoff
Breck Ascent Series Race #4
Closing Day & Breck Plunge

For lodging options, explore all our luxury Breckenridge vacation rentals here. Or check out our Spring Skiing Pick of the Week, Zephyr Chalet, pictured on the right.

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Spring Skiing at Copper

  • Copper’s spring skiing scene is all about the party. You might want to leave the kids at home if you’re coming for closing weekend, though.
  • Closing day at Copper is a spectacle. Check out the Sunsation festival on April 20-21, 2019 to celebrate the last day of ski season. This upbeat event includes a RedBull Slopesoakers competition, a freestyle showdown that incorporates floating rails to put a unique spin on pond skimming… plus free live music, a color run, cardboard box races and even a bikini contest.

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Spring Skiing at Telluride

When 70% of the ski resort is on public lands, does it ever really close?

Telluride was another resort that celebrated a fantastic season, with snow falling well into June. By the end of the season, about 27 feet of snow had fallen throughout the winter, with a snow depth of about 7 feet on closing day. Still, even after the lifts stopped running, it's common to see skiers skinning up and swooshing down perfectly skiable terrain.

Telluride also has some of the best ski-in, ski-out homes of any resort in the country. Whether you're looking for a ski-in, ski-out condo or a large hillside estate, you'll find it on our list of the best ski-in, ski-out homes in Telluride
  • Telluride is the top spot for experienced riders. There’s a plethora of expert terrain, if that’s what you’re looking for. But there are plenty of beginner runs for less aggressive riders and children, too.
  • Enjoy closing weekend with a classic pond skim and a wild west après-atmosphere. We recommend Gorrono Ranch, with its awe-inspiring views of the Wilson Range and a cabin bar with a wood stove that will take you back to the days when outlaw Butch Cassidy resided around these parts.
  • Telluride’s ski season ends on the early side to accommodate for elk migration patterns. The resort will shut down its lifts on April 5 in 2020.
  • You can look through all our luxury vacation rentals in Telluride here. We've also put together a comparison of the different neighborhoods of Telluride, including Mountain Village and Town. 
  • Telluride is one of Colorado's most remote ski resorts, however it's getting much easier to fly into it. Check out this updated page on How to Get to Telluride, including new flights and recommended driving routes. 

Where to Stay in Telluride

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Courcheval Retreat

Courcheval Retreat is ideally situated at the edge of Mountain Village Core, so you'll be walking distance to all the shops, restaurants, and bars of the ski village, yet also have true ski-in, ski-out access, amazing views, and peace and privacy. 

6 bedrooms
Sleeps 14 guests
Multiple decks and balconies
Click here to see more photos and availability

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Winterfell

Winterfell has the ski-in, ski-out access you're looking for, and the space you need. With 5 bedrooms and an additional sleeping area, up to 14 guests can stay in this gorgeous mountain home, which also features: 

5 bedrooms + 1 sleeping area
Sleeps 14 guests
home theater
Free shuttle to town
See more photos and booking information here

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Spring Skiing at Vail

  • This area is perfect for a romantic or just plain classy getaway. The village design was based on the classic European ski resorts, giving it a distinctly ski-retreat feel.
  • Vail's sister resort is Beaver Creek, however both of these mountains have their own feel. Learn more about each in our article Beaver Creek Vs. Vail: What's the Difference?
  • Vail is known for its iconic village, with its unique European feel and plentiful restaurant and nightlife options. Probably the most vibrant après-ski celebration scene in Colorado. We’ll let you be the judge.
  • Vail boasts numerous lifts, gondolas, basins and famed “back bowls” that usually remain open until season’s end.
  • Closing weekend is a big deal in the Vail Valley. Think A-list bands & DJ’s, pond skimming, and other distinctive events, culminating with Spring Back to Vail on closing day. They know how to say goodbye for the season right.
  • In 2019, the resort will close on April 21. If you want to extend your stay, check out our complete guide to Vail here.
Many of our guests also enjoy heading to Vail for the entire ski or summer season. If you're interested in this, take a look at our page on the best Vail seasonal and long-term rentals.

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Spring Skiing at Steamboat Springs

  • With a registered trademark on the term “Champagne Powder”, this resort’s main claim to fame is its distinct northern Colorado brand of snow. 
  • Steamboat is a bit off the beaten path, and locals like it that way. Head here to avoid the crowds at more mainstream resorts to the south on highway I-70.
  • Lifts stay open later thanks to additional daylight in the spring. Some say the last chair on a bluebird day is almost as satisfying as the first chair on a powder day.
  • Enjoy pond skimming, free concerts, and celebrations galore throughout the month of April.
  • Stop by the Strawberry Park hot springs for a soak in natural, healing mineral water after long days of skiing.
  • For a complete look at Steamboat and all there is to do there, check out our guide here
  • The mountain has a projected closing date of April 12 in 2020.

What You Should Know

A Few Pro Tips ~ For Spring Skiing in Colorado

  • Wear layers. At high altitude, temps can rise and fall quickly, and you might be surprised how warm (or cold) you get during different times of day.
  • Bring sunscreen. The sunlight is extremely powerful at this elevation as well, and may lead to serious sunburns if precautions are not taken.
  • Take your time waking up and hit the slopes in late morning. The freeze-thaw cycle in springtime can often create harder snow or even icy conditions in the early a.m.
  • Make friends at the mountain! Coloradans are typically friendly folk, especially on sunny spring days where the locally brewed craft beers & spirits are flowing.
  • Learn how to prevent or treat altitude sickness. Our information sheet on altitude sickness is geared toward Telluride, but the lessons learned can be applied to any high-altitude setting.

Want to Keep Reading?

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The Best Ski-in, Ski-out Homes in Telluride

This is a list you're going to want to see. 13 of the best ski-in, ski-out Telluride homes, condos, and townhomes, all in one location, and all available to rent.

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Beaver Creek vs Vail

What’s the difference between skiing Beaver Creek and skiing Vail? It’s a question our Guest Experience teams get all the time, so we thought we’d offer our deep knowledge of both resorts to help you choose the best destination for your family or group.

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Vail vs Breckenridge

One is a renowned family destination with a historic downtown, while the other boasts some of the best skiing terrain and most iconic ski village in North America. Which one is right for your next trip?

Still Have Questions?

We have 49 homes in Telluride, click to start your search We have 11 homes in Vail, click to start your search We have 11 homes in Breckenridge, click to start your search We have 0 homes in Steamboat, click to start your search