There’s nothing like hitting the slopes after sunset for night skiing in Colorado. If you’ve never been night skiing, you might think it’s like skiing during the day, with the sunlight replaced by an elaborate lighting system. But the lack of sun, glistening stars, fun evening events and unique nighttime snowpack make night skiing an experience you won’t soon forget and want to return for more!
Night skiing is more common on the East Coast than out West, but Colorado has a few ski resorts that accommodate nighttime skiing and snowboarding. Colorado has five different ski resorts that offer night skiing during the season. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to know at each resort when planning to go night skiing in Colorado!
Keystone Ski Resort in Summit County, about an hour and a half drive from Denver, offers Colorado’s largest night skiing operation. Night skiing and snowboarding at Keystone Ski Resort include 15 runs and two lifts – the Peru Express and the River Run Gondola. The lifts are accessible until 8 p.m. on most weekends from December through May. During March, the ski resort usually offers after-hours skiing almost every night, depending on weather conditions.
Night skiing at Keystone Ski Resort is included with a day pass purchase. Keystone’s popular terrain park, Area 51, is also open during night skiing hours.
The resort gets the nod for the best night skiing in Colorado based on the number of runs available in the evening, access to Area 51, and the town’s lively après-ski, nightlife and dining selection for singles, couples, families and groups on any size budget. The town’s convenient location near Interstate 70 and Denver makes for fantastic overnight ski trips with maximum skiing and snowboarding all day long.
“The Boat” opened its slopes for Colorado night skiing in 2015 and has gradually added more runs. Today, Steamboat Ski Resort presents multiple trails and around a thousand vertical feet of excitement for skiers and snowboarders.
Five trails open for after-hours skiing at the top of Christie Peak from 5:30-8:30 p.m. mid-December through the middle of February. The ski resort extends its night skiing time for an extra 30 minutes from mid-February until the end of March, operating from 5:30-9 p.m.
Night skiing isn’t included with a standard day lift ticket, but you can purchase it as an add-on. Night skiing is offered at a reduced rate than day skiing, so it’s a great way to save a little money and experience something new simultaneously.
The town of Steamboat is the quintessential ski town, so you’ll have no problem finding a party, savory meal or creative cocktail after your fun on the slopes. From après-ski to closing time, a lot is going on.
There’s excellent night skiing and plenty of late-night fun in Steamboat Springs. (Photo courtesy Steamboat.com)
If you don’t get your fill at Steamboat Ski Resort, there’s additional night skiing at Howelsen Hill Ski Area. It offers inexpensive night skiing in an intimate environment with glistening lights and gorgeous views of Yampa Valley. The city-run ski area is “North America’s Oldest Operating Ski Resort.”
Howelsen Hill Ski Area has 15 trails – the entire mountain – open for night skiing. The mountain will get your blood pumping as you rip the entertaining 440 feet of vertical drop amid the stars. For a touch of old-school flavor, runs are accessible via tow rope. The ski resort usually offers night skiing from Tuesday through Friday evenings.
If you’re heading to Steamboat, don’t miss a stop at Howelsen Hill. The site was the training grounds for 90 Olympic athletes, more than 20 Colorado Ski Hall of Fame members, and over a dozen National Ski Hall of Famers. Hallowed ground, for sure. And, after fun night skiing, it’s only a short trip to all the entertainment and dining downtown.
Echo Mountain Resort is a Front Range ski resort near Denver and Idaho Springs. It allows skiers and snowboarders to make turns during the sunset or under a full moon. The ski resort offers night skiing in Colorado from 4:30-9 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays during the season.
The ski resort presents intermediate trails available for night skiing and snowboarding. According to the Echo Mountain Resort website, there is no guarantee the beginner area will be open. The resort offers night ticket pricing for adults and children (up to age 15). There is a night season pass option for visitors who want to ski more than three times in a season.
Echo Mountain has gone by a few names – it was Squaw Pass, then Echo Mountain, then a private ski club, and now Echo again.
Granby Ranch is our top pick for beginners who want to experience night skiing. The family-owned resort is 90 miles west of Denver. It has two mountains – East and West – with different types of terrain. The resort is easily accessible and one of the best areas in Colorado to learn how to ski and snowboard. This is because of its broad, easy slopes and simple design, with all trails converging at the base area.
An authentic down-home experience, the resort sells nightly lift tickets beginning at 3 p.m. Night skiing in Colorado is available from 5-8 p.m. There’s also free hot cocoa and cookies at the base area in the late afternoon. You can watch the Snowcats groom the mountain before night skiing begins at 5 p.m. There is also live entertainment and other specials on select evenings.
Previously known as SolVista Basin, Granby Ranch is up the road from Winter Park, outside Granby in Grand County. The ski resort has everything you need, and the town offers all the necessary services and some delectable restaurants. The nearby Hot Sulphur Springs is a popular spot for relaxation and natural rejuvenation.