9 Day Colorado Ski Road Trip - Itinerary
So, you've decided on Colorado as your ski destination, but you can't narrow it down to just a resort or two......I'm here to tell you that you don't have to!
I just spent 9 days driving around Colorado and skiing 4 of the best resorts the state has to offer! Let me break it down for you:
*note we're driving from Salt Lake City, UT
Day 0: and I call it day zero because it was just a driving day for us.
We drove from SLC to Eagle, CO to our lodging for the night - we stayed at the Best Western in Eagle/Vail, which is only 30 minutes to Vail resort. This drive takes about 6 hours.
Day 1: Skiing Vail
We drove to Vail from our hotel (about 30 minutes and thankfully no traffic) and parked next to the main village. Be prepared as this costs $30/day.
We packed lunch and mainly skied the Legendary Back Bowls to avoid the crowds (although it wasn't crowded for a Saturday).
We went back to the car to drop gear off and shed our ski gear then headed back to the village for an après-ski beer at Vail Brewing Co.
We weren't able to find a restaurant for dinner, so I'd recommend making a reservation if you plan to dine.
We then hopped in the car to drive to Steamboat Springs, CO. We unloaded at our hotel, the Legacy Vacation Resorts Suites and went to bed.
*Please note I do NOT recommend making this drive at night due to wildlife. We did in face hit a deer on this drive, in a dead cell zone, but were able to continue to drive the vehicle to Steamboat. This road is a remote 2-lane highway and dusk/dark is not the ideal time to drive. This route should only take 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Day 2: Steamboat
We made breakfast in our hotel (these suites come with a full kitchen and living space), packed lunches and took the shuttle to the resort. This resort was in an ideal spot - only 5 minutes to Steamboat Resort and had a shuttle!
We stuck to one side of the mountian and stopped for lunch at the Four Points Lodge.
We continued to ski the rest of the day and took the shuttle back to our hotel.
We dropped our gear at the hotel and changed for Old Town Hot Springs near downtown. This does not require reservations but does cost $27/person and an additional $5 if you need a towel. This was a very developed hot spring!
We then went back and got dressed and went to dinner at the Mountain Tap Brewery in town. I highly recommend the Rancher and Pastori pizzas. And for beer, I liked the Hoppy Hiker and Mountain Momma.
Day 3: Steamboat
We made some breakfast and headed to the mountain!
*Today was a tough day, as I was dealing with insurance and the auto-body shop regarding our vehicle - so we got a bit later of a start. Turns out it's totaled!
Again, we packed our lunch and skied a new part of the mountain! Today was the only day I snowboarded on the trip, so I was limited to blue runs and groomers.
We ate leftovers in the resort and got dressed for Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Reservations are required for this hot springs, 4-wheel drive is quite helpful for the drive and it costs $20/person, with an additional cost if you need a towel. This was such a cool semi-developed hot spring with cold pools as well.
Day 4: Steamboat to next destination
We started our morning like we always do with breakfast in the suite as we packed up our things. We shuttled to the resort and skied yet another part of the mountain.
We stopped for our packed lunch and continued skiing until about 3pm.
This was a more difficult day for us, as we were short a vehicle (the one we totaled) and had to figure out a way to Silverthorne, CO - which is about 2 hours from Steamboat. Unfortunately, the best solution was for my husband to drive with his parents and their things for the first round, then drive back to get me and his sister (plus our things) to head to Silverthorne.
During this waiting time for our ride (thanks Nick for making this crazy journey), my sister-in-law and I did a ton of shopping in downtown Steamboat and foud the cutest place for dinner.
We stopped at Salt and Lime for amazing mexican cuisine. I definitely recommend the bison fundido to start and the bison taco and chorizo taco with a side of cheesy rice!
We also stopped at Schmiggity's Bar and Old Town Pub for a beer.
*Please note the drive from Steamboat to Silverthorne is also a 2-lane highway with tons of wildlife. I wouldn't recommend driving at night.
Day 5: Silverthorne - Copper Mountain
We stayed the night in our La Quinta loft hotel room. This hotel layout was super cool, allowing for living space on the main level and sleeping arrangements in the loft. This did not have a kitchen, however, so we did need to grab breakfast down in the lobby.
We chose to ski Copper Mountain (about 20 minutes away) for our first day and had a blast!
We opted out of lunch due to our later start, but instead stopped for an early dinner in the village!
10 Mile Tavern was still serving their lunch menu when we sat down (around 4-4:30pm), so we quickly ordered. I highly recommend a Mexican Hot Chocolate to warm up (it was a cold one this day). We shared their nachos, which weren't traditional and not our favorite. I also recommend the pork green chili and the green chili burger - you can tell we had a theme this night lol.
We headed back to our place and unpacked.
Day 6: Arapahoe Basin
After breakfast, we loaded in the car and drove to Arapahoe Basin (about 20 minutes away). We FINALLY got a powder day!
We skied the Beavers this day - and my favorite run has to be Glockenspiel Glades!
We chose not to stop for lunch so we could enjoy the powder day.
We dropped our gear off and got dressed for dinner.
We went to Dillon DAM Brewery for dinner - I recommend the Here's Your Dam IPA and the High Speed Quad for beer. We really liked the mountain mac with bison sausage and the fry guy burger with a side bowl of pork green chili.
Day 7: Back to Copper
We chose to go back to Copper Mountain because everyone had an Ikon pass; however, you could go to Breckenridge, Keystone, Winter Park, Loveland, Vail or Beaver Creek if you want. These resorts are all within an hour of Silverthorne.
We skied a different part of the mountain, stopped for lunch, continued to ski until around 3-3:30pm. Our little daily routine!
We drove back to our place, dropped gear and changed for dinner.
We headed to the cute little western town of Frisco, CO for dinner at Greco's Pastaria. I highly recommend Papa G's Pasta with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
At this point in the trip, we were pooped and ended our nights pretty early.
Day 8: A-Basin Round Two
At this point, you know the drill. Breakfast in the lobby, drive to the mountain, ski a new area, eat our packed lunch, continue skiing and end a little before 4 pm.
Half of our group had flights this day, so we said our goodbyes around lunchtime and skied the East Wall after we ate. The traverse wasn't the best, but we chose to continue all the way to the end for some untouched powder leftover from the storm a few days before. This traverse was about 20 minutes but totally worth it!
We went back to the hotel and changed for our last dinner in Colorado.
We opted for something a little less expensive, Hacienda Real. As with most Mexican restuarants, we ate way too much food! We started with margaritas (I recommend the jalapeño one if you like a mild kick) and chips & salsa. I also loved the tampiqueña and enchiladas/chile relleno combo. Honestly, such a good meal.
We weren't quite ready to end the night, so we got a beer at the Outer Range Brewing Co (we got the Au Natural and Restoration & Regrowth beers, both so good). This brewery was so chill with a fun young crowd and incredible mountain views. I highly recommend checking it out!
Day 9: Copper (again) then Heading Home
We spent a half-day at Copper Mountain, so we could check out the back bowls before heading home! The snow wasn't amazing at this point (post-storm) so we didn't spend much time in the back. The groomers were ripping though!
With our current lack of a car, getting home was a bit of an ordeal. Instead of leaving right from Copper, which would've taken about 7 hours, we had to pick up a rental from Denver Airport to drive home. The drive from the resorts to Denver always takes longer than it should. The drive should be about 1.5 hours, but ended up taking almost 3 hours! We finally got our rental car from the airport and drove the 8 hours back to Salt Lake City.
It was a super long day, but it felt great to sleep in our own bed :)
I hope you enjoy your Colorado ski trip!