The winter season is upon us and soon it will be time to go skiing. The question becomes where should one go? One can ski in many states in the union but two of the more notable states are Colorado in the Rockies and Vermont in New England. Colorado is known as the main place to ski in the Rockies while Vermont offers much of the best ski in the east.
The mountains are of course much larger in Colorado, but that doesn't mean that Vermont doesn't have large and impressive ski resorts. Colorado is also home to the 48's largest mountain, the "gentle giant" Mount Elbert.
Skiing In Vermont
Vermont is a small northern New England state that receives plenty of snowfall in the winter. The main benefit of Vermont is its relatively close proximity to major Eastern Seaboard cities like NYC and Boston meaning that one can drive there for the weekend.
Unlike Colorado, it only has low-lying mountains and hills. While it is still picturesque, it doesn't offer the dramatic alpine landscapes of the Rockies in Colorado.
- Highest Point: Mount Mansfield 4,395 Feet or 1,340 Meters
Some of the largest ski areas in New England are located in Vermont. Some of the most notable ski areas are Burke Mountain Ski Area, Bolton Valley, Killington Ski Resort, Mad River Glen, Stowe Mountain Resort, Magic Mountain Ski Area, and more
In the winter, Vermont even has Nordic and backcountry skiers come and travel the length of the state on the Catamount Trail.
Killington Mountain Resort & Ski Area is the largest ski area in the eastern United States and has the largest vertical drop in New England. Its drop is 3,050 feet or 930 meters and is known as the "Beast of the East". The winter sports resort encompasses sixes peaks and all the ski slopes are located below the treeline.
- Ski Slopes: 116.8 Kilometers of Ski Slopes
- Lifts: 19 Lights
- Elevation: Between 355 and 1,293 Meters
- Grades: Easy 17% of Slopes, Intermediate 40% of Slopes, Difficult 43% of Slopes
Skiing In Colorado
Colorado is a completely different type of state to Vermont and accordingly, the skiing experience is going to be very different too. Colorado is home to South Park Elementary and the stunning Rocky Mountains. Colorado has the highest mountain in the Lower 48 - Mount Elbert at 14,440 feet or 4,401 meters and some of the countries most renowned scenery.
- Highest Point: 14,440 Feet or 4,401 Meters
In Colorado, one can enjoy the towering and rugged peaks of the Rockies and ski resorts to match.
The Western Slope area of Colorado includes many ski resort towns in the western face of the Rocky Mountains. This region is less populated than the Front Range in the state but includes a large number of national parks and monuments.
Some of the most famous ski resorts in the United States are in the Western Slope in Colorado. These include Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride.
- Colorado Ski Resorts: Aspen, Breckenridge, Vail, Crested Butte, Steamboat Springs, and Telluride
The Ski Resort City Of Aspen
Aspen is a city of only around 7,000 people and is known as one of the top ski resort towns for the wealthy. It is worthy of particular note as it is one of the most famous ski resorts in the world. It was founded as a mining camping during the Colorado Silver Boom, after the boom, it went into decline but recovered when it was redeveloped into a ski resort.
- Population: Around 7,000
- Status: Expensive and Elite Ski Resort Town
Today it is one of the most expensive places in the United States with the average single-family home selling for $11 million (the least expensive single-family home for sale in January 2021 was offered for $4.95 million). Accordingly, rentals here are also very expensive, with one-bedroom rentals averaging $1,750 in 2015.
Summary: Location Vs. Rugged Mountains
While Deer Resort and Aspen may be for the rich, Colorado also offers many affordable options as well. One can see a full listing of more affordable ski resorts on Ski Resort.Info.
- Location: Vermont Is Closer To Major Population Centers
- Rugged Mountains: Colorado Boasts The Eye-Watering Rockies
For those who really want to get out into the mountains and enjoy an alpine holiday, then one should consider going to Colorado (or even Utah with their exclusive Deer Valley Ski Resort). Vermont is stunning, but not alpine in the same way that Colorado is. But it does have the advantage of offering some of the best skiing in the entire eastern half of the United States.
So if one is living in New York or Washington DC, then Vermont is a drivable distance for a really great ski holiday. But if one has more time, then consider visiting Colorado.