The Best Insider’s Guide To The Least Crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado

This winter, according to the Farmers Almanac, Colorado is gearing up for one of its best snow seasons in years. As a result, thousands of people across the nation will be flocking to Colorado Ski Resorts this ski season.  Now, more than ever, having inside info to the lesser known and least crowded Colorado Ski Resorts is paramount to having a good ski season.Luckily we have the 411 to give y’all an exclusive insider guide to the top 7 least crowded ski resorts in Colorado.

Least Crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado
Grabbed our younger crew and hit the uncrowded slopes at Sunlight for Opening Day, 2020

Table of Contents

Top 7 Least Crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado

  1. Sunlight Mountain Resort
  2. Monarch Mountain
  3. Silverton Mountain
  4. Powderhorn Mountain Resort
  5. Ski Cooper
  6. Loveland Ski Area
  7. Arapahoe Basin

Planning your ski trip (check out our Packing List) requires much more than looking for valet service, gourmet food or luxury resort amenities. This ski season, demands reliance on insider local information to ensure you get the biggest bang for your buck. Finding the least crowded ski resorts in Colorado that offer amazing terrain, huge skiable acres, untouched fresh powder, short lift lines, and fast chairlifts is the name of the game. And, FYI, the best ski areas are not always the ones with the biggest name recognition, like Aspen, Steamboat, and Vail.

Now, we all want snow, really good snow…the kind that makes for an exhilarating and exhausting day.  I scoff at the majority of blogs written about what makes a resort – the hotels, the nightlife, the amenities? No, no, no. It’s snow, skiable acres, family friendly, budget friendly, but mostly it’s the snow. Also, does the resort allow visitors to camp in their lots overnight?

The last thing I want to do is spend my precious hours in lines. I’m looking for the least crowded ski resorts in Colorado. Where one good snowfall lasts for a good week to 10 days. And I know exactly where to look. Read on for the beta on the best and least crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado. 

1. Sunlight Mountain Resort

Sunlight Mountain Resort has been one the least crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado!
Opening Day with the fam at Sunlight Mountain Resort!


Sunlight in Glenwood Springs, CO was our local ski area, for 21 years. It is small, it is rugged and while it offers the bare minimum in amenities, the snow is almost always great, with an average 250″ annually. In fact, Sunlight’s slogan is “Where the Powder Lasts For Days.” And, really, that’s all I need to know. While admittedly, it’s no Copper Mountain or Breck, it doesn’t claim to be, and it has everything you need for a really great ski trip.

Sunlight Mountain Resort is family friendly, with plenty of terrain for every skill level. Sunlight’s lift lines are nil, their lift tickets are more than half the price of larger resorts in the state and they have the snow.

The only bummer is that there are no high speed lifts at Sunlight. But then Sunlight is the most aggressive at remaining the least expensive resort in the state.

2. Monarch Mountain

Monarch is one of the least crowded ski resorts in colorado
Powder by the foot at Monarch Mountain!






Located near Salida, our favorite Colorado mountain town, Monarch is one of a handful of thriving smaller mountains that delivers family fun without all the hype attributed to the larger ski areas. There are no comparisons between Vail, arguably the most crowded ski resort in Colorado and Monarch Mountain, one of the least crowded ski resorts in Colorado.

Monarch is renowned for having great snow and really fun terrain to ski and snowboard.  It averages about 350″ of snow per year and the skiable acres is 800!  Monarch Mountain, has two terrain parks, access to 1,635 backcountry terrain, 7 lifts and enough snow to average a 5 month season, Monarch may very well be your diamond in the rough. In addition, Monarch has the perfect combination of beginner, intermediate and expert terrain and a loyal clientele who are looking for a rugged natural experience, not an affluent extravaganza.

3. Silverton Mountain

Silverton is one of the best Uncrowded Resorts! Least crowded ski resorts in colorado are best!
Great snow, great fun, no crowds … Silverton is where it’s at!

While I subscribe to the idea that wherever you are riding is the best place to be riding, I often find myself pinning for Silverton Mountain. It’s raw and rugged and extraordinarily epic.  And it is hands down the least crowded ski resort in Colorado.

Silverton is all thrills and absolutely no frills. There is one chairlift that takes you up the mountain where you will find yourself surrounded by amazing runs in every direction. Silverton is not a family resort unless your family consists of expert skiers and riders. This obviously contributes to its status as THE most Uncrowded Colorado Ski Resorts!

Silverton doesn’t operate like your normal resort either. At certain times of year it provides guided-only skiing with minimal numbers (8) of Skiers and riders, similar to a cat or heli operation. At other times of the year, late in the season, Silverton Mountain allows unguided skiing similar to a normal ski resort. Please note that Avalanche gear is required to ride the lift at all times.

Silverton is home to bowls, chutes, cliffs and wonderfully rugged, natural terrain in every direction.  The views are stunning as Silverton is the highest and steepest ski resort in all of North America.  Its peak elevation is 13,487 feet!!

Aside from avalanche mitigation work, the mountain is left completely untouched and in its natural state! Check their website for scheduling.

The coolest thing about Silverton Mountain is that it is the only place to heli-ski in Colorado. Heli-skiing is at the top of our bucket list, we are just waiting until more of our kids can join us!

4. Powderhorn Mountain Resort

Powderhorn Ski Resort sits on the edge of Grand Mesa, outside of Grand Junction, CO. Grand Mesa is notably the world’s largest flat-topped mountain in the world. Due to the fact that Grand Junction has become wildly popular with mountain bikers, Powderhorn has positioned itself as a year-round resort with lift-served downhill mountain biking on Grand Mesa all summer long!

In the winter Powderhorn, has gained my respect. In fact, we are season pass holders here. Why? Because it’s got unbelievably great terrain! Powderhorn brings it home with a whopping 1600 skiable acres and the fact that 30% of the mountain is expert terrain. In addition, Powderhorn has 3 terrain parks, 4 chair lifts (including one high speed quad), and on average, Powderhorn enjoys 250” of beautiful light and dry Colorado powder.

Powderhorn is definitely one of the least crowded ski resorts in Colorado.

5. Ski Cooper

Ski Cooper is a favorite amongst the least crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado.
Powder is everything to our family when we go boarding.


Cooper is definitely one of the top contenders in the least crowded ski resorts in Colorado gang.  Located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, close to Leadville, it offers amazing views of some of the highest peaks the state has to offer.

It is an ideal locale for families looking for a Colorado ski vacation, that won’t break the bank, has family friendly beginner trails and good snow. Riding here, I have never stood in a lift line. There is no pretension or haughtiness, and absolutely no marketing Ski Cooper has reasonable lift ticket prices and it is a great family resort!

There is no arguing with that. With 470 skiable acres and 260″ of snow annually, Ski Cooper is pure authentic down to earth skiing and boarding. Now, if you are looking for more adventure, Ski Cooper also offers snowcat skiing tours on Chicago Ridge Here you will enjoy long, epic runs on 2,600 acres of wide-open powder bowls and glades.

6. Loveland Ski Area

Loveland is a favorite amongst the Uncrowded Colorado Ski Resorts!
Loveland offers Cat Riding and so much more.

Loveland isn’t exactly small, with 1800 lift served skiable acres, nor is it unknown, in fact, it’s uber popular amongst those who live in Denver. However, the crowds are mitigated by Loveland’s fast lifts and skilled liftees. Plus with an average 422″ of snowfall each year, Loveland boasts the most snowfall of any Summit County of Front Range Resort..

The resort is comprised of two different areas.  Loveland Valley serves beginners and beginners alone. With its own lift and gentle terrain, Loveland Valley allows beginners to hone their skill away from the more advanced skiers and boarders.

Loveland Basin is the main area and offers a wide range of terrain. From Loveland’s website:

“Wide-open cruisers, trees, bumps, and open bowls: whatever you like to ski or ride, you are sure to find it at Loveland Basin. And high adventure doesn’t come any higher than The Ridge.  Served by Lift 9 which takes skiers and riders up to 12,700′, The Ridge provides intermediate and advanced snow-riders terrain just the way they like it – open, steep and deep. With 480 acres to choose from right off the lift, 100 hikeable acres and free snowcat rides to some of Loveland’s most exhilarating terrain, The Ridge offers an experience like no other!”

Loveland, known as one of the highest Colorado Ski Resorts, with a summit of 13, 010’, it crosses the Continental Divide and the views are outstanding.

7. Arapahoe Basin

Get your friends together and have a blast at A-Basin, a very Uncrowded Colorado Ski Resort.
Arapahoe Basin is an iconic locals favorite place to ski and board! Photo Credit: Susie Kellogg, Unstoppable Traveling Mom

Known as the Legend, Arapahoe Basin, affectionately called A-Basin by locals and visitors alike, is hands down the Colorado Ski Resort with the longest season.  With skiing and snowboarding through late spring and early summer, it’s often the hangout for dedicated riders and skiers into June.  And, not only that, A-Basin is often the first Colorado Ski Resort to open for the season, sometimes as early as mid-October, typically winning the #racetoopen battle amongst Colorado Ski Resorts.

A-Basin has a reputation for some gnarly runs.  With only 3% of the resort serving beginners, A-Basin is more of an intermediate to Expert destination. Skiers and boarders alike challenge themselves in all the resort has to offer.  Open bowls, chutes and super steep moguls give visitors an experience that is hard to beat.  If you get a chance to visit, be sure to check out the uber-challenging Palvinci Trail.

The terrain, the people, and its status as one of the least crowded Ski Resorts in Colorado, all make A-Basin a destination. But there is one other little nugget that makes A-Basin a crazy fun place to ride…the day-long tailgating at the Beach.  I can’t explain it, trust me, though you have to experience it personally.

A-Basinhas 1400 skiable acres, averages around 350″ of snow per year, and has three terrain parks that are, notably, some of the best in the state.

Additionally, A-Basin is making a name for itself as a summer destination, as it offers everything from Disc Golf and hiking to scenic chair lift rides to its aerial adventure park. Needless to say, Arapahoe Basin is a year round resort that everyone should make the opportunity to enjoy!

KelloggShow Picks the Top 7 Uncrowded Ski Resorts in Colorado