The closest ski hill to Denver (35 miles due west of downtown), Echo Mountain covers roughly 60 acres and sits above 10,000 feet. It’s all about your traditional skiing and snowboarding here, with the main lift, the Milk Run Special, clocking in at four minutes and 39 seconds bottom to top. However, there are two not-so-basic upsides you might not be expecting: The entire mountain is wired for music, and there’s some pretty great night skiing.
Echo Mountain has undergone numerous changes and developments in recent years, at one time focusing solely on terrain parks. New ownership has taken the mountain in a family-friendly direction without compromising on cheap lift tickets ($54 single-day adult), standard lodge amenities, or the handful of great tree lines for those willing to venture off the groomers.
The ultimate family ski adventure is found at Granby Ranch, roughly 90 miles northwest of Denver and not far from the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The terrain here is as forgiving as it is uncrowded, and the expert staff is familiar with showing skiers and riders of all levels how to have the best time possible on the mountain. There are runs from beginner to advanced, but you might want to check out the night skiing and snowshoeing opportunities, too.
As an added perk, the nearby town of Granby is a true “Mountain West” experience sure to show the kiddos a boot-kickin’ good time. For the adults, the saloons and barbecue shouldn’t be overlooked, either.