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5 Days, 5 Ski Mountains: A Powder-Fueled Road Trip Through Colorado

Unlock winter.

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

Are you ready for a challenge? This winter, take a road trip that tackles the slopes of five different ski resorts over five days. Where is this nirvana, you ask? Why, Colorado, of course.

Colorado is home to some of the most sought-after Ikon Pass destinations in the United States. With your Ikon Pass in hand, you can weave your way from Copper Mountain, Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Winter Park Resort, and Eldora...and enjoy all the après options that come with these well-loved resorts.

Are you ready to unlock winter? Grab your Ikon Pass, then follow this ultimate itinerary for your adventure-fueled week, or more, in Colorado.

Stop 1: Copper Mountain

From Denver, Copper Mountain is a comfortable 100-mile journey on Interstate 70. Kick-off your morning like an Olympian and carve down Andy's Encore, Oh No, and Rosi's Run. These professional-grade runs are part of the U.S. Ski Team Speed Center, and practically the entire U.S. team starts their winter season here. Need we say more?

In the afternoon, re-fuel with a burger and beer at the T-Red Grill at the base of Timberline lift. The patio gets a ton of afternoon sun, perfect for those warm days. If it's snowing, hop on Copper's free snowcat to Tucker Mountain, also known as "powder town."

With your legs tired and your heart happy, take a spin on the Rocky Mountain Coaster, which is one of the longest mountain coasters in North America, then grab a glass of Copper's very own #Coppered craft beer.

Stop 2: Aspen Snowmass

Make your way down I-70 to Aspen Snowmass, and kick off the day right with a hike to the Highland Bowl (take the free snowcat at the top of Loge Peak chairlift to cut 15-minutes off the 45-minute hike). If you're lucky enough to be on Aspen during a powder day, take some turns on Walsh's, Bell Mountain, and Dumps Run.

Aspen is nothing if not an iconic après town, so make sure you have time to drink it up. Stop at Ajax Tavern at the base of Aspen Mountain for the legendary truffle fries, and then sip some bubbly at Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro. Snap a selfie in front of the Maroon Bells before the sun goes down. 

If you have any energy left, peruse the hip retail scene in Aspen. Check out the art at Peter Lik Gallery and Royal Street Fine Art, and sift through the latest fashions at Maison Ullens and Distractions.

Stop 3: Steamboat

Get up early and drive north to Steamboat. Known for its trademarked Champagne Powder, Steamboat's snowiest runs are Ted's Ridge, Buddy's Run, and the hike-to terrain of Mount Werner. If groomers are more your style, check out Longhorn and Vagabond.

At 1:00 pm, make your way to Heavenly Daze to ski with legendary Billy Kidd, the first American male to win an Olympic medal in alpine skiing (he's also Steamboat's director of skiing). A sign at the top of the gondola will let you know if Billy is on the mountain the day you're there. When you're done, stop by the Steamboat base lodge for free donuts and hot chocolate.

Treat yourself to a Bloody Mary in the evening — Steamboat's bars each offer up their own unique concoction of the favorite drink — and then soak in the natural hot springs of Strawberry Park before calling it a day.

Stop 4: Winter Park Resort

Ready to get a bit off the beaten path? Ski Winter Park's Topher's Trees and Topher's Treehouse, iconic trails that cover some extreme terrain (beginners need not apply). If the snow is falling, check out Belle Fourche to feed your powder lust.

It's day four, so your legs may be screaming. If they are, grab a seat in Winter Park's newer Alpine & Ales pop-up craft beer lounge, or make your way to Lunch Rock on top of Parsenn Bowl Territory for that perfect selfie.

From 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, take the gondola to Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge for live music at Winter Park's namesake craft beer, Mary Jane Ale.

Stop 5: Eldora

After arriving at Eldora, ride the Corona Lift to the thrilling, leg-burning adventure that is the Muleshoe Run. Hit up the glades for deep tracks in a subalpine forest...from east to west, try Jolly Jug Glades, Gully Glades, Brian's Glades, Salto Glades, and Moose Glades.

For lunch, start out with a signature Eldora Bacon Bloody Mary at Timbers Tap House, then head to Rustic Taco for smoked chicken, pulled pork, and grilled bison brisket street tacos.

Eldora is just half-an-hour west of Boulder, making it one of the most easily accessible mountains in the Front Range. Make your way to the airport for your flight home, or stop in Boulder for brews and bites on Pearl Street, first.

Ready for an iconic trip? Buy your Ikon Pass now for the 2019-2020 ski season.

All photos courtesy of Ikon Pass

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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