Kids ski free in Colorado? Yes, it's true, most Colorado Resorts offer kids five and under the opportunity to ski and snowboard for free. On top of that, Colorado offers a passport program designed to get kids in the 5th and 6th grade outdoors for the ski season. Kids in the 5th grade can ski free for up to three days at any participating Colorado resort. Additionally, 6th graders can ski for four days at a discounted rate of $110 (pricing subject to change).
There are 22 resorts that participate in the Kids Ski Free passport program. Families, that sign up for these Passport savings will have even more opportunities for deals such as discounts on lessons, parent or friend lift tickets, and a bunch of other great deals all season long.
With such a great incentive to get kids outdoors, we have included information about each one of the 22 family-friendly ski resorts in Colorado that let kids ski free.
|1. Copper Mountain||2. Keystone Resort|
|3. Monarch Mountain||4. Steamboat Ski Resort|
|5. Telluride Resort||6. Wolf Creek Ski Area|
|7. Aspen Highlands||8. Arapahoe Basin|
|9. Aspen Mountain||10. Buttermilk Ski Area|
|11. Echo Mountain||12. Eldora Resort|
|13. Granby Ranch||14. Hesperus Resort|
|15. Howelsen Hill||16. Kendall Mountain|
|17. Loveland Resort||18. Powderhorn Resort|
|19. Purgatory Resort||20. Snowmass Resort|
|21. Sunlight Resort||22. Winter Park Resort|
Base: 2,738 ft. Peak: 12,441 ft.
At Copper Mountain kids ski free if they're five and under with the purchase of an adult two-day ticket, while the resort's 'One, Two, FREE!' deal lets you buy a two-night stay with the third night for free. For a quick ski break, spend $40 in the Copper Villages to receive a free ice skate rental and head to Mountain Top Cookie Shop or Sugar Lips Mini Donuts for the ultimate mountain treat. For the advanced skiers, look at runs like Boardwalk, Triple Zero, or Drain Pipe.
Passage Point offers beautiful slope-side housing and sits just a short walk to the American Eagle Lift.
Base: 9,280 ft. Summit: 12,408 ft.
Kids ski free at Keystone for ages 12 and under with a stay of two or more nights. Book lodging with the resort for free perks like night skiing and guided hiking or head to Kidtopia Headquarters for toys, games, and activities like cookie time and face painting. Don't forget to stop by family favorite dining spots like Sleigh Ride Dinner and The Overlook Grill at Summit House. Last Alamo, Frenchman, and Goalpost Gully are runs recommended for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
The River Run Condominiums, the most popular lodging choice for families at Keystone, is just a short walk away from the Summit Express Lift and ski school.
Base: 10,790 ft. Summit: 11,952 ft.
Kids six and under ski free at Monarch Mountain, or you can take them to the children's center (only for ages 3-6) for fun crafts, games, and snow time. Head to the tubing park or go cat skiing for extra thrills and stop by the Gunbarrel Cafeteria for healthy eats and treats to break from the slopes. Panorama Lift and the Great Divide are recommended for advanced skiers.
As the only lodge supplying housing for Monarch Mountain, Monarch Mountain Lodge is less than 5 miles away from the ski area and offers a free shuttle service to and from the resort.
Base: 6,900 ft. Summit: 10,568 ft.
At Steamboat, kids ski free if they're 12 and under with the purchase of a five or more day adult lift ticket. From the Old Town Hot Springs with a 230-foot water slide, ice skating, and tubing, t a sleigh ride dinner, Winter Carnival, and Outlaw Mountain Coaster riding on the longest coaster in North America, your kids will always have something to do. Sunset and Northern are recommended for advanced skiers.
Only two blocks away from Steamboat's lifts is Aspen Lodge at Trappeur's Crossing, which offers condominiums with everything you'll need.
Base: 8,725 ft. Summit: 13,150 ft.
When you purchase online at least 48 hours in advance, lift tickets for kids ages 6-12 are available at lower rates for two or more days of skiing, children five and under ski for free all day every day at Telluride. Their programs like kids' winter camps, kids' night out, and guided ice climbing bring plenty of opportunities for your children to make new friends on winter vacation. Forever and Polar Queen are recommended for advanced skiers.
The Condos at Telluride are within walking distance to skiing and the free gondola, while offering all the space and comfort you'll need on a family ski trip.
Base: 10,300 ft. Summit: 11,904 ft.
5th Grade kids can ski for three days free at Wolf Creek Resort. 6th Graders can ski for four days at a discounted rate of $110. Full or half-day kids ski and snowboard lessons are offered for an additional cost with snacks and healthy lunches included. The Wolf Pups Ski Program is recommended for children five to eight, with private lessons for children under five. Wolf Creek Resort also offers families a cafeteria-style restaurant, serving homemade soups and southern foods. If you prefer to eat outdoors, simply ski by one of the burgers and pizza grill stands. Lift tickets run $6 for kids five and under and $31 for kids six and older. Wolf Creek Ski Area has the "most snow in Colorado" alongside free parking and easy access to ski runs. All ages can participate in fun races with the purchase of a lift ticket.
A short drive away from the slopes is Allen's Riverside Meadows Cabins, individual cabins with amazing views and all the amenities you need
Base: 8,040 ft. Summit 11,675 ft.
Kids six and under ski free at Aspen Highlands, one of the four power mountains in Aspen and children aged 7-12 receive a free lift ticket for every day of renting their equipment with a two-night stay. Take advantage of the resort's expert runs that were purposely designed with children and their adventurous tendencies in mind, then head over to the treehouse kids' adventure area and participate in the family fun nightlife. Advanced skiers can enjoy Highland Bowl, the most notable area for challenging slopes.
Aspen Alps offers up great rooms, service, and location as it sits either hill-side or town-side, just a quick ride away from the resort.
Base: 10,780 ft. Summit: 13,050 ft.
At Arapahoe Basin, kids between 6-12 get two full days of skiing or snowboarding for free, and kids five and under ski free every day. Check-in your children at the children’s center for lessons, playtime, and quality meals before they hit the slopes. For an easy-to-go lunch, hit the taco truck on Mountain Goat Plaza. For the advanced skiers, Elk Meadows, Columbine, and Larkspur offer more extreme terrain.
The Hyatt Place Keystone Hotel is only a ten-minute drive to the resort and is within walking distance to plenty of restaurants.
Base: 7,495 ft. Summit: 11,212 ft.
Also part of the powerful four and next to Highlands is Aspen Mountain, where kids six and under ski for free and children 7-12 get free lift tickets with the purchase of rental equipment and a two-night stay. The whole family can enjoy intermediate and expert terrain, free kids activities, an alpine coaster, and tubing.
Aspen Meadows Resort is minutes from downtown Aspen and includes free 24-hour shuttle service to nearby Aspen Mountain.
Base: 7,870 ft. Summit: 9,900 ft.
The third of the Aspen mountains is Buttermilk, a beginner-friendly ski mountain with plenty of family-friendly activities from fun runs, to indoor wall climbing. It offers the same kids deals as Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain above with free skiing and complimentary lift tickets for children. Look for the kid’s combo sign at the Cliffhouse restaurant at the top of the summit for the perfect kids’ meal. If your skier is looking for a thrill or if parents are just looking to get-away, Javelin, Racer’s Edge, The Tiehack, and SuperPipe will satisfy advanced needs.
Hotel Aspen is only a quick distance away from all four of Aspen’s ski resorts: Buttermilk, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands, and Aspen Mountain.
Base: 10,050 ft. Summit: 10,650 ft.
Echo Mountain is the perfect ski resort for families who don’t want to get run over by advanced skiers but also desire variety in terrain. On weekdays, children six and under ski for free with the purchase of an adult full-day ticket, whereas on weekends it’s the same deal but with children five and under. More experienced skiers should check out EJ’s glades.
Head to the Golden Evergreen Hotel, as it’s cost-effective, family-friendly and just 10 miles away with stunning views of the Rocky Mountains.
Base: 9,200 ft. Summit: 10,600 ft.
Eldora, known as a winter sports playground, is conveniently located right next to the town of Boulder and is the closest big-mountain skiing resort to Denver National Airport. It offers all season long rentals as an easy money saver and a $29 cost for a season pass for kids five and under. Take a quick kids’ lesson then stop at Timbers Lodge for lunch. Bananza, Challenge, and Dream & Scream are perfect for the advanced skiers.
Free breakfast, parking, and location are just some of the reasons the Boulder Creek Lodge is a great place to stay. And for Eldora visitors, it’s a ten-minute drive away.
Base: 8,202 ft. Summit: 9,202 ft.
Kids ski free every day if they’re five and under at Granby Ranch a family-owned ski area. It’s known as the perfect place for a family ski adventure, as most runs always lead back to the same place. Granby Ranch is easily accessible, has friendly staff, and an abundance of beginner terrain. Take advantage of free parking and Granby Ranch Grill at the base of the ski area. Advanced children can enjoy slopes like Home Again, High Roller, or Slot Shot.
The Lodge at 10 Mile Creek is only 2 miles away from the ranch and 18 miles away from the Winter Park Resort.
Base: 8,100 ft. Summit: 8,888 ft.
Hesperus participates in the Power Kids FREE Season Pass, where children 10 and under receive a free season pass. Those seven and older also get three free kids ski lessons with the purchase of a full-day ticket. After you’ve had a day of lessons, go night skiing to enjoy the largest night skiing operation in the state.
The General Palmer Hotel is a convenient 3 miles away from Hesperus and shows off true Victorian style with themed rooms and grand entrances.
Base: 6,696 ft. Summit: 7,136 ft.
Howelsen Hill is free for the entire family to ski on Sundays. Regular-priced tickets for children five and under are $8. Howelsen Hill is known to be great for experienced families and includes one of the only ice facilities in Colorado with its legendary Bumper-Cars-One-Ice. Very experienced kid skiers/snowboarders can enjoy runs like Ridge Run, Straight Shot, or Timber
The Steamboat Grand offers world-class dining and mountainside luxury all while traveling a mere 2.4 miles from Howelsen Hill.
Base 9,313 ft. Summit: 9,596 ft.
Beginner Colorado families can have a blast at Kendall Mountain with their snowscape winter carnival, skiing with Santa on Christmas, night skiing, community ski race, skating, sledding, free ski Sundays, and children five and under ski for free deal. Soak up the small-town charm all while skiing at lower, family-friendly prices. Kids with more ski experience can try Tram or Sunnyside for more of a challenge.
The Grand Imperial Hotel is not only half a mile away from Kendall Mountain, but it’s also loaded with plenty of rich history and architecture to explore.
Base 10,800 ft. Summit: 13,010 ft.
Known for their fluffy powder, Loveland offers a childcare center, private family lessons, free snowcat skiing, family fun races, and live music on weekends. Children ages five and under can ski and snowboard for free, while children between six and 14 can receive a free season pass by completing all three of their Three-Class Pass lessons. Bennet’s Bowl, North Chutes, Jelly Roll are great for the more advanced skiers.
Georgetown Mountain Inn is just 12 miles east of Loveland and includes gorgeous views, affordable rates, quality rooms, and a family-friendly atmosphere.
Base 8,200 ft. Summit: 9,850 ft.
As one of the most family-friendly resorts in the West, Powderhorn offers passes for kids five and under as low as $29, as well as its annual Mission: Affordable sale with up to $50 off junior passes for ages 6-12 through November 15th. If your family is new to skiing, take advantage of their free first-timer lessons for kids eight and up. Maverick, Cow Camp, and Snowcloud are recommended runs for advanced skiers.
As the only ski-in/ski-out hotel in Powderhorn, the SlopeSide Inn is only 20 ft from the main ski lift and includes all of the necessities to living away from home.
Base 8,793 ft. Summit: 10,822 ft.
Kids 10 and younger get free season passes, and anyone can get a free first-time lesson with the purchase of a full-day ticket at Purgatory. The slopes are great for beginners, and sleigh rides, snow bike lessons, snowshoe hikes, and snow scooters offer up something for even the non-skiers in the family. Ride lift two to eat at family-friendly dining spot Powderhouse. Upper Demon, Peace or Snag runs are recommended for advanced skiers and snowboarders.
Purgatory offers loads of options for your lodging needs, but the Purgatory Resort Base Area Condos and Townhomes have great prices at a short walking distance to the ski area.
Base 8,104 ft. Summit: 12,510 ft.
Last on the list of the powerful four in Aspen is Snowmass, where kids six and under ski free, and children aged 7-12 receive a free lift ticket for every day of purchasing rental equipment and a two-night stay. If you have advanced skiers, this mountain could be for you. Once at the top of Big Burn Lift, grab a slice at Up 4 Pizza for “arguably the highest elevation pizzeria in America.” Jack of Hearts, Max Park, and Promenade are recommended for advanced skiers.
Aspen Mountain Lodge is one of the town’s most affordable, family-friendly lodges with easy access to skier shuttles and a short ride from the Snowmass mountain.
Base: 7,885 ft. Summit: 9,895 ft.
At Sunlight, kids five and under ski free, but with their award-winning Ski, Swim and Stay Package, kids 12 and younger can ski and ride free. Enjoy the natural hot springs pool, free shuttle service to and from the mountain, cheap lodging, and their Outer Bounds Grill with a large enough menu to cater to the entire family. Sunburst, Peace Pipe or Showdown is recommended for advanced skiers.
With the easiest access to the slopes out of all of the lodging options for Sunlight, Brettelburg Condominiums has gorgeous views, a homey feel, and a great location.
Base: 9,000 ft. Summit: 12,060 ft.
Winter Park provides a great deal of family discounts such as; first-time skiers get a lift ticket, lesson, and rental for $109, 4th night of lodging and lift free, four lift tickets for $99 each, two lift tickets for $80, a season pass for kids four and under for $29, and more low-price options by purchasing online ahead of time. Side Track and Sleeper is recommended for advanced skiers.
For a home away from home feel only half a mile away from Winter Park’s entrance, try Antlers at Lakota Townhomes.
Even if you're headed to a kid-friendly ski resort, planning can come in handy. You can use this list as a guide for your vacation prep.
Bring High-Quality Kids Ski & Winter Clothing: Even if the lift tickets are free, cold and wet kids will quit before the day is over so quality ski clothing is key for a fun day, weekend, or week skiing in Colorado. Kids' winter clothing and gear are typically sold at most ski resorts but the selection is limited, taxes typically higher, and all include a retail markup making them more expensive. SHRED DOG is an online brand known for premium yet more affordable ski clothing for kids. Our winter clothing is more waterproof, more breathable, includes features that most brands do not have for kids, and yet is more affordable because we sell Direct-2-You without a retail markup. Quality clothing will help your kids stay warm, dry, and comfortable as they enjoy the best skiing for kids in Colorado.
Rent Skis, Boards, Boots, and Poles: If you're planning a destination trip to Colorado, then even if your kids own their own skis or board, you may consider renting the hardgoods on the mountain if only to simplify the travel/luggage part of the trip. If you have space, bring the boots and rent either basic or performance skis or board when you arrive. Even helmets are typically available for rent if you don't have room in your luggage. If you're local to Colorado, you may still want to rent given how quickly kids outgrow boots and move on to larger skis and boards. If that's the case, skip the rental lines at the resort and rent in town, either a day ahead of infrequent trips to the high country or do a season rental if you ski more often. Season rentals are much cheaper than renting 5-6 or more times, saves you from waiting in line, and if you need a different size mid-season, you can typically swap gear in and out as needed.
Signup for Discounts: Kids Ski Free Colorado offers 5th grade students three days to ski free at any of the above Colorado Ski Resorts for those who fill out a pass. 6th graders can also ski and snowboard at a discounted rate of $110 over four days. Some resorts offer free lifts tickets for kids with the purchase of two adult lift tickets. Many ski resorts offer early-bird discounts for kids ski and snowboard lessons when ordered.scheduled in advance. Several Colorado gas stations also offer additional coupons for local resorts when you fuel-up on the road to the resort.
Coach Nelly is back with Part 3 of our guest blog safety series, this time teaching beginners (and reminding everyone) of safe terrain park etiquette.