When the sun goes down, the fun keeps going on some Colorado mountains. Night skiing is available at a number of ski areas around the state, each with varying days and hours.
Skiing after hours has its advantages. Lift tickets for night skiing alone are cheaper than day skiing, slopes are less crowed and the lift lines are long gone. Disadvantages include cooler weather, prepare for it, and limited terrain, tough cookies.
Where in Colorado to ski under the lights
Six ski resorts in Colorado offer a unique experience of skiing under the lights. You’re sure to find a mountain that suits your taste, budget and skill level. There’s not many places where night skiing shines like Colorado because the stars are just brighter at this altitude!
1. Keystone Ski Resort
Keystone Resort’s got the largest night skiing operation in Colorado, making this the go to choice for variety after hours. You can access the top of the mountain via the Gondola, which is perfect for cold alpine nights. And night skiing is included in your day pass!
After the end of the typical ski day each afternoon, the Keystone grooming team takes to the slopes and preps the runs again for that night’s fun. This ensures good conditions for even those late risers. Park rats will love accessing Keystone’s infamous Area 51 Terrain Park all evening. Keystone is perfect for a few evening turns to wait out the I-70 traffic and the town has plenty of restaurant for apres-ski.
2. Steamboat Ski Resort
In 2015, Steamboat Ski Resort opened its slopes for after hours skiing and has slowly expanded the number of runs. You can access the top of Christy Lift, so not even mid mountain at Steamboat, but that still offers around a thousand feet of vertical and multiple trails to enjoy.
Night skiing is not included in your standard lift ticket, it’s available as an add-on, or you can just ski at night for less than day skiing. After your evening turns head into town for a quick bite then over to Strawberry Park for a relaxing hot springs soak. For an even cheaper night skiing option in the ‘Boat, head over to…
3. Howelsen Hill Ski Area
The rope tow accesses 440 feet of vertical, and the entire mountain of 15 trails is open after the sun sets. Howelsen also has a tubing hill and indoor ice skating in the evening, as well as cross country skiing during the day.
4. Ski Hesperus
Ski Hesperus may have a shorter ski season than nearby giant Purgatory Mountain, but it operates longer each day when it’s open. You can ski here on nights throughout the week. Unfortunately, this 2017/18 season, they have not been able to open due to lack of snow.
The mountain is surprisingly diverse, offering a fun, challenge for all riding abilities. The 160 acre ski area provides a quick escape for the residents of La Plata and Montezuma counties. It’s situated on Colorado 160, heading west out of Durango toward Mancos and Cortez.
5. Granby Ranch
Formerly, SolVista Basin, Granby Ranch is a perfect place for night skiing with the family. It’s an easy mountain for beginners and intermediates with just enough terrain to keep everyone entertained.
The resort has everything you need from rentals and restaurants, to affordable tickets and western hospitality. The town of Granby is quaint and nearby there is Hot Sulphur Springs to end your ski night.
6. Echo Mountain
Echo is Colorado’s closest, and probably most unknown, Front Range ski resort. It has quite the history, formerly called Squaw Pass Ski Area, then it closed and opened as Echo, then ran as a private Front Range Ski Club for a few years, and now back open to the public as Echo Mountain Resort.
Night skiing is available from Tuesday to Saturday until 9pm. Echo offers unique views of the Front Range and closest town Idaho Springs. It caters to skiers and riders of all levels, with plenty of terrain park features for the enthusiast.
On your next Colorado ski vacation, try skiing at a resort after the sun goes down for a truly unique memory. And if you’re looking for other fun, nighttime activities, visit a local hot springs, slap on some skates and go ice skating, snow tubing or even a charming, dinner sleigh ride.