Colorado Ski resorts Rankings

The Top 10 Ski Resorts in the United States for 2013

We measure awesomeness with strict adherence to quantitative and scientific methods. The rankings you see here are the product of the most honed algorithms ever unleashed on the ski world. Being on this list means something. It means awesomeness.

To reiterate, there are NEW 2014 Forbes rankings for the Top 10 here. Rankings for 182 Resorts are here. This article lists the 2013 rankings.

There’s nothing east of the Rockies on the list because no resort east of the Rockies has the snow or terrain to crack our awesomeness rankings–something that matters for both beginners and experts (soft western snow > eastern ice). Not that there isn’t fun to be had in the East or even the Midwest. Ski wherever you can. We plan to do a separate, eastern list next year.

Again, we rank awesomeness and awesomeness only. If you want to find out what ski resort has the best hot chocolate and marshmallow bar, you’ll find that list elsewhere. If you want the hard facts on what ski mountain gives you the best possibility of a soul-moving experience on and off the snow, then you need rankings based on our patented Pure Awesomeness Factor. In the ski business, this is known as PAF. It’s not something that resorts make public, but every mountain knows where it stands. Most big resorts employ at least three data scientists who spend their days looking for methods to raise the resort’s PAF score.

Awesomeness is the only proxy for awesomeness. It’s the critical path to a vacation that becomes legendary. So for the second time ever, here are the top ten resorts in the United States according to PAF:

1. Jackson Hole, Wyoming (PAF = 98.5):

The lift lines at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort are like those at a highway rest area bathroom at 2:00 a.m.: Almost nonexistent, except when they exist. And just like that line at the bathroom, if a queue has grown large at Jackson Hole, then there is probably a great reason to get in it immediately.

One of the few spots where lines used to bubble up at Jackson was at the Thunder chairlift, which gets skiers to the hairier southern side of the resort. On a powder day, Thunder was to be avoided; you planned your morning around it. JHMR is a place run by skiers and they were more than aware of the choke point Thunder created.

Data and rankings for 182 U.S. Resorts
Wilderness Press Powder Ghost Towns: Epic Backcountry Runs in Colorado's Lost Ski Resorts
Book (Wilderness Press)

You're posting from Fort Collins!

by Werewolf32

Ok, maybe you're not in Fort Collins itself, but if you're close enough to go to the mountains and back on a weekend trip, then you're somewhere in Colorado.
The Denver Post, the Rocky Mountain News, and any smaller local papers in your town all have weather reports. The Post and News both have websites with weather reports that update constantly. The Colorado Department of Transportation, every ski resort and half the mountain towns in the state have webcams so you can see at any time of day what the weather looks like there.
Why would you post here on the offchance that somebody will say "Yeah, I live in Leadville and it's cold here tonight"? At least say where in the...

Agree - and

by jamesdenverrrr

Copper mountain is a good resort - not enormous like vail or breck, but big enough you have something for everyone. some good condo rates and deals are at is in summit county just a few miles past breckenridge on freeway, it's not a "town" but has good restaurants and condos, good skiing, and great views. there's only 2 main base areas, so much easier to find each other.
also if you have non-skiiers summit county has good bus service to breck and other summit county towns, (outlet mall, etc)
if you're visiting colorado i recommend looking for condos to rent

Few things to consider - economy now, not the

by HoldMeJuan

Best for indiscriminate skiing for a lot of folks. You'll get your hardcore, but I see revenue falling for resorts. This may affect your employment factor.
What is your level of boarding, and most importantly, are you a good teacher - big difference, in ability to ride and ability to teach.
I would start in the colorado area, or utah, lots of resorts, best snow quality and fall in the "west" area.
Use your contacts from out east to get recs for west.
I would start with Vail corp., and see if they need help

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Which are the best ski resorts in Colorado for beginners?

I have been to Breckenridge and Steamboat. I liked Breckenridge since the green slopes were extremely wide and the hills weren't as steep as Steamboat. I thought the Steamboat green slopes were scary since the trails were so narrow and it was a steeper hill than what I was comfortable with.
I would like to visit some other ski resorts in Colorado that are comparable to Breckenridge. I don't do anything fancy, I ski rather slow, and I hate the slopes that are harder than the greens (they scare the crap out of me). So if you have any suggestions that are good for beginners yet…

I personally liked Loveland when I was learning. I love the viewing the scenery and woodsy areas. At other resorts, you have to go on blue/ blacks to get nice scenery, but loveland has nice runs for all abilities and it isn't as crowded so you don't have to worry about running in to everyone. There are also areas that are very wide. Copper had lots of easy runs, but it was so crowded that I felt uncomfortable learning.

I never took participated in ski school, my dad just taught me, so I can't provide any input on that.

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