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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Sunlight Mountain Resort. Twenty-five minutes south of Glenwood Springs, Sunlight Mountain Resort is affordable Colorado skiing at its best. Overshadowed by world-class neighbors, the resort sees far less traffic than typical Colorado slopes. Fresh powder, typically skied off at Aspen within an hour, can last as long as two days here on classic downhill runs like Sun King and Beaujolais; you'll rarely, if ever, stand in lines at the four lifts. The resort has 67 trails, including a series of double-black steeps on the East Ridge. The varied terrain, sensational views, and lack of pretension make this a local favorite. The lift tickets cost a fraction of what they do at nearby Aspen. A terrain park for freestyling skiers and boarders features rails, boxes, and jumps. Families will appreciate that every child under 12 skis free with an adult if you book a ski-swim-stay package, and every slope meets at the bottom base lodge. For winter sports enthusiasts who don't want to ride a chairlift, there's a 20-mile network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails just off the slopes. Parking at the resort is free. 10901 County Rd. 117, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601. 970/945–7491 or 800/445–7931. www.sunlightmtn.com. Early Dec.–late Mar., daily 9–4.
2,010-foot vertical drop; 470 skiable acres; 67 trails; 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 20% advanced, 5% expert; 4 lifts, 1 triple chair, 2 double chairs, 1 surface lift.
Lessons and Programs
Two-hour ski lessons (including gear rental and lift ticket) cost $90; snowboarding is $95. Four-hour ski lessons are $140, $145 for snowboarding.
The resort, in conjunction with Glenwood Springs, also has a ski-stay-swim package. It includes one night's lodging, a big breakfast, a full-day ski pass, and a full day at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.
Lift tickets are the second-cheapest in the state, only $50 at the window. But, as at all Colorado ski resorts, no one ever needs to pay full price. Purchase a discounted pass at the Safeway or King Soopers grocery store in Glenwood Springs.
Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop. The resort's retail outlet, Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop, is in downtown Glenwood Springs. Prices for ski rentals here are typically a little cheaper than at the mountain. 309 9th St., Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601. 970/945-9425. www.sunlightmtn.com/rental-shop.
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