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Overview

Although the wide, tall, dramatic Rocky Mountains stretch to the very tip of British Columbia, Canada, the northern Colorado Rockies are where much of the fun is. Beginning just outside of Denver and following the Continental Divide, this stretch of the mountains encompasses almost all of the state's major ski resorts — Aspen, Vail, Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain. These resorts have defined Colorado's identity and propped up its massive tourism industry for more than a century, and a laid-back culture of both ritzy shopaholics and String Cheese Incident-obsessed, knit-cap-wearing ...

Although the wide, tall, dramatic Rocky Mountains stretch to the very tip of British Columbia, Canada, the northern Colorado Rockies are where much of the fun is. Beginning just outside of Denver and following the Continental Divide, this stretch of the mountains encompasses almost all of the state's major ski resorts — Aspen, Vail, Keystone, Winter Park, Breckenridge, Steamboat Springs, Arapahoe Basin and Copper Mountain. These resorts have defined Colorado's identity and propped up its massive tourism industry for more than a century, and a laid-back culture of both ritzy shopaholics and String Cheese Incident-obsessed, knit-cap-wearing hippies has kept the surrounding towns well populated. Aspen and Vail are world-renowned ski resorts, with the accompanying prices to prove it; A-Basin and Copper Mountain are affordable, easy and perfect for day trips from Denver or Boulder; and Breck, Steamboat, Keystone and Winter Park are somewhere in between. Even if you don't ski, check them out for other winter sports or just a nice walk or drive through the Maroon Bells (near Aspen) or Tenmile Range (Breckenridge). All are insanely scenic.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: The Rocky Mountains, often called the Rockies, are a broad mountain range in western North America
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
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