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Loveland

A resort for skiing and boarding, pure and simple, Loveland is often the FIRST in the US to open because it simply can’t wait to get started, and in the past has kept going till June. Still, it’s super quiet. If you’re the type to trade express chairs and flash food for fresh turns and deserted runs, forget love, you’ll adore it.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Great cat skiing • Excellent snow record • Quiet slopes

Great for: • Beginners • Experts • Short transfer

A resort for skiing and boarding, pure and simple, Loveland is often the FIRST in the US to open because it simply can’t wait to get started, and in the past has kept going till June. Still, it’s super quiet. If you’re the type to trade express chairs and flash food for fresh turns and deserted runs, forget love, you’ll adore it.

Loveland Resort

Tucked away off the I-70 Interstate, millions of Americans drive past (and under) Loveland but few stop by. Most are drawn on to the shinier stations and off-slope attractions at Vail or Breckenridge, not realising what they’re missing in the closest ski resort to Denver. As unpretentious as ski resorts come, though it was the Loveland Pass that gave this resort its name, the moniker could well have come from all the warm, friendly welcome here. It’s one of few resorts in the world that’s still family owned and family operated, and known for genuinely smiley service and treating all who pop in like old pals. You’ll immediately see why so many tie the knot or renew their vows here…

A skier’s (or boarder’s) mountain first and foremost, you won’t find gourmet meals or suped up spas at either of the rugged base stations. Even for accommodation you need to travel a short way down the highway - east to Georgetown or west to Silverthorne. Despite this, there’s as much a sense of community as in a tight-knit hamlet in the hills, and the kind of camaraderie you get between skiers who return year after year.

There is, of course, more than good vibes to tempt you in. Slopes stream down from a cloud-shrouded 12,000ft from atop the Continental Divide, forming a 1800 acre ski area that’s buried in an average of 400+ inches of seasonal snowfall, the 2nd most in Colorado. This is why Loveland often opens in October, miles ahead of other US resorts. The lack of piste-side pads helps to keep the crowds away, leaving this mountain as one massive powder stash at the right times. As if it could get better, cheap lift tickets and low resort prices sweeten the deal.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Colorado, USA

Established: 1936

Open: October - May

Downhill: 1800 acres / 94 runs

View our detailed Loveland snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Loveland snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Denver International Airport (DEN)57 miles, 1 hr
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 13%

  • 41%

  • 46%

Top Altitude:13,010ft / 3965m
Bottom Altitude:10,400ft / 3170m
Resort Altitude:10,800ft / 3292m (Basin) 10,400ft 3170m (Valley)
Longest run:2 miles / 3km
Slope Orientation:N S E
Vertical Drop:2210ft / 674m
Skiable Vertical:
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 5cm
  • Base
  • 130cm
  • Forecast
  • 130cm

Web Cam

Loveland web cams
Downhill Runs:1800 acres / 94 runs
Beginner slopes:13%
Intermediate:41%
Advanced slopes:46%
Lift Pass Price: $59-71 (adult single day pass)
Nearby resorts: Winter Park, Breckenridge

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Loveland

Loveland isn’t 1, but in fact, 2 ski areas which horseshoe around the I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnels. While speedsters let rip on the meatier terrain in the huge Basin, wobbly first-weekers have the gentle, forested Valley area all to themselves.

Between this ski area’s 1800 acres, there’s something for anyone and everyone, though the cherry on the cake might be the free cat skiing to a million and one powder stashes off the Ridge. Powder hounds, start getting excited.

With surface lifts, chairs and wide, quiet runs that you won’t have to share with speed demons, Loveland Valley is perfect for those new to the sport – and can be skied on a super cheap Lift 7 ticket. You’ll feel safe striking out on your own from greens Take Off and Boomerang, progressing to mellow blues like Switch, but affordable lessons with the Loveland Ski & Ride School are the quickest way to progress. When you’re ready to run with the big dogs, there are plenty of greens and blues from lifts 2 and 6 in the Basin to get you started. The Loveland Race Club is also located within the Valley, holding practices every afternoon and races on the weekend that are a ton of fun.

For anyone with more skiing experience, the place to be is the Loveland Basin, a 5-minute bus from Valley. No matter your preference - steeps, trees, bumps, cruisers, open bowls - you’re sure to find it here somewhere, often on the same run… We love that the likes of Tickler Gulch and Awesome start out above tree line and take you down into the trees via chutes.

Often expert offerings are confined to a pile of off-piste descents. Not so in Loveland, starting with the 18-passenger Ridge Cat, delightfully free on a lift pass, which trundles its way to black and double black runs off the 12,700ft Continental Ridge (the “Ridge” if you’re in the know). Start with Field of Dreams, and go on to try 13,010 (so called because it plummets off the 13,010ft Golden Peak summit). If visibility is a little low, there’s still plenty of fun to be found lower down. Try Lift 1 for big moguls, big snow and big fun on runs like Over The Rainbow and Avalanche Bowl. If you feel the urge for more gnar, there are some extremely tricky bits in the Arapahoe Basin only 15 minutes over the pass.

Loveland Apres Ski

This resort hasn’t gone in for flash restaurants or 5 star spas. It’s all about the skiing, and that’s what the regulars love about it. Wolfing down hearty cafeteria food elbow to elbow with a ski instructor is how you do afternoons here. For tipples, the Wedge Bar, wedged in the middle of the Basin Lodge, is a top spot for views and cocktails. And if there’s anything Loveland’s “locals” love more than Chair 9, it’s the Rathskeller pub. Meanwhile over at Valley, the Fireside Room serves beginners stiff drinks to celebrate a job well done. All do a good job at filling you with food and good cheer for the ride back to Georgetown, Dillon or Silverthorne.

What you missed out on in variety at the slopes, you’ll more than make up for in any of these classic Colorado towns. That said, in Silverthorne you may just spend every night with a plate of Sauce on the Blue’s King Crab legs… Or shopping in the Outlets. In Georgetown, pottering about a Victorian-style mining town provides hours of fun, especially if the railway’s open for scenic tours across mountain precipices to the Silver Plume mining camp. Lucha Cantina in town will do you a proper Mexican food (ever had a chimi or a relleno? Both delicioso).

Best time to go

Best time to ski Loveland

When is the best time to ski Loveland?

Colorado is known for its light, fluffy powder and not many places get more of it than this one. High elevation (the Ridge sits between 12,500 and 13,000ft) and west-to-east storms ensure a ton of “mountain-effect” snow. The average annual snowfall here’s a whopping 400+ inches, allowing it to be one of the first in the nation to open and one of the last to close each season. The earliest opening in recent times was October 7th (in 2009), and packed powder conditions prevail well into April.

Loveland’s events calendar is chocker throughout the season with fun like Valentine’s “Mountaintop Matrimony”, demo days and resort-wide Scavenger Hunts. To up the fun nearing the end of the season, springtime features live music every weekend with BBQs.

If we had to issue a word of caution it would be – pack a balaclava. You don’t get this high up and to ski above the timberline without rather a lot of wind. Layer up, watch out for exposed skin and look forward to hot toddies at the end of the day.

Peak Dates

Santa takes time out of his schedule for Christmas in Loveland to ski, pose for photos and visit the Kid’s Center with candy. If it’s a toss-up on where to stay, this is the time of year to be in Georgetown, which comes alive with Victorian-dressed carollers, processions and seasonal high teas.

Where better to contemplate the year ahead than 13,000ft up on the powder bowls around Golden Peak? New Year in Loveland is full of reflection… And powder snow, not always a given elsewhere at this time of year.

The US doesn’t do this February school holiday, so Half Term in Loveland is big mountain skiing with small town quiet. And Denver airport’s just an hour away.

There are Easter eggs and goodies flying all over the place for Easter in Loveland, as a kids’ egg hunt is traditionally joined by a skiing, chocolate dispensing bunny and a giant egg hunt, with prizes like skis and boards.

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Families in Loveland

Priceless moments in the mountains can come at a cost for families. Not wanting this to ruin your fun, Loveland does its utmost to make vacations affordable. It’s known for awesome offers like handing out free season passes when kids take 3 classes, completely free parking and spots like the Loveland Deli and Ptarmigan Roost Café have some of the best prices we’ve seen on a mountain.

The Ski and Ride School offers group and private lessons to little ones from as young as 4, with prices previously including lunch, lift tickets and helmets (they’ll even sort out rentals for a small additional cost). And if your young don’t feel up to skiing on the day, walk-ins are usually accepted at the Child Care Center till 10am for tots from 12 months to 12 years – so junior can still have fun and you don’t have to spend the day gazing longingly out the window.

Perhaps our favourite thing is the general atmosphere here. Simple base stations feel small and friendly, with cafeterias that are a natural environment for mucky pups. At the same time, Basin’s high and varied terrain is anything but small and simple and the Valley is a beginner bubble, the perfect place to instill a love of the sport.

GroupsGroup Holidays Loveland

Loveland is smaller than nearby mega resorts Vail and Breckenridge, and that’s half its charm. Terrain is just as high and just as varied, but here the freshies can last for days and, with around ten metres of snow a year, are frequently topped up. Groups will love bundling in the Ridge Cat and heading for the stashes off the Golden Bear peak.

For serious skiers or riders, look out for A.T.A.C. (“attack”) clinics on special days throughout the season, with features like video analysis to take your technique to a new level.

Balconied cabins are dotted about the hills with BBQs and available for rent, perfect for a group break gazing out over the Basin. A lively, all-for-one atmosphere in the cafeterias and the Rathskellar, meanwhile, means there’s opportunity to make plenty of new mates.

Staying in any of the towns of Silverthorne, Dillon and Georgetown opens up your options massively in terms of nightlife and eats, but also day trips to further cracking resorts like Keystone, Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin and Winter Park.

Photos: Loveland tourism & Dustin Schaefer

More Loveland Holiday Resources


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