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Fresh tracks at Vail

A Guide to Uphill Skiing near Denver

How to earn your turns at every Denver area resort.

Resort Ski Touring Easy, Moderate, Difficult

Fresh tracks at Vail
Fresh tracks at Vail Photo: Cindy McEnery


Poised at the foot of Colorado’s Front Range, Denver is well known for its proximity to world-class skiing. Every winter weekend, thousands of cars full of locals and visitors alike stream from the city into the mountains. Most of those skiers will begin their day by waiting in a lift line, but a hardy few will remain in motion––determined to earn their turns by skiing uphill. This could be you, if you have the gear for skinning and know where to go use it.

Ski touring and splitboarding are not just for the backcountry; these activities are getting more and more popular at resorts, and rightly so. Resort touring is good for finding solitude on the mountain, staying in shape, extending the ski season, and maybe even beating the crowds on a powder day. Luckily, most resorts in Colorado allow uphill travel in-bounds, and many of these are conveniently close to Denver.

Each mountain manages uphill travel differently, however, with restrictions in the interest of safety and mountain operations. No resort allows uphill travel just anywhere, and it’s important that uphillers stick to the rules in order to preserve access for everyone. Most resorts also require an uphill pass, which involves signing a waiver, and may or may not cost money. Because every place is different, you’ll need to research the policy at a particular mountain before you go. This FATMAP guide is a good place to start.

Here you’ll find mapped uphill routes for resorts within ~2 hours of Denver that allow access. To use this guide, simply find your favorite mountain and zoom in to see the possibilities. Click a route for more information, and also for links to the resort’s uphill policies. Then get out there and earn those turns!

Routes included

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