The Very Best Resort Ski Touring in Colorado

Earn your turns on Colorado’s greatest in-bounds terrain with uphill access.

Jesse Weber



by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil


by Greg Heil

Steamboat Trees

by Shutterstock



If you’ve ever busted tail to make it to the mountain on a powder day and gotten in line before first chair, but then looked up to see neat S-turns already carving the center of the run––you probably got beat by an uphiller. And you know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them!

Skinning uphill is exploding in popularity across Colorado, partly as a way to beat the crowds at overstuffed resorts, but also for the exercise and good fun that is earning those turns. Ski touring and splitboarding are, of course, essential for getting into the backcountry, but with the abundance of commercial mountains in Colorado, there’s no requirement to ever leave the bounds of a resort to go touring. Controlled terrain provides convenience and relative safety, so you can keep skiing and stay fit all season, regardless of conditions in the backcountry. Then there is the advantage of getting on the runs before anybody else, to skip the lines, and to hound those fresh tracks on a powder day!

Uphill access can be complicated, however, because every mountain has different policies. Most Colorado resorts allow at least some options for uphill travel, usually confined to certain hours and routes. You have to know when and where you can ski both uphill and down at any given resort. A pass is usually required as well, but in most cases, this is an uphill-specific pass that is inexpensive or free.

Because not all mountains are created equal, we’ve compiled this guide to help you find the best uphill access in Colorado. All the mountains seen here offer excellent options for skiing on your own power, so you can be sure to earn quality turns for your efforts. Whether you’re looking for casual fitness laps on groomers, or shralping pow with no one else around, you can find your ideal resort tours here. Simply zoom to a mountain to see the routes we recommend. Tap on a run for more information, including links to the resort policies for uphill. Then it’s up to you to learn the code, get the gear, and get up that mountain!


Village Way Uphill

Easy uphill route at Winter Park, taking green and blue trails to the top of Prospector lift.

Hughes Uphill

A go-to uphill route with variations for difficulty, and good options for the downhill as well.

Sleeper Uphill

The skinning route for black diamond runs in Winter Park's Mary Jane Territory.

Mary Jane Uphill

Skin up from Mary Jane base to unlock lots of terrain for resort ski touring.

Route A Uphill

Uphill access at Loveland, for skinning in the morning and evening.

Pali Uphill

Uphill access to the steepest stuff on A-Basin’s frontside.

River Run Uphill

Morning and evening uphill access to the top of Keystone resort.

West Ten Mile Uphill

An easy daytime uphill route, and the start of the approach to Janet’s Cabin in the backcountry.

Gold Dust Uphill

Designated route for skinning in the morning or evening at Beaver Creek.

Sawbuck Uphill

Uphill access on green trails from Beaver Creek’s lower base area.

Elk Camp Uphill

Daytime uphill access from Base Village to Elk Camp at Snowmass.

Tenderfoot Uphill

An intermediate uphill route that’s open for use during operating hours.

Wonderbump Uphill

Powderhorn’s advanced uphill route that’s open for use during operating hours.

Barrel Loop

A classic mini ski tour at Monarch Mountain.

Panorama Uphill Route

A scenic uphill with lots of descents, open for use during and after operating hours at Monarch.