Loveland is many things to many people: a local’s hill, a high-alpine playground, a place to kick off the season—and close it out well into late spring. Located a brisk 53 miles from Denver—about an hour, when the traffic gods are on your side—this mid-size Front Range ski mountain has much to recommend it, from mellow bowl skiing suited to skiers of all stripes to black-diamond bumps off Chair #1 that boast a thigh-straining vertical drop of 1,000 feet.
Often the first resort to open in North America—a battle it wages every October with neighboring Arapahoe Basin, 20 minutes away—Loveland’s altitude also helps cover it ‘s 1,500-plus acres with a reliable 400 annual inches of fresh. But it’s the attitude that makes this place a favorite. Laid-back, no liftlines, ticket prices that hark back to the early ’80s and an old-timey cafeteria where lunch won’t drain your 401k. And when it’s all said and done, après-ski with a two-buck PBR at The Rathskellar will bring you back to your skiing roots. And that’s not a bad thing.
Lift ticket: $59 adults, $25 kids 6-14, $44 seniors 60 and over; skiloveland.com