Vail Resort

Travel Guide: How to Make the First Family Ski Trip to Colorado a Success

This year we decided to try something new for our family spring break. Instead of flying south to the sun, sand and beach that most Minnesotans crave by this time of year, we opted to head west for our first family ski trip to Colorado.

Growing up in Minnesota, Colorado has always been a popular place for spring break given its proximity, variety of terrain, cheap flight options and the ability to even gut it out and do the drive (you can make it in around 15-16 hours). As an avid skier, I made the drive to Colorado at least a half a dozen times over the years and most recently have enjoyed the short two hour non-stop flights from Minneapolis-St.Paul International Airport (MSP) to Denver. The launch of more no-frills airlines into MSP such as Sun Country, Frontier, and no-frills Spirit Airlines have put pressure on hub-based Delta to keep prices down. All that means Colorado is very accessible yet a family ski vacation is not cheap. Adding on car rental, lift tickets, lodging, food, gear (if you have to rent it) and ski lessons (if necessary) can make a family ski trip to Colorado a very expensive one.

I confess to being a bit reluctant about the notion of skiing in April given our notoriously long, cold winter in Minnesota. However spring skiing in Colorado proved to be an extremely fun, memorable family vacation and although we weren’t wearing our swim suits on the beach the weather in Colorado was equally delightful with baby blue skies, bright, warm sun and fresh mountain air kissing our face. In fact, we had so much fun that we agreed to do it all again next year.

So how did we ensure that our first big ski trip to Colorado would be a success? With careful planning, research and a bit of luck.

Here are my top 6 tips on how to have a fabulous, memorable family ski trip without busting the bank. 

All smiles for a family shot at Mid Vail

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Unforgettable day

Today was an unforgettable day on the slopes. The sky was a brilliant knock-out blue and the sun was beaming down with joy. We rose feeling a little stiffer after a hard day of skiing but excited for the anticipated adrenaline rush that was before us. In my opinion, there is nothing better than flying down the mountain at lightening speed with the wind whipping in your face. It is the closest I feel to being 20 again.

Here are some of my favorite shots of an unforgettable day.

photo (1)

Ok…this isn’t exactly true but I saw it in the bar last night and thought it was hilarious.

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Morning on the slopes.

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Heading up on lift 9 to the top. Look at the wind blow off the crest of the Continental Divide. Wow!

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It was absolutely freezing on top but the 360 view of the Colorado Rockies took my breathe away.

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In the mountains

This weekend I just so happen to be among one of my favorite things: Mountains. I love to see them, climb them and ski them racing like wildfire down the terrain. There is something so magical about mountains. I will always find them mesmerizing.

Here are some photos from my first day skiing at Copper Mountain in Colorado. You will see that it was a magnificent day with brilliant sun and perfect powdery snow. I embraced every minute of it and let the exhilaration saturate my soul.





















This post was written in response to Where’s my Backpack’s travel theme: Mountains. To. See more posts click here.

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