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regional airports. Between them, they off er facilities for people of all abilities plus great instruction for youngsters. T ere are also numerous attractions


for those who don’t want to snowboard or ski downhill or cross-country, such as ice- skating rinks, tubing hills, dog-sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides, plus the colourful Old West ambience of some of the resort towns. Colorado’s mountains receive an


average of 300 inches (762cm) of light, fl uff y powder snow a year. Some of its resorts approach 14,000ft (4,267m) and off er the most challenging slopes you’ll ever encounter, plus a season running from mid-October to mid-May, sometimes even until early July! A number of the ski resorts are huge –


Vail is seven miles wide with 193 trails stretching over 5,289 acres (2,140 ha) and Keystone covers three mountains and 3,148 acres (1,274 ha). Other large


resorts include family-friendly Winter Park, only an hour from Denver; six-peak Steamboat Ski Resort, just outside the


wonderful Old West town of Steamboat Springs; Copper Mountain with its fantastic bowl skiing; and Breckenridge, set in a picturesque former mining town


A view from the driver’s seat aboard a sleigh ride near Steamboat Springs


and off ering four peaks and the world’s highest chairlift. Buy a lift ticket in the now ultra-


chic former mining town of Aspen and you can ski four diff erent spectacular mountains, each with its own personality, including Snowmass with America’s longest vertical run – 4,400ft (1,341m). Up-market Beaver Creek off ers heated walkways, an outdoor escalator, horse-drawn sleigh rides, a six-lane tubing hill and a great children’s programme. Telluride, one of


Colorado’s loveliest Victorian mining towns, has 18 lifts, more than 2,000 acres (809 ha) of diverse terrain and


Colorado’s only helicopter skiing. And, Crested Butte – its charming downtown proclaimed a National Historic District – is authentic and known as “Colorado’s Last Great Ski Town.” T en there are the hidden gems –


smaller and sometimes more family- and novice-friendly resorts. For information


on all the resorts and areas visit www.colorado.com/skicentral


WILDFLOWER CAPITAL OF COLORADO


A feast for your eyes.


WEST ELK HISTORIC & SCENIC BYWAY


Closest you can come to a wilderness experience in a passenger car.


SETTLED SINCE THE 1860’S. 23 HISTORIC TOWNSITES.


Watch out for ghosts — they’ve been here a while.


GunnisonCrestedButte.com


877.351.8721 View our vacation planner, photos and packages online.


www.colorado.com » 17


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