Small Ski Resorts: A Better Skiing Experience

It seems like many ski resorts are adding new terrain, new lifts and new features every season. Sure, having massive amounts of terrain is awesome as long as it allows you to get away from the crowds. When it comes to ski resorts, is bigger always better? I think I actually prefer small ski resorts.

This year I purchased a family pass at Eldora Mountain Resort. I made this decision because it was affordable and close to home. What I've discovered is that I really enjoy the small resort atmosphere. It's not only an easier drive to access the resort, but once I get there, I can park without taking a bus to the lifts, there's rarely a lift line and people are friendly.

Small Ski Resorts

Eldora is a small family-friendly resort located near Boulder, Colorado. It's been a great place to teach my girls to snowboard and it offers enough terrain for me to go search for some powder, bust through some trees and cruise some groomers. But best of all, my wife left her wallet in the bathroom for over an hour and when we returned it was still there - cash and all. How cool? Do you think that would have happened at one of those huge mega resorts?

My new found love of this little resort got me thinking back to my past favorite ski resorts. I've had amazing days at Vail, Keystone and Breckenridge, but when I lived in Summit County I actually enjoyed snowboarding and hanging out at Arapahoe Basin the best. When I moved to Durango, I spent a lot more time at Wolf Creek than I did at Durango Mountain Resort (Purgatory). And when I think about ski resorts I've always wanted to get back to, Monarch Mountain is at the top of that list.

Eldora ski resort The Base at Eldora Mountain Resort


It seems I've always preferred small ski resorts. You can often ski all day at a smaller resort without lift lines, you can find untracked powder later in the day and people tend to be friendlier. I hope I haven't given up too many of my favorite ski resorts.

Do you agree? Where is your favorite place to ski or snowboard?

*Featured image by Eric Mills. This image was modified.
Andy Hawbaker
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Andy Hawbaker
Andy is a hiker, backpacker, snowboarder and outdoor fanatic. When he isn't exploring the Rocky Mountains, burning marshmallows or scratching his dog behind the ear, he shares his experiences here on the Sierra Trading Post Blog.
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