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Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
Sunlight Mountain Resort. Sunlight Mountain Resort, 20 minutes south of Glenwood Springs, is affordable Colorado skiing at its best. Overshadowed by world-class neighbors, the resort sees far less traffic than typical Colorado slopes. Fresh powder, typically skied off at Aspen within an hour, can last as long as two days here on classic downhill runs like Sun King and steeps like Beaujolais; you won't stand in any lines at the four lifts. The resort has 67 trails, including the super-steep glades of Extreme Sunlight, with a drop of 2,010 vertical feet. The varied terrain, sensational views, and lack of pretension make this a local favorite. The lift tickets are also half as much as those at nearby Aspen. Snowboarders have a dedicated feature—the Peace Pipe. Families will appreciate that every child under 12 skis free with an adult, and that every slope meets at the bottom. For winter sports enthusiasts who don't want to ride a chairlift, there's a 20-mi network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails just off the slopes. The cafeteria has cold sandwiches, burgers, and pizzas. 10901 County Rd. 117, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601. 970/945-7491 or 800/445-7931. www.sunlightmtn.com. Dec.-Apr., daily 9-4.
2,010-foot vertical drop; 470 skiable acres; 67 trails; 20% beginner, 55% intermediate, 20% advanced, 5% expert; 4 lifts, 1 triple chair, 2 double chairs, 1 surface lift.
Lessons and Programs
Two-hour ski lessons (including gear rental and lift ticket) cost $90; snowboarding is $95. Four-hour ski lessons are $140, $145 for snowboarding.
The resort, in conjunction with Glenwood Springs, also has a ski-stay-swim package. It includes one night's lodging, a big breakfast, a full-day ski pass, and a full day at the Glenwood Hot Springs Pool.
Lift tickets are the second-cheapest in the state, only $50 at the window. But, as at all Colorado ski resorts, no one ever needs to pay full price. Purchase a discounted pass at the Safeway or King Soopers grocery store in Glenwood Springs.
Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort. Sunlight Mountain Ski Resort has complete rental gear setups on shaped skis. Rentals of the latest snowboards are available for as little as $20. 10901 County Rd. 117, Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601. 970/945-7491 or 800/445-7931. www.sunlightmtn.com.
Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop. The resort's retail outlet, Sunlight Ski and Bike Shop, is in Glenwood Springs. 309 9th St., Glenwood Springs, CO, 81601. 970/945-9425.
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