Arapahoe Basin

The nation's highest, and one of Colorado's oldest ski areas also remains one of its most down-to-earth. Lift ticket prices for the original rope tow in 1946 cost $1.25 per day. Even now, ticket prices remain reasonable.

Hugging the Continental Divide at 13,050 feet, this winter playground is a place where you can park for free right at the base and be on a lift in minutes. Ski directly up to the famous base lodge, a former NASA rocket-tester hub transported from Colorado Springs to the mountain in 1965, for some tasty hamburgers. This mountain has a reputation for extreme terrain and short lift lines.

A-Basin's altitude allows it to stay open later than many resorts, and the spring is known for a sun-and-fun atmosphere. There's no lodging here; for a bed, head just down the pass to Keystone.

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