Skiing is expensive.
Ski lessons are even more expensive!
I mean, have you looked at the price some of these mountains are charging?
$1,000+ for a single day of private instruction. Who can afford that???
Thankfully, the prices charged for ski lessons varies widely by resort, and Colorado has tons of sleeper options for cheap, affordable ski lessons. (For both adults and kids)
I’ve done the research at every single ski resort in the state of Colorado, and I’m here to report back with all of your options for affordable ski lessons in the state.
- 6 Great Options for Cheap Ski Lessons in Colorado
- Detailed Comparison of Colorado Ski Lesson Prices
- General Advice for Finding Cheap Ski Lessons
6 Great Options for Cheap Ski Lessons in Colorado
1. Hesperus Ski Area (Durango, CO)
If you’re looking for the absolute cheapest ski lessons in Colorado, Hesperus is the clear winner.
Their lessons start at $49, and shockingly, even include a full-day lift ticket and rentals – an incredible deal.
2. Echo Mountain (Idaho Springs, CO)
If you’re heading to the popular Colorado’s popular Summit County ski county, consider pulling off early in Idaho Springs, CO for a visit to Echo Mountain.
This small little ski area only has one lift, and their ski lessons are technically free. Here’s how it works…
Echo ditched the formal ski school and instead relies on “Mountain Ambassadors.” These ambassadors hang out in the beginner area and offer tips and points whenever you get stuck. It’s not a formal ski lesson, but if you’re just looking for a helpful set of eyes to help you learn at your own pace, it’s a really cool set up. You can read more about it on their website.
And you can’t beat the price of free!
3. Wolf Creek (Pagosa Springs, CO)
Wolf Creek likes to brag about having the most snow in Colorado, but less advertised is their affordable ski lessons. They offer beginner lessons for less than $100 bucks.
4. Sunlight Mountain (Glenwood Springs, CO)
If I were to recommend a more affordable mountain with cheap ski lessons to the average Colorado visitor, Sunlight would be an unexpected challenger near the top of my list.
Why? Well, it’s located in Glenwood Springs, around 3 hours from Denver’s airport and near so many other popular (and more expensive) Colorado mountains, like Aspen and Vail. You can grab a lesson for less than 100 bucks, and their $65 add-on for an all-day lift ticket plus rentals is one of the best deals in the state.
5. Loveland (Dillon, CO)
At first glance, Loveland’s $170 lesson might not seem like a screaming deal. But look closer, and you’ll realize this group lesson also comes with an all day lift ticket ($120 value) plus ski rentals, which normally run upwards of $50.
In other words? You’re basically getting a ski lesson for free.
6. Arapahoe Basin (Dillon, CO)
Similar story to Loveland. After calculating the cost of rentals and lift tickets, A-Basin’s $200 lesson package gives you a longer-than-average group lesson at one of Colorado’s coolest mountains for around 50 bucks. That’s an awesome deal!
Bonus: The Cheapest Kid’s Lesson (Free)
Epic Pass offers the “Epic Schoolkids” Program which comes with a free lesson for first-time skiers, age Kindergarten to 5th grade. Even better, it provides free days of skiing at Epic Resorts such as Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, and Crested Butte.
You have to register in person, and you’ll need to provide documentation of your child’s age. See the official website for more info.
Detailed Comparison of Colorado Ski Lesson Prices
Here’s the complete comparison of ski lesson prices across all 30 resorts in Colorado.
In keeping with the tips we’ll discuss later in this article, I’ve used beginner, half-day afternoon lessons as the default. If you’re looking for a different type of lesson, this chart should still be helpful in spotting the general price trends. (I’ve also included links to the ski school webpages, which you can use to adjust lesson details for more accurate pricing.)
Along those lines, note that I’ve listed the adult lesson prices. Although kid’s lessons are usually similarly priced, there may be some differences.
|Ski Resort||Lesson Price||Notes|
|Arapahoe Basin||$200||3-hour, includes lift ticket + rentals|
|Aspen||$324||Full day (10 AM – 3PM), weekend more expensive|
|Beaver Creek||$249||Beginner half-day|
|Copper Mountain||$179||Beginner half-day|
|Crested Butte||$170||Beginner half-day|
|Echo Mountain||N/A||Informal instruction from mountain ambassadors|
|Eldora Mountain||$249||Full day beginner|
|Hesperus||$49||1 hour lesson + lift ticket + rentals|
|Howelson||N/A||Ski lessons not currently offered|
|Kendall Mountain||N/A||Ski lessons not currently offered|
|Lake City||N/A||Ski lessons not currently offered|
|Loveland||$169||Half-day lesson + full day ticket + rentals|
|Silverton Mountain||N/A||Ski lessons not currently offered|
|Ski Cooper||$179||2-hour private lesson|
|Steamboat||$355||Full day (0:30 AM to 3:00)|
|Sunlight||$95||2-hour lesson (rental + ticket addon for $65)|
|Telluride||$150||PM lesson. (Lesson + lift + rental package = $210)|
|Winter Park||$159||3-hour lesson|
|Wolf Creek||$94||First-day beginner lesson|
Disclaimer: Lesson prices may vary. Please check ski resort webpage for most accurate pricing.
General Advice for Finding Cheap Ski Lessons
I’m a big fan of ski lessons. My first day ever on skis was an organized beginner lesson at Keystone, and I recommend all new skiers do the same.
In fact, even intermediate and advanced skiers would be wise to continue their education. (Even as an advanced skier today, I try to take at least one ski lesson per year to avoid any bad habits.)
Over those years, I’ve picked up several tips for getting maximum value for your lessons.
1) Stick with group lessons
Group lessons usually cost 1/3 to 1/4 the price of private lessons. No, you won’t get as much individualized attention, but you can still get tons of value out of professional instruction in a group environment.
And sometimes, there’s a benefit to learning in a group. You can often pick up tons of valuable tips through the osmosis of skiing with others. (And hearing the instructor’s advice for those others.)
2) Consider half-days
Most resorts offer ski lessons as either “half-day” or “full-day” options.
Personally, I usually find the most value in the half-day options. Full-days obviously give you the most instruction, but I sometimes find them to lean towards “information overload.”
Personally, I think half-days offer the most bang for your buck. You get a professional instructor to point out a few specific things to work on, and then you can spend the rest of the day focusing on those things on your own.
3) Look into afternoon deals
Speaking of half-day group lessons, many ski resorts offer discounted prices for afternoon lessons compared to morning lessons.
I haven’t found any specific reason for this, other than the morning being the busiest time on the mountain. So, saving a few bucks by waiting until the afternoon to start your lesson can often be a great choice.
4) Consider smaller, independently owned mountains.
If you notice from the above chart, all the biggest mountains with the biggest marketing budgets also have the most expensive ski lessons.
If you’re looking for a deal, consider some of the smaller, lesser-known mountains.
Many of these spots are independently owned, mom-and-pop shops. With that comes cheaper prices on most everything, ski-lessons included.