Family-friendly travel to Colorado

By Lynn O’Rourke Hayes / The Dallas Morning News

Published Jan 19, 2014 at 12:06AM

Eager to check out the slopes this season? Colorado is family-friendly ski country. Here are five ideas to consider:

1. Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month. During January, more than 300 venues in 34 states, including Colorado, are participating in an industry promotion designed to encourage families to learn or take part in a winter sport. Deals, discounts, freebies and educational programs vary by region.

Contact: skiandsnowboard month.org

2. Purgatory at Durango Mountain Resort. Book a Kids Ski Free package and enjoy family fun on 88 snowy trails at this Southwestern Colorado resort. After a day on the slopes, explore the scenic San Juan Mountains aboard a dog-powered sled that departs from the base area. Before heading out on the Old Flume Road, you’ll enjoy a warm drink in the kennels as you learn how the huskies get harnessed up for their own version of snow play. Durango Mountain Resort also hosts a wide variety of concerts, movies and other family activities during the winter season.

Contact: 970-247-9000; durangomountainresort.com

3. Telluride, Colo. Towering 14,000-foot peaks and the box canyon they protect provide a breathtaking setting for a family mountain holiday. A free gondola connects the historic town with the more modern Mountain Village. At 9,500 feet, the upper enclave is home to the Telluride Ski Resort. Both areas provide a wide array of family-friendly lodging and entertainment options. Ski school, an afternoon kids club and a nursery program offer parents the chance to ski with their children or spend all or part of the day exploring terrain on their own. An eco-education camp and a Kids Night Out program are also available.

Contact: theriverclub.com; tellurideskiresort.com

4. Crested Butte, Colo. Wide-open runs and predictable powder await adventure-loving families in this historic ski town. More than 120 trails on 1,176 acres plus plenty of extreme terrain mean you’ll have ski stories to share. Ice-skating, sleigh rides and cross-country skiing are available to round out your stay. Plug into winter deals at the Nordic Inn, a family-owned alpine lodge with guest rooms and chalet-style accommodations.

Contact: 1-800-542-7669; nordicinncb.com; skicb.com

5. Ski Aspen. Your ski pass will be valid at four world-class mountains within this colorful corner of Rocky Mountain grandeur. Stay at the well-located and pet-friendly Limelight Hotel for a chance to experience the diverse terrain as part of the Inside Tracks program. The complimentary all-day insider’s adventure provides powder hounds with local know-how and secrets to share. Less strenuous complimentary ski and snowboard tours are also available.

Contact: 970-429-6971; aspensnow mass.com; lime lighthotel.com