Posted on 25 Sep 2019

Your guide to the best snow, skiing & places to stay in December in Colorado

 Although almost all of Colorado ski areas officially open in November (and there are plenty of reasons to visit Colorado in November), December is really the kick-off to Colorado’s ski season. 

Early December visitors are treated to lower prices and fewer people. Mid to late December visitors enjoy more open terrain and a full-bore festive holiday atmosphere that rivals the North Pole. Of course, the big question on everyone’s mind when planning a ski vacation is

Where is the best snow in December?

Beaver Creek

While we can never predict the exact weather conditions for any given month (if we could we most certainly should start buying lottery tickets!), we can share what we know after 21 years of being in the Colorado ski resort vacation rental business. 

What is the snow like in Steamboat in December? 

Our beloved Steamboat Ski Resort (Moving Mountains headquarters), consistently outranks most other ski resorts when it comes to December snow conditions. 

As the travel experts at Z Rankings said, “Steamboat excels at many things, but its snow coverage in the early season of the Rocky Mountain winter is nearly without peer. Its unique spot on Colorado’s high plateau makes it a veritable vacuum cleaner for early season storms that come across the continent.”. 

Steamboat also has a snow advantage over steeper resorts such as Telluride or Jackson Hole. Our vertical is a bit more forgiving, which means our snow can stick around longer and it probably doesn’t hurt that we are further north.

While most other Colorado ski resorts got a 76 snow score from Z Rankings, Steamboat garnered a whopping 95.9!. Basically, once Mother Nature gets winter going in Steamboat, she doesn’t let up until spring. 

What is the snow like in Beaver Creek in December?

Beaver Creek also has some location advantages. It’s on the west side of Vail Pass, which means it’s the lucky recipient of more snow than other ski resorts in Summit County. In addition, over half of Beaver Creek’s terrain faces north, ensuring that the bounty that Mother Nature delivers, the Colorado sunshine can’t easily melt away.

What is the snow like in Vail in December?

Just like Steamboat and Beaver Creek, Vail has high annual snowfall, plenty of north-facing slopes, and they just expanded their snowmaking by an additional 200 acres for the  2019/2020 season,nearly guaranteeing that the mountain will be able to provide epic turns in all conditions as early as mid-November.

What’s the weather like in Steamboat, Vail or Beaver Creek in December?

Average Temperature in Steamboat

Temperatures typically drop by about 15 - 20 degrees from November to December, which is ideal for the start of the ski season, but if you’re hoping for a vacation of lounging outside, soaking up the sun and enjoying apres-ski activities, it’s probably not happening in December. 

We tend to spend a lot more time snuggled up by the fire or putting on that extra layer of thermals than we spend slathering on the sunscreen. So if goggle tans are what you’re going for, February and March are probably a better bet for your vacation. 

If something closely replicating your favorite childhood snowglobe is more your style, then December is a perfect time to visit! And be sure to check out our ski vacation packing guide for tips on what to bring on your ski vacation regardless of the weather.

Where’s the best place to spend the holidays in Colorado?

Whether you’re celebrating, Christmas, Hannukah or Festivus for the rest of us, we know you’ll be singing some Bing Crosby as you marvel at our veritable Winter Wonderland. 

Vail, Beaver Creek, and Steamboat all have plenty of holiday cheer to spread around. The December don’t miss events include the tree lighting, WinterIce sculptures, live reindeer in the mountain village, torchlight parades, Snow Days concerts and much much more. Our favorite holiday event details are right here

Where is the best place to stay in December in Steamboat, Beaver Creek or Vail?

One Steamboat Place

If you’re looking for the best ski-in/ski-out spot, One Steamboat Place is Steamboat’s most posh mountain village accommodations. It offers the spaciousness of a vacation home combined with the luxury amenities of a resort hotel. 

These 1-5-bedroom luxury condominiums provide every extra you could imagine (and many you haven’t even dreamed up) along with 5-star service from Timbers Resorts staff. From the outdoor pool and hot tubs (plus separate game rooms for toddlers and teens) to wine tastings, ski concierge and the revamped on-site spa, One Steamboat Place has something for everyone in the family.

Timbers Bachelor Gulch, also operated by Timbers Resorts, is our One Steamboat Place counterpart in the Vail Valley.  We are just expanding our offerings at this luxury Residence Club that shares amenities with the adjacent Ritz Carlton Hotel. These deluxe 2 and 3-bedroom residences, within the exclusive gated community of Bachelor Gulch, offer access to the Beaver Creek ski mountain and it’s worth noting that lift tickets for everyone are included in the rental rate.  

For those craving a luxury catered ski chalet reminiscent of the alps or the most magnificent Colorado vacation rental home with views to match, then look no further than our collection of private ski homes in Steamboat, Vail, and Beaver Creek. 

Our homes have the best views, deluxe kitchens, game rooms, hot tubs, multiple master bedrooms, bunk rooms, boot heaters and so much more. They’re perfect for large families, multi-generations, holiday gatherings, big groups and anyone who wants the exceptional experience a well-appointed ski vacation home snuggled in the rocky mountains can offer. 

Picking the “best” one is like asking us to pick our favorite child (no sibling or chalet rivalries allowed). Our suggestion for finding the best place to stay for your family? Contact us so that we can match you with the perfect ski home in Vail, Beaver Creek or Steamboat Springs for your December vacation. 

No matter when you visit , we’ll take care of everything for your Colorado ski vacation, from the necessary essentials like lift tickets, ski rentals, dinner reservations and airport transportation to the delightful extras like sleigh rides, spa treatments and a kitchen stocked with all of your favorites including the most indulgent hot cocoa ingredients!

If you want to remember December with family memories that will last a lifetime, reserve your Moving Mountains Colorado ski vacation, today. Our most popular homes are going fast!

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December Skiing Guide



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