Loveland Ski Area is often overlooked and underrated as a ski destination while passing it on I-70. It spans both sides of Eisenhower Tunnel with the summit of Loveland making up part of the Continental Divide. It is only an hour from Denver, CO, making in one of the closest to Denver and the Front Range.
Loveland Ski Area if made up of Loveland Valley and Loveland Basin, with the Basin making up the vast majority of the ski area. Loveland valley is for beginners and is where you would go to ski-school. There is one or two longer runs down the Valley which are worth if it you ever find yourself down that way, which you won't. The basin is a short free shuttle (2min) away from the Valley.
The Basin has a nice variety of terrain: some good tree runs, groomers, steeps, cliffs, gate access, bowl skiing. Loveland gets a consistent 400+ inches of snow over the course of their longer season.
One of the favorite runs at Loveland is The Ridge, up Lift 9. You can ski right down the Continental Divided and usually find good snow doing so. The lift sometimes closes if it gets windy, so get on that lift if you get a chance. From the top you can see A-Basin and Keystone ski resorts and a bunch of really big mountains. Lift 9 takes you to 12,700 feet where you can ski right down or traverse in either direction to find better lines or hikable terrain with better powder. We traversed skier-left at the top, where you can keep hiking to Loveland Summit at 13,010. Even after this long (30-40 minute) hike to the top, you ski right down to the trail back to the top of Lift 4.
Loveland, Colorado is not Loveland Mountain which has no town. There is one a restaurant/food court at the base of Loveland Basin and Loveland Valley. The food is affordable and the beer is cheap. You can pick up a delicious bowl of chili and a Fat Tire for under $9.
Daily discounts with a Colorado GEMs card. You can usually find other deals if you look. Loveland had a deal with Shell Gas Station during the 2010-2011 season.
Reasons to Go:
Close to Denver (less than an hour); Affordable lift tickets and food and beer; Long ski season (opens early, closes late).