Heli Skiing Colorado
There are two companies that offer heli-skiing in Colorado - Telluride Heli-Trax & Silverton Mountain Heli. Prices per person for a full day of heli-skiing start at $1395 with Telluride Heli-Trax, and $1190 for a 6 run trip with Silverton Mountain Heli.
Heli skiing in Colorado is an experience of a lifetime. The attraction of Colorado over other options of heli-skiing in USA is the superior dry powder which falls in Colorado, as well as the high altitude which heli-skiing takes place at. Like you would find in some resorts in Canada, heli-skiing in Colorado allows you to ski both above the treeline in the rugged mountain tops, as well as through the trees as you reach the end of your run, ready to be picked up by the helicopter to go all the way to the top again!
If you are in Colorado and are getting fed up of skiing in resorts under controlled conditions and surrounded by other tourists, you may want to give heli-skiing in Colorado a go. This is an opportunity to experience the back-country like never before, and get fresh powder turns on deserted mountain tops with no one else around.
There are two different heli-ski operators in Colorado (alongside numerous other cat-skiing operators, but this doesn’t quite compare to heli-skiing), these are Telluride Heli-Trax & Silverton Mountain Heli.
Telluride Heli-Trax - Colorado
This is Colorado’s largest heli-ski operator by way of skiable terrain on offer. Telluride Heli-Trax is a family owned business in operation for 39 years, and offers a whopping 128,000 acres of skiable terrain! That’s a lot of fresh powder waiting to be skied knee-deep through. There are many different drop-off zones in the mountains used by this operator, ensuring that a wide range of customers and skiing abilities are provided for. A 6-run package is provided for the price of $1395, which on average is 10,000 – 14,000’ vertical feet of skiing, which includes food, sunscreen, avalanche equipment and powder skis you will need for the trip. Telluride Heli-Trax operates in some of the highest altitude terrain in North America, up to 13,500 feet. The typical day lasts from 9:30/10am - 2:30/4pm, though times may vary depending on weather. If there is one thing I can guarantee it is that you will be longing for a goodnight sleep after an action packed and exhilarating day of powder skiing.
At the time of writing this article, Telluride Heli-Trax does not state any age restrictions, however think carefully before you bring children heli-skiing as there is no denying that powder skiing takes some getting used to and good technique, and once you are all the way up there in the mountains, there is no easy way home. On top of a fantastic day of non-stop skiing and helicopter rides, Telluride Heli-Trax also offers apres-ski drinks post-ski as a way to top of the day.
Silverton Mountain Heli - Colorado
Silverton Mountain Heli offers both the option of booking yourself onto a group heli-ski trip and also the option booking out a private helicopter to take you around the mountains skiing all day – the latter being much more expensive. The unique offer Silverton Mountain Heli has is that this is the only heli-ski operator in continental United States that offer single heli-ski rides. If you only fancy going for one run, you can save yourself a bit of money and only have to pay out $184 per drop! Seems very cheap for any notion of a heli-ski – which it is!
If you do have a bit of extra cash to splash, and a private helicopter to take you on a personal ski tour of the backcountry tickles your fancy, a glorious 29,000 acres of skiable terrain is at your disposal for a total of $11,990 Monday – Wednesday or $16,990 Thursday – Sunday. It's not like the snow conditions are any better at the weekend, so if you are booking in advance and taking a gamble on conditions, there's no reason not to be a cheap skate and choose to heli-ski in the early part of the week.
If you are looking to rent a pair of super-fat powder skis for the day, Silverton Mountain Heli rents out K2 powabunga skis with a 136mm waist, which is as far towards a powder ski as you can possibly imagine! These can be rented from the operator for $64. Snowboards can also be rented for $64 – you have a range of Venture snowboards to choose from including Stomer, Euphoria & Storm One amongst others, all handmade in Silverton.
I would not recommend booking your heli-ski too far in advance, purely due to the variability of weather in the mountains. The worst thing in the world is to have paid for a heli-ski trip only to find that the one week you have booked in for has no snowfall due. And even though this sounds unlikely to happen for you, its not worth the risk. Leave the booking as close to the trip as you can (making sure it doesn’t get booked out) to ensure you give yourself as good a chance of pristine snow conditions as you can.