Featured image: Telluride Helitrax

Colorado is one of the popular ski destinations in the world, with a whopping 12.1 million skier visits over the 2020-21 season, according to Colorado Ski Country.

It’s no secret the Rocky Mountains hold endless adventure for skiers of all abilities. But with all those visitors, it’s clearly time to find a new and better way to access these mountains. And fortunately, there are several standout heliskiing and catskiing operations to help you do just that.

Silverton Mountain

Heliskiing — Silverton, Colorado

Silverton is technically considered a ski area. But its lifts only access a fraction of the terrain available to you. Hop in the heli and suddenly you have 29,000 acres of skiable terrain, ready to rip. The bird will whisk you and your crew above 13,000 feet for the best turns imaginable, with no lift lines, lifts, or even humans in sight. This is also one of the more affordable heliskiing opportunities out there—with 6 single-day heli drops starting at $1,190.

Jones Pass Guides

Catskiing — Empire, Colorado

It’s tough to beat world-class catskiing just over an hour from Denver International Airport, and that’s exactly what you’ll get with the crew at Jones Pass. Watch resort skiers funnel down I-70 as you hop aboard the snow-navigating beast and travel to the summit with your pals. With a summit over 12,000 feet, you can expect prime Colorado ski conditions all to yourselves. And while heliskiing is always a blast, taking the cat route increases your chances of accessing the mountains without weather getting in your way.

Telluride Helitrax

Heli-assisted Ski Touring — Telluride, Colorado

Ski-touring has absolutely exploded, and for good reason. There’s nothing like earning your turns in the mountains and getting a good workout in. But when you pair that passion with the capabilities of a helicopter, now you’re really on an adventure. With Telluride Helitrax, you’ll be dropped into Southern Colorado’s most prime territory, then have the ability to ski-tour deeper into even better terrain. The operation’s experienced guides will help you every stride of the way, and you’ll end up with a ski experience unlike any other.