Cooper, formerly known as Ski Cooper, is one of the most affordable ski resorts in the United States. it sits at the top of Tennessee Pass, west of Vail and Cooper Mountain, near America’s highest incorporated city, Leadville, at 10,152 feet. While it may not sound as exciting as Aspen, here lodging is far less expensive and the atmosphere is less pretentious too. Cooper has remained a humble ski hill, most often used by the locals, which means there’s rarely a line for the lifts. If you want something more extreme and personal, it also offers snowcat access skiing on Chicago Ridge, that features terrain that’s similar to the back bowls of Vail.
In the town of Leadville, you’ll find a number of budget-friendly hotels, a wide range of historical attractions, and the legendary Silver Dollar Saloon, an authentic Irish pub that dates back to 1877.