Considering a trip to Colorado in April and need some help? We’ve definitely got you covered!
April in Colorado is the beginning of Spring with warmer weather on the horizon. Generally, the first week or two of April is the last bit of ski season. Later in the month, the snow begins to melt and mud can take it’s place. However, April is a great time to visit Colorado for a cheaper trip.
This is a beautiful state with so many great things to do that will appeal to all types of vacationers. Whether you plan to ski, sightsee, or just relax, you’re likely to experience lower crowd volumes and lower pricing during your April vacation.
This guide is jam-packed full of everything you need to know about what to expect when visiting Colorado during this time of year. Weather, crowds, skiing, things to do, events- it’s all here!
This article is part of Roundtript’s series of expert Colorado travel guides for every month of the year.
Spring in Colorado
Summer in Colorado
Fall in Colorado
Winter in Colorado
For a summary of each Colorado month & season all in one place, check out our big guide to the Best Times of the Year to Visit Colorado.
Colorado Weather in April
Depending on your destination in Colorado, April temperatures, climate and general conditions will vary. Typically, the average April highs in Colorado ski areas are in the 40’s°F(4°C) with lows in the 20’s°F(-6°C). Lower locations can usually expect highs in the mid 60’s°F (15°C) with lows in the 40’s°F (4°C).
Colorado weather in April is often unpredictable, starting cool with snowfall and ending warmer with more frequent rainfall. April is the true start to the Spring season and shifts in weather can turn from icy cold to mildly warm quickly, with the coolest days happening early and warmest days late.
No matter the time of year, altitude will always be a factor when traveling to Colorado. Some towns like Alma have an elevation of 10,300′ and others like Wray have an elevation of over 3,000′. As a matter of fact, altitude sickness affects nearly 10% of all visitors. You can prepare your body by eating healthy foods, drinking plenty of water, sleeping well, resting frequently and avoiding alcohol.
Colorado Snow & Skiing in April
In some areas, snow storms are not uncommon in April, with the higher altitudes seeing the most snow. Lower altitudes will experience snow melt starting in April and there are muddy areas on hiking trails and valleys through the mountain ranges. Dressing in layers that can be easily removed is highly recommended for April’s unpredictable daily temperatures.
Generally, the first two weeks of April are still a good time for snow sports and skiing. Most resorts will close after that time. For almost any ski resort, the earlier in April, the better to catch the last few runs of the season. The snow at lower altitudes is beginning to melt, so higher altitude runs may be the only ones available as the month progresses.
April is definitely a great time for casual skiers who prefer to have more fun than competition on the slopes. The weather is much warmer without the cold winter bite and wind.
As a general rule of thumb, if a resort is open in April it’s because the historic snow conditions tend to be better for longer in that location. Resorts will continue to blow snow until their closing day, so you don’t have to worry about that shutting down either.
Colorado Affordability & Crowds in April
Most cities in Colorado will see a significant drop-off in tourists in the month of April. The busiest seasons tend to be centered around skiing in the Winter (December through March) and in the warm weather months of Summer (June – August). If lower crowds and lower travel rates are valuable to you, April is a great month to consider.
Hotel rates will vary by city, with most ski towns offering a range of rates, small towns being the cheapest and the capitol city of Denver averaging around $250 per night for the best hotels. With lower crowds, it’s also possible that some hotels and restaurants may close for the season until summer crowds begin rolling in.
Best Colorado Ski Resorts in April
Arapahoe Basin & Loveland
Both of these excellent ski areas are located in Dillon, CO in the Arapaho National Forest. Both are more suitable for a quick casual ski trip where you aren’t in it for frills or expensive meals. Expect to stay outside of the area and travel in to ski each day. If you’re more into an all-inclusive type of vacation, see Breckenridge and Vail/Beaver Creek below.
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area has the longest ski season in Colorado (typically lasting from October till early June) and maintains great snow conditions throughout the entire month of April. Arapahoe Basin offers the ultimate Rocky Mountain experience with some of the lowest crowds and most incredible landscape views. It’s equipped with 1,428 skiable acres with a summit elevation of 13,050′. It’s appropriately nicknamed “the Legend” for it’s epic terrain that appeals best to intermediate and advanced level skiers.
Loveland has a very long ski season, lasting till early May most years. It’s got 1,800 acres of skiable terrain and a summit elevation of 13,010′. They have great options for beginners and experienced skiers with both the Valley and Basin ski areas. The Valley has it’s own lifts for novice skiers and offers a safe space for practice, while the Basin has wide open runs, steep drops and exhilarating trails. There are also On-Mountain Cabins available for rent, an on-mountain restaurant and a child care facility at the base.
Breckenridge Ski Resort boasts one of Colorado’s biggest ski areas with 2,908 acres of skiable terrain, a summit elevation of 12,998′, and the longest run at 3.5 miles long (most resorts have 2 mile long runs). There are suitable runs for all levels of skiers, including a 3,398 vertical drop, a 22′ superpipe and 187 different trails to experience.
The ski season at Breckenridge lasts through the entire month of April, with crowd levels dropping off in this time. It’s one of the most visited ski resorts in the state with 11 on-mountain restaurants to choose from, the Gold Runner Alpine Coaster, over 150 boutiques in the shopping area and plenty of entertainment to fuel your vacation.
Vail is considered one of the classiest, most upscale ski resorts in Colorado, drawing thousands from all over the world to it’s beautiful slopes.
Vail is one of the best places for both skiers and non-skiers to enjoy. Skiers will love the various terrain that accommodates all levels, as well as the 7 miles of back bowls to explore. Non-skiers will appreciate the two main base areas with heated walkways, excellent shopping and dining options, along with beautiful luxury resort accommodations.
April snow conditions at Vail are almost always good. Snowstorms are pretty common, especially during the first half of the month.
Beaver Creek is one of the most luxurious ski resorts, built for vacationers who love to ski but enjoy loads of entertainment, dining experiences and other excursions throughout their trip. April is a great time to go, not only for great snow conditions, but also for lower crowds and subsequently lower rates.
It’s got 1,815 skiable acres with a summit elevation of 11,440′. There are also plenty of ski-in/ski-out homes and base camp hotels to choose from. Beaver Creek Ski Resort is equipped with four different village areas with their own lodging, restaurants and shopping districts, giving visitors lots of options for a stellar ski vacation.
April skiing at Beaver Creek will usually end sometime during the second or third week of the month.
Wolf Creek Ski Resort is located between Pagosa Springs and South Fork, CO. It’s got some of the highest snowfall stats in the state on an annual basis, reaching about 480 inches every year. It comes with 1,600 acres of skiable terrain and a summit elevation of 11,904′. Wolf Creek has multiple runs with varying terrain, including steep and rocky glades, and a limited access set of runs for experts only.
Best Things to Do in Colorado in April
Below are some of the best places to visit in the month of April. In addition to these places, other spring activities available this time of year include ATVing, backpacking, ballooning, boating, camping, canoeing, fishing, golfing, paragliding, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, kayaking, mountain biking, rock climbing, water skiing, water rafting, and ziplining.
The Mile High City is best known for being the capital of Colorado; a true metropolis that began humbly as a frontier town and then booming in the Gold Rush. Denver tends to be busiest in the Summer and Winter months, so April is a great in-between time for sight-seeing and exploring the city with lower crowds and travel rates. You should prepare for wet and cool weather in the Spring with appropriate clothing, but you will easily find shelter in the city’s many museums and restaurants.
There are many things to do and experience in Denver. Some of the most unique are outside of the typical eateries, breweries and gentrified areas, like the historic tours and Old West attractions. For example, Denver Story Trek (an historical journey through the city) can be accomplished via bus, bike or car and takes you on routes through Denver neighborhoods and historic areas.
The Denver Zoo is a fun escape no matter your age. It’s got loads of animals from all over the world that you can see up close in creative habitats. You can also get a fun and interactive education at these other Denver attractions: History Colorado Center, Buffalo Bill Grave and Museum, Civic Center Park, Black American West Museum, Four Mile Historic Park and the Denver Art Museum.
Best of all, a lot of these experiences are included in the $30 Mile High Culture Pass – three days of admission and discounts on transportation.
Breckenridge is a surprisingly good time in April, with lower crowds and more room to breath. This popular ski town has one of the longest ski seasons of the year and avid skiers will be pleased with it’s great late season conditions. Despite the sunny weather and warmer temps, the snow in Breckenridge remains on the mountain for the entirety of the month, with new snow storms rolling in pretty regularly.
As if the great weather for skiing wasn’t enough, the city has lots to offer visitors who are looking for something different. It’s best to take advantage of the last of the Spring snow, so activities like snowshoeing, tubing and cross-country skiing are highly recommended in April.
Aside from outdoor snow sports, Historic Main Street is the perfect destination for your vacation. There are lots of restaurants ranging from fast casual to fine dining, along with plenty of shopping (over 200 stores) featuring clothing, jewelry, art, home decor, sporting goods and more.
Experience Garden of the Gods
Garden of the Gods is a national landmark near Colorado Springs, most well known for it’s extremely unique landscape with rock piles, jutting peaks and towers. There are fifteen miles of walking trails with lots of beautiful mountainous scenery, making it an excellent hiking destination.
In addition to hiking, other fun and adventurous activities include rock climbing, mountain biking and horseback riding – all of which you can do on your own or through a guided tour with the Nature Center. They also offer Electric Bike Tours, Segway Tours and Open-Air Jeep Tours.
We recommend beginning the journey at the Park Visitor & Nature Center, where you’ll get a history lesson, tour the museum and see exhibits and displays unique to the park. Afterward, you can sip on coffee and take in the scenic views through the large windows of the center, or go on one of their guided nature walks offered daily.
Tour Dinosaur National Monument
Dinosaur National Monument is located on the Colorado and Utah border and Spring is one of the best times to go for lower crowds. The area is known for it’s dinosaur bones, ancient artifacts and beautiful scenery. Dinosaur is equipped with two visitor centers where you can learn more about the area; Canyon Visitor Center is located in Colorado and serves as the entrance to the monument.
All of the dinosaur bones and fossils are located on the Utah side of Dinosaur National Monument (in Quarry Exhibit Hall) but you can view prehistoric cave drawings and carvings in Echo Lake Park in Colorado. You’ll find these at Pool Creek about a half mile from the campground. Echo Lake also offers hiking, river rafting, camping and picnicking in designated areas.
In addition to the history, there are many other activities to experience in the Harper’s Corner Area on the Colorado side. Take advantage of the natural roads that scale the mountains and give you beautiful views of the ranges from the comfort of your car. You can also hike Ruple Point Trail, Plug Hat Trail (which is wheelchair accessible) and Harper’s Corner Trail, where uncovered sea creature fossils can be seen in the hardened dirt of the path.
Hike Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park is easily accessible from the town of Estes Park and just a short drive from the cities of Denver and Boulder. It’s cool and clear in the Spring and the best part about going at this time is the ease of travel. However, snow may still be a factor, so prepare for hiking with not only appropriate boots, but with snow spikes and snowshoes.
April weather may be a little unpredictable, especially at higher altitudes, but it will be cooler than summer and the crowd levels will be far more manageable. Hiking is the most popular activity in Rocky Mountain National Park, but it isn’t the only way to see it. You can experience the full glory of the Rockies from your car while driving on Trail Ridge Road, finding a spot to camp, going fishing or even rock climbing.
While hiking over 350 miles of trail, you could encounter wildlife such as elk and deer, get gorgeous pictures with sweeping vistas and experience a killer workout. The wildflowers are not in full bloom at this point, but you are guaranteed to see breathtaking pine and spruce forests, as well as sparkling alpine lakes.
April Events in Colorado
There are many events to experience in Colorado. Below we’ve listed the biggest and most popular long term events that appeal to most travelers.
Aspen Film Shortsfest
If you’re a movie lover and want to experience one of the most highly esteemed short film festivals in America, look no further than the Aspen Film Shortsfest. This is a week filled with nationally and internationally recognized film makers, directors and actors who’ve produced highly rated short films within the year. The event always ends with an awards ceremony given to the best films, producers and talent.
Taste of Vail
Taste of Vail is not only a popular food and wine festival in the Spring, it’s also an organization that takes pride in bringing superb food and beverage to light for all it’s guests. The organization holds multiple events throughout the year, with Taste of Vail being it’s largest and most well-attended. Over four days, attendees get to sample cuisine and wines from local chefs and restaurants.
Colorado in April: Week by Week
The last winds of winter are barely holding on in most parts of Colorado in the first week of April. At this point, there are still snow storms predicted for certain areas, while others are seeing warmer days on the horizon. Some states are still in Spring Break, so there may be more visitors in the first week of April than you’d see later in the month.
Most ski resorts are closing out the last days of the ski season and crowds are slowing down significantly from their robust weeks of March. Many avid skiers are seeking out the open runs, and while there aren’t a ton of them available at this point, there may be a small surge in ski crowds looking to squeeze the last bit out of the season.
As far as events, visitors can attend the Taste of Vail in Vail and the Aspen Film Shortsfest in Aspen. Most winter weather activities are still available at this point, like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding & tubing and ice skating.
Winter is waving goodbye to most parts of Colorado in the second week of April, making way for the beginning of Spring. Snow storms are not terribly uncommon, especially in the higher altitude regions of the state. Crowds are definitely slowing down at this point and accommodation rates are beginning to drop, as well.
A lot of ski resorts are closing for the season, along with many restaurants, hotels and excursions that thrive on the busy seasons of Winter and Summer. Avid skiers are continuing to seek the open runs that haven’t been plagued by snow melt and mudslides.
As far as events, lots of places are celebrating the end of the ski season with events such as Steamboat Springs’ Pondskim Closing Day Celebration and the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown. Most winter weather activities are becoming harder to do, like skiing, snowshoeing, sledding & tubing and ice skating.
Spring is fast approaching, with most Colorado towns and cities experiencing warmer days than colder ones. Snow flurries are beginning to end for the most part – except for the highest altitude mountains and ski areas. Crowds have slowed significantly at this point and most accommodations are reaching a low point for the year.
Almost all of the ski resorts are closed at this time, save for the few that experience some of their best snow conditions throughout the month of April. Winter weather activities outside of skiing, such as snowshoeing, sledding & tubing and ice skating are coming to a hault.
As far as events goes, the 5Point Film Festival is taking place in Carbondale, CO for movie lovers, directors, producers and actors. Warmer weather activities like golfing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking are slowly coming back to life for the Spring season.
Spring is abounding for most of the state in the fourth week of April. Snow only appears in the highest altitude areas, where the elevation preserves it’s packed-in freshness. Crowds have reached a low point, making traveling much easier and more convenient for those looking to save on their vacation.
Almost all of the ski resorts are closed at this time, save for the few that experience some of their best snow conditions at this point in the year. Winter weather activities outside of skiing, such as snowshoeing, sledding & tubing and ice skating have finished.
As far as events goes, the Canon City Bloom & Music Festival is celebrated with lots of music, a rodeo and a carnival and the Durango Wine Experience finishes out the month. Warmer weather activities like golfing, fishing, hiking and mountain biking are being enjoyed by many in the sunny days of the Spring season.
April is definitely considered an in-between month for the state of Colorado. The majority of it’s visitors are coming in the Winter and Summer months, making an April vacation ideal for those who want to avoid tourists and higher rates. However, the weather makes a hard shift toward Spring, mixing snow flurries with rain showers on occasion, making it a little less ideal for outdoor activities.
Skiers will enjoy the last few days of the season, hikers will love the emerging trails later in the month and most everyone will appreciate the cool, yet mild temperatures. Snow will still be present in the higher altitude areas, making snow activities like snowshoeing, snowmobiling and even ice climbing a possibility in some cases. Lower altitudes will experience wetness and sometimes muddy trails, making warm weather activities a little more difficult but possible for the first time since Winter.
While there may be a limit to the things you can do in Colorado during the month of April, there are still plenty of things to choose from that the state is well known for. Our best recommendation is to determine whether you’d prefer to experience these outdoor excursions during the unpredictable weather, or if you’d enjoy sightseeing with fewer people in the way.