John Denver was a pretty powerful ally for the Colorado Tourism board. Before his untimely demise in the same craft that was the title of his most famous song, he gushed about the Rocky Mountains in pretty much any song he wrote. But he didn't give you the nitty gritty on what specifically makes Colorado ski towns so damn fine. That's what we're here to do. Cue educational music.

The state plays host to some of America's most famous and popular ski resorts. And for good reason. Aspen and Vail are mega resorts with an abundance of variety in both the skiing they offer, and the off-slope activities available. Want to sip champagne and gulp fois gras before attending a gallery and stopping for some world class shopping? And that's not even covering the skiing. These two darlings of the Colorado ski scene have got you covered.

Want something a little more rugged and challenging? Silverton and Telluride are the places to head. They've got some seriously challenging terrain, and by virtue of their relative isolation, have retained their beautifully charming setting from their mining days.

Photo: aspensnowmass.com