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Colorado ’s altitude is the highest of any state in the entire United States. Denver , the state’s capital, sits at 5280 feet – exactly one mile above sea level. When traveling west of Denver, the altitude continues to rise. In Vail, Colorado – a popular ski resort town – the altitude is 8,120 feet above sea level at its base, and 11,570 feet at its highest point. An interesting thing about being positioned at a high altitude is that the temperature in the area can have great variations between daytime and nighttime. Also, the winters in Vail can be very cold.
Because of its elevation, Vail can receive heavy snowfalls as early as October of each year. In addition to regular snow, the resort produces artificial snow to add to the pack on the skiing mountains. The snow, along with the cold temperatures, usually allows the ski resort to open for the season in November of each year. Of course, there are some years that are warmer and/or colder than others, so the exact opening date can never be predetermined by more than a few weeks.
Just as the winters in Vail can be quite cold, the summers can be very hot. However, the nice part about being located at such a high altitude is that the nights are always cool during the summer, which is a nice break from the heat each day. The summer months in Vail can bring rain, and the winter months can bring heavy snow. However, the weather in general can also be nice and sunny, so visitors are not deterred by the heat or cold of each season.