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Winter Ski Trip Advice
I know y’all are tired of non Bowhunting threads, but this is my only social media and connection to you western guys. Three families want a good ski experience the week between Christmas and New Years. There will be 6 adults and 7 kids. Things that I would like to have: -Ski in ski out -Reasonable priced airport from MS -Good beginner skiing. We have more beginners than experienced
Let me know what you guys prefer. Thanks in advance!!
Winter Park Colorado. It’s what your looking for.
You can't go wrong with Steamboat. Fly into Hayden and take a shuttle or rent a car to get to the hill. Plenty of ski in ski out lodging and a variety of terrain for all levels. Free public transportation and a laid back vibe. Great fishing right in town if you want a break from the champagne powder. Also plenty of options for snowmobiling tours or straight up advanced mountain riding. I've skied a lot of places in the west; Breck, Copper, A Basin, Vail, Winter Park, Telluride, Wolf Creek; Whistler BC; Sundown, Snoqualmie, Mt. Baker WA; Taos NM; Jackson WY; Red Lodge MT; etc. and I would say without a doubt Steamboat is the most family friendly resort with a wide variety of terrain and one of the largest verticals in the lower 48. I have not hit UT at all "yet", so I can't speak to what they have to offer. Steamboat would get my vote....shhhhh, don't tell anyone.
Although not cheap Vail is great for all levels especially beginners. You can also go to Beaver Creek and Arrowhead on the same pass and within 15 minutes of each other. The ladies will live it too. I have a pass to Winter Park and wouldn’t recommend a week there. 2-3 days yes. You could always do Winter Park and then Steamboat in a week but more logistics in planning but would be great. Most places you go will be expensive as you are looking at the most expensive week at any ski resort.
Winter Park you can find ski in n out. I like Keystone myself and it’s within close range to Breckinridge and Vail. And Copper Mountain.
Angel Fire. Save money. They used to tube at night. If they still do, the kids will love it. You’ll be leaving during the best hunting time in Mississippi.
Lots of places to stay in UT - you can rent a huge house. Salt lake has a lot of big families. The resorts aren't far from SLC airport.
Plus, Utah has better snow than CO.
Don't forget Big Sky/Moonlight Basin!! Fly in to Bozeman, rent vehicle, one hour drive to big sky.
Tamarack, Idaho. The wests newest resort. Was sold a few years ago from a bank foreclosure. New owner dumped a bunch of money. Ski in Ski out. Great skiing, no lift lines. Beautiful view of lake cascade.
Steamboat is spendy. I know, I live here. Lots of extras here to do around town but all at tourist pricing. Expect full “Rack Rate” at the time you are looking...
Pretty much all of Colorado is like that though.
Some of the smaller ones may be a much better deal but not “ski-in-ski-out”.
Look at Ski Cooper, near Leadville. Neat old town with a lot of history. Snowmobiling and dog sledding as well as hot springs (that don’t stink) down valley between Buena Vista and Salina. Spine of the Rockies and some gorgeous mountains. Lived there for a lot of years and love the country around there...
Monarch is near Salida and is not bad but further from any airports. Still lots of beautiful mountains and a hot springs pool in town.
Sunlight near Glenwood is lower elevation with more stuff around town to do and one hell of a hot springs (stinky though).
Powderhorn near Grand Junction is not bad and close to a decent airport.
Purgatory is north of Durango and also in some beautiful country. They have some lodging at the ski hill or you can stay down in Durango. Durango has an airport and a lot going on in town.
Wolf Creek is another option. They get a ton of snow. Pagosa Springs is a cool town with another hot spring. Can fly into Durango and make a short drive to Pagosa. You might have to learn “Texican” down there to get by... very popular with the Texas crowd but they are not all that bad;-)
Those options will probably be much much easier on the bank for families than any of the big ones in Colorado. You’ll have to make a short drive to any of them but can be a lot more affordable for lodging and overall cost.
If you want good snow that’s a bad time to go. Later is usually always better. I say March.
Utah Snow is better than Colorado. But for early skiing further north may be a better bet for snow. Short days then as well. That’s why I like March
I only have experience in MT, but although expensive Big Sky is within an hour of Bozeman and would have everything your looking for.. I love that place!! Whitefish might also be worth checking out for a little less money.. and I definitely agree that later is better for the best snow! (February or March)
Utah may have better snow later in the year but not during Christmas week no matter what the Californian’s say who don’t live here. Vail has the best snowmaking money can buy if by chAnce Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate. Hence my recommendation.
Quinn is right. Utah's better snow is later.
'Ski Utah' for sure haha
Have fun and be safe,
Dang!!! Lots of great ideas!! I was honestly hoping there would be a place that got multiple votes. I grew up skiing big mountain in Whitefish because we had family and a condo there. If plane ticket we’re not off the charts that would be where we would go. You guys have me wondering if I should postpone until February. W.....one of the dads has a phenomenal deer hunting property on the Big Black and is praying that we don’t go in December!!! I should tell him that I’ll bump to February if he lets me shoot a buck;). Thanks for all the responses. I will take some time pouring through all these options.
If you're just going to be skiing groomers, then time of year really doesn't matter. They'll have the corduroy in good shape, either naturally or man-made, by the holiday week. I own a place in Winter Park, and I wouldn't exactly call it a beginner-friendly ski area, and the ski-in/out is limited compared to other areas.
I think the Summit County areas would be your best bet for Colorado. The Vail Resort owned ski areas (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breakenridge, and Keystone) have multi-day ticket deals that allow you to ski all 4 areas, if you wish.
Wherever you go, February is almost certainly going to be cheaper, less crowded, and better skiing than between Christmas and New Years. Stay home and hunt then!
Most likely he’s looking at between Christmas and New Years for the kid’s Christmas break from school.
Anyway, as mentioned, look at Beaver Creek too. Another family oriented option, in my opinion.
Ski sunlight with hot springs package. Glenwood springs Colorado.
Joey most school districts have a winter break in February also...at least they do here in the East
I might think about February. I’d really like to do something during the holidays, but the prices are crazy. The hot springs deal sounds interesting!! Never thought about that. Fortunately my rug rats do well enough in school that taking off isn’t too big of an issue.
Its really nice after a day of skiing
We are looking at Beaver Creek Joey. One of the other families was there year before last while my family was in Keystone. They really enjoyed BC
Sunlight near Glenwood Springs, lots of shops places to eat in town, fishing nearby and of course the worlds largest outdoor hot springs. That feels really good after a day of skiing. The Ski resort has a lot of beginning trails as well as enough challenge for a very experienced skier. I highly recommend it.
I put two different sets of dates in for Glenwood Springs. One in December and one in February. Both were unavailable.
Heavenly Valley Lake Tahoe. We’ve done most and love this one.
As many have mentioned that's an expensive time wherever you go. One place that hasn't been mentioned that is extremely family friendly and has lots of ski in and ski out, as well as a lot of easy terrain is Snowmass. It also gives you access to all four of the Aspen area mountains on the same ticket. It's expensive, but not as much as Vail and Beaver Creek. Lift tickets, ski school and food on the mountain are all a little less than Vail and Beaver Creek, although it's still very pricey. Some of the smaller resorts mentioned could work for you also, it really depends on our budget. You can debate the quality of snow all day without resolving anything. Some years are better than others, that's always a bit of a crap shoot. I think it is generally true that the big Colorado resorts have more extensive snowmaking systems than Utah, some years that's a factor early season some years it's not.
If you are going to ski more than 4 days it will most likely benefit you to buy a seasons pass. There are two big ones EPIC (Vail Resorts) and ICON. Both allow you to ski multiple resorts. I would look at which resorts each covers and if there is a resort near your home that is included in one you may want to choose that one so you can ski on that pass all season. Once you know which pass you have you can narrow your search. Might want to narrow your
Beaver Creek can be great at times. Like, no lift lines when Vail has 45 minute lift lines.
Yes the epic and icon pass is a great deal. Hard to plan for where the best snow is this far out :) But I’m sure the fam will enjoy wherever you go.
Thanks guys!!! Got some interesting options to consider! I’ll report back with what we do. One family is lobbying for Beaver Creek pretty hard.
It's been awhile but the best family experience and easiest trails, Steamboat. Best snow and more challenging slopes, Sun Vally in Idaho.
Maybe you guys can weigh in on another ski question. I have the opportunity to stay in Jackson Hole for free. Taking the family next month and am considering going back to ski this winter.
I have heard from some that the skiing is pretty advanced and from others it's not. We are Midwestern skiers with access to the UP ski Jill's that everyone has made fun of on this thread. We'd like to try something bigger and better but still enjoy ourselves rather than going to the ER. Any input?
Free at Jackson Hole! Awesomeness!
Thanks for feedback. The kids are 11 and 13 and range from fearless to fraidy cat depending on the day. I'm ok with pretty much anything we have in the Midwest but I am 51 so not as bendy as I used to be. The Sweetie is 42 but not as athletic as me.
Key Stone, Breckinridge, & Loveland. Vale was great but i'm not sure about for small kids
Jackson hole is one of those places you have to go!
I like to go hunting to my firends ski park in California.