Colorado Colorado Trip Advice

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by bamaman, Jan 2, 2019.

  1. bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Planning on driving out to Keystone/Breck for a few days mid January (been there and Summit County resorts numerous times). Then I want to hit up for a day or two each at some places I've never been. Looking at Wolf Creek, Purgatory, Telluride, and Crested Butte. At least 3 out of the 4. Need to end up back in Denver. I'm an intermediate just looking to ski on-piste. Recommendations for which ones would be best for me and the best travel route.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Core2

    Core2 Out on the slopes Skier

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    It is more driving than you'd think to get from Denver to the S. CO resorts, especially in weather. CB and Monarch are both in shooting distance from the front range and should be on your list for sure then you could continue down to S. CO for the other resorts you mentioned.
     
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  3. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    How are you paying for lift access at Keystone and Breck? Crested Butte is now owned by Vail, and comes with discounts and access on most passes. You might be able to visit CB, without extra ticket costs.

    If you can visit Crested Butte without any extra cost it should be a no brainer choice. There is less for intermediates here than places in Summit County, but enough for a couple of days.

    Wolf Creek is also going to be a cheaper option, over a place like Telluride.

    To cut down on cost and driving (Telluride is nowhere close to Denver) you should think about some other hidden Gems. "Ski" Cooper in Leadville would cut travel by keeping you near Summit County, but make the crowds vanish. Monarch will be another area you will drive right by if you head south.

    If you are trying to explore some area, need to be back in Denver, and don't mind the smaller size: "Ski" Cooper in Leadville, Monarch, CB if it makes $$ sense on some kind of Epic Pass, and then Wolf Creek if it is cheaper than CB though longer drive.

    If you have Epic Pass access Telluride obviously makes sense, but travel, lodging, and food will make it a lot more expensive.

    If you do Monarch, Cooper, or both, look into the Colorado Ski Country Gems card, as a discount option.

    And as always, if you can wait to book and buy things, and cost is not a factor, just go wherever conditions are best. Locals on here are always happy to brag.
     
  4. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Not really concerned about cost for lift tickets. I have Keystone/Abasin pass. I'm just looking to try something different. Will be by myself and have my own 4 wheel drive truck with good tires. No real time constraints.
     
  5. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Then hit all of them in a big loop. Leave Keystone head west on i70 to Grand Junction then south to Telluride (5-7ish hours) ski for 2 days. Leave T-ride and and head over Lizard head pass to Durango and bang a left to Purgatory (~3-4 hours) and ski two days. Then drive to Pagosa Springs (1.5ish hours) and ski two days at Wolf Creek. Then head on down the east side the of Wolf Creek pass bang a left and pucker up for the drive the drive through Creede, Lake City, Gunnison and on to CB (~4-6hours) for 2 days. After that it's about 5-6 hours back to Denver.
     


  6. Green08

    Green08 Front Range for the First Time Skier

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    If cost is not a factor, what do you want out of a resort? You could do Aspen and Telluride. Or just smaller resorts but with really nice lodging and food.

    Sounds more like the world is your oyster. In which case, more info on what you like, might help with advice from folks.
     
  7. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator Team Gathermeister

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    Telluride is also partly on the Epic pass, depending on which one you have. But it looks like the Keystone-A-Basin version doesn't include any days or discounts at either Crested Butte or Telluride. Only Breck in CO. (And "advanced lift ticket rate" at Vail and BC - but I assume that's like the 10% off window rate you get for early online purchases. Which is to say, still really expensive.)

    In any case, looks like @bamaman is OK with paying for tix that aren't on his pass.
     
  8. raytseng

    raytseng Out on the slopes Skier

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    if he has the keystone ABasin pass, he should've have also gotten SWAF tix. He should also be able to self-use at CB/Breck/Vail/BC; as the way it works is just an individual line item in your account it doesn't saya SWAF-keystone limited only.

    It may be a few $ lower than the advanced rate too, so he can decide whether to burn them or save them over the adv. rate or save them for when he needs the bigger discount. Overall, compared to the total bill, it's not going to be much, but it's still an optimization.
    The other optimization is if he books ski-and-stay packages from vail resort, the lift ticket will be somewhat discounted with the vacation package discounts/deals and make it worth it to book via vail resorts.
     
  9. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Thanks for the replies all. I'm not looking for a resort, except I'm going to start out at Keystone and ski there and probably Copper for 2-3 days. Then I just want to take about 10 days and ski some other CO hills I've never been to. I've just retired and am rewarding myself with a little ski trip. Not on any specific schedule except to be back in Denver on Jan 27 to pick up my 2 sons who are flying out to ski 3 days at Keystone with me. So, driving out about Jan 13-14. Not looking for fancy lodging, night-life, or food as it will just be myself. And not going to make that much difference to me on lift ticket savings. I've been to Vail, BC, Breck, Copper, Abasin, and Loveland. Suggestion of Monarch and Ski Cooper is appealing. Just trying to do a little road trip for some variety.
     
  10. PinnacleJim

    PinnacleJim Getting on the lift Skier

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    How about Steamboat? Great intermediate mountain and a pretty short drive from Summit County.
     
  11. UGASkiDawg

    UGASkiDawg AKA David Pugski Ski Tester

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    Then hit the small gems

    Cooper, Monarch, Sunlight and Powderhorn. You'll have a blast and none of them are more than 2.5 hours from Summit. 3 of the 4 have some stellar terrain and the 4th has great natural snow.
     
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  12. 4aprice

    4aprice Getting on the lift Skier

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    This. What an awesome trip
     
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  13. headybrew

    headybrew surrender to the flow Skier

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    I just did a Winter Park->Powderhorn->Purgatory->Ski Santa Fe->Winter Park trip over Christmas week. If you have the time and are interested in skiing the NM resorts this is a good year for them and its a short 4 hour drive from Durango to Santa Fe. Their good years down there are going to be fewer and farther between.
     
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  14. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    So after getting feedback here and looking at some of the mountain websites, here's what I've come up with that I'd like to do and the order I'll try to do them. I'll have about 2 weeks time after I'm out there. So if I find somewhere I like, I will ski it multiple days. Using Mapquest for early directions between mountains. So any seasonal or storm-related road closures it may not recognize that anyone knows about I'd appreciate the feedback ogsmile. I don't know if I'm even going to book any lodging ahead of time. Just wing it and stay where I can and as long as I want.

    Ski Cooper
    Sunlight
    Aspen/Snowmass - Just because I've never been there.
    Powderhorn
    Telluride
    Purgatory
    Wolf Creek

    I was originally thinking I'd do this starting next week then have to be back in Denver by 27th to pick up my boys from Airport. However, I can be flexible and think I'm going to wait till after they leave Jan 31 as it doesn't force me to have a specific "end" date to my trip and also hope maybe for more snow than current 10-15 day forecast.
     
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  15. Fuller

    Fuller T shirts & flip flops... Skier

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    That sounds like an awesome trip. The wife and I just arrived in Dillon. We'll ski 2 days at Loveland, 1 day at Red Lodge MT then post up in Whitefish for a while. I would love to do the southern areas one day, this year should be solid for you.

    Congrats on retiring btw.
     
  16. New2

    New2 Getting off the lift Skier

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    Sounds like a cool trip! @UGASkiDawg is correct for the drive from Telluride to Purgatory: "Leave T-ride and and head over Lizard head pass to Durango and bang a left to Purgatory (~3-4 hours)." I'd be very leery of other routes (Google Maps suggests county roads through the high San Juans… no idea whether they're open, plowed, driveable. Their second choice through Silverton is a very treacherous road over extremely high avalanche-prone passes).

    For the leg from Powderhorn to Telluride, inquire local/pay attention to conditions. The drive across Grand Mesa is beautiful in the summer... never done it in the winter, but I bet it's pretty cool. But if it's storming (or if the locals tell you the road's closed), just go through Grand Junction.

    You shouldn't have trouble getting a room last-minute, though maybe not slopeside. Staying near one of the hot springs in Glenwood Springs would let you soak and then sleep, which can be really nice, and might require a reservation. The Mine Shaft Inn in Rico is the closest budget lodging to Telluride, and is an absolutely gorgeous building.
     
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  17. mikel

    mikel Out on the slopes Skier

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    ^ exactly. even well known lodging sites can sometimes say lodging is only 11 miles away in Ouray. It's more like 20 miles. Unless you have a snowmobile and know your way it ain't happening. That route is over Imogene and can take 3 hours in July/August.
     
  18. Thread Starter
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    bamaman

    bamaman Getting on the lift Skier

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    Do you have a route number(s) for the "head over Lizard head pass to Durango and bang a left to Purgatory"?

    I was thinking of doing the Ski, Swim, Stay package at Glenwood Springs/Sunlight. Looks very appealing :thumb:
     
  19. James

    James Skiing the powder Instructor

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    Sunlight is fun! At least for a couple days. Lodge is classic.
    Glenwood Springs trivia: Ted Bundy escaped from jail there in a snowstorm. He was caught in Fla.
     
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  20. martyg

    martyg Getting off the lift Industry Insider

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    Bamaman - SW CO is a long, long way from the I70 corridor.

    Honestly.... You may get the most bang for your buck in SW CO if you fly into Durango. Mid-week at Purg is sublime. No crowds - just ski up to your chair. If traveling with groms anyone under 10 gets a free season's pass. They had a deal going on lodging: purchase a full priced lift ticket (maybe $100?) and get a free night's lodging in town.

    Wold Creek and Telluride are also a day trip.

    Hit me up if you come this way. I'd be happy to give you an AM private.
     

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