New Years Day+ @ Steamboat or Alta/Snowbird

Discussion in 'General Resort Discussion' started by RollingLeaf, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. RollingLeaf

    RollingLeaf At the base lodge Skier

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    Greetings. I'm looking into a short ski trip beginning on New Years Day and ending on the 5th, a Sunday. I have my eye on either Steamboat or Alta/Snowbird and maybe a day at Deer Valley. I'm looking at these resorts because they have a good snow record this time of the season and I've never skied them before.

    My only concern is crowds. Do you think most of the Holidays crowds will have headed home after 1/1? Which area would be the least crowded?

    Thanks!
     
  2. BC.

    BC. NEPA ShopRat/Skier Skier

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    Between Steamboat and LCC....My suggestion would be UT...and you have a whole heck of a lot more choices in LCC, BCC and Park City.....Flying into SLC is easy and gets you to anywhere you want to go in 45 minutes....rather than flying into DEN and then driving a few hours to Steamboat..

    Crowds are crowds...most anywhere you go now....but your week will be less crowded than Xmas week.

    Sounds like a fun trip...hope conditions are good. UT skiing is a good time.
     
  3. New2

    New2 Getting off the lift Skier

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    I'd expect January 1-4 to be among the most crowded of the year both spots. I don't know Steamboat's crowding levels, but other similarly-remote Colorado areas (e.g. Aspen, Crested Butte) should be significantly less crowded than the Utah spots you mentioned. If as BC assumed you're looking into flying into Denver, I'd skip it for a short trip; if you can fly into HDN I'd expect it seems likely to be more attractive.
     
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  4. Thread Starter
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    RollingLeaf

    RollingLeaf At the base lodge Skier

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    I spoke with a woman at Steamboat and she said they'll still have Holiday crowds, not to mention some kind of music festival. I was thinking of flying into HDN. The advantage of this town over Utah, is I don't have to concern myself with the trip to and from the Mountain each day.

    Utah does have more choices and makes for a relatively inexpensive trip in terms of flights and lodging. It's a good bet most of the year. The more I read about LCC, I see the weekends can be rough at Snowbird.

    I'd gladly give Aspen a shot. I would've assumed it'd be worse than anywhere else in the Rockies other than Vail. We'll see.

    I think @BC is right about crowds. There seem to be enough people on mountain pretty much any time of the skiable year.
     
  5. RJS

    RJS Getting off the lift Skier

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    My guess is that it's the opposite with Aspen in that it's probably one of the least crowded places in the Rockies on a holiday. I would imagine that all of the Front Range resorts are considerably more crowded. Aspen has the benefit of being much harder to get to than most places. My family went to Snowmass for many years over President's Week, and the crowds were better than your typical weekend at Killington/Loon/Sunday River. Aspen tends to get less snow than most resorts in Colorado, but preserves it very well, so the likelihood of being able to ski lots of off-piste runs is lower than it would be at Steamboat or Alta.

    I would venture that Alta/Snowbird are going to be jam packed that week. The good/bad is that these mountains are super easy for locals to get to, so you can imagine lots of families with children who are on vacation are going to be there, and it's also easy for tourists to fly into Salt Lake and drive 45 minutes to be at the mountain.

    I'm sure Steamboat will be crowded, but that would be my choice for that time frame. It's far enough away from Denver that you won't have too many day trippers. Steamboat gets the most snowfall in Colorado outside of Wolf Creek, and will likely be able to open most terrain by Christmas. According to Zrankings, on average 93% of Steamboat's terrain is open by Christmas.
     
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  6. raisingarizona

    raisingarizona Getting off the lift Skier

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    I love the Butte but it’s not the greatest early season mountain. It takes quite a bit of snow to get the majority of their terrain open. You don’t really go to the Butte for their cruisers.

    Steamboat can get a lot open earlier because it’s not a very steep mountain and they do get quite a bit of snow in comparison. Utah is probably a safe bet and if it was an option Jackson/Targhee is only a 5.5 hour drive to the north.
     
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  7. coskigirl

    coskigirl Making fresh tracks Skier

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    I don't know how Steamboat will be in the days just following New Years since it falls mid week this year but I battled the crowds in the week between a few years ago and won't make that mistake again. It was miserable.
     
  8. Crank

    Crank Out on the slopes Skier

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    We flew out to SLC on Christmas day and home NYE a few years ago. I can't remember the exact year right now. Anyway, we skied Solitude, Alta, Snowbird and Powder Mountain. None was super crowded. Longest lift line was like 10 minutes for first ride up Collins in the morning and about the same, maybe a little longer for first ride up Snowbird's tram. Solitude was not at all crowded, though that may have changed now that they are on Ikon. Powder Mountain crowded? Anecdotally, we heard while skiing Solitude that Park City had half hour lift lines. That was their first season belonging to Vail and being on the Epic pass.
     
  9. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Aspen/Snowmass will likely be the least crowded of any major resort in Colorado or Utah and definitely less crowded than Steamboat, Alta, and Snowbird. As to less snow than others in CO, that is only true of certain resorts, such as Steamboat, Vail, Winter Park, and Wolf Creek. Snow preservation is much better than any of them because of both exposure and skier traffic.

    Mike
     
  10. Ron

    Ron seeking the next best ski Pugski Ski Tester

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    ok so here's the real deal, come in on or after New Years day and the mountain is basically dead. I'm not sure yet how the holiday crowds will roll. usually people come in the Saturday before Christmas and stay a week. Most dont come in mid-week due to the flight schedules for direct flights. So thats December 21-28.

    the music fest is for people who dont ski. Its known as "Texas week" or "Texas fest" as it's a country music fest and its pretty much only at the mountain. It doesnt start until January 5th this year. The base areas gets crowded and those who do ski dont come out until about 11 and if its very cold (and that time of the year, its usually below zero in the AM ) they dont come out and of course, if it snows, they definitely dont come out :). They will also pretty much stay over in Sundown area.

    Yes, fly into Hayden (HDN) and its a 25 minute drive. there are a lot of inexpensive shuttles but just know they take a while.

    Please let me know if I can be of any assistance with accurate info.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2019 at 6:35 AM
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  11. jmeb

    jmeb Stereotypical Front Range Weekend Warrior Skier

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    Come to PugSki for the reviews. Stay for the best local beta on the web.
     
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  12. Thread Starter
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    RollingLeaf

    RollingLeaf At the base lodge Skier

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    Hey @Ron thanks for the response. I want to clarify some more. Yer saying skiers don't hit the slopes until 11am during the Texas Fest
     
  13. Ron

    Ron seeking the next best ski Pugski Ski Tester

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    Most are not there for th skiing. They are decidedly causal skiers who party all night and maybe ski for a couple of hours if the weather is warm and sunny.
     
  14. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Industry Insider Team Gathermeister

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  15. dbostedo

    dbostedo Asst. Gathermeister-- Jackson Hole 2020 Moderator

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  16. Ron

    Ron seeking the next best ski Pugski Ski Tester

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    except that in no way 4000-5000 of the festival people ski.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 5:15 AM
  17. Mike King

    Mike King AKA Habacomike Instructor

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    Skier traffic will start to fall off on and after Jan 1. But it is falling off of the highest visitation of the year -- Christmas break is the busiest time of the year for US destination ski resorts.

    Mike
     
  18. DanoT

    DanoT RVer-Skier Skier

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    I love Aspen for the lack of crowds and the variety that 4 mountains can offer.

    Aspen is one of North America's iconic mountain resorts and should be on every serious skier's bucket list.

    Edit: When the Pugski Gathering moves to Aspen for 2021, I plan on getting a Super Senior Pass and spending 3 or 4 weeks there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2019 at 8:51 AM
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