PDA

View Full Version : Colorado Ski Vacation


shepherd
10-14-2007, 08:34 AM
The wife and I are going to the Denver area to visit family and do some snow skiing in early December. I want to visit family during the weekend and then head up to the mountains for some skiing Monday - Friday.

Can anybody recommend a good ski resort and good place to stay there - that is an easy (1 - 4 hour) drive from Denver/Centennial? I'd like to stay at slope-side lodging or at least a short walk to the lifts.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

ttu
10-14-2007, 09:05 AM
there are a bunch of resorts to go to within 2 hours from denver.

vail, breck, cooper mtn, keystone, a few small ones and of course my favorite-winter park.

you might go to vrbo.com and there you can find condos for rent by the owners. zephyr and iron horse are both slope-side at wp.

tex
10-14-2007, 11:54 AM
I love all those places. Keystone has night skiing.

ski36short
10-14-2007, 12:15 PM
I second the vrbo.com recommendation. I found a sweet setup in Breck last winter there. I wonder how many runs will be open in early December? Surely every resort would have a few but how many would be close to fully open? A-Basin is the highest, they ski a long time there, so I would guess that the best skiing would be there. Although every time I go by it looks steep (which I have no problem with), icy, and bumpy...

Any Colorado locals have predictions on the snow season yet?

shepherd
10-14-2007, 12:34 PM
A-Basin is already open I believe - at least they showed it on tv this week with people skiing on it - may have just been employees.

We went to Winter Park in early December about 10 years ago and the skiing was great - at least to us East Coast people. We're pretty much beginners so snow quality isn't that critical to us.

We'll check out vrbo.com. But I'd like to get some input on specific properties if any of you guys stayed at any of the resorts.

wade95
10-14-2007, 02:09 PM
Two words: STEAMBOAT SPRINGS

Been there twice and loved it each time. If I remember correctly it's about 3hrs from the airport.

Harvey
10-14-2007, 03:24 PM
A Basin is by far my favorite ski spot in CO. I have three words for you: all natural snow. It is where the locals ski. If you enjoy a challenge hike the bowls. Even if you don't want to hike, there are challenging runs at A Basin.

My suggestion is stay at Keystone (walking distance to the lifts) try to ski A Basin during the day (shuttle to A Basin from Keystone) and then come back to ski Keystone at night. Last time I was there your pass is good at both. You have to get a voucher at A basin but all you have to do is show them your ski pass for Keystone.

cdstukey
10-14-2007, 03:45 PM
keystone is a good bet, easy access and several options for skiing and lodging within close proximity. If you stay in Keystone you can shuttle or drive to A Basin, Copper and Loveland easily. Of course if you are just up for a couple of days you could just ski one resort and not see all of it. The downside of Summit county (Dillion) is that is where most people go so it can get crowed. A basin and loveland don't really have any onsite lodging. Winter Park/ Mary Jane is a little closer to Denver but is kind of removed from other resorts. Steamboat is awesome but at the edge of your time limit depending on the weather. But well worth the time if you go. Vail is stupidly expensive and the Village is kind like Euro-disney if you know what I mean. If you are talking more than three days I would go to Steamboat, its an all around a better Colorado experience. Let me know if you have any other questions. Oh yeah, better book quick, its snowing out now and once word of that gets out...

x-10ron
10-14-2007, 04:35 PM
I have to agree with everyone, Keystone is awesome, A-basin is a must!!! Park your car and ride the bus, You cat get a Vail resorts park hopper lift pass that's good at breckinridge, a-basin, keystone, vail and etc. A-basin is no frills, no long lines at concession, just lots of skiing!!!

JohnnyB
10-14-2007, 05:07 PM
IMO, and I'm no expert, snow in Colorado is hit and miss that time of year. Was there in '96 and '97 the week before Christmas. One year we had waist deep powder, the next year we barely had enough snow to get bye. We stayed in Breckenridge at the Condos at the base of the hill (walk to the chair lift), across the road from the microbrewery. We bought four-day passes and skied based on who had the best snow. Typically, the fronts of the hills were busy but going to the back bowls left us pretty much by ourselves to ski.

It may be best to find inexpensive accommodations, have a rental car and pick your destination on a day-to-day basis based on best conditions.

ski36short
10-14-2007, 10:44 PM
Shep - the condo I got in Breck was awesome but it would be overkill if it's just you and the wife - 6 guys stayed in it easily. Plenty of smaller/cheaper units on vrbo.com for just the two of you. Also keep an eye on the Denver Craigslist, but alot of that stuff is last minute or ads for something you might have already found.

ski36short
10-14-2007, 10:45 PM
Duplicate. Sorry.

ttu
10-15-2007, 10:22 AM
winter park as of this morning.

bring on the snow

ttu
10-15-2007, 10:23 AM
breckenridge.

Yellow X9
10-15-2007, 10:26 AM
Winter Park & Keystone fo sure

chevy08bud
10-15-2007, 11:06 AM
I like both Keystone and Winter Park. Used to ski Winter Park, then went with the inlaws to Keystone for a few years. Went back to Winter Park last winter and found that I prefer Keystone. Winter Park gets very crowded, as does Keystone at times, but found that you could spend more time on the snow at Keystone instead of on the lifts at Winter Park. Seems like people could spread out more at Keystone.

wakolman
10-15-2007, 11:28 AM
I stayed at The Village in Breckenridge. It was a ski in/ski out property (located right on the slopes, no shuttle or long walks to the lifts). A nice resort where you can get suites w/kitchens if you want. Lots of bars, restaurants, and shops. I have also been to Keystone, Steamboat, and Vail. If you can still get the lift tickets which are good at Keystone, A-Basin, and Breckenridge, I would go that route. You will definitely feel like you "did a lot" on your trip if you make it to more than one of those resorts, but you probably will not get bored if you spend all of your time at the same one.:)

srsmith5
10-15-2007, 02:35 PM
Vail is always a good bet. I've actually got a place with a buddy of mine which we rent out there. It's listed on VRBO or you can check it out at www.bestskihouse.com. If you're interested, I'm more than happy to give a discount to fellow MC owners (especially a fellow PS 197 owner). If not, no worries - there are tons of great places near Denver and hopefully the early season snow will hold up for you!

Thrall
10-15-2007, 02:49 PM
If you're talking early Dec, my advice would be to prioritize whether you wanted ski in/out accomodations (requiring advanced reservations), or a better shot at having good snow (can go to any of the resorts at will).
As said above, early season can be epic or crappy, and it can be both at the same time, just at different resorts only an hour or 2 apart.
Any of the places mentioned will be great ski resorts (my favorites, Mary Jane (WP), ABasin, and Vail) if the snow's good.
Typically if I'm going up there early season, I'll look for accomodations in Dillon/Frisco/Silverthorne, then it's <30min to any of the SUmmit CO resorts and less than 1hr (weather permitting) to Vail or Winter Park.

shepherd
10-20-2007, 01:30 AM
Thanks for the suggestions. Right now I'm leaning towards Breckenridge. We'll probably only do 3 days of skiing and will likely want to stay put in one location, preferably ski in/ski out lodging. I just don't want to have to worry about driving back to the hotel/condo after a full day's skiing and some after-ski dinner and drinks. Also, i was told that Breck has a better town, located right at the foot of the resort. What do you guys think?

Anybody familiar with the Great Divide Lodge at Breck?

puck_11
10-20-2007, 02:48 AM
Keystone is overrated, Breckenridge and you won't have any regrets! The ski in/outs at breck are great! Plus the village there is awesome for the wife!

skisix@38
10-20-2007, 07:55 AM
I would also recommend Breck or steamboat, if for no other reason then they are resorts that offer stuff in addition to skiing. I only made it to Steamboat once the whole time I was in CO and it was amazing but I made it to Breck many times and never found myself missing Steamboat, Fwiw. Either place will have enough mountain open by then to keep all but the most aggressive skiers busy.

have fun!

bdecker
10-20-2007, 08:18 AM
Breck has a wonderful town. If you have good snow while your there and a car, the short trip to A-Basin is well worth it in my opinion. It's a small place, but no doubt the best steep terrain in Summit County that I've skied. (Breck, Vail, Copper). Stay at Breck or Vail as they both have great towns. Vail Bowls in fresh snow are a blast.

tex
10-20-2007, 12:17 PM
Nightlife at Breck is great!

Thrall
10-20-2007, 01:45 PM
You'll like Breck. Lots to do in town at night.

tex
10-20-2007, 08:03 PM
Keystone is overrated, Breckenridge and you won't have any regrets! The ski in/outs at breck are great! Plus the village there is awesome for the wife!
How is Keystone overrated?

Harvey
10-22-2007, 02:16 PM
I like Brek but I hate to pole so I stay away. It is too flat in too many places. And I am with you Tex how is Keystone overrated?

Willski
10-22-2007, 06:05 PM
I like Brek but I hate to pole so I stay away. It is too flat in too many places. And I am with you Tex how is Keystone overrated?

You do have to be careful at Breck on how you jump from mountain to mountain, or you could be in for that flat/or even uphill skiing! Worse for boarders. Once you know it, you can get by without much poling!

I've skied Keystone, Breck, Vail, Beaver Creek and Winter Park. I really liked them all. I think Vail may be a little more crowded, but if you jump to the back your pretty good.

6ballsisall
10-22-2007, 06:09 PM
Here's my advice from a guy who grew up in Colorado, and when I lived there, did at least 80 days each year.

Ranked in order from personal favorite to least favorite:

1. Breckenridge
2. A Basin (if you are a skier)
3. Vail
4. Keystone
5. Copper Mountain
6. Winter Park

tex
10-22-2007, 06:18 PM
Any of you ever skied Taos?

ttu
10-22-2007, 06:26 PM
Any of you ever skied Taos?

we did all the time back in college. steep. not a place to teach someone.

also the only resort that does not allow snowboarding, or at least until a few years ago or so.

my brother in law will never go skiing again. took him there for the 1st time and he broke his tail bone on the 1st day.:D

shepherd
10-22-2007, 07:58 PM
A few of you recommended finding a place to stay via vrbo.com.

I'm a little leery about buying things from individuals on the internet. Are these transactions safe? Anybody have a bad experience with vrbo.com? They seem to be all 2+ BR condos, which may be overkill for just the wife and me -- unless they're still cheaper than the resort prices for 1BRs.

I've visited the Breck resorts web sites and they have a deal that includes free lift tix if you rent one of their rooms/condos. I forgot how expensive lift tix can be! (haven't been snow skiing in 10 years) I'm trying to decide between Mountain Thunder Lodge, Beaver Run Resort, and the Villages.

ttu
10-22-2007, 08:38 PM
i have used vrbo probably 8-9 times with great success. my sister used to have a place in avon (beaver creek) and she used a property mgmt company. they took anywhere from 35-40% of the rental for their "work".

used it at vail, winter park, orlando and utah and never a problem what so ever.

i use one place at wp every spring break and take the kids for a week. we have our own garage, hot tub, granite cc, wood floors for a heck of a price.

Harvey
10-23-2007, 01:54 PM
Any of you ever skied Taos?

Yes, although the first time I did it was more like sliding down a mountain than skiing. It is probably one of the most technically skiing mountains in the US. It is STEEP and shaded from the sun a lot of the day so it gets icy and slushy. If you dont truly embrace the black ski runs then you will not like Taos. It is full of challenging runs. When you pull up the to mountain you can only see Al's Run. That is what the skiing is like on most of the mountain. Al had to have been one hell of a skier.

shepherd
12-07-2007, 08:47 PM
Heading for Breckenridge tomorrow. Forecast is for snow! :headbang:
http://breckenridge.snow.com/mtn.conditions.asp

Man, I haven't been snow skiing in 10 years. Will I get frostbite? :confused:

André
12-07-2007, 08:57 PM
Heading for Breckenridge tomorrow. Forecast is for snow! :headbang:
http://breckenridge.snow.com/mtn.conditions.asp

Man, I haven't been snow skiing in 10 years. Will I get frostbite? :confused:
Have fun and be safe!
Will you be skiing or snowboarding?

shepherd
12-07-2007, 10:05 PM
Well, my wife doesn't want to try the snowboard. My sister is coming out for a day to ski. So, looks like I'll be skiing, though I won't commit yet!

cdstukey
12-07-2007, 10:22 PM
Shep,
They are measuring the expected snowfall in feet this weekend, clouds and snowfall usually keep the temps up a little so you should be fine. Good timing, this time last week we were way below average for snow fall. Have fun.

sand2snow22
12-07-2007, 10:23 PM
Shep,

I had a good friend move out to Colorado this year. Of all the resorts, Breck is his favorite. Have fun!!

Leroy
12-07-2007, 10:36 PM
Steamboat is a great family place. We have always loved it.\

Also I have used VRBO many times and it works great, it is somewhat like Ebay, I guess you need to read between the lines and be able to understand what you are getting from an internet ad and talking to the owner.

Thanks for the suggestions. Right now I'm leaning towards Breckenridge. We'll probably only do 3 days of skiing and will likely want to stay put in one location, preferably ski in/ski out lodging. I just don't want to have to worry about driving back to the hotel/condo after a full day's skiing and some after-ski dinner and drinks. Also, i was told that Breck has a better town, located right at the foot of the resort. What do you guys think?

Anybody familiar with the Great Divide Lodge at Breck?

chudson
12-10-2007, 01:05 PM
Here's my advice from a guy who grew up in Colorado, and when I lived there, did at least 80 days each year.

Ranked in order from personal favorite to least favorite:

1. Breckenridge
2. A Basin (if you are a skier)
3. Vail
4. Keystone
5. Copper Mountain
6. Winter Park

And the top 4 has lift tickets that are interchangeable at all 4 so you can try them all. Copper may be in there too but I'm not sure. Steamboat is still tops of my list though!!!
Vail is in that ticket package too!!!
http://summit.ski.com/

mrprostar
12-10-2007, 01:45 PM
My family and I go to Breck every year right before Christmas and it is second best only to Durango, which is quite far from Denver. We stay right at the ski lift so we ski out of the hotel or cabin and right up to the lift. This is ONLY way to go.
"If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up...it is so choice."
(to mix in the movie quote game thread)

shepherd
12-17-2007, 01:06 AM
Breck was awesome!

Thanks for the advice everyone.

shepherd
12-17-2007, 01:09 AM
___________________

chudson
12-17-2007, 09:55 AM
That looks great and the chairlift doesn't look too crowded either, but that looks pretty early in the morning!!!

mcdoon
12-17-2007, 10:11 AM
My family and I go to Breck every year right before Christmas and it is second best only to Durango, which is quite far from Denver. We stay right at the ski lift so we ski out of the hotel or cabin and right up to the lift. This is ONLY way to go.
"If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up...it is so choice."
(to mix in the movie quote game thread)

mrprostar--We'd like to get our family out to Breckenridge next year. Where do you stay, how much? We'll have about 20 people total.

shepherd
12-17-2007, 10:58 AM
That looks great and the chairlift doesn't look too crowded either, but that looks pretty early in the morning!!!

Actually, it was late afternoon. It wasn't crowded at all -- but it was mid-week, early December which I guess is the low season. There were times I had a whole ski run practically to myself, not another sole in sight almost all the way down.

This is where I took the pic from, during a beer break with my sister and wife. :toast:

Kyle's_prostar205
12-17-2007, 11:41 AM
Hey Shep!

Sorry I missed this thread but as a Colorado resident I can say that you did make a good choice with skiing at Breck! Glad you and your family had a good time! Sorry that I couldnt give you any advice of my own before you came out but none the less I'm glad you had a good time! Come back soon!

Kyle K
Parker, Colorado

chudson
12-17-2007, 01:00 PM
Actually, it was late afternoon. It wasn't crowded at all -- but it was mid-week, early December which I guess is the low season. There were times I had a whole ski run practically to myself, not another sole in sight almost all the way down.

This is where I took the pic from, during a beer break with my sister and wife. :toast:

Saw the long shadows and snow makers just figured a.m. Great snow and no one there must have been a real good time!!!