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First time Colorado Ski trip

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I am going to be spending a the second week of January in the Denver area. This will be the first time I have ever been to Colorado or skiing out west. I am looking for advice on what ski resorts are both really good and have a good value within a few hours of Denver. I have only skied in New England usually at Mad River Glen and this is my first chance to finally ski out west. I know about all the big name resorts and their expensive lift tickets, but was wondering if there is a bargain resort that I could go to without losing much terrain quality. i could care less about upscale dinning, lodges. Any help would be great. Thanks

post #2 of 7

MRG is to VT as Loveland and Arapahoe Basin are to CO and they are only 60-90 mins from Denver.  Look for them on liftopia.  You've missed most of the early season four-pack ticket deals, but check their websites anyway.  Good tree skiing at Eldora too, and perhaps some bargains on their website.  You might like bumps at Mary Jane/Winter Park if you want to go to a bigger ski area.  There are some hostels near Winter Park.

post #3 of 7

abasin extended their 4 pack into this week. 4 days for 160ish.

post #4 of 7

I have often started trips to other CO resorts with a day or 2 at A Basin. I find it to be lots of fun and have a good variety. I stay in the outer Denver suburbs at a chain hotel, commute the 1/2 hour or so to the mountain and have dinner in Denver. I have usually been able to find a good ticket deal. It keeps getting better as the season goes on and more terrain opens  but it good anytime. Very different skiing than MRG but a comparable vibe and a good "whoopee" factor. One note it is at a high elevation and it takes some people a day or 2 to acclimate.

post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by vsirin View Post

I have often started trips to other CO resorts with a day or 2 at A Basin. ...One note it is at a high elevation and it takes some people a day or 2 to acclimate.


A more specific warning -- Arapahoe Basin in particular is very high up.  The parking lot is at almost 11,000 feet!  (The skiing's great, though, at least when they have lots of snow like they did last year.)

 

If you have trouble acclimating to the altitude, you might want to start somewhere that isn't quite so brutal, or spend a day in Denver first.

post #6 of 7

I've only logged a couple of days at MRG but IMO Mary Jane bares the most resemblance.  The lift ticket will not be kind to your wallet but the hostel in Fraser is very inexpensive.

 

ABasin and Loveland are solid suggestions too.  

 

Hmmm, if you're looking for steeps they are mostly hard to find at MJ.

post #7 of 7

Copper has a few deals that can reduce the cost of your visit.  See here for info:

 

http://www.coppercolorado.com/winter/plan_and_buy/winter_vacation_packages

 

Copper is a great mountain, with a wide variety of terrain.  By the 2nd week January, the high alpine terrain should be open, which is where the steeps are.  There are not long stretches of 45 degrees (Breck is better for that, or the hike-to terrain at A-Basin), but they can be quite interesting and challenging.  The great advantage of Copper is the amount of terrain and the low number of visitors.  It is a hidden gem.

 

However, if what you really are looking for is steeps, then it is going to be difficult to get them without paying full price.  The places to ski steeps in Colorado are Crested Butte, Telluride, and Aspen.  Aspen and Crested Butte are 4 hours from Denver, while Telluride is 7+.  There aren't any deals to be had in Aspen, but the skiing is fantastic.  You've got Highlands, Aspen Mountain, and Snowmass, all of which have some great steep skiing.  And it is deserted.  While Aspen is expensive, I do think it is value for money.

 

Mike

 

ps.  I doubt the hike to terrain at A-Basin will be open by the second week of January.  It usually doesn't open before February at the earliest.

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