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New Year's day crowds and snow - Taos and Snowbird

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I hate crowds so I never ski between X-mas and New Year's Day.  Next year, however, I'm contemplating a one week trip to either Taos of Snowbird the week beginning 30 December (unfortunately, New Years falls on a Tues.).  


I have heard Taos never gets crowded.  Is this true even for New Year's Day?  What about Snowbird crowds this time?  Taos is my first choice but I suspect Snowbird is probably more snow reliable for early season skiing.  I need to plan and book the trip well in advance so I don't have the luxury of waiting to see what the snow is like.

post #2 of 5

Quick alternate suggestion.  Just a couple miles as the crow flies from Snowbird is a place called Solitude.  The skiing is on a slightly smaller scale, but just as snowsure and very attractive including some beautiful and challenging terrain, and it shares a boundary line with Brighton, another nice ski area for more variety during a week.  I visited Solitude a few days after New Years Day 2011 and it had no crowds or lift lines.  My suspicion is that it would be a terrific choice for your timeframe, interests, and requirements.  And you would be about 45 minutes to Snowbird if you wanted to visit there for a day or two.

post #3 of 5

Seems like a non-issue. Crowds thin out after New Year's, so at worst you'll have one or two busy days. Looking back, I've never actually skied on New Year's Day, but I can't imagine it's excessively crowded. You've got people that stayed up all night, hungover and not going anywhere near the slopes until afternoon, if at all. Since it falls on a Tuesday, you've also got a lot of people that have work the next day and are going to be headed out of the mountains. After that, you've got the rest of the time without the holiday crowds, including a few weekdays.


Also agree with James that you could pick other UT resorts for the day if you're worried about crowds.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

New Year's on a Tuesday means Sunday and Monday potentially crowded.  And what about all the Mormons who don't drink (Tuesday potentially crowded too).  New Year's on a Tuesday also means people may be inclined to take that whole short week off work or pull the kids out of school since they will only miss 3 days.


Also, is the snow normally reliable by early January?

post #5 of 5

Are you skiing on Sunday? I assumed travel day, start on Monday. Either way, it's only a couple of days, follow the advice about going to Solitude or somewhere else (if you decide on UT).


As you already seem to know, the crowds aren't so much about the locals as the tourists. That's why big destination resorts are the most crowded and that's why the busiest week tends to be the holiday week - when people from around the country are traveling to ski resorts. So I don't think the Mormons will have a huge impact one way or the other, especially not considering a lot of other locals (and travelers, for that matter) are exactly the types that will be drinking and partying and probably only go out if it's a big powder day (in which case Bird will be crowded no matter what).


I seriously doubt that a significant number of people are taking a short week. If that were the case, the X-Mas to New Year's week wouldn't be all that crowded to begin with because people could plan to take New Year's to the 7th off instead (it's not like this is the only year you'd have a shorter work week). Wednesday through Friday really isn't that short of week, anyway, especially if you're already taking the holiday week off.


Snow is hit or miss in early January. All four seasons I've been here, early January has been the driest part of the season. Typically it doesn't pick up until the last week or two of the month. December can be good or it can be crap; this year was the latter. Not the best time if you're really looking for prime, powdery conditions, but that's going to be a question mark no matter where you plan this far in advance.

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