EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Where to co in CO December 31 - January 4?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Where to co in CO December 31 - January 4?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

In short,  where is the best place, least crowded place to go when flying to Denver over xmas break?

 

 

The long

I hate going to CO over Christmas.  I hate crowds,  the extra expenses,  and the iffy snow.   I have a strong preference for Utah (Solitude, Alta, Brighton,  Snowbasin).  With that said I'm stuck going to CO  because all my sisters are going because they "got cheap flights to Denver".   One sisters likes Winter Park.   I have not been there over Xmas break.    There will be a party of about 8 people.   6 skiers,  3 are green easy blue types.  2 non skiers.   I don't want to break the bank on lift tickets,  ski rental,  lodging.  Is that even possible?

 

 

A few questions

1).  How bad will the crowds be around that time?

2).  Is Winter Park the best place to go in our situation?  What about Copper Mountain,  I love that place

3). Besides a long drive to Wolf Creek what is best for lack of crowds and not too bad a drive from Denver?

4).  How far is it to Steamboat?  How bad would it be there?

 

Other notes:

Places I've skied in CO (ranked by my best guess for our situation)

Copper Mountain

Breckenridge

Beaver Creek

Winter Park

 

Places I won't consider

Keystone  (hate it,  as do everyone I know)

Vail  ( too big,  too expensive and corporate stale)

Arapaho Basin

 

I suspect the Aspen area and Wolf Creek are too far to drive from Denver

 

In my mind I'm guessing Steamboat or Copper would fit the best,  but would like opinions.

post #2 of 13

Winter Park gets more snow than most early on and is closer to Steamboat than most other resorts, though the drive could be rather interesting.  It's not a bad option if you haven't been there.

post #3 of 13

Conisder Aspen, the crowds will be less and you have the choice of four ski mountains.. The drive is about 4-5 hours. Lodging in Aspen will be expensive, but if you have a car, you could consider Glenwood Springs, about 40 miles down the road.

post #4 of 13

So you want to come to ski in Colorado during the busiest time of the year, spend little and find great snow, and few people?   I will be working for Guest Services at Breckenridge during most of that week.  People ask: "Where are their shorter lift lines?"  I answer: "Nowhere." 

 

All of the areas are packed with people: in the lines, on the runs, in the restaurants, everywhere.  To make matters worse, much of the upper terrain is not open due to lack of snow.  Big rocks must be covered and wind blows it off. 

 

Steamboat is about an additional 1 1/2 hour drive from Silverthorne, where I live.  So about three hours from Denver. 

 

Breck and Copper have the best terrain for low-intermediate skiers if you don't like Keystone. 

 

I regret sounding so pessimistic but Christmas week is mobbed so what you ask is not possible.

post #5 of 13

do you have to go with them? LOL

post #6 of 13

Steamboat is about 3.5 hour drive from DEN, in good weather and traffic. It is also lower than other CO resorts, and should have decent to good conditions this early in the season.  

 

As for the kind of skiers going, it sounds like Steamboat fits the bill.  They have some gentle blue cruisers up on the mountain.  Check their central reservation for any discounts (which I'm betting there are).

 

Alternative would be Aspen/Snowmass which provides you 4 mountains (Snowmass primarily fitting your needs, its a blue cruiser paradise).  Its a bit further, but you only to go over one pass (Eisenhower Tunnel on 70) while Steamboat you'll need to go through Rabbit Ears pass too.

 

If you want cheaper lodging, consider staying down valley at Basalt, El Jebel, Carbondale or Glenwood Springs.

 

Both are sufficiently far enough away from DEN and the front range to mitigate the crowds.  And both towns offer enough for the non skiers to enjoy themselves too.

 

PS: I'd tell you to try Beaver Creek while staying a bit down valley at Edwards or Avon, but I also plan on being out there that time so you'll have the normal huge crowds +1 smile.gif

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by crudmeister View Post

So you want to come to ski in Colorado during the busiest time of the year, spend little and find great snow, and few people?   

 

I regret sounding so pessimistic but Christmas week is mobbed so what you ask is not possible.

 

I got a good chuckle out of this. Talk about “having your cake and eating it”. Everywhere is going to be a zoo, even those Utah resorts mentioned.

 

To the OP, Steamboat , Vail and Winter Park are your best bets for quality snow around New Year. Driving to Wolf Creek is 5+ hours from DIA in good weather (rare) is an option, but do you want to drive that far on your vacation?

 

I know it’s terrible to be “stuck skiing Colorado”, but I think you’ll manage to have a good time at WP and the Boat.


Edited by COBillsFan - 10/9/12 at 12:19pm
post #8 of 13

It is going to be a mob city.  Steamboat is the most reliable choice for early season snow.  I have no idea how the XMAS crowds are, but I doubt that it is vacant. 

 

Copper is an option for two reasons:  1) the Vail resorts get the most traffic, and 2) you can "upgrade" your lift ticket for $20/day or stay in Copper lodging and get the "Secret Pass" which allows you to cut the lift lines at the busiest lifts (Superbee, Flyer, Eagle, and Timberline Express).  I know you want to economize on lift tickets, but it's an option well worth the expense at that time of year...

 

Mike

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by S4Skiing View Post

PS: I'd tell you to try Beaver Creek while staying a bit down valley at Edwards or Avon, but I also plan on being out there that time so you'll have the normal huge crowds +1 smile.gif

 

HA! I was going to suggest BC also, but then again not only will myself + hubby be there, I like to keep BC a secret.... LOL!!!

 

So make that the normal huge crowds +3!!!!!

post #10 of 13

Aspen's generally not very crowded and the skiing is usually pretty good at Christmas.   It's about a four hour drive from the airport and IMHO is a little easier than Steamboat since it's interstate or four lanes the whole way.  It's not cheap, but has some fairly reasonable lodging?

 

Stay in Glenwood Springs and ski at Sunlight some of your days?  Glenwood is a nice little town and has more going on for the non skiers than some of your resorts?

I'll bet you could rent a big house in Aspen Glen or River Vally Ranch fairly cheaply? There is frequent bus service up to Aspen for $7, if you don't want to drive.

post #11 of 13

I hate to say it but here goes.

 

Book Telluride, the busiest days over the holidays will be about five to nine minute lift lines in the most popular lifts, the expert chairs will rarely have a wait AT ALL. 

 

Most of the preferred green/blues will have plenty of cover, and the on mountain restaurants will be open.

 

Flights from Denver and lodging will add up the expenses, but more time skiing and less time waiting will more than make up for it.

 

PLEASE SHHHHHHH Don't tell anyone else about this.

post #12 of 13

Aspen (stay in Carbondale/Basalt), Telluride, Crested Butte and Steamboat would be your best bets.  Steamboat would be my least favorite of those 4, just a bit flat, lacks the variety of terrain of the others and it is nowhere close in terms of natural beauty.  

 

All I70 corridor resorts will be terrible for crowds, but if that is your only option, go to Beaver Creek.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmscott_75077 View Post

Hi,

 

In short,  where is the best place, least crowded place to go when flying to Denver over xmas break?

 

 

The long

I hate going to CO over Christmas.  I hate crowds,  the extra expenses,  and the iffy snow.   I have a strong preference for Utah (Solitude, Alta, Brighton,  Snowbasin).  With that said I'm stuck going to CO  because all my sisters are going because they "got cheap flights to Denver".   One sisters likes Winter Park.   I have not been there over Xmas break.    There will be a party of about 8 people.   6 skiers,  3 are green easy blue types.  2 non skiers.   I don't want to break the bank on lift tickets,  ski rental,  lodging.  Is that even possible?

 

 

A few questions

1).  How bad will the crowds be around that time?

2).  Is Winter Park the best place to go in our situation?  What about Copper Mountain,  I love that place

3). Besides a long drive to Wolf Creek what is best for lack of crowds and not too bad a drive from Denver?

4).  How far is it to Steamboat?  How bad would it be there?

 

Other notes:

Places I've skied in CO (ranked by my best guess for our situation)

Copper Mountain

Breckenridge

Beaver Creek

Winter Park

 

Places I won't consider

Keystone  (hate it,  as do everyone I know)

Vail  ( too big,  too expensive and corporate stale)

Arapaho Basin

 

I suspect the Aspen area and Wolf Creek are too far to drive from Denver

 

In my mind I'm guessing Steamboat or Copper would fit the best,  but would like opinions.

Go to Beaver! its expensive like Vail though.If you like upscale and upbeat more like posh" who cares", rather than posh "see and be seen" like Vail or Aspen, Beaver is sweet. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Resorts, Conditions & Travel
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Mountain/Resort Related Forums › Resorts, Conditions & Travel › Where to co in CO December 31 - January 4?