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Glenwood to Aspen, winter driving conditions...

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

...any locals with advice? Will standard all-weather tires on a rental be good enough? Or do I need to get raped for an SUV and raped again for one w/4WD? (And just when was it they started making 2WD SUVs anyway!) Still looking at various options for Colorado trip in first week of January.

post #2 of 18
Standard stuff will be good enough until it isn't. Bad weather and you'll feel good about your bend-over, good weather...well...
post #3 of 18
Agreed. It doesn't take a lot of snow on the road to make you REALLY glad that you rented the 4wd (and I am a New England resident who drives in all conditions at home with two wheel drive). Look at Orbitz for some competitive rates.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks. Yeah, I've driven often enough in the mountains without 4WD -- and once or twice gotten stuck -- that I don't really want to take the chance. I've checked out Priceline/Orbitz/Kayak/Travelocity, and the price differences are minimal.

At $1200/week for guaranteed 4WD the airport shuttle services are starting to look good.

post #5 of 18

The road from Glenwood is flat and is clear most of the time. I have driven it many times, as well as Denver to Aspen, with 2WD and all seasons without problems. Even if you get 4WD the tires won't necessarily be any better.

post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Miles View Post

The road from Glenwood is flat and is clear most of the time. I have driven it many times, as well as Denver to Aspen, with 2WD and all seasons without problems. Even if you get 4WD the tires won't necessarily be any better.

 



The above is spot on advice.  I often stay in Glenwood when I ski at Aspen and the drive is easy.  IMO, 4WD is only called for if you're going up in bad conditions.  The drive to Aspen is flat.

post #7 of 18

Hwy 82 is four lanes , well maintained and fairly flat with only a few curvy spots.

 

For $1200, you'd be better off spending the money flying right into ASE and staying in town?

post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 

Yes, but for our dates it's $500 each round trip, and saving $200 at the risk of not making it back in time for our Tokyo flights just doesn't work. And that's just now on travelocity. If I wait until say late November to be sure the snow is decent in Aspen, the price will not doubt be even higher.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHREDHEAD View Post

 

For $1200, you'd be better off spending the money flying right into ASE and staying in town?

 

 

I'm flying to Denver for $240 per ticket and renting an SUV for $750.  To fly to Aspen was $650 per ticket (from Boston).  I have a family of five.  (650-240) x 5 = 2050.

 

So flying into Denver and driving will save me $2050-$750 = $1300 compared to flying into ASE.  But I stll need transportation in Aspen, just not as nice a rental car.  Figure $500 for the week, a savings of $250. 

 

So in the end I saved 2050-250 = $1800 by flying into DEN instead of ASE, including the cost of the SUV.  Of course where you're flying from and the number of people in your party are critical factors. In my case:

 

For $1800, better off flying into Denver and spending the money on skiing.


Edited by hirustler - 10/29/12 at 10:10am
post #10 of 18

Well let's hope the (road)conditions will be bad(good piste).biggrin.gif

 

All kidding aside, Glenwood to Aspen is an easy jaunt that is plowed regularly.  The odds of your getting stuck/stranded increase as the weather thickens and the hours are very late.  Thousands of commuters make their way up and down the valley daily.  You will likely have more trouble with aggressive locals cutting you off if you don't keep up than have any real traction issues.

 

A rental will suffice and enjoy your turns.

post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks Buttinski and others. I think we'll wait for a while now and see what winter brings before committing to anything.

Still looking at Steamboat/Aspen/Summit County as possible destinations.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post


 But I stll need transportation in Aspen, just not as nice a rental car. 

For virtually everyone, there is absolutely no need for a car in Aspen. I live in CO and drive each winter to Aspen for a week of skiing, and the car stays parked in the garage. The public transport in Aspen is quick, convenient, and free.

Mike
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimintokyo View Post

Thanks Buttinski and others. I think we'll wait for a while now and see what winter brings before committing to anything.
Still looking at Steamboat/Aspen/Summit County as possible destinations.

Jim, if you are looking to hedge snow conditions, then I think you need to look outside Colorado. While its possible that there may be a marginal difference in conditions between the three areas you mentioned, they are generally subject to similar weather patterns and will have similar conditions. To hedge your bets, you'd be better off looking at northern Rockies, the sierras, and the PNW.

Mike
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mike, the problem is limited hedging ability as we're stuck with flying in/out of Denver.

I've looked at the possibility of booking additional flights to SLC/Jackson/Spokane, but that would really be a desperation move.

post #15 of 18
Jim, you can get a flight on short notice for about $200 between DIA and slc. Tough to get reasonable flights on short notice to Jackson. That being said, if you are committing to Colorado, hen I'd pick Aspen. It has a great amount of terrain, and it's my favorite resort in Colorado.

Mike
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 

If it gets to xmas and Colorado is truly snowless we'll certainly either fly or drive to SLC, but potentially missing our Denver-Tokyo return flight and having to shell out for a pair of one-way fares is too horrible to consider, so I'd rather stick to Colorado unless desperate.

Assuming good snow at both, I'm torn between Aspen & Steamboat -- terrible dilemma, I know!

post #17 of 18

I had dinner Saturday night with a guy from Mountain Rescue.  He said there was 11" at the Sundeck at 6pm.  I brushed my car off at the base at 5am Sunday and there was an additional 4-5 inches and it was dumping in Aspen. I drove a standard 2wd rental to Copper. Me and the plows were the only downvalley traffic at 5:30am and the drive was easy.

The worst part was Glenwood Canyon, but the rest of I-70 was pretty good.  Vail pass only had a couple of inches.

 

Having a car does give you some flexibility. Depending on your dates, I would think you could find accommodations almost anywhere at the last minute.

post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 

That's a nice early season report, Shredhead. May it keep on dumping for the next month!

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