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Anyone here every been to Powderhorn in western Colorado?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I just moved to Grand Junction, and I'm thrilled to have a ski area forty minutes away! Has anyone here been there? I'm curious about whether a season pass would be worth it, or if I'd be happier driving the extra hour and a half to get to Beaver Creek or Vail.

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post #2 of 10

Umm isn't Aspen closer?

I haven't been to Powderhorn in Winter, but it's a beautiful spot.  I think the snow fall is a bit on the lower end for the state.  It is a good local hill from what I have heard.  Vail/Beaver creek is going to have the Front Range shit show.  So I would probably stick with Powderhorn over that option.  Plus you can stop in Palisade and hit the Brewery there or one of many wineries on the way home.

post #3 of 10

Powderhorn is way closer to Grand Junction than Aspen.


I was there once. It was a fun, little hill with nice snow and some fun trees. I didn't hit it in particularly great conditions, but it was still a fun day. I particularly liked the West End area. Pretty area, for sure, and it'd be fun to ski half the day and mountain bike Fruita/GJ the other half when conditions warrant.


I suppose a pass depends how much you plan to ski. It'd be hard to suggest a $439 Powderhorn pass over a $549 Epic Local Pass if you're planning to ski a lot and want variety and challenge. If it was me I'd probably get the Epic Local and just buy day tickets at Powderhorn since they must be way cheaper than other CO lift tickets. Then you could stick local when Powderhorn's getting the goods and spread out on days when you'd rather have more terrain.

post #4 of 10

I've skied Powderhorn quite a few times and will say its fun as hell. There's nothing super steep but the trees are truly awesome and theres some cool rockslide areas that will challenge. Overall the place has a slow nice local vibe, the kind i enjoy. The lifts are very slow just to warn you but lines are non existant. I'm also pretty sure there's a bus that runs from downtown GJ for like ten bucks, which comes in handy as the bar is reasonably priced! If it snows then you will ski powder all day, and the next, and the next if you poke around. There is fantastic sidecountry/backountry as its really just a big flattop mountain. The acerage and vert are big for a mountain that is so off the radar. I would be happy to call it home and buy tix elsewhere (Screw Vail, go to T-ride).


Your town that you moved to, It's where i vacation, visit friends. Most people would right GJ off but I love it there for many reasons. Enjoy!



Hot Tomato in Fruita is some of the best pizza I've had. If your over there give it a try.

post #5 of 10
I agree with the others--Powderhorn is one of Colorado's real gems, and if I lived in GJ, I'd have a pass there for sure. As far as snowfall goes, I do not know the actual statistics, but they don't call it Powderhorn for nothing. Every time I've skied there, they have had at least as much snow, and usually much more, than my "home" areas in Summit and Eagle Counties. That may be as much due to it getting less traffic to pack out the powder as to a lot of natural snowfall, but it works either way.

Powderhorn is Grand Junction's local resort. The big resorts are a long drive from GJ--and there are lots of them. I'd ski Powderhorn a lot, and make the trips to Telluride, Aspen, Durango, Steamboat, Vail, Crested Butte, or Summit County--not to mention Wolf Creek, Sunlight, Monarch, Loveland, and other great smaller areas--and remember that the big Utah areas are not all that far away either--when I had the time. I would not want to limit myself with just a Vail Resorts pass.

Best regards,
post #6 of 10

I revise my previous advice to what Bob says. I wasn't even thinking how a Vail Pass could limit you from skiing some of those other mountains that are within a manageable commute. Since you appear to be coming from Rifle, I'm guessing you have some experience with Vail and Summit, so use the move as a reason to branch out. Powderhorn pass + trips to Telluride/UT/Silverton/Wolf Creek/etc. etc. sounds about right.

post #7 of 10

I live in Grand Junction. I ski Powderhorn at least a couple dozen days a year. I also have multiple day passes to Aspen, Telluride, and Steamboat. It's always a pleasant break from traveling to other areas to ski my home hill. The terrain is challenging enough to keep me in tune and there are plenty of good skiers to spend the day with.

post #8 of 10

I skied PH several years ago while on a road trip to meet folks in Vail. I went there because I didn't want to  lose a ski day during my drive and the timing was right (if I had continued on to Vail I wouldn't have made it for a half day). Plus I'm a huge fan of not only smaller resorts, but also of trying to ski at a new resort each season.


The resort was funky and Old School. Old lifts, cheap prices, mostly families from Grand Junction. The day I happened to be there it was cold and the snow was hard and icy. The local race teams were out in force and had commandeered the looker's left side of the hill. As such, I spent the day exploring the looker's right area. As some have mentioned above, the tree skiing is solid and even though the snow wasn't as awesome as it could have been, I saw the potential of the hill. Again, it's Old School, small, and funky, which I enjoy. 


And as Bob Barnes mentioned, you  have a lot of options fairly close by.  I'd score a PH pass and then also allot time/money to exploration of the region (perhaps pick one new resort a month to travel to or even pick two and make a w/e out of it, if you can).


In terms of the other spots BB mentioned, I've skied and enjoyed Monarch, Wolf Creek (again, both are moderately sized, Old School and funky compared to the bigger Summit/Eagle County resorts), Durango, and Crested Butte; all worth a trip and visit IMHO. I've only skied Highlands in Aspen, but enjoyed it immensely, too.


Sunlight is still on my list, as well as Ski Cooper (for its historical significance).


I say support your local hill and also go explore the area when you can.

post #9 of 10

Bump becasue Powderhorn has been off the hook this week. Best snow I've skied in a few years.....Way more snow than Vail/summit right now. If you like tight trees it is awesome!!!

post #10 of 10

I've seen some nice numbers on the ski report this year.   Never been myself, but have heard that it's a nice retro family hill.   Great inexpensive alternative to some of the majors.

Gart's picked it up for under a million.

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