Originally Posted by Jason Robertson
Wow the monarch pass has Loveland Copper and Winter Park? Choices choices, but that sounds very good
Monarch is one of my favorite ski areas in Colorado, bar none. Good snow both in amount and with a tendency towards LIGHT snow, very uncrowded, good advanced terrain with some really nice hike-to expert shots, zero pretentiousness and a great atmosphere.
I think the season pass deal is the best in skiing.
I haven't mentioned it in this thread as it is not really considered a day ski area to anywhere on the front range except Colorado Springs, and its still 2 hours and about 15 minutes each way from the Springs- people consider it a day ski area from there as its about that drive to EVERYWHERE from Colorado Springs.
If you don't have to show up at a job in Denver regularly, do you have to live on the front range? Do you WANT to live in a city?
Here is a list of Drag strips in Colorado. Be prepared that your ET's will suck due to the 40% less oxygen.
There are plenty of mountain towns that are still affordable and put you much closer to skiing, if you aren't tied to needing to show up to a certain location every day. Off the top of my head in no particular order...
1. Leadville- Ski Cooper 10 minutes away, Vail about 45, Copper about 30, the rest of Summit about 45, Monarch about an hour. VERY affordable and a very authentic town. Downsides are that it can be TOO authentic for people, it is at 10,000 feet so be prepared to freeze your nuts off, and its high enough to have health implications for people with heart/breathing issues. Denver is about 2 hours and change away. Lots of opportunity to use 4 wheelers and bikes, zero for a dragster without hauling down to the front range.
2. Fairplay, Alma, the rest of South Park- Its about 40 minutes to Breck from Fairplay, another 15 to the rest of Summit. Quite affordable, especially compared to prices over the pass in Breck. Downsides are that it is remote- You have one non chain grocery in Fairplay, and you better love Amazon, cause otherwise you are driving a ways to get stuff. Again, lots of recreation opportunity, but sorry about the dragster.
3. Newcastle, Rifle, Glenwood Springs- Located on I-70 an hour and change West of Vail. Aspen is an hour upvalley, Sunlight is a great local ski area, Steamboat is 2 1/2 hours from Rifle, Powderhorn 1 hour West. These cities are just big enough to have Wal Marts and chain groceries. Affordable, with Newcastle and Rifle cheaper than Glenwood (but Glenwood has much more of a resort feel) Tons of recreation. Grand Junction (with a 1/4 mile track) is an hour west of Rifle. From these towns, you basically are within an easy drive of the major Colorado resorts (minus the San Juan areas), live in a beautiful place, and can actually afford to do so. 3 hours to Denver. I lived in Rifle and loved it.