Hello again. Any advice on what dates to spend at these 3 mountains to avoid as much as possible.... the holiday crowds?
WP 3 days, Copper 3 days, Steamboat 6 days, during 12/23-1/7, nothing booked yet.
I agree with Mike's order. I like Copper first because it has better snowmaking than WP, so more reliable earlier... at least for groomers.
If you want some extra free days beyond the 6 at the boat:
I have a note in my calendar to consider skiing Friday 12/26, as folks here reported the hordes didn't show up until the 27th last year. If that holds true again you could stick around Copper for an extra day safely.
On the other end, I'd think WP shouldn't be too bad on Sunday 1/4 for another day. Vacationers will be traveling that day, and Sundays are better than Saturday for Denver day trippers.
Just to provide my thinking on the order, I suggest Copper first because I think it is more likely to be congested with the tail end of Xmas traffic than WP. I suggest Steamboat for the heart of the Xmas break as it is further removed from Denver and less likely to be swamped than either of the front-range resorts. Further, coming back Denver at the end of your trip, WP is a good place to land as it will dump you onto I70 at Empire, avoiding the tunnel congestion (although you'll still have the backup getting onto I70 through to the bottom of Floyd Hill).
The order makes for a relatively easy tour around the state: drive to Copper (2-2.5 hours from DIA without traffic), drive from Copper to Steamboat (via Silverthorne, Kremling, and Rabbit Ears Pass -- about 2 - 2.5 hours), drive to Winter Park (2-2.5 hours), and drive to DIA (2-2.5 hours without traffic).
Also second Tball's comment about snowmaking.