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Need Recommendations for Colorado Skiing

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I'll be coming from Utah. I know, I know. Why leave? Because I like to travel and experience as much as possible. Now that that's out of the way...

I'm looking for suggestions on where to ski in Colorado. Something relatively close to the Utah border, as I will be driving and it's a short trip. I'd like a cool resort town like Park City or Sun Valley with lots of great restaurants and good nightlife.

Your suggestions please.
post #2 of 7
Well...closest big resorts to the Utah border would be the Aspen areas, Telluride, and Purgatory ("Durango Mountain" or whatever they're calling that place now). But none of those places are exactly "swimming" in snow these days. And despite being closest to Utah, they still aren't necessarily quicker to get to. Vail/Beaver Creek and the Summit County resorts of A-Basin, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, and Keystone are just a little farther down I-70 (all have good skiing; Breckenridge has the best night life, Keystone the best restaurants, but the resorts are not far apart anyway). Steamboat, to the north, can go from nothing to paradise with one good snow storm--like Utah. Crested Butte is a funky little low-key town with some very good skiing and some decent restaurants. Winter Park too has lots to offer, with the Mary Jane section offering some of Colorado's best bumps.

That about covers the major resorts of Colorado. Take your pick! Look me up if you find yourself in Summit County....

Best regards,
Bob Barnes
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Two that have been recommended to me are Telluride and Steamboat. Any comments on them?
post #4 of 7
I skied at Steamboat last spring. I've never skied Telluride, but would like to.

As far as Steamboat, the attraction supposedly is the "Champagne Powder", but coming from Utah it won't seem like that big of a deal to you. You'd find it's nowhere near as steep as a place like Snowbird, which you might consider a good thing. It does have good tree skiing. "Shadows" is a famous tree run and deserves its reputation.

The mountain/lift layout seemed a little awkward. It's kind of like Alta with the ridge down the middle in that you can't always get over and across the mountain where you want to go without taking a lift up-- if you see what I mean.

The town and resort area isn't as great as I expected it to be. I think Breckenridge, Aspen and Crested Butte are all neater towns. The town is a few miles from the resort but you don't need a rental car because the town bus is very convenient if you want to go into town for dinner. The resort base area isn't all that pretty-- lots of clumps of condos. Expect scenery more like Park City, rather than Little Cottonwood. (i.e. the mountains are more rounded with lots of Aspen trees, rather than real rugged with evergreens.)

As far as the other resorts, you'd find Breckenridge to be a lot like Park City-- neat, fun town, but lots of tourists and can be crowded. (I believe it's the nation's busiest resort.) Both are fairly easy skiing , but come to think of it they both have some tough terrain in the upper right corner as you face the mountain.

Crested Butte is neat but would be a long drive from Utah.

I would probably recommend Vail. I'm kind of surprised I'm saying that, because I personally prefer the low-key resorts (Alta is my favorite place if that's an indication.) But if you're going to trek to Colorado, Vail is a place that every skier should ski at least once. Kind of like every kid should go to Disneyworld/or land once. The Back Bowls are pretty neat in seeing how immense they are. It sounds like you're into apres-ski activities and even though it was "artificially" created, the Vail Village has its share of restaurants and it's certainly an amusing place to people/fur coat watch. Also, you could go over to Beaver Creek-- kind of like Deer Valley in that it's ritzy. There are escalators outside in the village. Surprisingly though, there are some bump runs at Beaver Creek that I think are more difficult than anything at Vail. It's a good place to avoid Vail's crowds. (By the way, Vail is so big that you can usually avoid liftlines there with a little planning and effort.) Copper Mountain is also a short drive from Vail and is a good skier's mountain.

Aspen also wouldn't be bad choice. It's maybe a tougher drive from Utah. It's a more "authentic" town than Vail (i.e. it existed before the ski resort). People claim it's a snooty town, but I've always had fun there. Ajax (Aspen Mountain) is actually pretty small in terms of skiing acres but it seems to ski bigger than it is. Highlands is a fun area nearby-- kind of like a tougher version of Solitude. Also nearby, Snowmass has lots of variety and cruising runs. One caution being that you're used to Utah snow amounts-- Vail and Steamboat generally get a little more snow than the Aspen area.

Enjoy your trip. Let us know where you decide to go.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 30, 2001 06:45 PM: Message edited 3 times, by Wags ]</font>
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for putting so much effort into such an informative reply Wags. I really appreciate it. We'll probably be going in January. I'll let ya'll know what I find.
post #6 of 7
I would have to agree with Wags on Vail. You wanted lots of great restaurants and good nightlife. BTW Sweet Basils in Vail is one of our favorites. I know that Vail has the reputation for the "Fur Coat" crowd, but really there are more of us normal riff raff types that the fur coats! Wags is right too that you can avoid the crowds with a little effort and that BC rarely has long lines. I always have a good ski day at the Beav.

Summit County doesn't really have many good restaurants. The exceptions IMHO are Ski Tip Lodge in Keystone, great food and service. A bit pricey but well worth it. Also the Great Northern in Keystone for more moderate prices. Uptown Bistro in Frisco has good food but lousy service. While I am sure there must be a decent restaurant in Breck I have never found it.

Anyway I am sure you will have a great time no matter the place. Hope to see you here. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #7 of 7
You said : "I'd like a cool resort town like Park City or Sun Valley with lots of great restaurants and good nightlife."

I say: Telluride, Telluride, Telluride.

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