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Denver to SLC trip with a few stops on the way

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
We are planning a trip in CO and UT in the end of February and beginning of March this year. We will have about 15 days to ski and are planning to go to Vail, Aspen, Telluride, Alta and Snowbird.

Anything else you would suggest us to check out?

We would of course like to be as flexible as possible, but where do you think it is necessary with hotel reservations, and where is it good availability for drop ins?

I guess when in SLC we will try to find a motel in Sandy. Will we need reservations for that?

We are also planning to try the cat-skiing at Alta and/or Park City. How late would you make reservations for that?

All help highly appreciated,


Skogstok of Stockholm, Sweden
post #2 of 7
I hope you are flying in to one city (Denver) and flying out of the other (SLC), otherwise to drive back and forth while skiing at many resorts is quite ambitious for just 15 days and you might do better sticking to one state or the other. You have good taste, your selections are some of the best ski areas in the US. They are also some of the largest and most expensive. Vail and Aspen alone could be enough to split a 15 day visit, but Telluride is very scenic and Utah is having a great snow year, like usual. Your itinerary should give you a great sample of some of the best in US skiing. My favorite of the bunch is the Aspen area, but they are all great.
post #3 of 7
To be as flexible as possible I would stay in Glenwood Springs. From there you would have an hour to Vail/Beaver Creek, an hour to Aspen and 45 minutes or so to Snowmass. I've made these drives, and in decent weather, that's about how long it takes.

From there, Salt Lake City is about 6 hours away, and is decent driving until you hit Price, UT - watch out for cops in this town. From Price to Provo, the drive can be sketchy if the weather is bad, but it's not that far.

From Glenwood, Telluride is about 4.5 hours away, according to mapquest. This is the only drive of the ones I've listed that I haven't made, so ask some locals about it.

This would give you a base that could get 3 or 4 good ski resorts, so if one of them gets skunked by a storm, chances are at least one will pull in a descent snowfall. I would base your trip out of this city, and then head to Telluride or SLC only if there are approaching storms that look like they are going to hammer them.

I've never stayed in either Glenwood or Telluride before though, just driven through Glenwood a few times. There seemed to be several hotels though, and the times your looking at being out there are after president's day week, but before spring break hits, so crowds 'shouldn't' be a problem. I wound't think many skiers stay in Glenwood anyways, as it requires driving each day to the slopes. Once again, I've never stayed there before, so who knows.
post #4 of 7
I think a lot of this depends on what route you want to take. If you go from Denver to Telluride first you may have more options. It's an easy drive from Denver to Salida and then over Monarch Pass. You could stop at Monarch or Crested Butte on the way. When you get to Ridgway you can go over Red Mountain Pass and go to Silverton though that takes some planning. From Telluride head back up to Aspen (a bit of backtracking, but not much). Then from Aspen go to Vail. Again, a bit of backtracking but only about 45 minutes worth.

I think Durango Mountain Resort (aka Purgatory) is a bit out of the way.

Sunlight is in Glenwood Springs and it's a cool little place. It's nice if you only want to ski for a few hours.

Not sure where you're planning on going in Aspen, but Snowmass and Aspen Highlands are my favorites. I was at Highlands last Friday and the snow was pretty nice.
post #5 of 7
I wouldn't make any reservations. Just go were the snow is the best. I know that Aspen is never 100% booked, even at Christmas there are alway some rooms.

Same for the Snowcat. I would wait until you have a good idea were you will be and know the current snow conditions. Cat skiing is too expensive to waste on a marginal snow day.

Just post a couple of days before your arrival and we will fill you in. That's what the board is for!
post #6 of 7
Sounds like you have a fun Ski trip. I think The Colorado Members have given you some good advice regarding staying in Glenwood Springs. Staying in Sandy Utah is a good choose if your skiing The Cottenwood Canyons. Keep in mind That if your lucky we will have a big strom while your here. If that happens they can close the Canyons for Avalanche Control. If that Happens head up to Park City or even Snowbasin. From Sandy Park City is maybe a 30 to 45 min drive. I 80 will be open and all the resorts on this side of the Wasatch will also be open. As for Cat Skiing you may also want to look at Powder Mountain about 1 and 1/2 hours north of Park City. This might be a bit much to get into a 15 day trip, But Jackson Hole is only about 5 hours North of Salt lake City.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the good advise.

Can't wait to get back to Doc Holiday Saloon in Glenwood Springs. Is the "Dead Goat" in SLC still around?
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