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Anyone ever driven from Steamboat to Winterpark?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey,

I am planning a trip to steamboat from march 5-12. We are thinking of flying directly into hayden but we have a big group so we will probably all chip in and get 1 car just for grocery shopping and that sort of thing.

I have never skied steamboat so I am sure there will be plenty of terrain to entertain me for several days (we will be skiing 6 days). However, I would like to drive to Winterpark for a day trip. I have always wanted to ski maryjane. Is this a doable day trip....leave early in the morn, ski all day and drive back at night??

I've heard its only a 2 hour drive...depending on road conditions i'm sure. How are the roads and how long would the drive be.

thx in advance
bigbad
post #2 of 18
Not from Colorado, so take with a grain of salt...I think your estimate of 2 hrs is not too far off. Yahoo maps says 100 miles/2:45 hours. I think only one tough pass, Rabbit Ears near Steamboat, elv 9500'. Should be reasonable drive in reasonable weather. Wonder if it would be easier/quicker to take Rt 131 for a day at Beaver Creek or Vail? Both have something for everyone, although they might be overwhelming for a one day visit. Mary Jane would be fine for a day of focussed mogul mashing.
post #3 of 18
About two hours from Steamboat to Winter Park is doable if you have decent weather. I did have one day when it took me 2 hours just to get over Rabbit Ears Pass. There was plenty of warning for that storm, and if that happens on your trip you'll want to stay in Steamboat anyway.

Jim
post #4 of 18
I say GO FOR IT. I'm actually in Steamboat the week before you and we're also flying directly into Hayden. You definitely do NOT need a car there as the town is laid out well and the buses are free. I would rent a 4 wheel drive for the trip to Winter Park.

I've been to Steamboat 5 times (all for a week) and if they don't get fresh snow, about day 4 is when I start to get a lil bored. I can't think of a single resort in the US that can hold my attention for 6 straight days...barring fresh dumpings each day.
post #5 of 18
Why the hell would you want to take all that time to drive to Winter Park when it's only an hour and a half to Summit County and all the Resorts over there.
post #6 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Why the hell would you want to take all that time to drive to Winter Park when it's only an hour and a half to Summit County and all the Resorts over there.
I don't believe I could get from the Boat to any Summit county resort in 90 minutes in the middle of summer with no traffic. Factor in winter conditions, Rabbit Ears Pass and a start before the sun is up and I would allow two to two and a half hours.

I would say the drive to WP is shorter than to any summit county resort. I checked mapquest to confirm mileage and WP is four miles closer than Breck. You have to consider traffic from Silverthorne to Breckenridge or Keystone. It can be hell. There will be no traffic from Kremmling to WP/MJ

In addition, why you ask.......the Jane and it's legendary bump skiing. Please name ANYTHING in summit county that compares in terms of bump skiing.
post #7 of 18
Hey Rusty Guy, I don't want to yank yer chain but it's 45 minutes to Kremmling, and another 45 minutes to Silverthorn, that's an hour and a half. Done it many times. My Sister in Law used to live in Kremmling. From there you have to go through Hot Sulfer Springs, Granby and on to Winter Park. More like an hour and ten minutes from Kremmling. Shoot, I have made it from the Airport in Denver to the Boat in just around three hours. That includes a stop at Quisno's in Silverthorn for a snack. As you say, there will be no traffic from Kremmling to Winter Park. True, cause nobody wants to go there from Steamboat. They'd take the back way to Vail first and that's only two hours to the Lionshead parking lot.

I will not dispute the awesomness of the Jane and it's legendary runs like Drunken Frenchmen and Outhouse etc. It's the king of the daytrip resorts from Denver but only because it's a quick trip back. No one wants to stay over there unless they get caught in a storm.

Mary Jane has a soft spot in my heart cause it's the first bump run I ever skied in Colorado.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Hey Rusty Guy, I don't want to yank yer chain but it's 45 minutes to Kremmling, and another 45 minutes to Silverthorn, that's an hour and a half.

I will not dispute the awesomness of the Jane and it's legendary runs like Drunken Frenchmen and Outhouse etc. It's the king of the daytrip resorts from Denver but only because it's a quick trip back. No one wants to stay over there unless they get caught in a storm.

Mary Jane has a soft spot in my heart cause it's the first bump run I ever skied in Colorado.
and exactly what are you going to ski in Silverthorne? I thought the mileage/time was to a summit county RESORT.

In terms of no one wanting to stay in Grand County? I would first argue the investors at Intrawest seem to think a few folks might want to stay there. I'm going to do my very best to retire to Fraser or Tabernash. If you prefer Scum-it county more power to you! If I wanted outlet malls and horrendous crowds I'd be singing a different tune. At times it reminds me of Myrtle Beach with snow. Too many outlet malls and tee-shirt outlets.
post #9 of 18
I guess if I were going to retire to a place somewhere in Colorado, it might be Frisco. Yes, Summit County is getting overpopulated and busy, but the area has everything I need. Most importantly, the proximity of four major ski areas with a twenty minute drive, or shuttle ride when traffic is bad.

My first choice though would probably be Steamboat Springs for all the opposite reasons. More isolated, and quiet but still all that goes with my likes. Fishing, hiking, skiing,snowmobiling, etc. Probably much the same for your wants in the Winter Park region.

I have no animosity toward you for liking W.P. I've skied there mostly for the Jane, but heck, good skiing is good skiing anywhere. That's why I'm happy skiing Holiday Valley and Holimont here in N.Y.

I just think W.P. is more suited to the day tripper and the place is lacking in entertainment, inexpensive Motels/Hotels, shops and eateries.
The ski area is lacking in steep terrain and vistas other than it's neighbor MaryJane which is mostly steep bumps and ungroomed. The Circq or whatever doesn't get it for me.

That's only my opinion and whatever that's worth.
post #10 of 18
Go for it. This dog used to do Steamboat for the day from the Denver foothills. Rabbit Ears doesn't even have a switchback. It doesn't go above treeline. The rest of the drive is through sagebrush country.
post #11 of 18
I would also consider Vail and Beaver Creek as well. Both can be reached in about two hours or a little less. Wait to make your decision once you arrive. The snow can really vary around the state depending on how the storms hit. If Steamboat is going off I wouldn't think about leaving. If the snow is not so good WP, Summit, and Vail would all be great choices and all easily done in a day trip. I would also consider doing a day with the Steamboat Powder Cats. Takes place on Buffalo pass just outside of Steamboat. It's a little pricey, but well worth it a day or two after a storm. Another must do is Strawberry Park Hot Springs. Have fun.
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
I guess if I were going to retire to a place somewhere in Colorado, it might be Frisco. Yes, Summit County is getting overpopulated and busy, but the area has everything I need. Most importantly, the proximity of four major ski areas with a twenty minute drive, or shuttle ride when traffic is bad.

My first choice though would probably be Steamboat Springs for all the opposite reasons. More isolated, and quiet but still all that goes with my likes. Fishing, hiking, skiing,snowmobiling, etc. Probably much the same for your wants in the Winter Park region.

I have no animosity toward you for liking W.P. I've skied there mostly for the Jane, but heck, good skiing is good skiing anywhere. That's why I'm happy skiing Holiday Valley and Holimont here in N.Y.

I just think W.P. is more suited to the day tripper and the place is lacking in entertainment, inexpensive Motels/Hotels, shops and eateries.
The ski area is lacking in steep terrain and vistas other than it's neighbor MaryJane which is mostly steep bumps and ungroomed. The Circq or whatever doesn't get it for me.

That's only my opinion and whatever that's worth.
No, Winter Park does not offer a lot in terms of entertainment or eateries. I like that. I like Fraser even more and it has less to do! Well it has a great coffee spot, a bike shop, one cowboy bar, and a supermarket!

I really don't differentiate between WP and MJ. It's not as though they are seperate resorts. If you want steep ungroomed you have MJ. If you want groomed or cruisers head for WP.

Nothing compares in terms of bumps.

I've skied Holiday Valley. You aren't.......by chance.....comparing the 2600 feet vertical and 2700 acres at WP/MJ to 700 feet vertical and 1100 acres at Holiday Valley are you?
post #13 of 18
There is no comparison between H.V. and W.P/MJ Rusty Guy. The only thing similar is the the trails have snow on them. But hey, skiing is skiing anywhere.

You know, I really don't have anything against Winter Park. It's just not a favorite of mine nor do we frequent the place. We did four ski trips to Colorado last year and split the time between Steamboat and the Summit County Resorts. Mostly because we have the four mountain pass and Steamboat Cards along with a Copper card. Don't care much for Keystone and don't care much for Breckenridge either although we skied Breck three times and Keystone once, but spent as much time at Vail as possible along with Copper as about it. Also spent three days at Abasin a few skiing in the backcountry up at Loveland pass.

It's been fun for us to have our Son going to College in Steamboat cause it's kind of a base of operations for us now. We concentrate on getting direct flights into hayden and use the SUV we bought him instead of having to rent a vehical. So, what costs us a little more in airfare saves us around $700 and alot of driving by not flying into denver. Bottom line is we actually skied more in Colorado the last couple of years than we have at Holiday Valley.

As far as knowing Colorado, my Wifes Sister lived in Kremmling for quite a while. We first went there with our skis in 1980. Not much there but only a short drive to all the major areas and not far to Rocky Mountain National Park which is about as close to heaven one can get.

I love Colorado. And I guess if someone offered me a spot in Fraser, I'd be happy with that and skiing Winter Park. Shit, I'm going to be 54 next month and don't know how much longer I'm going to be able to do bumps or hike the East wall at Abasin anyhow.
post #14 of 18
Rusty Guy, By the way, I see your home mountain is Eldora. I've been there a few times and really like the place. Nederland is a great little place too. Had a friend who worked with the handicap program there. His name was Randy Bennett. First time I skied there back in the mid eighties I placed third in a bump contest. It was held on Labelle.
post #15 of 18
Eldora has expanded a great deal in the past few years. I assume you skied it before the Indian Peals and Corona Bowl sections were opened.

We fight a constant battle with the groomers. LaBelle hasn't had bumps on it in five years. It would be a great bump run.

Nederland is a fantastic town. I don't know Randy Bennett, although the handicap program and nordic programs are run very much seperate from the Alpine school. Once or twice a year I run over to the nordic center and take a skate lesson. They have a great many very good nordic instructors and a host of level III nordic certs.

Conspicuously absent from your list is Loveland. It seems to attract a great many instructors on their days off. The snow is reliable, the terrain varied and the food is good!
post #16 of 18
[quote=Rusty Guy]I don't believe I could get from the Boat to any Summit county resort in 90 minutes in the middle of summer with no traffic. Factor in winter conditions, Rabbit Ears Pass and a start before the sun is up and I would allow two to two and a half hours.

I would say the drive to WP is shorter than to any summit county resort. I checked mapquest to confirm mileage and WP is four miles closer than Breck. You have to consider traffic from Silverthorne to Breckenridge or Keystone. It can be hell. There will be no traffic from Kremmling to WP/MJ
quote]

Beaver Creek and Vail are the closest resorts to Steamboat (by drive time, not miles). 131 to beaver creek/vail is smooth sailing with no passes, I used to live in Steamboat and have made the drive a few times. Have also made the Steamboat to WP drive several times.
post #17 of 18
I drove from WP to Steamboat a few years back. All I can remember was there were a few ugly black ice patches on the road, and I think you drive through a canyon like place for a little bit. Sorry I'm no help with any useful details.

I can say the drive from Silverthorne to Steamboat by comparison is easier and much flatter, Rabbit Ears Pass aside.
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars
Hey Rusty Guy, I don't want to yank yer chain but it's 45 minutes to Kremmling, and another 45 minutes to Silverthorn, that's an hour and a half. Done it many times. My Sister in Law used to live in Kremmling. From there you have to go through Hot Sulfer Springs, Granby and on to Winter Park. More like an hour and ten minutes from Kremmling. Shoot, I have made it from the Airport in Denver to the Boat in just around three hours. That includes a stop at Quisno's in Silverthorn for a snack. As you say, there will be no traffic from Kremmling to Winter Park. True, cause nobody wants to go there from Steamboat. They'd take the back way to Vail first and that's only two hours to the Lionshead parking lot.

I will not dispute the awesomness of the Jane and it's legendary runs like Drunken Frenchmen and Outhouse etc. It's the king of the daytrip resorts from Denver but only because it's a quick trip back. No one wants to stay over there unless they get caught in a storm.

Mary Jane has a soft spot in my heart cause it's the first bump run I ever skied in Colorado.

Just made the drive from Silverthorne to Kremmling yesterday (Berthoud was closed for MAJOR avy remediation). Try more like 2 and a half hours, with CO9 being totally ice covered for the first 30 miles - max speed around 30 mph (with an SUV with 4WD).
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