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Ski day in New Mexico?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm sketching out plans to fly out to California at the holidays to drive a car back.

The tentative plan is for me to fly out Saturday, December 24 and hit the road east on Monday the 26th. My theory is that it's smarter planning for me to cross the mountains further south, that time of year. So my route planning is as follows:

Day 1: Los Altos, CA to Needles, CA
Day 2: Needles, CA to Santa Fe, NM
Day 3: Santa Fe, NM to Goodland, KS
Day 4: Goodland, KS to Topeka, KS

If I'm waking up in the Santa Fe area on the morning of Wednesday, December 28, it seems to me that I should spend that day skiing somewhere.

So, where should I ski? Are any of you likely to be skiing in the vicinity then? The other issue is that I'll be adding a night to my travels and need to find lodging in ski country for a single, midweek night during Christmas week? Am I nuts?
post #2 of 18
Seems like you are really going out of your way to possibly avoid some snow on the Freeway. Interstate 80 would be very direct and as long as the long range forecast is looking good why not? You could hit Tahoe/Reno area and ski. Then on to Salt lake City and ski, Then take hwy 40 to Steamboat and do what? That's right ski. Then drive like mad to Topeka. That is unless you really want to ski New Mexico Then I would say Taos. Do you really think you can do Needles to Santa Fe in a day?
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I'm gonna have one ski day...*maybe* two..if I really pour on the charm...

Some snow on the freeway? I-70 routinely has closures between here and the front range. I figure a big storm can hit anywhere but especially in the mountains and especially the farther north...am I being overly cautious?

I've never skied in California or New Mexico so either would have the novelty factor for me.

The southern route adds 133 miles to the trip...and that's 2 hours I'd rather be doing something else.

Needles to Santa Fe is 592 miles and being moutainous, that's a brutal day...so you have a point. Rethinking...
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
I could make SLC in two very easy days, ski a day in that vicinity, hump SLC to Denver the following day, then home...
post #5 of 18
Jstraw, I sure hope you come to NM, but the real deal is to watch the snow. (I'm sorry to say we are in the middle of a long drought and, last season excepting, it can be pretty barren even at the end of december.) If it's a good snow year, there's more than one ski area for you to choose from. (in order of quality: Taos, Santa Fe, Pajarito, Angel Fire) But if you're gonna be in Santa Fe with only one day to give it, just ski Santa Fe. It is less than 20 miles from center of town to top of hill. It isn't a big area, but plenty of fun for one day. Great tree skiing, a few good steeps. Taos is great and better if you were staying longer, but if you're driving across country, do you really want to spend an extra four hours (rt) on the road? If you have fun, come back for a week in March to ski Taos! Let us in NM know if you do it, so we can hook up.
post #6 of 18
Snow Bowl might be open in Flagstaff. Lot's of years, Santa Fe Ski is either minimally open or not open before 1st of year. Taos is usually pretty reliable. Then go over Palos Flechado pass between Taos and Angel Fire, through Cimarron canyon to Raton, then to Denver and home.
post #7 of 18
Depends upon what level skiier you are. If you are an expert skiier, go to Taos. You can stay in downtown Taos and get reliable accomodations and still hit the area early. If you are an average skiier, Ski Santa Fe will nicely fit the bill. It all does depend upon whether we get snow here in NM. Early on is not usually good. If you want a good NM ski vacation, we usually get hit in March. If you want to take a bit of a risk on the roads, you should go to Wolf Creek. The snow is always reliable, and Pagosa Springs has reasonable lodging.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knute
...If you are an expert skiier, go to Taos...
Really....

take a look at Taos sometime, there's plenty of green and blues, the advanced/expert terrain wont' have good cover that time of year (in a normal year).

You are right, of course, about Wolf Creek. Go up US84 to Pagosa, then drive up to the ski area.
post #9 of 18
you know i can't help it.

Ski Santa Fe

post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by lennyblake
Really....

take a look at Taos sometime, there's plenty of green and blues, the advanced/expert terrain wont' have good cover that time of year (in a normal year).

You are right, of course, about Wolf Creek. Go up US84 to Pagosa, then drive up to the ski area.
I visted a friend who was ski-school teaching at Taos one year and spent a few days skiing there--If it's got snow (and yeah, that far south it can be a big If) it's a not to be missed ski destination. It's reminiscent of Alta-same craggy no snowboarder, ski it like it is attitude, but they get a lot less snow (but, I found it generally steeper than Allta--I know, here come the attacks of the Utah shock troop posters-Hey-it's just an impression). Oh yeah, ignore the green, blue, black rating a little-the whole dang place is Steep--even the blues require some commitment. Ski Taos is a great town with some of the best eating near a ski area this side of the Ocean.

I say make the time

Liam
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the advice. I'm gonna go through Utah instead. I may use this as my one shot to check out Sundance.
post #12 of 18
Unless we have a ton of snow I would skip Sundance. Sundance sits in the wrong spot in the shadow of Mt Timp. They might get the least amount of snow of any of the Utah resorts. If you have not skied Snowbasin then that would be the place to go. It is right off Interstate 84 outside of ogden you could get a cheap room in Ogden and be at Snowbasin in 1/2 hour. from Ogden/ Snowbasin to Denver would be about an 8 hour drive over the WY high Plains through the Rockies in what is called South Pass. You will see mountains far off, it isn't like you are driving in the mountains. Most people use 80 rather then 70 to avoid the the possibility of heavy snow on 70. If 80 does get shut down it will be due to wind drifting snow.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Utah49
Unless we have a ton of snow I would skip Sundance. Sundance sits in the wrong spot in the shadow of Mt Timp. They might get the least amount of snow of any of the Utah resorts. If you have not skied Snowbasin then that would be the place to go. It is right off Interstate 84 outside of ogden you could get a cheap room in Ogden and be at Snowbasin in 1/2 hour. from Ogden/ Snowbasin to Denver would be about an 8 hour drive over the WY high Plains through the Rockies in what is called South Pass. You will see mountains far off, it isn't like you are driving in the mountains. Most people use 80 rather then 70 to avoid the the possibility of heavy snow on 70. If 80 does get shut down it will be due to wind drifting snow.
Great advice...thanks.
post #14 of 18
Ok. Now you going to Utah...If you are, forget Sundance *blech* The best of SLC area is in my opinion Alta and then Snowbird. Sometimes unrighteously underlooked is Solitude. SLC is nice cause you got your pick of Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Park City, Brighton, Deer Valley all in one area. If it was me, it would either be Alta or Solitude. Probably I would spend a warm-up day at Solitude and then the next at Alta. Park City if you are looking for Apres Ski.

I still would encourage you to slide through southern Colorado and do Wolf Creek. The snow WILL be there for sure, and you will have a true skiiers experience. It is inevitable that Wolf Creek will soon go the way of Telluride, which is a shame, so ski it now so you can tell people you were there before it was ruined by lawyers, real estate agents, condos and cash.
post #15 of 18
You're right to go through SLC, but given that it's Christmas week I'd be thinking about Snowbasin or Powder Mt.

If Knute's plugs for Wolf Creek appeal to you, Powder Mt. is the same kind of place.
post #16 of 18
the only thing I'd add to this doesn't concern the skiing. That is, the scenery on I-80 through Wyoming basically sucks, unless you're into counting carcasses along the shoulder. I-70 through Colorado is pretty spectular, going through Colorado River canyon country from Grand Junction to about Glenwood, Glenwood Canyon, Vail Pass, and the Eisenhower tunnel.
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sounds like Solitude or Snowbasin for me. As for Wyoming scenery...I live in Kansas.
post #18 of 18
Lennyblake, Snowbasin is right off I 84 that connects right into I 80. At night Wyoming looks just like any other stretch of freeway at night. I have done Park City to Denver a few times on I70 and I80 and even across Colorado on Hwy 40 to Steamboat. From here to Denver I 80 is the quickest way to go. I think without killing himself he could make it to Cheyenne and spend the night there.
If the weather is great I to would think about doing I70 because it is a beautiful ride in the heart of the mountains. I 70 does take more time then I 80 but your right it is spectacular.
Jstrew. Leave Snowbasin at say 4:30 drive to Evanston Wyo about one hour. Right off the Freeway sorry I forgot what exit is a great place for Burgers called Kelly's. It is kind of a friendly Biker Bar. Kelly tends to hire some some attractive young ladies with some interesting tattoos. I did a few rides on my motorcycle this past summer and always stopped at Kelly's when in Evanston. From there just point your car east on I 80 drive as far as you can into the night.
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