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Colorado or Utah or .......Clueless!!!!

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone, new to the site so I hope you can be of help. I am due to go to the states or canada for a month long ski trip within the next 2 weeks. I know it is best to see where the snow is best but I am just after your opinions on some of the resorts. Firstly, I am an intermediate skier who wants to improve in powder and am not a huge fan of groomed slopes (love a challenge). Ideally I would like to find a town to stay with a half decent night life, by this I mean just a couple of decent bars with a good crowd and where the accomodation costs are fairly cheap. Upto now I have found good deals in Colorado $360 Season pass WP/Copper or Breck/Key/Basin. Not seen anything close to this in Utah. Have only skied Mammoth in the USA, how do these resorts compare? Open to any suggestions you may have. I didn't want cheap tickets to dictate where I go but those listed above are outrageously cheap compared to the likes of Snowbird/Alta.

Really appreciate your advice.
post #2 of 28
the only nightlife in utah is at park city, and it is nice for that, but expensive. if you stay in salt lake, it is cheap, but he skiing resort nightlife is non-existant. you are probably better of with what you want in Colorado, and if you are staying a month you are bound to hit some good snow, plus there is plenty of terrain. For me, utah is the place, for my 4 days, tahoe is another very good option to consider. any way you can stay 2 wks at each? utah is right in the middle. mapquest.com for driving hours.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 
what about big sky / whistler / Jackson hole how do these compare to utah colorado. As stated earlier I will be travelling in the next 10 days for a month so want decent conditions if possible.

post #4 of 28
You might consider the Dillon/Silverthorne/Frisco area in Colorado. It's within a few miles of Copper, Breckenridge, and Keystone. Vail is only 20-25 miles or so. I suspect you can find accomodation for considerably less $ than at the resorts.
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks RISkier, this is turning into a nightmare trying to decide. A good position to be in though!!!!! At the moment I am looking at exactly what you have suggested. How crowded do colorado resorts get compared to utah. Also I have heard a lot of people on here saying how much cheaper Utah is, though after looking into this (ski passes) it doesn't seem the case. What you think?
post #6 of 28
jackson hole and big sky are fine, but for a few days not a month. why not see something. whistler is great with alot of terrain and interesting village life. this decision is no nightmare, but just how things go, sometimes the more you learn the more mixed up you become. if i had a month, i'm a traveling man, i like to ski a different place day, except for Snowbird which can easily occupy me for 2. not sure how the your crew is set up, but for a month, it would be nice to ski 10 different colorado resort, then 6 different utah resort. that would be SOME trip. arrive in Colorado, make your way west and ski CO, then after you had your partying in, set up base in Sandy, UT and ski there for 9 days. then maybe woosh back to Denver. Other option, substitue taho for CO. One time i arrived in Taho with absolutely NO snow, worst year ever about 15 years ago, and drove all night to dependable SLC.

note if you go to SLC, you can shoot up to Jackson for a few days too. See a bit of the american west.

Snowbird is my favorite mtn, my favorite scenery, it is steep from top to bottom 3,000 feet of off road paradise skiing. Not sure if you are expert, but the caution gates is where it is at.
post #7 of 28
Even though I'm a "Utard" I'd say go with Colorado. A month is long enough to really save on the ski pass. Utah doesn't have anything near that good yet. We have lots of locals discounts that you need a Utah driver's liscence to get, but Colorado has us beat on passes hands down. Also, Colorado is really pretty- not that Utah isn't, it's just Colorado has more of it that's accessable in winter. Utah has killer desert and red rock country, but Colorado has more big mountains- enough to never get bored in a month of exploring. You'd probably need a car, 4wd or pick up some chains at Wal mart cheap. There's lot's of cool towns like Leadville to check out if you arn't skiing one day and Crested Butte would make a great trip for a couple days. Utah's great for a week- you could spend a week or two at AltaBird and not ski everything-and maybe it would be great to hit Utah and Jackson for a ten day portion of the trip- but for the Ultimate road trip, I'd rent a car in Denver and do a big loop- mostly in Colorado.
post #8 of 28

Everywhere !

Fly into Denver and rent a car.....then...

Buy a Colorado pass (check to see if they are still available) and spend 20 days in and around Summit County CO

Then head to Summit Co, Utah for the remaining 10 days and ski all the fun stuff around there...

Take a lot of pictures and show them to your friends back home !
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
thanks again fellas for your input. As I am thinking at the moment, I will probably spend the majority of my time in Col and then take a trip to salt lake and maybe JH for a few days. As I am coming from the UK and it is a month long trip I have to try and keep costs to a minimum. The likelyhood is that I will be alone. I can save a big amount by skiing the majority of my time in CO and then a few days at Alta/Snowbird? Then a few at Jackson? In what order will depend on where the snow is at. Hopefully be leaving here within the next week. Also what would be your choice place for Christmas / New Year?? And finally......has anyone any idea where I could rent a cheap car for a month and tips on saving cash on this is appreciated as it will most likely be expensive!!!
post #10 of 28
Wow you sure seem to be stressing over this. If I were in your shoes I would be doing a trip like this. Do Colorado and use that pass. Now email Ski Utah and tell them why you are going to Colorado instead of skiing here.
A few e mails like that and maybe just maybe Utah will have some deals like they do in Colorado.
Now for your last day in Colorado ski Steamboat then pack the car fora 5 hour drive to The Park City area. You can find cheap rooms in Heber and out by Coal ville. Get up early and hit one of the Park City mountains or head over to Snowbasin or the Cottonwood Canyons. All the Major resorts in Utah are within an hours drive of each other. Some local gas stations sell discounted lift tickets. Normally you only save maybe $5.00 Still that could be dinner at Burger King. To cap off your 30 days of being a ski bum go to Jackson hole ski Targhee and Jackson Then a power drive across Wyoming back to the Denver Airport and the long flight home.
post #11 of 28

Sound like you may have made up your mind, But

You may want to consider Fernie, BC. Normally get lots of powder and has sking for all levels
post #12 of 28
Originally Posted by manc
......has anyone any idea where I could rent a cheap car for a month and tips on saving cash on this is appreciated as it will most likely be expensive!!!
search through travelzoo.com for deals and codes - look for deals from alamo, budget or dollar - and definitely rent before you arrive. Try for a 4 wheel drive. Something like a subaru will save you cash on gas instead of an suv, but you may not have the choice. good luck -
post #13 of 28
I don't know if you have housing lined up yet, but you might find some places on craigslist - denver. Search for people looking for roommates or in sublets - you can also post an ad about yourself in "housing wanted." If you've never used craigslist, it's great, check it out.
post #14 of 28
yes, try to find a 4wd subaru, i used to get them at SLC but i haven't been able to find them the last two years, cheap and 4wd for the snow you are likely to hit during your month. I think the guys above gave you great advice, ski most of it in Colorado, too late to order printed material, but just have to get to summit county, ski the resorts and work your way west, leaving a few days for Snowbird/Alta, staying in Sandy might save you a few dollars, I would ski a day at Snowbird and Alta, a day at Park City and a day at Snowbasin, then you can say you did SLC. Then up to Jackson Hole, two days at J-hole and one at Grand Targhee. So that gives you the 20 days in Co and 10 in Utah/Wyoming. You'll see real cowboys for sure in Wyoming and in Colorado and mormons in Salt Lake while hopefully skiing the greatest snow on earth! The scenery at each of these states is different and unique. Stop woosing, are you sure you are up for a "challenge"? because planning a 30 day ski trip with some buds should be pure fun!
post #15 of 28
I've also done ski trips solo, although not for a month! Good for you. A couple of less expensive options that I would choose again are Frisco Lodge in Frisco, Colorado and Extended Stay America in suburban Salt Lake City. Frisco Lodge is a B&B, with some rooms in the $60 range/night, and includes a very hearty breakfast and an afternoon soup "snack" that I found sufficient for supper. Copper is just a hop away, and Vail, Breck, and Keystone are short drives. The ESA in SLC is a great bargain, with weekly rates in the $250 range (I'm not sure about this year's rates). Each room has a small kitchen, so it's a good way to save on one or two meals a day. Several good restaurants nearby, and it's not a long drive to the entrance to the Cottonwood canyons. I've found some good car rental deals on Travelocity or other travel sites in the past- sometimes it's hit or miss. Whatever you decide, good luck and have a great time!
post #16 of 28
I used Enterprise rent a car once. - enterprise.com- it shows an off-airport compact car at $655 for the month out of Denver - and that's just a quick search. $20 for chains at Wal- Mart and you're set. 4wd is better but twice the price- unless someone has Subarus- an Impreza will do. Good luck!
Checking Expedia.com, Hertz has Subaru Outback Wagons- primo ski car, 4wd, $1200 for a month- bring a friend or three and split it...
post #17 of 28
manc, lucky dawg!

First, register with Skype.com and you can start calling 800 numbers free.

Then, call the cheapest motels you find and try to get a weekly or monthly rate. ESA in SLC is very cheap.

Do the car rental NOW before they go any higher. Rent-a-Wreck may work out, although I've never tried them. Rent on-line in both SLC and DIA NOW, no credit card guarantee needed for most. Use Orbitz.com for quick show of all rentals, then reserve directly from whichever rental site is best for you.

The Colorado passes you mention limit you to but a few mountains, if you're happy with that okay. Check out the 10-day pass for Vail, which would include those mentioned PLUS Vail and Beaver Creek, MUST ski mountains.

Me, I'd do Crystal Inn in SLC, and drive to all the mountains within a very easy 30min.-1 hour drive. The SkiUtah site has an international rate which lowers the daily lifts considerably, go to each resort site and check the special deals (2 for 1, special day of the week discounts, etc.) In Canyons, go to the FREE DAY section and print the coupons for 3 days, works out to $42/day. Do your research!

BTW, how did you like Mammoth? For Groomed Intermediate runs, worth more than 4 days?

Happy skiing!
post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
Just looking at car rental now, more the LDW and stuff which shoots the price right up. Last year I rented a car from LA (online booking) thinking it was cheaper than the Avis one I booked from British Airways at home. Once all the EXTRAS were added on it cost just the same! As for mammoth Gpaul, I spent 11 days skiing there and never got bored. I am an intermediate? who skiis mostly single blacks and blues, though was able to ski a good majority of the mountain. There are some excelent runs from the top after you take the gondola and yes plenty of groomed intermediates.
post #19 of 28
Thread Starter 
Uncle Louie,
Thnanks for letting me know about the colorado pass, did a search on the net. Exactly what I would have wanted though no longer available. If you were to choose between WP/Copper or Breck/Basin/Key what would it be.....

post #20 of 28
Manc- A note about 4wd- I've said before that one doesn't always need it, but I'll qualify that. My experience with front wheel drive has been pretty good in Colorado and Utah- based on the winters I crisscrossed the west in my "85 Honda civic, about as basic a car as you can get.(92-93&93-94, heavy snow years). I had big aggressive snow tires and chains that I readily used in the Colorado passes and just geeting around Vail, Provo Canyon, LCC, etc.You gotta be ready to chain up in a blizzard and go 30 mph with your flashers on. A good rule is- in mountains, a half a tank is an empty tank- meaning that if you get stuck, you want to have enough gas to heat the car untill you get pulled out. No need to freeze to death- Also, clear the tailpipe from snow and don't run the car continuously if you get stranded.Take plenty of clothes and good boots every time you go anywhere. Sometimes people around here get in the car in flip flops and t shirts on the theory that the're just going door to door. They look really miserable on the side of the road...
If possible, get the Subaru Outback from Hertz- or anywhere you can find it. I always rented cheap and dirty, so I had the 2 wheelers- but for short periods in SLC, which is usually dry and fair until you get up to the high altitudes. This weekend was trecherous in the canyons and summits. I think if I were to spend a whole month traveling around, I'd rather have the Outback at the extra expense and bring a friend to share it. That said, I never had a friend who could get the same time off for the extended trips .
Sounds like you may be working out a plan where you stay in one place more or less the whole time- if you're in Summit county, CO. Or in SLC- you can take the busses anywhere you need to go, or if it's too snowy to drive the cheap, 2wd rental. Have fun- big adventure. and there's a lot to be said for spending a whole week at a single resort- you really get to know it.
post #21 of 28
Thread Starter 
Mr Crab,
Thanks for the advice. I drove a 2 whell chevy at mammoth last year and had to leave it at the hotel most days. I do like the convenience of driving though the costs are mounting and unless I find an outrageous deal on a 4wd I won't be bothering. I agree with you about spending a little time at a resort, I myself am not an expert skier who can rock up and take advantage of the best a mountain can throw at me. One day here and one day there doesn't suit just so I can say I have skied a pariticular mtn. Whatever I do it will be awesome anyway and am lucky to be doing it.
post #22 of 28
I have a warning for anyone renting a car and driving out of the state you rented in. I just heard a story about a man renting in Cal he then drove to Las Vegas for a weekend, returned to CA dropped off his car and returned home. when he got the Bill for the rental on his credit car he was charged extra for taking the car out of State. His rental contract had small print that the car most stay in Ca. Most rental car fleets are equipped with a GPS unit and they can track your location. Big brother is watching! Ask the reservation people if there will be a charge for driving to Utah or Wyoming.
post #23 of 28
Damn good observation, especially since I was thinking of driving to Utah if no snow in Tahoe/Mammoth.

Hopefully Nevada is not considered out-of-state (well, you do cross into NEV down in Tahoe, and then there's Reno).
post #24 of 28
get the cheapest car, and when it looks like snow, absolutely get "chains" if you are in snow country, someone will help you put them on.

if you are going to Colorado, think this. you are going to a "cool" state. so cool that one of the only places in the world where pot is truly legal(well sort of ,not according to bush's boys) is in Denver. can you believe that! but Summit County in winter with all its' shopping malls and traffic isn't exactly my idea of the real colorado. i'm not the expert and i hope someone who is will chime in, but on your treck west why not hit Telluride, Durango, Aspen, Steamboat(north). See some country these are probably real neat places to visit for someone like you from foggy, flat England. you will get a cultural experience that you won't find in Summit county, (you can pass on vail, but the lavishness and $$$$$ of Beaver Creek is worth the day).
post #25 of 28
Lot;s of good advice here Manc and get the car if you can swing it. Also keep in mind that your credit card may cover the LDW etc.. so find out before you go. Most rental agreements will allow the car to be driven in neighboring states (Colorado borders Utah & Wyoming obviously) but as Utah49 pointed out you have to check first. Finally disregard what Snowbird said about Vail. For the skiing you described that you like, Vail may be the best place in the country for blue/single black terrain
post #26 of 28
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice, have found that on US and Canada Amex cards LDW is included though not for my UK card. I have found travel insurance that will cover it for about $170 which is only the first I have looked at, even this will save me a lot of cash over a 30 day rental.
post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by manc
Uncle Louie,
Thnanks for letting me know about the colorado pass, did a search on the net. Exactly what I would have wanted though no longer available. If you were to choose between WP/Copper or Breck/Basin/Key what would it be.....

I'm sure somebody will argue this call but I would go with K/A/B. Copper and WP are a long ways apart. With the Vail resorts pass you have a lot more terrain available all within 1/2 hour of each other max and all in Summit County.
post #28 of 28
A few more hints regarding the Vail Site...Not everything on there is always current and you can find all sorts of conflicting info within the site...

Call the 800 number for their info center in Denver...I have found the folks there pretty helpfull. Double check to see if the Colorado Pass can still be bought by a first timer in Denver. (they or the site can tell you where).

If the pass isn't available you may be able to utilize the K/A/B pass to get a discount at Vail and BC....ASK...this stuff changes all the time...

Also...there are many folks from this site that live and visit Summit County, CO...be sure you have a way to connect with other Bears here...It is a FUN group !
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