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Holiday Crowds

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So are we out of out minds for thinking about a ski trip the week of Christmas to Keystone or Taos? Are the crowds just ridiculous? I know the lodging and lift tickets are top $. Thanks for telling me about your holiday ski trip adventures!!
post #2 of 6
For next year?!?

Taos will definitely have less crowds than Keystone. I don't think you're crazy and the crowds, even at Keystone, are manageable. Christmas falls on a Monday this year, so there will be large crowds on Dec 23/24. Christmas Day itself will be fairly empty.

Why would you want to start planning the trip for next year though? I'd almost wait until next year and follow the snow. Keystone will almost certainly be close to 100% open at Christmas, with Taos it's hard to say. They're a lot more variable in their conditions. Plus, even if you get to Keystone and don't like it you'll have 5 other areas to ski within a 20 minute drive.

Personally, I'd wait to see if somewhere else gets the snow next year. Tahoe, Utah, Mammoth, and southwest Colorado are all known for getting huge early season snows.
post #3 of 6
The crowds at Taos can get pretty big at Christmas, but I think the greater concern is the snow. Because it is so far south it is a gamble booking in advance that early in the season. Taos is a great area but unless all you want to do is ski groomers you are probably looking at about a 50% chance of having good snow on the entire mountain that early. Sometimes the storm tracks go south, but betting that it will happen next year and happen that early is pretty iffy. They still do not have very good snow yet this year.

I think your chances of good snow at Christmas are probably better at Keystone, but then you have the Summit County holiday crowds. I'm sure the locals up there can give you a better feel for what that is like.

For my money Salt Lake City usually has the best snow and smallest crowds at Christmas, as long as you stay away from Alta, Snowbird and Park City, but that still leaves about 6 other areas.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks...Yes, next Christmas. We have kids and are limited on travel time; trying to plan ahead. We live in Dallas, so would need a day's drive limit on distance. I agree that NM is looking quite dicey this year. I think Summit CO would be more our target, for sure. We do have 2 kids that have never skied before so we were just wondering if they would be overwhelmed with too many people and trying to learn to ski all at the same time....
post #5 of 6
Think about Glenwood Springs, only two hours past Summit Co. Sunlight is right outside of town, nice easy place to learn, not many people. Aspen is right down the road if you need bigger mountains, hardly ever any lines.

Taos is a great mountain for experts, but I think it would suck for never/evers.
post #6 of 6
Pretty much at all ski areas there will be fewer crowds on the "no school" days immediately before the 25th, than immediately after the 25th. I employed that strategy with good results two yrs ago in Colorado. But even my last day, Dec 26 at Winter Park, was surprisingly not too crowded. If you happen to luck out and your kids school holidays fall during all or part of the week preceding Christmas week, that is an even better time to go.
Never been to Keystone, but have heard interesting dicotomy about the place, doesn't get as much natural snow as other CO places, but has some of the best snowmaking infrastructure. I guess that could work both ways for an early season visit.
Have been to Taos and concur with its well known rep for appealing more to advanced skiers.
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