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Wolfcreek

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
What is the easiest way to get to wolfcreek, from albuquerque?
Which side do you prefer to stay on, and which is the closest?
Where do you prefer to stay?..I will have family in tow, and would like something decent.
Any other comments would be appreciated...
Would you prefer wolfcreek over Durango..
I know its a lot of questions, but we are getting no snow in souhtern NM, so I need to go somewhere, and those two are the closest.

Thanks

Lee
post #2 of 29
Best way from 'Burque is through Cuba, through Dulce on 537, right on 64 and up 160 (expect 4.5 hours if the roads are good-to-moderate). I stay on the Springs side, but North Fork is also an option (I stayed their once when I was like 14 and don't remember it being too bad). This summer, I spent a couple of nights at the Fireside Cabins. Highly recommended! Good folks, I could bring my dog, quiet, clean, affordable (off-season, anyway). As you're coming into Pagosa on 160, turn up the road toward Wolf Creek, not down the road toward the town. It's like a mile up on your left.

Have a great trip!
post #3 of 29
Pagosa Springs is a much bigger town and has more stuff for kids. South Fork (not North) is a more picturesque, smaller town. Neither town is Luxe. but Pagosa has the hot springs and a number of restaurant choices and many hotel choices from large chain hotel/motels to quaint cabin sort of stuff.

It was amazing today!
post #4 of 29
Southfork has a lot less to do, but keep this in mind--typically, in bad weather the pagosa springs side of the pass stays closed much longer than the South Fork side.
post #5 of 29
I've made this trip 6-7 times, and prefer to go through Santa Fe, and up 84 through Espanola, Chama, etc. My travel time, with clear roads, is usually 3-1/2 - 4 hours (yes I speed). There is a bypass cut-off west of Santa Fe (it may be Hwy 599) which keeps you out of some of the Santa Fe traffic. If you take ABQDan's route and travel at night, you really have to watch out for the elk ... between Durango and Pagosa on Rt. 160 they were everywhere.

I'm a timeshare owner and always stay here, at Wyndham - Pagosa Springs which puts us about 30-45 minutes from the slopes, depending on the road condition. If there's a lot of snow you have to have a 4WD vehicle and/or snow chains to get up the mountain through the pass, otherwise the Forestry Service turns you around.

We've been there before when it dumped and the Service blasted for avy control. These did allow the skiers to get through before 9:00am, but closed the road to the pass until blasting was complete.

I'm leaving to go there Thursday, and love to meet with any Bears out that way, share a beer, etc.
post #6 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info..Really
What are the opinions between Durango, and wolfcreek.
If you had to choose, which one, and why? Best for kids, etc?
They are both almost the same mileage from here....

Thanks a ton

Lee
post #7 of 29
I prefer Wolf Creek. Durango is one long ridge with slopes that all seem pretty much the same to me. But it's a matter of taste really.

Wolf Creek is steep at the very top with interesting hike-to areas and pretty mellow everywhere else, but lots of different sorts of places to explore. wonderful, wonderful intermediate tree skiing off the Alberta Chair.

Durango is more of a resort-resort. Wolf Creek is a mom n' pop sort of place. Both would be good with kids. Durango may probably has a bigger ski school, but i am not certain of that. Like Wolf Creek, Durango mountain is a bit of a drive from Durango town. Unlike Wolf Creek, they have places to stay slopeside, but then there is nothing else to do there and you're going to want to go to town anyhow. Durango town is a city compared to Pagosa.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57 View Post
I've made this trip 6-7 times, and prefer to go through Santa Fe, and up 84 through Espanola, Chama, etc. My travel time, with clear roads, is usually 3-1/2 - 4 hours (yes I speed). There is a bypass cut-off west of Santa Fe (it may be Hwy 599) which keeps you out of some of the Santa Fe traffic.
I prefer to come back that way. Gorgeous around sunset, and really shows off the wide range of eye candy you can find in northern New Mexico. If at all possible, plan not to buy gas on that route, prices are about 80 cents higher than ABQ. You can get cheapish fuel in Dulce IIRC.

I did ABQDan's route a couple times in the last couple weeks...I slaughtered some rabbits late at night, thankfully no elk.

I'd love to meet you up there but I'm leaving here for your coast Wednesday....doh. Thumbs down for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom
wonderful, wonderful intermediate tree skiing off the Alberta Chair.
Definitely one of the best places to introduce people to tree skiing that I've ever seen.
post #9 of 29
For those of you considering Wolf Creek, just make sure you are not expecting more than a mom n pop resort, with few amenities. The runs are o.k., but an advanced skiier will get bored with the place quickly. Also if Texans or saggy pants wanna be boarders bother you, stay away. Otherwise Wolf Creek has dependable snow most of the time, and is a good place for kids.
post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knute View Post
The runs are o.k., but an advanced skiier will get bored with the place quickly.
I agree with what you say, but I think this part applies only if you like groomers and hate hiking and traversing. I don't see how I could get truly bored there, though I would definitely get tired and lazy...
post #11 of 29
bwxmas, my preference is hit the Wolf. Their Wolf Pup program for kids is excellent. And overall, throughout the 1600 skiable acres, there's a pretty good mix of groomed trails, green runs for beginners and a lot of natural area. A lot of the area served by the Alberta lift is natural and ungroomed. They've had a ton of snow over the past week, and all areas are pretty much flush with snow.

They've 3 different lodges with food that caters to a lot of tastes. One that's very family oriented wherein you store a picnic lunch in pigeon holes along the wall, with drinks, chips, hot chocolate, etc served.
post #12 of 29
Sorry if I've been giving out bogus directions! I'm such a blue-lane kinda guy, I never go up 25 or 287. But the others are probably right. It's quicker and boy is it pretty. Sometimes I miss New Mexico, especially O'Keefe country.
post #13 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorm57 View Post
...If you take ABQDan's route and travel at night, you really have to watch out for the elk ... between Durango and Pagosa on Rt. 160 they were everywhere...

same applies for just north of Cuba on 44, err 550. On the high point just north of town, before entering the res, they tend to congregate on/around the road (ask me how I know).
post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
According to Google map either way is about 440 miles from my house, whether I go the chama route or the cuba, dulce route...Wife, and child are off after this week, what do you think it will be like through the first of the year..BTW, what do the little red, and green lights next to sign in name mean..
Thanks


Lee
post #15 of 29
Green means the person is on and active right this moment. Grey/blue means they are offline. Never have seen red!
post #16 of 29
Thread Starter 
UH-oh@
post #17 of 29
+1 on Fireside Cabins. Super nice people own that place - old friends in fact.

I also like staying at the Springs Inn - unlimited 24/7 access to the Springs facilities. You'll like that the kids can come and go from their room to the facility very easily.

Ski the Wolf - hike Alberta and ski the Knife Ridge Chutes an the Waterfall.
post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
I agree with what you say, but I think this part applies only if you like groomers and hate hiking and traversing. I don't see how I could get truly bored there, though I would definitely get tired and lazy...
I'm not lazy...but I definitely do not want to be paying nearly $50 to hike ridges all day to get quality runs. I can do that in backcountry without the expense. I just find Wolf Creek's runs to be limited and narrow. No worries for me though, Taos is doing well, so no need to shlep up to WC if you got Taos.
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knute View Post
I'm not lazy...but I definitely do not want to be paying nearly $50 to hike ridges all day to get quality runs. I can do that in backcountry without the expense. I just find Wolf Creek's runs to be limited and narrow. No worries for me though, Taos is doing well, so no need to shlep up to WC if you got Taos.
No reason other than they got 100+ inches in 9 days.
I agree, though, that WC is way too flat on the bottom 1/3 of the mountain. It's frustrating to have waist deep powder that's unskiable because the grade is too shallow.
post #20 of 29
How true. How many times have I taken a bit of a wrong turn going to the Alberta lift and then have to trudge for a half hour or so to get to the lift. Much too flat in far too many places. Yeah, their amount of snow is nice, but I'm still not gonna drive that far to get to WC. See ya in Taos!
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Knute View Post
No worries for me though, Taos is doing well, so no need to shlep up to WC if you got Taos.
Er, I take it you haven't been skiing much recently? (or you've been skinning a lot...)
post #22 of 29
Ya, love the skinning, but I am getting old so I am starting to like chairlifts more and more. What I mean is the snow is coming down nicely, and for early season, Taos is going to be pretty good soon. I'm not sure about this weekend yet, so might have to hit the backcountry Saturday.
post #23 of 29
I don't know though...Taos is now reporting 67 inches powder, and lots of snow in the past 72 hours. It is still coming down hard here in Santa Fe, so I imagine even more up there. There is a Brewmaster Festival up there Saturday I noticed too....skiing and beer is a really hard combo to pass up.
post #24 of 29
Taos is probably going to own Saturday. Of course, I'm leaving tomorrow. Enjoy it up there.
post #25 of 29
Thread Starter 
Taos, is on my radar, and do expect to hit it sometime this year, but I keep hearing stories, that Taos is not a good spot for kids...Thats the only thing holding me back from them right now...Plus the snow has not quite come in..though it looks like it might be ok for this weekend..

Any thoughts?

Lee
post #26 of 29
The "snow" has come in. Taos will be great. I don't know where the idea that Taos isn't good for kids comes from. Taos is good for anyone who chooses to face the mountain face first...
post #27 of 29
and the sign in front is correct. Even tho' you can't see it from the front side, the left side of the mountain (looking up) is very beginner/intermediate friendly. If the kids' instructors that I know from there is any indication, then I would rate it as very kid friendly. (Caveat: I have skied there many times, but have no kids of my own.)
post #28 of 29
Taos is reporting the deepest opening day base since the '70s. Taos has a 70"+ base with more snow expected on Friday. It will be great. WC has a 126" base with more snow expected. It will be awesome. but it will be real powder on most of the mountain - eyeball deep on a wee one.

Taos has plenty of intermediate terrain and one of the reputedly best ski schools in the country for your kids. If your kids are rank beginners, then i agree that wolf creek is a perhaps better, family friendly and cheaper option.

atmosphere-wise, they couldn't be more different. Taos is a hard-core skier's mountain and a destination resort with a very adult town whose main tourists are not skiers but art lovers and cultural tourists. Wolf Creek is a mom n' pop operation with a sleepy town whose main tourist traffic is not skiers but hunters and fishermen.

My advice is to go to both, often. And stop at Ski Santa Fe which has to be one of the best family mountains anywhere with terrain that will challenge anyone. Pajarito is a steep and cheap mountain and should be on your list too whenever it opens.

Hope that helps.
post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mom

Lee
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