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Denver Day Trip

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello, I had a question, and this looks like a good place to ask. I'm an intermediate, relatively new skier, and I'm going to be in Denver this weekend. I have one day free to go skiing, and since I'm unfamiliar with the area I was hoping to get some recommendations on the best place to go.

From most of my online searching, I figured I'd go to Loveland or Arapahoe Basin or Winter Park, should I avoid any of these since I'm not an expert by any means? Are the snow levels or temperatures much different? Anything else I should know about them or other slopes in the area?

I have all day, so time isn't much of an issue, but after seeing some of the threads on here, should I be concerned with traffic on I-70? What times should I leave by in the morning/evening if I don't want to spend a ton of time on the road?

Thanks, hope I haven't started out with too many questions.
post #2 of 11

can't go wrong

If you head to summitt county (straight shot West on I-70) you can't really go wrong. There are about 4/5 resorts within 30 minutes of eachother. Any mt. you go to will have plenty of beginner/intermediate/ and advanced terrain. Most even get the same conditions. People will recommend various resorts they like for whatever reason but you can't miss at Copper, Keystone, Breck, A-basin or Vail. Or even Winter Park for that matter. Ticket prices are similar as are driving distances (about 2hrs if you miss the huge traffic rush on weekends. To anyone that hasn't skied out west before you'll love any of the mountains out here. They are all great. never skied loveland though... heard good things (much less resorty feeling than the others). Hope this helps, any questions on more specifics about those resorts let me know.
post #3 of 11
Sorry didn't see the traffic question. If you go to winter park you'll hit less traffic b/c it doesn't go as far along I-70. With that said, if you wait to leave from Denver at 8:00 or so on a weekend you'll prob. be in the car close to 3 hrs maybe less. If you leave by 6 or 6:30 and the roads are dry you can get to most of them in 1.5 hrs. Personally, I live just north of Denver and the days I ski on weekends (try not to do) my friends and I always start early, leave by 6:30 to beat the traffic then ski hard and leave the resort early to beat the traffic home. Ski 8:30 to 1:30-2:00. On a Sunday afternoon if you ski till 3:00 or later you'll get stuck in traffic and if the roads are bad you'll be there for a while 3-4 hrs is not uncommon. So my recomendation would be leave Denver by 6:30 and leave the mt. by 2:30. If you don't mind the traffic and are in good shape/can ski all day then by all means stay till close and just deal with the traffic. Having a season pass, I usually get spoiled and don't put up with the traffic.
post #4 of 11
You'll do fine at any of them.

Traffic - there are choices. Do go by the Morrison exit by 6:30 AM at the latest. Coming back, I hang out at the resort till 6 PM and then just drive home. I worked at Loveland for 4 years and that worked fine and the same strategy has been working for two seasons at Winter Park. Personally, I like riding a whole day and then spending some time with friends at the end of the day - not trapped in a car.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help, I was previously planning on leaving around 7:00, so I'll make sure to go earlier now.
post #6 of 11
Eldora, quick drive, plenty of easy stuff, nice scenery and cheap.
post #7 of 11
Eldora = Arapahoe word for small, icy, windy place just west of Boulder. Boulder Canyon is a beautiful drive.
post #8 of 11
A good option to avoid the traffic is to take the Ski Train to Winter Park. It leaves the train station (in downtown) around 7:30 an gets to WP about 9:15. Leaves at 4pm or so. I did this on MLK weekend and it worked great, avoided the heavy traffic and gave me time to rest after skiing so I could go out at night.

The price for the train is $50, but if you buy train+lift ticket it comes to $105, and considering that the WP lift ticket is about $80 it's a great deal. The info about the train in on the WP web page.
post #9 of 11
I believe you would enjoy a daytrip to Loveland. Convenient, scenic, lots of intermediate skiing above treeline. But all others mentioned would work too, here's my impression of several candidates: http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=281&mode=search
post #10 of 11
Or go up late (Morrison exit at 9:30 -11:00) and go to Keystone.

Ski till 7 or 8 - they have night skiing.

Miss all the traffic both ways!
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
After reading everything here and getting some tips from my wife's coworker, I think I'm going to Winter Park, and make sure to head out early to do so. Thanks for the help.
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