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Slew of kiddos - Where to go?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello folks,

I am trying to plan my family's first ski vacation. My wife was, once upon a time, an avid skiier. I have only been skiing once and I really loved it. But then we had children (2 year old girl, 6 year old boy) and we are not sure where to go on the first "official" family ski vacation.

We have some friends that have a 4 year old and a 1 year old that might want to go with us. The one year old will be two in March.

Question is, where should we go where we can all get some skiing in and still let the little kids have some fun too. The 4 and 6 year old will be in ski school, I'm sure. But what about our little girls?

We are located in Texas and we are considering either Colorado or New Mexico. We'd really appreciate any input you have.

Thanks!

Rick
post #2 of 13
There are many places you could visit. Two of the larger, all purpose Colorado resorts that should be able to provide a fine time for your family and are closer to TX (are you driving or flying?): Breckenridge, Keystone; two even nicer places, but a few hours further from Denver: Snowmass, Steamboat.
All these places should be able to offer the varied terrain, baby sitting, apres-ski activities, lessons, etc. to meet your needs.
post #3 of 13
Rick, I recommend giving Wolf Creek a try. Located in south central Colorado,near Pagosa Springs, it's a real family friendly place. The Wolf-Pup lessons for kids are good, and it's hard to beat the lodge accommodations for feeding the family ... either stoke up all the way at the Wolf Creek lodge or families can picnic in the Base Camp lodge which can save some $$$. Lift ticket prices are reasonable and overall it's a good family place to go.

It's not crowded, has about 1,600 skiable acres and the vert drop is about 1,600 feet as well. Biggest rub on the place to me is the vertical drop is inconsistent ... steep up along the summit ridgeline for about 300 feet, drops off to a more gradual slope and towards the bottom certain areas gather some angle. Too, there is no lodging really close by. Pagosa Springs is ~ 25 miles away which makes for a 30-45 minute trip each way depending on road conditions.

Still, we've been there from NC probably 4-5 times and have a great time every time we go.

http://www.wolfcreekski.com/index.asp
post #4 of 13
Nice suggestion by Dorm57. I went with a very conventional first reply based on the idea that you'd want to stay in a resort next to ski area (Copper also). Another fine suggestion along the Wolf Creek vein is Loveland. Loveland is close to Denver and has a very entertaining mix of easy and challenging terrain with friendly family/locals vibe. You'd probably have to stay at a motel/condo about 10 miles away in Georgetown or Dillon. WC and Loveland would offer economy if you're looking for that, but require daily commuting to slopes.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the input. I like Keystone and I think that would probably be a great area. We'd also like to find some areas to go sledding or something with the kids. They spend so much time in Montessori school and regular school - just hate to be apart from them anymore than necessary. But we are planning on a full week. Saturday to Saturday. That should give enough time to get some good skiing in for all.

I'll let you know if I find any areas I'm not sure about. Perhaps someone here has heard of it.
post #6 of 13
I would suggest Steamboat. You can fly into Hayden from Dallas. Great kids program, including kids ski free program. Easy to navigate mountain and wide variety of lodging. Went there last spring with my family and had a great time.
post #7 of 13
Copper Mountain - Colorado.
Tons of green terrain that doesn't intersect harder terrain. Perfect for the kids. I think Keystone might be ok but the easy terrain is more spread out and crosses more difficult trails (hence putting your group on collision course with faster skiers). Particularly, the way the majority of the green trails at Keystone funnel at the bottom with blue trails might not be so good.

The west side of Copper is great for groups like yours with mixed abilities that might want to check in with each other every run / couple runs. On the west, the greens are below and the blues / blacks are above & beside it - could work out nicely for you.

Copper has great ski schools, a comfortable base area with amenities, childcare program, easy access to the interstate and the nearby town of Frisco (and not far from Silverthorne, Dillon, or Breck either, really) and not really that far from DIA. The weather may vary for other destinations but I-70 resorts like Copper generally remain relatively accessible. It's nice to not worry about that when you're traveling with a group of young ones.

And no, I don't work for Copper.
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwdrhnd View Post
I would suggest Steamboat. You can fly into Hayden from Dallas. Great kids program, including kids ski free program. Easy to navigate mountain and wide variety of lodging. Went there last spring with my family and had a great time.

I think they also do a discount for kids when flying into Hayden, as long as the tickets are purchased with an adult's.
post #9 of 13
Are you going to fly or drive? If driving, you may want to check out New Mexico. Since it sounds like you are not after really challenging terrain, several ski areas in New Mexico offer a great family atmosphere and are a much easier drive from Texas. Red River, Anglefire have everything right there at the resort. We went to Santa Fe several years ago when our kids were little and they loved the ski school. If you are in SW Texas try out Ski Apache in Ruidoso.

Boomer Sooner
post #10 of 13
You might also ck out Wolf Creek they have a nice area for Kids and are not as crowded after the other resorts open. They are very reasonable on the lift tickets and they always have plenty of snow around the second week in december. You can drive there as well just make sure it is daytime after you get to durango. That drive from Durango to Pagossa is like a suicide mission with all the Elk and animals at night.


post #11 of 13
Hi, I'm from DFW area. I went to Wolf Creek last year and put in a write up for a trip report on these forums. I've been to Utah 3 times and Summit county 3 times. Not likely, but the problem I had with Summit County was daughter got altitude sickness. If you stay in Dillion or Frisco you are much higher up than Pagosa Springs or Sandy/Midvale in Utah. If you fly, I suggest Utah. Solitude, Brighton, Alta, and Snowbird.

If you spend a week, you might get bored of Wolf Creek.

I am considering Snowmass / Buttermilk this year for family 7,10, 12 + wife. I'm still researching how crowded and snow conditions might be for Spring Break. If I find some good flight prices, its a no brainer for me to SLC. If I drive, a shorter trip would be Wolf Creek, longer driving trip might be Snowmass / Buttermilk. For me personally, I like to stay at a lower elevation and drive up to the altitude. I feel my body recovers better, so I personally never stay slopeside (Cost + elevation)

Also consider the time of year, if its a busy season Utah is less hectic than summit county. Wolf Creek was pretty busy last year on Spring Break, but not awful. In the old days I went to New Mexico, I'm not a big fan of any the resorts there besides Taos.

Utah had a really nice tubing area on the way toward Park City. They also had small snowmobiles that little kids could drive as well. My kids had a blast at that tubing hill. You hook on a bungy type chord to a cable that pulls you up the hills. The hills looked kinda like a bobsled run. It was pretty fun even for me!.
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pwdrhnd View Post
I would suggest Steamboat. You can fly into Hayden from Dallas. Great kids program, including kids ski free program. Easy to navigate mountain and wide variety of lodging. Went there last spring with my family and had a great time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ut_hucker View Post
I think they also do a discount for kids when flying into Hayden, as long as the tickets are purchased with an adult's.
I'll third the recommendation for Steamboat. That's where I'm going with my kids probably next season. They are currently 4 and 6.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roadrash View Post
Are you going to fly or drive? If driving, you may want to check out New Mexico. Since it sounds like you are not after really challenging terrain, several ski areas in New Mexico offer a great family atmosphere and are a much easier drive from Texas. Red River, Anglefire have everything right there at the resort. We went to Santa Fe several years ago when our kids were little and they loved the ski school. If you are in SW Texas try out Ski Apache in Ruidoso.

Boomer Sooner
Ski Apache/Sierra Blanca is also nice and a lot closer if driving, even from Plano. I'd go there if it is really just about skiing and the kids learning to ski. I used to live off Legacy Dr and Red River

But, Ruidoso really doesn't compare to Steamboat for mystique and a full mountains and ski town experience. Be sure to get a picture of the kids in front of the Big Billy Kidd statue and post it in your trip report here

I've got Sooner and UTD degrees so Boomer Horns and Hook'em Sooner!
post #13 of 13
When are you planning to travel? Time of year may be a critical issue, not just because of snow conditions.

Particularly with kids, air temperature can be critical -- a 10-degree difference in daytime highs can make the difference between success and failure. Also, depending on the time of year, you may be able to choose a lower altitude area, which would require less acclimation and make altitude sickness less likely.
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