Colorado ski trip advice?

  1. Love Winter Park! Beats BMBW, for sure! 🙂 Copper Mountain is also very nice! I would pick either of those. May or may not get powder though.

  2. Seconded. Was our family’s first western last year w a 13 and 15 year old. Very accessible, town has charm, groomed blacks and ungroomed blues provide lots of learning opportunities.

  3. Was coming here to say this. Good family mountain — only shortcoming is it doesn’t have much gnarly terrain like Jackson Hole for you, but is well suited to your purpose. There are also a couple of hot springs: The one in town makes for a fun experience (including water slides!), and the one in the woods is a special experience (make sure your rental car has 4WD or they may turn you back from the access road!) Also a great walkable town with a pioneer museum, a consignment store with ski clothes, a candy shop, and art galleries and t-shirt shops. The downtown is a short drive from the ski mountain. Oh, I almost forgot — there’s a really fun mountain coaster at the mountain as well. Steamboat has so many things an 11yo boy would love!

  4. That’s a long ride from Denver compared to summit county. Not saying it isn’t worth it—just more of a commitment.

  5. My dad took me to Steamboat when I was 11, and I can't recommend it enough. I grew up skiing the mid-Atlantic, but that was my first trip out West. Family friendly, approachable for a solid intermediate skier, fun town to explore.

  6. I highly recommend staying in Frisco, CO and doing a few days at Copper Mountain- I feel it’s lower cost that way and I like the mountain better than the big name resorts.

  7. Agree with Copper. Some nice long green runs similar to BMBW but plenty of room to advance! It feel as is the big name resorts get too crowded. So Winter Park and Copper are my favorites. They are IKON passes, not (Vail) EPIC.

  8. I went to Winter Park with my wife in April. It wasn’t too far from Denver and had a nice little town you could enjoy in the evening. Sounds like what you’re looking for

  9. Try breckenridge, great options for both of you. I take my sons one is expert, other is intermediate I'm somewhere in between and we always have a Great time.

  10. Rental cars do not have winter tires. You will most likely be in violation of traction laws even if conditions are fine and worst case is bad.

  11. Go to Copper Mountain — it’s one of my favorite in Colorado — in summit county (so near Denver) great selection of runs of all difficulty across the mountain.

  12. Breck. Start on peak 9 greens then peak 9 blues mercury chair and beaver run. Then try modest peak 6 and 7 blues. If u get an epic pass then u can spend a day at keystone right across the valley too like 18min drive.

  13. This is the advice you should take. Peak 9 blues (Cashier, Bonanza, Columbia) are great transitional blues. Peak 7 offers truer blues, but still groomed and wonderful cruisers. If the confidence and skill get there, Peak 6 offers a little more challenge. If the strides are great by the end of the trip, Peak 10 has a couple groomed blacks. Peak 8 can get busy, but offers some variety too (and is the only peak open in early season). Gravity Haus or The Village at Breckenridge, or Beaver Run offer the closest lodging near the Quicksilver chair (Peak 9). I've found the best value at Gravity Haus. They're also walking distance to Main St. Beware though, Peak 9 is usually the second to open. So, early season might be a miss depending on weather (mid-to-late December). In terms of a ski town, Breck is the quintessential Colorado ski town. Breckenridge Brewery, Downtown at Eric's, Flip Side, Empire Burger, Mi Casa (or Fiesta Jalisco if the wait is too long) are some of our favorites, but most places are at least good, if not great. Also, Castaway Cove, if you're into tiki (as I am). If budget for lodging is an issue, as opposed to being slopeside, check out the Silverthorne/Dillon/Frisco area for somewhat more "affordable" options (double emphasis intended). Just about equidistant to Keystone and Breck. Just make you're okay to drive in weather after apres ski.

  14. I've really enjoyed going to Sunlight. It's a bit of a sleeper resort, but still had some pretty good runs and costs the same as what I've paid at midwest "mountains." Not a much for extreme terrain, but definitely some good long greens and blues. I used to go to Glenwood Springs for work a decent amount and really enjoyed staying there. Hotels are fairly reasonable, especially compared to places further up valley. It's also got a nice walkable downtown with lots of good restaurants on the main street. You can fly into Eagle (EGE) and it's a fairly short drive to Glenwood. Otherwise it's about a 2.5 hour drive from Denver.

  15. Park City is the closest ski town out West to a major airport. Also has a lot of blues and a really good town experience

  16. Check out flights to SLC, much easier accommodations and commute to the resorts unless you plan on staying in summit county which is around $300 a night, weekend starting out prices. We live in Colorado spring’s and fly into SLC several times a winter to ski and love it.

  17. Although the roads up either Cottonwood canyon can be an absolute nightmare on weekends. Forget about it if there’s a big powder dump and you don’t get off early.

  18. the best western and hampton inn in dillon are both under 200$/night winter prices for weekdays. Plus the BW has a sauna and hot tub.

  19. I really enjoyed Crested Butte. It's where I always suggest people go if they want that "ski town" feel. It's a bit of a hike, but well worth the trip. Mountain is awesome too

  20. Love CB, but may be too much/limiting if his son is an eastern blue skier. That mountain has so much expert terrain.

  21. Agreed CB is awesome, but a bit of a pain to access if you’re flying. For a beginner skier, more bang for your buck at the more eastern CO resorrs

  22. Steamboat is great for this, it’s a little light on expert terrain. The main thing you’ll hear about it is there aren’t really any steeps. That being said the trees there are amazing and there are some great trails that are like easy bowls. I typically recommend steamboat when you have all levels and want it to be good for everyone.

  23. I've skiied Steamboat before. Love the mountains and the town. Since I'm skiing with my son I'll probably only do a run or two solo on the steeps, so not having a big selection isn't an issue.

  24. It’s only light on expert terrain if you are unfamiliar with the mountain and looking only at the trail map lol book a private lesson with an instructor and you will be shown plenty of expert terrain

  25. Go online now and buy the epic pass. Then you’re setup to ski 4 different resort all within an 45 +/- minutes of each other. If you are budget conscious, stay in Keystone and ski the mountain one day(depending on when you go, they offer night skiing which may be something you want to try. . . once). Day 2 go over to Breck(20 min drive from Keystone), ski, walk around town and have dinner. Last two ski days allow you to ski Vail and/or Beaver Creek. Day 4, pick your favorite of the group and return that mountain.

  26. I know you said you were focusing on colorado, but my experience in Park City was unmatched by any colorado skiing I have done and being the biggest resort in america it has loads of blue runs for him to do. Salt lake is usually easy to fly direct to, although I an not sure if it is different from cleveland. A couple years ago I went to Breck and it was fantastic, the town is great although it doesn't touch Park City. Breck's Peak 6 would be really cool for him bc it is above the tree line and is sort of an intermediate introduction to ungroomed bowls (or it was when i went).

  27. Breck. The blues are more like east coast blues. Plus your son could ski some blue bowls above tree line. Wide open but not as scary for an 11 year old. Have fun and be safe!,

  28. ok so take this seriously crested butte is super rad. amazing little town and then you drive up the hill and you’ve got the resort. tons of food options and everybody is super chill and it’s not busy at all. it’s me and my dads fav. people will say everything is super gnarly but that’s only if you try to go on gnarly stuff. nothing will come out of nowhere. definitely recommend it

  29. Crested Butte has been on my bucket list for skiing for years. I've heard nothing but good things about it. This time, though, I think we're looking for something a little more accessible. When he's a few years older we'll definitely go there.

  30. Disagree about ABasin for a youngster. There's no town there and it's pretty much an expert mountain.

  31. Steamboat is great but it is not easy to get to deep in the mountains. Would also very much recommend Lake Louise in Alberta (~2 hours west of Calgary)

  32. Colorado is so unbelievably busy. Go as far away from Denver as you can. Telluride is the best skiing in the state and an awesome town. Bonus is that you never have to drive once you're there. Crested Butte and steamboat are also great but nothing compares to telluride.

  33. That’s a long drive from Montrose airport to telluride, 90 mins in the summer and easily 2-2.5 hours in the winter. Not to mention the road that gets you there is hella scary for someone not familiar with the area

  34. Breck for the cool ski town but if you can skip Colorado (I usually do/ I70 sucks, altitude etc etc…) go to park city.

  35. Any of the I-70 resorts in CO will give you what you want but honestly your odds of getting powder are actually not that much better on I-70 compared to Northern VT. Colorado has better conditions generally (because no rain) but they outright do not get significantly more snow than Jay Peak, Stowe or Smuggs (they're all 300-350" of snow per year resorts). I wouldn't eliminate it completely but keep that in mind, you'll probably be skiing hardpack or an inch or two of fresh snow.

  36. I think definitely Breck if you want the ski town vibe. 'easy' access from Denver if you time it to avoid peak traffic. Great blues above treeline on peak 6. Gondola and lifts go right into town.

  37. True, I forgot about the traffic on 70. I wouldn’t really call it “fighting” the traffic though. More like a … turtle crawl…

  38. Don't discount Whistler. The drive on the Sea Sky highway 99 is something everyone should experience once in their lifetime. The Northway I87, as you know, is amazing - but the drive from Vancouver to Whistler is another level. You guys might really enjoy that trip together. And of course, WB is an amazing place for everything you're looking for. Plus, I think it's kind of cool to go to another country to ski and you're going to another Olympic location like LP. I'm nostalgic. The variety of terrain and the peak to peak is awesome. If you can do it, Four Seasons is great and my favorite there. As an upstate NYer, I love that place.

  39. I've been to WB many times. I know the drive well. It's probably my favorite resort in North America. We only have 4 days, so we're looking for something more accessible. Also, I want my son to get just a little bit better before we go, and we will go for sure.

  40. Skip Colorado and head to Schweitzer…less than 2 hrs from Spokane airport and a forgotten/hidden gem. Perfect runs for him and you plus Sandpoint

  41. Aspen. Ski Buttermilk, It’s a great beginner mountain but also has a terrain park and double black runs. You’ll both enjoy it, views are breathtaking. Aspen is the best ski town and there are plenty of things for an 11 year old to do. It doesn’t have to be super expensive if you know what you’re doing.

  42. Well I'm not the biggest fan of keystone but my friend always takes his kids there and he said for a family trip it's really good. I know they have a village now and they have a lot of good groomers and some tree skiing. Some really long runs I think the longest run is about 3 mi.

  43. Plus once you park you don't have to use your car at all and you can get a shuttle from the airport I believe if you don't want to drive at all.

  44. The Boat as many have said. He will enjoy learning so ski the trees and the altitude will not bother him. Snow always wonderful......ski out there every year. When he gets a little more advanced, take him to Utah. Cheers.

  45. Copper is a great intermediate mountain and not a bad drive from Denver (about 2 hours). Steamboat is a mountain that you will love as an experienced skier if you have never been and the town is great, only thing there is the locals are real patriots, which is understandable, again, sick terrain

  46. Don’t know that much much about Colorado but I just want to congratulate you on the first post here not to over judge your families skills

  47. Thanks @ThePuzzleax. I was an instructor when I was younger. I saw too many parents put their kids in dangerous situations because they pushed their kids too far. Skiing is supposed to be fun, not terrifying. Also, one of the best pieces of advice I got from the head instructor was "whatever you do, don't teach your kids how to ski. Let someone else do it. Your job is dad. Have fun skiing with your kids. Let someone else be the instructor".

  48. My kids first 'out west' trip was winter park. They were not great skiers then and village way (long green) really got their confidence up. I would say it is a pretty good first trip choice and relatively easy to get to. As a bonus, it holds snow well and usually has good spring break conditions if you were thinking of going then. The downside is that there isn't a huge amount of town

  49. seconding ski cooper and loveland. My wife and I went last year for my first trip out west (she'd been to cooper and vail before) and I thought cooper was a great intermediate between midwest skiing with minimal vert/relatively shallow pitch and colorado mountain skiing. cooper is a good way to get your feet under you, and the mountain is a great vibe. Loveland was fun too, we only hung out on lift 2 and lift 6 but we were never bored. The summit can be pretty windy though, we ended up bailing on day 2 at loveland because there was about a -10 windchill our second morning in dillon and we figured it wouldn't be any better at elevation.

  50. Highly recommend Breckenridge. Perfect mountain for your son. Lots of long blue groomers, but also has some good black groomers as well.

  51. If you’re looking for a more quiet and smaller learning experience for you and your family, copper is good for the busy and large mountain experience but nearby is the mountain I learned to ski on called Ski Cooper. Highly recommend spending a day on that hill. Good to avoid tourists.

  52. Take him to crested butte. If he does well on the blues and blacks there, book a day on the Chicago ridge doing snow cat skiing.

  53. Steamboat - i grew up on the east coast and I started going to the boat when I was 4 with my family. I’ve skied in Utah, Montana and a bunch of other resorts in CO and nothing compares! I can’t wait to take my own kids in a few years! The drive isn’t that bad. The town of steamboat springs is cute, and has hot springs with water slides, and the base area is great.

  54. Hello! I absolutely love Keystone, so much so I bought a condo there. Great family ski village and tons of runs for him to do as he improves. And of course super close to Denver! Here's I link to book my condo if you have any interest! It can be very reasonable even during ski season!

  55. Live out in the mountains. Really depends on a few things. When are you coming.... Budget... Etc. If you want to ski, Vail and Beaver Creek tend to be less crowded than anything closer to Denver. On the back bowls there is a lot of terrain you both can ski and be challenged. Steamboat is also a good option. If you do Vail, buy an Epic Pass by November. Have fun.

  56. Four days is a relatively short trip. Most any resort will have ample terrain to keep a green/blue skier busy. Pick a destination with a town that's got the vibe you want, and is easy to get to. If you can get ski in/out, or in-town accommodations it will be a memorable trip.

  57. Breckenridge! It is a great family ski mountain. Tons to do on main st. There’s some difficult terrain too. It’s not as difficult as other mountains, but they have some legit runs. My favorite is The Windows. Just make sure there’s plenty of snow or you hit a rock, root or creek.

  58. I’ve been to both breck and steamboat. My wife is very much an east intermediate (handles blacks but prefers not to). 100% steamboat is where you want to go. Great ski town. Lots of longer groomers and deep powder. Breck just don’t have as much for a green blue skier.

  59. As a skier from Wisconsin, I found that the vast majority of the terrain in Colorado wasn’t much different than what I was used to back home, just about 10x longer runs.

  60. This is an absurd comment. I gotta ask where you’ve skied in CO? WI has no high alpine skiing, lacks any true steeps and the tree skiing is nothing like CO.

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