April Ski Trip in Colorado
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 10:17 AM Last Post By: grabermeister
Feb 16, 2013 3:08 PM
April Ski Trip in ColoradoI am flying out to Colorado for a 4 day ski trip during the first week of April. My friend and I will be renting a car and plan on driving to the Summit county area. We are not expert skiers but we can handle most runs (this is our first time in Colorado but we have been skiing in Utah before). I need some advice on where to stay (looking for budget accommodations), car rental agency, and the cheapest way to get lift tickets/rentals. We were thinking about skiing one day at Vail, Breckenridge, and Keystone. From what I have read so far looks like Breckenridge would make a good base camp for us. Should we try to ski all three resorts or just stick to one or two? I realize Vail is huge but it's also nice to visit other resorts. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Feb 16, 2013 9:01 PM
1Breckenridge Town ...has Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, A-Basin, and Keystone ski areas...all are in the same general area...virtually next to each other...
Vail is a long narrow town strung out along the Interstate... Its over a summit from Breckenridge on the Interstate...very nice ....
Aspen is a bit longer drive down the Interstate then about 40 more miles south on a road next to the Roaring Fork River... Very fashionable place...lots of millionaire burnouts and their wannbes... worth seeing and skiing...There are several ski areas in that region...
Of course ski as many places as you can...that is the only way to decide which is better for you... They all have a mix of runs for any level skier... A-Basin is colder and probably less popular with tourists... Keystone is probably the "easiest"....
Vail is a resort with a real town attached...lots of condos and shopping...
Breckenridge is close to Denver...and its a downhill roll all the way back to Denver if you want to stay there... As to cheap rooms...check the Internet sites... Or call the town tourism office for suggestions... There are some guesthouses...and home stays that might be less known...in Breckenridge
Best place to get a car is at the airport...ask for a ski rack with your reservation...carrying skis inside the car is a pain...small cars are cheaper but slower in the moutains... if you can keep the car for 5 days you'll get a weekly rate which is cheaper than the daily rate...
Check on line for resorts that might have special rates in April....or google something like "discount lift tickets colorado"...that should turn up something... Also ask at the ski rental stores if they have access to cut rate lift tickets... Less than full price tickets are out there...but you have to find them...
Feb 17, 2013 8:51 AM
2#1, the OP didn't ask about Aspen, which is nowhere close to Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail.
It's up to you as to how much variety you want, but I would not personally want to do three different resorts in four days. Every time you go to a different place, you will be re-learning the mountain, the layout, the quickest or slowest lift lines, the best or worst runs, etc. There is a value to spending time at one or two places, especially when they are larger places like Breck and Keystone, and you can find runs you like to do over and over, or a lift that is fast and has no lines, etc.
Vail is also a good 45 minutes from Breck/Keystone. So while it's in the same region, it's not exactly next door. It's where I personally prefer to ski, so I would rather base myself out of Vail and ski two (or three) days there and then one day at Keystone or Breck (or Beaver Creek). The Comfort Inn near Vail has always been a great value. For other lodging values, look for lodging that is not in the main villages but is near one of the bus lines that will drop you off at the resorts (like the Comfort Inn). I don't know Breck that well so can't comment on lodging values there. I will add that if you stay in Breck and want to ski Vail, you'll actually have to get in your rental car and park it at Vail for the day, which will cost you; there's not going to be an easy bus system in between Breck and Vail. In short, I would suggest you either stay in Breck and only do Keystone/Breck/Copper Mountain, or stay in Vail and do Vail/Beaver Creek. Switching between areas when you only have 4 days total doesn't seem worth it.
Are you going to bring your own skis or rent? For cheaper rentals, don't rent from places in the villages or the "official" renter of the resort; rent from places away from the villages. You'll have to make your way there in your rental car (although some deliver, for an extra fee), but the prices will be better. As with everything in life, and in Colorado, you pay less, but it is less convenient.
Buy lift tickets ahead of time, and on line, for better values. The tickets still won't be cheap, but they'll be cheaper than buying them on the mountain.
For car rental, since you'll be there in early April, you can probably just rent a small economy car and be fine with it. If it were more in the winter, I'd hesitate to suggest that since smaller cars have a greater tendency to get stuck in blizzards on I-70. But it is unlikely you'll have that problem in early April. Most car rental agencies are interchangeable, so just use Kayak or similar to compare prices and book one.
Feb 17, 2013 10:53 AM
Feb 17, 2013 11:21 AM
4It is generally true that non-airport car rental locations have lower prices than at the airport. But Denver airport is in the middle of nowhere, far on the outskirts of the city. It will cost you more in time and probably money to go to another car rental place (in the city, for example). I don't even know how you'd get there--a city bus, I suppose, since a cab or even shared ride would be eat up any savings. And you'd be schlepping your bags with you the whole time. And you'd have to do the reverse when leaving. Not worth it, in my opinion.
I don't think there are any tolls between Denver airport and Breck. It's I-70 the whole way. Maybe there's one for one of the tunnels through the mountains, I can't remember. But even if there were, there's definitely no way around it. In short, while I don't even think paying a toll fee ahead of time will be an option for you, you certainly shouldn't choose to pay that fee.
Feb 17, 2013 12:34 PM
Feb 18, 2013 10:17 AM
6Came up with two trips. Please make any suggestions and let me know which one you think would be best?
Option 1 Utah Spring Break Trip
Wednesday Fly in To Salt Lake
Thursday- Ski Alta
Friday- Ski Deer Valley
Saturday- Rest Day and Drive to Zion:
Sunday: Zion - Emerald Pools, Kayenta Trail
Monday: Zion - the Narrows (if possible) if not: Observation Point, Hidden Canyon and Echo Canyon.
Drive to Bryce:
Tuesday: Bryce - Fairyland Loop, Peek-a-Boo Loop, or Navajo Loop/Queen's Garden.
Wednesday: Bryce - do whatever didn't fit into Tuesday.
Thursday: Drive to Escalante- Devils Garden, Peek-a-boo and Spooky Gulch
Friday: Escalante - Lower Calf Creek Falls
Saturday: Drive to Salt Lake
Sunday: Fly Home
Option 2 Colorado/Utah Spring Break Trip
Wednesday Fly in To Denver
Thursday- Ski Breckenridge
Friday- Ski Keystone
Saturday- Ski Vail
Sunday Rest Day and Drive to Arches
Monday: Arches -
Wednesday: Drive to Canyonlands get in a small hike
Thrusday : Canyonlands
Saturday: Drive to Denver
Sunday: Fly Home
(4 star Hotel)
From US$149.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$189.00 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$151.90 per night