Last Minute December Trip to Colorado for Beginner Skiing & Other Fun
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Nov 13, 2012 8:10 PM Last Post By: Dutch_Uncle
Nov 12, 2012 3:46 PM
Last Minute December Trip to Colorado for Beginner Skiing & Other FunGreetings,
I am planning a last minute trip to Colorado for early December for 1 week. I am going with my sister and we are both in our mid-20's. We enjoy a variety of outdoor & cultural adventures. Neither of us has visited this part of the county (we are from Florida). Right now we are flying into Denver since these are the cheapest flights. We had a few questions that we would love your input on in order to make this the best trip possible!
1. What ski town/resort would you recommend for us considering that neither of us have ever been skiing? We would also like a town with an authentic nightlife that suits our age group (mid-20's). We would be driving or finding transportation from Denver. Others have recommended Brekenridge, Vail, Telluride, etc. but it is hard for me to judge how fun/authentic these towns will be. Also, if you have a favorite town, any recommendations on other sights/restaurants/activities would also be much appreciated!
2. What do you enjoy doing for fun in Denver? Is there a particular neighborhood that has the most 'fun' nightlife for our age group? We have 1 week total to spend in the area, how many nights would be sufficient to enjoy Denver? I was originally thinking spend 1 night when we get into town then 1 night when we are leaving town.
3. We are super flexible, so if you have any out of the ordinary experiences that you would suggest, please let us know!
Thank you all,
Nov 12, 2012 4:21 PM
1Well, if you never have been skiing before, you will be wasting your money at one of the higher-end ski towns. Have you considered staying in Boulder (definitely a place with a nightlife for your age group) and taking lessons up at one of smaller ski areas like Eldora. Once you get a feel for the sport, maybe you could spend a day or two up at Winter Park. Boulder is only 30 miles or so from Denver, which has quite a bit of nightlife, particularly in the LoDo section near downtown. Check out Westword.com for info on Denver activities and BoulderWeekly.com for Boulder.
Nov 13, 2012 6:01 AM
2For Denver, do indeed check out Westword, and you'll get a sense of where bars of different styles are located. Heading east on Colfax from the capitol, you'll find some places with a more hipster vibe, which I like. I agree that you'd probably like Boulder. If aiming for something more "town-like" and less "resort-like" check out Crested Butte or Durango, though these are farther away from Denver than, say, Vail or Aspen. I guess it depends on your budget and how many days you have. Going in the first week of December...Will there be snow? Will the hills be open yet? Check out this site for up-to-date conditions.
Nov 13, 2012 8:18 AM
3Do you actually intend to give skiing a real try? If so, I respectfully disagree with #1; you will probably be better served by going to a larger resort, for two reasons. First, they will have a larger and more established ski school. No disrespect to smaller places, but the larger places deal with beginners all the time (including adults) and are very suited to their learning needs. Second, the snow conditions will probably be more uniform and desirable at bigger places that have comprehensive and sophisticated snowmaking operations. That is especially important since you plan on going in early December, when there will not have been much natural snow yet, relatively speaking.
If you're coming from Denver, shoot for either the Keystone/Breckenridge resorts or Vail/Beaver Creek. They are about 1.5-2 hours from Denver--right off the interstate--and have very good nightlife for twentysomethings. They also provide lots of non-skiing activities that allow you to experience other aspects of the mountains and wintertime (especially if you quickly decide that you don't actually like skiing). Aspen/Snowmass/Steamboat are about twice the distance. Telluride is way too far.
Nov 13, 2012 10:00 AM
4Never skied, stay in Denver and take the ski bus to Winter Park. Reason for the bus, Colorado winter roads and their drivers, leave the driving to a professional.
WP has loads of beginner slopes, and good bunny slopes for ski lessons. You will not need a full day of lessons, the first couple of hours will definately tire you out. So take a morning lesson, have a nice lunch, and ski the bunny slopes in the PM. Even if you are an accomplished water skiier, snow is a different challenge.
Most of the ski accidents happen from/to tired skiers trying to cram in just one more run. I was guilty. Ouch, my knee.
Know when to say enough. You gotta save something for after ski socializing.
High altitude + physical exertion + a couple of Denver Mints = EXHAUSTION (especially if you are arriving from sea level)
Nov 13, 2012 4:29 PM
Nov 13, 2012 8:10 PM
6I endorse what 99dragons has to say. Winter Park will take care of you at your skill level, and not require you to drive over the pass.
You might consider Monarch, west of Salida on highway 50. Salida is a major summer recreation area with lots of motels. You could check out the Royal Gorge in Canon City on the way. Prices less brutal than Aspen, Beaver Creek, and the big boys.
Authentic? That is a problem. Old mining towns like Aspen, Breckenridge, Central City, Cripple Creek have been transformed by the ski and gambling industries. Likewise old ranching areas like Steamboat Springs. Vail was created for the ski industry by members of the 10th Mountain Division after WWII.
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