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View Full Version : Need advice on where to go for snow fun in Colorado


BrettinSanAntonio
10-29-2010, 09:32 PM
I'd like to drive the 100 series up to Colorado right after Christmas to see some of the white stuff. My ten year old has never seen snow (not much snow in San Antonio) and I promised her the opportunity to see it this year.

Can anyone recommend a place to take the family that's scenic and not ski resort oriented? We're looking to play around, build a snowman and maybe do some sledding. Not interested in skiing or the crowds around the major resorts. I spent some time in Crested Butte several years ago but remember it being more of a ski area. A cabin or old hotel would be great. Any recommendations for locations and sights to see for the family is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Corbet
10-29-2010, 09:40 PM
Pagosa Springs?

There is a small ski resort, Wolf Creek, but for the most part the town is centered around its hot springs. Plenty of snow in the winter, in fact Wolf Creek opens tomorrow. Should not have any problem sledding or snowshoeing, or sitting in the hot springs watching it snow.

nakman
10-29-2010, 09:45 PM
I would suggest the the west part of the state near 4 corners area, you really can't go wrong around Durango.. like Pagosa Springs or something, or some rented condo around Durango, even if it was close to a ski area the traffic and crowds wouldn't really be a factor if you didn't actually go to the ski area. Much different experience than a resort town (like Vail, Breck, etc.)

Get something with its own hot tub and sauna... both of which are fun for kids and adults alike to get really hot inside, then go jump in the snow, then get warm again, repeat...

Here, found this one after a minute search: http://www.vacationrentals.com/vacation-rentals/66035.html

Uncle Ben
10-29-2010, 09:56 PM
Pagosa is a great destination! The hot springs there are some of the nicest you'll ever experience! I would also suggest Mount Princeton. More great but more home townish hot springs and access to remote mountains and still close to full service small town.

J Kimmel
10-29-2010, 10:01 PM
Pagosa is a great destination! The hot springs there are some of the nicest you'll ever experience! I would also suggest Mount Princeton. More great but more home townish hot springs and access to remote mountains and still close to full service small town.

We rented a cabin up by Mt Princton a couple of years ago, we were cat skiing in Monarch. Its a really great place to hang out, but I think if I were coming up from Texas, Pagosa is closer, and a great place to be in the winter :)

nakman
10-29-2010, 10:29 PM
That's it, we're going to Pagosa Springs this winter.. who's in? :)

Uncle Ben
10-29-2010, 11:19 PM
That's it, we're going to Pagosa Springs this winter.. who's in? :)

We're booked there over Thanksgiving. :thumb::thumb:

DanS
10-30-2010, 12:24 AM
That's it, we're going to Pagosa Springs this winter.. who's in? :)

I go to Pagosa Springs all the time. Used to live and work there (Sonlight Camp) and my parents have a cabin that borders the National Forest.

If Kate and I could swing the commute from Pagosa, I'd move back without skipping a beat!

Now, if anyone wants a real challenge, a few should try to drive into Elwood Pass Cabin and spend a few nights. I've skiied in and stayed, and it was simply awesome.

If I might make a suggestion for the Texan: see if you can find a Dog Sled race. I grew up with a team of sled dogs, and we used to race every weekend anywhere between Durango and Leadville. Really anywhere we could drive to after my parent's were done working on Friday in Albuquerque. You said 10 year old daughter? Snow and puppies. Pretty sure that's a winner.

Dan

60wag
10-30-2010, 06:17 AM
A number of years ago I took the kids up to Grand Lake watch a sled dog race. It was a blast. As a Malamute owner, I think I had as much fun as the kids.

After the race, went spent a night at Snow Mountain Ranch. Its a YMCA camp south of Grand Lake that is quite nice. Obviously family oriented, lot's of snow for sledding, indoor pool, great food service and reasonably priced. I know they've been hit pretty hard with the pine beetle tree kill but the place should look good covered in snow.

Dan - do you still do any mushing? That's something I've always wanted to do. I've done a bit of ski-jouring with my dog but one untrained dog just doesn't cut it.

Lars
10-30-2010, 07:32 AM
Pagosa springs is great. Went to college in Durango and spent a lot of time skiing and playing in pagosa springs.

Jacket
10-30-2010, 07:44 AM
We're booked there over Thanksgiving. :thumb::thumb:

Maybe I'll see ya there. We'll be coming through on the 21st or 22nd.

Jacket
10-30-2010, 08:00 AM
I'd like to drive the 100 series up to Colorado right after Christmas to see some of the white stuff. My ten year old has never seen snow (not much snow in San Antonio) and I promised her the opportunity to see it this year.

Can anyone recommend a place to take the family that's scenic and not ski resort oriented? We're looking to play around, build a snowman and maybe do some sledding. Not interested in skiing or the crowds around the major resorts. I spent some time in Crested Butte several years ago but remember it being more of a ski area. A cabin or old hotel would be great. Any recommendations for locations and sights to see for the family is greatly appreciated.

Thanks.

Do you want to get away from your fellow Texans, or would you be happy to mingle with like-folk? Pagosa is extremely popular with folks from your state, so keep that in mind. But it's a great destination with plenty to do for a long weekend.

Other ideas: Buena Vista or Salida (mild climate with amazing views), Leadville/Twin Lakes (lots of history) http://www.twinlakescolorado.com/, or Lake City/Siverton/Ouray. Watching the ice climbers in Ouray during the winter months is a pretty unique experience.

Seldom Seen
10-30-2010, 10:09 AM
Ouray (http://www.ouraycolorado.com/), no ski area, town sledding hill and ice rink, quaint, quiet, cheap to stay at that time of year and the best hot springs in Colorado.

ajax
10-30-2010, 01:14 PM
id say Ouray too for all the above reasons and multiple hotsprings options also, some cabins for 45 bucks a nite at riverside inn when u come into town

DanS
10-30-2010, 09:15 PM
Dan - do you still do any mushing? That's something I've always wanted to do. I've done a bit of ski-jouring with my dog but one untrained dog just doesn't cut it.

I wish. Both me and the wife work schedules that preclude owning dogs. My parents still have the sleds though, just in case the job situation changes--we'd probably go get a few huskies immediately if that happened. Interesting fact about me: I never had a crib as a baby. I slept in the basket of the sled (hey, it was a small house, and Mom and Dad needed a place to store the sled I guess).

The Ouray suggestion is a really good one too--especially if you're looking to get away from other Tejanos and Tejanas. Very few of them venture that far away, or over scary, terrifying Red Mountain Pass (dun-dun-duhn!). Ouray is a lot colder though, because the sun is blocked by the mountain from hitting the town as long, but the hot springs definitely are excellent. The prices during the winter would probably win me over though, and also because if you want to see snow.... Red Mountain is hard to beat for a drive, whereas the drive to Pagosa is nice, but not breathtaking (unless you take 64 from Tres Piedras to Tierra Armarilla--if it's open)

Dan

BrettinSanAntonio
11-01-2010, 02:25 PM
Do you want to get away from your fellow Texans, or would you be happy to mingle with like-folk?

Doesn't matter. I won't know other Texans unless I see it on their license plate or notice their lack of quality cold weather gear.

BrettinSanAntonio
11-01-2010, 02:29 PM
That sounds great! Should I just Google for the Sled races? The only dog racing I'm familiar with is watching the dogs chase quail or being chased by javelina.


If I might make a suggestion for the Texan: see if you can find a Dog Sled race. I grew up with a team of sled dogs, and we used to race every weekend anywhere between Durango and Leadville. Really anywhere we could drive to after my parent's were done working on Friday in Albuquerque. You said 10 year old daughter? Snow and puppies. Pretty sure that's a winner.
Dan

BrettinSanAntonio
11-01-2010, 02:32 PM
Thanks everyone for the advice. I think I'll do some searching around Pagosa Springs and Ouray. There's a good chance we'll have two other families with us so we may look for a larger place and split the cost.

Any chance for wheeling or is everything closed for the season?

TIMZTOY
11-01-2010, 08:08 PM
pm. "breckbj44" he has a cabin in breckenridge hes renting for very cheap.. i know its a ski resort area, but you could possibly save a butt load on the acomidations..

http://www.risingsun4x4club.org/forum2/showthread.php?t=13489

if your not a paied member you cant see it.. ill pm you the info..

DanS
11-02-2010, 12:05 AM
That sounds great! Should I just Google for the Sled races? The only dog racing I'm familiar with is watching the dogs chase quail or being chased by javelina.

A well trained hunting/birding dog is impressive to watch, but NOTHING compared to a dog sled team.

I quickly looked, and I don't see anything too close to those areas... That said, if you are going to be around January 8/9 in Glenwood Springs (not TOO far from Ouray, only a couple hours) it looks like there is a race that would probably pretty conducive to 10 year old daughter fun. The 3/4 dog classes are the best to watch for young ones, as the courses are usually less than 6 miles, and the teams are coming and going pretty darn quickly. Also, the smaller races almost always seemed to have a "kids race" where a kid could be turned loose with a single dog pulling the sled (note: I assume they still do that, we certainly did pretty much every weekend).

But, you could contact the Zia Sled Dog club to see if they've got anything around then. They are based in Albuquerque, but that's who our family belonged, and who organized most of the races in southern CO/northern NM. Googling it I found Contact treasurer Schelley Carlton, 505-296-6969 for more information. Not sure how current that is though, as I remember Schelley's name and I haven't been around that group since I was in high school 15 years ago!

Dan

Corbet
11-02-2010, 08:23 AM
Any chance for wheeling or is everything closed for the season?

In the Pagosa Springs area or Ouray, wheeling will be done for the season.

BrettinSanAntonio
12-29-2010, 08:55 PM
Thanks to everyone for the recommendations. We're in Pagosa Springs right now and are loving the snow. The kids are having a blast on their sleds and I'm having a great time learning to drive the 100 in the snow. It's a great town and the people are friendly and helpful for those us not used to winter conditions. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts when I left San Antonio so it's quite a change temperature wise.

wesintl
12-29-2010, 09:01 PM
dija hit Kip's cantina yet?

farnhamstj
12-29-2010, 09:04 PM
Some things to know about driving in the snow. 4wd does not stop any faster than 2wd. You can not stop and turn on the ice at the same time. High-beams on during a snow storm is refered to as "making the jump to light speed"

A few things to hide the fact you are from TX, A toboggan is not a hat.
They are not "snow skis", just skis.

Welcome to Colorado.