Your favorite western area or State to visit

Haven't been out west in a while, thinking its time. Probably for a week. Been to Utah, Cal/Nev and CO.  Loved them all, but especially Utah.     My question is : what are your favorite area(s) to visit and why ?    Thinking Whistler, Revelstoke, Jackson, Big Sky or maybe even Sun Valley.  Anyone have comments on those listed?   Have not ruled out a return to Utah either.  Would not rule our smaller/lesser known areas either.  Thanks in advance!!!
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Comments

  • edited October 2017
    New Mexico, Idaho, Mammoth, Montana, Arizona Snow Bowl, Apache in NM, LA areas but most of all you got to do a trip to Zillertal Austria!
  • edited October 2017
    I've been to about 90 ski areas, but only two (Whistler and Jackson) on your list of five.  Having said that, I really like Aspen.  Have you been there?  Three great mtns in close proximity.  Small to moderate crowds. Cool town.  Excellent advanced terrain, pretty scenery.  It's pricey, but that can be mitigated if you are sharing costs or commute from Glenwood Springs.  Cheap flights to Denver, drive is longer than Summit County, but to me 4 hrs vs. 2 hrs is not much of a difference for a much more attractive environment.

    I could comment more if you provided input on some of the following questions that hit your hot buttons.

    1. What are your highest priorities, preferably by order of importance? Diverse terrain, great snow, lively après-ski scene, spectacular scenery, low budget, low crowds and easy travel access are a few examples.

    2. What's your budget; high, medium or low?

    3. Do you have a general or specific destination in mind and what kind of terrain do you prefer; steeps, groomers, beginner, trees, bowls, etc?

    4. What is the approximate time frame of your trip and number of days? Short trips, long trips, holidays, weekdays, early/late season, or mid-winter have various pros and cons.

    5. Do you want slopeside accommodations or are you ok with a short commute to get more for your lodging dollar?

    6. Is proximity to a major airport a high priority or is a more remote/exotic destination OK or preferred?

    7. Do you have a preferred gateway city such as Denver, SLC, Reno, etc. because of airline loyalty, a friend offering free lodging, or other reasons? 

    8. Do you like lively/crowded/big mountains or would you consider a smaller, less crowded and perhaps more family friendly mountain? 

    9. Do you have any special requirements? Some examples would include a resort with a big WOW factor for an anniversary or special occasion, a low altitude resort to aid an elderly companion, a resort with attractions for a non-skier, etc.

  • JimK said:


    I could comment more if you provided input on some of the following questions that hit your hot buttons.

    1. What are your highest priorities, preferably by order of importance? Diverse terrain, great snow, lively après-ski scene, spectacular scenery, low budget, low crowds and easy travel access are a few examples.

       Diverse terrain, great snow, spectacular scenery,  low budget nice but not deciding factor

    2. What's your budget; high, medium or low?     Medium

    3. Do you have a general or specific destination in mind and what kind of terrain do you prefer; steeps, groomers, beginner, trees, bowls, etc?      Getting older now, so not too steep,  no bumps for me, but others in group will want them.  Would love easier glades with nice snow

    4. What is the approximate time frame of your trip and number of days?     about 1 week

    5. Do you want slopeside accommodations or are you ok with a short commute to get more for your lodging dollar?    Short commute is OK

    6. Is proximity to a major airport a high priority or is a more remote/exotic destination OK or preferred?    Not Necessary, can drive a bit

    7. Do you have a preferred gateway city such as Denver, SLC, Reno, etc. because of airline loyalty, a friend offering free lodging, or other reasons?    No

    8. Do you like lively/crowded/big mountains or would you consider a smaller, less crowded and perhaps more family friendly mountain?       Less crowded and friendly - not necessarily smaller

    9. Do you have any special requirements?   Not really,  but need both milder terrain for me, and tougher stuff for the younger

    Thanks !!!!!


  • oh,  no,  have not been to Aspen - I always thought it was for the rich & famous - but mayber thats changed a bit.... I'm sur eits an awesome mountain & area in general
  • Another vote for Aspen.  Complete resort with the best ski town I've ever been to.  More then enough to keep one occupied for a week +.   

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ
  • Rich and famous? At $150 a day plus lodging YOU better be rich.( or at least have a $7-800 season pass)

    Skied 7 yrs in. Row from 94-01 in Col, Utah , Jackson twice.if you need an ego check go to Jackson

    Just bring a lot of moolah
    When tickets hit $50 at Aspen in 95 I thought I was rich
  • My vote goes to Cal/Neva Lake Tahoe. You can't beat the weather of the variety of so many ski resorts within an hours drive. You have the mega resorts, and the medium sized locals resorts, all of which can keep you entertained.

    Lodging variety runs from super cheap to expensive.

    I love the accessibility of the non-stop from JFK to Reno.  

  • How about Interior British Columbia.  Exchange rate is still great and crowd are much smaller than the popular US places.  Silver Star, Big White, Sun Peaks if you're looking for a bigger places.
  • JimK I count FIVE great ski areas if you base out of Glenwood Springs!  
    ;)

  • I really enjoyed Sun Valley.  It's just a few hours drive from SLC, and, depending on your timing, you can hit one of the SLC areas before you fly out.
  • skipro77 said:

    I really enjoyed Sun Valley.  It's just a few hours drive from SLC, and, depending on your timing, you can hit one of the SLC areas before you fly out.

    Mmmm. SLC to Sun Valley is more like 4 1/2 hours driving. Better to fly into Boise (2 1/2 hrs) and maybe ski Bogus Basin going to or from or Twin Falls (1 1/2 hrs).
    JMHO
  • Those interior BC areas look awesome .. I had never even heard of them ..........
  • Well, VT is west of me!
  • gimme789 said:

    Those interior BC areas look awesome .. I had never even heard of them ..........

    Went to interior BC 4 years in a row, love it out there.  Went to Northern BC 2 years ago, that was fun too, but much smaller places.  Stayed East and did Quebec last year.  If you like to avoid crowds it's often a good idea to go to places most people have never heard of.  And as I mentioned the exchange rate is still great right now.  I think my favorite off the beaten path US place might be Discovery in MT.  Bogus that was mention above is also quite nice and super quiet (at least midweek), Brundage/Tamarack "up the road" are quite nice too.  Can get an airbnb in McCall nice and cheap.
  • edited October 2017
    gimme789, looking at your responses to questions it seems that your initial list of five places of interest are a good start.  Whistler hits just about all your criteria.  My only negative about the week I spent there was quite a bit of poor visibility days/moments.  Aspen-Snowmass is still a very good suggestion.  Jackson would hit most of criteria, but it does not have as much intermediate terrain for a week long stay.  Never been to Big Sky, but it might be a fine choice based on your interests and my book knowledge of the place.  Park City would also work.  In your previous trips to Utah did you ski there or over by Alta/Bird?  Never been to interior BC, but thinking of going to Banff this winter. Will report back:-)
    You don't say what month of the winter you are considering.  That can make a difference with crowds or weather. 
  • edited October 2017
    Mountain snow bowl Missoula
    And Lookout , Silver and Sweitzer
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  • JimK said:

    In your previous trips to Utah did you ski there or over by Alta/Bird? 

    You don't say what month of the winter you are considering.  That can make a difference with crowds or weather. 


    Yes, I skied both Alta & Snowbird - both excellent, haven't ruled out a return to Utah.  Perhaps looking to try new areas.  Not sure what month - probably Feb or March.  

     I will look into those Cisco.
  • ciscokid said:

    Mountain snow bowl Missoula
    And Lookout , Silver and Sweitzer
    image

    That area of the country is probably my #1 place to get back to for skiing.  Will wait til more of the expansions are competed though.  Since I've been there 49 North already expanded, Snow Bowl's should open this year, Lookout Pass and Spokane hopefully next year.  Love Schwietzer and Silver too!!!  Schwietzer would no doubt be the closest to a "destintaion" resort of that bunch.  Stayed slopeside at Snow Bowl, we were the only ones there, it was kinda interesting.  Never even saw anybody to check in or out.  They just left a key hanging on a wall somewhere along with an envelope with the lift tix.

    Anyway, there are tons of great places out there to be explored.  But if you want an uncrowded destination Schweitzer could be a good pick.  If your looking for more of a scene (which I know some people do), the lesser known places might not be ideal.  
  • Another place I would like to get to is Whitefish/ BIG MOUNTAIN. The rates to fly into Glacier airport are fair and they have a very reasonable slope side lodging and tons of terrain with probably plenty of acreage per person.

    Lake Louise / Banff are awesome and Big Sky as well
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  • A Jackson Hole/Grand Targhee combo is always a great choice.
  • LiftGuy said:

    skipro77 said:

    I really enjoyed Sun Valley.  It's just a few hours drive from SLC, and, depending on your timing, you can hit one of the SLC areas before you fly out.

    Mmmm. SLC to Sun Valley is more like 4 1/2 hours driving. Better to fly into Boise (2 1/2 hrs) and maybe ski Bogus Basin going to or from or Twin Falls (1 1/2 hrs).
    JMHO
    You can also fly SLC into Hailey - 10 miles south of Sun Valley. Sun Valley is awesome. No crowds, great skiing, great weather, great real town - Ketchum. It is truly a wonderful place.
  • gimme789 said:

    JimK said:




    Yes, I skied both Alta & Snowbird - both excellent, haven't ruled out a return to Utah.  Perhaps looking to try new areas.  Not sure what month - probably Feb or March.  

    New?  Seattle.  Crystal is huge and really good terrain, but Stephens Pass is also great, and areas with good reps in between, and then for a little distance you have the famous Mt Baker to the north. The city is a good visit for edge days. Generally easy travel to get there and go between areas. Portland would probably be similar but I have not been there.

  • edited December 2017
    Happy to report I got in on a western trip to Utah in March - Snowbasin and Powder Mountain -  I am STOKED !!!!!!!      Anyone have any comments or recommendations on these areas ?  thanks
  • edited December 2017
    gimme789 said:

    Happy to report I got in on a western trip to Utah in March - Snowbasin and Powder Mountain -  I am STOKED !!!!!!!      Anyone have any comments or recommendations on these areas ?  thanks

    Powder Mtn and Snowbasin are two interesting places that I only have one and two days each at, respectively.  They both have the feel more of very large day-areas, than destination resorts.  Where are you staying to ski them?  

    I like Snowbasin.  It has some spectacular terrain that ranges from easy to very challenging.  There are some places on that mtn that are super scenic.  The lodges are real nice and the food was good.  Powder Mtn is a little more homey and I found the terrain to be kind of sprawling and not as inspiring.  I would have benefited from having a local show me around to get to the best stuff.  I did do two cat rides there to ski nearby side-country and that was fun and kind of special as resort skiing goes.
    Old Utah trip report that includes discussion of these two:  http://www.dcski.com/articles/view_article.php?article_id=1285

    Bonus photo, near the end of a snowcat run at PowMow: 
    image

  • edited December 2017
    Pagosa Springs, CO
    Wolf Creek Ski area. 
    ~Rich~
  • ADKskier said:

    Pagosa Springs, CO
    Wolf Creek Ski area. 

    They might be too far south this winter, but that one (and southwest Colorado/Northern New Mexico in general) is on the bucket list.  for sure.  Get a good El Nino going and those places get hammered.

    Son in Denver and family place in Salt Lake have us pretty much crisscrossing Colorado and Utah for now.  Looks like a 2 stater in March visiting Steamboat Springs on the one leg and maybe Copper on the way back.  I'd love to hit Crested Butte on the way back but that may be a little heavy on the driving side.  

    Aspen has always been my favorite Ski Resort and we will make it back there, just not this year.

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ


  • Wolf Creek is reporting 80% open right now (and it's snowing), much better than the Summit areas, though the snowfall year-to-date is about the same (47"). Are they the Mad River Glen of Colorado?
  • Let's see, I've been to Aspen, Colo.; Heavenly, Calif.; Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Grand Targee, Idaho, I think, but It's on the Wyo. line. Sun Valley, Idaho, and Snowbird and Alta, Utah. No favorite. I liked 'em all.
  • edited December 2017
    mapnut said:

    Wolf Creek is reporting 80% open right now (and it's snowing), much better than the Summit areas, though the snowfall year-to-date is about the same (47"). Are they the Mad River Glen of Colorado?

    4aprice said:

    ADKskier said:

    Pagosa Springs, CO
    Wolf Creek Ski area. 

    They might be too far south this winter, but that one (and southwest Colorado/Northern New Mexico in general) is on the bucket list.  for sure.  Get a good El Nino going and those places get hammered.

    Son in Denver and family place in Salt Lake have us pretty much crisscrossing Colorado and Utah for now.  Looks like a 2 stater in March visiting Steamboat Springs on the one leg and maybe Copper on the way back.  I'd love to hit Crested Butte on the way back but that may be a little heavy on the driving side.  

    Aspen has always been my favorite Ski Resort and we will make it back there, just not this year.

    Alex

    Lake Hopatcong, NJ

    Well compared to other western resorts, yeah I would compare it to kind of a MRG. Lots of gnarly terrain, hike to summit and also some cat access. Snow is deep, this year not so much. They had plans to really expand the area about 9 years ago but I don't think that ever panned out. My family has a camp out there. Its an awesome place, I recommend it to anyone, plus Pagosa Springs is an awesome little town. 
    ~Rich~
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