Hit the Slopes and Save: Five Cheap Ski Vacations - Page 2
|Skiing at Loveland, Colorado (Ski Loveland)|
Snowbasin, Powder Mountain, and Wolf Mountain
Also easily accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport, Ogden is a fun town with an unexpectedly rowdy historic core. Just east in Ogden Valley is a pair of hidden gems: Powder Mountain and Snowbasin, as well as a great beginner's area at Wolf Mountain Resort. Powder Mountain claims over 7,000 skiable acres, but a good deal of it is accessible only by snowcat. Regardless, plenty of terrain is accessed by lift here, plus the vast tracts of side country that funnels you down to a bus stop. Snowbasin was the site of the downhill events at the 2002 Winter Olympics and mixes swank day lodges with superlative scenery, making this one of the county’s top spots for skiing. Don't miss the Shooting Star Saloon in dinky Huntsville for après-ski beers and Star Burgers (yes, that is a knockwurst on that cheeseburger). The Atomic Chalet B&B has rooms for two starting at $105 in spring ski season, $120 in winter, and numerous perks for skiers.
Just 60 miles west of downtown Denver on the east side of the Eisenhower Tunnel, Loveland Ski Area is a true local's hill for cheap skiing and plenty of room to roam. You’ll have 1,570 skiable acres and over 2,200 vertical feet, plus one of the highest summits of any ski area, some 13,010 feet above sea level. Lift tickets are $49 a day for adults until mid-December, when they tick up to $61. The nearest lodging and dining is in Georgetown, about 15 miles east, with a few motels and B&Bs with rates far lower than the higher profile resort areas. It's best to ski during the week, when lift lines and traffic are normally nearly negligible and head down to Denver on Friday, against the slope-bound traffic that often clogs I-70. Weekend rates at downtown hotels in the Mile High City can be surprisingly inexpensive.
Whitefish Mountain Resort
One of the few destination ski towns left on the Amtrak map, Whitefish is at the foot of Big Mountain, home to the Whitefish Mountain Resort in Northwest Montana. The big (3,000 acres) destination resort has plenty of lift-side lodging and legendary powder runs, but without the marquee price tag: Lift tickets are still under $70, night skiing is just $18, and often good, cheap skiing and hotel specials fall within the $100-per-person-per-day range. Don't miss the Bierstube, one of the best ski bars in the West (and be sure to ask the bartender for a free souvenir ring). Connected to the resort via a free ski shuttle, the town of Whitefish has a vibrant historic core and a wide variety of lodging. You’ll find winter rates are very reasonable. You can cross-country ski in town, on the mountain, and at the nearby Izaak Walton Inn on the south side of Glacier National Park.