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Non Region Specific 2024 Ski Road Trip Planning

fatbob

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Kinda done the Northern part of that a couple of times over a few weeks at Xmas ex DEN. On an Ikon base pass made WP and Steamboat en route stops and took a couple of blackout days between SLC and Copper in Bryce to Arches.

Of course Aspen and JH have taken themselves off the base pass and lodging has skyrocketed since so glad I did it when I could.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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Aww, too bad! You're going to drive by a bunch of genuine dirtball ski areas on the way between these Mountain Collective resorts. But it still sounds fun!

The segment you have mapped between Jackson and Aspen is a lot of very empty, very lightly-traveled country prone to bitter cold, raging wind, and blowing snow. If you head across there, definitely carry plenty of emergency supplies just in case. Better, I'd say, would be to just go back through Utah. Stay somewhere close to Altabird on your Phoenix-Salt Lake leg, then stay in Ogden/ski Snowbasin between Jackson and Aspen. The time you save on Salt Lake traffic will cancel out the extra travel time from avoiding the Wyoming Whiteout.

For sure, our first idea was to visit the lesser known and budget friendly areas. But the MCP allows visiting the big names at a great price, although creating another issue with lodging prices.

Jackson to Glenwood Springs does present a challenge. Appreciate all the feedback. Hadn't thought about returning to SLC but will check it out.

What about I-80 east from Rock Springs to Creston, then south on 13 thru Craig to Rifle?

For sure, I take precautions for winter travel, including extra food, water and fuel, and two sleeping bags. I have full sized 4WD pickup, chains, sandbags for extra weight over the rear axle.

Thanks again for all the tips! Keep 'em coming!
 

Pajarito-bred

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What about I-80 east from Rock Springs to Creston, then south on 13 thru Craig to Rifle?
Yes that's a much better route if there's snow --or wind, blowing around pre-fallen snow. Not great, but a whole lot better.... Dutch John to I-80 is along a high tree-less ridge, I've driven it to Jackson but only when I've known it's decent weather.

Kinda hard to avoid any night driving unless you take a whole day between areas. You could pencil in an option to pony up for a day at Wolf Creek, Monarch, Brianhead, etc, and spend a couple nights in-between spendy resort towns -- Salida or Buena Vista instead of Summit County, for example. Still plenty of brewery options. Maybe Leave a night open in-between each set of resort lodging dates for weather and powder flexibility.
Aww, too bad! You're going to drive by a bunch of genuine dirtball ski areas on the way between these Mountain Collective resorts. But it still sounds fun!
Yes--if you mean dirt ball, and aren't just saying dirt ball, you need include at least one true "dirt ball" ski day such as Cooper (not Copper....), Loveland, Beaver, Bridger, or something-- Sunlight qualifies, too. Silverton, if your ski expertise and budget allow. Also on your dirt ball agenda could be the free Warren Miller tomato soup lunch in the mountain-top lodge at Sun Valley-- two free ketchup packs in a free cup of hot water with free crackers.

I guess if I was going to splurge on lodging it would be to get convenient spots at Snowmass and Big Sky rather than do a longish daily commute to ski those.
Yeah, dirt-ball part of the trip so you can splurge in a couple of key spots. There's some older studios and a junky hotel (Wildwood) at Snowmass with great locations. Rationalize the bus-fare savings to spend on beer.

Pretty good for a first draft-- You could save Aspen for the second leg, Driving SLC to Aspen is a whole lot better than Aspen to Jackson, and you'd have a (little) better option from Summit County to Jackson, Hwys 9 and 40 (over Rabbit Ears Pass) to Craig then north. The drive home from Aspen isn't worse than hwy 89 SLC to PHX, (except you lose the I-15 option to avoid weather). Disclaimer: Actual driving weather may be inversely proportional to powder conditions.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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I highly recommend using the Google Maps "Save" feature for trips like this...

Make different lists to organize all your pins...either by location (one for each location on your list), or type of place (food, accommodation, skiing, etc). As you read through this forum/trip reports/blog articles/etc. and find something you're interested in...pin it with a quick note of why you pinned it. The note is important! Otherwise, you'll be wondering why you pinned it in the future. These lists give you a quick reference for places you're staying, skiing, and options for food (or other points of interest). I find it very useful after a long day and deciding "where do you want to eat"...just pull up your "food" list, and you have a bunch of recommendations at your fingertips.

And here's a couple recommendations of places I've enjoyed...
SLC Area: Localz Bistro in Sandy, UT - The husband and I were both incredibly happy with the food served...so good.
Little Saigon in SLC - If you like Vietnamese food...go here. Don't judge a book its cover, the food is ah-mazing. I would be a regular, if I lived closer.
Big Sky: Beehive Basin Brewery in Big Sky had some great beers...it's been 7 or 8 years since I've visited though, so not sure if it's changed.

Does your map look like this ? LOL Thanks for the recs!

GoogMap.jpg
 

noncrazycanuck

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have never ski tripped in that area so no local knowledge but have done a lot of long ski trips.

Always drive to next stop as soon as you get the boots off. Get in as many miles in daylight as you can, dinner can wait until you check in.

For 2 drivers often used a timer. Set it for a couple of hours and swap when it goes off. You get a bit of fresh air, some movement and don't tighten up as much up.
Also helps stop the passenger getting too bored and falling asleep.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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OK, so brother has secured his airline tickets. Overall time period has been shortened somewhat and so we will forego visits to A-Basin and Taos. This is ok by me because A-Basin is not one of those outrageously priced tickets, and a trip up there should rightfully include visits to Breck/Keystone/Copper/Loveland anyway, so we will save that for future. And Taos, oh well. Fact is, it is within a day's drive for me, there is an annual gathering there, and the SkiWeek idea is very attractive to me. So skipping the possible two days there this trip is fine and it will still be high on my target list for future.

Here is the itinerary V2:

Trip Map V2.jpg

I have secured accommodations at all stops, no prepay, all cancellable within 24 hours prior. Leaves some flex to change plans and to keep looking for alternate/cheaper/closer stays.

As it stands:
Leaving Phoenix on Feb 23.
8 nights in SLC, 6 ski days Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin with a rest day.
Day off to drive to Hailey ID
3 nights in Hailey, 2 days skiing at Sun Valley
Day off to drive to W. Yellowstone MT
3 nights in W. Yellowstone, 2 days skiing at Big Sky
Day off to drive to Driggs, ID
3 nights in Driggs, 2 days skiing at Grand Targhee
No drive day off, we will checkout early and drive to Jackson Hole in the morning
2 nights in Jackson, 2 days skiing at Jackson Hole.
Day off to drive to Glenwood Springs.
4 nites in Glenwood Sp, 3 days skiing at Aspen/Snowmass.

As you can see, we have made the choice for budget accommodations with a commute for Big Sky and Aspen but will keep a lookout if something pops up. Overall average per night stay for the trip is $138. Most include breakfast and a hot tub. Not too bad to split with two people.

I have made the required reservations for skiing with the MC pass at Big Sky and Jackson Hole. Will do the same for Aspen/Snowmass as soon as we figure out the split.

That leaves three days to get home from Aspen, which means we can add in at least one more day somewhere or even break up the drive home with a stop - Wolf Creek perhaps...

Now collecting intel on restaurants, breweries or other distractions. Parking situations at each place. Trail map exploration for planning where to ski. Checking out if any demo days might coincide with our visit. etc, etc. Also anticipating the possibilities to meet-up with other PugSkiers if it works out.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Keep them coming!!
 
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silverback

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You’ll get your fill of glitz on this trip. Next year you can get an Indie pass and dirt ball where that is the thing. The following year do the powder highway in Canada!
 

Bill Miles

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OK, so brother has secured his airline tickets. Overall time period has been shortened somewhat and so we will forego visits to A-Basin and Taos. This is ok by me because A-Basin is not one of those outrageously priced tickets, and a trip up there should rightfully include visits to Breck/Keystone/Copper/Loveland anyway, so we will save that for future. And Taos, oh well. Fact is, it is within a day's drive for me, there is an annual gathering there, and the SkiWeek idea is very attractive to me. So skipping the possible two days there this trip is fine and it will still be high on my target list for future.

Here is the itinerary V2:

View attachment 215764

I have secured accommodations at all stops, no prepay, all cancellable within 24 hours prior. Leaves some flex to change plans and to keep looking for alternate/cheaper/closer stays.

As it stands:
Leaving Phoenix on Feb 23.
8 nights in SLC, 6 ski days Alta, Snowbird, Snowbasin with a rest day.
Day off to drive to Hailey ID
3 nights in Hailey, 2 days skiing at Sun Valley
Day off to drive to W. Yellowstone MT
3 nights in W. Yellowstone, 2 days skiing at Big Sky
Day off to drive to Briggs, ID
3 nights in Briggs, 2 days skiing at Grand Targhee
No drive day off, we will checkout early and drive to Jackson Hole in the morning
2 nights in Jackson, 2 days skiing at Jackson Hole.
Day off to drive to Glenwood Springs.
4 nites in Glenwood Sp, 3 days skiing at Aspen/Snowmass.

As you can see, we have made the choice for budget accommodations with a commute for Big Sky and Aspen but will keep a lookout if something pops up. Overall average per night stay for the trip is $138. Most include breakfast and a hot tub. Not too bad to split with two people.

I have made the required reservations for skiing with the MC pass at Big Sky and Jackson Hole. Will do the same for Aspen/Snowmass as soon as we figure out the split.

That leaves three days to get home from Aspen, which means we can add in at least one more day somewhere or even break up the drive home with a stop - Wolf Creek perhaps...

Now collecting intel on restaurants, breweries or other distractions. Parking situations at each place. Trail map exploration for planning where to ski. Checking out if any demo days might coincide with our visit. etc, etc. Also anticipating the possibilities to meet-up with other PugSkiers if it works out.

Thanks for all the suggestions so far! Keep them coming!!
Nitpicky, but it is Driggs, not Briggs.
 

David Chaus

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Looks like an awesome road trip.

If you are interested in meeting up Feb 29 or March 1 while you are in SLC, send me a PM.

I will overlap with you on my own road trip, as I am heading to Sun Valley for a few days Feb 24-25, then a camp at Snowbasin Feb 26-28, then a couple days in the SLC area Feb 29 and March 1 before heading to Reno for the Gathering.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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Briggs, Driggs... whatever! :cool:
 

Crank

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If you hit Wolf Creek stay in Pagosa Springs and soak in the hot springs by the river in the center of town.

I think I already listed a bunch of Jackson, WY eating and drinking establishments.

I remember a popular and good Mexican joint in Salt Lake called the Red Iguana.
 

Lane Myer

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If you hit Wolf Creek stay in Pagosa Springs and soak in the hot springs by the river in the center of town.

I think I already listed a bunch of Jackson, WY eating and drinking establishments.

I remember a popular and good Mexican joint in Salt Lake called the Red Iguana.
Second the Red Iguana reco. Awesome place.
 

New2

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Red Iguana is probably great for your brother from back east. After living for years in Phoenix and San Diego, I found every visit disappointing. Cotton Bottom is a genuine dirtball destination with great garlic burgers on the way back from Altabird, and Del Mar al Lago has great Peruvian food.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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I have made the required reservations for skiing with the MC pass at Big Sky and Jackson Hole. Will do the same for Aspen/Snowmass as soon as we figure out the split.

Ok, so FYI... MC reservation at Aspen/Snowmass is good for any mountain. The guy on the phone said you could ski all four mountains in the same day if you wanted. :roflmao:
 

Jim Kenney

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I'll be real interested to hear how the parking situation works out for you at these different places. Take notes;-)
You will love the simplicity of Grand Targhee in that regard. Unless you find close-to-lifts parking that isn't too expensive to share with your brother, the free parking at several places such as Jackson Hole and Aspen is going to require you to factor-in free shuttle bus rides to get from lots to lifts.
I might be able to join you for a couple hours on the day you visit Snowbird if I don't have a conflict. I will be skiing it frequently for several months this winter.
 
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teejaywhy

teejaywhy

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I'll be real interested to hear how the parking situation works out for you at these different places. Take notes;-)
You will love the simplicity of Grand Targhee in that regard. Unless you find close-to-lifts parking that isn't too expensive to share with your brother, the free parking at several places such as Jackson Hole and Aspen is going to require you to factor-in free shuttle bus rides to get from lots to lifts.
I might be able to join you for a couple hours on the day you visit Snowbird if I don't have a conflict. I will be skiing it frequently for several months this winter.
Resigned to paying or taking shuttles at JHMR and Aspen, although I did find what seems to be a free ($25/Day - not free but easy in/out) lot at the base of the Two Creeks chair at Snowmass.

Will ping you when closer to time. We unfortunately will be skiing on a weekend for two of our SLC visit days. Not ideal but...
 

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