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White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

South Hedland
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White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

We are 2 more mature couples planning a white Christmas in Colorado next year. We won't be skiing but will enjoy a sleigh ride, or even some sledding. We would be wanting comfortable hotel accommodation with easy access to the local airport. We realise that it will be quite expensive given the time of the year. Some recommendations would be appreciated.

Charleston, South...
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for Charleston, South Carolina, Telluride
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1. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

To make it less expensive... consider areas that are not ski resorts. Ouray may be a smaller town than you are interested in, but it is a quaint former mining town high in the San Juan Mountains. About 1 hour from the Montrose, CO airport.

www.OurayColorado.com

www.visitmontrose.com

WestSlope,CO
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for Colorado
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2. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

Welcome to the Colorado forums!

Denver International Airport is the airport many visitors choose because there are lots of connections and good prices are often found. Denver is within two to four hours' drive or shuttle ride to ski resorts and several mountain communities that don't have ski resorts, such as Estes Park.

However, because of the number of ski resorts and increased winter travel, there are a number of smaller local airports very convenient to mountain areas where there's likely to be snow, both ski resorts and non-ski communities. In general, tickets to those airports are usually more expensive, but you may save on rental car or shuttle costs, and in some cases, lodging costs, as the hotels/resorts further from Denver are sometimes less crowded with more reasonable lodging. It is often more convenient to fly in to one of the smaller local airports. Endosunshine mentions Montrose, which is a reasonable drive to Ouray, Ridgway, Telluride, Grand Mesa, and Gunnison/Crested Butte. Gunnison has an airport, as well. There are several other similar options, such as Durango, Aspen, and Eagle. Grand Junction and Colorado Springs have airports, too.

There are lots of great choices and options for fun in the snow with comfortable hotels. It would be helpful if we knew whether you were planning on flying to Denver, or whether one of the smaller airports would be a possibility.

South Hedland
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3. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

Thank you for your prompt replies & suggestions. We will now begin our research. We have had Vail & Breckenridge suggested to us so it is nice to have some other ideas to consider. We (at this stage) plan to be flying in from San Fransisco so have not planned as such to fly into Denver necessarily, the smaller airports would be fine.

WestSlope,CO
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4. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

Vail and Breckenridge would certainly be good options. Of the two, I like Breckenidge for its historic town and off-the-Interstate location. Frisco is another option if you fly in to Denver, in addition to the previously mentioned Estes Park. Winter Park, too. The ski resorts and their nearby communities offer lots of non-ski activities..

Another good option---several of Colorado's guest ranches and resorts are open in the winter and offer a variety of activities.

Sounds like your biggest problem may be narrowing down your choices! A good problem to have!

Since you want a sleigh ride, you'll want to find a place that offers those. For example, endosunshine mentioned Ouray, but I don't think there's anyone offering sleigh rides there right now...you'd have to drive to Telluride for that. Telluride is an awesomely scenic, picturesque place with lots of non-ski activities, a variety of lodging choices, and great restaurants. It should certainly be in the running as a top choice. Durango has sleigh rides and also has the wonderful winter steam train ride (one of the top scenic & historic trains in the country, but it can't go all the way to Silverton in the winter...still a fun thing to do) Mesa Verde National Park is worth a winter visit, too, even though access to many sites is limited in the winter. In that same area you'll find Pagosa Springs, and I believe there are sleigh rides there. Crested Butte and Steamboat Springs would make my short list, too. Redstone is very picturesque and historic, too, and offers sleigh rides, plus it is within visiting distance of Glenwood Springs, Aspen, and Snowmass. Gotta look at Aspen, too.

Well, that should get you started! I'm sure others will chime in with good options I haven't suggested.

Each of the communities will have a searchable forum and information pages, and here are some community website links:

http://www.colorado.com/things-to-do

http://www.devilsthumbranch.com/

www.coloradoranch.com/ranches/our_ranches (when you look at the guest ranches, keep in mind the prices listed are all-inclusive for a week in the summer. Winter prices/activities will vary.)

http://www.redstonecolorado.com/

www.visittelluride.com/discover-telluride

http://www.gunnisoncrestedbutte.com/decided

skicb.com/things-to-do/winter-activities

http://www.durango.org/index.aspx

http://www.godurango.com/winter/winter.asp

visitpagosasprings.com/things-to-do/activiti…

townoffrisco.com/activities/…

http://www.gobreck.com/

winterpark.travel/about/winter-park-activiti…

vail.com/lodging-and-dining/explore-town/exp…

http://www.aspenchamber.org/

http://www.visitestespark.com/

Delavan, Illinois
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5. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

It sounds like you might enjoy a dude ranch that has winter operations. Colorado is a BIG state for lots of quality dude ranches. Not all of them operate during the winter, but some do. Here are a few to check-out:

thehighlonesomeranch.com/news_events/…

http://www.guestranches.com/clazyu/

http://www.guestranches.com/coulterlake/

http://www.guestranches.com/stgr/

http://www.guestranches.com/homeranch/

http://www.guestranches.com/vvr/

http://www.granbyranch.com/

top50ranches.com/ranch-vacations/41-latigo-r…

Sledding is as simple as going to the local discount store, buying a sled (or toboggan) and finding any nearby hill with snow on it. You walk up, you slide down.

Snow tubing is another option, a lot like sledding, but operated as a business at several locations around the state where they provide you with a lift to help you get up the hill. Here are some places to get more information on snow tubing:

colorado.com/activities/sledding-snowtubing

alltrips.com/vacations/colorado/snow-tubing/

vacationsinc.com/guide-to-winter-park/…

www.denveradventures.com/snow-tubing.html

Delavan, Illinois
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6. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

Also, coming from San Francisco, instead of flying, you could take the train. The Amtrak train from SF to Colorado is one with gorgeous mountain scenery, and it runs through a corridor in the middle of the state that would stop at some towns with excellent hotels and nearby offer the sort of winter activities you have mentioned.

amtrak.com/ccurl/930/454/Amtrak-California-Z…

Grand Junction, Glenwood Springs, Granby, and Fraser are all possible destinations in addition to Denver.

(In Fraser/Winter Park there is public transportation provided by the free local shuttle to the ski resort that services both towns.)

7. Re: White Christmas for 4 West Aussies

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