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Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

Texas
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Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

Hello - We are planning our first trip to Colorado for sometime in February. We are planning to fly into Denver (cheap tickets) and drive to either Steamboat or Breckenridge. Will we be okay with renting a car, or do we need an SUV? Are these easy drives assuming there isn't a blizzard? We are not used to driving on snow or ice.... Thanks!

Summit County...
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1. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

The drive to Steamboat can be difficult. It is rare in winter not to see an accident. Know that Rabbit Ears Pass is long, your up high with often windy conditions. The most trouble I have seen is folks driving to fast on what they think are clear roads, then come around a corner and hit a patch of ice. It is common to get some snow melt, even in winter, then the suns sets and you have random icy spots.

Also there are long stretches of road where there is not any cell coverage. At least it used be that way. It has been awhile since I have done the drive. Maybe someone else can verify if it is still that way.

Also watch out for wildlife crossing the roads. I have seen 2 terrible crashes with deer vs.. car and one I'd like to forget, deer vs.. motorcycle.

The drive to Breck is typically fine, though this winter been harder. Typically a car is fine along as the tires are in good shape.

Not to scare you... I'd still go to Steamboat over Breckenridge.

jersey
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2. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

Drive to Steamboat could be in varying conditions from dry to ice/snow covered roads as mentioned above. For peace of mind, better have a 4x4 SUV especially since you are not used to driving in the white stuff.

Colorado
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3. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

I'd have to agree with Steamboat being the best - as far as Beauty. As far as drving...well have fun with that. I have to echo what the previous posters have said. but also add that you will need to have plenty of time..and Pateince. DO NOT think that because you have a 4X4 that you're immune to sliding and poor breaking action. Also this winter has been particularly harsh and snowy. there are a couple of ways to get to Steamboat - most of which can be very treacherous, but have varying degrees of beautiful scenery. And yes most places - especailly near Walden/Gould have no cell service and is virtually barren of human life. BE CAREFUL. GO SLOW and don't be in a hurry. it can take most of the day to get to Steamboat either way from Denver. You can take I-70 to Wolcott then north through the Yampa Valley to Steamboat, or can take I-25 north through Fort Collins up over Rabbit ears pass and down into Steamboat. (beautful drive - just amazing - but more difficult IMO) Oh and another drive is I-70 West north from Empire through Winter Park and Grandby west through Hot Sulpher Springs and up to Steamboat. The most beautiful drive is through Rocky Mountain National Park and over form there - but the road is impassible and closed in the winter months. Breckenridge and all the towns/resorts along I-70 is an easier, closer drive, but is generally more crowded, and I-70 on big ski weekends can be jammed with traffic. And not to scare you, but nothing in the mountains is and "easy" drive in the winter for someone who's not used to it......The roads are well maintained most of the time, but snowstorms can come up suddenly and blow with brutal force.

Glenwood Springs...
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4. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

I lived in College Station for 12 years, and unless you are more experienced than most in that area when it comes to driving on snow, go to Breck. It's closer to Denver and the roads are NORMALLY better. As the previous post mentioned, the wind can create serious problems. The route to Steamboat is 2 lane and for the most part has no option to pull off and stop somewhere should the weather turn bad. Again, not to scare you, but the drive to Steamboat could be more challenging. Breck has a great atmosphere and lots of good runs. With Frisco, Silverthorne and Dillon near by, there is something for everyone. If you do go to Breck, stop in Denver at the King Soopers and get discount lift tickets.

Texas
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5. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

Thanks everyone for the advice! We have decided to go to Breckenridge. Just trying to decide between renting a car (which is cheaper) and taking the shuttle. Maybe the best option is to reserve a car, check the weather when we leave, and if it's going to be okay for the time we are there, go ahead and drive. Otherwise, we may just take the shuttle so we don't have to worry about it....

6. Re: Driving from Denver to Steamboat or Breckenridge

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