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Early winter in Aspen

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Houston
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Early winter in Aspen

First of all, this is a great site. I used it extensively when planning our last trip and was much the happier for it. Now we are planning a trip to Aspen the week after thanksgiving, and I am trying to figure out what our itinerary should look like.

We are not much into skiing. Okay, I confess. We're flatlanders who have never tried skiing. We do want to try snowshoeing and cross country skiing this time though. Have 2 daughters, 6 and almost 4 by the time we make the trip. Would appreciate any thoughts on how to get them involved in these activities. Any other suggestions for activities for kids would also be appreciated.

Also, is it possible to reach the Maroon Bells at that time of the year? We will have a rental car with us.

Boulder, Colorado
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1. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Start here for cross country skiing in Aspen:

http://www.utemountaineer.com/aspenxc.aspx

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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2. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Your daughters would probably have more luck with snowshoes (there are ones that are built just for kids). I did not have much luck teaching my 4 yo how to crosscounry ski. I also remember my youngest sister years ago struggling to keep up with us when she was 5. She hasn't skiied since!

Sometimes places rent sleds you can pull the kids behind you.

There probably will be snow, but with the strange weather lately, who knows how much.

Have fun.

Aspen, CO
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3. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Quite honestly, that time of the year will be a gamble for cross country and snowshoeing. If you are planning on coming anyway during that time and will try those sports if available that's great, but planning your trip around those sports being MUST do's is a pretty high risk.

For you as beginners in cross country you'll want to use the golf courses to start as they're groomed and relatively flat. They're at a lower altitude and get more full sun and it's possible they may not be skiable yet on mountain has snowmaking to one degree or another to start out the season, but cross country relys on 100% natural snow.

You will very likely not be able to drive up to the Maroon Bells that time of year either. Shuttle bus service ends in September, then self-drive service is usually done by the end of October depending on snowfall and the gates are closed.

I'd consider coming closer to Christmas for more reliable cross country, or go ahead and go skiing or snowboarding a try- all ages and abilities are welcome. You'll have plenty of that to do on-mountain at that time and the new Treehouse program in Snowmass will be opening Thanksgiving with the slopes and will be fantastic for your children to try.

Houston
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4. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Thanks for all the feedback. The point about crosscountry courses not being open is well-taken, however we are not planning the trip around cross-country ski (or any ski for that matter). As parents of young children would probably appreciate, just being with the family in scenic, cool surroundings (after suffering the Houston summer) itself is good enough.

We have already made the travel arrangements and anything in December puts us too close to our Christmas trip (Hilton Head SC).

Also, any opinions on the Hyatt Grand Aspen would be most welcome. Have seen the reviews but there are not many of those.

Houston
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5. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Forgot to mention, my younger daughter has never even seen snow and the older one has probably seen it once. If they get a chance to make snow angels or a snowman and mom gets time to relax, shop and dine/wine some, maybe go to a spa, the trip would be a resounding success. It's dad who is keen on the ski/snowshoe/hike part :-)

Boulder, Colorado
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6. Re: Early winter in Aspen

Only walked through the Hyatt but will say it is new, well appointed, contemporary in design and highly priced. At that level you could also consider St. Regis too. Their spa is one of the best on the planet according to my wife.

True, there may be too little snow to enjoy xc skiing but all those 14ners in the area should have plenty up top to look at. Most definitely cooler than Houston.

7. Re: Early winter in Aspen

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