Want to make it a winter to remember? Tick off these 25 must-do activities at our favorite winter resorts across the West.
Keep driving past Vail on a crazy busy powder day and enjoy Beaver Creek. It’s an old local secret that there are far fewer people and the occassional free cookie in the lift lin
Make full moon road laps on Loveland Pass. (Bonus points for nudity and alcohol.) This is one of our long time favorites. Just be sure to have proper avalanche gear and training.
Road trip to Targhee. When winter storms sweep through the idaho Plains and smash into the Tetons, Grand Targhee is the first ski area in the line of fire. As a result, this 2,602-acre gem situated in the shadow of the Grand Teton racks up snow totals north of 500 inches a year. While a certain neighboring high-profile resort gets loony on deep days, Targhee’s pace remains unrushed during big storms with empty lift lines, plenty of playful in-bounds and hike-to terrain and a heaping plate of Wydaho Nachos at the Trap Bar at the end of the day.
Ride the Ridge Cat at Loveland. Or skin to the top. Just 53 miles west of Denver, Loveland boasts 1,800 acres of remarkable terrain, FREE snowcat skiing along the Continental Divide, an innovative lesson program and more snow than any Front Range or Summit County resort. Bonus points if you wear a Jake Plummer Broncos jersey.
Shred Silverton Leave the big city behind and get your butt to Ouray. Check into the turn-of-the-century Hotel Ouray right downtown on Main & 6th. Once there you can cannonball into the local hot springs, enjoy a supremely cold beer, and maybe you can even get an ice climb in on the ridiculously amazing city run ice park in the remaining light hours. (To make this plan fly, you better feel your stomach bug coming on mid-day so you can ditch work while there is still plenty of daylight). The other benefit of staying in Ouray is once you wake up (feeling groggy and “sick”) you can be assured you have cell service, unlike most of downtown Silverton, to call your boss to deliver the bad news, “I’m taking a sick day.” Critical for the plan.
Camp in the parking lot at Berthoud Pass (to ski next day). The pass gets 500 inches of snow.
Buy weed AT High Country Healing in Alma and don’t make a big deal about it.
Hike Highlands Bowl. (Only counts if you do at least two laps.) The 782-foot slog to the top will get your endorphins firing and the ride down will blow your powder-loving mind.
Mow down the Dos Locos Happy Hour in Keystone.
Drink Champagne Supernova in the in-bar hot tub at 39 Degrees in Sky Hotel, Aspen.
NAB fresh tracks on Forever at Vail when a pass closure has kept Front Range hordes away (a.k.a. a Country Club Day).
Party with dirty telemarkers at the Ice Bar in Crested Butte.
Enjoy a Bacon Bloody at A-Basin and tailgate at The Beach.
Drop Jackon Hole Mountain Resort’s famed Corbet’s Couloir. or just visit when huckers are flipping off into it during the Kings and Queens of Corbet’s competition.
Hike Tucker at Copper. Accessible by snowcat and hiking, Tucker is an earn-your-turns backcountry experience, in-bounds.
Wiggle your butt in the bumps at Winter Park and Mary Jane.
Hit Wolf Creek on an early-season, mid-week powder day.
Pay tribute at to the ski god at Breckenridge’s Ullr Fest. According to the town, “Ulr Fest will celebrate 55 years January 9-13, 2019. The Town of Breckenridge invites snow lovers of all ages to join the party. During Ullr Fest in Breckenridge, don’t be surprised to see horned Viking hats adorning the heads of skiers and snowboarders, the biggest bonfire in town, and more than 12,000 Ullr enthusiasts filling the streets for the Ullr Parade with crazy float participants skiing off jumps on Main Street or gliding along town in a hot tub. Join us to rejoice with Ullr himself… he’s ready for a good party.”
Ski a 14er. Quandry Peak is a good place to start.
Enjoy margaritas in Minturn after you escape Vail via the ast backountry Minutrn Mile (and have your car parked there waiting for you).
Wait for an upslope STORM—and for I-70 to close—and bring your fatties to Eldora Mountain Resort. Or just head up with your laptop and work on th sly on the WiFi in the lodge while you sneak in runs.
Ski Purgatory and mountain bike Phil’s World on the same day (and drink wine in sunny Cortez).
Pay homage at the 10th Mountain monument and snowcat ski at Ski Cooper.
Brave the Baldy Chutes at Alta.
Tie the knot or renew your vows at the top of Loveland on Valentine’s day … then have your “reception” at the Rathskeller.