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Overnight Colo Mtn from Denver 1st April

Old Jan 18th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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Overnight Colo Mtn from Denver 1st April

I will be in Denver first weekend in April and will have from Sat noon until Sun 5 or 8pm flight free.
I love the mountains and have skied Winter Park several times as well as up in Summit County, but I haven't skied in a few years, will only have overnight and may be on my own, so I am thinking just to get up to the mountains and enjoy some scenery.

My question is where and how to do it?
I know Winter Park best, so I know a few things to do there. Would you recommend somewhere else? I'm really going for the scenery, but love being outdoors.

Winter Park- I could probably take Home James and avoid renting a car. True other places?
I could take the gondola up to Sunspot for lunch or dinner/fondue. Anyone done that?
My niece rode the snowcat tour once, but I don't know that I would want to do that.
I've never tried Cross Country Skiing, but with just overnight may not be the time to start.
Is there a good real sleigh ride around?
I've done snowmobile and it's not for me.

Someplace I should go that is not a ski resort?
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Old Jan 18th, 2016, 02:08 PM
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If you could be at the new Denver Amtrak station at 8AM you could ride up to Fraser/Winter Park on the California Zephyr.
If the train is running late (often happens) drive up in a rental car instead of waiting.
The return CZ is at Winter Park/Fraser at 3:50PM and gets back to Denver at 6:38PM when it is on time. The view of the city coming down from WIP is great from the train.
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Old Jan 18th, 2016, 04:30 PM
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Oh geeze, tom, give it a rest.

April will be maybe with areas "closed" but you could go all the way to Aspen for the night and then the next day work your way back east. You would have a great view of the mountains on the way out and back.
Maybe stop for lunch in Frisco at a cute place
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 07:12 AM
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How about just heading up to Estes to visit RMNP? It's a shorter drive than some of your other options.

Rent some snowshoes and use them up at the Glacier Gorge / Bear Lake area. Scenery is superb and there are plenty of easy - moderate trails.
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 10:42 AM
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I would think you could definitely find skiing in the area for the first weekend April. Just pick a spot, rent a car and go!
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Old Jan 21st, 2016, 06:11 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions.

I think it may be one of those book the plane ticket, maybe a rental car, and wait until close to trip time to check weather and make decision for my free time.

Even a drive out and back the Interstate to Vail may give me the views I so enjoy. Unfortunately, the bus and train times may not work with the time my meeting ends and flight times. If icy/snow, I won't drive because I am so inexperienced in winter driving. My New Jersey born husband is my designated snow/ice driver.

I would probably require a lesson just to learn how to put on a snowshoe, though it is something that intrigues me. I have only been to RMNP once in the summer, so I will check that out closer to the date to see what is open around there too.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2016, 07:25 PM
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Best to avoid driving over Vail pass and through the tunnel on Sunday during ski season. Could take four or five hours. Vail ski area doesn't close till April 10. Might mess up plane ride home.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 07:32 AM
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You could also just ski as a day trip from Denver - Arapahoe is open until June usually. I'm not sure about Loveland's closing date but you don't have to go over the pass or tunnel so it's a very easy drive from Denver for the day.

Looks like you are also open to snowshoeing as well, the Bear/Dream lake trails in RMNP are great in the winter and they keep the road to the trailhead very well plowed.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 08:19 AM
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> I would probably require a lesson just to learn how to put on a snowshoe

I'm living proof that it does not require a great deal of skill or talent. You'll do fine.
I happened to be up snowshoeing at Glacier Gorge yesterday. An absolutely spectacular day.

Have fun whatever you decide.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 10:58 AM
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Snowshoes are no longer the Indian/inuit type with the big tails, etc. so take heart. It's a real workout for sure.
If Keystone or Copper is open, that would be a nice ski also.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2016, 09:56 PM
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Gretchen is correct, using snowshoes can be a real workout, especially at 9,000'. But nothing like the old wooden ones.

And unless there has been recent snowfall, the popular RMNP trials will be packed down so you don't have to break trail. Breaking trail is indeed the hard part.

If you are interested here is photo of where we were in Glacier Gorge on our snowshoes yesterday, some 2.5 miles from the trailhead:
http://nelsonchenkin.zenfolio.com/p5...c2cb#h68b5c2cb

Once again, have a great trip however it plays out.
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Old Jan 24th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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Gorgeous photos.
I can go somewhere overnight on Sat so drive somewhere on Sat afternoon, spend Sun morn, then drive to airport on Sun afternoon.
The Sun ski traffic on I-70 sounds horrendous.
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Old Jan 24th, 2016, 03:44 PM
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I went snowshoeing for the first time this weekend at Beaver Creek. I chose to take the "tour" because a) I'd never done it before and b) I can get lost hiking, so I was a little concerned. Anyway, putting on the snowshoes and walking in them is easy. Going uphill at altitude (we were at 10,000 feet) is like walking uphill at altitude. We snowshoes on groomed trails, single-track trails (not groomed, but a trail created by other snowshoers) and through fresh powder (which I wouldn't recommend it you're alone, it can be hard to get up!). I loved it and will definitely do it again (I also love to hike). The views from McCoy Park (the snowshoe and cross country ski area)at Beaver Creek are gorgeous.
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