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Wanting to see snow within reasonable DRIVING distance from Southeast Texas

Wanting to see snow within reasonable DRIVING distance from Southeast Texas

Old Nov 21st, 2012, 04:18 PM
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Wanting to see snow within reasonable DRIVING distance from Southeast Texas

We are wanting to take a family trip with our children & grandchildren to an area within a reasonable driving distance from Southeast Texas to an area with snow for Christmas. We are NOT wanting to go to one of the crowded ski resort areas, because we mainly just want the grandchildren to see & play in the snow...maybe snow tubing, riding snowmobiles, sleigh ride...those kind of activities. We would prefer a place that we could rent individual cabins, nice, but not overly priced. We had thought about NM, CO, or even TN, etc...just a little worried about driving conditions. We are actually wanting to plan this for Christmas 2013, but wanted to get the information together ASAP....start saving money in other words! Does anybody have any suggestions? Thank you!
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 05:53 PM
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Colorado has a lot of snow in the winter. That would be my choice.

It's too bad you've ruled out ski resort areas, because they are invariably located where there is snow, they cater to families, and they offer all kinds of snow-related activities and equipment.

I avoid snowy areas because I don't like to put chains on tires.

HTtY
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Old Nov 21st, 2012, 06:18 PM
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Ruidoso NM would work IF they have snow by Christmas.

http://www.ruidoso.net/

From there, heading north -- Santa Fe then Taos in NM.

Heading into Colorado -- Durango and Pagosa Springs.

The best chance to be sure to see snow is Pagosa Springs; it gets the most snow in the SW.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2012, 06:23 AM
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We had ruled out the ski resort areas thinking they would probably be so crowded & likely, very expensive. Have you been to any of the resorts? What is your opinion & which ones? Difficult to drive?
Thanks!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2012, 06:25 AM
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To DebitNM..... Heading Nort, like going through Amarillo, TX? Also, are the roads usually passable into Pagosa Springs, or must you have chains on your tires? Thanks for the information & help!
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 03:19 PM
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In terms of Colorado ski resort areas, yes they tend to be expensive, or at least more expensive.

You could scout out some of the smaller resorts, such as Winter Park - I'm not sure what kind of activities like snowmobiling area in the area, but you could check, and the prices for housing around there would be less than, for example, near Vail or Aspen. But the comment was correct, that ski resort towns will have all of those other activities that you mentioned. So if you're willing to deal with higher-priced lodging, and were going to mostly cook for yourselves anyway, the upside of lots of snow activities may make a ski resort worth visiting.

Als, the ski resorts will be easier to get to, in terms of snow and snowy weather, because they work their hardest to make it easy to people to get to the resorts in the winter.

Snow conditions. Of course I have to generalize, as whether or not it snows in winter is unpredictable, except that yes, it will snow in winter on some days, and not on others. Any of the major highways, especially highway 70 which goes west through the Colorado mountains, are very well maintained. In addition to being a major trucking route, many Colorado residents and business make their living from tourists getting to the ski resorts, so the state does a very good job of keeping the roads clear. Smaller roads or highways, less so, of course (For example, the road from I-70 to Winter Park will be more likely to have snow than I-70 will). But most of the time, they are driveable for just about everybody, barring a big snowstorm.

If the roads are bad enough for normal cars (as opposed to semis) to need chains, then none of us should be on the road. I've lived in Colorado for 19 years, and used to have chains, but don't for my current car. And that's from someone who drives from Denver to ski resorts in the mountains pretty much every weekend in the winter, because I have a daughter who's a ski racer. Long way of saying, it's really, really rare for anybody to need to drive with chains.
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Old Nov 24th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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Christmas is the most expensive time. Snowmobiling is usually pretty expensive and they don't let children drive them(normally they just ride behind someone.

How old are the kids? Most kids love skiing and learn fast.

I somewhat agree and disagree with Lexma. I have been really glad to have been in a 4 wheel drive vehicle each time I have been skiing in CO(5 times-not nearly as many as Lexma). Not that the roads were bad, but there can be snow in the parking lots and around the ski resorts(they do clear those too). Sometimes this just occurs for the morning until they have it cleared. Do you have at least have a front wheel drive vehicle?

Winterpark is a great idea. I really like the tubing hill at Keystone.

Places like Angelfire might be less expensive. I have never been to Ruidoso, but I would imagine it would be even less money. I have no idea when the season starts there.

I have not been to Gatlinburg to snow ski, but they do have tubing, skiing, etc. Plus, if you don't have snow, then there is still plenty of other options. I would think driving conditions would be easy. Now this place only has about 3 lifts or so and would be considered very very small compared to most of the resorts in other places.
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Old Nov 25th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Spriobulldog had a very good point - yes, you want to have a car with 4-wheel drive if possible. I see cars without it, of course, but it is helpful on snow-covered streets and if it snows while you're there. I forgot about that, as the car we drive into the mountains is a 4-wheel drive, so I'm used to that being part of our driving. Not so necessary in other parts of the U.S!
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Old Nov 26th, 2012, 07:43 AM
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I'm pretty sure you can find some snow near Capitan NM.
The kids will love to learn about Smokey Bear.
The mountain is north-east of the town.
When you are tired of the cold white stuff you can go to see the warmer white gypsum at White Sands National Monument.
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Old Dec 5th, 2012, 12:44 PM
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If they have snow, a good place to go would be Cloudcroft, NM. Very doable drive from Texas. Would probably not have sleigh rides, but does have snowmobiling.

We stayed at this place chosen by frugal friends. The "cabins" are rustic and old but affordable at Christmas:

http://www.cloudcroftnm.com/christmas.htm

The problem with ruling out ski areas is that they are the ones most likely to have sleigh rides, snowmobiling, etc. But then finding affordable lodging at Christmas will be difficult. That is the high season for just about any place.
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