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Ski trip

Torn ACL? Pfeh! Dave hasn't learned his lesson and wants to go skiing again. We had such a great time in Steamboat Springs that we're planning a return trip in Spring 2012.

When?

We're planning to fly from Atlanta on Wednesday, March 14, and return the following Tuesday, March 20. You're, of course, welcome to come earlier or stay later as your own plans allow.

Where?

Wonderful Steamboat Springs, located in northwest Colorado. We're choosing it based on our previous trip there, which we really enjoyed. We already know the lay of the land and want to revisit some spots from our prior vacation. Steamboat is also unusual among ski resorts in the U.S. in that there's a town very closeby, as opposed to being a stand-alone resort some distance away from nearby cities. There's also an excellent public transit service in Steamboat, which will keep us from having the added expense of renting a car.

I've already tracked down about two dozen vacation rentals in Steamboat that all cost $300 per person for seven nights or less. Ideally I'd like to find a spot either in town or between the town and the ski resort in order to give us the most flexibility. An early favorite is The Pines at Orehouse, which is located within walking distance of a grocery store and some of the outlying shops (including Starbucks).

How?

The closest airport to Steamboat Springs is Yampa Valley Regional (HDN) in Hayden, a pleasant half hour drive to the west. While a number of airlines service Hayden during ski season, Delta is the only one to offer non-stop service from Atlanta. It also doesn't hurt that Dave and Mischelle won a couple of free Delta flights at this year's Expedition Give, which were quickly earmarked for this trip!

The current round-trip fare on Delta is $310 inclusive and is the lowest available around that time (as of 1/23/12). Other fares for nearby dates can be found using the flexible date search at Orbitz; here's a snapshot of a recent search.

It's possible the rate will come down, as we paid just under $200 apiece for our trip in 2009, though that flight did include a connection.

Round trip shuttle service from Yampa Valley to Steamboat Springs runs $55 per person.

Why?

Skiing, of course! Lift tickets run $99 per day when purchased as a three out of four day pass. Longer passes are available at the same rate, but I'm not certain about shorter passes. Skis, boots and poles can be rented at a rate of $59 per day.

A better deal, however, looks to be the ski school package. For $289, you get the three out of four day pass, but also included is instruction on all three days and equipment rental. This is the way we skiied last time and seems the best way to go. Snowboarding school is also available in the same package and at the same price.

Skiing isn't the only fun to be had in Steamboat, however. We know we want to go snowmobile again, as it was one of the highlights of our previous visit to Steamboat. Saddleback Ranch offers two-hour tours, along with a great snow tubing hill at the lodge. The rate includes a two hour guided tour, as well as transportation to and from Steamboat Springs, and runs $105 per person (less if you're content to ride rather than drive).

We were disappointed to miss out on Strawberry Park Hot Springs last time and definitely want to make it this trip. The park has man-made natural stone pools and basic facilities. After dark the park goes clothing optional and is said to be a great place to stargaze (full moon jokes aside). Shuttle service from Steamboat Springs includes admission to the park and runs $35 per person.

There's even more things to check out in Steamboat: dog sledding, snowshoe tours, ice skating, and live music among others.

How do I get in?

Send Dave a message letting us know you're interested no later than Friday, October 21. Some of the rental properties offer special rates if we book before the end of October that we won't want to miss. I hope you can join us!

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skiing spring 2012.txt ยท Last modified: January 23, 2012 by Dave Leach

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