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Old 08-08-2015, 12:50 PM
 
275 posts, read 220,354 times
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When skiing season arrives I'd love the chance to finally cross this off my bucket list (never skied before), and was wondering if these two areas west of the Springs have good beginner options for those who have never skied before? Do skiers living in the Springs like these destinations, or do they tend to go north where the more popular ones are (west of Denver)?
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Old 08-08-2015, 02:52 PM
 
Location: Clay Center, KS
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Monarch is cheap and easy to get to. The Ski Shop has a ski bus that travels from the Springs to Monrach up to 2 times a month. It's around $50 round trip inclusive of lift tickets. You can enroll for lessons online or when you get to Monarch. It is very convenient and after the end of the day when you are tired and sore, it's nice to just sit back and relax and leave the driving to someone.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:39 PM
 
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I second Monarch for beginning skiers - I've only been downhill skiing a couple of times but when I did go we went to Monarch and they good slopes and lessons for beginners.
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Old 08-08-2015, 03:54 PM
 
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Wolf Creek is excellent- about the same size as Monarch and no crowds. They historically get the most snow of ANY resort in Colorado.

They also have a nice area for beginners too but are more known for the snow.

The hot springs in Pagosa are awesome after a day in the pow pow.
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Old 08-08-2015, 04:59 PM
 
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I've only visited Pagosa in passing, gorgeous looking town. If I go to Wolf Creek it'll largely be so I can rope in a visit to Pagosa as well.

Thanks for mentioning Ski Shop, that's an idea to consider. I'm pretty flexible in when I can take time off too, any recs on the best time to go before the crowds start to really show up?
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Old 08-08-2015, 07:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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I've only been to Monarch and really enjoy it there. It isn't a hard drive (I prefer taking 24, but some like highway 50). My daughter and I have taken lessons there, the staff is terrific! They have a caterpillar to bring you to the top of the bunny hill so you don't have to try a ski lift and learn how to ski at the same time.

Though you can get a combination package of lift ticket, rental, and lesson in one, I much prefer to stop at Mount Shavano Ski shop Mt. Shavano Ski and Snowboard Shop - Monarch Ski rentals, custom bootfitting, sales and service in Salida Colorado The pick up area for the rentals at Monarch is frustrating and insane on a weekend.
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Old 08-08-2015, 08:47 PM
 
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You can't really go wrong either way. It would be more a matter of travel options -- Wolf Creek is a much farther drive and more of a climb, but as the other poster said, there's Pagosa Springs, although it is over the pass. Monarch is closer, and there's Salida's hot springs (not as scenic as Pagosa, but the water is fine) and other Salida amenities. Both ski areas are pretty bare-bones operations, not a lot of base-area sidelines like Breck or Vail. I did have some of the best green chili stew I ever tasted at W.C., but that was many years ago.

enjoy.
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Old 08-09-2015, 05:09 PM
 
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Thanks for the suggestions all! I think Monarch will be my first stop, but I may opt to visit both locations just to sightsee a bit before skiing season starts too.
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Old 08-10-2015, 05:58 AM
 
Location: Las Vegas
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Last year was our first here - went to Monarch 4 times, enjoyed it so much I already have season passes for this next year. The good thing to me about Monarch is the lift lines are almost nonexistent. The runs are short, but due to the quick lines at the lift - you can literally get in 8-9 runs in an hour. We normally get there as it opens at 9AM and are tired by 2PM. Good luck!
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Old 08-10-2015, 10:16 PM
 
275 posts, read 220,354 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esas View Post
Last year was our first here - went to Monarch 4 times, enjoyed it so much I already have season passes for this next year. The good thing to me about Monarch is the lift lines are almost nonexistent. The runs are short, but due to the quick lines at the lift - you can literally get in 8-9 runs in an hour. We normally get there as it opens at 9AM and are tired by 2PM. Good luck!
Glad you had a nice time there!
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