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5 Tips for a Stress-Free Ski Trip This Year

Our insider's guide to beating traffic, skipping lines, and keeping your cool.

Travel Tips Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Let's admit it, we've been a little out of practice with our adventure travel routines. But most of us are ready to load up the rocket box and hit the snow with a vengeance this month, making up for all the lost time and recreation of the last two years.

Rebound travel is making for bigger-than-usual crowds, and unusually dry conditions mean more of us are sharing fewer trails. Not to worry; the snow has at last been flying, and it’s still possible to plan a stress- and crowd-free getaway this ski season.

Make it an overnight.

Day trips are great, but the I-70 5 p.m. parking lot is 10x worse over the holidays. Opt out by booking a few days at a Nordic resort or guest ranch. Hit the trails after breakfast, get in a solid day's ski, then roll to the hot tub and gourmet dinner and sleep it off under down comforters. Devil's Thumb, Latigo, and Vista Verde all hit that luxury note, while off-the-beaten-path folks will love Tennessee Pass's comfy yurts or the budget- and family-friendly lodge rooms at Snow Mountain Ranch.

Check trail conditions often.

Check trail conditions often. Resorts offer daily reports, grooming schedules and condition reports online, which can help you plan your day and your workout down to the letter while finding first tracks or avoiding closed trails.

Book in advance.

If COVID has taught our industry anything, it’s helped Nordic centers and guest ranches become super efficient by relying on online booking and advanced reservations when possible. Many centers are taking advanced reservations and have online booking portals for everything from gear rental to season passes and daily lessons.

Buy yourself some flexibility.

If traffic or conditions aren’t cooperating at your go-to XC-ski destination, check out the 2021-22 Punch Pass that lets snags you 18 passes shared across 10 different resorts for only $150, plus bonus discounts.

Keep the whole gang happy.

If you need to mix it up or have family members who don’t ski, you can still keep everyone busy outdoors—Nordic resorts, centers and guest ranches have a little something for everyone. You’ll find onsite tubing, hay rides, dog sledding, ice skating, fat biking, snowshoeing, gourmet dinners, back-country ski workshops, and more.

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