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Out West trip; your favorites? Need advice.

Cheese

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Big Sky/Moonlight Basin, Montana

You won't be sorry.

+1

I wonder how many people that recommend Jackson have been to Big Sky/Moonlight Basin? The terrain and snow conditions are almost identical. Maybe I should just be quiet as I'm happier having the crowds stay away from Montana.
 

mikestaple

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Shhhh. Don't talk about Big Sky/ Moonlight Basin.


Steamboat has a great town shuttle system. I would fly into Haden and then take Go Alpine to a condo. Stay near but not on the mountain (aka not ski on ski off). You'll be able to get a bigger place.

Then take the condo shuttle to the mountain and you can take the free city bus - or the condo shuttle - to where ever you want to go off mountain in Steamboat Springs.

For families - you can take the shuttle to the local equivalent of the YMCA and they have multiple natural hot springs. Or go more au-natural and hit the Strawberry Springs area.

If you go to Big Sky - you'll need to rent a car. Steamboat - you don't have too. I would say Big Sky has much more challenging terrain, but there is plenty of blue and greens for everyone. Steamboat has better trees, but no where near as much steep, sort of steep, or the bowl skiing of Big Sky. And of course, Big Sky has a day trip to Yellowstone available - but it depends how much away from the mountain time your family trip warrants.
 

Tooth

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I love Big Sky. No problem at all to get to. Not as easy as SLC but not bad at all.

Ive heard that rocks may be an issue at Big Sky in April because of the direction the mountain faces the sun. Is this true. I agree that Big Sky kicks ass for everything. Taking into account never having a lift line and that fresh tracks are everywhere all day, I choose Big Sky. I have never been in late April but would go if rocks were truly not an issue. I think I heard the rock thing on AZ.
 

jlboyell

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yup..its why I go 3 times a year..I just got back from Montana..great trip but an entire day to get there..SLC 5 hours...

yeah, the no direct flight thing definitely sucks. they are talking about adding a nonstop from the new york area, which i think will actually be newark nj. the amount of traffic coming through the bzn airport is increasing, so they are talking about expanding. i guess you guys need a non stop from boston logan, so maybe sometime in the future. its a really nice looking airport compared to those east coast airports im used too. also, ive been told moonlight holds the snow better (faces north), so if conditions become an issue, slide around the mountain and see whats up there
 

abc

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And of course, Big Sky has a day trip to Yellowstone available - but it depends how much away from the mountain time your family trip warrants.
You can go to Yellowstone from Jackson just as easily.

I'm sure there's as good if not better skiing at Big Sky. However, it's in the middle of nowhere so if you want a rest day, you're in for a bit of drive/ride. While in Jackson, there's a lot to see or do right in town (or close to it). Combine that with a flight into town, it's pretty easy to keep everyone happy on or off the slope. Not sure about Big Sky can on that.
 

RISkier

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hi
in keeping with the current discussion.
a couple of you guys eluded that no car was needed for steamboat or jackson hole.
my question is are there shuutles to these areas or a bus? reason being that planning
trip with family 4 of us. thanks in advance for the help.
lou

There are shuttles from both Hayden and Denver to Steamboat. Shuttles from Denver are pretty pricey. About $170 round trip for adults as I recall. So car rental and flying into Hayden start to look more attractive. Don't know about Jackson Hole but I suspect there are shuttles if you look around.
 

goldsbar

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SLC for cheapness and convenience by far. Non-stop flights, can stay at that hotel at the base of the LCC road for cheap (can't recall the name) but that does mean you need a car.

Slopeside at Jackson is actually really cheap relatively speaking. That "Inn" (can't recall name again) between the Terra and Cascade Lodge is slightly run down but has big rooms and is a great value. Walk up/Ski in. Jackson has never been crowded when I've been there except on powder days when seemingly every local in a 100 mile radius arrives at the tram at 7:00am. Otherwise it's empty.
 

Cheese

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I think big sky offers a shuttle from airport to resort, plenty of terrain for everybody, plus close to west yellowstone, snowmobiles and tours through the park

Yes, they have shuttles. The last time I was there I stayed at the Mountain View Lodge. We were dropped off at the mountain every morning and picked up every night by the lodge shuttle. Plenty of dining within walking distance. The one day we opted out of skiing we were picked up and dropped off by the snowmobile tour company. No car necessary.
 

kingslug

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If they start non stops to Big Sky from NY ..I am there..I'll have 2 places to hit then. As far as SLC goes , stay at the Cliff lodge, they have good restaurants, and a spa...if you ski hard enough you won't be able to hang out late..I was there last April and didn't miss any night life at all. As far as Montana, I didn't need a car as they have shuttles to take you wherever you want..the lone star ranch was interesting, horse drawn sled to a pretty good dinner...
 

jaja111

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Mt Baker or Whistler.

Second that, but suggest opting for both having flown in to Sea-Tac. Rental car is mandatory but the drive isn't bad (SEA to Bellingham is 1h 40m, B-ham or Baker to Whistler is 3h).

Stay at Creekside and don't spend money like a tourist f-tard and its inexpensive. Packages are looking great this time of year at Legends in C-side and airfare (to SEA) is comparable to CO, UT, WY, etc.
 

AdironRider

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To be fair, in the winter when the backcountry road is closed its close to 45 minutes from the airport to the ski area in Teton Village.

Also, the village gets boring after a day or two, especially if you have some non-skiers in your group. Yeah you can take the bus, but it makes a 20 minute ride into Jackson proper easily take twice as long, and youre going to sitting with 50 of your closest Mexican dishwashers and ski bums. Not exactly what most people envision on a vacation really. Its worth it to rent a car.

That being said, book through resort lodging and they may or may not have a ski and stay type deal. Most often these require quad occupancy or at least double, which when you do the math really isnt that great a deal. Not sure how many people you'd be traveling with.

Now skiing wise, it blows pretty much everywhere else away. It snowed everyday from Feb 9th through something like March 2nd or 3rd. Everything is skiable.
Mt Baker can get just as much rain as it does snow, especially in March. Big Sky is very cool too.
 
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