Ski + Snowboard

Ski Vacations for Beach Lovers

by Sarah Tuff

Powderhorn and Fruita, Colorado

Chill out: Sure, plenty of other Rocky Mountain resorts are great—and they have the high prices, long lines, and snooty service to prove it. But Powderhorn, a little-known ski area on the western edge of Colorado near Grand Junction, has none of these. Instead, skiers and riders get lift tickets for as little as $30 (which buys a three-hour morning session), zero crowds, and a hometown vibe that Vail could never replicate. And 250 inches of annual snow on 1,600 acres is no joke. (Aim for a February trip for the most consistent conditions.) Those who need bragging rights might consider that Powderhorn sits atop the world's largest flattop mountain, the 500-square-mile Grand Mesa.

Heat things up: Thanks to mud, land use laws, and Mother Nature's whims, there are very few places where you can use fat skis in the morning and fat tires in the afternoon. This is one of them. Less than an hour's drive from Powderhorn sits the funky town of Fruita, which has been giving Moab a run for its mountain biking money for the last 15 years. Rent bikes from Over the Edge Sports and then wheel along high desert singletrack. Okay, now you can go soak in a hot tub; you'll find one just outside your room at the friendly, low-key Stonehaven Inn.

48338 Powderhorn Road
Mesa, Colorado
Tel: 970 268 5700
Lift tickets from $30

Over the Edge Sports
202 E. Aspen Avenue
Fruita, Colorado
Tel: 970 858 7220
Bike rentals from $49

Stonehaven Inn
798 N. Mesa Street
Fruita, Colorado
Tel: 800 303 0898 (toll-free)
Rooms from $85, including breakfast

Next: Fresh powder and powerboats in Spain >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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