1.) Know When to Go, Plan to Hit the Snow
The perfect powder day is just a trek away. Plan ahead to find the best time for skiing in Colorado. You may have heard that there are no bad days in the Rocky Mountains and we're inclined to agree. However, when it comes to planning a ski vacation in Colorado, the first step is identifying the best time of year to go depending on your adventure style.
January through February is considered prime time for fresh powder. This is an ideal time of the year for those newer to the sport. Many couples flock to the slopes for a Valentine's getaway, while solo travelers are sure to meet plenty of other adventurous souls during Colorado's peak ski season. Of course, if you'd rather go during a less popular time, March is an excellent off-season option. Flights will be cheaper and the slopes will be all yours with fluffy powder still abounding.
2.) Grab Your Gear
Preparing for a Colorado ski trip begins with packing the right gear. Due to the elevation and geography, Colorado experiences some of the most rapid temperature swings in the United States. That means it's vital to layer up! Pack plenty of waterproof layers and don't forget a pair of wool socks and a warm cap. Rolling clothes rather than folding is a great way to save space in your carry-on.
When it comes to picking out the right ski gear for your trip, a good rule of thumb is that ski boots should be snug, but not painful. REI advises when choosing the right ski poles to go by the following test. "With the poles upside down—grips touching the floor—grab the pole just underneath the basket so that the top of your thumb touches the basket. Your elbow should now be at a 90° angle. If the angle is less than 90°, try a shorter pole."
Avoid rookie mistakes and vacation ruiners like leaving ski boots in the car. Boots are sure to freeze overnight, delaying that early morning powder run. Instead, dry your boots each night between ski days so they'll be warm and flexible, fitting the shape of your foot. Remember not to lean your poles or skis against the car as they'll fall over and scrape the car. Plus, you'll be left scraping snow off your gear. Keep your equipment in good shape so you won't have any down days during your trip.
3.) Be Ready for Anything
Road conditions are as unpredictable as the Rocky Mountain weather. Make sure your car is always reliable. We love an unexpected adventure as much as the next traveler, but not when it happens roadside. Jeep rental and Subaru rental are the preferred vehicles for safety as well as accessibility to the most rugged ski areas in the state.
Here are our go-to's for preparing your rental car for a winter excursion in Colorado:
Winterized wiper fluid. The last thing any skier wants is their wiper fluid to freeze on a long road trip through the mountains.
Snow tires or all seasons. When it comes to preparing for a Colorado ski trip, you need a car that's as intrepid as you are. The best rental cars for a ski vacation should be fully equipped with snow tires or all season tires at a minimum to handle the terrain.
Ski rack or roof box with a lock. Get your 4-wheel drive vehicle outfitted with a durable area to keep your gear safe and out of the elements.
Ice scrapers. Be ready for slush to turn into an ice sheet on your windshield! Grab a full-sized scraper for your windshield and a few smaller ones for the passenger side doors.
An emergency car kit. In the event of an unexpected setback, keep a mini emergency kit on hand in the car. A warm blanket, flashlight, hand warmers, a power bank for your phone, and, of course, the contact information for your trusted rental car company so you can get back on the road faster.
When choosing the right vehicle for a ski excursion, an outdoors equipped car is your best bet. Take a Jeep trip through the mountains or utilize the extra storage space of your ski ready Subaru. However you choose to plan your adventure, our fleet of mountain-approved vehicles is prepped for the extremes.
4.) Consider Colorado Road Safety
Mountain roads and winter weather conditions can be treacherous. Take charge with some basic Colorado safety tips before you head out. CDOT recently launched a new road condition app for user-friendly travel planning. Download the app before you arrive for a stress-free journey and real-time updates on road advisories.
Remember; we're on mountain time. There's no need to rush through the journey. Always wait for plows, take it slow in inclement weather conditions, and watch for others on the road. If you notice your fellow cars sliding or spinning out, take this as a cue to use extreme caution. 4-wheel drive doesn't mean 4-wheel stop! The best vehicles are only as good as the best drivers. Play it safe and don't over estimate your driving abilities in unfamiliar terrain. If you notice experienced drivers on the roads, follow their lead and always yield for wildlife, fellow skiers, and road traffic.
Ready to plan your next excursion? Rental cars for Colorado vacations are the first check point on your mountain adventure list. Jeep rental and Subaru rental for reliable outdoor fun are the perfect option for intrepid travelers looking to take to the slopes this season. Reach out to our team today for all of your trip planning needs and take your adventures a mile higher.