I’m planning a trip to the Steamboat Springs, Colarado area (3-4 hr drive from Denver airport) leaving on or around Saturday, December 15th and returning Christmas Eve (flights get cheap on the 24th or 25th). Details of my plans are forming now but I would be glad to have you join me for some or all of it if your plans and mine align. Below is a preliminary outline of an itinerary I’m considering but is still evolving and subject to change. I welcome your input as, other than Loveland, I've never been to these places before.
Dec 15 - fly to Denver (~$300), get rental car (~$15 / day), drive (~1hr) to a B&B or motel near Loveland Ski Resort
Dec 16 - Ski or snowboard for a day at Loveland (skiloveland.com), a ski mountian for the locals without the touristy stuff like shops, lodges, etc (have seen ski & stay for $100 - $150 per night per person). Then drive ~2hr to Latigo.
Dec 17 - 19 - Cross-country ski and snowshoe at Latigo Dude Ranch (www.latigotrails.com). 65 km of groomed trails of all difficulty levels in the national forest (plus the backcountry), 3 home cooked meals a day, individual or group cabins, hot tub, all inclusive for $175/day. On last day evening, drive (~1hr) to Steamboat.
Dec 20 & 21 - Downhill ski / snowboard down 3,600+ vertical feet at Steamboat Springs (www.steamboat.com). Staying 1st two days at Hotel Bristol for ~$95/night. Lift tickets and gear rental for Steamboat should be $70 - $100 / day. Optionally, there are several cross country or showshoe trails within 20 min of town. May just head to one of two major hot springs resorts for a day of healing and relaxation: www.oldtownhotsprings.org or www.strawberryhotsprings.com
Dec 22 & 23 - Rent gear in Steamboat Springs and cross-country ski or showshoe near Hahn’s peak, about an hour North of Steamboat Springs, returning to Steamboat in the evenings. Options include Steamboat Lake State Park and some other backcountry trails in the area (http://www.parks.state.co.us/Parks/SteamboatLake/Winter/Pages/SteamboatLakeStateParkWinter.aspx). Park pass is $7/car and gear is ~$10 - $20 / day. Staying at Nordic Lodge in downtown Steamboat these two days for ~$90/night.
Dec 24th - drive back to Denver (4+hrs) on the evening of the 23rd staying at Crowne Plaza by the airport for their unpublished rate (Expedia) of $65 and then fly home Christmas Eve.
This is not a guided trip and each person is responsible for making their own reservations, travel arrangements, and ensuring thier own safety (see liability waiver in Files section). However, I would enjoy sharing parts of the trip with you and splitting costs for shared expenses if it works out. The chilly weather has people thinking snow soon so I recommend making those reservations sooner rather than later. Feel free to ask questions and offer input here or call me to talk it through.