I'm a Brit living on the East COast and planning my first trip out West. Having never been to the Rockies before, especially not in winter, I'm looking for some advice.
My wife and I are spending Christmas in Vegas then heading out in a rental SUV flying out of Denver about a fortnight later. We would like to spend a few days skiing in Colorado before we leave so have about 10 nights to spend en route.
General thoughts were that it would be good to head to the South rim the Grand Canyon, cut up to Utah towards Moab to see Arches and Canyonlands and then head toward skiing. Inthepory we could see a bit of route 66 on the way too! I would like your helpful thoughts on the following:
- Routes given likely snowy conditions at that time of year and how often the main routes become impassable at that time of year?
- Likelihood of getting an AWD SUV and ways to make sure - currently have a mid-sized SUV booked with Thrifty picked up in Vegas
- What equipment would be mandatory as we head up to the mountains e.g. snow chains etc. and how would we best get them?
- How limited our experience of the Utah parks might be if there is snow everywhere - can you still get in and hike to the main sights?
- Which Colorado ski resorts would you recommend - we are competent skiiers but not advanced
- Any other hints, tips or recommendations based on the information provided
I have driven round the Alps in winter in a front wheel drive hatchback that handled as though on slicks, so know how scary it can be in heavy snow if you're not prepared.
Thanks in advance.