Hidden Gems

The Clymb recently blogged about the top 6 resorts that you “probably didn’t know about.”  We loved the list and were excited to see that we have vacation rentals at all of the North America destinations.  So, now that you know about these hidden gems you can start looking for your next vacation property. We’ve highlighted our top property in each town below.

Taos, New Mexico

The Columbine Inn is nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Northern New Mexico. It is located 1.5 miles from the lifts of Taos Ski Valley. You can enjoy the Columbine Inn for its relaxed atmosphere, hearty breakfast, breathtaking views, outdoor fireplace and beautiful lobby.

The Columbine Inn

Crested Butte, Colorado

The Buttes are slopeside to Crested Butte Mountain. You will be able to ski/ride nearly all the way to the front door. Just walking the length of the property’s sidewalk will put guests on the slopes quickly. Splendid views from the newer outdoor hot tub.

The Buttes slopeside condos. 

Kicking Horse, Canada

The centerpiece of the resort village, Glacier Mountaineer Lodge comprises of  2 lodges offering over 130 alpine inspired guest rooms and 1, 2 and 3-bedroom condominium suites with every creature comfort in mind.  All of our condominium suites come equipped with fully appointed kitchens, gas fireplaces, washers and dryers and a private balcony with spectacular views of either the ski hill or Canadian Rocky Mountains.

The Glacier Mountaineer Lodge.

Safe travels,

Mountain Reservations

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First Snow Day

Chairlift at Brighton Ski Resort

First day of the season at Brighton.

November 21,  2013 may not have been the wisest day to use a Snow Day (yes, we get those at work) but somehow, the snow started to fall Wednesday night and never stopped. Being the middle of the week, there was nearly no one up at Brighton and every run was better the next time through. I was in shock arriving to the resort to 8 inches of fresh Pow dispersed beautifully.

New snow at Brighton Ski Resort

A nice dusting of new snow made for a great first day!

We arrived around noon and road constantly until four o’clock. This day may not be as exciting to some, but this gave me a huge sense of hope for a promising winter. Being a previous season pass holder, I was in awe to see the snow this good. With nearly sixty days under my belt last season, there were few that could top this beautiful Thursday.

Every chair lift is now running except for Great Western. Crest was unreal and even Snake had runs that were untouched. We did not spend much time on the ole Majestic but definitely got in laps through the park. I have attached a few photos and video to give you an idea of the shred we got to experience!

First Day at Brighton

Unfortunately, the sun has started to peak back out and the snow has already melted down in the valley. I will be returning this weekend to hopefully catch a few more turns in good snow before it vanishes. My fingers are crossed for a solid season. Here’s is to a good season ahead!

Safe Travels,

Dillon Fugate

Destination Expert

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Giving Thanks

As Thanksgiving approaches we wanted to take a minute to list all of the things we’re grateful for here at Mountain Reservations.  As a group of ski and travel enthusiasts, it’s pretty easy to come up with our list of gratitude.  We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!

We are giving thanks for…

  • the snow gods who brought the ski season early around the country
  • Beaver Creek‘s warm chocolate chip cookies season
  • the fact that all Salt Lake City ski resorts (Alta, Snowbird, Solitude and Brighton) are all open for the Thanksgiving holiday — and just down the street from our headquarters!
  • good workouts and good beer on the slopes
  • and all of our family and friends who share a love of winter with us.

Safe Holiday Travels,

The Mountain Reservations Team

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What’s Your Sign?

What kind of skier or snowboarder are you? Green, Blue, or Black? Not sure? Check out the descriptions below and find out which sign represents you best!

Green:  Do you occasionally knock people over when getting off the lift? Can you be seen wearing borrowed gear and sunglasses in a pizza wedge cruising down the mountain? Well then, you’re sign is Green! Green skiers can also be seen wearing jeans on the slopes and spend about 2 hours cruising around before taking a break in the lodge.

Blue: Do you love the corduroy on the groomed runs? Do you have half a dozen old passes still clipped to the zipper of your ski pants? Well then, you’re sign is Blue! Blue skiers love shredding up the groomed runs and catching 2 feet of air. They will spend about 3 hours shredding and then head to the lodge to refuel with a bowl of chili.

Black:  Can you do it all? Do you love shredding powder, cruising through tree runs, and finding the steepest and most challenging runs at the resort? Well then, you’re sign is Black! Black skiers can be seen with duct tape patching up their worn clothing. They will wear themselves out on the mountain for up to 5 hours before taking a break with nachos and a beer.

Whatever your sign may be, be proud and rock it!

What’s Your Sign?

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Top Resorts for Snowboarders

Snowboarder at Aspen

Photo Credit Jeremy Swanson

Snowboarding has been around since the 1920′s but did not become an Olympic sport until 1998.  Now with its growing popularity resorts are catering to the specific needs of snowboarders.  After all, not all terrain parks are created equally.  We consulted the snowboarding experts, Transworld Snowboarding, and found the top resorts for those that like to freecarve down the slopes.

  1. Aspen/Snowmass
  2. Park City Mountain Resort
  3. Mammoth Mountain
  4. Bear Mountain
  5. Whistler/Blackcomb
  6. Sierra-at-Tahoe
  7. Keystone
  8. Copper Mountain
  9. Breckenridge
  10. Northstar

We hope this helps you book your next riding vacation!

Safe travels,

Mountain Reservations

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Ski Magazine’s Top Ski Resorts for 2013-14 Season

Jackson Hole Mountains

Jackson Hole resort wins #1 ski resort title by Skiing Magazine for its “Western charm” and rugged terrain.

Ski Magazine recently released their Top Ski Resorts for the season.  You can read the whole article here, but we thought we’d save you the time and highlight a few of the top resorts.

Jackson Hole earned the spot of #1 resort in North America for its gnarly terrain, including the longest continuous vertical in North America, and for its Western charm.  After all, your visit would not be complete without a visit to The Million Dollar Cowboy Bar.

Other noteworthy (Western) resorts on the list:

  • #2 Deer Valley: in addition to boasting the world-famous Glitretind restaurant at Stein Erikson Lodge, Deer Valley is also the place to find untouched powder days after a storm.
  • #4 Sun Valley: famous for no lift lines and their dedication to grooming, Sun Valley is a great place to visit for a stress-free vacation.
  • #7 Telluride: known for its hard skiing (41% of the resort is advanced terrain), Telluride is Colorado’s most authentic and accessible ski town.
  • #11 Beaver Creek: not only do they offer terrain for all abilities but they offer warm, complimentary chocolate chip cookies everyday at 3 p.m.!

The full list includes 50 resorts (30 in the West and 20 in the East). Anyone up for a best-of ski resort road trip this winter?

Safe travels,

Mountain Reservations

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Just Can’t Wait to Hit the Slopes this Winter? Then Don’t!



When the ski resorts open and the snow reports are looking good, you want to be on the slopes fast.  It’s frustrating to fly into an airport and know that between you and that sweet powder is a long, treacherous drive in an unfamiliar car over snow-packed roads. Not exactly the best way to start your ski vacation. I may have just the answer for you.



Some ski resorts have the advantage of a quick transfer from a nearby airport.  Consider Park City Mountain Resort in Utah.  The Salt Lake City International Airport is only a 35 minute drive away on Highway 80. Transfers available right at the airport make it a breeze to load up the luggage and head for the slopes without waiting in long lines for your rental car. Park City Mountain Resort can also boast about its convenient ski-in/ski-out access to historic Park City’s main street.  Need one more advantage to make this offer sweet?  Park City has a completely free transit system.  Hop on a bus to ride anywhere in the resort town.



Another opportunity to hit the slopes fast takes only a little pre-flight planning. If you fly into Eagle County Airport, you can pick up a transfer on the Colorado Mountain Express to Beaver Creek in 30 minutes or Vail in 45 minutes. (Reservations are recommended.) There are now 4 major carriers who fly into Eagle; Delta, American, United and Air Canada.  There are 11 destinations that offer non-stop flights into Eagle County Airport, including one from Toronto, Canada. Once at Vail, there is a free bus system to make enjoying the resort stress free. Beaver Creek also offers a free shuttle service for all guests.



With great ski resorts like Park City Mountain, Vail and Beaver Creek easily accessible in a timely manner, you can spend more time enjoying your stay than getting to your destination. After all, you are on vacation. Pack light! Leave your worries behind.

Travel Coach Linda Barsch


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Off Season at Breckenridge-Shop-Dine-Stay

Breckenridge Downtown Riverwalk

The leaves are turning and the air has a crisp feel to it in the morning, but Breckenridge is still a few weeks away from ski season.  Now is the perfect time to get familiar with the resort town and take in a fun fall break before winter engulfs the mountains and the skiing begins.

It’s a great place to handle some pre-Christmas shopping.  Downtown Breckenridge boasts over 200 stores with many hard-to-find and one-of-a-kind specialty items.  You can have an ornament personalized for your tree at Breckenridge’s only Christmas store, A Swan Mountain Christmas.  Support a local artist with a purchase of a whimsical dog sculpture at Art on a Whim.  Pick out uniquely designed children’s clothing at Magical Scraps Boutique.  Grab some educational toys at Peak-A-Boo Toys. Discover stunning jewelry hand-crafted right at the Breckenridge shop at The Shine Mine.

After a delightful afternoon of shopping, drop the bags and find your way to dinner. If you want to experience a romantic, intimate place, dress up for La Petite Paris.  They have amazing French Onion Soup to warm up with.  The menu is classic and you can’t go wrong with any dish offered. For a slower, relaxing atmosphere with amazing sunset views, head to the historically restored Victorian house that is home to the Hearthstone Restaurant.  The wine selection is excellent and the American based menu has interesting flare in its dishes.  Try the blackberry Elk or Colorado Lamb.  For a more chic dining experience with the right amount of atmosphere, cruise over to Modis.  It is known for great cocktails and fantastic food.  Order the Ramen with pork or the Halibut on chorizo. You won’t be disappointed.

Do you have a great place to stay? Try One Ski Hill Place.  The balcony views of the mountains are stunning.  The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable.  The condos are beautifully appointed and comfortable.  The pool and hot tub are inviting. Another great property is Mountain Thunder Lodge.  You can get a room that overlooks downtown Breckenridge, which is walking distance from the townhouses.  There is underground parking (very convenient) and it is one short block from the gondola.  The rooms are new and well appointed.  The pool and hot tub are clean and inviting.  It’s a perfect place to stay.

Breckenridge is a great place to shop, dine and stay in the off season.

Travel Coach, Linda Barsch




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Two Ski Towns, Two Whiskeys

Breckenridge Distillery

Two Ski Towns, Two Whiskeys

All bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbons as I recently found out while out tasting some of the American West’s best libations. And by best, I mean gold winning. Who knew that visitors to world-class ski areas in both Colorado and Utah can also experience award winning whiskey combined with great food pairings, distillery tours, and ski-in/ski-out access?  Here is the essence of the ski town spirits.

Breckenridge Distillery: “We used to mine gold in Breckenridge, now we just win it.”
Distilling liquor at 9,600 feet has its challenges, but Breckenridge Distillery has perfected the art of bourbon making in the dry climate of the Colorado Rockies and is the highest distillery in North America. Bourbons require 51% of their mash to be sweet corn and Breck Distillery utilizes the unique spiciness of rye for another 38% of the mash blend making for a lighter, smoother bourbon. Bourbons also require aging in brand new charred barrels giving the liquor its distinct color and taste. The Breckenridge Distillery proofs its liquor with the mineral-rich snow melt of the high Rocky Mountains giving it a long lasting deep flavor.

When to visit: Breckenridge opens for the ski season November 8th and the Breckenridge Distillery offers tastings at two locations and tours 11-6 Tuesday – Sunday at their distillery. Ski down the Four O’Clock ski run and walk across the street to the Blue River Plaza for après ski tasting. Pair pre-prohibition era cocktails with great food dishes right around the corner at Modis.

Also try: Breckenridge Distillery’s classic spiced rum released seasonally every autumn or the crystal clear Breckenridge Vodka in the signature cocktail the Breckenridge Burro.

High West Distillery: “A passion for great spirits, a love of the American West.”
The High West Distillery is located in the heart of Old Town Park City, UT and is Utah’s first distillery since the 1870’s. Navigating the challenging liquor laws of the Beehive state, High West is known best for its Rendezvous Rye whiskey which is a blend of 16 year-old and 6 year-old rye whiskeys giving it a fully flavored, spicy taste. High West offers several different whiskeys and blends including their silver line of clear whiskey products in honor of the silver mining days of Park City. Located at 7,000 feet in the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, High West lives up to the Western tradition. Don’t be surprised to see a cowboy or two saunter into the saloon.

When to visit: Park City Mountain Resort opens for the ski season November 23rd and the High West Distillery is open year round. Ski down the Town run into Old Town proper and you’re bellying up to the High West Distillery and Saloon. Tours depart at 3pm and 4pm daily and reservations are encouraged. Try the Kentucky Whiskey Beer Cheese and don’t forget the pickles.

Also try: High West’s signature silver whiskey in a Silver Manhattan or the High West Whiskey Campfire on ice.

Destination Expert, Jessie Burley

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Breckenridge, October 20. 2013

Breckenridge October 20, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013:

I had a nice drive up to Breckenridge to meet with a prospective client and do a couple of site inspections at some of our larger homes for their springtime wedding in the mountains.  As I got up to Idaho Springs, I could see the climate change before my eyes.  Gone were most of the leaves and in the shady areas I could see snow!  After Georgetown, there was the plowed remains of snow on the side of I-70, a testament to an early winter storm.  While driving on to Loveland, I was excited to see the chairs were spinning!  As I continued through the Eisenhower Tunnel and popped out on the West side, Summit County was a white winter wonderland.  All the peaks from 1 to 10 are snow-covered.  While the roads were perfectly clear the entire way, as I rolled into Breckenridge I could see that the slopes were white covered slivers just waiting for skiers and riders.  At this point in October combined with the cooler and wetter than normal summer we’ve had, it’s shaping up to be a great start to the 2013-2014 ski season!

This picture was taken just South of Tiger Road, about 3 miles outside the town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

Safe Travels,


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