Just a 1.5-hour drive from Crestone, Wolf Creek Ski Resort is the perfect day trip for some fun in the snow. You won’t find the locally-owned area on any of the so called ‘super passes,’ and therein lies the charm.
It’s not hard to see why the downhill area boasts that it has “the most snow in Colorado;” even this early in the season, when snow coverage is thin in many places, there are pockets of champagne powder hiding in the trees and over 90% of their terrain is already open.
Lift tickets will cost you a fraction of what they would elsewhere in Colorado, with a regular season day pass coming in at $85 dollars for an adult. The remote location and lack of access to other resources has kept the resort from becoming a destination. The closest lodging is nearly 20 miles away in either direction, and a multi-day trip would require climbing the pass each morning and evening, something that can prove difficult in winter.
Being situated at Wolf Creek Pass, the resort offers unparalleled panoramic views of the San Juan, Sangre de Cristo, and Sawatch Mountains, as well as some of the mountains in northern New Mexico. The best views of the surrounding peaks are found at the top of the Alberta lift, and for those daring enough, the hikeable terrain just above it.
There’s something for everyone at Wolf Creek, with runs which range from long, groomed ‘green’ (easier) routes which flow through the trees, to the hikeable, steep, double-black-diamond cliffs, and everything in between.
For skiers and boarders used to the hustle and bustle of Front Range skiing, the remote and calm nature of Wolf Creek will be a welcome change of pace. On this particular early-season Sunday when we visited, there was not a lift line requiring a wait. Between the two of us, we have been to over 20 ski areas across the country and have never found lift lines so short and terrain so amazing.
There is even a spot for caffeine lovers at the top of Treasure Lift: The Continental Espresso Bar. The cozy atmosphere of the coffee bar is a perfect break from the bitter winds and harsh temperatures that blow across the peaks of the resort.
All around the resort there are signs regarding the resort’s different sustainable practices, such as a wind-powered chairlift and water-free restrooms. Since 2017, Wolf Creek Resort has purchased about 1,000 kilowatts per year of
solar power from the Penitente Solar Project. The EPA has recognized several years during which the ski area has been “surpassing 100% on green power.”
If you are into outdoor, winter adventures Wolf Creek Ski Area is definitely worth visiting from the nearby San Luis Valley.