Just because you may be living in Texas doesn’t mean you have to miss out on skiing. Ski trips for Texans are more popular than you’d expect. We’ll look at how to plan an easy ski trip from Texas so you will know where to go and how to get there this winter.
Get your skis and bags ready as we explore ski trips for Texans.
Where do Texans Go Skiing?
We get it, you don’t want to be cold year-round or else you’d live further up north. Nothing should stop you from taking a ski vacation though. The most popular ski trips for Texans are often to:
Once you pick the state you want to go to, it’s easier to narrow down which resort to visit. One way we like to approach picking your state is determining where you are going to fly out of. Usually, that is flying from Dallas or Houston.
Let’s look at where you can go from each city.
Ski trips for Texans flying from Dallas
(Non-stop flights with American Airlines)
- Bozeman, MT – Big Sky
- Jackson Hole
- Santa Fe – Taos
- Gunnison – Crested Butte
- Hayden – Steamboat
- Salt Lake City
- Reno – Lake Tahoe
- Montrose – Telluride
Ski trips for Texans flying from Houston
(Non-stop flights with Delta, United and Southwest)
- Reno – Lake Tahoe
- Salt Lake City
- Montrose – Telluride
The options are pretty similar out of both airports so don’t worry about missing out on skiing. There are terrific options at both.
Top Ski Resorts for Texans
For a simple ski trip, it helps to narrow it down to 3 areas to visit. Denver is the obvious choice but Salt Lake City is a great place to visit for big mountain skiing and frankly New Mexico is easy to get to.
1. Denver, CO
Both Houston and Dallas offer direct flights to Denver. Once there, you’ll have access to Vail, Winter Park, Arapahoe Basin, Loveland and Keystone. Getting into Denver is simple and with options for rental cars, Ubers and the Epic Mountain Express, you’ll be at your preferred resort in no time.
2. Salt Lake City, UT
Almost all skiers are familiar with Park City. There is endless terrain to explore and you are going to need quite a few days if you want to ski a lot of the ski area. Other options near Salt Lake City include Alta, Snowbird and Deer Valley.
Do something different than all the Texas skiers heading to Denver and fly up to Salt Lake City for some skiing.
3. Taos, New Mexico
Is it worth skipping Denver and Utah to head out to New Mexico for skiing? We think so if you want laid back and less crowded ski resorts at times. Taos is only a 2 and a half hour flight from Dallas. Once there, you have Taos, Sipapu, Angel Fire and Red River Resort all within rental car distance.
A New Mexico ski trip can be a welcomed change of pace if you have already skied in Utah and Colorado.
Now you probably are starting to get an idea of which state and resort you can go to from Texas.
Let’s keep planning and see how to get there.
What is the Easiest Ski Resort to Get to From Texas?
The easiest ski resort to get to from Texas is probably Taos. Simple flight, easy airports and the drive from the airport aren’t bad. That being said, we understand the allure of big resorts like Park City and Vail. Both of which aren’t much harder to get to.
How to Get to the Resorts
Picture this, you touch down in Denver, Salt Lake City or Taos. What’s next? You still need to get to the resorts.
Luckily there are some simple options:
- Rent a vehicle – Maybe the easiest option as it gives you freedom but comes at a price. When you go to rent a ski vehicle for a ski trip, make sure it can handle the snow. These are our 5 go-to choices when we look for rental ski vehicles.
- Take a train – If you fly into Denver, you can always take the train out to Winter Park.
- Uber – This can be a great option from all airports if you don’t need a rental car for the duration of your visit.
- Mountain Express – Again, if flying into Denver, you can book with Vail Resort’s mountain express to shuttle you from the airport to the slopes.
How Much Should You Budget for a Ski Trip from Texas?
Alright, so what is the damage? Or should we say, how much should you budget? Taking an example of flying from Dallas to Vail/Eagle CO, here are the expenses you should roughly take into account –
- Flight – $680 round trip
- Hotel – $350 a night
- Lift tickets – $120 a day
- Food – $50 a day (more or less if you eat out or cook)
- Rental car – $120 a day minimum (Go with the Uber to save some $)
- Contingency cash – $30 a day (all those miscellaneous expenses. Baggage fees anyone?)
Tally that up and you are looking at $2,690 for a 3-day trip. This is where it can be cheaper to go to New Mexico. You can drive your own car to Taos in 14 hours and ski the flying if you want a road trip. That would eliminate one of the biggest costs.
Renting vs Packing Your Gear
If you are spending the big bucks on a ski trip and have your own gear then it often makes sense to pack it. Just keep in mind the limits of the airlines when traveling with skiing gear.
You can also ship your skis with a company like Ship Skis or FedEx ahead of your arrival.
Even if you plan to rent your skis and boots at the resort, you will need the proper winter clothes for skiing. If you are located in Texas, you’ll find the selection of winter ski clothes isn’t all that amazing to no one’s surprise. Online our two favorite retailers are The House and Evo for ski clothes.
For all the renters out there, make sure you book your rental ahead of time. Don’t bank on showing up at the resort and them having rental available. You shouldn’t chance it and book in advance when you can.
What to Pack for a Ski Trip from Texas
You are going to need some essentials and then we’ll give you the options as well.
Here are the essentials:
- Ski jacket – There are tons of brands out there. Look for something warm, then stylish and you’ll be just fine.
- Ski pants – Personally I like the bibs but any insulated ski pants or bibs should do.
- Gloves – Gore-tex is the way to go. Take 2 pairs if you can so you always have a dry pair.
- Goggles – Don’t forget a light and dark lens for your goggles. Oakleys are my go-tos.
- Base layers – Under Armour is still one of the leaders for ski base layers. You can’t go wrong.
- Socks for skiing – Knee-high and merino wool is the ticket for warm and comfortable ski socks.
- Helmet – I don’t like the pre-used rental helmets so I take my trusty Giro.
- Resort clothes – Warm, loose fitting and relaxing is what I pack. Take some nice clothes too if you plan to visit a nicer restaurant or bar.
- Ski boots – I pack my own in a boot bag but boots are easy to rent if you don’t want to fly with them on trips.
- Skis – Again, I pack mine but you can always rent some demos at the slopes.
- Swimwear – A must for the hot tub.
- Hand warmers – It doesn’t hurt to pack some hand warmers as a backup.
- Sunscreen – Unless you want a crazy tan line around your goggles, you may want to take a bit of sunscreen.
- Sunglasses – These are a must when navigating around the villages on a bluebird day.
- Boot dryers – I take a pair of travel boot dryers that work in my gloves and boots.
Tips for Altitude
Simply, there are two ways to lessen any issues with altitude sickness if you are going from low-lying Texas to the high mountains. Drink your water and stay off the Titos. Actually, stay off all the alcohol if you can.
We know some of you Texans love the apres ski beer but water is going to be better if you want to deal with the altitude.
As long are you are staying well hydrated, you are putting yourself in the best position to deal with the altitude.
Late Season Skiing and Easter Ski Trips for Texans
One of the best times for a ski trip from Texas in the late season. The crowds have already died down a bit but if you know where to go, you can take advantage of good snow.
For skiing into March or around Easter, Salt Lake City and Denver are the two top places to visit. Usually, there is still plenty of snow to ride.
Final Thoughts on Ski Trips for Texans
Living in Texas is amazing but when you get the itch for snow, sometimes you have to go. Ski trips for Texans are more accessible than ever before. Houston and the Dallas airports make it simple to jet up to the mountains and enjoy some powder.
Don’t let winter pass by without getting in a bit of skiing, you know you want to go.
Brianna Lee writes for Proper Peaks and lives in Duluth, MN. Her favorite thing about skiing is the glades. Your have to start in the glades if you want to catch a glimpse of Brianna’s pink ski helmet as she dodges the trees.