It’s Always Snowing At Wolf Creek

Photo: Jakob Schiller/

Here in New Mexico we’ve gotten blanked for the past couple ski seasons. The snow has been underwhelming to say the least. Maybe not as bad as Tahoe, but still pretty pitiful. That’s why, at least a couple times each year, a group of us make the trek up to Wolf Creek Ski Area in southern Colorado.

Located just outside Pagosa Springs, and a manageable drive from New Mexico, Wolf Creek has the highest average of annual snowfall of any ski area in Colorado (430 inches), which is saying something. They pull it in because the area is located high up in a section of the San Juan mountains that’s the first barrier for certain subtropical storms moving across the country. When things are bad everywhere else, they’re usually good, if not fantastic, at Wolf Creek.

Such was the case last week. The area is already mostly open, and when we showed up it had just snowed four inches. We weren’t getting face shots, but four fresh inches in November, on your first ski day of the season, is nothing to complain about. Plus, there was almost no one there, which meant we had as much fresh snow as we wanted. There are no major developments at the base of Wolf Creek, so the crowds are manageable, even during peak season.

Although, that might soon change. The day before we went up to ski, we heard that The Village at Wolf Creek development plan was one step closer. The Village, which has been in the works for years, would be located somewhere near the ski area and include 1,200 hotel rooms, 130 lots for houses, and 1,660 condos, plus 220,000 square feet of retail space. Needless to say, if the Village is eventually built, Wolf Creek’s character—and fresh snow—will never be the same.

For now, however, Wolf Creek continues to be my, and many people’s favorite, consistent stash. It’s been a couple days since it’s snowed, but I hear that later this week a storm is rolling in. I’ll be at work, but if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, there’s no doubt it will be good.