Wolf Creek ski area
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|Wolf Creek ski area|
|Location||Mineral County, Colorado, USA|
|Nearest city||Pagosa Springs, Colorado|
|Top elevation||11,904 feet (3,628 m)|
|Base elevation||10,300 feet (3,100 m)|
|Skiable area||1,600 acres (6.5 km2)|
|Longest run||Navajo Trail - 2 mi (3.2 km)|
|Lift system||8 total (2 High-Speed Quad, 1 Quad chair, 2 Triple chairs, 1 Double chair, 1 High Speed Poma Lift, 1 Magic Carpet)|
|Snowfall||480 in/year (12.2 m/year|
Wolf Creek Ski Area (WCSA) is a ski area in southwest Colorado, located on the Wolf Creek Pass between Pagosa Springs and South Fork. It is best known for receiving more average annual snowfall than any other resort in Colorado, at about 480 inches per year.
Kelly Boyce built the first lift, a rope tow, at Wolf Creek Pass in 1938. The Civilian Conservation Corps, built a warming shelter. In 1955, the ski area moved to its present location across the road. Wolf Creek's first chairlift was installed in 1974. By 1978, the group of Dallas Cowboys took complete ownership of Wolf Creek. By 1983, the area had 5 lifts and 580 acres (230 ha) of skiable terrain.
WCSA's future as a local's resort is less certain, in light of Texas-billionaire Red McCombs' proposed development of the "Village at Wolf Creek," a year-round resort of 8,000 people adjacent to the ski area. For decades McCombs has pursued his vision for the development and has been working with the Forest Service to acquire highway access to the property, which is an inholding.
Over several decades the Forest Service has been the target of multiple lawsuits from community groups for incompletely assessing the environmental impact of approving a highway access point to the property and withholding information requested through the Freedom of Information Act. Following the most recent lawsuit, the developers reached agreement not to break ground at the site until the case is resolved in court.
Opponents of the "Village" state that the development would likely harm a vital wildlife corridor between the Weminuche and South San Juan Wilderness areas, alter backcountry experiences on Wolf Creek Pass, compete with local businesses in nearby Pagosa Springs and South Fork, adversely affect rare fen wetlands, and stress water supplies in the Rio Grande watershed. Proponents claim the "Village" would improve the economics of the region.
- Base: 10,300 ft (3,100 m)
- Summit: 11,904 ft (3,628 m)
- Vertical Rise: 1,604 ft (489 m)
- Skiable Area: 1,600 acres (6.5 km2)
- Trails: 77 total (20% beginner, 35% intermediate, 45% advanced/expert)
- Longest Run: Navajo Trail - 2 miles (3.2 km)
- Average Annual Snowfall: 480 in (1,200 cm)
- 7 total
- 1 quad chairlift
- 1 quad detachable chairlift
- 2 triple chairlifts
- 1 double chairlift
- 1 platter lift
- 1 magic carpet (ski lift)
- Jeff Galbraith (November 1999). "Enter the Snow Vault". Outside Magazine. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- "Wolf Creek Ski Area". coloradoskihistory.com. Retrieved August 7, 2017.
- "The Village at Wolf Creek". The Village at Wolf Creek. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- Blevins, Jason (June 29, 2015). "Village at Wolf Creek opponents sue to undo Forest Service land swap". Retrieved December 18, 2015 – via The Denver Post.
- Marcus, Peter (June 24, 2015). "Village at Wolf Creek faces hurdle". Retrieved December 18, 2015 – via The Durango Herald.
- Mike Soraghan (February 2006). "Wolf Creek development tangled with political ties" (PDF). Denver Post. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 21, 2008. Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Grover, Hannah (November 8, 2015). "Extension granted in Wolf Creek lawsuit". Retrieved December 18, 2015 – via Farmington Daily Times.
- Blevins, Jason (July 15, 2015). "Deal delays start of Village at Wolf Creek construction". Retrieved December 18, 2015 – via The Denver Post.
- "SJCA Guide to Wolf Creek". SJCA Guide to Wolf Creek. San Juan Citizens Alliance. Retrieved December 18, 2015.
- "Friends of Wolf Creek". Retrieved 2007-12-10.
- Barber, Megan (December 3, 2014). "Plans Move Forward on Controversial Village at Wolf Creek". Retrieved December 18, 2015 – via Curbed Ski.