Where is Wolf Creek?

The Wolf Creek ski area is in southwest Colorado, 84 miles east of Durango on highway 160. The ski area sits atop the Wolf Creek pass one mile east of the continental divide, between the towns of Pagosa Springs (24 miles away) and South Fork (18 miles away) within the Rio Grande National Forest. The remote location away from major airports helps to keep the crowds away and keep the powderhounds very happy.

Don’t get Wolf Creek in Colorado mixed up with Wolf Creek in Utah, which is a company that owns Wolf Mountain. Sounds confusing eh?

Other Ski Resorts Nearby

There are no ski resorts that are particularly close to Wolf Creek. Closest resorts are:

Flying to Wolf Creek

Albuquerque International Airport is 247 miles away (about a 5 hour drive) from Wolf Creek, 223 miles from Pagosa Springs, and 250 miles from South Fork. Colorado Springs airport is 192 miles to South Fork, and Denver International airport is 244 miles from South Fork. Lots of rental car options are available at all three airports.

Regional airports include Alamosa Municipal Airport/Bergman Airfield, 75 miles away from the ski area, with flights from Denver with Great Lakes Aviation. La Plata County/Durango is 80 miles to the ski area, with flights from Salt Lake City with Delta, flights from Denver with Frontier or United Express, or US Airways do flights from Phoenix.

From the Airports to the Towns

Many visitors to Wolf Creek are from neighbouring states such as Texas, and they drive their cars to get there. Consequently there’s little demand for shuttle services to South Fork and Pagosa Springs. Or maybe it’s a “chicken and egg” thing, where everyone drives to Wolf Creek because the shuttle services are not well established?

From Albuquerque Airport to Pagosa Springs, Twin Hearts Express Shuttle provides transport.  

To travel from Denver to Pagosa Springs it’s possible to get a combination of Greyhound buses and shuttles, but it’s very messy and not advisable.

The best option is to rent a car to get to your lodging in South Fork or Pagosa Springs, as you’ll want a car to get to Wolf Creek anyhow.

Driving to Wolf Creek from Pagosa Springs & South Fork

The drive to Wolf Creek from the west side of the pass (ie Pagosa Springs) takes about 30 minutes when road conditions are good. At times the highway is super wide and an easy drive even though it’s steep, whilst at others the road is very windy. After a storm the pass from the Pagosa Springs side is sometimes closed, which is incredibly frustrating knowing that the South Fork people are up at the ski area getting all the freshies.

The drive up from South Fork is much easier as it’s less windy, it only takes 20 minutes and the road is less likely to close. The scenery is also a fraction better, with stunning rock formations on either side of the road.

Considering the amount of snowfall in the area, a 4 wheel drive may be advantageous (but not essential) to get to Wolf Creek from either side of the pass. Commercial vehicles have to carry chains but not standard cars.

Shuttles from the Towns to the Ski Area

From Pagosa Springs, Wilderness Journeys Pagosa offer a ski shuttle service which runs twice daily from the Fairfield Activities Center and downtown Pagosa Springs. There is only one return trip daily.

From the South Fork side, Alamosa Bus Company runs a shuttle service to the ski area. They only offer one bus schedule a day.

Getting Around

Getting around Wolf Creek is easy as all the facilities are contained within a few buildings that are located next to each other at the base area.

Similarly South Fork is easy to negotiate on foot from a distance perspective as it’s only a small town. The only problem is that there are no footpaths (sidewalks) so walk carefully or copy everyone else and drive your car instead.

The town of Pagosa Springs is significantly bigger, and you’ll probably need a car to get around.