my main areas are monarch and wolf creek. monarch is a day trip for me and i usually overnite for wolf creek. pagosa was pretty cheap 5 yrs ago,, not anymore. and wolf creek pass gets shutdown frequently. salida is awesome near monarch but also expensive. all year round fun there though. haven't skied steamboat but it's off the beaten path as far as skiers go but it's really expensive. durango is a cool college town too. also very expensive.