By Jamie Leary

SUMMIT COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Those heading to Colorado’s high country for the Thanksgiving week should expect to see holiday traffic in full swing. CDOT is predicting that Wednesday will be one of the busier days to travel through the Eisenhower Johnson Memorial tunnel.

While many are headed to the high country to ski, the warmer weather has led to an extension of some of the summer activities the mountains have to offer.

“Warm up your legs on the bike, and then go out for a couple runs once it warms up and softens up a little bit,” said Derek Clark.

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CBS4 ran into Clark as he was getting ready to play 30 holes of disc golf near Keystone Tuesday afternoon when temperatures were hovering around 50 degrees.

“It’s weird, usually by this time of year we’re traveling down to the Front Range if we want to play disc golf at all so it’s kind of welcomed, but kind of not,” said Clark.

It was concerning to Clark because conditions were dry with little moisture in the forecast but when it comes to skiing, it’s not time to panic just yet.

“The good thing is that at least temperatures will be cold enough at night for some snowmaking and during the day it will be pretty sunny and reasonably warm- in the 30s and 40s. So while there’s not a lot of terrain open, at least the terrain that is open should ski decently well,” said Joel Gratz with OpenSnow.

Gratz is the founding meteorologist of OpenSnow, an online resource where riders can find detailed information about their favorite spots to ski. Gratz despite how things might look, the ski areas around Summit County are at about 80% of their average snowpack, and that’s not too bad.

(credit: CBS)

“November is always a little bit of a crapshoot in terms of snowfall. It can be great, it can be a little low, and we just typically don’t have a lot by this time of the year, so those years that you have in your memory of big storms, those are the anomaly and what we have right now is not to dissimilar from the 30 to 40-year average,” said Gratz.

Gratz also reminds riders that early season snowfall has almost no correlation to how the rest of the season shapes up.

“November is just a bonus but when we get into December that’s when I really want to see it start snowing,” he said.

(credit: CBS)

The ski resorts are open and so are the biking trails. Summit County told CBS4 that holiday visitors should plan to soak up the sun in some fashion.

“The skiing is good but there’s still plenty of hiking and biking and running and whatever else you want to do, so bring all your gear!” said Maggie Clark, a Summit County resident out for a bike ride.

There is a small amount of snow anticipated Wednesday into Wednesday night for the high country. For more information of road conditions, you can check in with CDOT at COtrip.org.

Jamie Leary