Colorado Winter Trips?
Congratulations on getting your D90 and getting it trip worthy. The San Juans are a great area. I have spent ~20 years, hiking, biking, skiing and wheeling through the region. If you want to avoid avalanches, don't go into the San Juan Mountains during the winter. There are more avalanches in the San Juans per square mile than any other mountain range in the world. That being said, if you know how to read the snow and are wiling to take your time to do so, there are many winter time activities that are quite enjoyable outside of the resorts. Back country skiing or snow shoeing to some of the natural springs can be quite nice, particularly with the right company. The fall colors are currently in good form and should be so for a few more weeks. It's not too late to enjoy the fall wheeling opportunities. There are many nice trails other than the popular passes. Once the real snow flies in the high country, it is serious folly to wheel in the mountains. Just about every year I stumble across a vehicle or two that tried to winter wheel up some trail only to become stuck and abandoned until spring. Granted, in most cases it appeared as if the drivers were idiots for their lack of preparation (chains, shovels, straps, multiple vehicles...). Good luck and enjoy your trip.