Monarch Mountain, CO: Real Skiing for Real People

Aunika Skogen | | Featured ArticleFeatured Article
Monarch Mountain Entrance
Monarch Mountain; image: Monarch Mountain

Brought to you by Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain – experience real skiing for real people. A place where skiing runs in the roots, as deep as its powder. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains of Southern Colorado, Monarch Mountain has perfected real skiing since 1939. With short lift lines and amazing natural terrain, the spirit of skiing is alive and thriving at Monarch.

Monarch Mountain offers an authentic old-fashioned Colorado skiing experience with something for everyone. Its prime location right on the Continental Divide of the Sawatch Range in the Southern Rocky Mountains ensures an abundance of snowfall that averages 350” of fresh pow a season. Uniquely, 100% of the snowpack at Monarch is natural. Real snow allows for unmatched conditions and real skiing experiences that will last a lifetime.

Monarch Mountain Programs
Monarch Mountain Offers Special Lesson Programs; image: Monarch Mountain

The mountain itself will not disappoint. The area features 800 skiable acres (excluding cat skiing terrain) and seven lifts that access 67 runs ranging from fantastic tree skiing, wide open bowls, and long gentle cruisers. In the spirit of keeping it real, Monarch has two different terrain parks, each displaying a low-key fun vibe. For those just getting comfortable in the air or hitting boxes, start at “Tilt,” the smaller of the two. Larger jumps, boxes, and rails can be found at the more advanced park, “Steel City.” Between gentle greens that boost the confidence of new skiers, gnarly steeps and trees for adventure seekers, and terrain parks for everyone, Monarch has it covered.

Monarch is the perfect small, family-oriented ski area with a big heart. It features an easy-to-navigate base, making it impossible to get lost. All runs lead back to a single base lodge. Monarch offers a variety of multi-week programs, for kids of all ages, with opportunities to learn from seasoned pros and hone their abilities. It’s the perfect place to cultivate a strong love of skiing.

Monarch Mountain Trail Map
Monarch Mountain In-Bounds Trail Map; image: Monarch Mountain
Monarch Cat Terrain
Monarch Cat Skiing Terrain Map; image: Monarch Mountain

Looking for a thrilling, authentic Colorado backcountry experience? Monarch offers cat skiing with access to 1,635 acres of terrain. Monarch’s cat skiing is the real deal – steep chutes and gullies, wide open bowls, and beautiful glades with some of the best tree skiing you may ever experience. Being located high on the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range means unforgettable terrain, unique natural conditions, and jaw-dropping views of the surrounding Rocky Mountains. If cat skiing isn’t in your trip plans, you can still enjoy access to backcountry chutes, gullies, and trees at Mirkwood Basin. It’s all hike-to-terrain that opens up to steep chutes, powdery meadows, and perfect trees.

Powder Skiing Monarch
Powder Day at Monarch; image: Monarch Mountain

Monarch is conveniently located near the top of Monarch Pass, just 20 miles from Salida, an authentic Colorado mountain town. Salida is quickly becoming one of the top places to live. Adventure can be found through its front and back doors; enjoy easy access to skiing, biking, rafting, climbing, hiking, you name it. This is not just another ski town; Salida was designated as Colorado’s first Certified Creative District, with a huge variety of artist-owned galleries, studios, shops, restaurants, and breweries.

Find time to relax in the country’s largest natural hot springs pool, owned and operated by the City of Salida. From skiing at Monarch to soaking in the hot springs on an off day or even enjoying the town’s art and food scene, Salida is the perfect counterpart for a trip to Monarch. If you’re visiting during the holidays, enjoy Salida’s festive Christmas takeover of Tenderfoot hill by turning it into a giant Christmas Tree. 

Escape the crowds and head south this winter. Visit Monarch Mountain, where everything is real: real mountains, real snow, real skiing, real people, and real fun.

Salida, CO
The Town of Salida in Southern Colorado; image: sports

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4 thoughts on “Monarch Mountain, CO: Real Skiing for Real People

  1. What I like about Monarch is it’s avoidance of snow-making, resulting in a significantly lower investment per unit of system (earning) capacity. This, in turn, results in lower ticket prices and earlier season break-even. Making it more affordable for families and the non-elites.

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