Skiing in Colorado is more than a sport, activity or exercise. It’s a lifestyle, an experience, a culture. For the best true mountain experience skip the long lines and expensive tickets that Vail and Snowmass produce and take the higher road. Literally, the base of Monarch Ski Area is at a staggering 10,790 feet.
Monarch has a motto of remaining “Unspoiled since 1939”. Its one of the last remaining small-town mountains that has yet to be overrun with rich tourists or big time developers. It’s not the easiest place to get, but that’s what makes it so special. A hidden gem with over 800 skiable acres located along the Continental Divide in the Sawatch Range of San Isabel National Forrest. A perfect mountain for the family looking to take it easy or the hardcore skier looking to discover new terrain. The 53 lift serviced trails offer a mix of 27% beginner, 30% moderate, and 43% expert. Enjoy what feels like the whole mountain to yourself as there is rarely a line on any of the 6 different chairlifts. Grab a drink or a mid morning snack at the Sidewinder Saloon, Elmo’s Bar, Gunbarrel Cafeteria or JavaStop.
“Unspoiled since 1939” is achieved by 3 main assets, according to their website.
- All natural snow. That’s right, you heard it here first. They do not make snow at Monarch Ski Area. Because of its location they naturally receive over 350 delicious inches the good old fashion way, from the sky.
- View from the top. With the base of the mountain at 10,790 feet and the summit at 11,952 it’s one of the best places to look off either side of the Continental Divide. It helps that there is only one base area and no extra development. Letting you truly experience all that the San Isabel National Forest has to offer.
- Friendly staff. Anyone who lives and works in this remote part of Colorado truly wants to be there. It’s a feeling you get from the first interaction you have. Staff that works because they love being on the mountain, they love Colorado, and they love hitting the slopes.
How does one get to experience this amazing mountain? We suggest the unbeatable Ski Monarch and Brew Package provided by the Days Inn & Suites out of Gunnison, CO. Another beautiful small town just a short drive from Monarch, it’s a wonderful place to Apres Ski. The package includes; hotel accommodations, lifts tickets, free shuttle to and from the mountain, dinners and brews at Gunnison’s newest craft brewery High Alpine Brewing Company, and complimentary breakfast at the hotel. Click here to find out more details on this amazing package. Take your winter ski vacation to the next level, literally.