Close

Member Login

Logging In
Invalid username or password.
Incorrect Login. Please try again.

not a member? sign-up now!

Signing up could earn you gear and it helps to keep offensive content off of our site.

PRINT DIGITAL
Resort Finder
Resort Finder
All Resorts

Monarch Mountain, CO

Monarch Mountain, CO

Travel
By Hannah Nordhaus
posted: 01/02/2008

Monarch Mountain lies in the Sawatch Range, 120 miles southwest of Colorado Springs, and while it isn't big, it offers a big variety of options for those willing to travel off the beaten path. If you look, you'll find two Monarchs: There's one that appeals to skiers looking for affordable and not-too-scary skiing within a day's drive of ski-deprived locations like Texas. And then there's the homegrown area that attracts experts who applaud Monarch's steep bump runs, tree shots and snow that often remains untracked two days after a big storm.

Consider the two fashion statements I observed there last year. The first took place on a blizzardy New Years Day when I rode the lift behind two teenagers from a Texas church group who decided to test their manly mettle by taking their shirts off. With snow falling and wind howling, it was no place for the shirtless. One kid re-robed after about 30 seconds, but the other, to my horror and, I'll admit, awe, lasted the entire four-minute ride.

Later that spring, I returned to ski with - or rather, behind - no less than freeski legend Scot Schmidt, who spends a few days each March with Monarch Snowcat Tours, which takes clients into 1,300 acres of what I found to be some of the steepest catskiing terrain in the state. The runs were straight and steep and intimidating in places, moving one of my fellow riders to don shoulder pads, elbow pads, knee pads, hip pads, and Terminator-like pectoral pads. (This seemed over the top to me.)

That's Monarch: shirtless Texans on the bunny hill and body-padded freeskiers on the steeps, with plenty of terrain in between for those of us who just like to pull on Gore-Tex and make some turns.

DETAILS
One of the great benefits of Monarch is spending your evenings in Salida, an old railroad town that has become a hub for Arkansas River boaters, artists, new-agers and skiers attracted by Monarch's low-key vibe. The town features a wealth of Victorian homes and local businesses. In town, stay at the Century House Cottages; if you prefer a rural roost, book at the spectacular Creekside Lodge Bed & Breakfast or at Antero Hot Springs. For fuel, Salida's Laughing Ladies Café has haute cuisine in a laid-back atmosphere; Amica's, a local favorite, offers outstanding pizza and calzones.

INFO
888-996-7669; http://skimonarch.com/ target=_blank>

reviews of Monarch Mountain, CO
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • No HTML tags allowed

More information about formatting options

Type the characters you see in this picture. (verify using audio)
Type the characters you see in the picture above; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.
All submitted comments are subject to the license terms set forth in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use