Monarch Mountain is a quaint and remote ski “resort” that sits on the continental divide about two hours east of Montrose Colorado. The term “resort” is relative in that this is not necessarily a destination ski-in ski-out poo-poo noses-up kind of place. Monarch Mountain dubs itself ,“Real Colorado Skiing”, and I am one to agree. There are not many places left where you can see a local carving slow s-turns in Carhartt coveralls. There are also few places left with small lift lines. Even on a powder day, lift lines are minimal here.
The terrain has limits (unless you book a cat skiing trip with them), but the powder is limitless. I especially enjoy the advanced lift. After tracking out all the powder on the upper mountain, the advanced lift terrain ALWAYS has freshies in the secret stash spots sometimes even days after a storm. I love the fact that we can sleep in and still get semi-fresh tracks.
A few years back, we were able to snowboard in multi-foot powder just above Mirkwood Basin on the mountain, and it was a gorgeous sunny day. The mountain vibe is so down to earth, it’s refreshing. While it may take a bit longer to get to Monarch Mountain than it does to Telluride or Powderhorn, it is worth the drive when you don’t have to fight the crowds. Not only do they have cat skiing, snowbarding and skiing lessons, but Monarch also features an epic tubing park you won’t want to miss. Additionally, through March 6th, the Town Challenge is a fun, sponsored course competition every Friday for skiers and snowboarders. And don’t forget about the two terrain parks for practicing your tricks. Monarch Mountain may be one of the lesser known ski resorts, but it is not lacking in snow filled fun for the whole family.
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