Monarch Mountain

Monarch Mountain ~


Monarch Mountain

Three hours from Denver, Monarch Mountain is not far from the capital city and is easily accessible to have a great Colorado ski experience. More specifically, Monarch Mountain is just west of Salida in south central Colorado.

A remarkable amount of snow falls each year at Monarch, which makes this ski area, filled with friendly staff and skiers and riders and affordable ticket prices, an obvious choice for a Rocky Mountain skiing and riding experience. Lift lines, if any, are typically not longer than a few minutes and the views of the nearby peaks will leave you breathless.

One of the more popular areas is Mirkwood Basin. Challenging hike-to terrain, Mirkwood Basin provides over 1,100 feet of cliffs, glades, chutes, and soft powder. There are some great back country slopes served by the Monarch Snowcat Tours which take riders on a tour of the rugged Colorado wilderness.

With 350+ inches of snow annually, Monarch’s claim to fame is since opening in 1939 there has never been any snowmaking equipment; every bit of the mountain is covered with natural snow.

Monarch Stats

Base Elevation: 10,790 ft
Summit Elevation: 11,952 ft
Vertical Drop: 1,162 ft
Skiable Area: 800 acres
Annual Snowfall: 350 in
Number of Lifts: 5
Uphill Lift Capacity: 6,100 per hour
Types of Lifts: 

  • 4 Double Chairs
  • 1 Fixed Quad
Number of Trails: 63
Longest Run: 5,280 ft


Monarch Reviews:

gm from East Texas                                                                                                      Jan 24, 2008

Good value. Crowds not too bad, especially for Christmas week. Terrain not the best, but not bad for variety and good for a 3-day trip. Runs cover all bases; beginner to very advanced. Low prices make it a good value. The people there rate a 5+ for helpfulness and friendliness. (courtesy –

My Take: Monarch rocks! It is currently my home area and it’s like having your own private ski area! 15 minutes from my house in Poncha Springs, all natural snow, lot’s of pow days, friendly people, park the car and go get on the lifts, right on the Continental Divide, this little place is a dream come true.

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