West of Salida and east of Gunnison, the Monarch Mountain ski area has 53 runs spread over 800 acres that are served by 5 lifts with a maximum vertical descent of 1,162 feet. Located on the Continental Divide, local snowboarders consider Monarch pretty snow-sure with an average of 350 inches of snowfall annually.
While shredding it up at Monarch, try the Panorama lift for nice glade runs. In addition to the lift-served ski area, the Mirkwood Basin offers an additional 130 acres of open snowboarding with a vertical descent of 1,100 feet. But, you've got to work for it -- from the top of the Breezeway lift, there's a 15 minute hike up the cat-track. It's worth it in order to rip it up down steep, expert-only chutes, glades and rock cliffs.
And, if Mirkwood Basin isn't enough for you, try Monarch Cat Skiing that provides access to another 1,635 acres of expert terrain. A typical day with the Monarch snowcat offers 10-12 runs with 900 feet of vertical descent. An advanced reservation is required by calling Monarch Cat Skiing at (719) 530-5105.
For the freestyle snowboarders in your crew, Monarch Mountain has two terrain parks to session. The Tilt Park is ideal for beginners with smaller rails, boxes and jumps for never-evers, and it is accessible via the Panorama lift. The Never Summer Terrain Park has progressive features such as rails, boxes and jumps that grow in size as the season progresses, and is accessed by the Breezeway lift.
For apres ski, try the slopeside Sidewinder Bar. For nightlife in Salida, check out the Boathouse Cantina, Victoria Tavern (aka the Vic) or Bensons Tavern.
To reach the snowboarding at Monarch Mountain from Salida, head west on US50 for about 45 minutes. The Monarch ski area is on the right before Monarch Pass. There are very few services available once you leave Salida.
Overall, Monarch Mountain is the 5th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 28 snowboarding resorts in Colorado.
Local Contacts: Monarch Mountain Ski Resort (719) 530-5000; Salida Visitors (719) 539-2068
Best Season: Dec. - Mar.
Average Difficulty: Moderate
Base Camp: Woodland Motel, Salida (800) 488-0456
Luxury Loding: Palace Hotel, Salida (719) 207-4175
Breakfast Restaurant: Brown Dog Coffee, Salida
Reference Source: click here https://www.skimonarch.com/
PDF Map: click here
GPS: 38.512307, -106.331972
Date Published: 12/28/2015
Date Updated: 9/8/2019
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