Monarch Mountain Colorado (US)

Ski Resort Review, Information and Guide

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Monarch Mountain
Mountain Summary:

Base: 10,790 ft
Mountain Summit: 11,952 ft
Vertical: 1,162 ft
Ski area: 800 acres
Trails: 53
Lifts: 6
Quad Chairs: 1
Double Chairs: 4
Surface Lifts: 1
Terrain parks: 2
Annual Snowfall: 350"


Beginner: 23%
Intermediate: 25%
Advanced: 38%
Expert: 14%

Daily Report:




Resort Services:

  • ski rental
  • ski instruction
  • food
  • lockers
  • ski shop
  • child care

Trail Maps:

trail map

Monarch Weather:
° Weather
° Weather Radar

Virtual Tours:

Monarch Mountain Base thumb
Mountain Base

Monarch Mountain Tumbelina Peak thumb
Tumbelina Lift Peak

Monarch Mountain Mirkwood Bowl thumb
Mirkwood Bowl

Tree Runs Ski Video:

Favorite 3 tree runs

Monarch Ski Resort Description:

Monarch is Southwest of Denver near the town of Salida Colorado. As the crow flies it is directly South of Vail, in a mountain ecosystem which delivers an above average snowfall for the Colorado resorts. Monarch does not have the village of high end shops and spas and your lift ticket will not be paying for it either. The art shops and high end restaurants are still available nearby in one of the most underrated ski towns, Salida Colorado.

The Monarch mountain layout has some of the easiest beginner runs available from the base lift of Tumbelina, like "Little Joe", "Snow Flake" and "Rookie" to advanced tree runs and the hike-able Mirkwood bowl which all seem to have fresh powder long after a snowfall.

Monarch Terrain:

Beginners and Intermediates:

The mountain has plenty of beginner terrain available from the Tumbelina and Garfield lifts. Monarch trails are well marked and it is unlikely one would ever get lost or misdirected.

Green run: Rookie

Beginner green run: "Rookie"

Green run: lower Sleepy Hollow

Green run: "Sleepy Hollow" (lower part near base)


Caterpillar conveyor belt beginner lift (enclosed in a tube) for those skiing or boarding for the first time.

Blue run: Great Divide to Ticaboo and Snowburn

The blue run "Great Divide" truly runs along the continental divide and splits into the two blue runs "Ticaboo" and "Snowburn".

Advanced Terrain:

The advanced runs on the mountain are accessible from "Garfield", "Panorama" and "Breezway" chair lifts. Many of the open single black diamond runs are easy and more like advanced blues except for the tree runs - theses are all rated appropriately.

Mirage - Advanced run off the Panorama lift

Mirage black diamond run off of Panorama lift

Advanced run

Mirkwood Bowl - Advanced runs

Mirkwood Bowl: hike-able terrain.
See our review of the Mirkwood Bowl hike and ski run

Monarch Snowcat

For an extra fee, the Monarch snowcat can take you to "off-piste" back country terrain unreachable by a lift or a reasonable hike.

Tree Runs:

Monarch has an abundance of advanced tree runs and is in fact a noted highlight for advanced skiers. The trees preserve powder long after a dump and freshies are always available to those willing to take a new line.

Advanced run Geno's Meadow

Geno's Meadow: The start is a gentle invitation for the terrain below.

Other awesome tree runs include "Shag Nasty", "B's Bash" off of "Breezeway" lift and "Sheer-Rocko" off of the top of the Panorama lift. These are all narrow black diamond tree runs. "Geno's Meadow" is significantly more spacious and a good warm-up for the other more difficult runs.

Resort Overview:
Monarch Tree Runs:
A ski video of our three favorite tree runs at Monarch Mountain Colorado ski resort: Shear Rock-O, B's Bash and Geno's Meadow

Colorado Avalanche Forecast:

Monarch Terrain Park:

Monarch has two terrain parks, Tilt and Never Summer. Tilt has simpler features created to ensure success. They are low to the ground with a much shorter distance to fall.

Never Summer is a much larger terrain park with much more challenging features.

Monarch Colorado: Terrain park - Tilt

Tilt: the beginner features low to the ground

Monarch Colorado: Terrain park

The entrance to "Never Summer" terrain park is off of the top of the Breezeway chair lift

Monarch Colorado: Terrain park

"Never Summer" terrain park

Mountain Base & Shopping:

One will find that the Monarch mountain base has the basic necessities for the day: food, ski gear and accessories. The neaby town of Salida is a vibrant town with accommodations, shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars. Read on to our dining and nightlife guide to learn more about Salida.

Monarch base store

Store in Lodge at base: apparel, accessories and souvenirs.

Monarch lift ticket prices

Monarch lift ticket prices: spring 2014


Next: Monarch Apres Ski, Dining and Nightlife

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