Monarch Mountain – A Unique Family Ski Resort Experience

Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area is located in the state of Colorado. Monarch Mountain has some awesome terrain for Colorado skiing in the south west part of the state. There are more than 800 acres of terrain which is used for skiing on Monarch Mountain. Monarch is located in the San Isabel National Forest and attracts many families who prefer a less crowded ski vacation.

Monarch gets more than 400 inches of snow annually and has some of the best terrain in the region. The double black diamond terrain of Mirkwood Bowl has more than 140 acres of high quality powder which attracts many experienced skiers to Monarch Mountain.

It has 54 trails, two terrain parks, and an extreme terrain area called Mirkwood. The Monarch Mountain Lodge is located three miles east of the ski area in the town of Garfield, Colorado.

Monarch is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. from mid-November to early April. Monarch Ski Area is advertised as a locals’ mountain and charges lower lift-ticket prices than most mountain resorts in Colorado. You can walk to the ski lifts from the parking area for a quick assent into the mountain. And the lines are much shorter than most other ski resort areas in the region. For electric vehicles their is also a Tesla Charging Station in the parking area, so you can recharge while you ski!

Monarch Ski Area is named after Monarch Pass and the associated Monarch Mountain. Monarch pass and Monarch Mountain themselves are named after the 19th-century town Monarch of which itself has been named for the Monarch Butterfly.

There are also snow cat tours which can transport up to 12 skiers with two guides for less than $300 a day which includes the cat rides and skiing  and a hot lunch at the base and more skiing afterwards. The snow cat tours can provide more than 10 runs up the mountain during the course of the day.

Monarch is a hidden gem for for families with children as well as experienced skiers and snowboarders. You can ascend with the Tumbelina Lift, Pioneer Lift, Garfield Lift or the beautiful Panorama Lift which will bring you to the Continental Divide Trail at more than 11,952 feet. Afterwards you can ski down the mountain with friends or with your family in smooth powder snow to the base of the mountian.

Aside from the skiing there is dog-sled riding about 1 mile down the road from the Monarch Mountain ski area. The dogs are friendly and love what they do. About 9 dogs will pull the sled for a long ride in the snow. And you can enjoy hot cocoa and cookies after the sled ride. This is a must do experience with your kids and they will love you (and the dogs) for it!

This family friendly Mountain also has the Town of Monarch about 3 miles down the road on route 50 where you can stay at a beautiful 1-3 bedroom house with a warm fireplace. There are several lodges and hotels to stay at including the Monarch Mountain Lodge, Ski Town Cabin, Monarch Condos, Sleepy Hollow Cabin or the Forest Creek Cabin. These beautiful lodges and hotels are very comfortable and offer the best lodging in the area as well as being situated near the South Arkansas River where the sounds of the river nearby add to the serenity of the Town of Monarch.

Since 1939 Monarch has been known to be a  friendly place to go which has some of the best snow terrain in the region. Families can enjoy childcare services as well as ski lessons for kids. It is one of the best kept secrets in the ski world of Colorado.

Monarch Mountain Ski Facts:
Top elevation: 11,960 feet
Base elevation: 10,790 feet
Skiable area: 800 acres
Runs: 63 total
14% beginner
28% Intermediate
27% Advanced
31% Expert
Longest run: 1 mile
Lift system 5 total: (1 quad chair, 4 double chairs
Terrain parks: 2
Snowfall: 400 inches annually
Snowmaking: no
Night skiing: no

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