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Monarch Mountain Skiing & Snowboarding Resort Guide

Pueblo, Colorado may not seem like a ski and snowboard destination. While the desert city in itself isn’t, just two hours to the west Monarch Mountain has some of the best skiing and snowboarding in Colorado. This small Southern Colorado ski resort is a sleepy, old-school ski and snowboard area perched atop Monarch Pass. The chill vibes and small crowds make Monarch Mountain great for families and powder hounds alike.

Mountain Overview

Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area

With six chairlifts, and 800 skiable acres, Monarch is small for a Colorado ski and snowboard area, however the small size packs a big punch. The Breezeway Chairlift is advanced skiers and snowboarders gateway to the best terrain at Monarch. From the top of the lift, a quick hike accesses the wide array of expert terrain that includes wide open Mirkwood Bowl, the steep Orcs chutes, and glades aplenty. The small hike is well worth it. Most skiers and snowboarders will head straight here on a powder day, which often leaves hidden stashes of powder throughout the rest of the mountain. The trees of of the Pioneer and Garfield chairlifts hold some of these secret stashes. Beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders have plenty of options as well. The Garfield and Tumbelina chairlifts serve most of the beginner terrain, however there are green runs that start all the way at the top of the mountain off the Panorama lift.

Mountain Stats & Monarch Trail Map

Monarch Trail Map
 Total Skiable Acres 1,800 Beginner Terrain27%
 Base Elevation 10,790' Intermeidate Terrain 30%
 Summit Elevation  11,952' Advanced Terrain 43%
 Vertical Drop1,162' Average Annual Snowfall 350"+
Total Lifts6  

Travel Information & Directions

While Monarch Mountain’s southern Colorado location may seem somewhat remote, it’s closer than it appears on a map. Driving, Monarch is two and a half hours from Colorado Springs, three hours from Denver, and 50 minutes from Gunnison. The ski and snowboard area is located on the Summit of Monarch Pass, which connects Gunnison to Pueblo.
Travel Resources:

Travel Directions to Monarch

Lodging Information

Being a small, community ski area, there is no lodging at Monarch Mountain itself, however there are several options nearby. The Monarch Mountain Lodge is a very quick 10 minute drive from the mountain. Poncha Springs and Salida on the east side of the pass, and Gunnison on the west offer more lodging options. Search on the Monarch Mountain website below for discounted rates.
Monarch Lodging Overview
The Monarch Lodge

Our Favorite Snowboards For Monarch
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Local Food Picks

Monarch Mountain lodge has a couple on-mountain restaurants that do a good job keeping hungry skiers and snowboarders going all day long. The Sidewinder Saloon is a classic ski area bar, with great food and local beer. Off the mountain, Moonlight Pizza and Brewpub in Salida is a great way to wrap up a powder day, with tasty pizza and craft beer. Gunnison has some great sandwiches at the Firebrand Deli.
Monarch Dining:

On Mountain Dining
Moonlight Pizza
Firebrand Deli  

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Where to Find Lift Tickets to Monarch Mountain?

Monarch Mountain lift tickets are among the cheapest in Colorado. The small ski and snowboard area allows skiers and snowboarders to experience southern Colorado powder much cheaper than the larger nearby Crested Butte and Telluride. Discount Monarch Mountain lift tickets can be bought ahead of time online.
Monarch Lift Tickets Lift Tickets

Loveland Weather Information

Situated in southern Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, Monarch receives an average of 350” of snowfall annually. Big snowstorms often favor these southern mountains brings light snow, and lots of it. Monarch, with all of its great tree skiing and snowboarding is awesome during big storms. Monarch, unlike many other Colorado ski resorts, does not have any snowmaking capabilities and relying on this natural snowfall. However, given its location, snow is not usually in short supply. February is one of the snowiest months at Monarch, however, powder days can often be found into the late spring.
Monarch Mountain  Weather & Conditions Resources

Monarch Ski Report

Monarch Mountain packs a surprising amount of awesomeness into the small ski and snowboard area. Family friendly facilities, and a laid-back vibe make Monarch an inviting place to learn to ski or snowboard. Powder hounds will also find something to love, with the lack of crowds, fun terrain, and plenty of snow. While it may not be a huge destination resort, Monarch is absolutely worth a stop on any southern Colorado ski and snowboard trip.

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