Monarch Mountain is, by far, one of the best kept secrets of the Colorado ski industry. We almost don’t want to put this out there because we love this mountain so much. We want it to stay what it is—an excellent ski experience with 800 acres of natural snow and a true family-friendly resort. Part of us just wants to keep it to ourselves. But what we love, we want you to experience.
Monarch Mountain is located in the Sawatch Range within the San Isabel National Forest right along the Continental Divide. It receives roughly 350 inches of snow each year and here you’ll be able to ski back-country, tree-lined runs. On top of that, this is a pretty secluded area with less tourists than the bigger resorts. Near the mountain, you’ll find natural hot springs, cabins and condos to rent, and the town of Salida has breweries and great restaurants to keep your bellies happy.
On the mountain, you’ll find the resort’s staff members are always smiling. The Ski Coupons Team was lucky enough to hit the slopes there just this past week and their smiles were infectious! They love what they do and they take care of you during your visit. Take a lesson with their knowledgeable instructors—and remember enthusiasm goes a long way!
And now, the good stuff. Probably the main reason this is one our favorite places is due to the affordability. Monarch Mountain’s lift tickets run about $60 for a full-day adult pass ($45 half day). In addition, the season pass now gives you access to 30 (YES, 30!) ski areas, 10 in Colorado alone. You’ll get three free days at each of Colorado’s smaller resorts like Crested Butte, Loveland, Durango, Silverton Mountain, Sunlight Mountain Resort, Ski Granby Ranch, and Ski Cooper. You may not have heard of all of them, but they bring charm and excellent skiing to Colorado.
If you plan on taking a trip this year, you should consider flying into Colorado Springs, and driving to Monarch for some winter fun. You’ll have time to visit major attractions like Pike’s Peak, the Air Force Academy, and The Garden of the Gods, and the drive to Monarch is just two hours through the canyons along the Arizona River. It’s so easy and enjoyable, with breathtaking views. Locals—pay attention to the Shell gas station partnership: fill up 10 gallons of gas in Colorado Springs’ participating stations and get buy one get one free to ski Monarch! Their hours are 9am-4pm daily, so get out there. You might just see us there.