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Monarch Ski Area
Monarch logo.png
Monarch Ski Area is located in Colorado
Monarch Ski Area
Monarch Ski Area
Location in Colorado
Monarch Ski Area is located in the United States
Monarch Ski Area
Monarch Ski Area
Location in the United States
Location Chaffee County, Colorado, United States
Nearest city Salida, Colorado
Coordinates 38°30′45″N 106°19′57″W / 38.51250°N 106.33250°W / 38.51250; -106.33250
Top elevation 11,960 feet (3,650 m)
Base elevation 10,790 feet (3,290 m)
Skiable area 800 acres (3.2 km2)
Runs 63 total
14% beginner
28% Intermediate
27% Advanced
31% Expert
Longest run 1 mile (1.6 km)
Lift system 5 total (1 quad chair, 4 double chairs
Terrain parks 2
Snowfall 400 in/year (1016 cm/year)
Snowmaking no
Night skiing no

Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area is a ski resort located in the state of Colorado. It is twenty miles (32 km) west of Salida, Colorado, on U.S. Highway 50. The resort is situated on Monarch Pass at the continental divide. It has 54 trails, two terrain parks, and an extreme terrain area called Mirkwood. The Monarch Mountain Lodge is located three miles (5 km) 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.

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, which was razed by the CDOT to make way for US Route 50.

Snow rafting Monarch Mountain surroundings
Snow rafting on Monarch Mountain


Monarch first opened in 1939, with one rope tow running up the run named Gunbarrel: a long, steep, heavily-moguled run on the south side of the area. The tow rope was powered by a Chevy engine when it was first opened.

Monarch has been owned and sold many times and is currently owned by many separate parties, none owning more than 25%.

Ski School

A Sprung building was built in 2007 to be the new home for the ski school and rental shop. The ski school offers lessons for all ages and abilities in all three disciplines (ski, snowboard, and telemark). All equipment needed for the three disciplines are available for rental on-site. The rental shop also offers tune-ups and waxing.

Terrain parks

The run formerly known as Slo-Motion was developed into the K2 terrain park in 2008. It is composed of all-natural features, including logs, stumps, and jumps. The run can be used by anyone, even if they have no intent of using any of the features. It is now known as the Never Summer terrain park.

There is a small park at the base of the panorama double chairlift.

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