Colorado, United States
Monarch Ski and Snowboard Area is located on U.S. Highway 50. It is twenty miles west of Salida, Colorado, on Monarch Pass and has 54 trails, two terrain parks, and a newly-opened Extreme-Terrain area called Mirkwood. The Monarch Mountain Lodge is located three miles east of the ski area in the picturesque town of Garfield, Colorado. Many people call this ski area "Colorado's Best-Kept Secret", due to its great terrain and the fact that it is not popularly known. That makes for short lift lines and less crowds. Monarch is open daily from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM from mid-November to early April. Lift tickets range from 35 to 60 dollars depending on age. One of the most famous runs is at the top of the mountain called Skywalker, which follows the ridgeline with breathtaking views. Some less famous but most elegant runs that are uncharted would be pinball, with moguls and gutters. Ten minutes away from the mountain is the Monarch Mountain Hotel.
Monarch fist opened in 1939 with one rope tow on what is now called Gunbarrell. It is the steepest black diamond run that is not in Mirkwood. 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%.
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). You can sign up for group lessons or private(one on one or two on one)lessons. All equipment needed for the three disciplines are available for rent from the rental shop. The rental shop also offers tune ups and waxing.
The run formerly known as Slo-Motion, was developed into an organic terrain park in 2008. It is composed of all natural features, including logs, stumps, and jumps. However the run is can be used by anyone even if they have no intent of going off any of the features. The lay out is more like a run with obstacles scattered about, rather than a more commonly thought of terrain park. There is also the Aftershock terrain park, which is located next to Freeway, that comes down right to the base in front of the lodge. This gives people in the lodge and on the deck a great view. This is Monarch's terrain park that hosts multiple competitions throughout the season.
Monarch ski area is named after a male elk that has 7 points on its rack. Right after the area closes, there is a large elk migration through the ski area.