Count Down to Opening Day

While some Colorado ski areas have already opened, Monarch Mountain Ski Area in Chaffee County does things a little differently. And it is something skiers and boarders can really be thankful for. Monarch always ties their Opening Day to Thanksgiving day. This year’s date is Nov. 23, 2017.

That’s because Monarch is one of the few remaining ski resorts with all-natural snow, all the time, no matter what. This is possible because Monarch is blessed with an average of 350 inches of sweet snow every season, making for many epic pow-pow-powder days.


Discounts and Deals

“We are less expensive than most ski areas in Colorado,” says Dan Bender, Monarch marketing director. That’s actually a bit of an understatement. At $89 for a single-day ticket, that’s as much as $30 less than some other Colorado resorts. It’s a philosophy, not a gimmick. Monarch owners believe skiing should be exhilarating not account-draining.


Monarch Season Passes are just $479 this year, so even if you just have a week’s vacation here, it’s worth the price. Season pass benefits include unlimited skiing with no blackout dates at Monarch as well as a ton of free or discounted days at partner resorts in Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. Plus, pass holders get one discounted buddy ticket a day and deals at Monarch shops and restaurants and many places in Salida and Buena Vista too. The 4-pack lift-ticket bundle is the next best thing, but even just a little planning ahead really pays off, too.


“Online we’re going to have a dynamic pricing structure,” says Bender. “It’s kind of like airline pricing. Tickets will be higher during high-demand times, but they’re always less expensive than a regular walk-up ticket.” The pricing structure has a floor price of $64, and a ceiling of $79. Discounted tickets must be purchased online by 11 p.m. the night before.

If you’re Military, a college student, a kid or a teen, you’ll save like crazy. Well, let’s get even crazier here – Super Seniors (over age 69) ski for free! And little kids – the under six crowd – they’re free too. But not the hot chocolate they’ll soon beg for. Sorry.  

There are also discounts in numbers. Bring along 20 of your closest friends – or church group, corporate group, ski club – and get all the group goodies.  Groups get discounted rates, their own personal host and a designated meeting room where they can safely stash all their gear.

Monarch Mountain is also one of the ski areas participating in the Colorado Gems Card promotion. The card is $25 but then allows either two 2-for-1 lift tickets or two tickets at 30 percent off.



Monarch Mountain is located about 20 minutes from Salida in Central Colorado. It has 64 trail runs and 6 lifts: 1 quad, 4 doubles and 1 conveyor. This year, they’ve added 700 additional Snow Cat acreage for a total of 1,635 acres. With all that fresh-tracks back-country acreage, including Mirkwood, Monarch has 2400 skiable acres. Monarch’s ski instructors are members of PSIA, the Professional Ski Instructors of America, insuring a top-notch, consistent teaching program. Lessons range from Level One for true beginners to Level Nine for those looking to seriously up their game.

The iconic Sidewinder Saloon is the comfort-food capital and sets the après ski standard. On weekends, Elmo’s Bar opens in the Pioneer Room. The Gunbarrel Cafeteria is great for those who can’t wait to get back on those slopes super quickly. There’s also an expanded Picnic Area where you can bring your own favorite slopeside snacks.



Don’t miss the Monarch Mountain Winter Countdown at Acacia Park in Colorado Springs on Saturday Nov. 4 from 10-2. Free and fun, this all-ages event features ski deals, gear demos, info and activities. Monarch will offer preseason lift ticket specials and Mountain Equipment Recyclers hosts the community winter equipment swap.



The Salida Chamber of Commerce and Monarch Mountain present “Kick Off to Winter… Stay Another Day Winter Expo,” from 5-7 on Saturday, Nov. 18 at the Steam Plant Ballroom. This free winter anticipation celebration features winter sports and gear vendors and free Domino’s Pizza and Elevation Beer Company tasters, too. Stay for the 7 p.m. showing of “Warren Miller’s Line of Descent presented by Volkswagen.” Advanced $20 tickets are available at Salida Mountain Sports, Elevation Beer Co, Monarch Outpost in Salida, and the Steam Plant.



 Monarch celebrates holidays like no other. On Christmas Eve, be there for Santa Skis at Monarch, and on New Year’s Eve, be part of the magical Monarch Torchlight Parade followed by fireworks.

For more information visit or call 719-530-5000. See you on the slopes!