Continuing with my ski resort rampage, I will delve into the resumes of several of the closer ski resorts to the greater Denver area.
Opening Day- Thanksgiving Weekend (unless weather plays a bad hand)
General – Echo Mountain is definitely the unofficial ‘Mecca’ for econo-skiers and boarders on the Front Range. It has become this because it fulfills the basic requirements of the econo-snow junkie which are distance, price, and time on the mountain. In terms of distance, it is the closest to Denver by far with a short 35-mile drive from downtown. By price, a $129 (now $149) season pass is hard to beat and single day passes are just 39 dollars. Best out of all the benefits listed above is the amount of time one can spend on the mountain. With night skiing capabilities, Echo Mountain is open from nine in the morning to nine at night Wednesday through Saturday.
Peak – 10,650 ft.
Base – 10,050 ft.
Vertical Rise – 600 ft.
Skiable Terrain – 85 acres
Average Snowfall – 275 inches
Snowmaking – Coverage 100% (except for Westside Glades)
Lifts – 2
Terrain parks – 1
Cool and New – Since this resort is so small, it has largely focused on free-style to specialize on. This said, it continues to expand its terrain park and other trick toys. Also, new expansion has brought an additional couple of acres of new advanced skiing in the “Westside Glades.”
Opening Day- November 21
General – Beaten only by Echo Mountain, Eldora Ski Resort is the closest skiing resort to the Denver area. Located 47 miles away from Denver in the town of Nederland, Eldora is a fair bit different than Echo Mountain. With more runs, diversity in terrain, higher altitude, and much greater size, it is arguably the first major ski resort when heading westward. It has always been a favorite of ‘Boulderites’ and Golden residents mostly due to its rather low rates, good natural snow, and great snowmaking; they are proud of the fact that they have 100% coverage of all groomed slopes.
Summit Elevation: 10,800′
Vertical Drop: 1,600′
Skiable Acres: 680
Annual Average Snowfall: 300″
Cool and New- They have four terrain parks at Eldora with ever-changing formats.
Opening Day – October 15th (tied with A-Basin for first US resort to open this year)
General- An impressive resort similar in elevation to A-Basin, Loveland provides a very snow-conducive environment. With the help from colder temps at higher elevation, the resort is able to stay open from October to May and accumulate a whopping average of 400 inches a year! I smell powder. Do you? It is also very close to Denver as well sitting at approximately 53 miles from the city.
Skiable Acres – 1,365
Base Elevation – 10,600 feet (3230.880 meter)
Summit Elevation – 13,010 feet (3965.448 meter)
Lift-served: 12,700 feet
Vertical Drop – 2,410 feet (734.568 meter)
Snowmaking Capability – 160 Acres
Lifts – 3 double, 2 triple, 3 quad, 1 surface lift and 1 tow
Average Snowfall – 400 inches (10.160 meter) based on 31-year average
Longest Run – 2 miles (3.218 km)
Slopes – 13% Beginner 41% Intermediate and 46% Advanced
Cool and New- Much like Eldora and Echo Mountain, Freestyle has helped place emphasis on the need for a changing and improving terrain park. Look for new and better stuff than ever before this year.