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Monarch, Colorado Ski Resort


Skiers and snowboarders now have access to 130 additional acres opened for skiing and riding called Mirkwood Basin.

Mirkwood Basin

Accessible via the Breezeway lift and a 15-minute hike along a cat-track, the new terrain will offer about 1,100 vertical feet of extreme skiing/riding. This expansion allows skiers/boarders to access steep expert chutes and glades, rock cliffs, and excellent tree skiing previously accessible only via Monarch's Snowcat Tours.

On opening day, March of 2005, skiers and boarders were raving - or was it ragin'? - about the long anticipated opening of the Basin. This new area is sure to be a turn-on for the legions of extreme skier and boarder junkies who will want to sample Colorado's newest dose of double-black diamond terrain.

Long known for its all-natural champagne powder, short lift lines and small-town friendly crew, Monarch adds another dimension with Mirkwood Basin. Come see why so many people are headed back to Monarch for a new black-diamond experience. Guided Mirkwood tours are available and are a great way to explore this unique area. Tours begin at the Lesson Center at 10:30 and last two hours. These tours are for ages 13 and up.

Here's some information about this new double-black diamond area:

  1. It is a 10-15 minute hike to make the 300 vertical foot climb (1200 linear feet) to the top of the basin.
  2. There are roughly 130 skiable acres.
  3. EXTREME Terrain means: any place within the ski area boundary that contains cliffs with a minimum twenty-foot rise over a fifteen-foot run, and slopes with a minimum fifty-degree average pitch over a one-hundred-foot run. You may also encounter the following: open bowls, cliffs, glades, chutes, rocks and trees. Only for the experienced skier/rider.
  4. An egress road will bring you back to a run called Slo Motion which ends up at the main base lodge.
Any other specific questions about this area should be directed to the Monarch Ski Patrol. Now get out there and have some fun!


Interested, but a bit hesitant? The Mirkwood Tour is a guided tour of our expert level hike to terrain. Tours take place on Saturdays at 11am for 1.75 hours. Orientation and information lap through Mirkwood (Extreme Terrain). The Mirkwood Tours are available for skiers and snowboarders ages 13+ and levels 8+. Cost is $55.00