Pioneer Ski Area
Operation Dates: 1939 - 1952
Area Stats:
*Trails 2 (maximum slope 53 degrees): The Big Dipper and Little
*The base area had a small lodge and cabins to stay in.
*The upper station of the tram was called "Star Point"
Lifts: 2
*1, 3000 foot tram, which was Colorado's first aerial ski lift
**The drive station was located that the base of the area and the
summit was usually unmanned
*1 small rope tow made from a Model A Ford Car engine
History: Pioneer opened in 1939 with the help of local skiers and the
Works Progress Administration.  Western State College offered
physical education classes at the area during the week, while its ski
team also taught classes there.  According to a former skier of the area,
Ross G, the US National Ski Championships were possibly held here in
1947.  Pioneer's Tram was also very unique.  According to Ross,
"There was an operator on the bottom (of the lift) for loading but on top
you were on your own.  Also to the to the Big Dipper you had to get off
the tram to the right, gather your self up and turn around to the left and
when the chance presented itself ski thru the tram line and over to the
BD.  With no operator and skiing through the tram line, The Colorado
Tramway Board inspectors would fall over if they were there then."
Trail Map
(Click for Larger)
Area Picture:
Colorado's first chairlift! ^
An overview of the ski area. *
Have you ever skied Pioneer?
If so, contact us with your memories.

"I competed in an NCAA ski meet in 1956 at Pioneer Ski Area (near Crested Butte).  It
was a 4 way meet.  For the downhill race, we had to climb from the top of the rope tow
to the start.  You have it listed as closing in 1953, but I was still at East Denver High
School then."
- Bob T.
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All Rights Reserved.

*Picture thanks to "A History of Skiing in
Colorado" by Abbott Faye

^ Picture thanks to

Pictures from 2006 thanks to Dan G.
The base terminal remains
Looking up the lift line
The trail: Big Dipper
Guest cabins at the base of the area
Pictures Taken During Fall 2006:
Pictures Taken During Operation:
Part of the old lift