Best Local's Mountain
And the winner is:
Area
Skiabl
e
Acres
Annual
Snowfall
Vertical
Drop
Expert Terrain
Overall Value
*
1. Loveland Ski Area
1,365
400"
2,410'
-The Ridge
-Avalanche Bowl
-Over the Rainbow
Adult Ticket:
$52
Best Value:
4-Pack: $ 99
2. Monarch
800
350"
1,170'
-Mirkwood Basin
-Monarch Cat Tours
Adult Ticket:
$49
Best Value:
Season Pass is
only $269
3. Arapahoe Basin
490
367"
2,270'
-Pallavicini
-Main Street
-East Wall
-North Pole
Adult Ticket:
$54
Best Value:
Vail's
Colorado Pass
Loveland's Chair #9
Tiger's Tale and Cat's
Meow at Loveland
Loveland Ski Area earns the best local's mountain in our survey for many reasons.  Besides
being close to Denver, Loveland typically receives more snow than its neighboring areas.  
Situated at the top of the Continental Divide next to Interstate 70 provides Loveland with
snow from western storms as well as Denver's upslope.  

While known as a cold windy area by Denverites, the cold aids in keeping conditions prime,
right until their closing in early May.  Chair #9, Loveland's newest lift, was approved for
construction back in the late 1990's and serves the Divide.  Reaching over 12,700 feet, #9
provides a high-alpine skiing experience unparalled in the Front Range.  On a powder day,
ride #9 to get first tracks in the wind protected Patrol Bowl.  Three days after a storm, take
a short hike on Summit Ridge for deep powder.

On windy days, Chair #1 is the best bet.  This lift serves everything from the gentle beginner
run Mambo to the steep Over the Rainbow trail.  On any given day, many local Loveland
skiers can be found doing laps on either Avalanche Bowl, Cat's Meow, Busy Gully or
Zoom.  Over the Rainbow is the farthest east inbounds run on the headwall.  Beyond that,
the Forest Service closed the sister chutes due to high avalanche danger and US Highway
6, Loveland Pass.

Monarch Mountain finished second in the survey due to its wide open slopes, powder cat
skiing, and great snow conditions.  Monarch is south and west of Denver on US 50.  While
Monarch is not an easy day trip from Denver, Colorado Springs skiers can make the drive
for a single day of skiing.  New for the 2005-2006 season is Mirkwood Basin.  Mirkwood
is Monarch's first inbounds bowl skiing and is just short hike from the Breezeway Chair.

Arapahoe Basin finishes strong at number three.  Upon driving up to A-Basin, it is obvious
to see why its nickname is "The Legend."  The Palavicinni area seems to shadow the base
area with its long steep descent.  At the summit, Lenewee offers intermediate and expert
bowl skiing.  Arapahoe Basin is currently seeking expansion approval for a new lift in the
Montezuma Bowl.  This could add up to 490 additional skiable acres and one new lift.
Bottom of Fire Bowl at
Loveland
Panorama at Monarch
Hiking to Mirkwood
Basin at Monarch
Palivacinni at A-Basin
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*Prices from 060-07 season and are subject to
change.