For skiers and snowboarders, winter is the optimal time to get outside and enjoy the slopes. This is a great way to spend the cold months; it keeps your body active and enjoying nature. Monarch Resort is a great place for anyone looking to get exercise and improve their athletic prowess this winter.
Naturally, Monarch Resort’s trails are one of its biggest attractions. The resort offers everything from beginner trails to challenging, ungroomed ones perfect for tree and bowl skiing. Monarch Resort gets about 350 inches of snow annually, so our trails are never slushy or disrupted with melting patches. Additionally, the Colorado snow is much drier than you’ll find in areas further south. You can ski for longer periods without worrying about feeling too waterlogged.
For those who prefer to ski without traditional skis, Monarch Resort also offers cat skiing. This popular version of the sport uses hill grooming machines to take guests along some of the resort’s more advanced trails. Depending on the machine’s size, cat skiing can accommodate as many as 12 guests plus guides and drivers. You’ll be taken through a safety talk first and will be required to wear proper equipment.
SPAS AND HOT SPRINGS
Skiing and other winter sports are fun, but naturally cold. When you need to warm up, check out Mount Princeton Hot Springs, just 20 miles from Monarch on US 285. Most people use the hot springs to relax, choosing cascading Japanese style pools or the natural springs in Chalk Creek. An exercise pool is available for those who love to swim. You can also try Salida Hot Springs, where you will be treated to your own private soaking pool.
HIKE THE PIKE AND SAN ISABEL NATIONAL FORESTS
Perhaps more than any state, Colorado is known for its gorgeous scenery, especially in and around its national forests. Your family can enjoy hiking and walking trails in the Pike and San Isabel National Forests, as well as the Cimarron and Comanche National Forests. These five forests cover over three million acres combined and supply over 60% of the water used by metropolitan Denver.
These forests boast nine unique Wilderness Areas, including Picket Wire Canyon and Lost Creek Wilderness. They are also home to the Carrizo Auto Tour Interpretive Site, which offers a self-guided tour through 180 miles of points of interest. These include the Santa Fe Trail’s Aubry cutoff and Carrizo and Picture Canyons.