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Ultimate Guide to Eldora Mountain Resort

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  • by Aimee Heckel
  • February 17, 2017
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  • Sep 24, 2023

The Ultimate Ski Guide to Eldora Mountain, Colorado

Nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains of Colorado, Eldora Mountain Resort is a pristine skiing and snowboarding destination that calls to winter sports enthusiasts seeking a memorable alpine experience.

Known for its accessible location, diverse terrain, and family-friendly atmosphere, Eldora Mountain offers a remarkable ski adventure for individuals and families alike.

In this comprehensive guide, we, as passionate skiing experts, will take you on an informative journey through Eldora Mountain, providing insights into the best slopes, accommodations, dining options, and more. Prepare to embark on an unforgettable ski adventure!

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Discovering Eldora Mountain

1. eldora mountain: a hidden gem.

Eldora Mountain Resort, affectionately known as "Eldora," is located just 21 miles west of Boulder, making it one of the most accessible ski resorts from the Denver metropolitan area. It is characterized by a welcoming atmosphere and a unique blend of convenient proximity and serene mountain beauty.

2. Planning Your Eldora Getaway

Before you hit the slopes, thorough planning is key to a memorable trip. Here are some essential considerations:

a. Accommodations

While Eldora doesn't have on-mountain lodging, you'll find various lodging options in nearby towns like Nederland and Boulder. Consider staying at the Boulder Marriott, The Boulder Creek Lodge, or The Sundance Lodge for a comfortable stay.

b. Lift Tickets and Passes

To maximize your time on the mountain, purchase lift tickets or passes in advance. Eldora offers various options, including daily lift tickets, multi-day passes, and season passes.

c. Equipment Rentals

If you don't have your gear, Eldora has rental shops offering high-quality skis, snowboards, and equipment. They also provide fitting and tuning services to ensure you have the best experience.

d. Lessons and Guided Adventures

Eldora offers skiing and snowboarding lessons for all levels. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced rider, taking lessons can enhance your skills and overall experience.

Conquering the Varied Slopes

3. eldora's diverse ski terrain.

Eldora Mountain is renowned for its diverse terrain, making it ideal for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities. Here are some must-visit areas:

a. Challenge Mountain

Challenge Mountain is perfect for expert skiers and riders, offering challenging runs and tree skiing experiences.

b. Indian Peaks

Intermediate skiers and families will enjoy the scenic runs of Indian Peaks, with its breathtaking views and well-groomed slopes.

c. BunnyFair Terrain Park

For those who love freestyle skiing and snowboarding, BunnyFair Terrain Park offers jumps, rails, and features suitable for all skill levels.

4. Après-Ski Delights

After a thrilling day on the slopes, indulge in some après-ski activities:

Eldora offers a variety of dining options. Enjoy a delicious meal at the Timbers Lodge, savor Mexican cuisine at Salto Coffee Works, or have a casual dinner at Nederland's local eateries.

b. Shopping

Explore the charming towns of Nederland and Boulder for boutique shopping, art galleries, and unique souvenirs. You'll find everything from outdoor gear to handmade crafts.

c. Relaxation

Unwind at one of the local spas or hot tubs. A massage or a soak in hot springs can rejuvenate your body for another day of skiing.

Safety and Tips

5. prioritizing safety.

Safety is paramount when skiing at Eldora Mountain. Here are some essential safety tips:

a. Dress Appropriately

Ensure you have the right gear, including helmets, goggles, and layered clothing to stay warm and protected.

b. Know Your Limits

Ski within your skill level, and heed trail signs and closures. Eldora offers terrain suitable for all abilities.

c. Avalanche Safety

If you plan to venture into backcountry terrain, consider taking an avalanche safety course and carry the necessary equipment, including beacons, shovels, and probes.

Wrapping Up Your Eldora Adventure

In conclusion, Eldora Mountain Resort, Colorado, offers a ski experience that's convenient, diverse, and family-friendly. Its accessible location, varied terrain, and welcoming atmosphere make it an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts of all levels. So, pack your bags, hit the slopes, and create unforgettable memories in this mountain paradise.

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Eldora Mountain Resort Ski Resort

Located just 21 miles west of Boulder and 46 miles from Denver, Eldora is the backyard mountain for Boulder County and Colorado’s northern Front Range. From mellow beginner terrain to thrilling steeps and glades, Eldora has terrain for every type of skier and rider, including world-class Woodward terrain parks and learning progressions.

With its combination of proximity, fantastic learning terrain, low-key family-friendly vibe, and lesson programs for kids and adults, Eldora is known widely as Colorado's BEST PLACE TO LEARN . Eldora also offers uphill-skiing access, plus 42 kilometers of Nordic and snowshoeing trails. Plus, Eldora boasts easy, affordable public transportation from anywhere in the Denver metro region straight to its high-speed, six-person Alpenglow chairlift. Check out RTD's N Route for up-to-date fare and schedule info. Eldora is part of the POWDR Adventure Lifestyle Co. portfolio. For more, visit Eldora.com.

Inside Scoop

Plan your trip, best time for snow, average snowfall, terrain overview, total lifts: 10, important dates, contact information.

P.O. Box 1697

80466 Nederland, Colorado

United States

303-440-8700

[email protected]

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The Little Mountain That Could

One of the best race and freestyle programs in colorado hails from a backyard hill you may not have heard of— and teaches kids a lot more than how to smash gates..

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A dozen or so teenage racers with Eldora Mountain Ski and Snowboard Club (EMSC) bibs coagulate in one of the last remaining sunny spots at the bottom of a run called Chute at Colo.’s Eldora Mountain Resort, all booted up and wearing POC helmets, face protectors, GS suits, shin guards, and padded shorts. It’s 4 o’clock on a Wednesday, and the shadows have stretched over the slalom courses above and hardened the snow into what looks like polished concrete. The kids are talking and laughing louder with every minute—their energy building like molecules heated under a blow torch.

These kids are part of a nonprofit program at a resort you’ve possibly never heard of in a tiny, prayer-flag fluttering town whose sole claim to fame is a former resident who lies cryogenically frozen and packed in dry ice in a Tuff Shed above town.

Lukas Haug trains on the slalom course

“Of all of the world-class competition programs to highlight, why this one?” you ask. Well, if you could hear the smack that reverberates in your chest as these kids shin gates in the blue evening light, you’d understand. This program has something that the faux Bavarian villages of resorts on the I-70 corridor don’t—something they will take with them well beyond the ski slopes.

Sawyer Zeldner and Darian Squires in EMSC's clubhouse.

For those who know this place and the people behind this program—namely Eldora general manager Brent Tregaskis, EMSC executive director Matt Tomasko—the team’s many podiums are hardly surprising. Historically, EMSC’s junior race program has been in the top three of all the clubs in Colorado, with six kids from the U16 division and five from U14 racing in the junior championships. (Though Ski and Snowboard Club Vail is still the heaviest hitter, with 36 kids in the 2019 U14 junior championships alone.) Eldora also sent a snowboard alpine carver to represent the U.S. at the FIS Championships in Utah last year, which, according to people who follow that sort of thing, is a pretty big deal.

“Little Eldora, look at us go,” Tomasko says as the kids line up at the poma, snow crystals sparkling in the sideways afternoon light. Tomasko’s been running this program for 27 years—along with parenting his own five kids, ages 7 to 18, and running SMBA ( Singletrack Mountain Bike Adventures ) in the summer—and oversees the coaching of kids ages 5 to 18. His calm energy is palpable; he loves this stuff.

The recipe for their success is, counterintuitively, the fact that Eldora is so small. “The small mountain actually works to our advantage,” Tomasko explains, “because everyone here works so well together.” The resort, 20 miles from Boulder, heavily supports the race teams because it’s good for business—kids who race here bring their families to the mountain to ski. “They blow snow for us so we can start training before Vail does,” Tomasko says. “We’re valued customers in their business model. Eldora feels strongly about keeping great kids and families coming to this mountain and creating a community around skiing.”

Big Mountain Freestyle team member Halie Leland boasts perfect mid-air form.

Tregaskis, Eldora’s GM, also has a history in ski racing—he grew up running gates at Sundance Mountain Resort, a similarly small hill in the long shadows of Park City and Snowbird . He knows first-hand how ski-racing families operate. “If you have a kid in the race program, their parents are likely to bring the whole family,” he said in a recent phone interview. “The more time they spend at Eldora, the better off we are.” But Eldora isn’t all about business—Tregaskis believes in the kind of character-building ski racing provides local kids. “A lot of us in senior management have ties to ski racing. We know they’re not all going to be Bode Miller, but learning how to compete in life is important. That’s a big part of why our company is so supportive of ski racing.”

It’s clearly working: Eldora is thriving, with vibrant lift lines and packed lunch tables. It helps that its 680 acres of skiable terrain are meaty enough to satisfy—with steep groomers, untamed trees, zipper bump lines, and sneaky pow days from upslope storms that leave bigger resorts high and dry.

But how does EMSC keep these kids so engaged? Being on the team is a huge commitment, for both the kids and their parents. Racers from schools all across the Front Range—many of whom came up through Eldora’s ski school , the adorably named Eldorables for the littles and TREK for ages 7-14—ride the bus up here to train for four hours every weekday afternoon and most Saturdays too. They manage skiing 20 hours a week with their classes, homework, social lives, and college applications.

While burnout is a hot topic at other similarly demanding programs, Eldora’s kids seem to be self-motivated and energized. What makes this team so special?

“The coaches do a really good job balancing freeskiing and racing,” says Annie Holleman, a 17-year-old senior at Boulder High School who’s been with the program for 10 years. “So we develop a love for skiing in general—not just racing. I definitely want to keep skiing. It’s a big part of my identity.”

Drew Sammond races slalom.

They load the poma one by one and slide up the hill, their helmets looking like shiny things on an assembly line conveyor belt. One kid standing in line drops an F-bomb, to which a nearby coach who didn’t appear to have been listening shouts back, “Hey, hey, language.”

As the first racers ski the course—the scrape of their edges and smack of the gates so well-timed it has the cadence of a metronome—a 17-year-old girl hockey stops in front of Mary Rachael “MR” Hostetter, who, incidentally, was coached by Tomasko years ago. The girl puts her goggles on the brim of her helmet and holds her bent pole up so Hostetter can see it. “I have two slalom races this weekend. What do I do?”

“Sometimes you can bend it back, but sometimes it snaps,” Hostetter says, taking it in her hands and looking it over. “I have some you can borrow.” She hands it back, and the girl, reassured, skates over to the poma for another lap.

The ski corral strikes me as a test kitchen for adulthood— where the kids can practice swearing, flirting, taking care of their gear—and then come back to the safe apron of the coaches for reassurance or guidance. It’s become a familiar dynamic for me, as my own preteen daughter won’t let me hug her in front of her friends, but she still needs me to talk her down the moguls and French braid her hair, currently fringed with pink temporary dye. And for the older kids who may not go to their parents at all, the coaches can provide the kind of direction that they don’t even know they need.

Another kid cycles through, stopping to talk to Hostetter. “How do you keep your snow contact after the flush?” he asks.

“Set yourself up coming out of it so you’re not rocked back,” she says. “We talked about building energy. You really gotta work for it. Stay grounded. You can do it.” He nods and skates toward the poma.

I hear other coaches, like Jake Dippy, assistant U16 coach, offering tips like, “Breathe. Refresh your brain.” And, “Take a step outside the course and figure out what you did wrong, and then focus on what you need to do to correct it.” 

Perhaps it’s the self-help and parenting books that occupy all the real estate on my bedside table, but it strikes me that this advice is so much more than just ski coaching. Tomasko echoes this sentiment. “The elements—tough work, tenacity, and character—that ski racing builds will help kids be successful everywhere. Kids who work hard always improve. They feel good about themselves and learn a lot about themselves in the process.”

It’s almost six, the sun set an hour ago, and my hands are freezing. And these kids are basically wearing yoga pants.

Freestyle coaches Lex Bennet and Vitek Linhart enjoy a snow shower courtesy of their young athletes.

“I WANNA DO A 270,” says a kid on EMSC’s relatively new Big Mountain Freestyle team. He can’t be more than 10. We’re cruising around on a Sunday, six kids, two coaches, and me, the former of whom are eagerly looking for hits in the trees.

The big mountain team spans an age range of 9–17, and their vibe is appropriately more freeridey, rocking indie skis from brands like Sego and Moment plastered with stickers. The kids line up to follow head coach Vitek Linhart , former Czech slopestyle champ who helped found the program. Dressed in an unbuttoned flannel, Pit Vipers, and pants that sit around his butt, he gets up speed, then flips to ride switch, then flips forward again and butters his tails. It’s like watching a stream pour playfully over rocks—he finds fun hiding everywhere on an ordinary groomer. He stops at the bottom to watch them as they try to emulate one or two of his moves, and as they gather around him one by one, they start catapulting snow at each other with the tips of their skis. Linhart lobs one at a kid’s face and wins the biggest laugh.

I ride the lift up with Lex Bennett, director of the Big Mountain Freestyle program, who has curled blonde ringlets and more energy than fizzy candy in soda. She raced her way through Eldora’s alpine program, became the youngest kid recruited into the Vail Ski Academy, and competed on the Freeride World Tour for three years. “I eventually got sick of chasing gates and started jumping cliffs,” she says. “At that time, there weren’t a lot of women doing that.”

I ask her what she loves about this place, and this program. “We’re building these kids into being balanced adults.”

The freestyle team comprises roughly 40 skiers, a handful of whom are pictured here.

We get off the lift and cluster at the entrance of a traverse through the trees, which ends with a hit back onto the groomer. Linhart draws in the snow with his pole to show them where it is. Suddenly the banter quiets, and the kids shift back and forth on their feet, resting against their poles as he talks. It’s the first real jump of the day, and the kids are scared.

I ski around beneath the jump to watch, while Linhart stands above to fend off uphill skiers. Some barely pick up their feet, others throw grabs and stomp the landing. One kid in the former group sits down in the snow afterward and laughs, “That was like a pizza moment. I should have shiftied, but I froze.” Another girl says, breathlessly, “I didn’t stomp the landing, but I think that looked good.”

Freestyle teamer Darian Squires airs it out over Hot Dog Alley.

We navigate down to the lift, the kids weaving through the slower recreational skiers. “Tighten it up, guys,” Bennett says, and the kids slow down immediately. This time, I ride up the lift with the kids, and comment about how they all seemed a little bit afraid of that jump, but every one of them did it anyway.

“Well, I think if you’re not feeling it, don’t do it,” Katerina Shabalin, age 15, says, explaining how she stays safe. “But sometimes you do have to push past that fear.” 

They talk about confidence, about how the coaches’ progressive approach builds it. As they get better, they know their skills well enough to assess the risks. “I’ve made huge improvements,” says Graham Dobbie, 14. “My confidence has gone way up. I didn’t think that by this season I’d be doing cliffs, but I am.”

Freestyle coach Linhart shows how it's done in one of Eldora's three Woodward terrain parks. Linhart, originally from the Czech Republic, has been…

The next run, we head toward the park, which the kids can lap alone in full sight of the coaches. I’m standing at the top with Linhart, listening to the slap of tails as they hit the ground off the first jump. “They really hold together as a team,” he says. “They help each other, keep each other safe, and support each other. I’m really proud of them.”

Then a 13-year-old girl named Halie Leland slides over to check in with Linhart before skiing down. This dance the coaches do with the kids—continually checking in with them, encouraging them, and also giving them an out if they’re not up for it—reminds me of a book I used to read to my daughter. It was about a baby kangaroo who would take a few hops into the world, get scared, and jump right back into his mom’s pouch. And each time he ventured back out, he would hop just a little bit farther until, finally, he was free.

I ask Leland about competitions, and how other kids perceive their team. She thinks about it for a second, cocking her helmeted head a little. “People underestimate us,” she says. “But it’s so awesome because we make people see that we may be from a small mountain, but we can ride .”

Originally published in the January/February 2020 issue of SKI Magazine. For more great writing delivered directly to your inbox, SUBSCRIBE NOW.

Want your kids to ski circles around you like these young rippers? They’ve gotta start somewhere. If you’re thinking about getting your young’uns on the slopes this season, our online course, How to Raise a Skier, is a great tool. SKI partnered with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) to produce this six-part, take-it- at-your-own-pace curriculum that takes parents through everything you need to know—from how to tell if your child is ready to learn to whether to buy or rent their equipment, and everything in between. We enlisted the help of PSIA instructors Brian and Aleks Smith, veteran ski teachers at Aspen Snowmass’ ski school and also parents of two young girls. The duo shares all of their tips and tricks for getting kids to not only learn to ski, but to learn to love skiing. What’s more, this course is designed to help you—the parents—help your child succeed. After all, the family that skis together… Check out skimag.com/raisingrippers for more info and to enroll.

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Local News | Boulder County’s Eldora ski resort celebrates…

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Local News | Boulder County’s Eldora ski resort celebrates 60 years

Skiers enter the chairlift area. Eldora ski area is celebrating its 60th ski season this year, bookmarking a long history of growth, development and collaboration with both Nederland and Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

Eldora: Boulder County’s backyard ski area.

This frequently used tagline describes Eldora Mountain, the only ski resort in Boulder County. For general manager Brent Tregaskis, that image is why the resort has been able to find success – and reach its 60th season this year.

Tristan Vellinga moves into the chairlift on February 24, 2023. Eldora ski area is celebrating its 60th ski season this year, bookmarking a long history of growth, development and collaboration with both Nederland and Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

“It’s the perfect day place,” Tregaskis said. “You come up, ski for the morning … half of our skiers leave by noon, and then we have a whole group that comes in around noon and skis for three hours.”

Tregaskis is in his eighth year as general manager, stepping into the role right before the resort was bought by the Powdr Corporation in June of 2016. With the purchase came lots of rebranding – including the “alpenglow” orange color that has become emblematic of Eldora – and investments in facilities and equipment.

Coincidentally, Vail and Steamboat are also celebrating 60th anniversaries this year, though Tregaskis and marketing director Sam Bass are quick to single out Eldora’s unique status as the backyard, half-day ski stop for Boulder County. In addition to its proximity to the Denver metro area, the major sticking point is the resort’s lack of lodging, positioned by staff as a good thing.

“Because we’re not a destination ski area and we don’t have hotels and beds to fill, weekdays are deserted,” Bass said. “It’s like a private mountain to experience.”

The resort is doing a few things to celebrate the 60-year milestone, including a social media campaign compiling photos and memories submitted by customers. The Eldora team also put out a book on the resort’s history in December to mark the occasion, “Eldora: Six Decades of Adventure,” copies of which are available at the rental shop and online .

In addition to convenience and affordability, a big emphasis for the resort is education. With options from private lessons to the Trek and Eldorables youth programs, Eldora markets itself as offering a “laid-back” approach to ski instruction.

“If you’re going to live here, why would you not learn how to ski?” Tregaskis asked. “We’re an asset to Boulder County, is how I look at it.”

Eldora and Nederland

To get to Eldora from Boulder, passing through Nederland is a must. The mountain town sits near the southwestern edge of Boulder County with an elevation of over 8,000 feet. Just a 10-minute drive away, Eldora is an easily accessible destination for the town’s residents, such as former Nederland Mayor Kristopher Larsen.

Instructor Jeanne Capaphill takes two young skiers to the teaching area. Eldora ski area is celebrating its 60th ski season this year, bookmarking a long history of growth, development and collaboration with both Nederland and Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

Larsen was mayor of the town from 2016 to 2022. Born and raised in Boulder but a longtime Nederland resident, Larsen recalls Eldora being a big part of his childhood, even into his college years at the University of Colorado Boulder, when he was on one of the school’s ski teams.

“(Eldora) was always the playground,” he said. “That’s where I learned to ski. I’ve been skiing there literally for decades.”

Nederland’s population lies just around 1,500 within the town limits. When including the surrounding area outside the limits, however, that number jumps to around 7,500, Larsen said. It’s a lot of people to account for, and a lot of people who have access to the backyard ski resort that is Eldora.

But Eldora itself sits outside the town limits, as well, Larsen explained.

“We don’t get any revenue from them,” he said. “No sales tax, no use tax, no property tax, no impact fees. It’s difficult, but they’re also the largest employer in the area for half the year.”

Larsen said the biggest effect the resort has on the town, most of the time, is traffic. If a “powder day” falls on a weekend, Larsen said it’s not uncommon to see cars stopped all the way from the resort to the Barker Reservoir dam. While Larsen said he recognizes that fewer people would be traveling through the town this time of year without Eldora, that doesn’t always mean more tourism or patronage for local businesses.

“Very few people who go to Eldora end up stopping in town,” he said, “because, it’s like, ‘I can be in Boulder in 20 minutes.’”

Tregaskis, who lives in Boulder, expressed similar sentiments to Larsen. He said the city makes up around half of Eldora’s business.

“We kind of think of Boulder as our little ski town,” he said. “Nederland is somewhat, to a lesser degree. But there isn’t a lot of lodging in Nederland.”

Looking ahead

According to Tregaskis, this season is on track to set an attendance record. That’s significant for a resort with a 60-year history and an average of 4,000 skiers per weekend during the height of the season, which runs from November through mid-April.

“Our business has finally kind of stabilized, and it’s really grown the last 10 years, in particular,” Tregaskis said. “We’ve spent more money and made more improvements than any other 10-year period, for sure. We’ve done well, and it’s exciting to see it come together.”

Brian turner and his friend, Tristan Vellinga, upper left, head to the chairlift. Eldora ski area is celebrating its 60th ski season this year, bookmarking a long history of growth, development and collaboration with both Nederland and Boulder. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

Upcoming projects include the addition of new chairlifts, new trails and a new center for beginner and adaptive skiers with construction set to begin this summer. Eldora also recently added another level to its parking area, which has kept staff from having to turn away drivers before they even arrive.

“We still have a parking challenge on busy holidays,” Tregaskis said. “But with the parking we’ve recently added, we’ve only parked out one day all year. We used to park out about 20 days a year.”

As for Nederland, Bass said community relations were “not really a priority” for the resort’s previous owners. The current management team, however, has been trying hard to rectify that. He said Eldora has connected with the Nederland town government over issues such as parking and has started doing a lot of philanthropic work to support Nederland organizations such as TEENS, Inc. and Wild Bear Nature Center.

Tregaskis agrees that the relationship has improved, pointing to his time serving on the board of the Nederland Downtown Development Authority. “It’s a whole lot better than it ever was,” he said.

Larsen remembers Eldora before Tregaskis, a time during which he said the resort and the town had “zero communication” with each other. He said he’s recently seen the resort become a lot more involved with the town and easier to work with, and said he hasn’t seen the same traffic issues this year.

Larsen said his dream is for Eldora to bring back night skiing, an activity that was once hosted in the 1980s and early 1990s. Regardless, he’s optimistic about the relationship between the resort and the town going forward.

“I think it’s only going to get better,” he said.

Despite the heavy snow, several people were ready to go up the mountain on Feb. 24, 2023. Eldora ski area is celebrating its 60th ski season this year, bookmarking a long history of growth, development and collaboration with both Nederland and Boulder.(Cliff Grassmick/Staff photographer)

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The Brave Ski Mom

Building a new generation of skiers and snowboarders.

Eldora Mountain Resort, CO: 50 Years of Alpine and Nordic Fun

January 16, 2013 by braveskimom

eldora colorado ski trail map

We were at Eldora Mountain Resort west of Boulder, the sun was shining through fast-moving clouds and it was lightly snowing. We skied in festive sparkles all day.

Which was only fitting, because this is a festive birthday year at Eldora. On January 19, the mountain holds its official 50 th birthday bash celebrating with games and giveaways at the base area, live music in the Corona Bar and the University of Colorado Alumni Day (including CU Buffs Ski Team racing and discounted lunch and lift packages for alums).

sparkly day at eldora

Eldora Then

Eldora wouldn’t be what it is, without ski racing and the University of Colorado. When Lake Eldora Ski Area opened in January 1963, CU Ski Coach Bob Beattie was part of the management team and Eldora became the home of the skiing Buffs. Beattie was also coach of the US Ski Team and the 1964 Olympic team trained at Eldora. At the 1964 Innsbruck games, Jimmy Huega and Billy Kidd became the first U.S. men to win Olympic medals in alpine skiing, placing second and third in slalom.

Eldora Today

Ski racing continues to be a big part of the Eldora experience. When we pulled into the Eldora parking lot on December 31 st , we quickly noticed a group of junior ski racers running gates near the base.

Prior to coming to Eldora, I had chatted with Dave Belin, an Eldora dad and ski instructor, about where we should ski. “One of my favorite trails is La Belle Dame ,” he told me. “It’s the race trail for the University ski team and it’s a great trail because nobody goes on it. Typically it’s just used by racers.” I couldn’t wait to try.

Unfortunately, La Belle Dame was closed. Eldora has 100% snowmaking on its groomed trails, and the guns were firing on the run. So while I couldn’t pretend to be a world-class racer (one of my consistent and lasting fantasies), the snow on the rest of the mountain, which was a combination of natural and man-made, was skiing great.

manmade snow eldora

Gorgeous Groomers

Our goal for the morning was the Corona lift, home of Eldora’s most challenging terrain.  Beginning from the base, we worked our way over to Corona along a series of fun blue groomed runs underneath the Challenge and Indian Peaks chairlifts. Although there is difficult terrain off of both lifts (as well as double-black glade skiing), the majority of the trails in this area are fun intermediate groomers.

Famous Glades

The Corona chair doesn’t have any easy or intermediate terrain and is famous for it’s glades and chutes. While they weren’t open, right underneath the Corona lift is a run called (surprise!) Corona. Although often groomed, Corona was bumped up and super fun. A run with three distinct changes in pitch, the bumps varied across the slope from steep ‘n’ deep to hero-making minis giving the run a different feel every time we skied it.

top of corona eldora colorado

As for the glades, my friend Dave specifically recommends Brian’s Glades and Salto Glades. Next time we visit, we’ll be sure to hit those.

Eldora Times Two

Eldora Mountain Resort is divided into two distinct sections: a “big” mountain which includes Challenge Mountain , Indian Peaks and Corona Bowl , as well as a terrain park on Lower Diamond Back . This portion of Eldora is served by four chairlifts and the Timbers base lodge.

more sparkles eldora colorado

Just to the east of the Timbers lodge is the “little” mountain and Indian Peaks Lodge , home of the ski school and the rental/demo shop. Eldora’s beginner terrain is here, along with the longest magic carpet I’ve seen. Several terrain parks, some short intermediate slopes and a race course, used for training and the after-dark community race series Nighthawks , are also found here.

childrens learning center eldora

While we didn’t ski this part of Eldora, I was impressed with the division between the learning areas and the rest of the mountain. There are no tricky trail crossings that put beginners in the path of more advanced skiers and the terrain progresses quite naturally from east to west. Seven lifts serve this part of the mountain, so even on busy weekends when the ski school and race programs are bustling, lift lines should be minimal.

The Eldora Nordic Center

Eldora is also well-known for its Nordic Center . Directly across the parking lot from the Timbers lodge, the Nordic Center has 40 km of trail groomed for skate and classic cross-country skiing.

eldora nordic map

Although New Year’s Eve day was beautiful (and sparkly!) at Eldora, it was also super cold. Needing to stoke our internal fires, we clicked out of the alpine gear after lunch and stepped into skinny skis for the afternoon. We skied several kilometers of green and blue trails and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the quiet forest. Best of all, one ticket provides access to both alpine and Nordic skiing at Eldora making it easy and affordable to combine both disciplines in one day (Nordic only trail passes are also available).

nordic trails eldora

Why Ski Eldora?

friends don't let friends drive I 70 eldora

The big draw is, of course, fun alpine and Nordic terrain. But other reasons to ski Eldora are convenience and it’s proximity to Boulder. Eldora is a close-in, easy-to-reach resort from Boulder, the northern Denver suburbs and communities north to Fort Collins. Traffic is minimal, even on weekends, making it a great destination for a day trip.

There is no lodging at Eldora, but the resort and many hotels in Boulder offer Boulder Escape lodging and lift ticket packages. While visitors don’t have ski-in/ski-out convenience, they do enjoy Boulder’s many restaurants, shops and bars.

Hidden Strengths

original eldora logo

When I asked Dave Belin why he and his family choose Eldora, he mentioned the mountain’s “hidden strengths.”

“People who don’t know Eldora very well, don’t realize how big it is and how good the longer, steeper runs are. There is a good mix of terrain for a mix of abilities. Add in the Nordic center and you’ve got a great variety of options for all families,” Dave shared.

He then added a plug for the ski school’s multi-week programs. “My kids did Trek last year on six consecutive weekends. Their ability just exploded. They really took off and since Eldora is so close, it was never a hassle getting them here.”

I would add one other strength: Eldora is sparkly — at least on a cold winter day, when the sun is shining and the snow is falling. High in Colorado’s Front Range, Eldora shines, celebrating snow, winter and 50 years of alpine and Nordic fun.

Happy Birthday, Eldora.

When You Go…

Eldora Mountain Resort is located along Canyon Boulevard (Highway 119), 35 minutes from Boulder. Driving instructions for other Front Range communities are found here . Eldora is also served by RTD from Boulder.

Daily lift tickets are $75 for adults, $45 for juniors ages 6-15 and $10 for kids 5 & under.

While the first session of Kid’s Trek is already underway, the second session runs from February 23 through March 30. Eldorables, a learn-to-ski program for 4-6 year-olds offers classes on weekday mornings and afternoons. For more information about ski and ride school programs, including women’s days, All Mountain Freeride Trek, racing and avalanche school, look under “Programs” on the Eldora website .

© 2013 – 2017, braveskimom . All rights reserved. Any use or publication of content, including photos, requires express permission.

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January 17, 2013 at 10:26 am

As a lover of great animation and advertising art, I am in LOVE with that 1963 poster for Eldora! Fantastic! I love how the little guy’s hat sticks straight up like an upside down exclamation point. That alone makes me want to ski there!

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January 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

You know, when I put that graphic in, I thought it was awesome. I have no idea why, however, as I don’t know anything about animation or advertising. The thing that really strikes me however, is how clearly it seems to represent 1963 and the skiing culture of that time!

Thanks so much for your comment!

[…] Eldora wouldn’t be what it is, without ski racing and the University of Colorado. When Lake Eldora Ski Area opened in January 1963, CU Ski Coach Bob Beattie was part of the… Keep Reading Brave Ski Mom’s article by clicking here! […]

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    For the latest parking/weather updates, click HERE. Online advance purchase is required for all products. Shop HERE.

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    Located close to the Boulder-Denver metro area, Eldora's friendly instructors, manageable size, and laid-back vibe, make it the best place to learn in Colorado. Our wide range of lessons and programs for both kids and adults, will allow you and your family to build a lifelong love of skiing or snowboarding, right in your backyard.

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    SEASON PASS OR DAY TICKET PURCHASE REQUIRED. Weekdays Starting from. $519. Trek Alpine. A multi-week program for 7-14-year-olds gives kids the skills they need for a lifetime of fun on snow. Weekly sessions are 2.5 hours in duration and build progressively, developing critical skills and building confidence in a friendly, supportive environment.

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    Save money by purchasing Eldora day tickets in advance. Buy yours now for easy access to Colorado's favorite local mountain. Reload your existing Eldora Card and go directly to lifts or pick up your new Eldora Card at one of our convenient and contactless Pick-Up Boxes outside of Indian Peaks Lodge or the Nordic Center.

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    Eldora Mountain Resort. /  39.93750°N 105.58361°W  / 39.93750; -105.58361. Eldora Mountain Resort is a ski area in the western United States, located in the southwest corner of Boulder County, Colorado, near the unincorporated community of Eldora and three miles (5 km) west of Nederland .

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    7 - 12 Snowboard: Backyard of the Indian Peaks Lodge near the Sunkid magic carpet. MISSED FIRST DAY. If your child has never skied or snowboarded before, and they miss the first day, you must contact the Program s Office (303-. 440-8700 ext 271) before they come to their first day. TREK LIFT PASS.

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    Otherwise, the cheap RTD Ski-n-Ride brings you from downtown Boulder directly to Eldora every day during ski season. Cost: $2.25 (seniors, children and other special passengers)/$4.50 regular per person each way. On the Ski Lift at Eldora. Photo by Flickr user Robert Tadlock.

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  13. Eldora Mountain Resort Ski Resort Area Overview

    Contact Information. Eldora Mountain Resort. P.O. Box 1697. 80466 Nederland, Colorado. United States. 303-440-8700. [email protected]. The ultimate guide to Eldora Mountain Resort ski resort. Everything you need to know about the ski area, from the best ski runs and terrain to where to go for après.

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    NEW for 2023/24! Everything must be purchased online. Reload an Eldora Card to go directly to lift. Photos are required for all season passes.

  15. The Little Mountain That Could

    Being on the team is a huge commitment, for both the kids and their parents. Racers from schools all across the Front Range—many of whom came up through Eldora's ski school, the adorably named Eldorables for the littles and TREK for ages 7-14—ride the bus up here to train for four hours every weekday afternoon and most Saturdays too. They ...

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    Eldora Mountain Resort is a small, quaint ski and snowboard area located just outside of the city of Boulder. With 1,600' of vertical, Eldora is a great option for skiers and snowboarders visiting Boulder, or those who want to avoid long drives up I-70 from the cities on the Front Range. While the 680 acres of skiable terrain is certainly ...

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    All purchases must be made online. Tickets, rentals & lessons are available beginning in December. November dates will be added as we get closer to our planned November 14 opening.

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    Eldora: Boulder County's backyard ski area. This frequently used tagline describes Eldora Mountain, the only ski resort in Boulder County. For general manager Brent Tregaskis, that image is why ...

  19. Eldora Mountain Resort, CO: 50 Years of Alpine and Nordic Fun

    When You Go…. Eldora Mountain Resort is located along Canyon Boulevard (Highway 119), 35 minutes from Boulder. Driving instructions for other Front Range communities are found here. Eldora is also served by RTD from Boulder. Daily lift tickets are $75 for adults, $45 for juniors ages 6-15 and $10 for kids 5 & under.

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