Smaller in size but big on fun, you can hit the slopes within an hour of Denver.
Just 50 minutes from downtown Denver and 20 minutes west of Evergreen lies a winter-sport oasis in the Colorado Mountains.
Echo Mountain has been in operation in some form or another since 1960. It started as Squaw Pass Ski Area, operating until 1975. It remained dormant until it re-opened as Echo Mountain Park, and went from public and private use in the years until 2016 when it was reopened as a small winter wonderland for adventure seekers.
"The 2018-2019 season was our best yet! After a complete renovation of our kitchen and lodge in 2017, and a total revamp of our food and beverage offerings, we knew the next step was making some BIG changes to the mountain itself. Echo Mountain now offers a brand new tubing hill, an expanded beginner area, a revitalized menu (including “life-changing fries”), and a fresh new look and logo," said the Echo Mountain website.
Apres-Work Skiing and Riding
What makes Echo Mountain so appealing is that for those in the Denver metro area and Front Range, it offers quick, day-trip access to the mountain any time, and is especially convenient for night skiing. You could put in a day of work, grab your gear, and be on the slopes for an evening of skiing or snowboarding at your own pace.
At 3,000 feet above Idaho Springs, the resort offers 60 acres of groomed terrain with a 600-foot vertical drop, two runs, and one lift, making it ideal for the apres-work crowd who can ski and ride until 9 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. It's also open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Tuesday. This is the first season it has opened on Monday, giving fans access to the slopes seven days a week.
Courtesy of Echo Mountain (Facebook)
"Echo's terrain is mostly intermediate. We have a little Beginner and a little Expert terrain, but most of our terrain is somewhere in the middle. That said, skiing and snowboarding are very difficult. Most of our terrain is considered more advanced... meaning, it takes practice! Come in with the right expectations and bring the right attitude, and you'll have a great time!" says the website.
Because it is a smaller ski area, it allows families and young skiers the freedom that larger resorts don't. Older kids can ride the lifts, hit the mountain, and feel safer. And for adults, you won't have to share the mountain with so many others, which also makes it easier to ski with family close. The upgraded lodge gives everyone a place to warm up and grab some grub at Brother's Grille (which also offers a selection of Colorado beers, cocktails, and wine) before they take another run.
Echo Mountain also has rental equipment to allow anyone to enjoy its terrain.
Tubing at Two Miles High
Echo Moutain has also expanded its offerings to include one of the state's latest tubing hills.
"Come tube at Echo Mountain and enjoy incredible views of the Continental Divide! Serviced by a brand new conveyor lift, a variety of lanes and brand new tubes will have you sliding through the day. Race friends in solo chutes, or link up with family in our party lane!" says the website.
Tube time! Courtesy of Echo Mountain (Facebook).
The tubular attraction is available by reservations, which are recommended as the hill might not open unless tubing sessions are scheduled. You can schedule an hour slot and then add on more time if the tube run stays open. It is open to 7 p.m. on select days.
Forgot your cold-weather gear? You can rent select jackets and pants to make your tube trip as fun as it can be. You can make your reservations on the website.
For more information on Echo Mountain, check out its website. See you on the slopes!
Have you been to Echo Mountain? Let us know in the comments!