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Colorado’s gems

Aspen Times writer

Arapahoe Basin: West of the Continental Divide near Loveland Pass, with a summit of 13,050. It’s one of the steepest ski areas in the state, with 2,257 of vertical terrain. The area has six chairlifts, but some of the best terrain can only be reached on foot.Eldora Mountain Resort: Just 21 miles from Boulder, above Nederland, Eldora receives more than 300 inches of snow each season and has 680 acres of skiable terrain, including the double-diamond Corona Bowl on the mountain’s backside.Loveland: Loveland is just 53 miles from Denver and has 1,365 acres of terrain serviced by nine lifts. Sitting atop the Continental Divide and straddling Interstate 70, Loveland has 1,365 acres of terrain, a base elevation of 10,600 feet and an average of 400 inches of snow.Monarch Mountain: Located near Salida, in the Sawatch Range, Monarch offers more than 800 acres on its frontside with an average snowfall of more than 350 inches. Skiers and snowboarders now have access to the 130 acres of extreme terrain in Mirkwood Basin, which was formerly used for Snowcat toursPowderhorn: On the edge of the Grand Mesa, 35 miles from Grand Junction, Powderhorn has unmatched views, three chairlifts and 600 acres of mostly intermediate terrain.Ski Cooper: Located on Tennessee Pass at 10,500 feet near Leadville, Ski Cooper offers mild terrain on its 400 acres. The area has five lifts, including two Poma tows. A Snowcat operation serves some 2,400 acres of backcountry terrain on Chicago Ridge.SolVista Basin: Located two miles south of Granby and 15 miles north of Winter Park, this family-friendly area offers beginner, intermediate and advanced terrain on its two mountains, serviced by five lifts.Sunlight: Sunlight is 10 miles southwest of Glenwood Springs and a world away from Aspen. Named after the former coal-mining town near the area, Sunlight has 470 acres of terrain serviced by four lifts. The views from atop Compass Mountain (9,895) of the surrounding Elk Mountains and nearby Mount Sopris are also hard to beat.Wolf Creek: The gem of the gems, Wolf Creek offers 1,600 acres of incredible terrain, including advanced and extreme terrain only accessible by hiking. The no-frills area is located on Highway 160 between Pagosa Springs and South Fork in southern Colorado, and receives an unmatched 465 inches of annual snowfall.


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