three people on monarch mountain

Your 2021/2022 Guide to Planning a Phenomenal Family Ski Trip to Monarch Mountain

It’s the most anticipated time of the year— time to plan your Monarch Mountain skiing vacation! While you wax your skis and anticipate the exhilarating and meditative swish of the snow glittering like diamond dust beneath you, there are few considerations to get the most out of your stay in Salida, CO. Check out our awesome guide from last year as well for even more helpful information!

Finding and Booking Monarch Mountain Lodging

Paramount to having a great ski trip is finding the right place to stay. Favored for its ideal location just 10 short minutes away from Monarch Mountain, Creekside Chalets is the top choice among vacation rentals in Salida, Colorado for fulfilling a busy winter vacation itinerary.  Nestled in a beautiful grove of Aspens with a picturesque stream running through the property, the atmosphere allows visitors to become immersed and rejuvenated by the dynamic mountain energy. 

Our eco-friendly and pet-friendly property features 9 cabins with several that accommodate larger groups of up to 10 people, so finding and booking a cabin for various sized groups is easy. The luxe cabins feature fully equipped kitchens, gas fireplaces, televisions, and free WiFi among many other amenities. Each cabin has a private hot tub, which is perfect for a  relaxing “Apres Ski” after a long day on the slopes. 

Get Your Tickets!

All great ski getaways take some pre planning regarding lift tickets. You will need a lift ticket to enjoy any of the trails on the mountain and we highly recommend buying and booking lift tickets in advance of your trip. By purchasing your tickets online you can save up to 40% depending on the offers you choose and the dates of your visit. Online tickets are available for purchase up to midnight the night before arrival, based on availability. There are many cost-saving options including multi-day and season passes as well as Military, Migration, Child, and Super-Senior specials.  Visitors can also get lift tickets by phone through the Ticket Office at 719.530.5105.

Important Ticket Information:

  • Monarch season pass holders have full access to the lifts all season. No blackout dates and no reservations are required.
  • Purchasers of a four-pack lift ticket from a special preseason event have access to the lifts all season excluding blackout dates as designated on the ticket: December 26 – January 2, and February 19 and 20.
  • Purchasers of the ‘Monarch Season Pass Benefit’ four-pack have access to the lifts all season except for blackout dates as designated on the ticket: December 26 – January 2, and February 19 and 20.
  • Best of all, Monarch season pass holders get 10% off their stay at Creekside cabins in Salida, CO!
  • If you are looking to avoid crowded slopes and long lines, it’s recommended to come on a weekday! Weekdays provide a lot more availability and a lot less crowds, so that’s something to consider as you’re planning your trip. Additionally, you can get $30 OFF your stay at Creekside Chalets if you book a trip this ski season between Sunday – Thursday!

This year it is permissible to ride the lift with any other person, but visitors may also ride alone should they request to do so at all lifts except the four-seater Pioneer Lift. Tickets will now be scanned at the lifts by a touch-free RFID Gate. These gates will be at all lifts including the Panorama Lift.

Equipment Rentals

skiing down a slope

If you didn’t bring your own equipment, don’t worry! Monarch Mountain and Mount Shavano rentals have that covered – you’ll be able to find rentals for skiing, snowboarding, or tubing. Rentals come in sets that include a helmet, which is always highly recommended to use. Just like for lift tickets, it is best to book your equipment rental ahead of time.

Monarch Mountain Ski and Ride School 

Skiing and snowboarding are sports best and most safely enjoyed with some prior instruction. To accommodate the best visitor experience possible, Monarch Mountain also offers a Ski and Ride School. Whether you are a complete novice or just want to improve your abilities, trained and certified instructors make the process fun. Bookings for lessons start December 1 but of course, are reliant on snowfall as Monarch is an all-natural snow mountain. Should the mountain open later than December 1, any reservations for lessons made before open are refunded or rescheduled. This year, only half-day lessons are available. 

Group lessons can be booked in person at the reservation window, but private lessons must be booked over the phone. We highly recommend you book your lessons in advance at least 48 hours before your arrival, especially if you are taking a morning lesson or arriving during peak season or weekends. For an extra perk, Monarch season pass holders receive $20 off a private lesson. This applies to the pass holder only but may be used several times. Cancellations must be received 48 hours in advance of a scheduled lesson to receive a refund. It is best to arrive at your lesson at least a half-hour ahead of time and allow enough time to gear up as lessons start at the specified time. 

Take Your Trip to the Next Level- Go Cat Skiing

Expert skiers and riders can enjoy an exhilarating cat skiing experience that whisks riders away to the beautiful and untouched backcountry—every skier’s dream scenario. 

For the 2021-22 season, Monarch Mountain is accepting reservations for single seats or the entire Cat with a maximum of 10 guests per snowcat. Guests will need proof of COVID-19 vaccination (completed at least 2 weeks before their trip) or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before their trip. To ensure guest safety, a mask/face covering will be required in the Cat Yurt and while riding in the snowcat.

Special Considerations in Monarch Mountain Operations for the 2021-2022 Season

monarch mountain ski slopes

To ensure the continued safety of guests, Monarch Mountain continues to have some COVID-19 precautions in place. Employees that work closely with the public must be vaccinated including Ski School Instructors, Ski Patrollers, Cat Skiing Guides, and Administration. The lodge has plexiglass dividers and hand sanitizing stations in place. The facility continues to move toward a touchless environment and all employees wear masks while indoors in public-facing areas. 

If you have younger children along for the trip, keep in mind that Childcare at the Children Center remains suspended for the 2021-22 season.

The lockers at the lodge are available this season, but it is still recommended that changing clothes should be done at home, your Salida, Colorado cabin, or your vehicle.

Enjoying Food and Beverages at Monarch Mountain

An event-filled day at the mountain deserves time to relax with some excellent food and beverage. This season, the Sidewinder Saloon, and Java Stop, which has moved to the cafeteria level, will be open all week. The Gunbarrel Cafeteria, Elmo’s, and Flyby Burritos will be open Friday through Sunday and during holidays, while Shredders will be open during peak holiday periods. The popular Gunbarrel Cafeteria will reopen offering grab-and-go items but will not offer special orders from the grill.

Unfortunately, because of ongoing safety restrictions, sack lunches/coolers/crockpots/etc. will not be permitted in the lodge, including the tunnel level. However, there is additional seating outdoors to enjoy items not prepared on-premises. 

Start Your Adventure

The most memorable Monarch Mountain Skiing adventure starts with the right lodging. Book a reservation today, or contact us to learn more about Creekside Chalets, the amenities, and monarch mountain lodging availability.