Eldora Mountain Resort, 45 miles northwest of Denver, is a great alternative to the big ski areas with affordable lift tickets, plentiful snow, and a 30-minute drive from Boulder. Eldora is a local’s mountain that has lots of beginner terrain at the Little Hawk Family Zone as well as steep black diamond runs on the back side, like Corona Bowl with its steep chutes and mogul runs. Eldora also offers stellar views north to the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area, and four restaurants—Timbers Lodge, Indian Peaks Lodge, Corona Bowl Bar, and The Lookout.
- Eldora Mountain Resort is a great place to learn how to ski. Kids from 4 to 14 can join the Ride with Woodward experience for group lessons from level 1 to 3 at the Woodward Beginner Terrain Parks. The juniors learn body awareness, basic movements, and ski and board skills. Later they try their skills on terrain features. After graduating they can enroll in Ride with Woodward to learn more techniques and tricks. The one-day camp includes a coach, rentals, lift pass, lunch and more.
- Learn to ski in two days with Eldora’s complete adult ski lessons. Day one focuses on basic skills and turns on easy slopes. Day two builds skill confidence and introduces use of chairlifts. The ski school recommends two group lessons and a private lesson to learn to ski. Prices include a full-day lesson, gear rental, lift ticket, and lunch.
- Eldora is a quick ski getaway from the Front Range cities. Drive to Boulder and head 21 miles up CO 119 through Boulder Canyon to Nederland, then continue straight on Eldora Road to the slopes. Max driving time from Boulder, even in icy conditions, is 45 minutes—and you don’t have to deal with I-70! There’s plenty of parking, and it’s a short walk to the chairlifts.
- After skiing you can hit one of the restaurants at the base or drive down to Nederland and stop at The Deli at 8236. It’s a Grateful Deadhead hangout decorated with band posters and it’s named for its elevation. Other good eats in Nederland are Sundance Café, New Moon Bakery & Café for coffee, and Crosscut Pizzeria with its diverse craft beer selection.
Recommended season(s): Year-round.
—Stewart M. Green