by Jim Harrington
Be our guest at Best Western Plus Boulder Inn and visit Eldora Mountain Resort where only 22 miles away, locals and guests go to ski, snowboard, cross-country ski, skate ski, snowshoe and play all in our own winter wonderland. Eldora Mountain Resort gets over 300 inches of fresh snow every year and boasts Colorado’s best snowmaking system on all of its groomed terrain. Eldora Mountain Resort has 680 acres of skiable terrain that includes novice tow ropes to double diamond trails and its longest run is three miles long! The base area of has an elevation of 9,200 feet above sea level and its top elevation on Bryan Mountain is 10,800 feet thus providing a 1,600-foot lift served vertical drop. Although Eldora Mountain Resort is small compared to some of the bigger resorts in Colorado, the terrain variety is well known and challenging. There are beginner friendly trails located on Little Hawk Mountain, intermediate and advanced trails on Challenge Mountain and Indian Peaks, and expert terrain is found in Corona Bowl and the West Ridge trail which varies from a 45% to 70% slope. Eldora Mountain Resort has skiing options available for all abilities! After a day of fun up the mountain enjoy soaking in our hot tub at The Boulder Inn before heading out to a fine dining experience in town.
One of the things that locals most love about Eldora Mountain Resort, is the ski school and especially the setup for beginners and children. Novice terrain is separated from other parts of the mountain. Allowing families with different abilities to all get to enjoy the mountain at their own pace and speed. In addition to alpine skiing, the ski area also includes 40 km of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing groomed trails.
To get to Eldora Mountain Resort enjoy a short drive west up Boulder Canyon, also known as Highway 119, to get to the town of Nederland where you just follow the signs to Eldora, or take the Regional Transportation District Ski-n-Ride bus.
RTD Ski-n-Ride: Take the RTD bus to Eldora. It’s the only ski resort with scheduled bus service at least five times daily! The RTD bus departs from 14th & Walnut RTD Station in Boulder, stops in downtown Nederland, then drops you off right in front of the Main Lodge at Eldora where it leaves to go back at the end of the day. Cost is $5 one way. www.RTD-Denver.com
History of Boulder Skiing
Skiing in Boulder began humbly in 1948 only a mile away from the Best Western Boulder Inn with the Chautauqua Mesa ski jump. A year later a 200 foot rope tow powered by a World War 2 Dodge truck engine was added. Although fun when it did snow the rope tow was so hard to use that residents just preferred to walk up and ski down. Residents wanted a bit more of a challenge and opportunity to ski. The area was closed in the early 1950’s and then closed yet again in the early 1960’s after a brief revival.
When six-time Hungarian ski champion, Gabor Cseh, immigrated to the United States in 1956, he searched for the perfect place to build a new ski area that would have great terrain and easy access to town. He found the perfect place above the old Eldora town site. Lake Eldora (later renamed to Eldora Mountain Resort) opened for its first day of skiing in the winter of 1962 -1963 with two T-bar lifts. The resort later installed their first chairlift, Little Hawk, in 1967. The lift still runs today and is the oldest operating chairlift in Colorado. Eldora Mountain Resort also has many modern chairlifts and after fifty plus years still remains true to Cseh’s vision –it is a place that offers a great Front Range ski area that caters to local Boulder skiers and their guests.