Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park offer many opportunities to enjoy the sport of skiing in a simplified way. If you want to get back to the basics, you can experience the thrill of Rocky Mountain splendor on skis.
Backcountry / AT Skiing
Ready for a new winter challenge? Whether you are an expert heading out on your own, and new to backcountry skiing and want to book a guided trip, Rocky Mountain National Park is known worldwide for some of the best and most authentic backcountry skiing and boarding available. Local outfitters rent gear, provide avalanche training and offer guided excursions.
Alpine Touring Gear, mountain guides, and advice on ice climbing can be found at local shops. Find out more at rockymountainnationalpark.com.
In January 2017 an Avalanche Beacon Training Park was added at Hidden Valley so skiers can practice their beacon locating skills.
From 1955-1991 Hidden Valley was a ski resort operated inside Rocky Mountain National Park. The lifts have been removed, nature is slowly taking over, but what is left are runs for knowledgeable backcountry enthusiasts. Trail Ridge Road cuts through the middle of the old area. The lower area below Trail Ridge Road has beginner/intermediate terrain, and above is the steeper terrain. BUT there is no avalanche control and no ski patrol, so you need the proper gear & knowledge to stay safe. Avalanche danger is real on these slopes. Base elevation - 9500 ft. Vertical about 2,000 ft.
Although no skiing is allowed in the tubing/sledding area at Hidden Valley, AT skiers can pass through on their way up.
Adventurous skiers have spring skiing fun on the north side of Sundance Mountain or on Andrews Glacier. There are no lifts, no groomed slopes. Look for their tracks when you drive up Old Fall River Road in the summer and imagine the thrill of zooming down to the rocks at the bottom.
Drive an hour south on the Peak to Peak National Scenic Byway to Eldora Ski Resort to find a full-service ski resort with ski rentals, lessons, groomed slopes and lighting for some night-time skiing. Eldora is in Boulder's back yard, and is a local favorite.
Cross Country Skiing
The West Side of the Park is generally flatter with more snow, and thus better for cross country skiing. Rangers lead 1.5 hour Winter Ski Programs from Dec. 30 - Jan. 27 (call for program times & dates) . Reservations required up to one week in advance (970-627-3471 from 8-4:30 daily). Bring your own ski equipment.
On the East Side of the Park, the high scenic trails we hike in the summer are used by backcountry skiers in the winter. Sprague Lake and Bear Lake areas in the National Park are the easiest & most popular. Shops in town offer lessons, guided tours and rental skis.
We are open year-round to welcome skiers...
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