Just 21 miles west of Boulder, the Eldora Mountain Ski Resort, is one of just a handful of Colorado resorts on the east side of the continental divide, attractive to many because it doesn’t require driving the jam-packed I-70 to get to the mountain.
With 680 acres of skiable area, a summit elevation of 10,600 ft and a 1,240 drop as well as four terrain parks, Eldora is also known for its challenging steeps – 30 percent of the trails are black diamond – though beginners are also catered to with well-groomed cruisers, all backed by the spectacular Rocky Mountains.
Eldora has 53 runs – 20 percent are beginner, 50 percent are more difficult and 30 percent are most difficult. These are accessed by seven lifts, including one detachable six lift, two quads, one triple and three doubles. The longest run at Eldora is three miles. The resort gets about 300 inches of snow annually and snowmaking covers 100 percent of groomed terrain – the most of any Colorado resort. There is no night skiing at Eldora but the resort does offer cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There is a Nordic Center at the resort as well.
Eldora Ski Resort has a Ski & Snowboard School that offers private and group lessons to children and adults, as well as a multi-week program. Eldora also offers the Ignite adaptive skiing program at the resort. Eldora does have a ski and snowboard rental shop that also does tuning; the shop also rents out Nordic skiing gear and season-long rentals are available here. Boulder also has a number of rental operations that might have lower costs, like Christy Sports Ski Rentals. Eldora is an Ikon Pass destination. There is slopeside dining at Eldora, but no lodging.
The season generally runs from around Thanksgiving through to the second week of April. Eldora is a great option for day trippers from Boulder or Denver, especially during the weekends and holidays when many other Colorado resorts become crowded.
Guests will find the closest lodging options in Boulder, where there area plenty of options for all budgets. Just a ten-minute drive from the resort, the Boulder Creek Lodge has comfortable and affordable rooms, with special packages in partnership with Eldora – the lodge is also pet-friendly ( www.thebouldercreeklodge.com ). Originally built in the 1870s, the Alps Boulder Canyon Inn has 12 unique guest rooms, each with stained glass windows and antique fireplace – some also have their own whirlpools and private porches ( www.alpsinn.com ). In downtown Boulder, the St. Julien Hotel & Spa have 201 guest room and two-room suites with slate flooring and granite counters, access to the spa, and plush robes and slippers ( www.stjulien.com ).
For breakfast burritos and toasted sandwiches, head into Timbers Lodge in the base area, which serves classic American winter fare for hungry skiers including chili, mac n’ cheese and hamburgers. There is also an attached sundeck for warm Spring days. In the West Wing, the Rustic Taco has frozen margaritas, the Diamondback quesadilla platter, and street tacos, while the Corona Bowl serves up pizza, sandwiches and beer at 10,800 ft., with panoramic views of the Continental Divide ( www.eldora.com ).
Eldora is 21 miles west of Boulder, which has the Boulder Municipal Airport, though the best option would be to fly into Denver International Airport, which is a major U.S. flight hub. From the airport, there are private shuttles and car rental counters.
By car, Eldora is a 30-minute drive from Boulder, through the scenic Boulder Canyon and is an hour and a half from Denver International Airport. Because of traffic congestion on the weekends and holidays, locals recommend arriving at Eldora before 8:30 a.m. or after 12:30 p.m. Another transportation option is to take the RTD’s N Route bus from downtown Boulder, which brings skiers and riders directly to the Alpenglow chairlift in 40 minutes. There is free parking at the RTD stations on weekends.
Only an hour’s drive to the mountains, Denver is always buzzing with a thriving arts and restaurant scene, and shopping galore....