17 Apr Colorado Skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort
After my last failed attempt at skiing in the mountains, I was a bit apprehensive at giving it another try. Sure, I had a few chances back home to practice on the tiny slopes in Minnesota, but I wasn’t sure it was enough before heading to the mountains in Colorado.
We made our way to Eldora Mountain Resort just outside the tiny town of Nederland, Colorado. The drive there led us through twisty mountain roads and the views alternated between mountainous vistas and trees covered with so much snow they looked like they were about to buckle under the weight. It was fantastic.
Eldora Mountain Resort is a small ski resort compared to those in cities such as Breckenridge, Aspen or Vail, but if you are coming from a relatively flat locale like we were, the mountains and runs are still pretty impressive.
I was a bit relieved to see the wide range of runs offered. There are 11 lifts, and the runs range everywhere from green to double black diamond with the longest run lasting over 3 miles long. Eldora is also home to a freestyle terrain park, Nordic trails, and four restaurants. One aspect that I appreciated was the separate upper and lower mountain areas which, in my opinion, makes it easier for people of all skill levels to coincide a bit better. The lower mountain, Little Hawk Family Zone, is made up of green and blue runs, while the upper mountain, Challenge Mountain and Indian Peaks, is made up of blue and black runs. There is also a cheaper lift ticket option for those who wish to stay on just the lower mountain.
Since the lower mountain alone was larger than what we were used to, we decided to stick with the cheaper lift tickets, and by cheaper I don’t mean cheap! Our total cost came to just under $300 for both of our lift tickets and rentals; however, this is more affordable than many of the larger resorts.
We made the mistake of hitting the slopes on a Sunday, and wow…it was packed! The runs were filled with children taking lessons (who were admittedly much better skiers than I was!), and a couple of times we ended up having to wait for around 10-15 minutes to catch a lift.
Our first run down the hill saw us on a blue level slope unintentionally—that was not the best thing that could have happened! After almost breaking my leg in Utah, I got a little paranoid and overly cautious. Thankfully, I had been practicing control back home, so it definitely could have been worse. I ended up making it down the entire run and was ready to get right back on the chairlift. I started to hit my stride after a few runs, and it finally started to be fun again!
Many of the runs intertwine, and the signage isn’t the best for people who don’t know the layout of the mountain. Micah and I ended up losing each other quite a few times, but luckily, we ended up creating a meeting spot by one of the chairlifts. There were also a variety of runs and little shoot offs that ran through the trees—this makes for a fun change of pace. It really allowed you to mix up the paths you took, ensuring a different ride down each time. We found ourselves saying, “just one more run” quite a few times before we eventually had to call it quits to satisfy our grumbling tummies. The cafeteria was closing down by the time we made it over there, so we decided to head back into Nederland for a bite to eat and a quick stroll around town.
While I don’t think Eldora will stay on the list of our most favorite ski resorts, it was certainly a fun afternoon. It definitely gave me the desire to up my skill level and you can bet we will be practicing much more next year. Next stop, black diamond runs!