Mirkwood Basin is our hike to ski sidecountry that offers 130 acres of double-black diamond extreme skiing
Mirkwood is known for dark forests and deep snow. A secret stash, where adventures are found and one can test themselves against the forces of nature. Formerly this incredible area was only available for guests of Monarch Cat Skiing before it was included into Monarch Mountain’s Special Use Boundary for all guests to enjoy in the spring of 2005. The 130 acres is accessed by a 10 to 20 minute hike or skin via a groomed cat track from the top of the Breezeway Lift. Mirkwood is comprised of a variety of terrain and the conditions are off piste. This means there is no grooming. Just all natural conditions and some of the best snow in the Colorado can be found here.
Monarch Ski Patrol conducts avalanche mitigation operations within Mirkwood Basin throughout the season. While snow safety and avalanche mitigation efforts help reduce the risk of avalanches, avalanches and snow slides may occur at ski areas, both inside and outside of the posted boundaries. Avalanches are an inherent risk of the sport due to the nature of snow and its application on steep, mountainous terrain. Become educated on how to reduce the risk of injury or death from avalanches through your own actions and awareness.
Mirkwood Bowl and Orcs offer open wind loaded bowls where you may admire a job well done from the bottom. Mirkwood Trees, Staircase, and East Trees feature tight trees, steep chutes, and cliff bands where extreme skiing/riding skills are put to the test. Lodgeview gives you a look out on the rest of Monarch Mountain as you slice your way down an exposed face into nicely spaced trees.
Southbound allows you to show your stuff as you carve an open face above tree-line into timber stands that lead back into the ski area. Elation Ridge is a mini-adventure within Mirkwood Basin. Ski down from Orcs through one of the two roped access gates into a powdery meadow. With just a couple more minutes of hiking, claim your hero line down an untouched chute flanked by rocky outcrops.
To access Mirkwood, take the Breezeway lift, cross under the big wooden gate with the Mirkwood sign, then hike about 20 minutes to the summit. There is no grooming and conditions are variable. Skiing with a partner is recommended. Mirkwood closes at 2:30.
One of the beauties of our parks is the low key attitude. Unlike the bigger terrain parks at other resorts, ours are super relaxed. Beginners won’t feel intimidated by boisterous crowds while the more advanced skiers and riders have plenty of options to choose from. The terrain parks include fun-boxes, rails, hips, and hits. Get out there and check out why so many people are coming back for more.
Do you enjoy earning your turns and catching a beautiful sunrise? Even while our lifts are turning we allow uphill travel for those looking to boost their daily workout. So, for those of you who like to go against the grain, swim upstream, or simply get your heart rate up. This takes 'skiing independent' to a whole new level.