Mirkwood Uphill Route

Monarch Mountain

Monarch Ski Area

Salida

Uphill route to Monarch's legendary Mirkwood Bowl.

Resort Ski Touring Moderate

Distance
1.7 km
Ascent
337 m
Descent
3 m
Low Point
3.3 km
High Point
3.6 km
Gradient
20˚
VIEW ON MAP
Mirkwood Uphill Route Map

Description

Mirkwood Bowl is the supreme hike-to freeride zone at Monarch Mountain. As soon as “Mirk” opens following a storm, you’ll find all the locals here. The basin boasts long, open bowls, steep chutes, glades and meadows of nearly every pitch, and some serious cliff terrain as well. It’s kind of a best-kept secret in Central Colorado, holding some of the state’s best and most consistent snow for much of the season.

To get there on your own power during open hours, take this designated uphill route on the Little Mo trail. You’ll eventually join the chairlift crowds at the top of Breezeway lift, then smoke them on what’s normally a 10-20 minute boot to the top. Take your pick of freeride lines on any side of the basin, then settle in for the long cat track back to base.

Because of the remoteness and hazards in Mirkwood, patrol shuts it down at 2:30 every day. Entering after hours is definitely not recommended, and may be grounds for a pulled pass. An uphill pass is required at Monarch, but it grants a lot of freedom for touring at all hours around the resort, not just in Mirkwood. See the uphill policies and more information on their Uphill Travel webpage.

Difficulty

Moderate

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, November, December

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