Score the goods in Colorado's most popular backcountry ski hotspot.
Berthoud Pass between I-70 and the major ski resort of Winter Park was itself once home to a small ski area. Situated right on top of the 11,307-foot mountain pass and rising high into the alpine, the small ski area received 500 inches of snow annually. First opened in 1937, the lifts shut down in 2001, and the entire resort was removed by 2005. (Source)
The lifts and base lodge have all been dismantled and the forest service is seeking to return Berthoud Pass to its natural environment, but the old ski runs still remain. Add in all of the epic above treeline bowls, steep chutes, and rugged cliff bands, and Berthoud Pass’s 500 inches of snow per year now draw in backcountry skiers from up and down Colorado’s Front Range. The area is now one of the most popular backcountry skiing destinations in the state, and maybe even the country.
Just because Berthoud is popular doesn’t mean it’s safe. This area can be very avalanche prone, so don’t relax your guard just because you see other people on the skin track. Make your own avy danger decisions, and ski within your ability and comfort zones.
While the entirety of Berthoud Pass is covered in epic backcountry lines, in this guidebook we’ve included a “best-of” playlist of some of the most iconic lines in the area. For a comprehensive map of Berthoud Pass, check out the "Berthoud Pass, Colorado Backcountry Skiing Map."
Wide open, easy access skiing
Short, steep and narrow to get the adrenaline pumping.
Rush 2: Steep cliffs with billy goating or big air potential
Rush 3: Steep cliffs with billy goating or big air potential
300 feet of cliffs and good pitch
450 feet of fun, consistent pitch with a small rock feature
500 feet of consistent pitch with fun cliffs and trees
450 feet of pure fun, consistent pitch with a small rock feature
500 feet of consistent pitch with a fun cliff option
450 feet of fun, consistent pitch.
Wide open alpine
Wide open alpine
A steep face with cliffs and an icefall
No-hike-necessary tree skiing on Hell's Half Acre.