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February 11, 2020 4 min read

Where can I go uphill skiing in Colorado and what are the rules?

Uphill skiing at a downhill ski area may seem oxymoronic to some. Why slog up the mountain by leg, lung and willpower when there is a network of chairlifts scattered across the mountain where you can sit, relax and be conveyed swiftly and effortlessly to the top?

There are folks who love uphilling, though, for the same reasons people climb mountains, run marathons and crank out century rides on their bikes. They enjoy the extra effort and feeling of accomplishment that comes with “earning their turns,” especially when it involves timing their turnaround at the top of a climb to catch a glorious alpine sunrise before the lifts open.

Skiing uphill alpine touring

Arapahoe Basin

A special pass that costs $30 for the season is required for anyone who does not have an Arapahoe Basin season pass, including Ikon Pass holders. Pass-holders also need to obtain an uphill pass, but for them, it’s free. Uphill access is permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. There is only one route open during operational hours, and it only goes to mid-mountain. Read up on A-Basin’s uphill policy and guidelines at arapahoebasin.com.

Aspen Mountain

Uphill access is free but is only permitted before and after resort operating hours on designated routes. Find uphill policy and guidelines at aspensnowmass.com.

Aspen Highlands

Uphill access is free and is permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Uphill policy and guidelines available at aspensnowmass.com.

Buttermilk

Uphill access is free permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. See uphill policy and guidelines at aspensnowmass.com.

Beaver Creek

Uphill access is free and is permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Prior to accessing the mountain for uphill activity, all users should first call the hotline (970-754-5907) for the latest information on conditions and approved travel routes. Uphill policy and guidelines available at beavercreek.com.

Breckenridge

Uphill access is free but is only permitted before and after resort operating hours on designated routes. Prior to accessing the mountain for uphill activity, all users should first call the hotline (970-547-5627) for the latest information on conditions and approved travel routes. Find uphill policy and guidelines at breckenridge.com.

Copper Mountain

Uphill access is free but is only permitted before or after resort operating hours on designated routes. Uphillers must pre-register, at no charge, and then pick up an uphill armband before heading to the mountain. More information at coppercolorado.com.

Crested Butte

Uphill access is free and permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Prior to accessing the mountain for uphill activity, all users must obtain a free uphill use pass at the Adventure Center during the resort’s normal operating hours. Uphill users must review the policy and guidelines at skicb.com prior to accessing the resort for uphill access.

Eldora

Uphill access requires a pass that costs $199 for a season ($99 for uphillers who have Eldora or Ikon season passes) and $25 for a single day. Uphillers are restricted to designated routes. It is allowed during operating hours, and early morning access is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Find uphill policy and guidelines at eldora.com.

Hesperus

Uphill access is allowed all day on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, before and after operating hours on other days. A special pass is required and costs $25 for the season. Dogs are allowed but must be leashed in the base area. Read up on uphill policy and guidelines at ski-hesperus.com.

Keystone

Uphill access is free but is only permitted before and after resort operating hours on designated routes. Prior to accessing the mountain for uphill activity, all users should first call the hotline (970-496-4033) for the latest information on conditions and approved travel routes. More information at keystoneresort.com.

Loveland 

Uphill access is free but is only permitted before and after operating hours on one designated route, and users must have a current Uphill Access Card, which is free and can be obtained at ski patrol headquarters. Uphill policy and guidelines at skiloveland.com.

Monarch

Uphill access is free for season pass holders and costs $20 for the season for non-pass-holders. Uphilling is permitted before, during and after operating hours. During operating hours, access is restricted to two designated routes. Before and after operating hours, users can choose any route on the mountain, and dogs are allowed outside of operating hours. Uphill policy and guidelines: https://www.skimonarch.com/uphill-travel/

Snowmass

Uphill access is free and permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Policy and guidelines at aspensnowmass.com.

Steamboat

Uphill access is free to users and is permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Users are required to sign a policy and user guidelines formcertifying that they agree to its conditions, at which time they will be issued a reflective armband at no cost.

Vail

Uphill access is free and is permitted before, during and after operating hours on designated routes. Prior to accessing the mountain for uphill activity, all users should first call the hotline (970-754-3049) for the latest information on conditions and approved travel routes. Uphill policy and guidelines at vail.com.

Winter Park

Uphill access is free and is permitted before, during and after operating hours. Uphill access is allowed on all Winter Park trails that are open that day (or, in the case of early morning access, trails that were open the previous day), except for terrain parks. Many Mary Jane trails are open to uphilling but it is prohibited on some, including double black diamond terrain. Descents are allowed on all open trails. See uphill policy and guidelines at winterparkresort.com.

Michael Hagen
Michael Hagen


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