It's no secret that southern Colorado provides some of the best skiing in the state. Mountains like [R240R, Monarch], [R1435R, Silverton], and [R511R, Wolf Creek] receive some of the highest numbers of snowfall annually. One hidden gem lays backcountry with Monarch Mountain Snowcat Tours.

"I have researched almost every cat operation in the country, and I don't think any other place beats Monarch for price, terrain, and overall quality of experience," says Matt Monroe of Montrose, Pa.

Over 1,000 acres of expert terrain including trees, cliffs, and bowls provide ample snow and spectacular views just outside Monarch's ski area boundary. Guests enjoy skiing and riding closely spaced trees and significant steeps at what's considered some of the best snowcat skiing in Colorado.

"I have tried many larger resorts but few can compare to the simple beauty of Monarch," Monroe says. "The terrain is perfect, challenging, and allows for quick access back to the top." 

Expect 10 to 12 runs per day with an average of 900 vertical feet per run for a typical day's snowcat tour. Space is limited to 12 guests with cats running from the end of December through early April as conditions permit. Early trips often become available if appropriate conditions exist. Up-to-date tour information is easily accessible on the Monarch Web site as well as in e-mail updates. Be sure to check the site well in advance for early and late-season prices, or to reserve and guarantee your adventure.

"I've never had a better experience for my money on snow-period," Monroe concludes.

More information.