[R1673R, Echo Mountain] is a bit different in the Colorado ski world and slowly building its own niche. Echo is the closest ski and snowboard area to Denver. It's just 35 miles, and 45 minutes up I-70 from downtown Denver. It isn't big, but it's mighty, with 85 acres of trails and terrain on 240 acres of private land. The altitude is 10,500 feet.

Echo offers night skiing so you can zip up to the mountains after your work day. You can make it to Echo Mountain if you have a long layover at DIA (the airport). Lift tickets for adults are $45 for a full day and $29 starting at three in the afternoon, until closing time at 9 p.m. Echo is open every day except Tuesdays when they typically redo some of the terrain park features on the mountain.

Echo Mountain also offers the least expensive season pass in Ski Country, with unlimited boarding and riding for $169. There are no blackout dates.

Echo started as a terrain park dedicated to freestyle skiers and snowboarders, according to Cindy Dady, the general manager. "After our first season though, we quickly realized our pricing and proximity to Denver was also attractive to families with beginner to intermediate skiers and boarders so we expanded our vision and facilities to include novice and family-friendly terrain, features, lesson options, and rental equipment while still catering to our loyal freestyle and terrain park enthusiasts."

There is a beginner area and you can take a lesson. Or you can hit some of the freestyle features, such as jumps, rails, and boxes. Advanced and expert terrain is found in the Asylum Tree Park, the Burton Stairset, and the Westside Glades. A snack shop is on site and rentals are available. The retail shop has funky cool gear, such as Echo Mountain jerseys that the kids love.

Echo Mountain is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Tuesdays. It closes at 5 p.m. Sundays. You may rent the entire mountain on Tuesdays, though, for a private function such as a corporate retreat, wedding, or family reunion.

More Information  Call 303-325-7347.