Ski Monarch Mountain Colorado

Ski Independent, Embrace Family Fun

See what real Colorado skiing and snowboarding is like outside of the resorts and take a trip up to Monarch Mountain.

Colorado's Monarch Mountain Ski Resort LodgeWhether you are local or traveling in to get your share of winter fun, skiing/snowboarding is a great adventure for all ages and skill levels. There are a lot of things to consider when looking for the perfect destination and Monarch Mountain is a great match for the top items on my list. Plenty of varied levels of ski terrain, natural snow (Monarch receives more than 350” of natural snow each year), one lodge (makes it easy to keep track of all the members of your group), short wait times, affordable prices, and quality food make an ideal mix of family friendly fun.

Ski and Ride school at Monarch Mountain colorado.

For the newbie skier like myself there are great class options offered at Monarch’s Ski + Ride School, whether you want to separate or even take a family lesson. Parents might consider sending the little ones off to learn while they get some runs in or brush up on technique with expert help. The covered magic carpet and learning area was great, with plenty of room for classes while still being accessible for independent riders. This section was ideal for those working their way up to the lift.

Ski + Ride School at Monarch Mountain ColoradoYour littlest ones even have their own section to get the hang of things. Starting as young as 3 your munchkin can begin to get their ski or board legs under them. Monarch Mountain has group lessons that are kids only, grouped by age and experience or if you are looking to be hands on try the Mini & Me program that introduces children, ages 3-6, to skiing, while the grown up gets tips from an expert. There is also a children’s center with indoor activities to take breaks in.

Monarch at the top of monarch mountain coloradoOnce you hit the mountain the action is non-stop. There are long runs at all levels from all over Monarch, but a highlight is getting to the top of the mountain and straddling the continental divide while looking out over the San Isabel National Forest. You can go up and visit the metal Monarch, or Peak Locator for a breathtaking destination. Turn this little butterfly and she will let you know exactly where you stand and the local landmarks you are looking out over. From there coming down the mountain is a choose your own adventure of green, blue, or black to get back to the base.
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The Fritz, Salida Colorado

Small Plates, Great Big Flavor

Don’t read that wrong, The Fritz in Salida, Colorado has options of all sizes, but they are known for their deliciously tempting variety of small plates on the menu. Literally every person we spoke to in town recommended The Fritz as a place to enjoy heart and tummy warming favorites and each had a personal favorite small plate to recommend. So our approach to the menu was to give as many as we could a try and I confess we were successful and left more than satisfied.

The Fritz in Salida Colorado near Monarch MountainWe hit the Fritz after a long day of skiing at nearby Monarch Mountain and with embarrassingly noisy stomachs. Options like Tuna Sashimi & Poached Prawn’s which are served with crispy onion, pineapple Ponzu sauce, and jalapeño jam were instantly eye catching. Our first pick, this dish was a cool treat for the palate, refreshing and light with a nice spicy heat giving each bite contrast and depth.

The Fritz near Monarch Mountain in Salida ColoradoPick 2: Brussel sprouts tantalizingly prepared with an orange reduction, walnuts, parmesan, and brown butter. On a cold winter night this is comfort food at its best. I am always a sucker for the warm richness of butter on my vegetables, but the addition of the orange reduction, the sharp flavor of the parmesan, and the crunch of the walnuts took this dish to the next level. It also came highly recommended by our ski instructor.
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