Echo Mountain, the humble one-lift ski area that’s closest to Denver, receives 4 feet of snow in two weeks |

Echo Mountain, the humble one-lift ski area that’s closest to Denver, receives 4 feet of snow in two weeks

But it’s not steep-and-deep that attracts visitors; it’s proximity to Denver, night skiing, affordability and beginner-friendly slopes

John Meyer
Denver Post
ECHO MOUNTAIN, CO - MARCH 25: Season pass holder Michelle Steenvoorden enjoys the space of wide open runs at Echo Mountain where lines are often non-existent or only a few people deep on Thursday, March 25, 2021. Steenvoorden said that in her experience the lines are only about four people deep at most. More than 15 inches of snow has fallen at the small Colorado ski resort that rests on scenic Highway 103 between Evergreen and Echo Lake. The mountain, which boasts the closest door-to-door commute to Denver – a little more than an hour – has surged back under new ownership and management in recent years. Though only a single lift services the mere nine runs, general manager Fred Klaas pointed out that residents find the convenience of a shorter commute and opportunities to partake in skiing multiple days a week have drawn a loyal following. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

For Colorado’s major resorts, spring conjures up images of laid-back, shirt-sleeve skiing and high-altitude sun-bathing under bluebird skies. At humble Echo Mountain this spring, it’s been about mind-boggling amounts of snowfall.

Benefiting from upslope storms that are not uncommon for the Front Range in March and April — but which have been unusually bountiful this year — the small area located only 17 miles west of Genesee received 4 feet of snow in the past two weeks. On Thursday, the parking lots were nearly full, many of the cars carrying tourists on spring break. Enormous snowbanks lined the highway leading from Evergreen to Echo, which is situated 4 miles south and 3,100 feet above Idaho Springs with gorgeous views of Longs Peak and the Indian Peaks.

But despite all that snow, most of the visitors weren’t there in search of steep and deep powder. For the most part, they come to the one-lift ski area because they are beginners or intermediates.

“I heard a guy the other day — we reported like seven or eight inches (of new snow) — this guy skis up to his friend and he was like, ‘I hate powder,’ ” said Echo general manager Fred Klaas. “I was just cracking up, because when you think about the Colorado ski market, nobody says that.”

All that recent snow has benefited Echo in other ways, though. Echo was scheduled to close for the season this weekend, but Klaas has already extended the season two weeks and hints that the closing date could be extended further.

Read more from The Denver Post.


Support Local Journalism


Loading comments...