Eldora Mountain Review
Eldora Mountain Website: http://www.eldora.com/
Rating: ★★ (2.5/5 Stars)
Parking: Eldora offers one main area to park which is impossible to miss when you are driving in. The lot is pretty massive, but once it fills up, (usually around 10-11AM), it can be a real pain to find a spot. Parking is free, but unlike other mountains, there are no other lots to park in.
Summary: Located just 22 miles west of Boulder, Eldora Mountain is one of the lesser known Colorado ski mountains. While Eldora lacks some of the long runs and high technology of its competitors, it also has far less crowds and a much more pleasurable drive, even when the weather is bad. Eldora offers everything you would expect a Colorado mountain to: double blacks, glades, terrain parks, and multiple base areas to relax and refuel in between runs.
Strengths: Eldora has a lot going for it, which is why the mountain has stayed open for 50+ years. Its close to Boulder, avoids all of the annoying I70 traffic, experiences different weather patterns than other mountains in the area (sometimes this means Eldora gets nothing on a storm that produced deep powder for other mountains, but many times the opposite is also true). Crowds are generally smaller than most other Colorado mountains in the area. Eldora is a great mountain to learn to ski or snowboard because of slightly cheaper lift tickets and forgiving terrain. On a powder day, there are multiple areas of glades to enjoy and most likely you will get more runs in before all the fresh tracks are gone because of the smaller crowds. Eldora offers the terrain you would expect at any mountain (greens and blues for beginners, tougher terrain for experts and multiple terrain parks for those freestyle skiers and snowboarders).
Weaknesses: Eldora is not a snowboard friendly mountain. There are lots of long, flat traverses that are used to travel along the mountain. It’s not a deal breaker by any means, but if you are learning to snowboard or can’t ride long flat sections, this can be annoying. Although Eldora gets a lot of snow, they do rely on a lot of man made snow to open much of their terrain at the start of the season. This can mean conditions that feel more like a New Hampshire or Vermont on some of their groomed trails (icier base) than some Colorado mountains. Speaking of east coast riding, due to the relatively small nature of the mountain, you will find some of their runs shorter than many other Colorado ski resorts. Looking to gain a 50,000 vert day? You may want to consider other options. Parking is not great at Eldora, even though it is free. The lots can and will fill up and once they do, you are basically SOL until you can find someone leaving. Although they are upgrading their lifts slowly, many of the chairs at Eldora are old which equals slow rides back up the mountain.
Mick’s Tip: If you are visiting Colorado or new to Colorado and cant’ ski or snowboard, I highly recommend learning at Eldora. Since Eldora gets different weather patterns than other mountains, always check the snow reports for a surprise powder day. Like riding glades? Head over to Salto or Moose Glades on a powder day, you will not be dissapointed. Get to Eldora early though because once the lot does fill up, parking can be a real pain in the ass.
Photography: On a clear day Eldora offers great views into the Indian Peaks Wilderness and into the neighboring mountains and foothills. Its views do not offer the stunning mountain panoramics of Copper Mountain or A-Basin, but they are still very good. I don’t generally ride with a DSLR, so bring your phone for any shots you want to bring home with you.