Beginner’s Guide

Know Before You Go

Is this all new to you? Relax! You’re at Monarch, where our friendly staff and easy to navigate base area will take the worry out of your day. Here are some tips to help make your day a success!

Elation Sports

Our retail shop carries just about everything you need in case you forgot something. You can even rent outer jackets and snowpants on a first come, first served basis. Elation Sports opens at 8:30am.


We recommend you make reservations, especially if you are visiting on the weekends or holidays. You can book your lift tickets, rental equipment, and/or group lessons online on our website or by calling us at 719.530.5196. Private lessons must be booked over the phone. Our reservationists can help you find the best product(s) to fit your needs and budget. Online reservations must be made at least the day before your arrival.

You will need a lift ticket to utilize any of the trails on the mountain (for Tubing, you only need a Tubing ticket). When purchasing Lift Tickets online and in advance, you can save up to 40% off the window price, depending upon the day you’re visiting. Lift ticket & rental equipment combos are also available online to simplify your order.


Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, our standard rental equipment will be just right for you. Helmets are included in the Sets, should you choose to use one – which we recommend. When making a reservation for rental equipment you will need the birthdate, height, weight, shoe size and skier type (cautious, moderate or aggressive) ready for each person renting equipment. When you book in advance we prepare your equipment before you arrive so it’s ready for fitting once you check in at the Reservations windows. Once on the snow, if anything needs to be adjusted with your equipment just come to the Rental counter and we’ll make it right. Of course we can’t make the skis or snowboard turn or stop – that’s up to you! Which is why we recommend you take a lesson to get you going in the right direction.

  • Layered clothing is better than thick, heavy clothing. The weather can change throughout the day and with layers you can peel off or layer on as
    needed. The outer layer should be water-proof or water-resistant.
  • One pair of wool or synthetic socks at least calf high works best. More than one pair tends to rub or bunch up and can be uncomfortable.
  • Avoid cotton. It does not insulate when wet and just makes you colder. Opt for synthetics or wool.
  • Wear insulated, waterproof gloves or mittens, even on a warm day. Warm, dry hands go a long way towards a good day.
  • Wear a warm hat or helmet to prevent heat from escaping through your head. Helmets are included in Rental Sets.
  • Sunscreen! At our elevation, you cannot wear too much even if its cloudy. Reapply often.
  • Sunglasses or goggles with UV protection is a must! Goggles work better when it’s snowy or windy out and come in lenses for different lighting conditions.
  • If you’re wearing street shoes from your car, you’ll want them to be warm and with good tread for walking in snow and on uneven surfaces. Open-toed, cloth or smooth bottomed shoes do not work well in our winter conditions.
Learn From Our Pros

If you’re new to skiing or snowboarding, we highly recommend taking a lesson. A lesson or two is the best investment you’ll make when just starting out in these sports. It’s tough learning from a friend or family member unless they’ve been trained to teach. So keep the peace amongst your friends and family and learn from a certified, professional instructor who will keep your comfort, safety and progression rate in mind while building your confidence and making it fun. There are several Lesson options to choose from. If you have a difficult time figuring it out, just call us and Reservationist can help you decide based on your preferences.

Before You Arrive

Monarch Mountain’s base area is at 10,800’ in elevation. To avoid altitude sickness when coming from lower elevations (which most of us are), you’ll want to give your body a chance to acclimate. That means getting a good night’s sleep the night before you’re here, eating well and drinking LOTS of water. Hydration is very important when being active at elevation, even if you don’t feel thirsty (alcohol and caffeine do not count). Remember to bring your reservations confirmation(s). It can be printed or on your phone. Be sure to download any images (bar code or QR code) before you get here as you may not have internet service to do so when you’re here. If you plan on bringing your own lunch, please know that coolers, duffels, boxes, bins, bags…etc. must be left in your vehicle. Items that do not fit in a locker are not allowed to be left in any building or around the base area. Saving tables, camping in one spot or spreading out beyond reason is also frowned upon and you may be asked to move. We want everyone to be able to enjoy a comfortable space to eat lunch or just take a break. While we welcome you to pack a snack in your pocket for a little ‘fuel’ while riding the chairlift, we also have a variety of food venues for your dining ease and pleasure. Please do not litter.

When You Arrive

Parking is free and most of our parking is close-in to the base area. Please follow the guidance of our parking attendants. If you have lesson reservations, arrive at least an hour before your lesson time, earlier if during our peak times. This will give you time to check-in, pick up and get fitted for your rental equipment (if renting), go to the bathroom and be ready for your lesson on time. (Don’t forget to breathe.) Check-in for lessons and rental equipment is at the Reservations windows located in the Rental and Lesson Center, the large, tent-like building on the north side of the main lodge. Lift tickets included in your order can also be picked up at the Reservations windows. If your order is for only lift tickets (no lessons nor rentals), you can pick those up at the ticket windows located at the north end of the main lodge. Directional signs are posted in and around the base area. If you have any questions, just ask any employee. They’ll be the ones proudly donning a nametag and are happy to help you.

Skier Responsibility Code
  1. Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.
  2. People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.
  3. You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.
  4. Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.
  5. Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.
  6. Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  7. Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.
  8. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.
  9. Do not use lifts or terrain when impaired by alcohol or drugs.
  10. If you are involved in a collision or incident, share your contact information with each other and a ski area employee.