Do you enjoy earning your turns and catching a beautiful sunrise? Even while our lifts are turning we allow uphill travel for those looking to boost their daily workout. So, for those of you who like to go against the grain, swim upstream, or simply get your heart rate up, skinning up takes skiing independent to a whole new level.

Uphill Access Policy

The Monarch Mountain uphill access policy is intended to educate users about the guidelines and risks of uphill activities.

Monarch Mountain permits uphill traffic with limited restrictions. However, there are guidelines that all uphill users must follow to promote safety and to minimize conflicts between mountain operations including but not limited to: grooming operations (including winch cat), plowing, parking, snowmobile traffic, other vehicles, downhill skiers/riders, and any other activities that might be taking place at any time on the mountain, day and night.

Uphill access is an activity that Monarch Mountain supports in the interest of increasing the enjoyment of the National Forest. Monarch Mountain thanks users in advance for your cooperation in following these guidelines which enhance enjoyment of the mountain experience.

Uphill users are considered skiers under the Colorado Ski Safety Act and are required to adhere to the laws stated in the act and the specific items located within the skier’s responsibility code.

ticket Policy

The uphill access pass is available at the guest service desk and the Monarch Outpost during normal business operating hours.
  • Current Monarch season pass holders may obtain a complimentary Uphill Pass as a benefit of their 2021-22 season pass. The Uphill Pass is valid outside of normal operating hours (4pm-9am) AND during normal operating hours (9am-4pm) at any time during the 2021-22 winter season.
  • Individuals who do not wish to purchase a season pass but still want to enjoy uphill travel during the winter season may purchase an Uphill Pass for $59. The uphill pass is valid outside of normal operating hours (4pm-9am) AND during normal operating hours (9am-4pm) throughout the 2021-22 winter season with the following exception: Uphill access will be closed as we prepare for opening. Refer to the Monarch website and social media outlets for uphill access as the season approaches.
  • Uphill passes are valid for pre-season (prior to our opening day) and post-season (after our closing day) uphill travel. Users that visit during these time frames outside of the season may visit any hour of the day excluding 9am to 4pm the week prior to opening. Uphill passes are valid during the 2021-22 winter season.
  • Monarch Mountain reserves the right to prohibit uphill access at any time due to special events, mountain operations, weather, or for any other reason deemed necessary by Monarch Mountain Administration.
  • Users wanting to travel uphill exclusively after the ski area closes for the 2021-22 winter season may obtain an uphill pass at no charge after the official Monarch Mountain closing day (TBD).
  • All uphill users will be required to sign our general liability waiver that includes uphill travel. Users will be given a hard copy and/or emailed a copy of the Monarch Mountain Uphill Access Policy.
  • Uphill passes must be worn at all times (during/after operating hours AND pre/post season).
  • The following type of equipment is acceptable for uphill travel: AT gear, nordic, split-board, snowshoe, and (fat tire mountain bikes-outside of operating hours ONLY). Foot traffic is not allowed due to the post-holing and unsafe snow conditions it creates. Sledding devices are prohibited at all times. If passes are not visible, users will be asked to stop and show their uphill pass to Monarch Mountain staff.

uphill guidelines

  • Be observant when ascending. The ski area conducts operations on the mountain 24 hours a day - before, during, and after the ski season. Users may encounter snowcats, winch cats, winch cables, snowmobiles, trucks, skiers/riders and other types of operations at any time.
  • Respect all closures, warning signs and ropes at all times.
  • Designated Uphill Routes - During Operating Hours (09:00am-04:00pm)
    • Barrel Loop (center of lower tango-climbers right of north forty-to the top of Gunbarrel)
    • Pano Route (center of lower tango-climbers right of north forty-climbers left of roundabout-climbers left of Skywalker)
    • Mirk Route (climbers left of Little Mo-to the top of Mirkwood*) *When open
  • Designated uphill routes are marked by a yellow diamond shaped marker with a black arrow.
  • Terrain parks are closed outside of operating hours. Other trails may be used during this time.
  • Fat tire mountain bikes are allowed outside of operating hours - not during operating hours.
  • Be aware of others on the mountain and remain visible at all times.
  • Always keep your uphill access pass visible and be willing to stop and produce it whenever asked by any resort personnel. This includes early season, late season, and after hours.
  • At dusk, night, or early morning, wear reflective clothing visible from all directions, such as a vest, armband, belt, reflective clothing or pack, headlamp, flashing bike light, etc.

Closures + Mountain Operations

  • Uphill users must obey all signs, warnings, and closures. Winch cat operations are identified by an orange sign near the anchor point and a blue or orange flashing warning light on the winch-cat. Other snowcats use an orange light. Do not ski/ride near any snowcats or grooming operations. Just because you can easily see a snowcat, does not mean that the operator can see you.
  • Terrain parks are closed outside of normal operating hours.
  • Mirkwood and other avalanche terrain may be closed. Avalanche mitigation may be in progress at any time during the early morning, daytime, or dusk. It is your responsibility to avoid areas where these activities may be in progress. Please check in with ski patrol dispatch if in question. If in doubt, avoid traveling in or under any steep terrain.
  • It is unlawful to board any of the lifts without a valid lift ticket or season pass. Anyone utilizing uphill access privileges to access upper mountain lifts without a valid lift ticket or pass will be subject to the loss of all pass privileges at the resort for an extended period and may be prosecuted for theft under Colorado law.
  • If user decides to leave the ski area boundary, user is responsible for understanding risks. User may not enter, leave or re-enter the ski area by using a closed area, including marked USFS boundary closures. User must exit the area through USFS managed exit points.
  • Ski patrol services are not available outside of operating hours. Call 911 in case of emergency. Cell service may be spotty or unavailable and rescue may be lengthy. Travel with a partner and let others know of your plan.
  • Monarch Mountain reserves the right to prohibit uphill access at any time due to special events, mountain operations, weather, or for any other reason deemed necessary by Monarch Mountain administration.


  • During the ski season, uphill users arriving outside of operating hours are REQUIRED to park in the area next to the Water Treatment Plant to be clear of parking lot plowing operations
  • Outside of the ski season, uphill users should be aware that parking lot gates are unlocked only during operating hours; these hours are posted on the entrance gate (don’t get locked inside!)


  • Dogs are prohibited on the mountain during operating hours and are strongly discouraged at all other times.
  • The resort is not responsible for injury to dogs, service animals, or other pets.
  • User may be held responsible for any resulting damages or injuries to persons or property due to their animal, as well as loss of access/pass privileges.
  • If you do bring your dog on the mountain outside of operating hours, please clean up after your animal and maintain control of them at all times with a leash or verbal command.
Monarch Mountain is an equal opportunity provider and operates under a special use permit with the Pike San Isabel National Forest.
Anyone who needs assistance with accessing the content on this website please call 719.530.5000.