As the mountain closest to Grand Junction, Powderhorn is also closest to the hearts of many Grand Valley skiers, who consider the Grand Mesa their backyard. In addition to the nearby proximity, locals love it because it’s never crowded and expert groomers are there every day to keep the snow on the most popular runs in great shape. The glade runs are also fun and easily accessible, and the resort continues to open up more gladed areas for skiing.
Distance from Grand Junction: 35 - 40 miles, 45 minutes
Lift ticket costs and deals: $59 for a one-day lift ticket. The mountain also offers the Powderhorn P-Card, which costs $69 and gives the cardholder one free day of skiing or boarding and an additional 20 percent off a regular single day lift ticket for the rest of the season. The Powderhorn Deca Card is $170 and allows the cardholder or holders to purchase 10 half-price lift tickets. The Deca card can be used by multiple people, all on the same day or on separate days with no blackout dates.
Lodging tips: Who needs lodging? If you decide the 40-minute drive is too much, there are 17 hotel rooms at the Slopeside Inn as well as condos available at Goldenwood Condominiums.
Mountain stats: 600 skiable acres, 1 quad lift and 2 doubles
•20 percent beginner
•50 percent intermediate
•30 percent advanced/expert
What makes this mountain worth the drive: What drive? The exciting news for this year is the expanded terrain parks and three new runs. Two of the new runs are glade black diamond runs and one is a cut blue run. Look for Sven’s Bend taking off from upper Maverick, Thunderbird Glade (upper and lower) running parallel to the West End lift between the lift and Snowcloud and Bronco, the blue run, running parallel to Lower Snowcloud.
What else can you do while you’re there? The tubing hill will be expanded for the 2012-13 season and there is also snowshoeing and cross-country skiing available from the resort.
Signature run: Bill’s Run. It’s wide open, with views that let you see forever and views that are unlike anywhere else in Colorado. Bill’s is always groomed, it has a variety of terrain and can be enjoyed by beginning to advanced skiers.
Learn to Ski or Ride Series: Presented by The Daily Sentinel. Learn to ski or snowboard for the first time and get a free season pass for the rest of the season. Designed for first timers age 8 and up.
Adult Program (19+), $299
Youth/PreTeen Program (8-18), $249 — Includes 3 lessons, lift, rental and season pass
Intensive Series: Dec. 21-23 or Jan. 2-4
Saturday Series: Jan. 5, 12, 19
Sunday Series: Jan. 6, 13, 20
If the scheduled dates don’t work, pick any 3 days to enter the program. Register by calling 970-268-5700
Multi-Week Youth Programs:
Powderhorn’s skill improvement clinics will have your kids safely enjoying the entire mountain!
Mavericks: for teens who want to improve their all-mountain, freeride and park skills.
Freeriders: for kids age 8-12 who are ready to explore the whole mountain.
Powdercats: skill advancement for kids 5-8
Powdercubs: skill development just for 4-year-olds
Programs run Saturdays and Sundays, January through March. Each series runs 4 weeks. Mavericks and Freeriders are $199 for a 4-week program. Powdercats and Powdercubs are $220 for 4-week program. Discounts available for additional sessions.
Free bus service is available on Saturdays and Sundays, sponsored by Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates and St. Mary’s Hospital. Check the website for details.
Full-season rentals available.