Berthoud Pass Ski Area was Colorado’s first ski area, but unfortunately didn’t last much past the turn of the century. The area was also Colorado’s first ski area to install a double-chair, and to allow snowboarding.
In Operation: 1937-2001
Peak Elevation: 12,015′
Base Elevation: 11,022′
Vertical Drop: 993′
Average Snowfall: 360+”
Number of Trails: 65
Lifts: 1 Triple, 1 Quad
Record Snowfall For One Season: 653″
Reason For Closing: Financial issues, competition with larger ski resorts in the area.
Fun Fact: The ski resort closed its lifts following the 2000-2001 winter season, but continued operating using snow cats for the next two seasons. The snow cat operation closed in 2003, and the lodge was demolished by the National Forest Service in 2005.
The area around Berthoud Pass is now a popular backcountry skiing destination due to it’s high elevation, and proximity to Denver (only 57 miles).
Ultimately, Berthoud Pass Ski area wasn’t able to cash-in on the major tourism dollars being spent throughout the rest of the state. Other resorts were able to build a larger infrastructure, and lodging to accommodate tourists.
It’s a bummer that Berthoud Pass Ski Area closed, especially with it’s rich history. But let’s do our best to remember Colorado’s original ski area!
Check out some more photos below!
Were you about to ski Berthoud Pass Ski Area prior to its closing? What other ski areas have you visited that are now closed?