Powderhorn Ski Area is one of the best places to go skiing in Colorado if you are a beginner or an intermediate skier. Powderhorn Mountain, as the area is also known, is also a great family destination. The resort puts a focus on families, as well as skiers who are not of the advanced level. That being said, advanced skiers are also likely to enjoy a visit, as some 30 percent of the terrain falls into the advanced or expert category. There are boulder fields to explore, glades to glide through, bumps to tackle, and plenty of groomers for when you just want to enjoy a cruise down the mountain. Adding to the allure for skiers and snowboarders alike are the terrain park areas, which are full of boxes, rails, jumps, and pipes.
The Powder Horn Ski Resort enjoys a relatively unique location when compared to most of the other Colorado ski resorts. You can find the resort on the side of a large, flat top mountain, or mesa. Lying below is a desert expanse, and you can enjoy the views for miles while at the resort. As a result of the desert setting, the snow tends to be very dry, hence the Powderhorn Mountain appellation. In not unlike the snow that you can expect to encounter when skiing in Utah. The Utah border, it is worth mentioning, is only about 50 miles away to the west. Even closer to the Powder Horn Ski Resort is the city of Grand Junction. This is the largest city in western Colorado and can provide all of the distractions that you might need when you're not spending time on the Powderhorn slopes.
The base elevation of Powderhorn Mountain is 8,200 feet, while the summit elevation tops out at 9,850 feet. While the vertical drop is 1,650 feet, there is a relative lack of actual vertical. As such, the resort added three terrain parks to keep skiers and snowboarders coming back for more. Enough steep tree runs exist to cater to the more adventurous visitors, and the cliffs and jumps in the boulder fields are reason enough to visit. Approximately 600 of the 1,600 total skiable acres at the Powderhorn Ski area are groomed, and these groomed slopes figure among the easiest to navigate due to their smoother nature.
On average, 250 inches of snow fall on the Powderhorn Ski Area every year. While this isn't as much as you can expect at the resorts further east, such as Vail and Loveland, it is still a relatively impressive amount. When needed, the park can cover 21 acres of terrain with manmade snow, which is usually needed every now and again. Four lifts are in place to get skiers and snowboarders around the mountain, and these lifts include two doubles, one surface lift, and a quad.
While hanging out at the Powder Horn Ski Resort, visitors will have some enticing dining options to choose from. The restaurant at the Inn at Wildewood can be found right next to the main lift, and it offers some enticing sirloin burgers, philly cheesesteaks that feature prime rib, and a bunch of other savory delights. Complementing this restaurant is a bar and grille that is open for breakfast and lunch and a café that serves up quick treats, such as ice cream, sandwiches, and a variety of snacks.
The Powderhorn Resort features a store that is full of outdoor gear. You can always rent ski pants and a coat at the store if you're not interested in buying new gear. Should you need a rental snowboard or ski rentals, they are available at the rental shop that can be found in the main lodge's lower level.
Something that might also be of interest when planning your Powderhorn visit is the lodging scene. The Inn at Wildewood might just be the most attractive Powderhorn lodging establishment, as it can be found right near the main lift. It also offers affordable rates and ski packages that include half-price lift tickets. There are some attractive mini suites to choose from at the Inn at Wildewood, and should you need more space, you might try to secure the upscale condo rental, which can sleep up to ten. Standard in-room amenities include cable TV, a mini refrigerator, a microwave, and a private bathroom.
Should you be interested in vacation rentals, Goldenwoods Condos offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom condo units that are equipped with fireplaces, satellite TV, VCRs, and spacious tubs. While not overly luxurious, the well-priced condos are tasteful enough and provide proximity to the slopes. If you don't mind being farther away, the Hilltop House in nearby Mesa is a Powderhorn lodging that deserves consideration. This lovely home can sleep up to eight people and features three bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room, a hot tub, satellite TV, an ample deck, and two conference rooms that can accommodate up to 40 people. The Hilltop House is only eight miles from the base of Powderhorn Mountain, and while the rates are relatively high, they are still more than reasonable.
Image: Powderhorn Ski Area