Nov 10, 2022 • 8M

BREAKING — Eldora Opens for the Season Tomorrow (11/11)

The ski area is ready for the 22/23 season, with some big changes to the parking situation. We're breaking down the new information, and hearing from the snowmaking team:

 
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snow guns blanketing the ground near Eldora's base lodge
Courtesy — Cullen McHale via Eldora Ski Area

I’m running a ski season survey to better understand how riders plan their trips. It’s part of an upcoming story about the impact of crowd-fighting measures at popular ski areas.

You can participate by clicking the link here.

NEDERLAND, CO — November 10, 2022

Eldora Ski Area will open for its 60th anniversary season a full week earlier than expected: November 11th, 2022. There are significant changes this year that you’ll need to know about before driving up the canyon. I’ll break those down in just a moment.

First: we’re checking in with the team that is making opening day possible — Justin Denning, with the snowmaking crew.

You can listen to the full interview by clicking the play-head above. It’s pretty short, so I’m going to forgo the usual “show notes” with time stamps, and just include the pertinent info here.

Justin and the rest of the team have been hard at work to secure this opening day run, highlighted in green:

Map of Eldora, with opening day terrain highlighted in Green. That run is hornblower, into international
Map of Eldora, with opening day terrain highlighted in Green

Cole's Climb was the first publication to break this story. Subscribe to stay ahead of the crowds this season, and to support independent outdoor journalism.

Repeat riders will recognize it as the pretty standard, Hornblower-into-International route. It’s a pretty solid opening day run, but it’s not one I’d recommend for beginners. If you are just starting off — honestly, wait a few weeks until more terrain is open. Things will be less hectic and stressful for you.

First chair will be at Alpenglow six-pack lift, at 9:00 a.m..

Parking on Powder Days

A huge change this year is coming to Eldora’s parking system. The lot has been a tight squeeze for years, with late arrivals occasionally having to wait down in Nederland to get the green light that spaces have opened up.

For this season, Eldora says it has expanded its parking area by roughly 50%. There will also be a designated electric vehicle lot, with 15 charging stations.

When it’s Crowded:

After holding off for the past two seasons, Eldora will now start enforcing its carpool policy. On weekends and holidays:

  • If you’re driving by yourself, you’ll have to pay $10 extra to park.

  • If you’re driving with one other person, parking is free

  • If you’re driving with two or more other people, you get rock star parking

    .

Parking is still free for everyone on non-weekend, non holidays, unless…

During Big Dumps:

…Eldora gets ten inches of snow, or more. On these days, if you come alone, you’ll be charged that extra fee. As of right now, I’m waiting to hear back from Eldora on how these fees will be collected, and when and how they will notify visitors the fee will be in effect.

In fairness to Eldora: I don’t actually know how many days out of the season this will even matter. 10 inch powder dumps aren’t exactly common on the front range. Eldora is also offering free RTD and shuttle tickets on weekends, and certain other days.

Preventing Crowding

At a certain point, all ski areas can reach a level of crowding I actually consider dangerous. Different mountains are choosing to handle this in different ways; which I plan to make the topic of a future story.

To do that, I need to get a better idea of how everyone gets to the mountain. If you have a moment, consider completing this quick survey:

Take the Survey

I really appreciate you taking the time to read, and respond. I’m excited to share the results of this new story with you as soon as it’s finished.

Thank you for reading, and I’ll see you on the slopes!

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There are a few designated spots right by the lift for HOVs containing 3 people or more.