Powderhorn Resort

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Powderhorn Mountain Resort
Location Mesa County, Colorado, United States
Nearest city Grand Junction, Colorado
Coordinates 39°3′47″N 108°9′20″W / 39.06306°N 108.15556°W / 39.06306; -108.15556Coordinates: 39°3′47″N 108°9′20″W / 39.06306°N 108.15556°W / 39.06306; -108.15556
Vertical 1,650 ft
Top elevation 9,850 feet (3,000 m)
Base elevation 8,200 ft
Skiable area 1,600 acres (6.5 km2)
Runs 63 total
20% beginner
50% intermediate
30% advanced/expert
Longest run Tenderfoot/Lower Dude 1.8 miles long (2.9 kilometers)
Lift system 5 total (1 quad chair, 2 double chairs, 1 surface, 1 magic carpet)
Terrain parks 3
Snowfall 250 in/year
Website http://www.powderhorn.com

Powderhorn Mountain Resort is located 45 minutes east of Grand Junction, Colorado on the Grand Mesa. The area has a variety of ski terrain such as groomers, bumps, glades, and boulder fields. Powderhorn is unique among Colorado ski resorts because of its terrain and climate. Powderhorn sits on the side of one of the world's largest flattop mountains, or mesas, rather than in a mountain canyon as many ski areas do, which allows for views extending more than 20 miles (32 km) across the desert below. The climate at Powderhorn's high desert location—east of Grand Junction, Colorado and slightly north and east of Colorado National Monument—produces dry, powder snow. The Rocky Mountain News said,"Powderhorn makes up for a lack of vertical with two quality terrain parks," and noted Powderhorn's "Old West feel" and focus on "families, beginner and intermediate skiers."[1] Powderhorn has a wide variety of terrain with a few long groomed runs as well as steeper tree runs and boulder fields full of jumps and cliffs.



  • Base Elevation: 8,200 ft (2,500 m)
  • Summit Elevation: 9,850 ft (3,000 m)
  • Vertical Drop: 1,650 ft (500 m)


Skiable area: 1,600 acres (6.5 km2)

  • 20% Beginner
  • 50% Intermediate
  • 30% Advanced

Weather and climate[edit]

  • Average snowfall: 250 inches
  • Snowmaking: 21 acres (85,000 m2) (when needed)


Lifts: 5

  • 1 Quad
  • 2 Doubles
  • 1 Surface
  • 1 Tow lift


In the 1940s, skiing began on top of Grand Mesa with a rope tow, and in the 1950s Mesa Creek Ski Area opened with 1 surface lift. Later, in 1966, Powderhorn Ski Area opened with a double chair and a surface lift two miles (3 km) below Mesa Creek Ski Area. In the 1970s another double chair and more terrain were added to the west side of Powderhorn to form the West End. In 1986, Powderhorn was sold to a Texas developer. After it was sold, the main double chair was replaced with a fixed grip quad and the surface lift was replaced with a double chair. Also in 1986, a wood deck was added to the daylodge and the parking lots were paved. Snowmaking also started in 1986. Two years later in 1988, condominium garages were replaced with patio units and the name was changed from Powderhorn Ski Area to Powderhorn Resort. In 1995, Powderhorn was sold to a local entrepreneur and the development of the Wildwood subdivision was begun.[2] In 1998 Powderhorn was sold to owners, Steve Bailey and Dean Skalla.[3] In 1999, 5,000 square feet (460 m2) was added to the daylodge and a 5,000-square-foot (460 m2) sundeck with a bridge direct to the lifts was added. The hotel/restaurant was renovated and renamed Inn at Wildwood and Wildwood Restaurant. The Wildwood subdivision was completed in 2000 and lot sales began. In 2002 the rooms at the Inn at Wildwood were renovated and enlarged. Two new trails and three new gladed runs were added in 2004 increasing the skiable area by 35 acres (140,000 m2). In 2007, six miles (10 km) of mountain bike trails and an 18 hole disc golf course were added.

Bailey announced on June 1, 2011, that Powderhorn would be auctioned on August 4, 2011.[4][5] Colorado ski resort mogul, Andy Daly, along with partners, Tom and Kent Gart, bought the resort for $1.4 million and immediately invested $800,000 (U.S.) into upgrades, including snowmaking machines, rooms in the lodge, and the introduction of a halfpipe, the only one within a 100-mile radius. Daly was the ex-President of Vail Resorts, had had major involvement with Eldora, Copper, and Beaver Creek Resorts and, in 2010, was awarded the National Ski Areas Lifetime Achievement Award .[6]

In June 2015, construction began on a new high-speed quad chairlift system and other improvements.[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]