It’s been said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” and this couldn’t be more true when taking the plunge into the exciting world of snow sports! At Echo Mountain, we pride ourselves on offering a welcoming and supportive environment for those new to snow sports.

Whether you’re a never-ever, itching to make your first turns down a snow-covered slope, or an experienced shredder visiting Echo for the first time, read on to learn everything you need to know about what to expect and a little bit about what sets us apart from the mega resorts.

I want to do the thing with the two sticks. What is that called?

That is called skiing! Skis are two individual planks attached to each foot and the skier moves down the slope facing forward. Skiing uses similar movements to roller blades, ice skates and water skis and is generally considered to be the easier downhill winter sport to pick up and enjoy.


I want to do the thing like skateboarding or surfing. What is that called?

Snowboarding, dude! A Snowboard is attached to both feet and the rider travels downhill standing sideways. Compared to skiing, there is a steeper learning curve but skateboarders, surfers and wakeboarders will have a leg-up on developing the necessary balance and muscle-memory.

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Is Echo good for beginners?


No! Yes! Maybe! It depends... A lot of first timers and beginners have had a great time at Echo and post about it online in reviews and on social media. That said, we like to err on the side of caution and tell people that we are a mostly intermediate mountain. We understand that while our terrain is great for some, it is not great for all.

The Yard Sale beginner area is a great place to learn to stop, turn and get your basics down. Beyond that, the transition to the rest of the mountain can be really challenging. Some guests take to it no problem, others struggle and can't make the jump.

We get it. We try our best to educate guests about who we are and what we offer here on the website and through every step of the process before, during and after purchase. After all, we can't be something we're not, and we have the terrain that Mother Nature made for us!

If you have suggestions on how we can better educate guests about our terrain offering, send them our way! We're always looking to improve.

What does "Mostly Intermediate Terrain" mean?

Most ski and snowboard areas use trail ratings and designations to determine how easy and how difficult each trail is before you go down them and they are usually rated as:

- "Easiest", identified by a Green Circle (Beginner)

- "More Difficult" identified by a Blue Square (Intermediate)

- "Most Difficult" identified by a Black Diamond (Advanced / Expert)

- "Freestyle Terrain" identified by an Orange Oval (Advanced / Expert)

You may see some variations or combinations of these designations at other ski areas.

A really important distinction is that each trail's rating is relative to the other trails at that specific ski area. That means that a Blue Square, Intermediate, trail at a ski area in Michigan may be very different than a Blue Square, More Difficult, trail at a Colorado ski area. Furthermore, a Green Circle, Beginner, run at Echo might be different from a similarly rated trail in Montana.

Echo's Green Circle trails are OUR "Easiest" way down, but they are more advanced than Green Circle trails at other ski areas. An "Easiest" Green Circle Trail at nearby Loveland ski area is very different than an "Easiest," Green Circle Trail at Echo.

For more info on Trail Ratings and to get an idea of the kind of terrain we offer, check out our Trail Map & Conditions page.

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What is a Lift Ticket and do I need one?

A Lift Ticket gets you access to the mountain to participate in skiing or snowboarding. It doesn't include the actual ski and snowboard equipment rentals.

Ski and snowboard equipment is separate, because just like if you go bowling, you reserve the lane, but shoes aren't included. Some people bring their own bowling shoes, and some rent them from the bowling alley. Or if you go to a swimming pool, you'd pay to get in, but if you need floaties, they'd rent them to you separately. Not everyone needs floaties and some have their own, but everyone needs a pass to get in.

Too many analogies?


Every guest is required to have a valid lift ticket for the day and time you plan to visit.

Your lift ticket gets you access to all of Echo's open terrain on that day- from our “Yard Sale” beginners area to the terrain served by our Hot Laps Special triple chair lift. In case you were wondering, we don't have a "Beginner's Area Only" or a "Chairlift Only" ticket.

All tickets must be purchased online in advance through our webstore by 10:00 pm the night before your visit. If you show up without a prior reservation, you will likely be turned away.

For more information and to book your skiing or snowboarding experience visit our Ski + Snowboard tickets page.


What equipment do I need to ski or snowboard?

Skiing and snowboarding require special equipment to participate, and we can help with that!

Skiers require skis, ski boots, ski poles and a helmet.

Snowboarders require a snowboard, snowboard boots and a helmet.

Note, Ski and Snowboard Boots are specialized and specific to each activity, and you can't use regular snow, hiking or work boots.



What if I don't have my own equipment?

We rent ski and snowboard equipment for Kids and Adults! We offer limited rentals of skis/snowboards but these must be booked in advance and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information on equipment rentals visit click here.


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How do I stay warm and dry on the mountain?

In addition to the ski or snowboard equipment, you should plan to wear some extra or different clothing to keep you warm and dry. The weather at Echo can vary wildly from warm and sunny to freezing cold with high winds and low visibility (and can even change hour-to-hour) so you need to be prepared for both extremes and anything in between!

Here is a list of the clothing and equipment that can help make your skiing or snowboarding experience a safe and comfortable one:

  • Warm thermal underlayers made of wool or synthetic fabric
  • A mid layer like a sweater or puffy jacket / vest that can be added or removed to regulate your body temperature as conditions change
  • A face covering/mask for warmth and covid safety
  • Gloves to keep your hands toasty warm
  • A helmet to protect your head from impacts
  • A waterproof ski jacket and pants to keep you dry
  • Eye Protection - Sunglasses or Goggles to protect your eyes from sun, snow and wind (snow blindness is no joke!)


What if I don't have any of that specialized stuff?

If you're getting into skiing or snowboarding for the long haul, it's well worth the investment in some of the above specialized gear. However, if you're just checking things out, and not sure you're going to stick with it, focus on ways to stay warm and dry.

Layering regular clothing like a t-shirt, long-sleeve flannel or shirt, sweatshirt, and a jacket can go a long way! Same with the legs- layering shorts, sweatpants and some sort of waterproof pant will set you up for success.

What should I know about Night Skiing / Snowboarding?

Echo is one of the few ski areas in Colorado to offer the unforgettable experience of skiing and snowboarding under the stars...and a whole lot of lights! When we offer it, Night Skiing and Snowboarding is included with your Day Lift Ticket, meaning that you can keep the party going under the lights right through to 9pm! You can also purchase a separate Night Ski Only Ticket.

Remember to layer up in anticipation of colder temperatures and expect the conditions to be a little less forgiving than during the day. The terrain offered for night skiing is Intermediate (Blue Square trails) only, and while our beginners area is sometimes open, this is not guaranteed.

For these reason, Night Skiing and Snowboarding is not recommended for Beginners. For more information visit our Night Skiing + Riding page

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Do I need a reservation for Parking?

No! At this time we do not require Parking Reservations. Our lots do fill up on busy days so it’s best to carpool (with your own household or people in your COVID bubble) if possible.


Can I drive myself?

Absolutely! And...just make sure you're prepared! The road here is a beautiful and windy Colorado mountain road. We always recommend 4WD / AWD when driving anywhere in Colorado's mountain in the winter. Conditions can change frequently and you want to make sure you arrive here or wherever safely and efficiently.

Some important considerations when driving in the mountains during winter are:

- 4WD or AWD vs. 2WD

- 2WD RWD (2-Wheel, Rear Wheel Drive) are definitely not a good idea

- Snow Tires vs. All Season or Summer Tires

- Winter Driving Experience

- Recent & Current Weather / Road Conditions



I don't have 4WD or AWD, can you tell me if I'll make it in a 2WD vehicle?

We can't really say on any given day as we don't know where you or your vehicle stand on the above and more.

If you and your vehicle don't check all the above boxes or you would just like to kick back and let someone else take the wheel, our partners at Ride Experiences offer shuttle services to and from Echo, departing from the Jeffco-Golden Light Rail station.

Shuttle tickets are sold per-person and one-way so your ride up to Echo and your return trip to Golden must be booked separately. For more info on shuttles and other transportation options visit our Getting Here page.

Do you have Lessons?

No, Echo does not have a traditional ski or ride school.

We have a slightly different take on learning we call Echo Mountain Ambassadors.

We know not everyone wants to pay a whole bunch of money to try their hand (really, feet) at Skiing or Snowboarding and have an instructor telling them exactly what to do and when. Sometimes you want a little more freedom. You want a little more time to figure it out on your own, and you want a little more control in when and how you're learning. We're big fans of progressing at your own pace so our Ambassadors are here to help with just that.

Echo Mountain Ambassadors are your very own team of coaches, cheerleaders and all around hype squad. You can find them throughout the beginner area and near the Lodge. Head to the mountain to get started and when you hit a wall or need a little assistance, just ask someone in a Green and Navy Echo jacket for some pointers, tips, and suggestions to help you get over that next hurdle. They can also help with getting that perfect angle for Instagram, TikTok or wherever else you might be influencing your peeps.

Now, to be totally clear, they aren't instructors and it's definitely not a lesson. If you're looking for a guided, very hands on experience going through specific progressions and techniques, this isn't that. If that's what you're in search of, check out the Lesson offerings at some of our neighbor ski areas as they have some great programs!

That said, if you're wanting to figure some things out on your own and give skiing or snowboarding a shot, the Ambassadors are a FREE offering included with your Lift Ticket. For more information on our ambassador program check out this page.

After you read through the Ambassador page, you can also prep for your visit by watching some YouTube Tutorial videos!

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Come Discover What Sets Us Apart!

The moment you first set foot on our mountain, you’ll notice that we
do things differently here. Instead of paying for parking, waiting for a
shuttle that’s 10 minutes late (if it comes at all) and having to
navigate your way through a crowded village of condos and luxury
boutiques just to get to the lifts, you’ll park just steps away from the
slopes and begin experiencing the Echo Mountain difference right away.

Come on up, we think you'll love it!