Backcountry riding or “skinning” is vastly growing in popularity in Colorado. With acreage of great slopes to check out, the opportunities to check out this sport are endless. Prior to your adventure, you want to make sure that when your doing any sort of backcountry riding you are prepared for all the different scenarios you can run into. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center offers plenty of classes across the state to gain knowledge of avalanche safety. Once you learn the ropes and have all your gear, head out to one of these 8 places for an incredible backcountry skiing experience.
Tucker Mountain | Summit County
Located on the back side of Copper Mountain, Tucker Mountain is a nice place to check out as there are lift services can get you relatively close. May your way to Copper’s backyard and hike the hill to earn your turns. There is also the option of taking a snowcat to the top, so you don’t even need to have skinning gear at all.
Silverton Mountain | San Juan County
Silverton Mountain, about 90 minutes from Telluride, has some lift serviced back-country runs but most require hiking. This is a very experienced rider area so make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into. There are no groomed runs on Silverton, and it’s meant for the biggest thrill-seekers in the state.
Indian Peaks | Grand & Boulder Counties
Just an hour west of Boulder are the Indian Peaks, offering miles of backcountry riding. Wind-blown peaks negate the majority of the avalanche danger, so though it should always be on your radar, you won’t have to be as concerned skinning here.
Rocky Mountain National Park
With many different peaks to navigates, you’ll never run out of terrain in Rocky Mountain National Park. Some of the most dangerous skinning can be in this area. Prepare by pre-mapping your route and head out with a group of people who you are comfortable venturing the backcountry with.
Tenmile Range | Summit County
Not only do you get some awesome backcountry in this area, but you’ll also get the bragging opportunity to say you skinned up a 14’er. Located in Summit County, right in Breckenridge, Colorado’s backyard, you won’t have to venture far to your starting point.
Berthoud Pass | Clear Creek & Grand Counties
Mesmerizing views of the Continental Divide await you on an adventure around Berthoud Pass. This actually used to be a ski area in the mid 1900’s, so trails are cut out perfectly for backcountry ventures. However, there is no avalanche control or ski patrol, so you need to know what you’re doing prior to your excursion.
The Gore Range | Summit County
Located right in the heart of Summit County, the Gore Range stands tall and strong right along the town of Silverthorne over to Heeney. Wide open basins and uncarved bowls await you after you get to the top of this mountain range. This low popularity mountain range is pretty unexplored and offers endless backcountry possibilities.
Loveland Pass | Summit County
This is another Summit County gem. Fresh powder and untracked lines will have you smiling from ear to ear all day. You can also find rides to get you up Loveland Pass a good portion of the time, but be prepared with all your skinning gear.
No matter where you end up going, fresh, uncarved lines and endless opportunities await you in the Colorado Rockies. Once you understand the dangers of venturing through the backcountry, you’ll never want to step foot in a ski resort again!
For those sticking with summer adventures, call Colorado River Rentals for all your gear needs.
*Featured image courtesy of Custom House Construction.