By: Betsy McDonough

On September 12, 2000 I headed west to the beautiful state of Colorado partly for vacation, and partly to attend the 14th annual firefighter’s memorial service in Colorado Springs.  I had four lost areas on my list to “find” and managed to find all of them in one fashion or another.

My first couple days were spent in Boulder, home to Chatauqua Park and the rope tow that once stood there.  I couldn’t find too much information on this area and during my visit, I didn’t find any remains of a ski area.  My best guess would be the small hill on your right as you drive into the park.  According to The Colorado Skier Newsletters (TCS), the area opened in 1947 and ran off and on until 1962 and offered one rope tow.  If you’re visiting Boulder, check out Chatauqua Park. It is located at the base of the flatirons off Baseline Road.

Scouting out places to ski for my ski trip to Colorado this winter, I decided to drive up to Nederland to check out Eldora Mountain Resort.  Eldora is definitely a “locals” mountain. There is little if any lodging at the mountain, and Nederland is a tiny mountain town with little to offer for lodging and restaurants.  Because of it’s location up the canyon from Boulder, my guess would be that Eldora caters to a mostly Denver-Boulder crowd. According to Eldora’s website, the area offers 680 acres of skiing served by 11 lifts. It has a base elevation is 9, 200 feet and tops out at 10,600 feet  


Arapahoe East’s chairlift line. If look very closely, you’ll see the cement base towers.

After checking out Eldora, I set out to find the next lost ski area on my list: Arapahoe East. According to TCS,  Arapahoe East was located 2 miles West of the C-470 interchange along the south side of I-70.  TCS states that it was in operation from  1972-1984 and was served by a double chairlift, 1 Poma, and a mitey-mite.  It had 460 feet of vertical and was called Ski Golden for a year or two. The lifts were apparently removed by 1996.  The area was pretty easy to spot.  The lodge remains and may be a private residence. The  concrete lift tower bases are still intact.
Here's the Arapahoe East base area. Notice the lodge and the terraced parking lot.

After picking up a friend at Denver International Airport (an incredible airport at that!), we headed to Colorado Springs. After checking into our hotel, I was very excited to find that our room had a wonderful view of the now defunct Ski Broadmoor.  I unfortunately did not take any pictures.  According to TCS,  Ski Broadmoor was run by the Broadmoor Hotel and opened in 1959 and was operated by the hotel until 1986,  The City of Colorado Springs took over the ski area from 1986-1988. The city found it to be a monetary drain, and Vail took over for the following three seasons and the area was closed for good in 1991. The area had a vertical drop of 515 feet and was served by a double chairlift and a mitey-mite..  TCS, who lives in Colorado Springs, tells us that the area is now being developed and will be home to an exclusive residential neighborhood. 

The highlight of the trip was the drive to the top of Pikes Peak.  The 19-mile toll road is spectacular. Just after mile 11 you come to the former Pikes Peak Ski Area.  Nothing is left but the trails. Because of the high elevation, it takes many years for re-growth, unlike New England lost areas. Our trusty source, TCS tells us that the base of the ski area is around 10,800 feet and it’s top elevation measures in at 11,700 feet.  The area operated from 1939 to 1984 and apparently closed because of lack of snowmaking. Pikes Peak is apparently not in the “snow belt” and the area was having problems with the National Forest Service  over water rights. The area offered a triple chair and a rope tow, serving 900 vertical feet. 

I had a great time hunting down these areas. The lost areas of the west are certainly different than the east, mainly because of elevation. It will take at least 100 years for the areas to grow in. Only about 70 more to “find” in Colorado!!!  

If anybody has any questions, feel free to email Betsy at


            Chatauqua Park info:   LOST "COLORADO" SKI AREAS - EDITION #17 (1-25-95)
Arapahoe East info:  LOST COLORADO SKI AREAS - EDITION #1 (7-30-92)
Ski Broadmoor info: LOST COLORADO SKI AREAS - EDITION #1 (7-30-92)
Pikes Peak info: LOST COLORADO SKI AREAS - EDITION #3 - August 17,1992



The Colorado Skier Newsletters:

Eldora Mountain Resort:

Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak Region:

Boulder info:

Denver International Airport:

The Broadmoor Hotel: