“A nice warm up before you head up to the real hills.
— Jared Crockett
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
This run is within Rocky Mountain National Park. It is at the old Hidden Valley ski area, which closed in 1991. It is a ski area no more, and is now being returned to the forest. RMNP has a great warming hut and restroom facility at the base, along with ample parking. This area is very popular for the sledding hill not far from the hut.
Beyond the sledding hill is where the old ski runs used to be cut through the trees. This run used to be known as "Ptarmigan
". Back in those days it was a "green circle" run. Well some things don't change, because it still is. This one is fun to hike up and then glide back down just for a nice little warm up. It's enough to give you a taste and make you really want to climb up the bigger hills for a longer run. It's nice and wide open, sort of like a bunny hill. It can be a little more fun to hike up above this run a bit and start your downhill in the trees...just to spice this one up a bit.
History & Background
From ColoradoSkiHistory.com: Hidden Valley opened for business in 1955, but the area was skied by area residents long before any lifts were installed. The area was run by the Estes Park Recreation District and backed by local businesses. It was eventually bought by the Park Service with the intent to phase out the ski operations. They removed the double chair in 1977 on the fact that it wasn't positioned correctly. In 1991, the area closed for good and has since undergone revegetation.