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Backcountry Cat and Heli-Skiing in Colorado

Photo by Scott DW Smith courtesy of Purgatory Snowcat Adventures. Photo by Scott DW Smith courtesy of Purgatory Snowcat Adventures.

If your hunger for fresh tracks draws you beyond the territory accessible by chairlift, cat skiing is the way to go. Cat skiing in Colorado allows skiers and snowboarders to access difficult-to-reach terrain, often with an experienced guide. Heli-skiing is also available in Colorado to take you to new heights (see what we did there?). So, ready to take your skiing or riding to the next level? Here is a complete list of cat skiing and heli-skiing operations at Colorado Ski Country resorts.

Aspen Mountain

Powder tours at Aspen Mountain allow skiers to indulge in some of the best powder stashes around. Luxury snowcats take you to prime untracked glades and runs on the backside of Aspen Mountain. Fresh tracks guaranteed and gourmet lunch is included. Available on a reservations-only basis. Email powdertours@aspensnowmass.comor call 970-920-0720 for more information.


Chicago Ridge Snowcat Tours are operated by Ski Cooper on 2600acres of open powder bowls, glades and timber in the San Isabel and WhiteRiver National Forests. Guestssoak in spectacular scenery as the snowcat climbs along the ContinentalDivide with dozens of Colorados highest peaks in view. The snowcat will take you ashigh as 12,600 feet. The slopes vary from 3,000 to 10,000 feet inlength with vertical drops up to 2,000 feet per run. A full day is priced at $349 per person and includes lunch in Ski Cooper’s backcountry yurt. Advanced reservations are required. More information on Chicago Ridge snowcat tours here. Read about one of our blogger’s experience on Chicago Ridge.


The free Tucker Mountain Snowcats escort skiers and riders to unprecedented access to over 273 acres and 12,000 vertical feet of Copper’s amazing high alpine back bowls. Riding the snowcat is free with any lift ticket purchase or season pass. The cat picks up guests above the base of the Mountain Chief-chairlift, accessible by American Flyer to Rendezvous chairlifts. Featuring steep chutes as well as pristine treeless runs, Tucker Mountain provides the thrill-seeking, expert skier with the challenging terrain they desire in Coppers high alpine environment.


The Ridge Cat at Loveland Ski Area is a must for any Loveland visitor looking to take their skiing or snowboarder to higher heights (13,010 feet to be exact). The free Ridge Cat carries 18 passengers to the top of Loveland where expert skiiers and riders can test their skills. More information on the Ridge Cat here. Read about Dan Rabin’s experience on the Ridge Cat.


Monarch Cat Skiing has it all, with 1,000-plus acres of expert terrain featuring wide open bowls, steep chutes, beautiful glades, and a few friendly drops. So, tune up those powder skis and be ready for anything.Rates start at $275 per person. Deposit and reservation required, head here for more information.


Purgatory Snowcat Adventures offers snowcat skiing and snowboarding on more than 35,000 acres of permitted terrain located just outside of Purgatory Resort, 25 miles north of Durango, Colo.From Purgatorys base area, guests ride a lift, then take a Mattrack van from Purgatory Resort into the San Juan backcountry to meet the passenger snowcats. Ski runs vary from 500 feet to 2,500 vertical, with an elevation range between 10,000 and 12,500 feet. Purgatory Snowcat Adventures includes powder skis or snowboards, backcountry safety gear and a lunch, along with experienced guides.

The terrain includes expansive bowls, steep trees, open cruiser glades, undulating gullies, and chutes. Experienced guides with Purgatory Snowcat Adventures are experts in identifying perfect lines for easy navigation of the expansive terrain. With so much accessible terrain, an average of 300-plus inches of snow annually, and consistent temperatures, untracked powder is available for weeks after the last storm. With the ability to move around to various aspects and elevations, guests can experience the best powder.

Photo by Scott DW Smith courtesy of Purgatory Snowcat Adventures Photo by Scott DW Smith courtesy of Purgatory Snowcat Adventures

Heliskiing in Colorado

Telluride Helitrax

Located in the heart of the spectacular San Juan Mountains,Telluride Helitraxis Colorados most experienced and original helicopter ski company. It has been in operation since 1982. Included in a day of heli-skiing are six runs (totaling approximately 10,000-12,000 vertical feet), powder skis, poles, avalanche beacon and food and water throughout the day. A safety orientation, helicopter briefing and avalanche protocol expectations are covered in a morning meeting and the day ends with an aprs ski drink.Find more information on Helitrax here.

Silverton Heliskiing

This is the only heli-experience in the continental United Statesthat offers single drops in addition to all day heli skiing. That means you can ski our lift-accessed backcountry all day and add one, two, or threeadditional heli laps at just$179 per person per drop. We also offer a $999-per-person full-day heli package where we get you six runs in terrain that can rival the Canadian Alps. Need more convincing? Check outcoloradoheliskiing.comfor more information.

Photo Courtesy of Silverton Mountain Photo Courtesy of Silverton Mountain