Cuchara Mountain Park

Cuchara Mountain Park is like none other. They are a community-based, nonprofit-operated outdoor recreation area created through grassroots efforts to renew a special area left abandoned outside of LaVeta, Colorado by the former ski area managers who stopped operations in 2000. This ski area once served 230 skiable acres using 4 chairlifts and a surface lift.

Opening in 1981 as Panadero ski area, The Parker-Fitzgerald Cuchara Mountain Park was purchased by Huerfano County in 2017 using funds raised by the Cuchara Foundation. The park is roughly 50 acres, mostly at the base of the old ski resort (the approximate area of the park is outlined in red in the attached image of the old trail map). Volunteers have rehabbed the former ski rental office into a day lodge. The lodge is currently closed due to Covid-19. The remainder of the park is open to the public and provides access to National Forest Service land where the majority of the old ski trails are located.

There are no lifts currently operational at the park, but it is open for human powered activities. There is one lift (#4 on the map) that is entirely on park property. A group of volunteers have started the “Up The Hill Project” and have been hard at work to get the lift operational. The have started a 501(c)(3) organization and have done much of the mechanical work and passed several of the inspections and checks required to get the required certification from the state.

Today, you may hike or skin any Cuchara Mountain Park ski trails. The park also provides access to National Forest land for Alpine Touring. All users must agree to an uphill policy and follow various rules.

Starting in late December – early January, they started running a ski bus, a sled made out of old school bus seats welded to a car-hauling trailer pulled by a snowcat on weekends through the Spring. For just $200 Huerfano County Residents and Non-Residents can ride the ski bus all winter long. We are excited to learn more as they raise funds to operate their ski lift and return to those good old fashion ski and ride days! This sounds like serious fun and a throwback to what many consider the good old days.

You can follow the progress of this project through the links to their Facebook page and website. Learn more here::


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