Just a short 45 minutes from Denver, Jones Pass Guides features thrilling backcountry powder adventures led by a crew of passionate guides that are chest-deep in skills and experience. Their snowcat tours begin 9 miles north of Empire on Highway 40. Those who are looking to escape from the crowd are guaranteed a day full of epic adventures with Jones Pass Guides.
Priding themselves on professionalism, they have a team of experts that will be more than happy to impart their knowledge about snow forecasting and powder skiing. Now under new ownership, Jones Pass Guides was formerly Powder Addiction. They operate on Jones Pass, which is just after Empire and before Berthoud Pass over to Winter Park.
Tours are open to expert skiers and riders. The terrain chosen is based on snow conditions, avalanche risks, and guest ability. Everyone should be in good physical condition due to the demanding nature of backcountry skiing at high elevations.
Backcountry Snowcat Skiing by Winter Park
Guests can expect to enjoy between 7 to 12 runs per day, seven days a week. Demo powder skis are included in the rates, along with lunch from Rudi’s and two complimentary après ski adult beverages, courtesy of Steamworks Brewery. Let them know if you’d like photographic proof of your awesome achievements.
A normal day begins with picking up the guests from the trailhead at Jones Pass, who will be required to fill out some paperwork before the tour. They then give backpacks containing all the necessary safety gear. The fun starts when everyone is already aboard the snowcat.
Great Northern Exposure
Jones Pass Guides has access to 2,600 acres in the Jones Pass section of the Arapahoe National Forest under a special use permit granted by the U.S. Forest Service. The terrain ranges in elevation from 10,500 to 12,454 feet, yielding fluffy meadows, bowls, chutes, and gullies.
Offered cat skiing programs are the Private Snowcat tour that can host up to 12 people, and the Individual Seating tour. There is 1 professional guide given per 4 guests, and has a minimum age requirement of 14 (if with a guardian) and 16 (if without a guardian). For safety purposes, snowcats run one at a time, setting up safe boundaries between one another.
A quick glance at the plentiful five-star reviews on their Facebook page conveys a whole lot of guest gratitude for the selflessness and skill evidenced by the guides. These attributes are further solidified in the crew biographies.
Powderhounds can expect amazing views and terrain together with expert guides. It’s hard to imagine that people living in, or near, the Mile High City could find a more accomplished, or accommodating, group of professionals with whom to share their powder passion!
Address: Jones Pass, Empire, CO
Season: Dec 20 to April 20 | Snow conditions pending