Close to Denver on Highway 40 is Winter Park Ski Resort. A family-friendly resort, Winter Park has 3,081 total skiable acreage, 143 trails, and 1,212 acres of off-piste terrain on three interconnected mountains—Winter Park, Mary Jane, and Vasquez Ridge.
During the development, a unique decision was made—the resort separated beginning and intermediate skiing from the more advanced skiing, allowing those more advanced to surpass the slower crowds. On the east mountain, beginner skiers can take lessons or ski as a family, and don’t have to worry about speed skiers passing them by. Known for its moguls, tree skiing, and more difficult terrain, Mary Jane Mountain also offers 435 of backcountry terrain called Vasquez Cirque.
From Snowcat tours with 15 of your friends to a duel NASTAR race course, friends and families have enjoyed Winter Park for over 70 years. The Village has over 16 dining options, including the famous gourmet The Lodge at Sunspot atop Winter Park Mountain, accessible via the Zephyr Express lift.
Winter Park is a great resort with 24 lifts, including eight high-speed quads, that take you up to 134 trails. In this part of Colorado, you can enjoy 355 inches of powdery wonder each year. The longest run is an absolutely astounding 26,930 feet. The trails are rated nine percent for beginners, 34 percent for intermediates, 54 percent for advanced, and three percent for experts. Fifteen minutes from Winter Park you’ll find Sol Vista’s five lifts, 33 trails, 220 inches, and a longest run of 7,920 feet. Trails there are rated 30 percent for beginners, 50 percent for intermediates, and 20 percent for advanced.
You will find a world famous and popular Superpipe and three great terrain parks. Rail Yard Terrain Park is where the expert boarders head to try their skills on 25 rails, C rails, trapezoids, kickers, and spines. The 450-foot superpipe is 50-feet wide and has 18-foot walls. The terrain park on Jack Kendrick trail is the intermediate rider’s park with lots of rails and features suitable for the skill level. Make sure to check out the undervert minipipe. Discovery Park has small entry-level features which is good for beginners and kids. Mary Jane is worth the trip for some great natural features.
Check out the Fraser Valley Tubing Hill for some really crazy tube rides. If you feel like indoor fun, The Base Camp 9,000 Indoor Climbing Wall has 750 square feet of massive climbing area. Trailblazer Snowmobile Tours or Grand Adventures offer wide ranging snowmobiling adventures, while the ski resort itself has an evening tour where you can ride a snowmobile right up the ski runs. Dog Sled Rides or Grand Adventures can hook you up with dogsled rides pulled by a team of Siberian huskies through miles of some of the most marvelous scenery in the country. Dashing Through the Snow will take you for a good ol’ fashioned sleigh ride with a stop for refreshments around a roaring campfire. Devil’s Thumb Ranch also has great sleigh rides, plus winter horseback riding and ice skating. You have to try The Ski Train, which leaves Denver’s Union Station and brings 750 passengers directly to the Winter Park base area, along 56 miles, through 28 tunnels and across canyons, ravines, and ice encrusted rivers.
The Derailer Bar and its huge deck is where you can find the best après ski in the area. Doc’s Roadhouse also has massive deck-age for after slope fun. The locals head out to The Shed for the happy hour deals on margaritas or to the Mirasol Cantina which has a happy hour with two-for-one drinks. The Pub is a great place to really get to know the locals and is popular with bikers. After hours music and dancing is found at The Untamed Steakhouse at Wildcreek and Randi’s Irish Saloon. If you’re feeling mellow, try Tipper’s or Eichler’s—quieter places perfect for a drink and conversation.