Winter Park Ski Resort
Winter Park Ski Resort CO
Winter Park Ski Resort CO
Winter Park
Winter Park
Winter Park
Winter Park
Winter Park
Winter Park

Winter Park Ski Resort

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Winter Park

Winter Park3.5/517
Winter Park3.5 out of 5 based on 17 reviews
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Winter Park CO

The long history of the Winter Park Ski Resort started back in the season of 1939-40 when the city of Denver opened the ski area to provide a “winter park” for the residents of Denver. The term “winter park” conjures up thoughts of a little kids snow park or a playground, which couldn’t be further from reality when it comes to the Winter Park Ski Resort. Whilst it may have humble beginnings, Winter Park CO has morphed into a very large ski resort with first class facilities. It’s no longer just a ski area for Denver day trippers, but also a major destination resort.

The Mary Jane Mountain is a famous part of the history of Winter Park CO. As legend goes, Mary Jane acquired a piece of land on the mountain through payment for special favors provided to the railway workers and miners. And the terrain on this part of the mountain is just as lewd and feisty as Mary Jane, with moguls that are world famous. If you’re a masochist and want to get swallowed whole, then the Mary Jane bumps are for you!

Pros & Cons of Winter Park Resort

  • Winter Park Resort is a decent sized ski area.
  • Highlights of the terrain include the tree skiing and the big wide long groomers
  • Winter Park is very family oriented.
  • Winter Park has retained a small town unpretentious culture as well as a strong sense of community.
  • Alterra is ensuring that the ski resort facilities continue to develop, but thankfully the ski resort and the town are not over commercialized.
  • Food and lodging are somewhat affordable, particularly if you stay in town.
  • If you’re going to Colorado to party or hit the terrain park, there are probably better ski resorts to visit.
  • The Winter Park slopes are highly trafficked.
Pro or Con Depending On Your Perspective
  • For some reason, the moguls at Mary Jane have reached cult status, so if you love moguls, then definitely head to Winter Park to see what all the fuss is about. If you’re a powder hound looking for abundant freshies or you hate what moguls do to your knees (the resort motto of “No Pain no Jane” is very apt!), then keep driving past the Winter Park turn off.
  • Window lift ticket rates at Winter Park are very expensive (which is typical for the area), although it’s often possible to get deals and discounts such as the Ikon Pass. - Its proximity to Denver is both a blessing and a curse.

Winter Park Ski and Snowboard Terrain

The Winter Park Ski Resort has two main interconnected mountains that have separate base areas; Winter Park and Mary Jane. Winter Park is characterized with terrain for beginners, intermediates, and park shredders. The Mary Jane terrain is more difficult and is pigeon holed as lots of single black diamond mogul runs. Mary Jane also has trees where you might find a little powder stash and solace from the bumps. As part of Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl provides alpine terrain for strong intermediates, and Vasquez Ridge also has lots of blue runs. Vasque Cirque is peppered with cliff bands, providing short pitches of alpine “extreme terrain” in the form of chutes and other treats.

Winter Park is a reasonably big resort with 3,081 acres (1,246 hectares) of skiable terrain, making it the fourth largest resort in Colorado. The vertical drop is 3,060 feet (933 metres), whilst the maximum continuous vertical drop is 2,610 feet (796 metres). Winter Park Resort has 23 lifts, although only 10 of these are fast lifts. Particularly on weekends, Winter Park can be become very crowded and lift lines tend to develop.

The terrain split is 8% beginner, 18% intermediate, 19% advanced, most difficult (52%) and 3% expert (extreme) - they couldn't present their stats like a conventional ski resort! And unlike some Colorado ski resorts, the statistics are reasonably reflective of whom the terrain is most suited to. Winter Park is OK for beginners (particularly for those having lessons who can access all the novice terrain), and it caters really well to intermediate and advanced riders, whilst hard-core experts are likely to find Winter Park rather tame because there’s only a smidgeon of gnarly terrain. It is mainly the 5 foot VW moguls on top of the terrain that makes Winter Park gnarly!

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Winter Park Snow

Winter Park receives 327 inches of snow per season, which is slightly more than the average for a Colorado ski resort. Like a few nearby ski resorts, Winter Park tries hard to please powder hounds by seeding the clouds with silver iodide generators in an attempt to increase the precipitation out of each storm!

In addition to quantity of snow, Winter Park also does well in the quality stakes with delightful dry Colorado powder, and about 50 percent of the slopes are north facing.

Where is the Winter Park Resort?

Winter Park Colorado is located in Grand County just off US Highway 40, only 66 miles northwest of Denver, making it the closest “major” resort to Denver! The drive takes just under 1.5 hours depending on the road conditions on the I70 and Berthoud Pass, whilst the 90 mile drive from Denver International Airport takes about 1:40 hours. If you don’t have your own wheels, there are shuttle transport services from the airport or you can catch the Winter Park Express train from Denver.

Winter Park Lodging

The Village at Winter Park at the base of the ski resort is rapidly evolving and whilst it is still modest in size, it includes shops, restaurants and sedate bars. Accommodations are largely condos, and the village is particularly well suited to families who appreciate the convenience of the proximity to the slopes, and don’t mind that the village goes to bed early. Some village lodgings are ski-in ski-out, whilst others require a walk to the slopes or transport via the open air cabriolet lift.

Winter Park Lodging Listings

A few miles from Winter Park Ski Resort is the town of Winter Park Colorado where it’s easy to find lodging at very affordable prices. In addition to economics, staying in town has the advantage of easy access to a bigger range of restaurants, bars and shops, although “downtown” Winter Park is still rather sleepy.

The other option for inexpensive Winter Park lodging is the little town of Fraser which is another 3 miles north on highway 40.

Fraser Accommodations

The ski slopes and the three accommodation areas are linked by a regular free bus service.

Tours In/Near Winter Park

Cat Skiing Tours

Jones Pass Cat Skiing
Full day guided cat skiing + lunch + apres drink
Ability: Intermediate to Expert
Join Jones Pass Guides for an epic day of guided cat skiing in the Jones Pass area located just 45 minutes from Denver. The day includes avalanche safety gear, lunch and apres drink. Join as a solo/small group or rent the entire cat for up to 12 guests.
Price p/p From price based on per person in a mixed group per day for the 23/24 season.
Base price/invoice currency is USD
Price includes taxes
USD 700
View Details
See all Cat Skiing tours that visit Winter Park here