Winter Park Ski Resort Information
Winter park is one of the closest resorts to Denver, and s in fact owned by the city itself. The resort is high in altitude and has the highest snowfall of all the Colorado ski resorts. Winter park is split into two distinct areas, you have the main slopes and the small new ‘village’ at the base of the slopes, however the main town of Winter park is a bus ride away, and houses much more accommodation and a few small shopping malls housing a handful of restaurants, shops and bars. You’re right, it doesn’t sound that great on paper but Winter park is high, it’s close to Denver and it delivers something out of the ordinary from your usual Colorado resorts. Most of the accommodation is situated in Winter Park with a few hotels and condos at the slope base too.
Its rather ugly by day in winter park with not much going on, but the village at the base has a few more up market properties and is more up and coming.
There’s a good mix of terrain in Winter Parks ski area which is divided into 5 different ski areas. The first you arrive at from the base is the original Winter Park Mountain. From here you can make your way to the other 4 areas, namely Mary Jane to the left (named after a local lady of the night who was paid in ‘Land’ for her services) this area has tough runs on the face with a few easier ones to the sides. Vasquesz Ridge over to the right has some easier runs and the Parsenn Bowl and Vasquez Circle house more advanced and extreme terrain.
The childcare facilities and facilities for disabled skiing are excellent in this resort.
Ski Line offers a wide range of condos and hotels in Winter park along with the odd catered chalet. The Iron horse resort in the village base is ski in and out and gets great reviews.
Après Ski in the resort of Winter Park
Après ski in Winter park is limited but if you know where to head for you can catch a good atmosphere such as Docs Roadhouse at the village base, The club Bar at the base of the Mary Jane mountain; and if you head back into Winter Park itself ‘Denos’ does good food. Other restaurants in town are mainly unremarkable but the New Hong Kong is good for Chinese and Hernandos serves good pizza or pasta. If you have transport the Crooked creek saloon can be found in Fraser a few kilometers away and has a good all American welcome and good food to boot.
Activities off the slopes in the ski resort of Winter Park
Bargain hunters can head for the Silverthorne designer factory outlet which is a 90- min drive. For the more adventurous there is ice skating or snowmobiling at the base and tubing at Fraser.
Beginners skiing in the ski resort of Winter Park
The facilities for beginners at Winter Park are second to none with a huge 25 acre area dedicated for learners and many longer green runs all over the resort. There’s also an adventure trail through the trees. We had lessons here and found them to be very good.
Intermediates skiing in the ski resort of Winter Park
There are a huge number of runs for intermediates in Winter park ski resort. The blue pistes run smoothly over the mountainside in all directions, but if you want something more challenging you need to head for the Mary Jane Mountain. Beware the black runs here are very often unpisted to can get bumpy and carved up so can be a little challenging if you are not used to those types of conditions.
The Hughes run is a favorite blue black run to blast down back to base.
Advanced skiing in the ski resort of Winter Park
First stop Mary Jane for some of the steepest runs, chutes and moguls around. The back bowls of Parsenn Bowl and Vasquez Cirque are brilliant when open and offer some ungroomed terrain and some gladed black and double diamond runs too.
The back runs of Mary Jane’s mountain are open when there’s enough snowfall and are said to be breathtakingly steep and narrow and boarded by rocks – a real adrenalin rush.
There are some great terrain parks in winter Park for all standards of skier and boarder with half pipes, super pipes rails and jumps galore. Our favorites include Ash Cat on the Jane Kendrick green run for intermediates and the bouncer park in the village for the beginners amongst you.
Snowboarding in the ski resort of Winter Park
Boarders of all levels will appreciate the varied terrain of Winter park. The local boarding school will offer lessons in rails and jumping and the terrain parks will keep you happy all week.