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Winter Park

 

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Trail Map
Trail Map
winterparkmap.tiff

Transportation
Transportation
AIR TRANSPORTATION

 

Denver International Airport

 
LOCAL TRANSPORTATION
 
 
 

Lodging
Lodging
 
Name Description Maximum Occupancy Price Range

Winter Park Mountain Lodge

 

 

Accommodations range from comfortable hotel rooms to mountain suites with a fireplace and kitchen facilities with indoor pool, hot tubs and dry sauna. 

Extra person charges may apply

 

$119 and up

 

Founders Point/Fraser Crossing

 

 

Studios to Three-Bedroom units offered with third floor amenity deck featuring heated walkways, giant common area hot-tub and gas bar-b-queue grill.

 

Extra person charges may apply

 

$168 and up

 

The Zephyr Mountain Lodge

 

 

  

Ski-in/ski-out lodge with a slope side location just 110 feet from the Zephyr Express Lift with a hot tub.

 

  

Extra person charges may apply

 

 

$208 and up

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REAL ESTATE
 
 
DEALS
 
 
 
 
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2012 - 2013 Lesson Rates

 

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Winter Park
Description:

Winter Park first opened in 1940, making it one of the oldest ski areas in Colorado (although alot younger than Howelsen, which opened in 1914). The Mary Jane area was added in 1975. And it really is a "park," owned by the City of Denver. Winter Park Resort is the local's favorite. Year-in and year-out, more Coloradans visit WP than any other ski resort in Colorado. Stands to reason, given that Winter Park is the closest major ski resort to Denver and boasts a combination of great terrain and reliable snowfall. At Winter Park you can wear your jeans and enjoy the small-town atmosphere surrounded by the open spaces and lofty peaks of the Continental Divide. Off the slopes try snow-shoeing or cross country skiing, take a dinner sleigh ride or snowmobile tour, or do a tube ride down the famous Fraser Tubing Hill.

Details:
DetailValue
Snow making percent
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Magic carpet3
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Rope tow3
Lifts-Surface Lifts-Poma
Lifts-Surface Lifts-T bar
Lifts-Surface Lifts-J bar
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Single
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Double6
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Triple4
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Quad
Lifts-Chair Lifts-High speed quad7
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Five person
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Six person2 high speed
Lifts-Chair Lifts-Eight person
Lifts-Gondola
Lifts-Tram
Lifts-Coggle train
Lifts-Funicular
Lifts-Other
Lifts-Total number of lifts25
Lifts-Total lift capacity36,920/hr.
Trails-1-Beginner8%
Trails-2-Intermediate17%
Trails-3-Advanced19%
Trails-4-Expert only56%
Trails-5-Terrain park
Trails-6-Half pipe
Trails-Total
Runs-Steepest run
Runs-Longest run5.1 miles
General-Base elevation9000'
General-Vertical drop
General-OwnerCity of Denver
General-Mountain range
General-Annual skier visits
General-Back country access
General-Total area in bounds3060 acres
General-Snow making coverage299 acres
Models:
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC

Posted

Pros: Bumps, Value, Snow Preservation

Cons: Lift Layout, Saturday Crowds

I came here in February 2015 for Chuck Martin's mogul clinic, and stayed for an extra day on my own afterward.  If it's bumps your after, then bust out your ugliest neon outerwear and your best 80s rock soundtrack, because this is your happy place.  In an era where many resorts are grooming 90-100% of their cut runs on a nightly basis, Winter Park leaves a lot of theirs untouched, and not just in the infamous Mary Jane territory.  You can find split-groomed intermediate runs off of almost every lift, which is great for those of us aspiring to improve.  There is also underrated tree skiing off the Panoramic Express lift, though I did not partake in much of it since I was alone and it's a pretty low-density area.  After a promising start, it ended up being a lean snow year for most of Colorado and the west in general, but Winter Park was 94% open and snow preservation was quite good considering the resort had about half the base they usually get by that point in the year.  Navigating Winter Park was a bit of struggle for this first-timer, particularly on the front side of the mountain where I seemed to get turned around a bit and end up at the "wrong" lift at times.

 

I'd heard a lot about the dreaded Saturday crowds, but for a non-holiday weekend in the Front Range, they were tolerable.  Expect 10-15 minute lift lines on Saturday during non-holiday periods, though I'd imagine you can double those numbers over Christmas, New Years', MLK Weekend, etc.  That's merely a consequence of being the closest major resort to Denver.  It appears to be limited to Saturday however, because by lunchtime Sunday we could almost ski right onto the lifts, and after a 5-minute line at the Zephyr Express first thing on Monday morning, it was ski-on all day long.  Speaking of which,  I made a mental note that this resort is clearly best skied from the Mary Jane base, even if you plan to wander over to the more family-friendly sections.

 

Do you need to have buzzy nightlife and world class dining for your apres-ski?  Winter Park is not your destination.  Keep driving another hour to Vail or, better yet, three hours to Aspen.  For the rest of the population, the towns of Winter Park/Fraser are the closest thing you'll get to experiencing a Colorado ski town from 30 years ago.  A somewhat sprawled-out collection of reasonably-priced restaurants and bars that are typically located in unassuming strip malls, and run the gamut from above-average pizza and BBQ, to more ambitious Creole and Asian-Mexican fusion.  By 10 PM, the towns are largely shut down outside of a live music joint or two.  The main negative is that you pretty much need a car due to the sprawl, as the local bus system seemed spotty.

 

Overall I enjoyed the skiing, laid-back vibe, and value pricing of Winter Park so much, that I plan to return within the next season or two.  In my opinion, with the Four Pass lift ticket plan, abundance of inexpensive lodging and food, and convenient access to DIA, it's one of the best options for a low budget solo trip.

Posted

Pros: BIG mountain, moguls, lots of variety, consistent snow, moguls, good attitude, moguls

Cons: Too many flat spots

This is where I learned to ski, and I'm afraid I'm about as unbiased as they get. The Winter Park side of the mountain is great for beginners and aspiring intermediates. Some of the groomers, like Hughes under the main lift, are a steep, fast, and fun way down even for advanced skiers. It can get crowded, though, and the number of places where you have to pole and shuffle your way to the next trail or lift sometimes makes you wonder what the folks who placed the Vasquez Ridge quad, for example, were thinking. But the groomers are fun, and it's fairly easy to get away from the crowds at any skill level. The greens under the High Lonesome lift, for example, are a joy for newbies. 

 

Mary Jane is where everyone has to head eventually, and I promise you there's a reason for the cult. Beyond the uncrowded parking and laid back ski lodge, the mountain has something to offer for every level from intermediate up. The Mary Jane trail is a classic blue run. Derailer is a standard black diamond beast, one which every advanced skier will get to know very well, since it gives you access to some other great bump runs and a number of chutes (that are sometimes open). You can almost get lost up there in the mind-numbing and beautiful alternate reality that is Mary Jane. Never ending moguls. Never. Ending.

 

Parsenn Bowl is lovely, but fairly typical. Comparable to the blue runs in the bowls at Copper and in A-Basin's montezuma bowl. The extreme terrain is excellent. The lift out by the Vasquez Cirque has been a real game changer in that regard. 

 

As far as nightlife goes, I don't have any opinion. I've always spent my evenings driving back home. But I don't hear good things.

 

So. Overall, a great place. Full of little areas with their own distinctive character. It's interesting that they've teamed up with Copper Mountain for the season passes. Both places are similar (local hills, not pretentious) but also different. Copper is more streamlined, more efficient, less character. Winter Park is just splayed out, wide and strange. I like Copper, but I love Winter Park/Mary Jane.

Posted

Pros: Excellent snow, large variety of terrain

Cons: Crowded on weekends (like everywhere else)

I learned to ski here almost 40 years ago. After skiing many CO areas, this one's the best for me because of the large amount of advanced/expert terrain. At other places, I found myself skiing the same (longest and hardest) run over and over again, but here there is so much variety it's hard to get bored.

The snow throughout the season is usually better than most other resorts nearby. Early season, like most CO areas, is a gamble, though.

The lift system is excellent - no matter how crowded the hill is you can always find a few lifts with little or no lines.

And the staff and employees are great. They really care about you and want you to have the best time possible. An excellent teaching staff. Wonderful Hosts. The Ski Patrol, IMO, is simply one of the best in the Country. A really great group of people. Some of the locals, however, are not the best examples of human beings, but they are easily avoided.

Because of the base area development, parking has become rather competitive since most of the parking requires a shuttle bus ride. There is great access at the base of Mary Jane, and the parking is still free, which seems to be a ski-area rarity these days. I wonder how long it will last...

This is a great area for families, since there is so much to choose from for everyone. Plus, it's easy for everyone to "go their own way" at the top, and still meet up at the lift for the ride back up.

There are several terrain parks and more than enough to keep anyone happy and challenged for a long time.

A White Raven

Posted

Pros: 3000' of vert, 3000 acres, reliable snowfall, top notch moguls

Cons: No nightlife, can be crowded, Berthoud Pass

Winter Park can be considered the "old reliable" of the major I70 resorts. As Tony Crocker of BestSnow stated, "most consistent Colorado snowfall over 20 years". Perched high near the Divide, it's never suffering from snow, and doesn't get as windblown as Loveland and A-Basin. 

 

Very balanced terrain, but it takes a while to learn the mountain due to large acreage and sprawl. Plenty of hidden stashes in the trees.  The Jane Chutes, when open, are some of the toughest terrain you'll find in Northern CO. The bumps speak for themselves. Great terrain park. The WP side is some of the best family terrain around. 

 

On the bad side, the nightlife in the actual town is subpar. Crowds on weekends are common, and the pass is terrible if the snow is falling. At times, I wished they actually groomed some of the Jane runs for a change of pace. Every black run on the mountain is covered in VW size moguls. 

Posted

Pros: Awesome tree skiing

Cons: Cold on top of Pano Express

Pano ExpressChair on the MaryJane side opens up the best tree skiing in North America!! Great runs can be found on Swedes Ridge through the trees and even when deep snow brings ALOT of Front Range Powder Hounds, the amount of runs is almost endless!!! After the deep stuff gets tracked up on Pano, swing through the trees on Sunnyside!!smile.gif

Posted

Pros: The Mary Jane, Bumps and Trees, The Parsenn Backside and The Vasquez Cirque, Great snow

Cons: Not getting any cheaper, no nightlife

I met my one true love during a blinding blizzard in the winter of '98.  The snow was falling so quickly that I really couldn't tell what she looked like, but I could tell she had a phenomenal shape, her bumps were in all the right places.  The snow got so heavy that I had to take refuge in the trees and there she showed me some of her secret places.  As I left her to take the Ski Train back to Denver I knew that I was fated to return to my new lover.  When it became known in the bar car that I was a first timer at Winter Park, I was asked how I liked the skiing.  I replied, "When I die, if I come to find out that paradise is the C-Chair and the runs from it, then I'll be happy for eternity!" 
   "We have a new lover for Mary Jane here!" the guy next to me at the bar shouted.
I moved up to be closer to my new love and I've never looked back.
   The Mary Jane at Winter Park is the mogul mecca in Colorado.  Terrific tree skiing is to be found between the runs at The Jane.  Want great back & side country?  Go through the gate at the top of Parsenn Bowl and head out to the Vasquez Cirque or drop into Belle Fourche and the Parsenn Backside.
   Not much in the way of nightlife (just enough to keep this refugee from the east happy).  Look into buying a four pack online ahead of time and save a lot of dough.  This can be one of the coldest areas in the lower 48 so pack acccordingly. 

Posted

Pros: Great trees! Great snow! Great people!

Cons: some catwalks to ride after the best tree runs

The Winter Park side is great for familys.  The Mary Jane side is great for more experienced skiiers and riders.  As a snowboarder the cat walks are a little long, but well worth the trees and steep before them.  For the skiiers, the bumps are brilliant!

Posted

Pros: Free slope side parking. Bumps. Snow preservation. Decent size. Variety. Access from around the world.

Cons: Crowded on busy days. Many lifts close for wind (no gondola/tunnel). Long flats at end of runs at north end of resort. Access in snow storm.

Winter Park offers a nice combination. It doesn't necessarily stand out in any one area.

 

It's probably one of the best resorts to access from far away. Denver airport is one the cheapest airports in the US to fly to both domestically and internationally, and also offers direct flights from more locations than most airports. Once at DIA, Winter Park is a fairly short drive away. I-70 can have traffic jams, but at least you get to turn off before the (bottleneck) tunnel. The road itself  over Berthoud Pass is great: wide, no steep inclines and guard rails, however, it goes over an avalanche prone pass, so road conditions can be pretty horrific.

 

The easy access does lead to a lot of people on weekends in peak season.

 

The resort's a decent size, depending on conditions and your preferences you can spend 2 days to a week or more skiing there and have fun. It is not huge though, after 2 days of skiing you will have covered all areas, and you can't really 'tour' a long route, you will always be within one lift of the base areas.

 

Value seems good at Winter Park. Free microwave for brown bag lunches in mary Jane (maybe others to). A fair share of private condos available, affordable restaurants in town. Also a full supermarket. In early season they offered $500 season passes as well as slightly more expensive combo passes for other resorts. This works out to about 9 days of skiing to break even with a couple of 4pack tickets. For kids, they offered a cheap lesson 5 pack early in the season, but it wasn't listed on the website, had to call last year to get it.

 

Do not punch extra holes in the season pass!

 

If you are taking kids to ski school, drive in to the northern most lot and drop them off at the drop-off site next to the Moffatt train tunnel, that offers the shortest walk.

 

How many other major resorts offer free slope side parking? If you drive or rent a car at the airport, you can easily drive around the town and pull up to  free slope side parking at Mary Jane each morning, even on busy days. This is a great idea even if you want to ski Winter Park side, but does require skiing at least blue runs back from Winter Park side to the car. We often split up and have the Mary Jane group ski down to the car, then drive to the Winter Park Base to pick up people there on the way back to the condo.

 

There are great tree runs all over the mountain, very little terrain is roped off, so if you look at the map, you can ski almost all of it. Since much of the resort is sheltered from the sun and all of it is at high altitude, the snow is preserved very well.

 

If you look at the map, you can mostly state that green and blue are groomed, blue black is the same as blue but ungroomed (bumps), and black is ungroomed (bumps).

 

There are nice green runs around High Lonesome lift, long, curving through the trees, these are fun even for intermediates. Vasquez Ridge offers quiet blue and some green and black runs, but ends with a long flat run out, so not recommended for snowboarders or little kids.

 

Small kids with decent skills love the Looking Glass lift runs, tree skiing and bumps, but the runs are short so they don't get tired.

 

I can't comment on the big terrain park, the medium size park (Ashcat) is nice, but only covers about 1/3 of the total run you have to ski per lap, so it feels a bit inefficient.

 

Mary Jane's front side is mostly black bump runs. Some of these are fairly mellow  in angle, just black for big bumps. Some are a bit steeper. They are never crowded. In between the runs. almost all the trees are open to skiing.

 

For more mellow tree skiing, look up off Panorama Express lift, Vasquez Ridge and Looking Glass lift.

 

Sunny Side bowl on the back of Mary Jane is sheltered from wind and offers nice blues with a little bit of trees.

 

The far north area is Eagle Wind. It is basically a creek drainage you drop into through some moderate to steep tree skiing, there are no cut runs. Since the lift is exposed to wind, it may be closed during a storm, and offer fresh powder when it opens up again.

The other way into Eagle Wind is from the Cirque, offering headwall and chutes dropping down to the creek. The Cirque is not open often, and requires either a season pass add-on to ride the cat-sled or a 1+ mile skate along the undulating top ridge to get to it.

Posted

Pros: Right at home at this mountain, a lot like Stowe just not as freezing

Cons: Not much

This to me is an awesome mountain. Challenging enough to hold extreme contests, downhill racing, and just tons of snow. This mountain and Taos were some of the closest to Stowe out west. Its high elevation makes it challenging if youre not acclimated to it. Awesome mt.