WINTER PARK RESORT GUIDE
Some images courtesy of Winter Park
Winter Park Resort Overview
Family, variety, and affordability — Winter Park caters to family vacationers along with Denver day trippers. Visitors can take the one-of-a-kind Winter Park Express train directly from Union Station in Denver. There are activities for all ages of children (the tubing hill is a hit), though the accessibility of this resort makes its tradeoffs in the form of limited dining, shopping, and night scene options. The skiing itself is a major upgrade from the low-key base area. With more than 3,000 acres, there are trails of every type and level. The snowfall is amongst the highest in Colorado and coverage is reliable due to early-season snowmaking.
Mary Jane, long known for its bumps, and more recently, its glades, will keep the advanced skier challenged. The Winter Park side has an abundance of mellow terrain. Most of the lifts provide access to an assortment of trails, allowing skiers of varying abilities to easily stay together. For those looking for more, there are several large terrain parks, backcountry access, a large lift-accessible bowl, and a Cirque with over a mile long ridge where skiers and boarders may drop in wherever they desire! While lacking in luxury, this resort is accessible, diverse, family-friendly and affordable for skiers and riders of all levels. Winter Park offers unlimited access to all Ikon Passholders.
Snow-Making & Grooming
On Mountain Dining
Extreme / Off-Piste Terrain
Family friendly. Easy-to-navigate base village, with affordable activities including tubing and ice skating
Bumps! Mary Jane, (looker's-left mountain), is known for its steep, long mogul runs. It's slogan is, "No Pain, No Jane"
More than 50% of the resort is rated "most difficult." Highlights include The Cirque, Vasquez Ridge, and Eagle Wind
Good value. Less expensive food, parking, and amenities (relative to other Colorado resorts)
Regionally acclaimed adaptive ski and snowboard program (NSCD). Lessons for all ages and disabilities. View more
With a base elevation of 9,121 feet, Winter Park is colder and more difficult to acclimate to than comparable Colorado resorts
Accommodations here are comfortable, but don't expect high thread counts or gourmet room service.
Only 26% of the terrain is rated as beginner or intermediate, reducing variety for lower-level skiers.
Dining/shopping on and off the mountain are limited
The extreme terrain will challenge, but it is not always open, highly condition dependent
Park at Mary Jane for direct access to the lift, particularly if you already have your equipment and don't need much warm-up terrain. To access the Mary Jane lots, drive past the main base and turn right at the Mary Jane sign (~1 min down the road when coming from town)
On crowded days, skiers should head to Pioneer (the long skate is not suitable for snowboarders). This area is separated from the rest of the mountain, and has its own small warm-up hut, serving chili
On a powder day, avoid Parsenn Bowl. It looks better than it is. Instead, experts should head to Eagle Wind for hidden stashes of powder. Plus, the slower lift deters most tourists, keeping stuff fresh
When ski races are in session, avoid the Winter Park side (large crowds and limited trails) unless you wish to spectate
Locals do not have school on Fridays, so the mountain will be more crowded than other weekdays
For an in-depth breakdown of Winter Park's terrain, head to our Mountain Guide. Top trails and mountain stats included.
Getting To & Around
Winter Park is a ~2 hour drive from Denver, weather/traffic dependent. The resort is also uniquely accessible by train. Take the Winter Park Express from Union Station, Denver or Amtrak from further afield. A car is useful as the resort is disconnected from Winter Park/Fraser. The shuttle and bus system is reliable for those taking the train and can be more favorable than driving for those uncomfortable driving in the snow.
Closest Major City: Denver, CO
Distance: ~65 mi Northwest
Travel Time: ~2 hours
Closest City: Winter Park/Fraser, CO
Distance: ~4 mi, ~10 mins
Travel by Plane
Closest major commercial airport: DEN - (Denver International Airport)
- ~90 miles East, ~2 hrs
Closest regional airport: HDN (Grand County Airport)
~24 miles West, ~30 minutes
Private planes can fly into / out of Grand Country Airport
Travel By Bus
The City of Fraser runs a free bus system called the Lift
Home James Transportation: scheduled shuttle or private charters
Travel by Car
We prefer to have a car here, the town of Winter Park is ~4 miles (~10 mins drive) from the mountain base
Pros: Convenience, there is plenty of free parking and shuttle service to get from the lots ot the base
Cons: The only lot within walking distance fills up early; additional close spots are available for $15 - $30/day
Ride shares (Uber and Lyft) operate in Winter Park but service is limited so we would not rely on them