Winter Park has made a successful transition from being "Denver's ski area" to an attractive destination resort. Sure, it's still a favorite with Denver-area residents, who can get there by train, but with the growth of the Fraser Valley as a four-season recreational destination Winter Park draws visitors from out of the region in greater numbers.
The winter draw is simple to define. 3060 acres, including 143 trails and 1212 of off-piste terrain, and a 3060-foot vertical drop are covered annually by 365" of snow. The skiing terrain has expanded from the original summit, now called Winter Park, to encompass Mary Jane, Vazquez Ridge, Vasquez Cirque, and Parsenn Bowl at a lofty 12,060 feet.
At first glance the trail map is liberally sprinkled with blue squares with a black diamond insert, black diamonds, and double-black diamonds. The majority of these symbols are found on Mary Jane and beyond in the chutes and headwalls of Vasque Cirque. But the Winter Park and Vasquez Ridge areas offer wider choices, with plenty of beginner and true-blue terrain. There are even green circle trails from the top of Mary Jane accessed by the High Lonesome Express. Much of the high alpine terrain in Parsenn Bowl is blue or blue-black. Head to Vasquez Cirque where double-diamond headwalls and chutes lead into black diamond glades. You can make the trip under your own power or pay the man five bucks to get towed along the ridge by a snowmobile from the top of Parsenn. But the best collection of steep blacks and double-blacks can be found at Mary Jane, where the bumps are allowed to build to truly grand proportions.
The 25 lifts include a high speed six-pack, 7 high-speed quads and a bevy of triples and doubles. For hucksters and big air fans, there are three terrain parks and a half pipe.
More Getaway Locations and Properties