Photo Courtesy of a TripAdvisor Traveler/luvcitylivinWinter Park Colorado is so beautiful!Winter Park Resort Colorado from a Balloon Ride!Grand Adventure Balloon Tour in Grand County!Winter Park Ballooning is amazing!Winter Park, ColoradoWinter Park Village10000 feet up at Winter ParkThe train tunnel @ Winter Park (Ski Train to Denver goes through here)

Families will love:

  • 3,078 acres of skiable terrain
  • A pedestrian base village
  • Nearby Winter Park and Fraser

Some consider Winter Park -- at 67 miles away the closest major resort -- Denver's local ski hill; that wouldn't be too far off base, as the city actually owns the ski area. Opened in 1940, it's also Colorado's oldest continually operated ski resort. Many Denver natives grew up learning to ski and snowboard here and still flock to the slopes of its two interconnected ... more
Some consider Winter Park -- at 67 miles away the closest major resort -- Denver's local ski hill; that wouldn't be too far off base, as the city actually owns the ski area. Opened in 1940, it's also Colorado's oldest continually operated ski resort. Many Denver natives grew up learning to ski and snowboard here and still flock to the slopes of its two interconnected areas: Winter Park, which specializes in wide-open cruisers, and Mary Jane, best known for its knee-rattling moguls. (The latter is named for a revered local madam of the late 1800s, a fact you'll likely want to paraphrase for the kiddos.)

With 3,078 acres of skiable terrain draped across four peaks and 25 lifts, Winter Park has enough variety to satisfy almost any skier. Park and pipe rats can choose from six terrain parks, progressive in level from beginner to expert, and a superpipe. Some of the best moderately pitched tree skiing of any U.S. resort is in lower Parsenn Bowl. And the hike-to steeps of Vasquez Cirque will challenge budding extreme skiers.

To serve this local clientele, the unpretentious towns of Winter Park, 2 miles from the ski area, and neighboring Fraser have long offered low-priced food and lodging. But now there's plenty to draw families from around elsewhere, too. The resort itself has a shiny new pedestrian base village, developed over the past decade by ski-industry giant Intrawest. Along with lodging, stores, and restaurants, the village is a hub of kid-focused activities like singalongs and storytelling around an outdoor firepit; cookies and hot chocolate with Willie, the resort mascot; and the Winter Parcade, a game addict's haven. Little touches like the free wagons to tote your kids and their gear around the base area up the family factor even more.

In summer, Winter Park and the rest of the Fraser River Valley turn into mountain bike central. The mountain's prime attraction is the lift-served Trestle Bike Park, with 37 miles of trails and more than 200 jumps, drops, and obstacles. In addition, the base village heats up with a full slate of other activities and free family entertainment, including weekly outdoor movies, live music, star-gazing "safaris," and circus-themed Saturdays.

Winter Park's history included a hefty dose of railroad construction, and the west portal of the 6.2-mile-long Moffat Tunnel, which lets trains burrow through the Continental Divide, sits right by the ski area (little boys will love this). Many of the ski-area's trail names -- like Derailer, Coupler, and Golden Spike -- and locations around the resort reflect this heritage.

Written by Cindy Hirschfeld less

Winter Park, CO Planning & Tips
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