A Comprehensive Ski Trip Guide to Winter Park, Colorado
At just under 70 miles from Denver, Winter Park is convenient to visit for both Denver residents and more distant travelers. Thanks to Denver’s busy airport it makes the perfect destination for your next winter skiing vacation!
If you are headed to Winter Park, Colorado for a skiing getaway, then you want to make sure that you experience the very best that this city has to offer! January, February and March are the most popular months to visit Winter Park and the lifts run from November to April. In order to make the most of your trip, we have put together this comprehensive guide to skiing in Winter Park, CO—enjoy!
Residents and visitors to Colorado have been visiting Winter Park for nearly 80 years to enjoy its fantastic winter ski slopes. Of course, the town is much older than this, with residents first settling into the Fraser Valley as early as 1820. The town grew as demand for a rail line to the west coast drew laborers to the area. Denver officials seeking to create a winter recreation park to draw tourism, commissioned the Winter Park Ski Area.
Ski Gear Rentals
If you don’t already own your own ski gear, your first order of business should be to secure rental equipment for your stay. You can rent your gear from Winter Park Resort Rentals at their convenient location just steps away from the Zephyr lift. They offer all the apparel and gear you’ll need, plus lift tickets and even lessons (more on this later!). Other great options for rentals include Christy Sports and Epic Mountain Sports, who are just a short drive up Main Street from the resort.
Ski lessons benefit both those new to the sport and those who know their way around the slopes, but haven’t strapped on their skis in a while. Winter Park Resort offers lessons for kids and adults through their Ski + Ride School. Nervous about taking that first plunge down a run? Join like-minded beginners in an introductory First Timer lesson. You can also take private lessons if you benefit from one-on-one coaching. Intermediate and advanced skiers can also learn a thing or two from Winter Park Resort’s instructors, as they also offer mogul clinics to help you tackle tougher obstacles. If you’re going to be in town for a whole week, or you are traveling with friends or family, you may want to purchase the Adult Lesson 5-Pack, which gives you access to five full-day lessons for a discount price, plus a discount on lift tickets and rentals.
Winter Park is a great place to be a beginner or an intermediate skier, as 27% of the slopes are for beginners and 21% of the slopes are for intermediate skiers, which is a rarity in Colorado which is known for challenging runs. Beginning skiers should head over to Sorensen Park, where they will find a wide area to practice turning and snowplowing. Easy runs, denoted by a green circle, include Big Valley, Easy Way, Gunbarrel, Mad Tea Party, and 35 other trails. If you are intermediate, you will want to take the Zephyr lift. The lift will take you to an intermediate run called Jabberwocky. The run takes about three minutes and has beautiful scenery.
Although it is steep, there is a good wide area between the trees. Besides Jabberwocky, there are 33 other intermediate runs to explore. Expert skiers prefer Mary Jane, where you can take a ride on the Panoramic Express chairlift, where you will see breathtaking scenery on your way to Vasquez Cirque, which is a series of expert slopes. There are a lot of cliffs and trees here, so do not attempt these slopes if you are not an expert skier.
For anyone who wants a break from the ski trails, there are plenty of alternative winter activities at Winter Park. You can go tubing, snow shoeing, ride the slopes on ski bikes, snowmobiles or snow cats. In other words, Winter Park offers fun for the whole family and it’s not wunder that it was recently voted #1 Ski Mountain in America by readers of USA Today.
Final Thoughts for Your Ski Getaway
While we’ve covered the big topics—gear, lessons, and the trails themselves—many people often overlook one important factor when planning their ski trip: attire! When spending multiple hours out on the slopes, it’s important to dress for the cold, and that includes wearing thermal underwear, warm layers, and a water-resistant jacket and pants. After all, nothing ruins a day of skiing like cold, wet clothes. Finally, it’s important protect your body by wearing a helmet and ski googles with UV protection. Sunlight reflecting off the white snow can be blinding, and a helmet is always a good idea. Should an accident occur, head protection can make a huge difference!
We hope this information helps you in planning your next great ski getaway in Winter Park, Colorado. We’ll see you on the slopes!
About the Author: Brian Bates is a travel writer working with Winter Park Escapes. He enjoys camping, winter sports, and a good cup of cocoa.
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