In America - size counts - and with a 350-inch average yearly snowfall, Winter Park ski resort gets the gold star for big snow in Colorado. The skiing and boarding is vast and varied, from deep to groomed, bumps to cruisers. Meanwhile, the town of Winter Park may sleep whilst the sun is high, but at night the lights come on and the people come out to play.
The ski area is split into five well-linked sectors. Mary Jane ripples with steep moguls and chutes, providing big thrills for experts; intermediates can play all over the smooth corduroy of Winter Park mountain and Vasquez Ridge and try out the powder in Parsenn Bowl; and then there's Discovery Park, the 25 acre beginners' area, complete with adventure trail through the forest. All this plus five snow-parks earns Winter Park a world-class ranking.
Winter Park town, set about two miles from the slopes and linked by bus, is quiet during the day but comes to life at night. The pubs open their doors and the restaurants spill over with people enjoying seafood and steak, German and Tex-Mex. Further up the hill, you'll find Winter Park Village, a small, quieter dwelling at the foot of the slopes that mainly consists of condos and hotels. The purchase by Intrawest has seen money pumped into Winter Park, with more shops, eateries and hotels appearing all the time, and even a full-scale lake.
Resort Altitude: 2,743m
Resort Skiing: 3,676m
Total Ski Area: 143km
Blue Runs: 11km
Red Runs: 53km
Black Runs: 79km
With an elevation up to 3,676m, Winter Park Resort is served by 22 lifts across 143km of slopes. With the two main interconnected mountains offering different styles of skiing, the area serves terrain for all abilities - making it a perfect family-friendly resort.
Winter Park boasts a range of slopes for downhill skiing, catering for all abilities. The Winter Park mountain is more suited to beginners and intermediates, with its wide-groomed. This is in contrast to the Mary Jane mountain, which caters for the more advanced among us where the terrain is more challenging.
Winter Park hosts trails for all standards of boarders. Freestylers and freeriders will enjoy the challenges the Mary Jane area has to offer whereas beginners and carvers will love the groomed slopes in the Winter Park area's open bowls. There are also three fun-parks across the resort with rails, jumps and pipes.
Winter Park's Ski and Ride School caters for all abilities in both ski and snowboard, in private or group lessons. Taught by experienced instructors, all levels of skill are accommodated for, so whether your new on the slopes or want to hone in on your carving skills, the Ski and Ride school will be happy to help you.
Winter Park resort offers childcare for children between the ages of six months to six years, all days a week from 8am - 4pm. The Ski and Ride School also offer children's ski lessons between the ages of 3 to 14.
Winter Park has a variety of restaurants ranging from fine dining to quick eats. The Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge is perfect for a romantic dining experience, situated at the top of the main gondola. Here diners can enjoy the views as well as indulge in delicious food. Hernando's Pizza and Pasta Pub is famous in the resort for its perfect pizza, making it an easy choice for families. Additionally, The Spot Grill is also good for a more relaxed dinner setting serving traditional American food and beer.
There is a small range of places for aprés in Winter Park. The Winter Park Pub is the most famous in the resort, started by a group of skiers 20 years ago. It hosts a variety of beers, some live music and is also known for its good pizza and taco Tuesdays. The Ullr's Tavern also proves popular, staying open until the early hours every day of the week, with live music performances at the weekend.
Non-skiers can enjoy a range of other winter activities including ice skating, snow tubing and dog sledding. There is also The Foundry Cinema & Bowl where families can enjoy spending time together watching a film or playing bowling. There is also the Grand Park Recreation Centre housing a hot tub, swimming pool, gym and climbing wall. There are also a range of spa facilities available across the resort.