Winter Park Ski Resort and Ski Holidays

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Winter Park Ski Resort, Colorado
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  Resort Information
Season Nov - Late April
Nearest Airport Denver
Ski Area 260km
Ski Lifts 23
Ski Runs 145
Longest Run 8.2km
Resort Height 2743m
Snowball Ratings
Beginners 4 / 5
Intermediates 5 / 5
Experts 4 / 5
Families 4 / 5
Nightlife 3 / 5
Affordability 5 / 5
Non Ski Activities 4 / 5

Winter Park is the closest ski resort to Denver airport, being some 90 minutes away by road transfer on an enjoyable drive, especially coming over Berthoud Pass where you could almost feel like you’re in Switzerland! If you have never skied the US before, Winter Park is a great choice for families and groups and for those wanting to keep to a budget and not a wild nightlife. Winter Park accommodation offers a few catered chalets, many private homes and condominiums(or apartments as we call them). There are a few hotels, but mostly of the 3 star natures, with Winter Park Mountain Lodge and Vintage Resort Hotel being the main ones promoted due to their proximity to the slopes. There is a lot of development work finishing off in Winter Park, mainly through Intrawest who built Whistler, Keystone, Tremblant, Arc 1950 and Copper Mountain but don’t let that put you off!! The skiing here is superb and rivals most ski resorts in America. You cannot fail to be impressed.

Winter Park has 145 trails and 3,078 acres (260km) of ski area spread over five summits. Its vast terrain is spread over five summits—Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque and Vasquez Ridge—and the new Rail Yard Terrain Park. Winter Park Mountain is the largest and most versatile hub, offering well-manicured terrain for beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers from its summit, Sunspot, at 10,700 feet (3,261 m) down to its base at 9,000 feet (2,743 m). On its slopes you’ll find Discovery Park, an award-winning enclosed learning area open to all sliders with its own lifts and gentle slopes. More experienced skiers head for the wilder Mary Jane Mountain, at 11,200 feet (3,414 m), rising behind Winter Park summit and named after a legendary local prostitute who laid claim to the land.Now you know!

The above-tree line Parsenn Bowl is the highest point on the mountain at 12,060 feet (3,675 m), offering a maximum vertical descent of 3,060 ft (933 m) and fabulous views of the Rockies: you are actually looking down onto the Continental Divide and the famous Moffat Tunnel which takes trains under it. Here you will find un-groomed trails with moguls and extensive off-piste and gladed terrain of varying density and an untouched blanket of irresistible powder. The wide-sweeping Vasquez Ridge is the western most part of the resort with wide-open cruisers, exciting bump trails, plenty of fresh snow and afternoon sun, while Vasquez Cirque at 11,900 feet (3,627 m) is for black and double-black diamond experts seeking steep cornices and 687 acres of extreme backcountry terrain. The resort also receives an average of 359 inches (912 cm) snowfall a year, more than any other major Colorado resort, but Winter Park is best known for its mogul skiing. Mary Jane is internationally famous for its bumps and “Don’t Groom the Jane” is the locals’ rallying cry.

Most Winter Park accommodations are a short shuttle ride away and will suit any budget. We have a selection of 12 catered chalets in Winter Park and provide you with an excellent choice of good quality condos at very reasonable prices, making one wonder why for so long we have put up with substandard and tiny accommodations in Europe, where you stay literally on top of one another. Here the motto reads “Relax at Winter Park Chalets”. (No wonder Les Arcs 1950 is popular!) Having so much relative luxury and space, in comparison to European boxes, is terrific. Intrawest have also developed more stylish slope side accommodation, so we have Frasers Crossing and Founders Pointe to add to the Iron Horse and Zephyr Mountain Lodge,offering excellent and more 4 star, ski in ski out accommodations in Winter Park. This is the expanding area with a superb new village nearly finished. The old town is about a mile away and consists of condos, motels, a few shops, bars and restaurants on either side of the highway, but shopping as yet is not on the same level of skiing. Shopping is best served on the way back at Cherry Creek Mall, 16th Street or Colorado Mills Outlets, in Denver.

So given that you want good quality, inexpensive accommodation, short transfers and fabulous skiing in a very large area then Winter Park Resort could be your ideal choice. The runs suit all levels of abilities with the area excelling in terrain for beginner and intermediate boarding and skiing, especially over at Discovery Park. For the advanced there are some steep enough blacks to throw yourself down and with the ski pass now sharing with Steamboat 9and Copper Mountain) you can never be bored in a 2 week vacation (though Steamboat is about 2.5 hours away).Winter Park does actually have some of the steepest mogul fields, chutes and hair raising challenges in the US. The snow record is also extremely reliable with over 30 feet of snow every year. Unless you are a shopaholic, Winter Park could be your perfect choice, even for just a week. Go on...Do it and book early for ski pass and accommodation “specials” at Winter Park.

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