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Overview

While Aspen, Steamboat Springs and even Vail surround their ski-obsessed visitors with lavish shops, restaurants and hotels, Winter Park is about as basic as you can get. Created in 1940, the City of Denver-owned ski resort overwhelms the nearby town, which encompasses 7.5 square miles and has 662 full-time residents. Skiing-wise, the resort is revered for its treacherous moguls and expert runs over five mountains and 50 miles of trails. Winter Park itself is the most diverse of the resort's three ski areas, with runs for all skill levels and terrain parks and a half pipe for expert skiers and boarders; Mary Jane ("No Pain, No Jane") is ...

While Aspen, Steamboat Springs and even Vail surround their ski-obsessed visitors with lavish shops, restaurants and hotels, Winter Park is about as basic as you can get. Created in 1940, the City of Denver-owned ski resort overwhelms the nearby town, which encompasses 7.5 square miles and has 662 full-time residents. Skiing-wise, the resort is revered for its treacherous moguls and expert runs over five mountains and 50 miles of trails. Winter Park itself is the most diverse of the resort's three ski areas, with runs for all skill levels and terrain parks and a half pipe for expert skiers and boarders; Mary Jane ("No Pain, No Jane") is world-renowned for its seemingly endless mogul runs and steep chutes; Vasquez Ridge is a little out of the way, accessible via the Pioneer Express lift. In the winter, the town is packed and it's hard to get a table at low-key restaurants like Deno's Mountain Bistro or a room at the mountainside resort village. Winter Park is about an hour-and-a-half drive from Denver, and it's one of the easiest major resorts to reach from Denver International Airport. For lodging, nearby Fraser is more affordable if you don't mind driving back and forth.

Steve Knopper
About the Expert

Steve Knopper is the Denver-based author of Moon Handbooks Colorado as well as a contributor to numerous Fodor's city guides.

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Steve Knopper for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Winter, or late spring/early fall (for excellent deals)