The Winter Park side, as opposed to the Mary Jane of the resort, is an ideal "learn to ski" area, and also a great place for more experienced beginners to explore the mountain’s green runs. Nearly 30-percent of the terrain on the Winter Park side is designated as beginner trails, so novices have a large number of green runs to choose from. If you’re looking at a trail map, the right side of the mountain, from Gemini Express to High Lonesome Express lift, is nearly entirely beginner trails.
The best Winter Park beginner terrain is scattered all over looker’s right side of the resort. First timers will want to start at the surface area, or magic carpet, lifts at the Winter Park base area. There they’ll find a gentle slope to learn on, and namely beginner skiers in that area, since experts and intermediates stick to looker’s left side of the base area. Once first time skiers area ready to ride up on the lift higher on the mountain, they’ll want to stick to Gemini Express. Off that lift, they’ll find short green runs that lead to short chair lifts like Discovery and Endeavor chairlift. As beginners progress and get more comfortable with the Winter Park terrain, they can pick their all the way up the mountain, nearly to the top, via the High Lonesome Express chairlift. From the top they can enjoy sustained, meandering green runs like Whistlestop and Village Way, which takes skiers all the way back the village. There are few areas that offer beginner skiers 2,200 vertical feet of novice terrain.
First time skiers at Winter Park have an incredible ski school right at their fingertips, so be sure to take advantage. Plus, it’s a great way to better acquaint yourself with the Winter Park beginner terrain. Winter Park Ski School offers half and full day ski or snowboard lessons for adults and children ages three to 14. Adults can opt for private lessons if they need a little more one on one attention. Lessons meet at the Sorensen Park area.
To learn more about Winter Park beginner skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Winter Park may not be a renowned culinary destination, like Aspen or Vail, but it has plenty of unique dining experiences you won’t soon forget. The Winter Park dining scene meets just about every visitor’s expectations, except perhaps fine diners, with restaurants ranging from memorable pizza to contemporary American. And while these Winter Park restaurants serve up top notch quality food, their menus are delightfully affordable. Those in search of fine dining restaurants and upscale ambiance may look elsewhere, but those who value honest-to-goodness food, long-standing reputations and an inviting atmosphere will not be disappointed with the Winter Park dining scene.
Deno’s Mountain Bistro is as close as the Winter Park restaurant scene comes to “fine dining,” and while the décor is welcoming enough, it’s the consistently excellent food, happy hour drink an food specials, and locals vibe that make it a top notch experience. Deno’s serves up hearty American mountain fare, sure to fill you up after a long day on the slopes. The 2,000-degree seared angus steak cuts are locals favorite. And with high end side dishes like lobster tail, roasted beets or brussel sprouts you’ll easily forget you’re in a casual dining establishment.
If you’re on a Winter Park family ski vacation, a meal at Hernando’s Pizza and Pasta Pub is in order. Kids, parents, pizza-lovers or anyone who appreciates authentic atmosphere will absolutely love Hernando’s. Upon first walking inside, you’ll notice that every empty wall or ceiling space is covered in dollar bills. Don’t be shy add your own bill to their collection, the nice staff at Hernando’s will find a place for it. And that’s another thing; Hernando’s has been around for 40-plus years, so you can bet they know how to take care of their customers. The pizza is “Colorado style” which features a thicker, braided crust, and is absolutely to die for. Don’t be surprised if you see honey on the table (also a Colorado thing). Locals smother their crusts in honey for a sweet post-pizza treat. Give it a go, it’s surprisingly delicious. Hernando’s specialty pie choices are excellent, but the Barb-B-Que with cilantro and the Hawaiian with almonds are out-of-this-world.
To learn more about Winterpark dining call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Mary Jane, the section of the resort on looker’s left side if you’re checking out a trail map, has a saying that pretty much sums up its skiing: No Pain, No Jane. This area is renowned as having some of the most challenging mogul runs in Colorado. But it doesn’t stop there; Winter Park’s expert skiing includes bowl skiing and extreme steeps, cliffs and trees. Between Winter Park's exhilarating Vasquez Bowl to Mary Jane's famed bump runs, experts will find they have more than enough challenging terrains. The hardest part isn't just the skiing but deciding where to go. Between Mary Jane, Vasquez Cirque and Vasquez Ridge, experts have a whopping 63-percent of most difficult to expert terrain to choose from.
If you like mogul skiing, then you’ll want to spent the majority of your time on Mary Jane’s famed-steeps. The trails off the Challenger chairlift yields leg-burning bump runs sure to challenge the best of the best. The Iron Horse chairlift accesses some shorter black diamond runs. For some wide-open big mountain skiing you’ll want to head to Vasquez Cirque via the Panoramic Express chairlift. The Cirque is an extreme skier’s paradise. Here you’ll find steeps, chutes, cliffs, variable snow conditions, and technical tree skiing. The Eagle Wind lift brings skiers to a series of gladed trails that are shorter, but quite challenging to boot. Thunderbird is the longest black diamond trail off of the Eagle Wind lift and is sure to test the best.
Expert skiers in search of steep groomers will find several options off of both the Zephyr and Pioneer Express chairlifts. Both of these lifts features every type of terrain, from green to black, so they’re both great areas for groups or families with varying levels of ability. Zephyr’s Balch run is a great warm up run at the beginning of the day, and Pioneer’s Gambler and Ace and Eights are black diamonds that turn into blue runs, making them great runs for advanced intermediates looking to challenge their skills or experts looking for a little bit of a break.
To learn more about Winter Park expert skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
The Winter Park intermediate skiing offers incredible access to the resort’s most iconic views and terrain. Between Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl and the vast and breathtaking area at the top of the mountain, Vasquez Ridge, intermediates can explore over 20-percent of the entire mountain. From sustained, top to bottom groomers to perfectly spaced glades to wide-open bowl skiing, intermediates at Winter Park will find their ideal terrain.
If it’s your first time skiing at Winter Park, hop on the Arrow lift from the Winter Park base area and cruise down Larry Sale run, it’ll give you a good idea of the rest of the Winter Park intermediate terrain. Once you’re ready to venture on head up the Zephyr Express chairlift and make your way to the top of Olympia Express chairlift, and be sure to enjoy all the fun intermediate trails there, like White Rabbit, Jabberwocky and Lonesome Whistle. And while you’re in that area take a couple runs off of Pioneer Express chairlift on Vasquez Ridge. Don’t miss Sundance, Stagecoach or Buckaroo. When you’re ready to conquer wider, bigger terrain head up the High Lonesome Express chairlift. Make your way down Edelweiss to the famed Panoramic Express. This lift accesses incredible intermediate bowl skiing in Parsenn Bowl and long, sustained ridgeline groomed runs, both of which yield incredible views. Few resorts can boast world-class intermediate skiing at over 12,000 feet.
If this is your first time visiting Winter Park, a complimentary mountain tour is highly recommended. The guided tours depart at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. daily from mid-December to April. Guests must ski or ride at an intermediate level and are asked to sign up at the Sunspot Map Kiosk at the top of the Zephyr Express at least 15 minutes before departure. The tour last about two hours, and it’s well worth the time. The sooner you know Winter Park’s vast and varied terrain the sooner you can take advantage of your time on the slopes.
To learn more about Winter Park intermediate skiing call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
If a casual atmosphere, good conversation local brews sound like your kind of nightlife, then Winter Park bars won’t disappoint. While all casual in nature, Winter Park bars sway from sports bars to taverns and pubs. You won’t find chic lounges or high end wine bars, but you will find salt of the earth locals to mingle with, and damn good Colorado-made beers.
For Winter Park brewed beer, head to Library Sports Grille and Brewery in downtown Winter Park. You can sample all their beers, honey wheat, pomegranate blueberry, oatmeal stout, kolsch, RPA (rye pale ale) and ESB, in small flights for just $1. Grab some famous bbq wings Smokin’ Moe’s Ribhouse and Saloon and then settle in with a beer. There’s often live music on the weekends.
Winter Park Pub, located on Highway 40 in downtown WinterPark, not only has a great night scene with live music on the weekends, but it’s also a great après-ski joint. The Pub is a popular locals hang out, so pull up a stool and grab a refreshing locally made microbrew. The Pub has several TVs great for watching games, pool tables and good bar fare, especially burgers. This place will please anyone with laidback late night and après endeavors.
If you’re looking to shake it, then Ullrs Tavern is where you want to be. This quaint dive club is located on Highway 40 in downtown Winter Park, and despite its small size, in a small town, has booked some international music names like Del Tha Funky Homosapien and Collie Budz. Be sure to check out their concert schedule, or just head on in, you’ll have a good time either way. Drinks are cheap, especially for on ladies night, when ladies get two free drinks.
To learn more about Winter Park nightlife call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Guest have a stacked gamut of things to do in Winter Park. Obvious off-mountain activities like dining and shopping abound, but Winter Park’s best non-skiing or –snowboarding attractions include, but are not limited to, snowcat tours, ski biking, snowshoe tours, cross-country skiing and tubing at the Coca Cola Hill.
To learn more about things to do in Winter Park call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Winter Park is one of Colorado’s budget ski vacation leaders. Because Winter Park is a mere 66 miles from Denver, the resort is a popular “weekend warrior” destination. But don’t let that deter you, this is to the advantage of someone looking to experience Winter Park on a shoestring, and trust us, there’s plenty to experience. From affordable, and tasty, eats, to budget hotels and condos, to great happy hours, a Winter Park budget ski vacation has it all. And don’t forget you can nab discounted lift tickets via Ski.com’s vacation packages. To learn more, call, or chat with, one of our knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Below you’ll find our picks for the best Winter Park budget hotels and condos.
You know a place is affordable, and good for that matter, when you see a lot of locals hanging out. Deno’s Mountain Bistro, on the corner of Highway 40 and Vasquez Blvd., is one of those places. They offer an unbeatable happy hour, with $1 glass of wine and cocktails, and varied food menu−scallops to wings to fondue−with nothing over $11. And of course, a Winter Park ski vacation is no ski vacation at all, without a visit to famed Hernando’s Pizza and Pasta Pub. This funky pizza joint has dollar bills taped and tacked to nearly every wall space available, plus they have incredible 14” specialty “Colorado-style” pies to the tune of $20.
To learn more about Winter Park budget ski vacation call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
Winter Park is a well-loved ski area by both visitors and Denverites, alike. The resort’s close proximity−67 miles−from Denver, and it’s perfectly varied terrain, has earned its accolade as “Colorado’s Favorite.” Families of all skiing abilities love Winter Park’s terrain options, the many family friendly dining options, and the new tubing park at the base area.
Families are well served in Winter Park in more than a few ways. The skiing terrain, off-mountain activities and lodging options are all designed with them in the mind. Below you’ll find Ski.com’s top Winter Park family lodging picks.
The entire family will go wild at Hernando’s Pizza and Pasta Pub. Everything from the “Colorado style” pies to the dollar bill littered walls and ceilings will make this a dining experience you and your family won’t soon forget. Parents will appreciate the tasty margaritas and large variety of microbrews on tap.
To learn more about Winter Park family ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
The Winter Park lodging options cater to a variety of room and board penchants. You have your pick from affordable motels and hotels to high end lodges and convenient ski in, ski out condos, as well as cozy bed and breakfasts and mountain homes.
Below you’ll find Ski.com’s top picks for Winter Park budget, family and luxury lodging options.
To learn more about Winter Park lodging call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.
If you’re looking for world-class spas, designer shopping and plethora of fine dining options, you won’t find them in Winter Park. But you will find top-notch skiing, some great restaurants and quality lodging accommodations, including several well-placed, luxury mountain homes.
Below you’ll find Ski.com’s top Winter Park luxury lodging picks.
While Deno’s Mountain Bistro may not qualify as big-city fine-dining, the quality of its menu items certainly come close. Deno’s serves up locally renowned steaks, seafood, pizza and great appetizers like Gorgonzola fondue, grilled artichokes and crab cakes. Their side dish options include lobster tail, beets, roasted brussel sprouts and classic salads. Don’t miss their 2,000-degree broiled Angus beef cuts.
To learn more about Winter Park Luxury ski vacations call, or chat with, one of Ski.com’s knowledgeable Mountain Vacation Specialists.