SubscribeAvailable Now

Outdoors: Winter Park Resort


I am not a powderhound.

I realize that this is a sacrilegious statement in the Centennial State, but growing up on the East Coast, I learned to ski on super-hardpack and, more frequently, on straight-up ice. When I moved to Colorado more than a decade ago, I was unaccustomed to all the fluff. To this day, I still can’t seem to float through the freshies like I should. But I’m learning—one caught edge at a time—to love it. And a full day of making fresh tracks at Winter Park Resort/Mary Jane last week solidified my desire to get even better.

Must-Try Trails: For gladed intermediate-level terrain with plenty of powder and fewer crowds, don’t miss Parry’s Peek and Forever Eva on the far-east side of Mary Jane. Both trails are relatively new, having opened during the 2007-2008 season. Served by the Panoramic Express lift.

For an intermediate run with a killer conclusion, check out Roundhouse Upper. This semi-steep run has plenty of geography and ungroomed white stuff to play with, but the supersteep—and bumpy—final pitch is a real quad-burner. True intermediates (read: me) might want to take the escape route to the right; advanced skiers will love the lumpy finish. Served by the Sunnyside lift.

On a powder day, you can sometimes find pristine snow still available on Jabberwocky—even when all the other nearby runs seem scraped off. Served by the Olympia Express lift.

Getting There: Head west on I-70. Take the Exit 242 (U.S. 40 West) toward Empire/Granby. U.S. 40 swtichbacks its way up and over Berthoud Pass. Once over the pass, you’ll drive a few miles until you see the sign for Winter Park ski area on your left.

—Image courtesy of Winter Park Resort.

Editors' Picks


Keep me up to date on the latest trends and happenings around Denver. 5280 has a newsletter for everyone.

Sign Up