Winter Park is one of Colorado’s most impressive ski areas. With an excellent snow record, a huge ski area, a modern slope-side skier village and the shortest airport transfer in Colorado, Winter Park should definitely be on your list of North American ski resorts to visit this winter.
In the run up to this season, Winter Park has also seen the largest investment in skier services and on mountain infrastructure in the history of the resort. This season the resort will introduce a new ten person gondola replacing the Zephyr Express Quad. The new Gondola is designed to speed up access to the mountain and get you onto the snow faster each morning.
The resort has also heavily invested in a new state of the art snow making system. Winter Park usually receives 30 foot of snow each season – so shortage of snow is never usually an issue. However the new energy efficient snow making system boosts the resorts ‘green credentials’ and will see Winter Park being able to open earlier with opening dates in early November.
With over 3,000 skiable acres in total, the ski area offers ‘seven territories’ spread over five interconnected mountains. Each territory offers separate zones that cater for different types of skiers. This means that skiers can pick their ‘zone’ (each of which offers naturally distinct ski terrain) to ensure they get the most out of each day on the mountain.
The seven territories at Winter Park are:
Winter Park Territory
The first territory is known as Winter Park territory and is found at the base of the mountain. This is a great area for beginners and families to enjoy. Ski School have a number of learning areas here, including the Alice in Wonderland themed section for kids to enjoy while mastering their first turns. This area also offers lots of varied terrain and offers both long cruisers and immaculately groomed runs. This is the perfect zone for families and mixed ability groups who want to ski together all day.
If you’re looking for some of the best powder stashes on the mountain, then head to Vasquez Ridge. This is a quiet area of the mountain with great advanced terrain, where you can feel like you have the whole mountain to yourself. It’s the perfect place to find hidden pockets of untouched powder on a classic Colorado powder day!
The ride up on Colorado’s highest six person chairlift provides access to some of the best high alpine intermediate terrain in Colorado. When you reach the summit, the views from the top are truly majestic; with 360 degree vistas of the Colorado Rockies
The Mary Jane territory offers legendary moguls and tree-skiing. This area is consistently voted the best mogul skiing in North America and you’ll find long challenging runs with perfectly placed bumps that are truly legendary. When we skied here the moguls seemed like they were the same size as Volkswagens! It’s a great place to perfect your mogul technique and there are plenty of blue runs to explore to help you pace your day out.
You’ll find exhilarating tree skiing at Eagle Wind. If you’re looking for the feeling of a backcountry adventure, with the comfort of staying in bounds, then this is the perfect place to explore. This heavily forested area offers the best of both worlds and you’ll find great tree skiing, deep powder stashes and gladed runs here. This area is great for advanced skiers looking to explore wilder terrain that’s off the beaten path.
By far the most extreme area at Winter Park is the Cirque. This is for advanced skiers who are looking for a big mountain experience. This zone offers nearly 400 acres of double black diamond ungroomed runs. This is proper backcountry terrain but with the comfort of knowing it’s within the resorts patrolled area. Once only accessible by hiking, this area is not for the faint hearted.
The last territory is made up of six terrain parks with over 80 features catering for novices to experts, including an 18-foot superpipe.
Winter Park is the second largest ski resort in Colorado. Nestled in a quiet, scenic valley just 90 minutes from the airport it also has the shortest transfer time from the airport. With a huge ski area, Winter Park has something for everyone to enjoy, making it a great choice for families and mixed ability groups. There is plenty of slope-side accommodation available in the resort and the nearby town of Winter Park comes alive at night with a lively apres’ scene.