Late word out of Colorado is that spring skiing conditions are the best in years, thanks to a record snowfall last winter.
And if you’re planning a spring ski vacation, check out Winter Park, Colorado. Winter Park is a wonderful place to ski during any winter month, but it is exceptionally nice in the spring because it usually retains much of the 354 inches of snow that falls there just about every year. Also, the surrounding Fraser Valley always seems to attract more late-season snow storms than other Colorado resorts, which at this time of year means more powder days on the slopes.
Winter Park is the closest ski resort to Denver, located just 67 miles away on Highway 40 through the Berthoud Pass. The Colorado Highway Department has made substantial improvements to Highway 40 in recent years and the road is not as prone to being shut down by avalanches and heavy snowfall as in years
If you haven’t been to Winter Park in a few years, you’re in for a surprise. The resort has undergone a massive transformation over the last four years, the result of mega-ski resort developer IntraWest taking over the management through a complex lease agreement with the City of Denver, which has owned the property for 70 years. IntraWest cut a deal in 2004, signing a 50-year agreement to transform Winter Park into a major destination ski resort. The result has been massive new construction and the development of a full-fledged ski town at the Winter Park base area, with condos, shops, restaurants and bars, something the resort has lacked for all these
Two new developments that opened just this season are the Founders Pointe and Fraser Crossing condominium complexes, which complemented the recently-constructed 230-unit Zephyr Mountain Lodge at the foot of Winter Park Mountain. Many new shops and stores have also opened in the new base village, including Starbucks, Showcase Snowboards, Mountain Adventure Center, Rossignol Winter Park, Trail's End Mercantile and Rocky Mountain Eyewear.
At the same time, Intrawest has made multiple improvements to the ski area, including the addition of a new six-passenger, high-speed lift for the popular Parsenn Bowl area, and opening up hundreds of acres of new ski terrain.
Winter Park is the third oldest ski resort in North America, behind only Idaho’s Sun Valley and Canada’s Mont Tremblant, and it is the oldest continually-operated resort in Colorado. It is comprised of four sprawling mountains -- Winter Park, Mary Jane (including the Parsenn Bowl), Vasquez Cirque and Vasquez Ridge – and a network of trails and lifts interconnects them. There are 3,078 skiable acres, including 142 trails and 1,212 acres of off-piste terrain, making it one of the largest ski resorts in Colorado.
There are 25 lifts positioned around the
mountains, including two high-speed six-pack lifts, seven high-speed express quads, four triples, six double chairlifts, three surface lifts, two t-bars and one rope tow. That means the lift lines are usually short.
For more information, call Winter Park Central Reservations at 800-729-5813 or send email to