Resort: Winter Park, Colorado

During the week we were covering the Crankworx Colorado event we got to ride a lot at Winter Park. Winter Park has 1800 feet of vertical with 28 miles of trails. They have trails for those that want to ride XC and for those that enjoy downhill. All skill levels can ride at Winter Park making it a great riding destination.

Check inside to find out more about the resort and what it has to offer as well as watch the video of highlights from Crankworx Colorado.

Note to those interested in riding Winter Park, the last weekend they will be open for riding is this coming weekend Sept 20-21. This will be your last chance before the end of the season.

Location:

Winter Park Resort

85 Parsenn Road

Winter Park, Colorado 80482

  • Distance to Denver (airport) – 103 miles about 2 hours
  • Distance to Sol Vista Bike Park – 24 miles about 30 minutes
  • Distance to Keystone Bike Park – 65 miles about 1 hour 30 minutes

view of the village (click to enlarge)

Summer Operating Hours:

  • 7 days a week, 10 am 5:30 pm June 21 Sept 1
  • Weekends, 10 am 5:30 pm Sept 6 – 21
  • Lifts operate, 9:30 am – 5 pm

Summer Activities will operate, June 22 – September 21, unless otherwise noted.

view of the village (click to enlarge)

History:

“The Fraser Valley is rich in heritage, ranging from the Ute Indians, logging and pioneers, to mining, ranching and the railroad. The area was inhabited by both the Ute and Arapaho Indian Tribes and was discovered by pioneers around 1820. The first settlers arrived around 1850, and the first post office was established in Fraser in 1876, which is now Cozen’s Ranch Museum.” – SkiWinterPark.com

“The mountain opened for the 1939-1940 season as Winter Park Ski Area and was owned and operated by the city and county of Denver until 2002, when Denver entered into a partnership with Intrawest ULC, a Canadian corporation headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia, which has operated the resort since then. One popular way for Denver residents, many of whom have learned to ski or snowboard at Winter Park over the years, to get there is via the Ski Train, which arrives at the resort’s base area though the Moffatt Tunnel. It is home to one of the world’s largest and oldest disabled skiing programs, the National Sports Center for the Disabled. The resort consists of three interconnected mountain peaks Winter Park, Mary Jane, and Vasquez Ridge which share a common lift ticket. Mary Jane, opened in 1975, has a separate base area and is known for its moguls, tree skiing, hidden huts and generally more difficult terrain.” – wikipedia.com

Events:

Winter Park hosts many events and camps throughout the summer. The biggest being Crankworx Colorado. Crankworx Colorado is in it’s second year at Winter Park. It has improved in leaps and bounds since its inception and is one of the premiere US events. Check out the video above highlighting the action from the event.

Where to stay:

Winter Park has a vast array of lodging options. Like many resorts Winter Park offers places to stay near the slopes and other locations in more secluded areas. For our trip we stayed at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge located in the village. The Zephyr is a ski in/ski out lodge located very close to the Zephyr Express lift, 110 feet to be exact. This comes in pretty handy when you want to get in a quick run or get a jump on the line in the morning.

living room (click to enlarge)

Our rooms were well designed and trimmed with nice furnishings and decorations. Our rooms featured a full kitchen and bath with a fireplace and balcony. The rooms were equipped with wired Internet and a nice table for doing some work or eating. The Zephyr also features its own weight room and four outside hot tubs for relaxing after a long day.

view of hot tubs from lift (click to enlarge)

What to do:

Winter Park offers numerous summer activities. Visitors are able to find activities that will get their heart rate up as well as activities for a more laid back day. Winter Park caters to the whole family by having fun activities for the younger kids as well as adults.

  • Bicycling

The main focus of our trip was on this sole activity. Winter Park’s bike park is named Trestle Bike Park. Trestle offers 28 miles of travels with over 75 features and 3 skills areas. The park is lift assisted via the Zephyr Express and Olympia Express. Trestle Bike Park is quite expansive covering the whole mountain face offering 1800 vertical feet of descending. In total Trestle is accessible to over 600 miles of trails throughout Fraser valley.

riders getting ready for a trip down Boulevard (click to enlarge)

The trails that Trestle has to offer range from easy cross country type trails to more difficult black diamond downhill. Trestle also offers several smaller freeride oriented bike skills areas. These areas are nice to take a break and session a little to work on bike skills. The main trails we were riding during our trip were Boulevard, Cheyenne, and Mountain Goat.

one of the jumps on Boulevard (click to enlarge)

Boulevard is arguably Trestle’s most famous trail. It’s a flowy trail with fast high speed sections, berms, and jumps throughout the course. Boulevard doesn’t have any sections that would be considered difficult for novices or require a bike with a lot of travel. It can be easily ridden by a smaller travel bike without worry.

wall ride on Boulevard (click to enlarge)

Cheyenne was used for part of Crankworx Colorado’s Super D course. It’s a nice less aggressive trail that is fun to take at high speed for more difficulty or take a lesser experienced rider down to skill up. It can be a bit pedaly but has decent flow with a collector area half way through to allow riders to choose several different trails to take to the bottom of the mountain.

berm on Cheyenne (click to enlarge)

Mountain Goat is by far the gnarliest trail at Winter Park but can be rather difficult and tiring to get to. The most efficient way we found to get to Mountain Goat was to ride Cheyenne down to the Olympia express and then take the Lost Trail over to Mountain Goat. In all it takes about 45 minutes to reach the Mountain Goat trail head. Once there you’re greeted with a nice long rocky section followed by technical sections below. The trail isn’t the most flowing or race oriented but it does offer a challenge over your typical open resort type courses. Crankworx Colorado’s downhill event was hosted on this trail this year over the more leisurely Boulevard trail. More pictures of the course can be seen in our coverage from the event.

rocky section of Mountain Goat (click to enlarge)

If you don’t have your own bike and equipment or you didn’t bring your gear with you there are no worries. Kona Stinky’s and protective gear can be rented from the Mountain Adventure Center. Full Day, Half Day, and Twilight rentals are available at varying pricing levels.

If you’re looking to diversify your riding experience Sol Vista Bike Park and Keystone are not too far down the road. Sol Vista is in the town of Granby about 30 minutes away and Keystone is about an hour and a half away. Both bike parks offer some great riding with more difficulty and different terrain than Winter Park.

  • Alpine Slide

Winter Park is home to Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide. It is over 3000 feet in length. The summit is reached via a lift which takes your board up with you.

alpine slide lift (click to enlarge)

  • Climbing Wall

This is always a kids favorite. Located right in the middle of the village, it’s hard to miss.

kids having fun (click to enlarge)

  • Disc Golf

Disc golf is a free activity at Winter Park. You do have to pay for a lift ticket, however, to get to the top to start at hole #1.

  • Human Maze

You have to navigate the maze against the clock finding 4 checkpoint along your way. The maze is reconfigured regularly keeping this activity always interesting.

  • Bungee Bounce

Bungee cords attached to the jumper allow for easy flips and tricks.

(click to enlarge)

  • Mini Golf

Always a family favorite, Winter Park offers an 18 hole mini golf course at the base of the mountain.

mini golf course (click to enlarge)

Other activities:

If you’re looking for other things to do around the area there is a lot of offer. World class fishing and rafting is available on the nearby rivers. Hot springs and numerous hiking trails also offer some adventure. You can also visit the town of Fraser via the River Trail. Rocky Mountain National Park is also a popular destination with lots of scenic views and beautiful wildlife. If you’re into horseback riding check out northern Colorado’s largest horse outfitter, Sombrero Ranch.

What to eat:

The best choice for a restaurant to eat at in the village is Doc’s Roadhouse. It’s a great place to catch a burger and a beer. They have a wide variety of menu items and the prices aren’t bad. Otherwise we suggest checking out restaurants in town for a little more variety. Smokin’ Moes (BBQ) and the Mirasol Cantina (mexican) were a couple of our favorites.

(click to enlarge)

What is there to do off resort:

If you want to find things to do off resort we suggest looking around the nearby town and Fraser down the road. There’s shopping, trail riding, and other activities to keep you entertained while not at the resort.

[Winter Park Gallery] [Winter Park Website]