Winter Park Resort

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Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort
Winter Park Village
Winter Park Village
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort is located in Colorado
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort
Location in Colorado
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort is located in the United States
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort
Winter Park/Mary Jane Resort (the United States)
LocationGrand County, Colorado, USA
Nearest major cityWinter Park, Colorado
Coordinates39°53′13″N 105°45′45″W / 39.88694°N 105.76250°W / 39.88694; -105.76250Coordinates: 39°53′13″N 105°45′45″W / 39.88694°N 105.76250°W / 39.88694; -105.76250
Top elevation12,060 feet (3,676 m)
Base elevation9,000 feet (2,743 m)
Skiable area3,081 acres (1,247 ha)
Runs167 total
Ski trail rating symbol-green circle.svg 8% beginner
Ski trail rating symbol-blue square.svg 18% intermediate
Ski trail rating symbol-square diamond.svg 19% advanced
Ski trail rating symbol-black diamond.svg 52% most difficult
Ski trail rating symbol-double black diamond.svg 3% expert
Lift system25 total (9 high-speed chairs, 10 fixed-grip chairs, 6 surface lifts)
Snowfall370 in (940 cm)

Winter Park Resort is an alpine ski resort in Winter Park, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. Located just off U.S. Highway 40, the resort is about a 90-minute drive from Denver, Colorado.

The mountain opened for the 1939–1940 season as Winter Park Ski Area[1] 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 operated the resort until Intrawest was acquired by Alterra Mountain Company in 2018.[2][3] For nearly 70 years, a popular way for Denver residents to get there was via the Ski Train, which arrived at the resort's base area through the Moffat Tunnel. Ski Train service ended in 2009 but returned as the Winter Park Express in 2017.[4] Winter Park Resort 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 (and seven "territories") — 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. It encompasses the above-tree line terrain of Parsenn Bowl. Vasquez Ridge, opened in 1986, offers intermediate terrain and mogul runs. In 1997, 435 acres (176 ha) of backcountry terrain in Vasquez Cirque were opened to skiing, although access required hiking from the top of Mary Jane;[5] the 2006 relocation of the former Outrigger triple chairlift to the backside of Parsenn Bowl provides an easier escape back to Mary Jane after descending Vasquez Cirque.

Since taking over operation of the resort, Intrawest has made several changes to the mountain's infrastructure, renovating the food services in the West Portal base lodge, opening new lifts in 2005 and 2006, and publicly announcing plans for a new base village to include hundreds of new condominia, a parking structure, a "Village Pond," and a "family swim center," all accessible via a new open-air gondola known as "The Village Cabriolet."[6] However, while this change has benefitted the economic development of the town and the resort, it has also been a threat to the existing historic resort base. The historic Balcony House remains under threat of demolition. This historic building was designed in the Googie style of architecture, which was a popular style in the 1940s to the 1960s.

In an attempt to make Winter Park into a year-round resort, the resort operates the lifts during the summer months for mountain biking. The Arrow chairlift also services an alpine slide in the summer, and the base area features miniature golf, a climbing wall, and other diversions. While the Winter Park area is also a popular destination for golf, there are no golf courses located at, or operated by, the resort itself. Winter Park boasts the most extensive lift access summer mountain biking trails in Colorado.

In 2018 Winter Park Resort was named "Best ski resort in North America" as voted by the readers of USA Today.[7] In 2019 Winter Park Resort was named "Number 1 Ski Resort in North America".[8]



  • Base: 9,000 ft (2,743 m)
  • Summit: 12,060 ft (3,676 m)
  • Vertical rise: 3,060 ft (933 m)
View looking north from the top of Parsenn Bowl prior to the construction of the Panoramic Express.
View looking east at Parry's Peak from near the top of the Mary Jane.
Panoramic view of the Zephyr Express and Zephyr Mountain Lodge.
A panorama taken on Whistlestop run at Winter Park Resort.


  • Skiable area: 3,081 acres (1,247 ha)
  • Trails: 166 total (8% beginner, 18% intermediate, 19% advanced, 52% difficult, 3% expert)
  • Average annual snowfall: 317.5 inches (806 cm)

Slope Aspects[edit]

  • North: 50%[9]
  • East: 10%
  • South: 2%
  • West: 38%


Winter Park Colorado[10]

Lift Name Type Manufacturer Year Built Notes
The Gondola Ten-person gondola lift Leitner-Poma 2018
Village Cabriolet Eight-person gondola lift: Leitner-Poma 2008
Panoramic Express Six-passenger high-speed detachable chairlift Leitner-Poma 2007 When opened, it was marketed as being the highest high-speed six pack in North America, a title it retained until the Kensho SuperChair at Breckenridge Ski Resort was built in 2013.
Super Gauge Express Six-passenger high-speed detachable chairlift Leitner-Poma 2005 Photo
Eskimo Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1999
Gemini Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1993
High Lonesome Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1991
Olympia Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1996
Pioneer Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1986
Prospector Express High-speed detachable quad chairlift Poma 1994
Arrow Triple chairlift Yan (Lift Engineering) 1979
Eagle Wind Triple chairlift Yan 2006 former Outrigger chair
Endeavour Triple chairlift Poma 1993
Sunnyside Six-passenger high-speed detachable chairlift Leitner-Poma 2019
Challenger Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1974 Photo
Discovery Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1984
Galloping Goose Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1974
Iron Horse Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1974
Looking Glass Double chairlift Riblet 1966
Pony Express Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1974
Lariat Rope Tow Poma 2002
Spirit Platter surface lift Poma 2004
Comet Conveyor Magic Carpet 2019
Meteor Conveyor Magic Carpet 2019

Former lifts[edit]

Winter Park Colorado[10]

Lift Name Type Manufacturer Years of Operation Notes
Sunnyside Triple chairlift 1989-2019 Replaced with high-speed, detachable, Six-Pack lift
Apollo Platter lift Leitner-Poma 2004-2009
Apollo Double chairlift Riblet 1969-1998
Comet T-bar lift 1957-1977 Replaced with Arrow triple
Eskimo Double Riblet chairlift 1963-1990 Replaced with Eskimo Double
Eskimo Triple chairlift Yan 1990-1999 Replaced with Eskimo Express; Relocated from Zephyr
Gemini Double chairlift Miner-Denver 1969-1993 Replaced with Gemini Express
High Lonesome Quad chairlift Poma 1985-1991
Hughes Double chairlift Riblet 1962-1993
Meteor T-Bar lift Swiss 1957-1977 Replaced with Outrigger triple
Olympia Double chairlift Heron-Poma 1971-1996 Replaced by Olympia Express
Outrigger T-Bar lift Swiss 1948-1978
Outrigger Triple chairlift Yan 1978-2005 SBNO from 2003 to 2005; relocated to Vasquez Ridge and operates as Eagle Wind
Prospector Double chairlift Riblet 1963-1994 Replaced with Prospector Express
Summit Express High-speed quad chairlift Poma 1985-2005 This lift now runs at the Mission Ridge Ski Area in Washington state. Replaced with Super Gauge Express.
Timberline Double chairlift Heron-Poma/Thiokol 1992-2007 Relocated from Sol Vista Basin (Ski Granby Ranch); replaced by Panoramic Express
Zephyr Triple chairlift Yan 1983-1990 Replaced with Zephyr Express
Zephyr Express High-speed quad chairlift Poma 1990-2018 Replaced with ten-person The Gondola
Bob Woods T-bar lift 1940-1969 Replaced with Apollo double

Historic Trails[edit]

Ski trail near the top of Winter Park Resort.

During Winter Park's 75-year history, many individuals have made significant contributions to the development and image of the ski area. Several ski trails have been identified on the resort's website as "historical trails," and even more exist on the mountain. A commemorative sign, with a brief narrative about the individual's contribution to the ski area, has been installed along each historical trail. Listed are both the run and in parentheses the lift that reaches them:

Winter Park Resort nestled in with the Continental Divide
  • Hughes (Zephyr Express or Eskimo Express)
  • Cranmer (Eskimo Express or Zephyr Express)
  • Allan Phipps (Zephyr Express, Eskimo Express or Prospector Express)
  • Bradley's Bash (Eskimo Express or Zephyr Express)
  • Mulligan's Mile (Zephyr Express or Eskimo Express)
  • Jack Kendrick (Prospector Express or Looking Glass)
  • Mt. Maury (learning slope with carpet)
  • Retta's Run (Eskimo Express lift line)
  • Engeldive (Prospector Express and Looking Glass)
  • Balch (Zephyr Express and Eskimo Express)
  • Wilson's Way (Discovery learning double)
  • Mary Jane Trail (reached from Super Gauge Express, Olympia Express or High Lonesome Express)
  • Over N' Underwood (Prospector Express or Looking Glass) (not listed on website)
  • Butch's Breezeway (Prospector Express or Looking Glass) (not listed on website)

Notable people[edit]

  • Elizabeth McIntyre (born 1965), freestyle skier, Olympic silver medalist; lives in Winter Park
  • Ryan Max Riley (born 1979), freestyle skier, US Champion, and humorist; lived in Winter Park
  • Ryan St. Onge (born 1983), freestyle skier, World Champion and two-time Olympian; lived in Winter Park
  • Michelle Roark (born 1974), freestyle skier, World Champion silver medalist and two-time Olympian; lived in Winter Park

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Winter Park". Winter Park Resort - Official Ski Resort Website - Winter Park, Colorado. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  2. ^ "Who We Are". Intrawest. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  3. ^ Jason Blevins (January 11, 2018). "The new name in ski resorts you need to know: Alterra Mountain". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  4. ^ Danika Worthington (January 7, 2017). "Winter Park Express brings back train service between Denver and Winter Park". The Denver Post. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  5. ^ TCSP. "History of the Winter Park Resort". Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  6. ^ "Winter Park". Winter Park Resort - Real Estate – Winter Park, Colorado. Winter Park Resort. Archived from the original on June 19, 2015. Retrieved June 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "Best ski resort in North America? Readers vote Winter Park Resort". USA Today. 2018. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  8. ^ "Voted #1 Ski Resort In North America Two Years In A Row". Winter Park Resort. Retrieved November 29, 2019.
  9. ^ "Best Ski Resorts: Winter Park Resort Terrain, Snow Quality and Mountain Ranks". ZRankings. ZRankings, LLC. Retrieved June 16, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Landsman, Peter. "Winter Park, CO". LIFTBLOG. Retrieved January 7, 2019.

External links[edit]