Winter Park is located 2 hours or 55 Miles outside of Denver, Colorado. It boasts 166 named trails, 25 chair lifts, amazing amenities and endless activities which makes it easy to see why Winter Park won USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Award in 2018. I spent 3 days in Winter Park and I have outlined a fun itinerary for anyone thinking of planning a trip.
Click here to see the USA Today article.
Day 1: Getting there and accommodation
The easiest way to get to Winter Park is to fly into Denver International Airport. From there the best way to get to the resort is to either rent a car, or take a shuttle. If you decide to take a shuttle I recommend Home James Transportation they will pick you up at the airport and drop you off anywhere in Winter Park. The adult rate is $76 and shuttles depart regularly.
Winter Park is actually split into two key areas, Winter Park Resort and Downtown Winter Park. I would recommend staying at Winter Park Resort which is at the base of the mountain and where almost all of the Ski Runs start and finish. The resort area is easy to walk around with heated walkways to prevent slippery ice building up. Located throughout the town are several outdoor fire places and chairs, interactive musical installations as well as props which make for great photos like the Coca-Cola polar bear.
If you are looking for a centrally located place to stay Zephyr Mountain Lodge is for you. The Lodge is located 110 feet from the Gondola and has ski-in/ski-out facilities. The condominiums range in size and come in one, two and three bedroom units, all fully equipped. The property has four outdoor hot tubs, a fitness room, on-site Front Desk, interior hallways, and comfortable lobby areas. Zephyr Mountain Lodge also has a free shuttle bus that can be arranged through the Front Desk to pick you up and drop you off in Downtown or at any of the businesses nearby.
Winter Park Resort has a number of restaurants to choose from my top picks include:
Pizza Pedal’r – For great pizza and craft beer they got you covered
Goodys Mountain Creperie – After a long day on the mountain treat yourself to a delicious crepe, I highly recommend the Apple Strudel
If you want to venture into the downtown area, I suggest grabbing dinner and drinks at Deno’s Mountain Bistro. As well as being well known for their steak, the martinis at Deno’s are excellent!
If you are after an unforgettable dinner experience you can’t go past the Lodge at Sunspot. After taking the gondola ride to the top of the mountain (which is free after 4pm), you will find the restaurant located to offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains while you watch the sun set. The 3 course meal which features Elk and Buffalo, as well as a host of other choices, is wonderful.
Day 2: Time to hit the slopes
Winter Park has slopes for every skill level which is what makes it so appealing. Couple that with the extensive amount of runs, facilities, and lifts you can often find yourself on the mountain alone which for me was amazing. Even during the afternoon I found some untouched powder on the trails which is extremely rare in most ski areas I’ve been to.
If you are new to skiing or snowboarding, or if you are a little rusty and want to sharpen your skills you can book a private lesson through the Ski + Ride School. I had an amazing day with my instructor who showed me all the best slopes and gave me some super helpful pointers to improve my technique.
Day 3: Snowmobiling
If snowboarding or skiing isn’t your thing, do not despair, Winter Park has a range of fun activities to partake in. My favorite and the most fun would have to be riding a snowmobile across the Continental Divide. You can book a snowmobile tour through Grand Adventures and if you can afford it I would highly recommend the private tour. The private tour gives you access to narrower tails and weather permitting lots of fresh powder. Our guide was Snow Mobile Steve who showed us an amazing time. I cannot describe how amazing this experience was and I would highly recommend it to anyone, young or old.
Day 4: Snow Shoeing and Tubing
If you want a unique encounter with nature then why not take a guided snowshoe tour which is offered daily at the Winter Park Adventure and Supply Co. Tours run daily at 10.30am and 1.30pm and are guided by an experienced ranger who will talk about the local history and ecology of the Fraser Valley.
Looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush? Check out the Coca-Cola Tube Park which is located next to the Vintage Hotel in Winter Park. Grab a tube and speed down the mountain on 4 different tracks.
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