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Winter Park Ski Resort Profile
Summary: Just 70 miles from Denver and 90 miles from Denver International Airport is Winter Park. Winter Park is technically a city park of Denver, the largest city-owned ski area in the country. Being in Winter Park, however, is nothing like being in the big city of Denver. Winter Park offers an environment where families can have a great, relaxing time, some creature comforts, and excellent skiing.

Winter Park has been around since 1940. The mountain itself offers impressive variety, and the town of Winter Park offers many amenities. While the town is highly dependent on skiing for its livelihood, it is a real town (unlike other resorts which are exclusively a ski spot, like Copper).

Winter Park offers over 3,000 acres of terrain, much of it challenging. Still, it has plenty of moderate and easy runs for the beginners, along with an excellent ski school program. The “Ski Train” runs daily from Denver, offering an option for day-trippers from Denver who don’t want to drive through the mountain pass.

Lodging Choices: Lodging on the mountain is limited, but there are a handful of condos which offer ski-in, ski-out accommodations. More choices are located a 5-minute drive away in the town of Winter Park. Compared to the I-70 corridor, Winter Park has long had the reputation of being more reasonably priced for lodging.

Terrain / Highest Elevation / Vertical Drop: 3,000 acres / 12,000 feet / 2,600 feet

Activities for Non-Skiers: The town of Winter Park offers plenty of options for non-skiers. While not as walkable as Aspen or Breckenridge, it has a level of authenticity that you don’t find at newer resorts. Grand County, where Winter Park is located, has many park areas including Arapahoe National Forest.

Ski School: Winter Park has a highly-regarded ski school for ages 3 and up. Many different categories for skill levels are offered. Rates are $105 for full day lessons, with a 10% discount if you book a week in advance. Winter Park’s website offers a handy online video which can help you determine which skill level your child should ski with.

Day Care: Child care is available for children aged 2 months to 6 years for a cost of $75-$95, depending on half or full day respectively. Reservations are required and need to be made at least 48 hours in advance.

Getting there: Winter Park is a 2 hour drive from the Denver Airport. Shuttles and rental cars can be arranged through the website. The Ski Train is an option for getting to and from Winter Park, but is more of a sightseeing expedition than a true transit option. The 2 hour and 15 minute ride departs from downtown Denver, and makes one round-trip per day.

Insider Tip: The village of Winter Park is at 9,000 feet, one of the higher base areas of the ski resorts we review. Compare that with Vail at 8,300 feet and Steamboat Springs at under 7,000 feet. Those who are subject to altitude sickness may want to bring their medication to Winter Park.