Winter Park

Ski resorts in USA
The classic Californian ski resort Sierra-at-Tahoe, seen by many locals as the most genuine ski hill in the area, is located only 25-30 minutes from South Lake Tahoe, along the stunning Highway 50.

Jon Muir, perhaps the most famous naturalist and conservationist in America, called the 400-mile long Sierra Nevada Mountains, “the range of light” - not the least because of its many snow-covered mountain peaks.

Small, but mighty, it sits at the eastern edge of California's El Dorado National Forest. The region's microclimate brings a seasonal average of over 10 meters of snow (yep, you heard that one right). The cold winter storms bring skiers pure light and dry candy in the shape of “blower” snow. This is what’s special about the Sierra, during just a couple of hours, conditions can go from fairly great to absolutely epic. Then, there’s always something about the month of March - it seems to be the tellsign of the whole ski season, make or break. Tahoe locals refer to it as, “Miracle March.”

The closest big-resort neighbor is Heavenly, a little bit under 30 kilometers to the north of Lake Tahoe's shore. Kirkwood is a little bit further down the road but still a good resort to use as a base for visiting Sierra-at-Tahoe.

It's a low-key resort that still has everything on offer: 2,000 acres of terrain; 6 terrain parks; 46 trails and a summit elevation of 8,852 feet.

Despite having been in business for over 70 years, it has remained a day-visitor ski area. Therein lies perhaps its charm and attraction along with the pretty much unspoiled natural landscape. It has also produced many Olympians, such as Maddie Bowman, the ski halfpipe gold medalist (who went to the top of the podium at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia), who grew up here.

The terrain parks hold a high caliber and the pisted area (if tiny) shouldn't be disregarded either. Still what keeps drawing advanced and expert skiers from near and afar is the backcountry skiing in the revered Huckleberry Canyon, to the east of the summit sector. (Some skiers call it Sierra's finest powder skiing).

You can only access the area via five backcountry/control gates (those were first opened in 2001). This deep and steep terrain gem, classified as "extremely challenging," ain't for the faint-hearted --- couloirs, cornices, powder-stashed bowls and glades.

The local ski patrol offers a guided service to the canyon. You have to make a reservation, and undergo an on-site assessment of your skills before being accepted to join.

Winter Park Snow forecast

  • Wednesday
    0 in rain
    Partly cloudy
    8 mph
  • Thursday
    0 in rain
    Sun/clear sky
    6 mph
  • Friday
    0.1 in rain
    Sun/clear sky
    9 mph

Facts about Winter Park

Slopes (Total: 161)
Green circle Easiest:39
Blue square Intermediate:35
Black diamond Advanced:80
Double black diamond Expert Only:7
Artificial snow:26 number of slopes

Lifts (Total: 25)
Gondola lift:1
Chair lifts:19
Platter lift:5
Lift capacity:  36000 persons/hour

Vertical drop
Winter Park Vertical drop
Mountain high: 12057 ft
Vertical drop: 3058 ft
Mountain low: 8999 ft
Skiable vertical drop: 3061 ft (The vertical drop you can ride in one go on skis)

Start:17 November
End:17 April

Childrens area:1
Country: USA
Region: Colorado

Reviews for Winter Park

What do you think about Winter Park?
8 reviews
Alex Root
Alex Root (Guest)
Winterpark has great mogals. they litter the mountain. The chutes usualy are icy or unskiable. I wouldnt recomend them. The cirque has some of the best in bounds off piste skiing in the US great long steep runs usualy coverd with powder but there is a mile travers to get to the cirque. the first run has lots of powder usualy. and unless you want to walk anouther half mile or drop a 10-15 foot cornice it is the best and fastes way in.

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Winter Park is the small resort of comfortable 1.5 hours drive from Denver. Accommodation in WP Village is near the ski area, but the accommodation in WP Downtown is both cheaper and better. The ski buses are ideal for transportation. The limited business offering and nightlife are more than compensated for by skiing.

Most of the 25 lifts are quite old and slow but, along with the design of the ski area, provide a nice laid back atmosphere. During Christmas and New Year the parking was full, but the lift queues still shone with their absence. In the Mary Jane area there are very good humpbacks, woodlands and really steep hills, and if you want to sleep with long carvings, Winter Park Mountain is a pistachio mecca. Best off piste can be found in Parsenn bowl or down to the Vasques ridge and Vasques cirque areas. Opportunities for back country skiing are endless, especially at the Berthod pass as you cross the Denver-WP road.

It is worth mentioning that when the resort is located on almost 3000 meters of skiing an additional 1000 meters up it is snow proof, but most feel the height of the first few days. It facilitates drinking a lot of water the week before arrival.

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The winter park side is quite boring, Mary Jane offers a lot of fun things: chutes, canoeing good forest skiing and, of course, a lot of PUCKEL .....

Was a bit bad with snow the first time I was there, and then I can tell straight away that winter park / mary jane is not particularly good.

The second time we were snatched a week (they closed the berthod passport) and the skiing at Mary Jane was absolutely amazing. deep with powder everywhere.

Otherwise, it is just the passport to go to, a lot of nice skiing there.

/ Thomas

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Puck, puckle, hump, puckle and little pistachio so everyone can settle down. A very strange place with hollows in the forest where you can just go out and smoke a little hollow. Hippie cultures have said their tracks here. You quickly understand that there is only one thing that applies here .... can you go up or down? Without lying, one might say that Beaver Creek has 10ggr so many pistols. This is cheeky in our world. The park is really good and it is made with perfection where you can see 3 bounces one after the other with the exact same dimensions, making it easy and easy tricks at this place. Their black park requires park passes that you can buy in the snowboard shop after watching a security film and answering questions and abandoning all your rights in American fashion.
Rumors say there should be a very nice offpiste on MaryJane but unfortunately I have not tried it!
Do you just want to go humped ...... go here!

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Mary Jane was the area that felt most interesting if you were looking for a little more challenging skiing. But for my part, winter park is summarized with a word PUCKEL. Whenever you look or do not look, they are there, you do not like the puck choose a different place. A tip if you have access to a car is to stay on the road at Berthod pass o tense the pants. This is an old ski system that was laid down a few years ago to get a driver then you aim at the sparse forest o let the polar pick you up further down after a cruel unspoilt yard without congestion! Incredible yard in the moonlight, nice winter evenings, popular with students in the denver that go up to the berthod in the evening for some nice days. And above all, Free !!

No pain, no Jane
No pain, no Jane (Guest)
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The fall height is not really very remarkable, much like Åres, but every meter is well utilized.
Here you will find everything from barely sloping soccer plans to double black chutes in Mary Jane. Do you love puckles, are you in the right place, big soft and harmonious. Outlet and drunken Frenchman gets silent on any kax-olle! Snow proof as few, during the week we were there, there were 180 cm pillows, which was the experience of my life. This wonderful snow is enjoyed everywhere, in the woods, above the tree line and in the slopes. But it's easy to get out of the car, open both front doors carefully and then hit again at the same time. The car is clean!


PS! An evening stroll down to Denver is possible for hockey visits. Now, Foppa in Avalanche does not play anymore, but there are others watching!

The only downside is night life, it's safe but you can not get it. 2 beers on afterskin and then you want to go home and sleep.

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Mary-Jane is part of Winter Park, which is heaven on earth for those who love puckel plaster. Then I do not mean the trist icecourses found in some places here in the north, without wonderful long pillow-covered puck pails created by the ridge and not pissed throughout the season. Like all Colorado's ski areas, the air and therefore the snow are very dry (there is a desert on the other side of the mountains). Even if it gets sunny and up to 20 degrees warm it never gets hot, and it's snowing a lot. There is also a good offpiste but it is not as steep as in the Alps.

Winter Park / Mary-Jane is a relaxed place, unlike the larger places like Vail and Aspen where it's a bit more posh. To Mary-Jane, locals who love humpback, and enthusiasts willing to spend a week (season) go to a small hole without any tourist life, in favor of (according to some) the most beautiful pucklist in the world.
Highly recommended!

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Great place, quite big! Located just over 1h from Denver, very good slopes and nice offpiste. Located in conjunction with "Mary Jane".

Most popular photo

Rider: Martin Josefsson Photo: Daniel Tiensuu

Trail map

Trail map Winter Park

Nearby ski resorts

Eldora Mountain Resort9.9 miles
Ski Granby Ranch13 miles
Loveland16.2 miles
Arapahoe Basin Ski Area18 miles
Keystone21.7 miles
Breckenridge32.3 miles
Copper Mountain33.6 miles
Vail36.7 miles

Airports near Winter Park

Denver International Airport
Driving time: 1 hour, 46 minutes (90 miles)
Distance: 58 miles
Eagle County Regional Airport
Driving time: 2 hours, 14 minutes (118 miles)
Distance: 64 miles
Aspen Airport
Driving time: 3 hours, 22 minutes (181 miles)
Distance: 75 miles