Resort Guide 2013: #24 Winter Park, Colo.

One of Colorado's best mountains is less than a two-hour drive from Denver.
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One of Colorado's best mountains is less than a two-hour drive from Denver.
RG 2013 #24 Winter Park
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Let’s start with a common complaint: Winter Park’s nightlife is “a bit limited.” Which, if you’re thinking about it from a skier’s perspective, is something of a compliment. Indeed, Winter Park is a skier’s mountain, “a place that makes you feel like a local.” Coming with a family? The north side of the resort, Winter Park proper, is striped with sweeping groomers made for cruising. Looking for bumps? Head south to legendary Mary Jane (“A kick in the pants!”), a world unto itself replete with boulder-strewn, gullied glades and moguls that inspire Branch Davidian devotion among a fanatical Front Range faithful. Relish “great views of the Continental Divide” and give thanks for the absence of “high rollers, VIPs, and moneybags.” They're yukking it up at resorts with better nightlife.

Family Experience >> If you have children with you, try to be near the West Portal of the Moffat Tunnel when a westbound train bursts from the mountain. It’s an awesome sight for kids of any age. 

What’s New >> To the whiners who complained about the lack of nightlife: The village now boasts a new liquor store and spa. Be advised that the latter does not allow brown bagging.

Off-Hill Restaurant >> You didn’t come for fine dining, but you deserve some comfort grub after pounding MJ’s bumps all day. Hit up Mirasol Cantina, in town, for tacos (fish, beef, chicken, or veggie) and potent margs.


15. Winter Park, CO

Winter Park

Mary Jane—named for a mining-era lady of the night—and its sister area, Winter Park, offer plenty of prospects for good skiing, including bumps and powder-filled bowls. Forming one of the closest major resorts to Denver, the two areas spread across five mountains and 3,078 acres. Add 3,060 feet of vertical, 30 feet of snowfall, and a direct train from Denver and it’s no wonder why the Front Range packs the place on Saturdays.