Acres: 3,081 | Vertical: 2,220’ | Snowfall: 348” | winterparkresort.com
This just in: Amtrak is reinstating rail service from Denver Union Station to Winter Park, meaning WP lovers can now skip the horror of I-70 traffic. Once you arrive—through the Continental Divide via the Moffat Tunnel—you’re dropped at the base of Winter Park-Mary Jane’s five distinct mountains. Lift tickets secured, locals like Emily Papendieck Hefel take the Zephyr Express quad to thigh-crushing Outhouse, with moguls as big as a fifth grader. Later, she’ll snag a tow on the “Cirque Sled” to Vasquez Cirque, with sporty lines through steep entrances that mellow into let-them-run ramps.
Can’t-Miss Run: For moguls interspersed with natural-feature filled trees Papendieck Hefel links Derailer to Needle’s Eye (off the Challenger chair), which together drop more than a mile.
Resort Bite: At Lunch Rock (top of the Jane), you can enjoy the squash soup made with Colorado-sourced squash and cream, while sipping from a selection of 12 Colorado crafted beers.
Stay an Extra Day: Shred the backcountry with Powder Addiction, Grand County’s only cat-skiing operation. They promise seven to 12 runs in high alpine terrain on Jones Pass, which sits between Winter Park and I-70. —Tracy Ross
From the Early Winter 2016 issue.