We are definitely beach people, but there is something so awesome about the magnificent Rocky Mountains covered in snow! For Spring Break this year, we decided to return to Winter Park, Colorado to enjoy some of the more wintery things to do! Winter Park has so many activities offered at the resort, much more than just skiing! Sledding, ice skating, snowshoe guided hikes, ski bikes, live music in the evenings and just a great environment for hanging out and taking in the sights! Located in Grand County, it’s surrounded by beautiful scenery, just 30 minutes from Rocky Mountain National Park and so much to see and do!
The resort offers plenty of lodging options, including right by the ski lifts in Base Village and Iron Horse Resort is on the coridor trail between Base Village and Mary Jane, offers 1 and 2 bedrooms with kitchens and a heated pool and hot tub open year-round, plus you’re kind of tucked away, but on the free shuttle route, and unless you’re going on a peak weekend, prices are affordable for what it is. Let’s get that out of the way now. Skiing is expensive.
With kids in school, we can only go on peak weekends, like Spring Break. We paid much more in ski lift tickets than we did for the AirBNB condo we rented on this trip in the nearby town of Fraser, also on the free shuttle route. That’s another thing about the lodging at the resort, it books up quicker than we make decisions. I did leave them my name and asked them to call me if there were any cancellations, but never heard from them.
But back to lift tickets. You’ll save a lot of money by purchasing in advance, online. Lift tickets change depending on the day, and peak times they cost much more.
We rented our skis, boots and helmets at the resort, and spent a lot more than we would have in town. You’ll also save money by reserving in advance.
Here’s a great tip, and on your last day, bring your shoes and leave them in a locker, which runs about $8-$10 a day, depending on size. You can also rent a ski locker for $20/day and leave up to 4 pair of skis, boots and helmets overnight instead of hauling them back in your car or on the shuttle, but overnight lockers have to be reserved in advance, and as I’ve already described, we didn’t do a lot of that! Click HERE to read more about lockers.
I had tweeked my knee on Tuesday while snowmobiling in Fraser with Grand Adventures, and it was still hurting, so I didn’t ski or hike or anything, which gave me plenty of time to explore around the resort while my sons and their dad skied. I still had some work to do, but decided I’d rather do it at the resort than our condo, so I worked at Starbucks for a while, which was warm but rather busy.
Towards mid-day, we headed over to the Derailer Bar to meet the guys for lunch. Resort food, especially the grab and go kind, is what you might expect, higher in price and pretty standard in taste, but you can’t beat the views! It’s a happy place, as everyone at the resort, especially at the bar, is having a great time! We bought a deck of cards at the souvenir shop, along with some fun shirts and stickers for my foot locker, and played several hands of BS while waiting for the guys, who staggered in and out.
Winter Park does have a great selection of restaurants, many with spectacular views. We packed lunches and left in the car, so save a little money on other days. There are picnic areas and you could leave a lunch in a locker, too.
On the 3 days that the boys skied, I dropped them off and picked them up except for Wednesday morning when we left before daylight to go ice fishing. There is a free drop off at Base Village, and right by the resort rentals and lockers, so it’s super convenient. The resort has a ton of parking, and shuttles to take you to Base Village, and we parked for free after 3pm in the parking garage.
Winter Park has a Gondola that goes up to the Sunspot Lodge on top of the mountain, and ordinarily tickets are $45 if you don’t have a ski pass, but on select Thursday, Friday and Saturdays it’s free from 4-7 for Happy Hour at live music at the lodge, which is how we ended our last day in Colorado. It’s a fun ride to the top, amazing views all around and a gorgeous lodge for watching the sunset!
The Snowcat Tours also originate from up on the mountain, and while we didn’t do it this year, it’s on my rather long list of things I want to do next time!
On that list, as I’ve already mentioned, is snowshoe hiking and riding the ski bikes, and the resort also offers tours for both of these. My boys want to take a guided night hike, also. They also offer astronomy tours, yoga in Base Village in the mornings, and ski guides for cross country, ski bike and downhill skiing, a great way to learn the trails if you’ve never been before!
One thing I haven’t mentioned is their ski school, as my kids took ski school here when they were still in preschool, but Winter Park does have classes, even for the ski bikes! They don’t have a ton of easy trails for beginners or people like me, who will forever only be on green trails, but they have enough to keep me happy and plenty of blues and blacks for more skilled skiers!
Click HERE to read all about our Colorado Spring Break Adventure!
Check out my pics below from our mid-May visit in 2022.
We spent the afternoon at Winter Park Ski Resort, which was still open even though it’s May! The Base Village trails and lifts were closed, and it was a ghost town, but they were still skiing up on Mary Jane, which was so much fun! Mostly locals this time of year, it wasn’t crazy busy, and warm enough that I could walk around in the snow in my teva sandals. There was a nice, friendly crowd by the fire pits with drinks in their hand, pups everywhere playing, and I think I’ve really found my skiing people. Today was the last day for the slopes to be open, so it was a nice party atmosphere.
Summer at Winter Park opens in a few weeks, with amazing hiking, mountain biking, an alpine slide and so much more, especially cooler weather so the parking lots are full of cars with Texas license plates!
Edited to add: Overnight it snowed a good amount, and they have announced they are keeping the slopes open another day! I guess you never know!
Winter Park Resort
85 Parsenn Rd., Winter Park, Colorado
Click HERE to visit their website.
Keep Having Fun in the Texas Sun!
Having Fun in the TEXAS Sun is on PINTEREST! Use it as a quick resource to find activities in different Texas towns! Click HERE!
©Having Fun in the Texas Sun, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Having Fun in the Texas Sun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.