Winter Park and The Fraser Valley is a popular resort area in the Rocky Mountains. Because it’s located right by the Continental Divide, this means great snow in the winter and incredible weather in the summer. If you’re looking for challenging ski terrain, unique winter activities like snowcat trips or hot air balloon tours, or great dining and nightlife, Winter Park has it covered.

Where to Ski or Snowboard

Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort (Photo Credit)
Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort (Photo Credit)

Winter Park is Colorado’s longest continuously running ski resort and the closest to the city, located only 67 miles west of Denver. Featuring 3,081 acres of skiable terrain over seven territories, 150 trails, 20 lifts and an average of 320 inches of annual snowfall, it’s no wonder that many Denver locals love to call it their own.

If you’re a beginner, check out Winter Park Territory on the front face of the mountain which offers long groomers and is home to the Ski + Ride School. Vasquez Ridge offers more intermediate terrain with great powder stashes, while Parsenn Bowl features incredible 360 degree views with intermediate runs in open bowls that feed into beautiful glades. For those who are looking to hone a few tricks, check out Terrain Park Territory, complete with a superpipe and over 60 features (rails, jumps, etc.) The legendary Mary Jane area of mountain offers blues for those looking to push themselves, but is most popular for its mogels and tree skiing. Finally, the most challenging terrain can be found in the trees and side-country terrain in Eagle Wind, as well as in the 399 acres of double-black backcountry skiing in The Cirque.

Adult tickets typically run around $144/day (children are $84/day), but keep an eye out for discounts which take place frequently on their website, especially if you book a week or more in advance. Although leaving early from the city is always encouraged, Winter Park is the closest resort outside of the city which means that you’ll miss most of the (often) bad traffic on I-70 that comes hand in hand with a visit to a resort in Summit County, Vail or Aspen.

Where to Buy Marijuana

Winter Park is located about 30 miles north of I-70, on US-40 W. If you’re looking to buy some green before arriving, be sure to swing by the three dispensaries in Idaho Springs, two in Dumont and one in Empire or continue north pass the park to Fraser where you’ll find three more dispensaries to choose from.

  • Mountain Medicinals Wellness Center (Idaho Springs, CO)

    Mountain Medicinals offers both recreational and medical marijuana at prices to fit any budget. Their team can help you get registered as a MMJ patient, find the right products for your specific needs and even give you tips about growing.

  • The Kine Mine (Idaho Springs, CO)

    A smaller shop than it’s competitors, The Kine Mine offers great flower, glass paraphernalia options and expert help from its friendly budtenders. Visitors say this shop tends to have slightly higher priced bud, but premium options nonetheless.

  • The Spring (Idaho Springs, CO)

    The last of three recreational dispensaries in Idaho Springs, the Spring is a Strainwise dispensary (with several other locations across the state). Located in a small converted house, they offer a smaller variety of strains and edibles.

  • Mind, Body, Spirit (Dumont, CO)

    You can find the Mind, Body, Spirit mobile home conveniently off of I-70. Although it offers a smaller selection of flower and edibles, the budtenders work hard to make sure you find the best products for you.

  • The Highway (Dumont, CO)

    This small shop offers true chill, mountain vibes with limited flower and edible options. Having said that, it does have more affordable prices than its competitors, which is a plus.

  • Growhouse (Fraser, CO)

    Located 4 miles north of Winter Park, Growhouse offers a great vibe with an open space, complete with a small waiting area. Check out their great choice of edibles on top of some great service.

  • Serene Wellness (Empire, CO)

    This shop is located in the historical, small town of Empire. Although they offer 15-17 strains, they are all organically grown and hand-trimmed. Be sure to check out their wide selection of concentrates, edibles and local glass paraphernalia.

Growhouse Dispensary Growhouse Dispensary
Growhouse Dispensary Growhouse Dispensary

Where to Stay

There aren’t many 420-friendly lodging options along I-70 and US-40, however you will find three marijuana friendly options in Winter Park including two mountain lodges and a motel. Be sure to check them out to confirm their marijuana policies and general availability.

Additional Hotel Options:

Where to Find Après Ski

  • Club Car

    (Bistro, Price $10-$20) – Great happy hour deals with a outdoor deck, all at the base of Mary Jane (on-mountain).
  • Randi’s Grill and Pub

    (Irish Pub, Price $10-$30) – Try their delicious pub fare like Shepherd’s Pie and stuffed meatloaf, then grab a beer and relax.
  • Moffat Station

    (Brewery, Price $10-$20) – Awesome ambiance located in the Winter Park Mountain Lodge. They offer a large selection of microbrews, lagers, stouts and ales (as well as good bar food).
  • Deno’s Mountain Bistro

    (Bistro, Price $20-$40) – Located in downtown Winter Park, this restaurant features great happy hour specials and great food.

Where to Eat

  • Goodys Mountain Creperie

    (Breakfast, Price $10-$15) – Head here for all day breakfast options, including their very popular sweet or savory crepes.
  • Fontenot’s Fresh Seafood & Grill

    (Cajun, Price $20-$40) – Know for it’s fresh selection of seafood and meat entrees like their signature gumbo, chicken roulade and chicken fried steak.
  • Hernando’s Pizza Pub

    (Pizzeria, Price $10-$15) – Casual, family-friendly atmosphere with homemade pizzas, Stromboli and pasta dishes.
  • Pepe Osaka’s Fishtaco

    (Mexican, Price $10-$20) – Try the Naha fish or Ahi tuna ceviche tacos, then add a house margarita for one awesome meal.

What to Do

  • Snowmobiling/Snow Scoots

    Check out the top of the Continental Divide via snowmobiles or take a ride along the many trails between Winter Park and Fraser. For the younger ones who want to join in, snow scoot rentals are also available.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides

    Although the ride might be a bit brisk, taking a hot air balloon ride with Grand Adventure Balloon Tours is a once in a lifetime opportunity to take in views of the Rockies that you’ve never seen before.
  • Fat Biking

    Jump on a heavy-duty bike with wheels made to tackle snow-packed trails. With countless miles to explore, you’ll get some exercise and see truly beautiful terrain. Rent your own for about $40-$65/day.
  • Museums & Historical Tours

    If you’re tired of skiing, take a day to explore all that the town of Winter Park has to offer. This includes checking out the Cozens Ranch Museum & Gift Shop, as well as the Pioneer Village Museum to learn about the old west. Admission for each is $5.
Snowmobiling in Winter ParkSnowmobiling in Winter Park (Photo Credit)
Snowmobiling in Winter Park Snowmobiling in Winter Park (Photo Credit)

Other Travel Guides