Welcome to Resort Touring Heaven at Winter Park

Winter Park just might be Colorado’s best resort for in-bounds ski touring.

Jesse Weber

Images

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by WinterParkResort.com

Creative Commons: Attribution

Description

At most ski resorts, uphill travel means pre-dawn skinning by headlamp on an icy piste, trudging in bleary haste to get one more lap before the lifts open. Not so at Winter Park. At this beloved Colorado mountain, uphill access is not restricted to after-hours, and not confined to designated runs. Unlike most resorts, which seem to merely tolerate uphill travel, Winter Park practically encourages it. Uphill is allowed all day and on most trails of the resort’s front side. Uphillers must, of course, observe the policies and respect any trail closures, but at Winter Park, you can always find something of quality for in-bounds touring. This Front Range resort is already well known for its expansive terrain, deep snowfalls, and small-town vibes, but generous uphill access is one more reason to ski here if you like to earn your turns.

To get uphill at Winter Park, the first step is to secure a pass and armband. These are quite affordable, and the money goes to local search and rescue. You can get the pass and read the rules on Winter Park’s uphill policy webpage. Next, you need only decide what to ski. With so many trails to choose from, it helps to have a plan. That’s where this guidebook comes in. The map shows our recommendations for uphill routes as well as some of the best ski descents within the resort.

For an introductory tour on green terrain, you might skin up Village Way from the main Winter Park base area. Take it just up the first hill to Gemini Express lift, or go all the way to the top of Prospector to explore more of the mountain. For a tougher tour in this territory of the resort, go up Hughes instead, which traces a panoramic ridge to blue and black runs for the descent.

Experienced skiers may want to head straight for Mary Jane territory, where Mary Jane and Sleeper trails make fairly direct paths to advanced terrain, and can access other territories of the resort as well. For a longer tour with a backwoods feel, you could extend into Parsenn Bowl via Corona Way or upper Village Way. The formidable Cirque territory on Winter Park’s backside can even be reached if you’re very determined, but this zone is often off-limits for avalanche control and will commit you to a very long route unless you have a lift ticket.

No matter what kind of experience you seek, from a quick morning workout to an all-day ski tour, Winter Park has the terrain and the access to make it possible. Keep in mind that what’s open for uphill will depend on the day that you’re there, so you can use this map to navigate if plans need to change. Tap on the different routes for more information, but remember there are nearly endless possibilities at this sprawling resort. The final step is to get out there, earn some turns, and find your own favorite ski tour at Winter Park.

Adventures

Village Way Uphill

Easy uphill route at Winter Park, taking green and blue trails to the top of Prospector lift.

Hughes Uphill

A go-to uphill route with variations for difficulty, and good options for the downhill as well.

Sleeper Uphill

The skinning route for black diamond runs in Winter Park's Mary Jane Territory.

Mary Jane Uphill

Skin up from Mary Jane base to unlock lots of terrain for resort ski touring.

Cranmer

A classic wide ski run with a perfect pitch - great for carving

Larry Sale

A steep groomed blue that ends in the middle of the base

Lower Hughes

A steep groomer right in front of the resort base

Balch

A steep black-diamond mogul run off of Hughes

Retta's Run

A steep, perfectly pitched mogul run under the Eskimo Lift

Village Way

A long groomer that starts at the top of Parsenn Bowl and goes to the base of Winter Park

Hughes

A long, blue-black groomed run - perfect for carving the steeps!

Outhouse

A short but intense, steep bump run that goes from the top of Winter Park directly to the base of Mary Jane

Sundance

Sundance is a groomed blue that leads from the top of Pioneer Express Lift and drops into Big Valley.

Buckaroo

A mellow blue groomer to carry you through Vasquez.

Corridor

An easy green that takes you from Mary Jane to Winter Park with some flats at the end

Mary Jane

A long, intermediate groomer that is more challenging on its top half

Railbender

The main black bump run off C-Lift that leads to many other bumps runs

Trestle

A long, expert bump run that branches left off Roundhouse

Rollins Ridge

An ungroomed blue tree run at the top of Mary Jane Mountain

Larkspur

A steep blue-black run that takes you down the steep face of Parsenn Bowl

Forget-Me-Not

A blue groomer from the top of Panoramic Lift with a steep section in the bowl

Forever Eva

A great introduction to tree skiing and riding for the novice

Sky Pilot

A high-alpine backcountry experience even an intermediate can handle!

West Headwall

The second chute of the Cirque - very extreme terrain!

South Basin

The mostly open trail under south Headwall that leads out of the Cirque

Thunderbird

A long, gladed black bump run that crosses under Eagle Wind Lift

Upper Egress

A narrow traverse that brings you back to the base of Eagle Wind Lift