Planning a Trip
By Car -- From Denver or other points east or west, take I-70 exit 232, at Empire, and climb 24 miles north on U.S. 40 over Berthoud Pass to Winter Park. U.S. 40 links Winter Park directly to Steamboat Springs, 101 miles northwest, and, via U.S. 34 (at Granby) through Rocky Mountain National Park, to Estes Park, 84 miles north.
By Plane -- Visitors fly into Denver International Airport and can continue to Winter Park with Home James Transportation Services (tel. 800/359-7503 or 970/726-4730; www.homejamestransportation.com); a one-way trip runs $60.
By Train -- Winter Park Resort is the only ski area in the western United States with rail service directly to the slopes. The dramatically scenic Winter Park Ski Train (tel. 303/296-4754; www.skitrain.com) has been making regular runs between Denver and Winter Park since 1940, stopping just 150 feet from the foot of the lifts. On its 2-hour run, the train climbs almost 4,000 feet and passes through 29 tunnels (including the 6 1/4-mile Moffat Tunnel). The train operates Saturdays and Sundays in December and January, plus Fridays in February and Thursdays in March, as well as Saturdays from late June to early August. Fees for coach seating are $49 for adults, $39 for seniors 62 and up and kids 3 to 13 (with an adult), and free for children 2 and younger. Rates for the upgraded club cars cost $74 per person and include a continental breakfast, après-ski snacks, and nonalcoholic beverages. Note: These are 2008 prices; 2009 could be higher because of increased fuel prices. Call for current information.
The Amtrak California Zephyr (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; www.amtrak.com) stops twice daily (once in each direction) in Fraser, 2 miles north of Winter Park, on its Chicago-West Coast run.
Main sources of visitor information are the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 3236, Winter Park, CO 80482 (tel. 800/903-7275 or 970/726-4118 for general information; www.playwinterpark.com), and the Winter Park Resort, P.O. Box 36, Winter Park, CO 80482 (tel. 866/722-5560 or 970/726-5514; www.skiwinterpark.com). The chamber of commerce's visitor center, on the east side of U.S. 40 in the center of town, is open year-round daily from 9am to 5pm.
U.S. 40 Winter Park Dr.) runs almost directly north-south through the community. Vasquez Road, one of the few side roads with accommodations, is the first major left turn as you arrive from the south. Two miles north on U.S. 40 is Fraser, site of the Amtrak terminal and several condominium developments. The Lift (tel. 970/726-4163), a free local shuttle service, runs between most accommodations and the ski area during the ski season, and from July 4th through Labor Day operates a free bus between Fraser and Winter Park. Car rentals are available from Hertz (tel. 970/726-8993).
The hospital, Seven Mile Medical Clinic, at 145 Parsenn Rd. in the Winter Park Resort (tel. 970/887-7470), can handle most medical emergencies (call for hours). The post office is in the heart of Winter Park at 78490 U.S. 40. For hours and other information, contact the U.S. Postal Service (tel. 800/275-8777; www.usps.com).
Fat Tire Classic mountain biking and hiking event, late June; Jazz Festival, mid-July; High Country Stampede Rodeo, Saturday nights from early July through August; Rocky Mountain Wine, Beer, and Food Festival, early August.