Winter Park crushed this contest. Credit that popular vote win to both the 1,000 souls who call this mountain hideaway home, and weekend warriors and loyal fans who come back throughout the year (and wish they lived here full time). Surrounded by over 765,000 acres of public lands, Winter Park is an adventure basecamp—and you don’t have to brave the soul-sucking, slow drive through Eisenhower Tunnel traffic to reach it. Of course, the beloved ski, snowboard and downhill mountain bike resort stands out as the crown jewel here, but you can find any adventure you seek surrounding the mountain, too. Fly fishing, backcountry touring, Nordic schussing, trail running, sport climbing, backcountry huts—that ability to access easy adventure made Winter Park a big winner in the eyes of our readers.
Can’t Miss: Winter Park has trademarked the moniker Mountain Bike Capital USA for good reason: There’s 600 miles of trail and Trestle Bike Park serves downhillers. Come winter, there’s 3,060 feet of vertical drop (1,766 at sister hill and experts’ fave Mary Jane), with some of the best tree skiing in the state. Want to eschew the lifts for lungpower? Berthoud Pass and Jones Pass hold backcountry powder just a short drive from downtown Denver. Or book a trip with Powder Addiction Cat Skiing (powderaddiction.com) to smugly repeat untracked run after untracked run. Come summer, set up at St. Louis Creek Campground and explore the trail system on fat tires. There’s cragging outside Tabernash at Hurd Creek and easy-to-access fly fishing on the Fraser River or via a short hike in on the Williams Fork. Hire a guide with Winter Park Flyfisher (fraserflyshop.com). Not to mention, the town is festival central and just opened the lovely, new Hideaway Park Stage venue.
What’s New: The resort is embracing ski culture and hosting an Uphill Ski Mountaineering Race and Demo Weekend in February.
Enjoy It: Just in time for ski season, Crazy Mountain Brewery will open in the middle of Winter Park Village with craft concotions and food. If you’re looking for cocktails, stumble over to Idlewild Spirits Distillery.
Inside Info: Want to commune with your inner viking? Don’t miss the annual Tommelfest Nordic Ski Festival on December 9 at Devil’s Thumb Ranch just outside of town. The revelry includes free lessons, keg tossing, glog and similar activites that get Nordic hearts pumping.
Article Source: elevationoutdoors.com