Make no mistake about it: being nestled against the Continental Divide has its advantages — like unbelievable amounts of snow. What to do with all that powder? Well, ski and snowboard of course.
Grand County is home to two of Colorado's favorite ski resorts. Near Berthoud Pass lies the massive Winter Park Resort, which includes the mountains of Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque and Vasquez Ridge. Further north and down the valley, the intimate Ski Granby Ranch covers two mountains and is never crowded.
We've gathered together our favorite ski and snowboarding trails at the two resorts, from the best beginner slopes to iconic black-diamond runs that will fire up your adrenaline.
- Lonesome Whistle, Winter Park – For beginners, practice makes perfect, and Lonesome Whistle, which feeds into several other green runs and is served by the High Lonesome Express Lift, is ideal.
- Prairie Dog to Jackalope, Granby Ranch – Down the valley at Granby Ranch, beginners love to cruise this combination of runs which descend the entire length of East Mountain.
- Butch's Breezeway, Winter Park – The perfect warm-up run at Winter Park, Butch's Breezeway offers some of the mountain's best groomed conditions. Stretch your legs as often as you want — the Prospector Express takes you right back to its beginning.
- Forget-Me-Not to Edelweiss to Bluebell, Parsenn's Bowl & Mary Jane – Starting at 12,000 feet above sea level, this run begins with breathtaking views of the Continental Divide from atop Parsenn's Bowl, then cuts through beautiful glades and the fun cruisers of Edelweiss and Bluebell.
- Sundance to Buckaroo, Vasquez Ridge – Vasquez Ridge is often overlooked at Winter Park, which is advantageous for skiers seeking solitude and perfect groomed conditions on these two runs.
- Ghost Rider, Granby Ranch – In recent years, this intermediate run — which races from top to bottom of Granby Ranch's East Mountain — has earned a sterling reputation for entry-level moguls.
- Narrow Gauge-Mary Jane, Winter Park – Kick it up a notch with the burly bumps of Narrow Gauge, a short but beautiful run that feeds into Mary Jane, one of Winter Park-Mary Jane's top rated cruiser runs.
- South Forty, Granby Ranch – On big powder days, few places in Colorado have a better secret stash than this expert run on Granby Ranch's West Mountain.
- Derailer to Long Haul, Mary Jane – Mary Jane has become world famous for its bumps, and while Outhouse gets much of the attention, these two runs are sublime, and preferred by mogul hounds in-the-know.
- Trestle, Mary Jane – The iconic black-diamond run of Mary Jane, Trestle delights experts because of its variety. Pitch changes, moguls, pockets of powder — pick a different line each time and you'll never get bored.
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