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Whether you are looking to make a day trip or to stay for a weekend, one of the quickest routes to Winter Park Resort might surprise you. Leave the car at home, be environmentally friendly, and still enjoy access to one of the best ski resorts in Colorado when you take the Winter Park Ski Train!

This iconic route has been in and out of service throughout the years, but it was recently brought back in 2017. It’s no surprise, considering the convenience of the trip—not to mention the fantastic views! Here’s everything you need to know about the Winter Park Ski Train.

The Winter Park Ski Train

The Winter Park Ski Train (also known as the Winter Park Express) runs between Denver Union Station directly to the base of Winter Park Resort in Colorado. This makes Winter Park Ski Resort the only ski resort in the country with direct rail access, which is convenient for a number of reasons.

It’s quicker, for one, and it also means you won’t have to battle traffic or the roads, instead making your journey to the resort stress-free and enjoyable. You won’t have to worry about arranging for rental cars, navigating road closures, or sitting in I70 traffic—you can sit back, relax, and enjoy the incredible scenery for the next two hours. You’ll also get to meet some of your fellow skiers as you enjoy the breathtaking views.

In 2019, the Winter Park Ski Train will be running from January 4th – March 31st. Between these dates, it will be available on Saturdays, Sundays, and the first two Fridays of each month. You can get tickets directly from Amtrak. Tickets are on sale now, starting at $29 each way—making the cost of the Winter Park Ski Train quite reasonable. These are early bird prices though, so don’t wait until costs increase to purchase your ticket!  

The Route

berthoud passIf you’re flying to the Denver International Airport or if you live in Denver, you can ride the rails all the way by taking the A-Line to Union Station, and then taking the Winter Park Express straight to Winter Park Resort! Leave the glitz of Denver Union Station behind as the Winter Park Ski Train whisks you towards your wintry destination.

The Winter Park Ski Train departs from Union Station at 7 a.m., meaning you can catch views of the sun rising over the expansive glittering landscapes. Along the way, you may see glimpses of wildlife among the snowy alpine trees. As the train climbs into the Rockies, you’ll marvel at the Flatirons that rise up around Boulder, as well as the plains that stretch away from their bases. Snowy walls of rock will rise up around you, and you’ll pass through several tunnels, including the historic Moffat Tunnel.  

If you want to visit Winter Park Resort during the week (or visit downtown Denver from Winter Park), the Amtrak California Zephyr runs from Denver to Fraser. From there, you can catch the local shuttle, which is completely free! You can see the shuttle’s schedule online or through the app, Lift Rider, which shows where the buses are at, so you know when to expect them at your stop. The app is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Be sure to check the California Zephyr’s schedule when you’re planning your trip, though—its entire route runs from Chicago to San Francisco, so you’ll want to take note of when it arrives and departs.

The History

As you glide by the stunning vistas, you’ll also be tracing ghosts of the past. The Winter Park Ski Train passes through several tunnels as it follows its route, including the famed Moffat Tunnel. The Moffat Tunnel opened for operation in 1928 and served as Denver’s first direct westerly route across the Continental Divide. Don’t hold your breath while you pass through the Moffat Tunnel though—it’s six miles long!

The original Winter Park Express ran from 1940 until 2009, when it closed due to issues related to cost. A celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Winter Park Ski Train demonstrated (through sold-out rides) that there was enough public interest to tentatively reopen the route, to the delight of Winter Park Resort-bound skiers.    

Enjoy the Winter Park Ski Train Every Winter

view of living room fo home for saleThe Winter Park area is famous for its skiing opportunities, and while you should certainly make time for that pastime during the winter, it isn’t the only thing there is to do here. There are all kinds of winter activities that make use of the steady snowfalls, ranging from dog sledding to scenic horseback rides and more. Of course, Winter Park is an excellent year-round destination, so it also offers an abundance of things to do during the summer.

Once you experience Winter Park, you just might not want to leave. Whether it’s the captivating natural beauty, the abundance of year-round activities, or charm of living in a small ski town, Real Estate of Winter Park is here to help! Are you looking for a second home or an investment property? Or maybe you want to buy land and build your home just how you want. Whatever your goal, we feature the most extensive listings of all Winter Park real estate and homes for sale, so you can be sure that you won’t miss out on what is available to you.

Be sure to take a look at all of our available listings, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have! We would love to help you find the luxury property of your dreams.