We’ve always been fond of Winter Park and its skiing, and we’re not just saying that because its location gets us off I-70 early on in our skiing commute. From the bump runs to the park to the trees, Winter Park has skiing terrain for everyone, whether you’re an absolute shredder or trying to ski for the first time. Here’s a quick guide, in addition to some cool places to see nearby.


Winter Park and Mary Jane

Are you like us? Have you spent the entirety of your residency in Colorado wondering what the difference between Winter Park and Mary Jane was? The answer, as it turns out, isn’t as complicated as our stoned brains thought when we first moved here. 

Mary Jane could technically be considered a separate area from Winter Park, as it has its own base area and takes some finagling to get to from Winter Park’s base area. However, Mary Jane isn’t a separate ski resort or anything, it’s just an additional territory or section that made the resort even bigger. A Winter Park lift ticket will get you access to both areas, though we would encourage beginners to stay closer to the Winter Park section.


Winter Park in its entirety offers just over 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, more than 150 runs, and 23 chair lifts for your adventuring pleasure.


If you’re comfortable skiing in trees, we’d tell you that our favorite run on the mountain is “almost any section of trees found around Mary Jane.”

Additionally, there’s a tree with a large assortment of skulls hanging off of it around where Medicine Man drops into Upper Egress, and the last time that we came upon it, we nearly shat a brick wondering what kind of black magic was happening out in the backcountry. If you find yourself in the area, it may be worth looking for.


See the Historical Battlefield Involving Marvin Heemeyer’s Killdozer in Granby

It wouldn’t be a travel piece for Winter Park if we didn’t mention our favorite section of Grand County history. 

Way back in the day (like 2004), a man named Marvin Heemeyer spent several years outfitting a ridiculously large bulldozer with titanium sheets and concrete after a long battle with bureaucracy, planning commissions, and politics. On June 4, he unleashed his homemade tank onto the city of Granby, causing more than $7 million in damages to various establishments that were downtown, including the town hall and the home of the former mayor.

Defendants of Heeymeyer would point out that the term “Killdozer” is a bit of a misnomer, as the only person that Heemeyer killed that day was himself after his machine got stuck. Furthermore, the people of Granby appear to regard it as a black spot on the town’s record, or at least that’s the way it seemed the last time we were in town and asking people about it. 

Granby scrapped the bulldozer less than a year after the incident, bringing multiple sections of the machine to various locations to prevent people from taking souvenirs.

The town tried its best to repair all the damage that Heemeyer created that day, but if you roll into town and know where to look, you can still see evidence of the incident through the various mismatching foundations seen throughout town.


It’s an eerie feeling to get out of your car and to think about the events that occurred that day. You can almost taste the ghost of a man who believed himself to be on a mission from God and who had met his wit’s end when it came to zoning laws and property disputes. In a country where everything can appear to be rigged against the little guy, one could even attempt to empathize with Heemeyer and resonate with some of the last words he wrote: “Sometimes, reasonable men must do unreasonable things.”


Stop By The Pink Pig Near St. Mary’s Glacier

Pink Pig Rock is exactly what it sounds like: it’s a giant boulder that’s been painted to look like a pink pig. Technically, this one is on the way up to St. Mary’s Glacier, but it’s close enough that we figured we’d give it a mention. As a kid we used to stop by and take pictures atop the pig, and we would get so excited, which means that if you’re wondering why something like this is mentioned in our Winter Park Ski Guide, you’ve probably lost your child-like sense of wonder.


In fact, it usually wasn’t even the sight of the Pink Pig that got us so excited in the first place, but rather the mystery behind it. Who saw this rock, and chose to dedicate their time to painting it to look like a pig? Did the many trips to the hardware store and the artistic process that this piece required fulfill this artist? Did this person lay on their deathbed and go on a long-winded diatribe about how they wished they’d painted more farmyard animals on to rocks? Do they consider this their magnum opus, their ultimate work of art that they’ve ever created? We choose to let the mystery be, because thinking about the many mysteries revolving around the Pink Pig is often what helps us to get to sleep at night.


Stay at the Broome Hut in Winter Park’s Backcountry

If you’re serious about skiing, we don’t think there’s a better spot to stay in the Winter Park vicinity than Broome Hut. This is a ski hut owned by the Grand Huts Association that’s rented out in the winter months to extreme powder hounds. It’s located about a mile away from where you park your car, but that mile involves around 800 feet of elevation gain and multiple sections of avalanche terrain, so please, for the love of God, know what the fuck you’re doing.

The hut has a capacity of 16 people and comes complete with a pellet stove and plenty of pots and pans for melting snow into drinking water.

If you thought that was primitive, we’ll have you know that the hut’s kitchen has a French press, and the place even comes furnished with some guitars so that you can annoy all of your friends by playing the same four chords used in the intro to “Wonderwall.”

It’s $50 a person per night, which isn’t too shabby if you like to party in the backcountry and rip killer lines all day.

If this is far from up your alley, we’d recommend a nice plan B: find the cheapest hotel or motel you can find. YMCA of the Rockies has the Snow Mountain Ranch which is near Granby, and there’s always the Winter Park Mountain Lodge if you want to be a little closer to the action.