Whether on their own or with family and friends in tow, jumping aboard the Amtrak Winter Park Express at Denver’s Union Station is a great way to access the full range of Winter Park Resort’s cold weather facilities. The journey takes about two hours, trading driving and highway slow-downs for a comfortable and carefree ride to world-class trails expertly carved from more than 3,000 acres along the Continental Divide.
Beginning in January 2019, the Amtrak Winter Park Express trains will again depart Denver’s Union Station at 7 a.m. and arrive at the resort at about 9 a.m. Passengers spending the day can book a return on the 4:30 p.m. train that pulls into Union Station at about 6:40 p.m. or extend their stay for a weekend or an even longer visit.
Regional Transportation District commuter trains run from Denver International Airport to Union Station, providing convenient transfers from the airport to downtown Denver for out-of-towners. Light rail, local and intercity buses, as well as ride-sharing services and taxis, also serve the station.
This season, the Express service has been expanded to include the first two Fridays each month (Jan. 4 and 11, Feb. 1 and 8 and March 1 and 8), plus weekends from Jan. 4 through March 3. The Amtrak-Winter Park Resort partnership will offer fares starting at $29 each way on these selected trips. When accompanied by a ticketed adult, one little adventurer—age 2 to12—travels for half price.
“With over 30,000 tickets sold in the last two years, the astounding popularity of the Amtrak Winter Park Express just continues to grow, and we’re excited to add in more trips and more amenities for year three,” says Steve Hurlbert, spokesman for Winter Park Resort. “The train is the only alternative to sitting in I-70 congestion, and we’re thrilled to be working with our partners at Amtrak, Union Pacific, RTD and BNSF railroad to continue to bring this iconic service, the only one of its kind in North America, to Colorado,” he adds.
As the Amtrak Winter Park Express begins its climb through the Rockies to the longest continuously-operated ski resort in Colorado, passengers enjoy up-close views of pine forests dusted white with snow. Winding through tunnel after tunnel and eventually passing through the historic, 6.2-mile-long Moffat Tunnel, which opened in 1928, the train continuously re-emerges to stunning vistas of nearby valleys and summits stretching toward Winter Park, where snowfall exceeds an impressive 325 inches annually.
Upon arrival, travelers step from the train onto a heated platform. The slopes are only steps away. Relaxed and ready to traverse the seemingly endless runs rated to every level of difficulty from easy to expert, skiers and boarders alike will become acquainted with Winter Park’s newest additions covered by a $30 million capital investment in improvements.
One of the most exciting amenities is the replacement of the Zephyr Chair Lift with a 10-person gondola designed to reduce waiting time and increase mountain time by moving people to the top of the hill in just five minutes. Upgraded snowmaking pipes and guns, which triple capacity, have been installed. This add-on is an infrastructure update to ensure higher-quality snow days throughout the winter, as well as enhance early access and extend spring skiing.
The Village Plaza has been redesigned and is the new meeting place for break time, visiting, snacking and planning the next maneuvers up and down the mountain. It’s also the perfect après ski spot for skiers to wrap their hands around a cup of something hot or reviving and claim a chair from the old Timberline Chair Lift while warming up in front of the fire pit.
Whether it’s been a big-mountain ski/boarding challenge or a laid-back, stop-and-take-in-the-views day on the slopes, when it’s time to pack it in, the ride back to Denver via the Amtrak Winter Park Express calls for settling in rather than having to start and stop all the way back down the mountain. Passengers can ease back in their seats and savor the last rays of sun, stress-free and satisfied.
Remember tickets go fast, and this is a ticket to ride that no one will want to miss out on.
To purchase tickets on the Amtrak Winter Park Express, visit Amtrak.com/winterparkexpress
Ikon or Winter Park passes and resort information are available at winterparkresort.com and by dialing 888-923-7275.
Call 800-USA-1GRP to book a group travel train/ski package, including lodging.
Other helpful numbers:
Winter Park Resort
Winter Park Resort Reservations & Guest Services
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