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Winter Park Ski Train Returns As Convenient Alternative To Driving

Ski-Train-At-WP The Winter Park Express train is back in service, bringing skiers and riders to Winter Park Resort in a traffic-free two hours. (Winter Park Express/Facebook) (

Traffic and parking have been hot topics this busy ski and snowboard season, but one way to avoid all that is to hop aboard the Winter Park Express train.

After a Covid hiatus last season, the "ski train" returns in its eighth decade of service along the trans-mountain Amtrak route. More than ever, the Express is seen as amajor transportation option for skiers and riders heading up to the slopes of Winter Park.

Running Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through April 3, the railcars take skiers and riders from downtown Denver to within walking distance of the chairlifts at Winter Park. Ski train railcars hitch a ride on the transcontinental Amtrak California Zephyr on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

For $29 one way -- one child rides for half price -- skiers and riders take a two-hour ride of 56 miles, 49 tunnels, and a rise of 4,000 feet in order to get to Winter Park --- just in time for the first chair.

In the morning, the ski train departs Denver's Union Station at 7 a.m. Seating is limited to about 500, so online reservations are highly recommended. The return trip, which also requires a one-way ticket, picks up skiers and snowboarders at 4:30 p.m. -- a half-hour after the lifts close -- and drops them off in Denver at 6:40 p.m.

Skiers and 'boarders can customize their train trip over any number of days. For instance, they can ride up on a Friday, book a week's stay at Winter Park, and take the return trip any day the train returns to Denver.

On top of that, the Amtrak California Zephyr runs daily on that route with a stop in Frasier, where skiers and riders can take a free shuttle to the slopes.

For those flying into Denver International Airport, grab your luggage and gear, and hop on the A Train into Union Station.

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