The Ski Train - Denver
|Many skiers who visit Colorado prefer the slopes of Aspen, Vail or Breckenridge. |
But there's a cool little day trip from Denver that I personaly recommend,
which often gets overlooked by out-of-towners.
The Ski Train is a 68-year-old local favorite that shuttles about 750 people between Denver and Winter Park.
It runs on weekend days -- leaving Denver's Union Station at 7:15 a.m. -- and begins the return leg nine hours later.The 56-mile trip takes about two hours each way, and many riders say it's worth the cost to avoid the traffic hassles of the oft-congested I-70.A roundtrip ticket costs between $49 and $85. There are additional expenses, such as parking at the train station in Denver and lift tickets for skiers.
|If you choose to shop instead of ski, a free shuttle into Winter Park is available.I really loved the trip route, which winds through the Rockies and climbs to 9,000 feet.|
It also travels through almost 30 tunnels, including the 6.2-mile Moffat Tunnel, which passes underneath the Continental Divide.The train ride up there is spectacular.
|You see wonderful vistas as you leave Denver through the northern plains and into the mountains, and once you get through the Moffat Tunnel, you're right there at Winter Park. I enjoyed my voyage on the train, loved the convenience, We relaxed, talked, socialized. And when you get off the train,|
you are right there at the slopes. The cars are comfortably heated and there is ample room to move around.
My friend Jess, an amateur photography buff, enjoyed switching from window to window, side to side, to take pictures. There is one occasional hitch to riding the train.
It shares the track with the Union Pacific Railroad and at times has to or pullover
to make way for a freight train or Amtrak.
|One time a coal train derailed in a tunnel and the Union Pacific officials told the Ski Train operators it would take two days to clear the tracks.They called us together in a cafeteria in Winter Park and advised us to call out friends and family to come pick us up. The company also arranged for a few buses to come gather the remaining passengers and they were all headed back to Denver by 8:30 p.m.Unfortunatley It was a very bad experience, But it also was a worst-case scenario, and it only happened once, in the train life !|
Sometimes there are delays of few hours, the bad news is you're delayed; the good news is you're on a full service train with food service and restrooms.
And there's the ability to find a beverage. Another great thing is that once you get back into Denver you can hit Wynkoop brewery or any other bars around there to keep the party rolling..
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