6 Reasons to Explore Winter Park, Colorado
1. It's a Skier's Paradise
"We typically get between 300 to 400 inches of snow a year," says Dennis R. Saffell, owner of New Frontier Construction. The Bridger's Cache development where HGTV Dream Home 2007 is located is at the base of the Mary Jane / Winter Park / Vasquez ski mountain, at about 9,100 feet above sea level. Dennis says residents of the 20-unit community can literally strap on their skis and head out their front door, catch a lift to the top of the slopes and then ski back to the house when they're done.
2. There's Much More Than Skiing
The Winter Park area offers year-round outdoor activities. "There's more than snow," Dennis says. "In the summer we're the mountain bike capitol of the United States, with over 600 miles of designated trails. It's a great summer resort." He says the area is home to several mountain bike races, including the King of the Rockies event held each August.
There's also more water than in any other county in Colorado. Three major lakes form the headwaters of several rivers, including the Colorado River. "And we're the west entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, the 'Southern Yellowstone,'" Dennis says.
And of course there's golf, with four courses located in the Winter Park area.
3. Get Away From It All
"We're surrounded by over a million acres of the Arapaho National Forest," says Dennis. "The Fraser River Valley is isolated and protected on two sides by the Continental Divide."
4. But Not That Far Away
Sure you're isolated, but also within a short drive to the 20th largest metropolitan area in America. Dennis says Winter Park is the closest major ski resort to Denver. "It's just 68 miles to Denver, but in its own protected world. It's close to a major metropolitan area, but very secluded."
5. Enjoy Breathtaking Views
The front rooms of HGTV's Dream Home 2007 all feature views of the Berthoud Pass on the Continental Divide. Also known as the Great Divide, it's a range of mountains running from Seward Peninsula in Alaska, through the Rocky Mountains and Mexico's Sierra Madra Oriental all the way to the tip of South America. The divide separates the watersheds of the Pacific Ocean and Atlantic Oceans. Rain falling east of the Great Divide eventually winds up in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Oceans. Rain falling on the other side runs into the Pacific.
Berthoud Pass is an 11,315-foot mountain pass in the Rocky Mountains named for Edward L. Berthoud, a railroad surveyor who mapped the pass in the 1870s. Berthoud was accompanied by famed explorer Jim Bridger, and the Bridger's Cache development where the HGTV Dream Home is located got its name from the fact Bridger would store supplies in the area. Today Berthoud's Pass is a popular destination for backcountry skiers because of it's abundance of challenging terrain and plentiful snowfall.
6. It's Family Friendly
Dennis says the Winter Park area is a favorite destination for Colorado families and offers a more down-to-earth atmosphere than some other celebrity filled ski spots. "There's no place to buy a fur coat in Winter Park."