Visitors come to Winter Park  to be active in some form or another, mostly in the winter when it gets crowded on the mountain but also in the summer when snowshoe trails become perfect for hikers and mountain bikers.
Winter Park is best known for Mary Jane, which is actually made up of three mountains: Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque, and Mary Jane. Each mountain has its own reputation: Mary Jane is all about the bumps or moguls; Vasquez Cirque has backcountry conditions and super steep runs; and Parsenn Bowl tops out at over 12,000 feet with tree runs and open space all the way down the mountain.
In 2007, Mary Jane (named after a onetime madam who lived and worked in a nearby town) got a new triple chairlift and seven new runs. The other mountains at Winter Park are Vasquez Ridge and Winter Park. The resort’s 300-plus inches of snow each winter are enhanced thanks to snowmaking machines, and an opening before Thanksgiving is practically guaranteed.
For those not quite ready for the four-plus-mile runs of Mary Jane or even the gentler runs of Vasquez Ridge, there is ski school for children and adults along with equipment rentals.
The National Sports Center for the Disabled (www.nscd.org ) is based at the Winter Park Ski Resort , where anyone with a disability can participate in therapeutic recreation programs from skiing to golf.
Snowshoeing is a winter activity that attracts more people every year given its no-skill-needed appeal and the low cost of necessary gear and equipment. Just across Highway 40 from the resort is the Bonfils-Stanton Nature Trail, which is an easy hike in winter or summer and partially wheelchair accessible.
Come summertime, Winter Park Resort has turned itself into a destination for anglers, golfers, and mountain bikers. Start with Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide (800/729-7907, www.skiwinterpark.com , summer daily summer 10 a.m.–5 p.m.), where a chairlift brings people up to the top and plastic sleds with wheels whirl them 3,000 feet down a 610-foot vertical drop.
The Trestle Bike Park (970/726-1675, www.trestlebikepark.com ) is a good place for novice mountain bikers to start. Equipment rental, lessons, and clinics are all available, but it can get expensive with the added cost of lift tickets. There are hundreds of miles of mountain bike trails in the area that are mostly free to use. Download a free copy of the Mountain Bike and Trail Guide at www.winterparkguide.com .
Pole Creek Golf Club (6827 County Rd. 51, 970/887-9195, www.polecreekgolf.com ) has 27 holes total in three nine-hole courses accented with great views of the surrounding mountains.
To find out more about fishing, horseback riding, rafting, and more outdoor activities in the Winter Park  area year-round, visit www.grand-county.com  or www.winterpark-info.com  to request a free visitors guide.