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Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Cheshire, UK
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8 posts
6 reviews
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Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Hi everyone

We are 2 families from the UK, 7 in total, travelling from Denver to Winter Park 27th December in an 8-seater. Are we likely to need tyre chains, or are the roads usually cleared?

Thanks in advance for any advice :-)

jdk
Denver, Colorado
4 posts
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1. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

You must have snow tires or all-season radial tires rated for Mud and Snow (M+S). Do recommend 4-wheel drive if you are renting. You can check road conditions on www.cotrip.org, select Road Conditions. You will be driving I70 through Mt. Vernon Canyon and Idaho Springs. From I70 you take US40 to Winter Park over Berthoud Pass. The road from Denver to Winter Park is well maintained, i.e. plowed continuously. Expect the road to be snow packed over Berthoud Pass. Berthoud Pass is well traveled. Conditions can change quickly so call 303-639-1111 before you depart Denver to get latest road conditions. Be patient when driving over the pass you will get to Winter Park safely. Traffic can build up on both I70 and Berthoud Pass so allow plenty of travel time. Occasionally they close Berthoud Pass due to weather conditions, so monitor the forecast. Note: DO NOT speed in Empire.

Cheshire, UK
13 posts
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2. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Thanks jdk, that's really useful information.

Kentucky
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2,193 posts
57 reviews
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3. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Mazbazz,

We drove to Winter Park from Denver last January- our first trip to CO for skiing. We rented an SUV.

It had just snowed in Denver the night before we came (maybe a few inches). I70 was clear the whole way, though there was a good bit of traffic.

The Berthound Pass had a decent amount of traffic as well, and was snow-covered. I was surprised at the condition of the road, but we found out that it had snowed 12" the night before. Snow was piled so high on the sides of the roads that you could not see over the piles! - and some road signs were even obscured by the deep snow piles. And you will see a lot of skiers/boarders trying to hitch a ride back to their car, or whatever.

Winter Park and Fraser towns were both DEEP in snow and I have never seen such snow piles! We migth have been okay with a car, but I am glad we didn't chance it and had a 4wd.

My advice would be to just drive slowly and carefully and everything will be great! Have a great time!

Cheshire, UK
13 posts
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4. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Wow! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for the advice - I know we'll have a great time!

Cheshire, UK
13 posts
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5. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

We have now returned form Winter Park and had a great time. It snowed...and snowed...and we appreciated all the advice given to us about driving conditions. You may have heard about the avalanche on Berthoud Pass last weekend - we were an hour ahead of it, so lucky us, we made it to the airport in one piece, but bad luck for the cars caught up in it - I hope those people involved are recovering well.

Thanks again for the advice.

Kentucky
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2,193 posts
57 reviews
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6. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Glad you had a good time Mazbazz! Wow- that was very close to the avalanche! It is a miracle that no one was injured worse.

We are booked to leave for Winter Park January 20-24. Our work could interfere and we may have to cancel, but I have my fingers crossed.

So, lots of snow, huh?

Tell us where you stayed, any restaurants you liked, etc.?

Cheshire, UK
13 posts
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7. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Hi Roxian - hope you get to ski as planned!

We stayed at Sawmill Station in a 3 bed/3 bath townhouse. Maybe too big for your needs?? but for future ref, we were impressed with the quality of the place and I have placed a review with Tripadvisor just a day or so ago. Sawmill is on the shuttle link so it 's easy to get about for those without there own transport. Dining out - we went to as many restaurants as we could fit in, including Carlos and Maria's, the Hong Kong Chinese restaurant, Untamed Steak House, Randi's and Mama Falzitto's (may have mis-spelled ) all of which came out on top for consistently hot food and good service during a busy time of year. I also recommend Rudi's deli for great take out. The only restaurant I personally could not recommend was the Green Olive Italian restaurant, situated in Cooper Creek Sq. Of the 7 of us who dined there, 4 of us had meals that were way below standard e.g cold food, or overcooked (chicken) or undercooked (pasta - way before the 'al dente' stage!). That said, things go wrong sometimes, but it was more the attitude of the management that bothered us, almost as if we should accept such poor standards on their 'busiest day'. They eventually refunded the cost of one meal.

That was a small disappointment in an otherwise great holiday.

If you want any more info on anything, let me know, and have a great time when you get there!

Kentucky
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2,193 posts
57 reviews
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8. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Well, we are staying at the Zephyr Mountain Lodge, same place we stayed last year. We loved the ski-in ski-out.

We were only there for 4 nghts last year. The two places I remember being the best were the Untamed Steak House and a pizza place (can't remember the name) near the end of the main-street, heading to Fraser. It was some of the best pizza we have ever had. Anyone know the name? It had dollar bills everywhere. GREAT pizza. We will definitely hit that one again. We had all of our breakfasts and lunches in our room.

Thanks for your suggestions. Only 5 more days- I can't wait!! We are in the landscape business and do snow removal in the winter, so if snow-storm blows into town we will have to cancel (too much money to be made) but so-far so-good. The forecast looks fine thru Monday! Hopefully next Sunday we'll be on the slopes.

Grand Lake, Colorado
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603 posts
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9. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Hi!

I think you are thinking of denos? For the pizza?

Grand Lake, Colorado
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603 posts
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10. Re: Driving conditions Denver to Winter Park

Sorry....i meant Hernandos!