Mary Jane is known to most as the bumps mecca of Colorado, but she’s way more than that, she’s the personality of Winter Park Resort that keeps skiers coming back year after year.
A portion of the land we now call Mary Jane, got its name back in the 1800’s from one of its former owners.
The history is a little foggy surrounding Ms Mary Jane, but the story goes that our local hero was once the business savvy Madam of the area, who used her female charms to empty many a man’s pockets, and in this instance secure herself a rather substantial piece of real estate from one love-hungry client. She named her newly acquired land Mary Jane Placer, now simply Mary Jane…or simpler yet, The Jane.
Jump forward 130 or so years to 1975 for the formal opening of Mary Jane, the ski resort. Comprising of 18 trails over 350 acres, Mary Jane was the extension of Winter Park Resort that Denver skiers were desperately waiting for, sparking a weekly pilgrimage to The Jane that continues today.
Another forty years on, Mary Jane continues to thrill her clients with 1031 acres of fun, flirty terrain that can entertain every level of skier.
Often considered a monument to the moguls, non bump skiers shouldn’t be scared off by all those stickers….they actually DO groom (some runs at) Mary Jane.
Here’s our inside scoop on colored runs at Mary Jane.
If you’re tackling the slopes for the first time, Mary Jane’s Galloping Goose chair will give you a quiet place to learn to how to ride a lift and feel out your first turns down a couple of gentle runs – Shoo Fly and The Siding.
Far quieter than Sorensen Park (the bunny slopes on the Winter Park side), the Galloping Goose is a great option during the busier holidays.
Full day lift tickets for the Galloping Goose chair can be purchased at the Mary Jane Base for $10.
Want to see more of the views? Beginners can also enjoy green run access off of the top of the Super Gauge lift, where the new Lunch Rock restaurant is situated. To get to these runs, head toward Lunch Rock when you ski off of the Super Gauge and look for signs for Switchyard, Hobo Alley & Lonesome Whistle on your right.
Blue runs at Mary Jane are good mix of groomers and short bump runs. From the top of Super Gauge, ski left at the patrol hut and take your pick of Sunnyside blues (Roundhouse, Columbine, Blue Bell, Edleweiss); or head right off Super Gauge and take the cat track toward MJ’s longer blue groomers: Mary Jane Trail & Lower Arrowhead.
Blacks = bumps at Mary Jane, interspersed with some great tree skiing. Not all bumps are made equal however, so if you are still finding your rhythm head toward Sterling Way, Golden Spike or Trestle for shorter pitches at an easier pitch. If you ready for the burn, ride the Challenger chair and bash out laps on Derailer, Boiler, Coupler, Brakeman , Cannonball…the list goes on!
Double Black fun can be found in the chutes area off of the Challenger Chairlift. Hole In The Wall, Awe, Baldy’s and Jeff’s are the steepest and most technical skiing on offer here, but they’re often closed due to lack of snow (as often the snow sloughs or melts off fast, leaving nothing but ski munching rock to ski down). If you see ski patrol hanging out around the gates to the chutes, stay there! Chances are they’re about to open the terrain, and you really want to be first in the line for freshies.
So there you have it, 150 years on Mary Jane is still the hottest ticket in town.
Our beloved Mary Jane territory turns 40 years young on January 30th, 2016. Join in the celebrations at the base of Mary Jane with live music, fun on-mountain competitions and more from 12 PM to 4 PM, or head to Downtown Winter Park at 6 PM for an evening parade and fireworks display.
For more information on Mary Jane’s 40th Birthday Bash, CLICK HERE