Surrounded by miles of towering peaks and lush pine forests, Winter Park has a longstanding legacy of innovation in the Fraser Valley. Throughout the resort’s history, many passionate individuals have contributed to this spirit of discovery and their efforts have helped define our thriving community. Today, several ski trails across the mountain highlight these people and the impact they have made. While you are out enjoying the natural beauty of Winter Park, we encourage you to take a moment to gain a deeper understanding of the land’s history, people, and progress.

Even before its founding in 1940 as a Denver Mountain Park, Winter Park attracted influential figures in the outdoor community to its rugged beauty. Berrien Hughes, a dedicated sportsman and Denver lawyer, was one such person who introduced many of skiing’s early enthusiasts to the area. Hughes, however, died from injuries incurred in a ski accident on Loveland Pass a year before the resort opened. At its dedication ceremony in 1940, Winter Park Ski Area named one of its three ski trails after Hughes to honor his contributions.

In 1935, George E. Cranmer, an active and ardent outdoorsman, was appointed as the manager of Parks and Improvement for the City of Denver by Benjamin F. Stapleton. This role allowed Cranmer to exercise his vision of creating a winter sports center comparable to those in Europe. With the help of many other outdoor enthusiasts, Winter Park Ski Area was opened in 1940 with its first ski tow and three trails available to the public. Cranmer’s contribution to Winter Park was later recognized in 1977 when he was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame.

Allan Phipps became head of the newly formed Winter Park Recreation Association in 1950 when the City and County of Denver handed over operations to the organization. A Denver attorney, civic leader, and skier, Phipps served as the first chairman of the board and set a new precedent for leadership in Winter Park. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1988 for his contributions. Today, the Allan Phipps trail is a beginner’s favorite that offers a gentle slope along with off-piste terrain and a skills park.

Steve Bradley built a legacy at Winter Park and was known for the excellence of the trails he cut. He became the first executive director of the Winter Park Recreation Association in 1950, and under his leadership, the resort became an industry leader in innovative techniques. While he is best known for creating the first snow grooming machine, “The Bradley Packer,” he was also skilled in ski trail development. Bradley's Bash embodies his designs — straight down the fall line with no side hill traverses. Bradley continued as executive director until 1975 and was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1979.

In 1950, Jack Kendrick was appointed as one of 15 original trustees of the Winter Park Recreation Association. He believed skiing was an opportunity to introduce people across the country to the beauty of the outdoors, and he began advocating for the growth of the sport in the 1930s through his involvement in the Denver Chamber of Commerce and the Colorado Winter Sports Council. Through his contributions, Kendrick helped create Colorado’s first powered ski tow installed on Berthoud Pass in 1937. Like the man himself, the Jack Kendrick trail gives new skiers and riders an approachable introduction to Winter Park. The run features a wide, meandering slope and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains.

George Underwood started at Winter Park in 1951 as the head of lift maintenance. As a master welder and machinist, Underwood oversaw the advancement of all mechanical elements at the ski area and helped create the first snow grooming device, the “Bradley Packer.” When Underwood retired in 1972, he had built every lift and tow on the mountain, and this trail honors his 20-plus years of service. This recognition was donated by the family and friends of George Underwood in cooperation with the United States Forest Service and the Winter Park Recreational Association.

Harald “Pop” Sorensen immigrated to the United States in 1929 from Norway as a successful competitive skier. In 1958, he founded the Winter Park Ski Jump School: a free program for children ages 4-18 which led students through a series of nine hills culminating in a 60-meter slope. For his work, Pop received the Russell Wilder Memorial Award which recognized his program as the year’s outstanding activity in 1971. Today, Sorensen Park serves as an entry point to help beginner skiers and riders grow their skills and passion for the sport.

Dick Mulligan became the caretaker of Winter Park Resort in 1945 and welcomed many of the sport’s earliest participants with his outgoing nature and entertaining stories. For 10 years, Dick ran “his lift” — the Practice Hill T-bar — and was the first to strike up friendly, if not long, conversations with everyone who came his way. His warm personality and gift for exaggeration made him a popular figure in the Winter Park community. Mulligan’s Mile, while only a quarter mile long, is one of the more accessible mogul runs and allows skiers and riders to test out new terrain.

In 1953, Maury Flanagan arrived in Winter Park "in search of better snow" and stayed to become one of the original members of the Winter Park Ski School. Known for his booming voice, his peers nicknamed him "Foghorn Flanagan.” Along with his impressive voice, Maury’s outrageous sense of humor and unique teaching methods earned him a spot in local ski lore. In 1958, Maury married Glenda Rawls who founded the Winter Park Children's Ski School in 1961 and served as its director until 1969. The original children's teaching hill, Mt. Glenda, was relocated during the construction of West Portal Station in 1980 and was renamed in honor of Maury Flanagan.

Retta Stanley was a talented skier and invaluable volunteer during the early days of the National Sports Center for the Disabled (NSCD) at Winter Park. She worked tirelessly to champion accessibility for winter sports, and after losing her leg to cancer, she became one of the first women three-track national skiing champions. In April 1977, Retta passed away from cancer. Considered to be one of the most challenging trails at Winter Park, Retta's Run honors her dedication to building an inclusive mountain community.

After visiting Winter Park on vacation in 1945, George Engel fell in love with the mountains and returned a year later to work as a ski patroller. He quickly discovered his passion for teaching and founded the Winter Park Ski School, which he ran for decades before selling to the resort. Committed to the sport and his community, George ran the Winter Park Ski Shop for more than 50 years with his wife Joyce and served as the president of the region’s professional association of instructors. The couple also organized many social, cultural, and fundraising events for the community. Engeldive was dedicated to George in 1964, and he was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1987.

Robert “Bob” Balch first came to Colorado in 1934 to compete in the National Ski Championships in Estes Park. Four years later, he was hired by George Cranmer to supervise the development of Denver's Winter Park at West Portal. A lover of skiing with knowledge of the industry, Bob designed ski tows and several trails that still exist today such as Hughes, Parkway Run, and Bridge Run (now Larry Sale). Bob became Winter Park's first manager in 1940 and served until his enlistment in the army in 1942 where he died in action. Cut in 1945, these trails commemorate Bob’s role in the development of Winter Park. He was inducted into the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 1978.

A Colorado local and member of the University of Denver Ski Team, Bill “Waxy” Wilson began working at Winter Park as a ski instructor in 1954. Wilson was a gifted teacher with a passion for the outdoors, and throughout his career, he introduced countless people to the sport. In 1982, he was appointed as the director of the ski school and advocated for the development of more beginner terrain, including this trail which now bears his name. Bill passed away from cancer in 1984 and this trail honors his longstanding role in the community.

In the early 1930s, members of the Colorado Arlberg Club began clearing the first official ski trail in the western part of the United States. The Mary Jane Trail, as it is known today, was named after a local businesswoman who supposedly acquired the land as payment from railroad workers and miners. What started as land for sheep to graze on during the summer, is now recognized as one of the finest trails in the country. The numerous mogul runs covering the Mary Jane side have earned the terrain the slogan No Pain, No Jane™.

In the 1800s, the Arapaho Tribe inhabited the Fraser Valley and named the land where Winter Park Resort sits today “Eagle Wind.” As Winter Park developed the area, resort planners collaborated with leaders of the Arapaho Tribe to name and pay tribute to the land. The Eagle Wind Lift and area opened during the 2006/2007 winter season and was dedicated with a traditional Arapaho blessing ceremony. Trail names Left Hand, Sharp Nose, and Black Coal refer to prominent Arapaho leaders, while Thunderbird is derived from the Arapaho symbol of “the power of day and summer.” With the insight and support of Native and Indigenous leaders, Winter Park also issued a land acknowledgment in 2021 to honor the original Hinono'ei (Arapaho), Tsis tsis'tas (Cheyenne), and Nuuchu (Ute) stewards of the area.