The Wild Horse Inn At Winter Park
by Paul Maraschiello

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I've stayed at many luxurious accommodations in the 20+ years I've been writing about skiing but my visit to the Wild Horse Inn, located in Fraser, Colorado was a experience that I will not soon forget. I've seen stories about luxurious million-dollar log homes on TV but this is the first time I've had the pleasure of staying at one. This inn is handcrafted from large 400-year old native Colorado logs. It features a large comfortable living room with a massive stone fireplace that is also open to the dining room that opens onto a flagstone patio. There is a kitchen and master bedroom on the first floor and additional guest rooms on the second floor. The Wild Horse Inn is a grand mountain lodge like those built at the turn of the century and has a distinctively rustic flair combined with a real sense of luxury. This inn also boasts two additional small log cabins on the property.

This inn is located several miles from the ski area, on the other side of Fraser and provides a quiet environment in a rural setting where many visitors from Colorado and around the world choose to stay.

My bedroom was nicely furnished and there was a balcony which provided an excellent view of the mountains. After a very comfortable night's sleep under the down comforter, I enjoyed a gourmet breakfast and then headed to Winter Park for a day of skiing.

Skiing
Winter Park is a really large ski area with five different mountain areas (Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Cirque, and Vasquez Ridge) that encompasses over 3,000 skiable acres. They have 25 lifts that includes 1 High Speed Six Person Chairlift, 4 Triple Chairlifts, 7 High-Speed Express Quads, 7 Double Chairlifts, 3 Surface Lifts and 3 Magic Carpets that service 143 trails. The longest trail can be found in Parsenn Bowl and it a little over 5 miles long. The highest peak is Parsenn Bowl at 12,060 ft. and the longest vertical drop (2610 ft.) Can be found at Mary Jane. There is plenty of terrain for every level of skier.

I started off by riding up the Zephyr Express and skiing down Cranmer, a nice blue warm-up run. That took me to the Eskimo Express and Prospector Express chair lifts. I took the Eskimo Express back up to the top and came down Retta's Run, an expert slope that had some nice bumps. I spent the morning exploring the trails on Winter Park.

I made my way over to the Sunnyside Chair and I liked the look of the trails under that chair. I took a run down Edelweiss, so I could check out the look of the trails in Parsenn Bowl. They looked to be in good shape, so I rode to the top and skied over to the Timberline chair and skied Parsenn Bowl.

After a full day of skiing, I headed back to the Wild Horse Inn. As I drove through Fraser, I noticed some people enjoying happy hour at tables on the patio of the Library, a local bar/restaurant, so I parked and sampled a libation. The people I met there were very congenial and friendly and one couple recommended an Italian restaurant for dinner. I followed their advice and enjoyed a fine Italian meal that I washed down with a nice, affordable red wine at Deno's, just down Rt. 40 from the Library.

After dinner, I headed back to the Wild Horse Inn to relax for the evening. That evening, the living room looked very inviting. It was darkly lit and there was classical music playing on the stereo and there was a nice fire going in the fireplace. I relaxed in a comfortable easy chair and enjoyed the ambiance of this luxurious rustic setting. I could see why many Colorado natives have chosen this inn as their choice for a romantic stay to re-kindle their romance or vacation in the mountains.

When I went back to my room, I took a relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi in my private bathroom. After I was refreshed, I selected a movie from the inn's large collection and played it on the VCR while relaxed and enjoyed a complementary soft drink while relaxing in the well-appointed king-size bed.

The next morning, I enjoyed a full breakfast and chatted with the other guests before heading back to Winterpark for another day of skiing. Because I had such a good time skiing Cranmer, I was lucky to run into a local skier that knew his way around the mountain. We headed over to Mary Jane and made our way over to the Sunnyside Chair and I liked the look of the trails under that chair, so we made a couple of runs. It's always fun to ski with someone who skis at my level. My

Later, I took a run down Edelweiss, so I could check out the look of the trails in Parsenn Bowl. They looked to be in good shape, so I rode to the top and skied over to the Timberline chair. I had fun on Forget-me-not and then worked my way back to Winter Park. I took a couple more runs down the front of the mountain. By the end of the day, I was tired and happy with all the new trails I had skied.

If you are planning your ski trips for the coming season, put Winter Park on your short list. This ski resort offers a wide variety of slopes and trails. To book a reservation at the Wild Horse Inn, just call 970-726-0456 or email them at: info@wildhorseinn.com and tell them you read about them in the Ski Bum News.

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