Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
Winter is here, which means ski season is near. Colorado skiers are not only blessed with their mountains but also with Amtrak‘s Winter Express train, connecting skiers from Denver to the Winter Park Resort each weekend.
Tickets are on sale now for the 2023-2024 ski season, with one-way tickets starting at $39 for adults and $19.50 for kids.
Operating every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 12 through March 31, the train will run 40 round trips this season.
Routes: From Denver’s Union Station (DEN) to Winter Park Resort Train Platform (WPR)
How to book: Directly with Amtrak
Travel dates: Jan. 12-March 31, 2024, for travel on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
The train ride takes approximately two hours, with the below daily schedule:
- Depart Union Station at 7 a.m.; arrive at Winter Park at 9 a.m.
- Depart Winter Park Resort at 4:30 p.m.; arrive in Denver at 6:40 p.m.
New this year, additional holiday service will be offered on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 15) and Presidents Day (Feb. 19), plus two round trips on two Thursdays (March 14 and 21).
An added perk, passengers can bring their skis and snowboards as carry-on items and stow them in dedicated baggage storage on board for no additional charge. Additionally, each traveler may bring two personal items (weighing less than 25 pounds and measuring no more than 14 inches by 11 inches by 7 inches each), two carry-on items (weighing less than 50 pounds and measuring no more than 28 inches by 22 inches by 14 inches each) and two checked bags (weighing less than 50 pounds and measuring up to 75 inches in total).
How to book
Book your Winter Express ride online with Amtrak or via the Amtrak app. Group reservations (nine to 14) can be booked by calling 800-872-7245. Groups of 15 or more should complete a form online to book.
As mentioned, one-way fares start at $39 for adults, while the same fares are priced for travelers ages 2-12, based on availability.
A test search conducted for this story showed round-trip fares departing DEN on Jan. 12 and returning Jan. 14 were available on the opening weekend for $108 total.
Travelers can choose from two types of coach fares when booking this train — value or flex. Value fares are nonrefundable, nonchargeable and incur a 25% fee if canceled before departure. Flex fares, which are slightly more expensive ($6 in the aforementioned example), are fully refundable and can be changed without charge.
Keep in mind that Amtrak has waived change fees until Dec. 31.
Note that you can also choose between an upper- and lower-level seat, but this route is not bookable with Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
Other things to know
On board, expect wide, reclining coach seats with extra legroom, no middle seat, power chargers and big windows so you can enjoy panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains along the way. For the best view, head upstairs to the bi-level Sightseer Lounge, which features floor-to-ceiling windows and seating. Regular Amtrak cafe service with snacks and drinks is available downstairs.
If you want to travel to Winter Park Resort on a weekday, you can ride the Amtrak California Zephyr, operating daily between Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area, passing through Denver and Fraser, Colorado. Once in Colorado, there’s a shuttle to take you the remaining 8 miles to the resort. In this case, be sure to search for station code WPS to book the shuttle.
For the 2023-24 season, Winter Park Resort lift hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Taking the train ensures a full day on the slopes.
Maximize your purchase
Be sure to use a credit card that earns bonus points on travel, such as:
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 2 miles per dollar spent on everyday spending
- Chase Sapphire Preferred Card: 2 points per dollar spent on all travel purchases
- American Express® Green Card: 3 points per dollar spent on travel
- Amtrak Guest Rewards® Mastercard®: 2 points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel
- Amtrak Guest Rewards® Preferred Mastercard®: 3 points per dollar spent on Amtrak travel
The information for the American Express Green, Amtrak Guest Rewards and Amtrak Guest Rewards Preferred cards has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
You can purchase tickets now for Amtrak’s Winter Park Express train from Denver to Winter Park Resort each weekend starting in mid-January through March. Though round-trip tickets start at $39, fares for some dates will be more expensive.
Reservations for this train are already filling up, so be sure to book your ticket soon.
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