WINTER PARK, Colo. - If you love to ski and snowboard, you know the views can be incredible. But what do you do when friends and family visit who don't ski?
At Winter Park Ski Resort, you can take them out on the mountain on a snowcat ride.
The tourist snowcats at Winter Park have a heated passenger cabins that sit up to 12 in the back and one in the co-pilot's seat. The snowcats take visitors on some of the same runs used by skiers and snowboarders. Visitors see everything from the easiest runs (green ones) to the most difficult runs (black runs). The tourist snowcats are the same model used by the groomers on the slopes at night, the only different is the passenger compartment.
The snowcat tour makes photo stops on the runs and makes a stop at Sunspot restaurant at the top of the mountain for a drink and the views.
"We're not aware of any other ski resort in the world where you can do what we do; for the most part we're out on the mountain with the skiers and boarders," said snowcat driver Gary Stanfill.
The tour includes historic information about the resort and the area, lessons about the variety of ski trails on the mountain and visitors even learn how the snow that melts at Winter Park becomes drinking water for residents in metro Denver.
The Winter Park scenic snowcat tours run everyday in the winter. They cost $49 and last two hours. Dress warm and bring a camera. To make a reservation, call 970-726-1616.