Ruby Hill Rail Yard open for free skiing, snowboarding in Denver

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DENVER -- You can now ski and snowboard in Denver for free after the Ruby Hill Rail Yard opened for the 2017 season.

The urban terrain park is located off South Platte River Drive and West Florida Avenue, and features eight to 10 rails and boxes of varying configurations and skill level.

"This is a very unique and creative program that gives our residents and visitors, especially kids, an opportunity to enjoy skiing and snowboarding at an urban terrain park in their back yard," said Happy Haynes, executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation.

More than 30 volunteers from Denver Parks and Recreation and Winter Park Resort began making snow on Dec. 28.

The terrain park has more than an acre of snow, 2-3 feet deep, according to the Winter Park website.

"The recent cold weather delivered the perfect mix of conditions to start preparing the Ruby Hill Rail Yard for the 2017 season," officials said in a statement released Thursday.

The rail yard will be open until the end of February, if the weather cooperates.

"The Rail Park's northeastern exposure will reduce the angle of the mid-day sun helping to prolong the snow's melt-out," the Winter Park website said.

"In addition to the rail yard's exposure, man-made snow melts slower than natural snow. Man-made snow has higher water content than natural snow. As a result, it is denser which makes it more resistant to warmer temperatures and sun."

The park is open every day from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and is lighted every day from dusk until 9 p.m.