Despite the dry and warm winter we're having, there's actually two to three feet of pow-pow at Ruby Hill Rail Yard in central Denver!

Have you ever wanted to get your ski or snowboard fix -- but right here in the city? For the 12th year, Ruby Hill Rail Yard is giving Denver metro area residents the opportunity to get their winter sports on -- without making the trek up I-70 to whiter pastures. A collaboration of the Denver Parks and Recreation department and Winter Park Resort, the rail yard was the first of its kind in the United States, taking over an acre of the Ruby Hill park space with two or three feet of man-made snow, as well as 13 boxes and rails to accommodate varying skill levels. And the best part? It's completely free! [gallery type="rectangular" size="medium" ids="31007,31011"]
The rail yard is open 5 a.m. till 9 p.m. every day until the snow melts, which could be February, depending on the weather. Man-made snow generally has higher water content than natural snow, which actually makes it slower to melt. Even so, additional snowfall would certainly help the rail yard last longer (cue the ever-effective snow dance!). [caption id="attachment_31009" align="aligncenter" width="2048"]ruby Courtesy of the Rail Yard's Facebook page[/caption] Approximately 30 volunteers maintain the rail yard, which is located at the intersection of Platte River Drive and Jewell Avenue in Denver. For more information, check out Ruby Hill Rail Yard's website or Facebook page! Are you a regular at the rail yard? Are you excited that it's open again for the season? What's your favorite thing about it? We'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below!

Ruby Hill's an iconic place for sledding, too. Check out our list of the metro area's best sledding hills here!