We had a late start to our summer here in Winter Park, and May was particularly rainy at 3.74 inches (average May rainfall is 2.15 inches). Excess rain presents a dilemma in the early days of the season. On one hand, you have to be conscious of such things as lightning, and you must schedule your hikes with safety (and proper gear) in mind.
On the other hand, an abundance of rain has one the most beautiful results imaginable: a stunning array of wildflowers decorating the mountain landscape.
When we think of wildlife, it’s easy to gravitate toward animals. We stop sometimes to snap a photo of a moose or a fox, but in wildflowers we find a more subtle beauty, a quiet artistry that surrounds us, and doesn’t run away when we stop to take a picture.
We’ve been celebrating this year’s abundance with pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and this week we finally decided to take a hike with the sole purpose of photographing some flowers. These can be spotted all over the valley, though this particular set of photographs was taken at the top of Rollins Pass (if you decide to go there, make sure you have a four-wheel drive vehicle!).
Can you guess the names of each of these flowers? Answers below!
(Special thanks to Wildflowers of Colorado for helping us research each flower)
There are some truly fantastic hikes out there, and we absolutely encourage you to go out and snap some of your own photos. That said, remember to teach children not to pick them and to keep pets from trampling them! It’s important to stay on the trail to maintain the delicate ecosystem balance, and to keep our wildflowers coming back every year.
If you are planning a summer hiking vacation in Colorado, click here take a peek at our 140+ modern vacation rentals in Winter Park.
Debs Bridge July 27th, 2015
If you’re visiting Winter Park for more than a few days, you might want to consider taking a day away from the slopes to rest the legs and sample some of the area’s other attractions on a day away from the slopes. In this article, we’ll showcase some of the alternative pastimes to skiing and snowboarding during your Winter vacation in Winter Park.
Winter Park is perfectly positioned on the precipice of the Continental Divide, and there’s no better way of experiencing this, than by getting into the high country. For those of us that don’t have the time spare to go for a very long hiking adventure, the best way to achieve this is on the back of a snowmobile. Grand Adventures is the leader of the pack in snowmobiling in Grand County, and offer a variety of guided tours and self-guided daily rentals in the Winter Park Area. Furthermore, Winter Park Lodging Company guests enjoy a 10% discount on snowmobile tours with Grand Adventures.
Guests staying with Winter Park Lodging Company enjoy a 10% discount on Grand Adventure snowmobile Tours.
For a truly unique and exhilarating experience, go for a dog sled ride with Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park. This top notch outfit will bundle you up with your loved ones and whisk you through the pristine woodland and meadows around Fraser. This company takes exceptionally good care of their 70+ dogs and encourages riders to spend some time with the friendly pack after your ride.
Guests staying with Winter Park Lodging Company enjoy a 10% discount on Dog Sled Rides Of Winter Park.
People who love biking, love biking whenever they can…even in the snow. To help the cause, some clever bike fanatic out there invented the Fat Tire Bike: a regular mountain bike with oversized tires to help you stay afloat on snowy trails. Being the MTB Capital of the World, Winter Park has embraced fat biking with gusto, offering free groomed trails around the towns of Fraser and Downtown Winter Park, plus even more options on the paid trails of YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch and Devils Thumb Ranch in nearby Tabernash.
Fat bikes can be rented at:
Icebox Mountain Sports. Four hours $39, 8 hours $44, or 24 hours $59. 970.722.7780
Devil’s Thumb Ranch $45 gets you a fat bike rental and access to their 20k of biking dedicated trails. 970.726.8231
Snow Mountain Ranch – YMCA $60/full-day, $40/half-day and access to 10km of biking-dedicated trails. 888.573.9622.
There’s a world of beauty out there to be explored, and a great way to get a little deeper into woods is by cross country skiing or snowshoeing. Winter Park & Fraser is surrounded by national forest with a fantastic network of trails for all levels of ability and fitness, click here to see our winter map. With options to rent equipment and go it alone, or go to one of the areas highly acclaimed xc centers at Devils Thumb Ranch or YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch, you are truly spoilt for choice for cross country adventures in the Winter Park area.
Kids have fun, and if we want to drink from that eternal fountain of youth, we’d better start acting like them. Kid-friendly activities don’t cost a lot, and can make for a really enjoyable day for fun loving adults too. Great kid-friendly pursuits in Winter Park include snow tubing, ice skating and sledding. Heck, we won’t even judge you if you choose to build a snowman…..sorry ‘Ice Sculpture’.
Treat your body and mind to day of pampering at one of the many excellent spas on offer in the Winter Park & Fraser Valley. If you are staying at the Resort and want to take a quick stroll to heaven, check out Alpenglow Massage in the main Village. If you are staying in Downtown Winter Park, Blue Sky Massage and Bella Vita Spa offer a fantastic range of services to rejuvenate the soul; and if you really want to go all out and spend a day in the lap of luxury, head to Ranch Creek Spa at Devils Thumb Ranch.
How often do you really get a chance to just relax at home for an entire day. Our vacation homes should feel like a cozy and welcoming home away from home (minus the chores!), giving you the perfect retreat to relax by the fire, read a good book, or play a board game with the family. If you want to combine a day at home with a little TLC for your body, call Sheila DuCharme of Blue Sky Massage who will bring the spa to you, with her mobile massage offerings.
To find out more about Winter Park activities during the summer or winter months, click here for our full guide.
@[email protected] February 1st, 2015
Winter Park Resort continues to receive praise and recognition in national surveys and travel press polls.
Last month we were happy to boast Winter Park’s #6 ranking in the World Press Journal’s ‘Top 10 Authentic Small Towns Of North America’; and this month Winter Park takes the podium in 3rd Place in The World Property Journal’s ‘Top 10 US Ski Spots’.
Also this month, we get the nod of approval from Skinet.com with an overall ranking of 15th place for Skinet.com’s ‘2015 Top Ranked Ski Resorts’ poll, and #10 rankings in ‘Best Terrain Park’ and ‘Most Kid-Friendly’ categories.
Here’s a snap shot of some of the survey comments:
Best Terrain Park “The greatest strengths of the resort are its variety of terrain and terrain parks.’ “The moguls and terrain park are top-notch.” “Great beginner terrain park.”
Most Kid Friendly “Super kid-friendly.” “Winter Park is a great place for a family ski vacation.” “Fabulous for the family.” “Very family-friendly.”
Winter Park Resort has long been recognized as a kid friendly ski destination, with a multitude of terrain that can test or boost confidence. But let’s not forget the great steps have been taken to cater to families off of the slopes too.
With ice skating, tubing, mini rail jams, and kid-specific evening
adventure clubs, Winter Park Resort has a firm focus on family both on and off of the slopes.
Downtown Winter Park also encourages fun for all ages, with special winter offerings that include a FREE mini sledding hill in Hideaway Park (with a stocked supply of sleds & saucers), FREE horse drawn carriage rides around Cooper Creek Square (every Saturday, from 3 pm – 6 pm), and FREE ice-skating rink in Cooper Creek Square (rent your skates from nearby Christy Sports).
Still planning your Winter Park ski vacation? Browse our 140+ vacation rentals here, or speak with one of our friendly vacation planners today.
@[email protected] January 2nd, 2015
Many of you will be familiar with quality shops and restuarants in Downtown Winter Park’s Cooper Creek Square.
For those who have yet to discover its charms, you’ll find a great mix of artisan crafts, souveniers, coffee shops and fine dining options, plus a selection of free events throughout the year.
Music On The Mall…And A Little Something On The Side
Every Friday (through August 29th), 6pm – 8pm
New this year, Cooper Creek Square is offering a tasty addition its Music On The Mall free music series: free courtyard table service from any Cooper Creek Square restaurant! Simply grab a table around the stage & fountain, and an onsite server will offer you a special Music on the Mall menu with tasty offerings from Casa Mexico, DaVinci, New Hong Kong, Mountain Grind, Smokin’ Moes, Star of India & The Sushi Bar.
We LOVE this concept, because each table of diners can order from multiple retaurants at once, avoiding the ‘where shall we go’ discussion. Add some cracking live music, and we have ourselves a winner!
A little something for all the family; enjoy an afternoon of live music, face painting, crafts, a bouncy house, kids play area and a balloon artist.
Free Carriage Rides
Every Saturday (through September 13th), 3pm – 7pm
Clippety-clop, take a ride round the block! A free horse-drawn carraige ride is the perfect accompaniment to dinner on ‘Restaurant Row’.
Sarah July 3rd, 2014
Popular travel planning website, Gogobot.com, knows that keeping kids busy and happy is the key to a good family vacation for everyone.
In a recent poll, Gogobot ranked Winter Park #2 on it list of BEST ATTRACTIONS IN THE US FOR KIDS, as part of it’s Travelers Favorites Awards. Based on the site’s user recommendations & the number of visits by the site’s 3.7 million users, the following attractions made the top 15 list.
Winter Park has been considered a family friendly destination for many years; just ask any Front Range 40 year old about the former Ski Train and they will tell you all about their coming of age adventures to the high country.
Winter Park Resort has recently redesigned its base area Village, and made concerted efforts to make the design as family friendly as possible. A plentiful supply of kiddie-karts can be found throughout the Village, make toting children and their equipment through the paved, pedestrian only main street a breeze. Add in a few fun distractions (Coca-Cola polar bear, musical instruments, giant scrabble etc) and the walk from one end of the village to the other suddenly becomes a fun adventure, rather than a stressful chore.
The seasonal events program at Winter Park Resort offers a full schedule of family friendly events throughout the summer and winter. Typical events include themed scavenger hunts, family movie nights, circus acts, and child appropriate musical acts throughout the summer months.
Winter activities include:
Skiing terrain for all abilities
Kids night out – evening childcare focusing on dinner, movie & games
Free Smores by the fire
Snowshoe tours and rentals
Scenic Snowcat tours
Mini Rail Jams
Summer activities include:
Putt Putt golf
Outdoor climbing wall
Leaps & Bounds bungee trampoline
Outdoor family movie nights
Sarah April 3rd, 2014
Ski season has ended here on Winter Park for the 2012/13 year and the snow is melting. That means it is time to start thinking about summer and all the fun activities at the base of Winter Park Resort. This year promises to a great time to get up into the Colorado Rocky Mountains and escape the heat of the lowlands. Trestle Bike Park and all the Winter Park Base activities will open June 15th.
Trestle opening for 2013 is approaching! Although the snow is still on the ground Winter Park Resort, the trail crew planning on trails for the summer. Opening day is again slated for June 15, so tune-up your ride and get ready for another great summer at Trestle Bike Park. Now that Phase #1 trail building is complete, with one last trail to be opened, the trail crew will be spending the summer upgrading the existing trails system and dialing in ‘older’ trails.
After the snow melts Winter Park Resort turns into a lively high-altitude destination with fun-filled activities sure to entertain the young and old alike. With Colorado’s longest Alpine Slide, mini golf, scenic chairlift rides to more than 33 miles of chairlift-accessible mountain bike terrain, Winter Park Resort is a great destination for the active guest.
So get you plans set, your bilk tuned and your gear packed for a great summer trip up to Winter Park, Colorado.
Sarah April 30th, 2013
Don’t Strike Out At The Winter Park Wipeout!
Support The Mountain Family Center and have a blast at Winter Park’s first full scale Urban Adventure Race: The Winter Park Wipeout.
On April 6th, Winter Park will officially live up to it’s brand as Colorado’s Favorite Playground with a 2.5 hour mad cap adventure from the slopes to the streets. Expect ridiculous challenges, unexpected thrills and more than a few fabulous spills as competitors take on 12 mystery challenges and run the gauntlet in the Wipeout Zone.
The race is open to all aged 7 (kids under 13 must be accompanied by an adult) to 70 years old, and spans approximately 2 miles of variable terrain.
So, if you want to join in the fun and show off that hidden talent in lunch tray surfing, visit the Winter Park Wipeout site today and complete an online registration.
Sarah March 3rd, 2013
Winter Park Base Rentals is offering pedal assisted bikes for travel on paved surfaces. This makes for a great trip on the Fraser RIver Trail down into the town of Winter Park with a pedal assisted return.
These bikes are perfect for those not acclimated to the altitude, not wanting to break a sweat or just not in good enough shape to pedal back up the hill to Winter Park Resort. These bikes are powered with a lithium-ion battery with a range of around 20 miles.
Bikes can also be rented with a Burley, kid chariot, to take the little ones around in style.
Check out Winter Park Resorts pedal assist bike video on YouTube.
The whole family no matter from what altitude or their physical conditioning can now take the Fraser River Trail all the way from Winter Park Resort to the town of Fraser with little exertion. A trip to Safeway could even be thrown in with the pedal assistance helping out with the long slog of the groceries.
Check out the pedal assist bike selection right next to the Human Maze at the Winter Park Resort Base.
Sarah August 16th, 2012
As this ski season is winding down with Mary Jane closing April 15th and the whole of Winter Park Resort closing April 22 it may be time to think when the resort will be opening up for summer activities. Winter Park Resort base activities and attractions include the Zephyr Lift opening with access to favorite attractions such as the Alpine Slide, Amaze’n Human Maze, Leaps & Bounds Bungee, Rock ‘n Roll Gyro, Mountainside Mini Golf and Outdoor Climbing Wall.
Winter Park Resort base activities will be opening June 16th, 2012. Summer hours of operation are 10am through 5:30pm, 7 days a week, from June 16 through September 3, 2012 (Labor Day) – and the same hours weekends in September. Ticket windows open at 9:30am. The Zephyr Express Chairlift closes at 5pm, while other activities close at 5:30pm.
Trestle Bike Park will be opening by June 16th if not before. This year new at Trestle will be Cruel and Unusual as well as 2 more new trails near the base. And DO NOT MISS the inaugural Colorado Freeride Festival – July 26-29, 2012 at Trestle Bike Park. The Colorado Freeride Festival replaces Crankworx Colorado. Trestle Bike Park passes will be available in early May.
Now is the time to get your Winter Park Resort Lodging to get all the rides you can on Colorado’s longest alpine slide. Check out all the Winter Park Resort summer activities. Winter Park Lodging Company provides the best Trestle Bike Park lodging at the Winter Park Resort Base.
Mark it down, Winter Park Resort summer activities open for business June 16th, 2012.
Sarah April 12th, 2012