There are many excellent times to come and visit us here in Winter Park. After all, while we may be famous for our ski resort, the area hosts some of the best hiking around! While anytime could be considered a good one to come, there are certainly times where you might find that what you are seeking is more common. For instance, if you are looking to hit the slopes and work on your skill, or potentially get some exercise in while exploring the countryside cross-country skiing, winter is your time to shine. However, if one is looking to enjoy the outdoors and experience the beautiful of the meadows being painted by the bright pedals of wildflowers, or you are looking to see the many natural wonders that even the locals enjoy visiting and beholding, the rebirth of spring is the ideal time for you. Of course, there are many other reasons that one would do well to come during these two seasons, and if your curious to learn more, make sure you read our ultimate guide to Winter Park spring and winter season below!
Enjoy the Fluffy Flurries of the Mountain Side
Of course, when one hears of the mountains of Colorado, many will immediately think of skiing and other forms of snow play. Winter Park is no different and hosts some of the best skiing around. For instance, you might enjoy headed up to Winter Park Resort which hosts over 3,000 acres of terrain, not to mention endless paths for cross-country skiing! If you aren’t quite the skier, fear not, for you can still enjoy the snow drifts of the resort at the Coca-Cola Tubing Hill, which is also perfect for anyone looking to share the joys of nostalgia with their own little ones who might not be ready to brave the slopes quite yet. This tubing hill not only features your choice of four different lanes, each consisting of plenty of surprises to keep you entertained and the excitement flowing, but one doesn’t even have to tackle the dreaded slog back up top thanks to their covered conveyor belt.
If you are looking for something especially unique, make sure to also check out the up-and-coming hobby that is fat-tire biking. These bikes utilize a specially made tire, thus giving it the name, to allow one to bike over the heavy snows; consider it almost a type of manual snowmobile. One could also take part in one of the resort’s more unique attractions, the Winter Park Alpine Slide, which features a whopping 3,000 feet of track for you to fly down as the cold bitter wind grasps at your cheeks as your soar. This alpine slide has the title of the longest alpine slide in all of Colorado. One even gets two winter activities in Winter Park for the price of one, as a ticket includes a ride on the Arrow Chairlift to the top of the mountain. This allows you to spend some time dangling in the air as you pass the beautiful valleys, mountains sides, forests, and more that make our natural area the beauty that it has become.
Take Advantage of the Beauties in Winter Park Spring
Of course, as the spring comes and the snow melts, a whole new host of activities present themselves, especially the opening of the many hiking trails that snake through the mountains. You might enjoy heading out on Rogers Pass, which features a 5-mile out-and-back hike with views of wildflowers. It also takes you above the tree line, giving you a perfect view of James Peak, Perry Peak, and the various other mountains that surround the area. One might also like to check out Mount Flora, which takes hikers 6.2 miles along the Continental Divide for a unique and awe-inspiring adventure.
If one is looking for more of a challenge and something to truly boast about upon your return home, make sure you check out James Peak Trail, which stretches an impressive 8 miles and has you climbing to a staggering 13,294 feet high with a total elevation gain of 2,920 feet. This trail will take you along the ridge stretching from the neighboring Mount Bancroft to the destination peak, and one can even have the chance to gaze upon the remains of a glacier that at some point carved its way across the state. If you decide to do this hike towards the tail end of winter and beginning of spring, make sure you go with a friend and keep a GPS/compass on you, as whiteouts can occur with little warning.
Finally, if one is looking for a good hike to see the transformation between the seasons then head over to the Lost Lake Trail. This 2.6-mile out-and-back hike is fairly moderate and starts just below the summit of Cottonwood Pass. This short hike is a good warm-up or for anyone just looking for a stroll focused on the views and tranquility. You’ll get fantastic panoramic views of the lake as well as Mt. Kreutzer and Jones Mountain. To top it off, this trail is more than open to your furry friend, ensuring the perfect bonding experience.
Have an Adventure
Of course, no matter if it’s winter or spring, you’ll find a great many ways to explore and have the adventure of a lifetime as you tackle the mountain and great outdoors. For instance, you might enjoy seeking out Winter Park Adventure Quest, where one can take part in a guided rock climbing tour lasting three hours; it is perfect for all skill levels, even those who have never touched a robe or harness before. One can also take part in their wilderness survival course, which is a must for any outdoor lover. You’ll spend three hours learning the basics of building a shelter, navigating with a compass and other means, fire starting, get a crash course in edible plants, and more. Afterwards, make sure you hit the Aerial Adventure Park; you’ll spend 90 minutes walking upon tightropes, traversing cargo nets swinging in the breath, using hanging ropes to swing between planks, all while dangling two stories in the air.
After this, if one is looking for more excitement and stories to tell, head on over to Grand Adventures, where one can enjoy a variety of wilderness tours. For instance, if you find yourself with us in the winter, check out their snowmobiling tours, which offer a range of tours to different locations and suitable for varying skill levels. One can even just rent a snowmobile and create your own tour as you explore the area. If you are looking for something unique, check out their off-road tour. Unlike other similar activities, you won’t be sitting in the back while your guide does all the work. Instead, you will have your own vehicle and follow your guide as you traverse the area seeing everything from the Continental Divide to the Fraser Valley.
One could also take advantage of the plethora of unique activities that dot the mountainside. For instance, one could take part in an intimate sleigh ride as they cozy up to their significant other as the sound of sleigh bells rings in your ears and the snow glitters around you. One can also enjoy a hike amongst the snow drifts utilizing snowshoes; this makes for a great exercise that also provides an interesting story regarding this unique activity. One could even get up in the early morning to take part in a hot air balloon ride as you glide upon the top of the drafts and gaze out over the tranquil and serene forests and mountains that we have all fallen in love with and call home.
Of course, there is also an almost endless amount of the fishing possible thanks to the 1,000 miles of streams and rivers, not to mention the 1,00 acres of lakes and the staggering 11,000 acres of reservoir, all of which are just waiting for you to cast a line and show off just what you are able to do. Plus, what’s better then feasting upon that which you caught yourself?
Finally, many don’t know this, but mountain biking is a popular pastime in the area, and for this reason you can find a number of biking trails and even full bike parks dedicated to the thrilling sport. Head on over to Trestle Bike Park and enjoy over 40 miles of trails and even the convenience of a lift service to the top of each downhill run. Offering a range of difficulties, you will find trails that are fun, easy, and more an enjoyable glide among the flowers than a grueling challenge, but on the other hand there are some runs that truly test your mastery of technique as you maneuver a variety of different obstacles to make your way down the dirt path.
Some Urban Enjoyment
It goes without saying that the area is well known for its outdoors and world-renowned skiing. However, if you spend a day or two in the town itself, you’ll find that there are many urban gems to be discovered amongst the streets. For instance, you might like to enjoy a classic and hang with the locals over at the Foundry Cinema and Bowl, where one can first catch a great show in the warm cozy interior and afterwards let the competition soar in one of eight bowling lanes. However, the family fun doesn’t have to end with that, as you’ll also find a sizable arcade fitted with not only billiards tables and other competitive games but also retro video games, shooters, driving games and more. One can even grab a comforting slice of pizza.
If one is wishing to continue getting to know the locals and seeing the real Winter Park, head over to the Grand Park Community Recreation Center, which is especially nice if it’s a cold winter day and you are looking for something to do that keeps one a bit toastier. Here you will find a variety of activities to enjoy, including a 30-foot climbing wall for you to tackle and show off what you can do. One can also enjoy the 20-foot loop slide that leads to the pool below. If one is looking for a relaxing activity, hit their lazy river and slowly meander through the center as you enjoy the warmth inside. Of course, any recreation center wouldn’t be complete without a gym to sculpt one’s form, or for those looking to get a bit of cardio on. Those who find themselves staying with us for a period of time might want to look into their fitness classes, ranging from the classic cardio group classes to a relaxing bout of yoga as you allow your worries and stresses to leave.
One can also explore the town and check out the various location to glide upon the ice as you show off your skating skills. After all, is there really any activity that is more picturesque and classic for winter than ice skating? If one is looking to truly get to know the lovely and welcoming community, head on over to the local Farmers’ Market, where you can enjoy all the wares and produce that local farms have worked all year long to nurture and grow for your enjoyment. If one happens to get lucky with their timing, one can spend an afternoon enjoying the Winter Park Uncorked Wine Festival and try out the very best that local vineyards have to offer.
Your Winter Park Journey Starts Here
As one can see, there are a great many things to do in our beautiful mountain town. When the snow falls in the chilly months of winter, or when the snow thaws and the wildflowers peek their heads above the frost to say hello to the awakening world, you will find the mountain comes to life, and one could spend a month with us and still be finding new ways to make for an interesting and memorable day. If you find yourself curious about what other activities might be hidden around the area, make sure you give Visit Winter Park Lodging a call at 970-363-7458 and book your stay with us today!