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Summer 2021 in the Colorado Rockies is almost here!

This has been an unusual year and we are all struggling to get to the “new normal”. Winter Park is no different, and we are quite excited to share that some of our favorites are back! Events such as Tuesday Picnic in the Park in the Town of Fraser at Town Hall and Thursday Concerts in the Rendezvous Events Center in Winter Park are returning. The schedules and lineup have yet to be released, but it’s all very exciting.

Hideaway Park downtown Winter Park, Colorado.

More Winter Park summer event favorites are coming back!

Art Affair returns on July 10-11 at the Rendezvous Events Center as well as the Jazz Festival on July 17 and 18. Fraser Mountain Mural Festival will enjoy it’s third year with plenty of murals, live music and everything Fraser has to offer August 6-8.

18th Annual Blues from the Top

And Finally! The Grand County Blues Society is excited to announce the 18th Annual Blues from the Top! You can expect the same great blues music, the same stunning location in downtown Winter Park and the same smiling faces of the folks from Grand County Blues Society. All of this jam-packed into one extraordinary full day of amazing music on Saturday, August 14, 2021.

Details are still being ironed out, including artist lineup, ticket prices, safety protocols and more. Once details are finalized, you’ll be the first to know. So, stay tuned for more Winter Park summer events! 

blues from the top Singer

Find the perfect Summer Vacation Rental

Visit Winter Park Lodging offers plenty of properties close to Rendezvous Events Center, get in touch with us soon to reserve the property that suits your needs. These properties include the favorite Trailhead Lodges as well as the new Hideaway Station properties. Call us at 970-363-7458 or visit our website at for more information.

Bull elk with large antlers grazing on early summer evening. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA

Visit Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park is a spectacular “event” to experience when you’re visiting Grand County. The Park encompasses 415 square miles. Enjoy Trail Ridge Road which crests at over 12,000 feet. The drive includes many overlooks to experience the subalpine and alpine worlds. There are also over 300 miles of hiking trails, wildflowers, wildlife, starry nights and fun times.

After four seasons of working at a marina on Shadow Mountain Lake, a group noticed a demand for Kayak and SUP delivery to the various lakes in the Grand Lake area. After some saving and access to a pick-up and trailer, (thanks to family members), Grand County Kayaks was born!

They offer 4-Hour to multi-day rentals of Single Kayaks, Double (2-person) Kayaks and Stand Up Paddle Boards. Grand County Kayaks want to make your vacation to our beautiful area a memorable one!

Spring Time in Winter Park

Spring time in  Winter Park and Fraser Valley. This is a great time of year to visit Winter Park because of warmer temperatures and longer days! Spring forward is a hard to get used to but it sure is nice that it get darker later!

Spring time can bring either warm sunny days or big snowstorms with lots of new powder to play in. After a big snowstorm rolls through Winter Park, Colorado, the next day is beautiful with plenty of sun and fresh snow that blankets all the old snow in glittering white diamonds effect.

Skiing and Snowboarding

Visitors flock to the mountains in the spring not only because of spring break but because it’s the best time to be on the slopes! Average day temps are in the 30’s with plenty of sunshine. Winter Park Resort and Granby Ranch are the local resorts that offer over 3,487 acres of skiable terrain.

Winter Park Resort
Granby Ranch

Huges run at Winter Park Resort


Visitors actually come to the Winter Park and Fraser, Colorado just for snow tubing! With three different tubing hills, there is endless fun! The great thing about tubing is it does not require any special skill and is for the entire family or a big group of people. Groups love to hold on to each other’s tubes and speed down the hill with screams, laughs and selfie sticks recoding the fun.

Colorado Adventure Park

Fraser Tubing Hill


Colorado Adventure Park Tubing Hill

Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing

After a snowstorm, finding a trail that just got snowed on is a perfect way to clear the mind and detach from the daily grind and really find your inner self. Winter Park and Fraser an lots of trails that are free and get groomed on a regular basis.

Trail info

YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch

Devil’s Thumb Ranch and Resort


Have you been wanting to try snowmobiling but don’t have any experience or it’s too expensive to buy one? Leave it the professionals and book a guided tour! It’s so easy and the guides take you on trails that are adventurous and have views on the Continental Divide that will take your breath away. They also stop for photo opportunities to posts on your favorite social media sites for friends to see back home. 

Grand Adventures Snowmobiling 

Sleigh and Wagon Rides

Dashing through the snow is not just for Christmas time, you can do it in the spring and smile and laugh all the way!  Snow Mountain Stables and YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch offer hour sleigh rides winding through the snowy forest. 

Snow Mountain Stables

YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch

A Couple in a Horse-Drawn Sleigh

balloon Tours

Looking for something to surprise your loved one? Have you ever been in a hot air balloon? Even better have you ever be in one in the Rocky Mountains? 

Grand Adventure Balloon tours operates year-round and spring time is perfect to enjoy breathtaking views and offer a unique experience. Offering morning tours only so make sure you dress warm, watch the sun rise over the Continental Divide and take in the awe of the big, bold and beautiful Rocky Mountains. Get a change to view wild life, winding rivers and just a different perspective of the Fraser Valley!

Grand Adventure Balloon Tours

Anytime is a great time to visit us but spring time is truly special because there is still lots of snow to play in but you don’t get the colder days that you get in winter and there is still lots of activities and fun to be had!


Book your vacation with us directly and save

Looking for something different to do in Winter Park, Colorado? Many families love skiing and snowboarding but some people come to the area just to go snow tubing!

It’s totally tubular!

Snow tubing in Winter Park, Colorado has many options for tubing and sledding for those who are adventurous enough to speed down the hill. Guaranteed there will be smiles and laughs whoever you choose to ride down the hill with

Snow tubing in Winter Park, Colorado

Snow tubing requires all the same outer gear you would wear skiing or snowboarding. Warm socks, boots, snow pants, sweaters, ski jackets, gloves and helmets. One thing that is recommended (especially in the these times of COVID) is face and eye protection! There are plenty of sunny days in Colorado but flying down the hill can be freezing without face protection. 

Three tubing options in Winter Park, Colorado

Winter Park and the Fraser Valley is lucky enough to have three different tubing hills, all are very different and operate different. The nice thing about snow tubing is it’s fairly cheap so you could go to all three!

Coca-Cola® tubing hill at Winter Park Resort

If you are staying at the base of Winter Park Resort like Fraser Crossing, Founders Pointe or Zephyer Mountain Lodge you are within walking distance to this tubing hill. Maybe you have a group and some don’t want to ski or snowboard, this is the perfect activity to do while the rest take to the slopes. 

This tubing hill features banked curves, individual fast and slow lanes. A covered conveyor lift brings you back to the top and a warming hut for warming up with hot chocolate!

Hours of Operation

Dec 12, 2020 – April 18, 2021

7 Days a week, 10am – 5pm

Rates vary from time of year – $34-$39

For More Info CLICK HERE

photo credit: @summeradventuretrestlebikepark
photo credit: @asantana.angel
photo credit: @mima106

Historic Fraser Tubing Hill

Located just outside of Fraser, Colorado, this tubing hill has been around a long time! Family-owned and operated since 1971, this place is perfect to re-live childhood memories and create new ones with you own kids! Get a group together and speed down the hill while holding your selfie stick! Perfect place for taking photos of the valley and sharing memories online. No reservations required, parking is at the top of hill next to the Denver Broncos colors (blue and orange) building. 

Hours of Operation

10am – 10 pm

Open 7 days a week (during winter season)

Rates – Monday – Sunday, $25 for 60 minutes

For More Info CLICK HERE

photo credit: @mandahall22
photo credit: @malia_smartypants
photo credit: @extraordinaryrory

Colorado Adventure Park

Located next to the Fraser Tubing Hill, Colorado Adventure Park claims to be the fastest, largest and safest locally owned tubing hill. Offering a variety of hills for easy to super fast. Drop down their huge drop at the top to gain as much speed as possible. They also offer additional activities from kids mini snowmobile rides to snowshoe rentals to fat tire bike rentals and trails to access. Enjoy the unique experience of tubing at night time!

Hours of Operation

Monday – Friday 10am – 9pm

Saturday & Sunday 9am – 9pm

Open 7 days a week (during winter season)

Rates – $25 per hour and $40 for double tubing

For more Info CLICK HERE

photo credit: @gc_b8
photo credit: @krjohnson09
photo credit: @nataphi

NOTE: Info pulled from tubing websites at time of blog posts. Hours and pricing maybe vary.

Why use a local winter park colorado vacation rental Manager?

Has your local vacation rental company sold out to a national company? Are you considering renting your home but not sure who to use?
Visit Winter Park Lodging understands you have options when it comes to managing your home. We also understand you have invested in your second home and want it managed by a reputable company who can keep it in top shape and maximize your rental income. Below are reasons why you should choose VWPL (us local guys) vs. a national company for your Winter Park Colorado vacation rental management

We're Local!

We live, work and are active members in the Winter Park and Fraser Valley community. Our family-owned business knows this area well, we know every neighborhood and the challenges and benefits they offer for maximizing rental income.

We get to know your home!

Since we're based here we take the time to get to know your home inside and out. This means we can monitor your home in between stays and prevent disasters from happening. Did the previous guest turn the heat all the way down? We check that. Did the microwave quit working? We're on it. Is there a plumbing issue? We know who to call to fix the problem right away.

Vacation Rental Home Inspections

We build relationships with our homeowners.

You're not just a another number to us, we take the time to get to know you and your particular needs because we know every home is different and every homeowner is unique. We also enjoy working with homeowners who enjoy working with us, relationships matter, especially when you have to put your trust in us to manage your Winter Park Colorado vacation rental home.

Winter Park Colorado Vacation Rental Company homeowner relationships

We're upfront and honest!

We don't fluff the rental income numbers, we provide honest projected vacation rental income numbers. We also evaluate your home to see if it will preform well and make recommendations to help it rent better. .

Winter Park Vacation Rentals

Easy transition!

When you switch to Visit Winter Park Lodging, we make it easy. First give us a call, email us, or come meet with us in person to discuss your property. We'll talk about what is currently working for you and what is not with your current vacation rental company. Once you switch we take the time to deep clean your home, stock with supplies (including our own linens), list on major booking engines with professional photos and on our own professional/easy to book conversion website.. Making the switch to us can be as quick as a week and we can honor your current vacation rental reservations. So making the switch is seamless and no headaches for you.

We handle everything!

We are a full service Winter Park, Colorado vacation rental company. We handle everything from marketing, maintenance, bookings, housekeeping to guest relations. Our guests are well informed before they come stay at your home and know the house rules. We answer their questions and make sure they feel safe and comfortable at your home. We manage our cleaners and have in-house inspectors that check your vacation rental home after each clean. If a picture on the wall fell down or a blind is broken we make sure it gets fixed with a fair maintenance cost.

Winter Park Colorado Vacation Rental Company

Let the Visit Winter Park Lodging team manage your Winter Park Colorado vacation rental home with our low management fees, low maintenance fees, and provide maximum revenue for you.


Contact us today and see if we’re a good fit! 

CLICK HERE to visit our new homeowner’s brochure. 

Contact Us
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Looking for Winter Park vacation lodging? When you’re in search of a vacation home whether for a week-long stay or a getaway for the weekend, finding the right place is a big piece of the puzzle. The right atmosphere can set you up for a great experience. Our environment has a bigger effect on us than we realize. Think about when you go out for a cozy, romantic dinner. Candlelight, dim lighting, and soft music playing in the background each adds to the overall feel of your dining experience.

It’s the same thing when you choose a vacation rental. A home that fills your needs or lights you up with a smile can enhance your experience. Do you love a big kitchen, so you can make intricate recipes and enjoy lavish professional grade appliances? Maybe you love an inviting fireplace to settle in front of with a cup of hot chocolate at the end of the day, or adore a luxurious spa-like bathroom, so for a few days you can live like royalty. When you’re looking for the perfect home, be sure to check out Winter Park Lodging for a wide selection of homes.

Winter Park vacation lodging

One of the first things to consider is the size of the vacation home you’re looking for. When it comes to lodging, you can get as fancy and extravagant as you’d like or find budget options to fit your family’s needs. Let’s look at the types of homes we offer.

Think about how many people will be staying during your trip and keep that in mind as you look at the choices. How many bedrooms will you need? Are there special details that are important to you, like a home with a hot tub, internet, or other details like proximity to your activities? Allow enough space for everybody, so you’re not all on top of each other. It will make for a more pleasurable experience.

Photo of Hidden River Ranch Living Room

A home like Hidden River Ranch offers opulence and sleeps 18! Talk about grand and gorgeous. The views are amazing, and it sits on acres and acres of property, so you are surrounded by a plethora of jaw-dropping views. And, considering that Winter Park is often rated a top ski destination, you’ll love having the best home in the best location for your vacation.

Looking for something a little smaller, but with a little bit of everything? The 3 bedroom home featured here is a newer build in a popular area that offers sweeping views, a grand room with high ceilings to give it a roomy feel, and so much more. This adorable cabin was constructed in 2019, so you’ll be enjoying modern luxuries all the way around.

Bear Crossing offers views of the Continental Divide! How cool is that? This home offers a family feel perfect for kids with bunk beds, a large roomy sectional, and more. This rental townhome keeps budget in mind, while offering you a gorgeous home to stay in.

Check out the open, airy feel with mountain lodge décor at this Elk Ranch Road home. Add that one to your list! And, there’s a movie theater and bowling alley nearby, which make for great rainy-day activities. Know what else is neat? You can easily walk to dining options. Park the car and enjoy a nice stroll.

Fraser, Grand Park, Tabernash, Winter Park Resort area… no matter what your preference is, we have something that will fit your getaway needs. One of the things worth noting is by renting a vacation home in place of staying at a hotel is you can do your laundry, enjoy a full kitchen, and have more space come the end of the day when you’re ready to unwind. Once you go vacation rental, it’s hard to go back to basic hotels, because it pampers you so much.

When you’re ready to choose your lodging options, be sure to contact us for a gorgeous choice of homes and condos, which will enhance your stay and vacation experience. And if you haven’t visited Winter Park, CO yet, what are you waiting for? It’s a top-rated destination, just waiting for you to come and play.

What exactly is the IKON Pass? Should you invest in the IKON Ski Pass? And if so, which one should you get? What about a Winter Park Season Pass? Let’s look closer at the benefits of getting an IKON pass, and other details you’ll need to know.

The IKON Pass is an inclusive pass that allows you access to multiple destinations by paying one fee. There are different variations of it, but the important thing to know is that by choosing an IKON pass, you are able to access up to 44 different ski areas (each pass offers a different varying level of availability). This pass covers the 2020/2021 season, so you pay once, and then you’re covered. Convenience at its best. PLUS, pass holders get priority because they only sell a limited number of day tickets that you have to order in advance. 

One of the ways that the pass levels differentiate is having access to blackout dates, or offering fewer or more locations, along with details like short-term passes for a quick vacation vs. a seasonal pass for worldwide locations. We’ll break down the pricing shortly.

Family at Winter Park Resort

What resorts are included in the IKON Pass?

One of the top requested areas is the Winter Park Resort and yes, it’s included with the IKON Pass. Great news, right? What other resorts are included? Check out the list below. While the IKON pass has resorts worldwide, we’ll focus on Colorado.

  • Winter Park Resort
  • Arapahoe Basin
  • Copper Mountain
  • Aspen Snowmass
  • Steamboat
  • Eldora
Snowboarder ripping in powder

What do I need to know about the Winter Park Resort Season Pass?

The Winter Park Resort Season Pass is perfect if you’ll only be in this one area. It offers you a nice savings on unlimited access. With the Winter Park Season Pass, you can get a price break at $539 as opposed to the much steeper $1,049 price you’ll see shortly. If you don’t think you’ll be going to other destinations, this is a great deal.

What are the different price options between the main passes, and what do they include or exclude?

The IKON Pass offers unlimited access with no blackout dates. The IKON Base Pass is also unlimited, though it has a couple blackout dates worth noting (Dec 26, 2020 – Jan 2, 2021, Jan 16, 2021 – Jan 17, 2021, and Feb 13, 2021 – Feb 14, 2021). This lowers the price for those looking for a budget friendly option.

Blackout dates are a big piece of the puzzle. They are peak skiing times and resorts are crowded. If you won’t be going during those peak times, it may make sense to get the base pass. On the other hand, if you’re going to be there during those specific periods, make sure to pay attention to them and opt for the full Ikon Pass.

Currently the full access pass with no blackout dates is called IKON Pass and is listed at a price of $1,049 (or a renewal rate of $949). If you come back year to year, the renewal rate will save you about $100 next year if the pricing stays consistent.

For the Ikon base package, this is the one that has blackout dates, you’re looking at a price tag of $749 (renewal rate is $699 for this level) if you’re over 23. There are discounts for young adults and children.

There’s another option if you’re only coming in for a visit or won’t be in the area a lot, which is a great choice for vacationers. There is a 4-day pass, which allows you to cut costs. This pass only costs $429, but keep in mind, it also carries blackout dates. This four-day pass is good at 30 destinations.

There are a few more nuances you’ll want to pay attention to.

For example, for the big IKON Pass, you get unlimited skiing and rides at 15 destinations. Some have restrictions, and you get up to 7 days of access at a time. So, for example, you get unlimited access at Winter Park Resort, but if you were to go to Alta Bird, Utah, you’d only be able to ski up to 7 days there on the pass.

Another thing to note is that there are discounts on passes based on age and certain other situations like military discounts. You can also choose to buy insurance.

Here are the prices for IKON pass:

$1,049 (ages 23+)

$819 (ages 13-22)

$369 (ages 5-12)

$209 (age 4 and under)

Another added bonus of purchasing the pass is that you get a discount on friends and family, and discounts on food and retail at multiple locations. To see the full list of bonuses, go here.

If you’re choosing to stay in the Winter Park area only and won’t be traveling to other resort areas, the Winter Park Season Pass is a great choice.

New 20/21 season COVID-19 restrictions/guidelines:

  1.  Face coverings required in lift lines, loading and unloading. Also, required inside any building.
  2. Maintain 6 feet social distancing at all times
  3. Ticket windows are closed, day tickets must be purchased online (so plan your vacation ahead of time).
  4. Stay home if you feel ill or have COVID019 symptoms.
  5. No large groups in parking lots or anywhere at the resort.
  6.  Lift lines will be social distanced and set up more like a maze. 

Contact Us

Contact us today to reserve your Winter Park vacation rental.

The sunshine is still upon us, but crisp fall days are sneaking up quickly. Now that it’s Fall time in Winter Park, Fall getaways are on the top of everyone’s minds. Are you looking for a long weekend to refresh after a busy summer? Maybe you prefer the cooler days that autumn supplies. Either way, you’ll find a wide assortment of activities. Whether you are looking for a quiet, low-key day trip to see the changing leaves or prefer something more extreme and adventurous like a downhill mountain biking getaway, Winter Park is the place to be.

We’re all itching to go out and do more after months of being quarantined and cooped up, and now is an incredible time to be outside. Winter Park, Colorado is the perfect choice for a weekend or Fall getaway. Or, shh, don’t tell the boss, a mid-week getaway as well.

Before we talk about all the different cool activities available, we’d be amiss for not mentioning the 1st annual Oktoberfest Hop Crawler that takes place from September 18th through September 20th. Find the fun in Fraser Valley, and put the Oktoberfest Hop Crawler on your calendar.

Fraser and Winter Park, Colorado Oktober Fest Hop Crawler

If you’re a low-key traveler or need something more accessible for a family that isn’t as mobile, consider leaf peeping. As the foliage changes and vibrant shades of yellows, reds, and oranges greet us, it’s a nice opportunity to enjoy the gift of nature. Get inspired and capture vivid images with your camera to remember the weekend.

Wild Sun Flowered Skyline

A lot of people automatically think of skiing when they picture the mountains, but another idea is to either try mountain biking or the more extreme sport of downhill biking. In fact, Downhill Biking at Winter Park Resort is a fun way to get your heart beating, blood pumping, and adrenaline up. Trestle Bike Park is a cool experience that allows you to go at your own pace while taking on trails, dirt to shred, jumps, boards, and more. They even have rentals.

Did you know you can even take mountain bike tours? They’re an awesome way to enjoy the view. The guided e-bike tours last about 90 minutes and can be booked in advance. Prefer a guided hiking tour? Check this out.

Not everybody is up for steep inclines. Sometimes you want the view without all the work. In that case, you’ll love the Fantasy Meadow Hike.

There’s so much to do, and with social distancing, it’s easier than ever to do that while enjoying the great outdoors. Go outside, breathe in the crisp, mountain air, and forget about work stress for a while. A Fall getaway is the perfect way to clear the mind, capture wonderful family memories, or can be a fabulous chance to spend time with your friends.

When you need a little down time, and want to get lost in amazing views, consider a Scenic Gondola ride. The gorgeous peaks and valleys will take your breath away with majestic beauty. Be sure to bring your camera so you can snap amazing pictures along the way.

winter park hiking trails

Looking for a dog-friendly adventure? Bring your four-legged friend along on your hikes, or start the day at Winter Park Village and grab a coffee for you, and a Puppuccino for Fido. Sunspot offers sweet treats for you, and a dog park for the pup after a day of hiking and a cool gondola ride.

Puppuccino from starbucks

An off-road vehicle makes for a fun day. Check out the ATV activities and tours at Grand Adventures.

Photo source:

Grand Adventures ATV rentals

Let’s recap some of the Fall getaway ideas, so you can figure out what you’re going to do first.

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Leaf Peeping
  • Fido-Friendly adventures
  • Scenic Gondola Ride
  • Oktoberfest Hop Crawler
  • E-bike tours and hiking tours
  • ATV styled off-road adventures

And lastly, don’t forget, there are plenty of great restaurants and other activities if you’d prefer something quieter like spa time, a romantic dinner out, or simply lounging by a fireplace with a nice glass of wine. Whatever you’re hoping to get out of your Fall getaway, there are plenty of opportunities to custom fit your trip to your desires. It’s Fall time in Winter Park, Colorado. Isn’t it time to get outside and play?

Contact Us

Contact us today to reserve your Winter Park vacation rental.

The Winter Park area is filled with many amazing hikes for all levels and abilities. While hikes are an amazing experience for the whole family, there are some precautions you should take when planning and preparing for a hike. Many of the hikes around here are no “walk in the park.”

Here are 10+ tips to hike safe on the trail:

  1. Check the weather and be prepared for anything: As the old Fraser Valley saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather? Wait five minutes.” Weather in the Fraser Valley rolls in quickly. Check the weather before leaving and keep an eye on the skies. Hiking early is recommended to reduce the chance of being on top of the Divide when an afternoon thunderstorm rolls in.

  2. Layers: Layers are important because the weather can, and does change so drastically and quickly. Bring light layers of clothes to protect yourself should it start to storm. There is always a chance of snow, sleet, heavy rains, falling into water, and dropping temperatures in the mountains. Protect yourself from hypothermia by bringing layers and trading in jean and cotton fabrics for synthetic fabrics that will not retain moisture. Fact: People are more likely to die hypothermia in the spring, summer, and fall because they are not prepared for temperature changes.

  3. Water: You might not think you need a lot but always be prepared for the worst. You never know what you might run into or what might delay your hike. Dehydration in this elevated and arid climate can set in quickly. Don’t feel like hauling all of your water? Bring a water purification system or purification tablets so you can hike and refill your water bottle on the way. It is recommended to bring 3 quarts of water per person, per day, and if you choose to bring a water purification method, be sure that there is actually water on the trail.

  4. Phones: Charge phones before you leave and put them in airplane mode when not in use to conserve your battery, (you never know what you might find on the trail). Some hikes in the area do not receive any cell service, some receive only Verizon coverage, and some have full coverage. If ever you need service but don’t have it, climb up to get away from rocks and valleys that might be blocking your service.

  5. Dogs: Keep dogs under voice command or on leashes. Moose frequent this area and you do not want to be charged by a moose because it felt threatened by a dog.

  6. Log Books: Many of the longer trails around have log books where you can write your name, license plate number, hiking plan, the number of hikers, and comment on trail conditions after your hike. If you see one of these books take a minute to record your information. This information helps the state parks identify numbers of trail users and should you get lost; they will know where to look for you.

  7. Safety Contact: Always tell someone where you are going, how many people and dogs are with you, and your estimated time of returning. If you don’t know anyone in the area tell someone from your hometown. If possible, check in with them while you’re on the trail. Let them know that if they don’t hear from you by a certain time, they should contact the Grand County Sheriff’s Department with details. The sooner someone knows your missing, and the more information they have, the more likely you’ll be found.

  8. Bring an Emergency Kit: Make sure to bring an emergency kit with the following items; first aid kit, whistle, flashlight, energy bars, bright bandana, and a bright colored trash bag for each person.

  9. Children: If hiking with children keep them close to you. You never know when there will be a significant drop-off or wildlife in the area. Talk with your children about what to do if they do get separated from you. Make sure they know to stay in one spot by a tree and to not hide from strangers. For younger children tell them to “hug a tree.” For older children, teach them how to make a protective shelter that is easily found by rescuers.

  10. Wildlife: It’s not uncommon to encounter wildlife on the trail. The Colorado Rockies are home to a variety of animals including, coyotes, mule deer, fox, owls, eagles, hawks, elk, moose, bears, mountain lions, and bighorn sheep. Most of the time you will not know they are there, and if you do they will most likely go their own way. Nine times out of ten an animal only will attack if it feels threatened. It is important when hiking to not sneak up on wildlife. Wearing bells or being a bit noisy on the trail will help to keep you and your family safe on the trail. For more tips on what to do when you run into native Colorado wildlife, check out our blog post on Wildlife Safety in the Colorado Rockies.

  11. Have Fun! Yeah we added an 11th one…but this one is one of the most important ones. Have fun! If you’re not having fun and enjoying the beauty around you there is no point!

Wildlife Safety in the Colorado Rockies

If you hike when you Visit Winter Park chances are you will encounter some sort of wildlife. The Colorado Rockies are teaming with native species ranging from small chipmunks (or mini bears as some like to call them) to large black bears, moose, and bighorn sheep. To stay safe on the trail it is important to not sneak up on wildlife. The majority of attacks each year stem from animals accidentally threatened by humans or dogs.

Here are some tips for handling different wildlife situations:



When moose act aggressively they are doing it to protect themselves or their young and are trying to get you away from them. If you come across a moose on the trail keep your distance and give it time to get away. If you notice a moose is agitated by your presence, you are too close. Possible signs of an anxious and potentially aggressive moose:

  • Head tossing
  • Hair on neck standing up
  • Whites of their eyes showing
  • Urination on their legs
  • Lip smacking
  • *Sometimes an agitated moose will show no signs at all


  • Avoid Moose – keep yourself and your family at a safe distance especially if there is a calf (baby moose) around.
  • If you are too close or the moose seems agitated back away from the moose.
  • If a moose charges towards you, run.
  • If possible put a large tree or boulder in between you and the moose, (Moose can’t see well and sometimes hiding behind a boulder or tree is all it takes for the moose to think you’ve left).

If you get charged and trampled, continue to fight to get away from the moose and hide.


Black bears are native to the Colorado Rockies. Black bears will naturally avoid people however if you do see a black bear while hiking follow these steps to protect yourself and your family.


  • Keep your distance (300 feet or more)
  • Do not make eye contact (they will see that as a sign of aggression). Instead look at an angle (while keeping the bear in sight).
  • Make yourself look bigger by putting your arms out to the side.
  • Speak in a calm, low, voice
  • If it approaches you continue to make yourself look bigger.
  • If the bear attacks you, fight back using sticks, pans, rocks, or whatever you have available to you. (Most black bears you might encounter will not see you as food and will most likely run away. However, if the bear is young, injured, or hungry, it might identify you as a meal.)
  • If you need to run, run in a zigzag pattern. (Their center of gravity prevents them from making the quick turns humans can and will help you in your escape.)


Mountain Lions:


  • Consider yourself lucky because seeing a mountain lion is extremely rare!
  • Make yourself appear as large as possible – if you are with others act together to seem large.
  • Make a lot of noise!
  • Act like a predator – maintain eye contact, aggressively wave your arms, toss rocks or sticks. Do not turn away or run.
  • Slowly create distance by backing up and giving the mountain lion room to get to where it is going, (kittens, den, prey, etc.).
  • Should it attack, fight back. Protect your neck and throat. If possible utilize tools such as sticks, rocks, jackets, etc. to fight.

Other Tips: 

Bells: We recommend bells on dogs or gear to give wildlife adequate warning that humans and dogs (both predators) are in the area. Accidentally startling an animal might put the animal on the defensive and cause them to react out of fear.

Dogs: Keep dogs under voice command or on a leash. Countless moose “attacks” occur each year because dogs chased a moose and stimulated it to charge out of fear.

Go Hike: Don’t let all this talk of wildlife safety deter you from hiking. The mountains, rivers, and valleys around us are wild and spectacular. If you hike aware and safely, you will not have a problem with wildlife when you are out exploring the area.