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Why use a local winter park colorado vacation rental company?

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 company. 

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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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!

Updated February 15, 2019

Bring Your Dog


If you are looking for a pooch-friendly vacation destination look no further. Winter Park, Colorado is about as dog-friendly as it gets. From puppy friendly lodging and doggy daycare to pup-friendly hiking trails and restaurants, Winter Park, Colorado has everything you will need for a fantastic family vacation with your whole family.Check out Headwater Trails Alliance for a full list of local pup-friendly hikes.

When hiking with your pup, be sure to clean up after them and keep them on a leash or under voice command. Moose dislike dogs and will attack if they feel threatened. If you come across a moose, prevent your dog from chasing it, and slowly move away.

Dog eating ice cream

Doggy Daycare:


Can’t find a pet friendly vacation rental and still want to bring your best friend with you? Here’s a couple Doggy Daycares in the area.

4 Paws Resort 
Granby, CO 

Mountain Mongrels Dog Boarding
Grand Lake

How about taking a dog sled ride while your on vacation!

Dogsled Rides of Winter Park. They offer kennel tours year-round, dogsled rides in the winter, and cart rides when there is no snow on the ground.

Dog-friendly restaurants:


Carvers Restaurant – In need of a pup-friendly breakfast or lunch? Stop by Carvers. Carvers serves homemade bread products, 100% cage fee eggs and all their meat is Colorado-raised, hormone and antibiotic free. Pups on leashes are welcome to join.

Deno’s – Deno’s is home to a pup-friendly patio that all four and two-legged visitor will enjoy. With a huge happy hour menu, a full bar, an insane wine list, kickin’ wings, and spectacular location you and your pup will be in for a treat. (Pups must be on a leash.)

Deno's Mountain Bistro Winter Park Colorado
Dog friendly vacation

Dog-Friendly Hikes:

Many guests are disappointed to discover that dogs are not allowed in Rocky Mountain National Park. While this is the case, there are a ton of pet-friendly hikes in and around Winter Park to keep you and your pup exploring.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Columbine Lake
  • Zoom Flume
  • Strawberry Creek
  • Devil’s Thumb
  • Doe Creek
  • Fraser River Trail


Check out Headwater Trails Alliance for a full list of local pup-friendly hikes.

When hiking with your pup, be sure to clean up after them and keep them on a leash or under voice command. Moose dislike dogs and will attack if they feel threatened. If you come across a moose, prevent your dog from chasing it, and slowly move away.

Dog-Friendly Lodging:

Visit Winter Park Lodging – We are the top vacation management company serving the area. We know how important pets are to visiting families so we have a few dog friendly vacation rentals. Click here for our Wapiti three bedroom that’s dog and cat friendly! 

Come Visit!

With so much to do, we hope you and your pooch will consider visiting Winter Park, Colorado for your next family vacation!

So you’ve hit a wall. There is nothing worse than getting stuck in the daily grind of work, school, holidays, blah, blah, blah… You’re itching to travel, get away from it all, reclaim your sanity, but you’re not sure where to go?

Make Winter Park Your NEXT Escape!

Here are 11 reasons your sanity NEEDs YOU to Escape to Winter Park, Colorado!

ONLY – 67 Miles from Denver.

Don’t want to deal with a rental car or your not-so-snow-worthy car in the mountains? No problem. Catch the Amtrak or Home James Shuttle to Winter Park. Once here, we have accessible (and FREE) transportation throughout town, the resort, and to most lodging in Winter Park and Fraser, Colorado.


Great Lodging Deals!

No matter your budget or the number in your group, you’ll be able to score lodging in Winter Park.

Traveling With a Group?
There’s plenty of lodging available for groups of all sizes and all budgets. In Winter Park you’ll find everything from rustic cabins, to luxurious vacation homes sleeping 2 – 30+, to affordable cabins, ski condos, Bed & Breakfasts, and even yurts*! For great options that will fit your group and your budget.! (*Yurt – A circular tent built on a collapsible framework. Originally used by nomads in Mongolia, Siberia, and Turkey.)

Get Wild!
Looking for a WILD Colorado Lodging Experience? Three words, “High Lonesome Hut.” Accessible only by snowshoe, ski, dog sled, or depending on the weather, by foot, this three-story hut is located 2.5+ miles back in the wild. Your neighbors will be moose, coyotes, deer, and the occasional mountain lion.

Cheapest Ski and Ride without spring break crowds!

Early season is full of great deals! (Plus, with most rug rats still in school, you won’t have to worry about plowing them over on the slopes, or visa versa…)  Four Pass deals to Winter Park Resort are currently available for as low as $50 a day!


It’s Legal…and We’ve Got Three Retail Marijuana Outlets!

It’s no secret that Colorado is one of a few states where weed is legal. If you’re not interested in “that scene,” you probably won’t even know it’s here…so skip to #5.

If you are interested in “that scene”, or are just curious, we have two dispensaries and a revolutionary growing facility! Take a tour of the 12,500 square foot facility and see hundreds of plants at all stages of life. Next, observe “canna-chefs” as they create, infuse, and bake edibles! In the retail shop, you’ll be able to purchase everything from flower, wax, topical ointments, candies, and more! (It’s all very scientific.)

Be Human…Talk

There’s no better time to strike up a conversation and potentially make friends than when you’re on vacation! Everyone’s got a story to tell, and while traveling you’ve got time to hear it. That’s part of the beauty of traveling! Take a break from your “Snapchat” and chat it up with the local bartender, your lift buddy, or the chick in line behind you…you never know who you might meet, or what insider information they might share with you!

Try a Parking Lot Party.

November and December temps are still enjoyable and you’ll see people grilling, playing Frisbee, and hanging out in the resort lots. (Happen to hit the parking lot on a cold day? Add some “adult beverages” to your menu, and warm up from the inside out.) Don’t know anyone? No problem. Refer to #5.


If you’re looking to loosen up after a day on the snow, you’re in the right place! With Pamper yourself with a massage, facial, iridology*, reflexology, aromatherapy, a chiropractic adjustment, a yoga class, and more. There are plenty of ways to unwind in Winter Park, Colorado!
(*Iridology reviews the iris for patterns, colors, and other characteristics in order to identify underlying conditions and personality traits.)

Slow Down…

Coming to Winter Park is like slowing down. You’ll notice that unless you’re on the slopes, people generally move slower. There is no need to rush.
Embrace it. Chill out. Take time to say hi to a stranger. Hit up the late-night music scene.  Slow your roll. Soak it up!


Après Ski Deals and BOOZE

(Need we say more? If not skip to 10)

Après Ski literally means “after ski.” In Winter Park, when the lifts stop for the night, everyone flocks to the restaurants and bars to eat, drink, mingle, and be merry! Nearly every restaurant around offers Après Ski deals, so whether you’re craving sushi, Italian, Chinese, Pizza, or fine dining, we can assure you there are plenty of options that will satisfy you and your budget.

If you’re a connoisseur of the alcoholic variety, we’ve got you covered. With three breweries and two tasting rooms featuring whiskey and wine, you’ll be set!


Get Outta Your Comfort Zone!

When was the last time you did something NEW? If you had to think about that…that’s not a good sign. Winter Park is the perfect place to get outta your comfort zone and give something new a try!

Fat Biking:
• Need a break from the slopes? Go for a ride on a Fat Bike…(Yes, you can bike in the snow!) There are miles of accessible trails to check out! Plus, with mild weather in November and December, you’ll be set to cruise! Looking to rent a fat bike and get some beginner tips? Hit up the Nordic Center at the YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch, Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Epic Mountain Sports, Icebox Mountain Sports, or Beavers Sports Shop.

• Take a guided or unguided tour through snow packed and powder trails hitting elevations of 12,000ft+!

Nordic Skiing:
• The old skinny ski. If you thought these skis were for “grandma” you were wrong. Nordic skiing is a somewhat extreme sport requiring coordination, balance, stamina, and skill. Try for yourself at Devil’s Thumb Ranch or YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch.

Snow Tubing:
• 4 Hills within 15 miles. We’ve got that covered!

Cat Skiing:
• No, we’re not inviting you to bring your cat skiing, but we are inviting you to get way out of your comfort zone for an experience you’ll remember forever. Get off the slopes and into the beautiful and serene backcountry with Powder Addiction! Catch a SnowCat up to Jones Pass where you’ll enjoy 2,600 skiable acres, 10,500 – 12,500 ski vertical, and 7 – 12 runs a day! Avalanche beacons, packs, shovels, food, guides, transportations, and powder skis are provided! B.Y.O.B. (bring your own board), if you prefer to ride.

Truly Escape.

The landscape, authenticity, culture, and experiences of Winter Park are captivating. Whatever you decide to do while you’re here, be sure you take time to look around, appreciate nature, the mountains, people, the sun, and your life. If you’re looking for perspective, chances are you’ll find it. It’s pretty hard to dwell on “petty junk” when you are surrounded by the mountains and endless opportunities!


Do it for your sanity. Do it for yourself.

Make Winter Park Your NEXT Escape!



all is a great time for everyone to have fun! Here’s a list of kid-friendly family activities in Winter Park Colorado, and the best part is they are all free!

Fall Festival – Sept. 26 – Fraser, Colorado

The 15th Annual Grand Kids Fall Festival is located at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex. Free admission to festival, tickets available for the following festivities: Tasty Food, Bake Sale, Prizes, Silent Auction, Bouncy House, Bobbing for Donuts, Tie Die, Ear 2 Ear Photo Booth, Face Painting, Plinko. All proceeds benefit Grand Kids Child Care Center.


Fishing Ponds: 

Lions Club Ponds – Fraser, Colorado           
Fraser River Valley Lions Club Fishing Ponds are located next to Safeway in Fraser, Colorado. There is both a kids and adult pond stocked with a variety of fish. Adjacent to the ponds you can find a pavilion with BBQ grill and picnic tables as well as a children’s play area. Close enough to take a stroll along the Fraser River.

Kaibab Park – Granby, Colorado
Kaibab Park is located near the bridge at the southern entrance to Granby. Along with the children’s fishing pond is a playground as well as softball and baseball fields. Picnic shelter and tables are also available.

Easy Biking and Hiking Trails:

Discovery Trail – Winter Park, Colorado
Distance: 1.5 miles round trip
Description: This shorter, child-friendly hike is great for family picnics and a chance to spot wildlife. The path eventually meets up with Jim Creek Trail for those looking for a bit further of a hike.

Fraser River Trail – Winter Park/Fraser, Colorado
Distance: 5 miles one way
Description: Starting at Winter Park Resort the Fraser River trail is a combination of paved and dirt paths that lead all the way to Safeway in Fraser. This path is great for strolling on foot or cruising on a bike, and follows the Fraser River.

Creekside – Flume Loop Trails #61 / #82 – Fraser, Colorado
Distance: 5-mile loop
Description: This easy/intermediate trail offers a less challenging scenic route next to St. Louis Creek, offers wildlife viewing of moose and deer.

Adams Falls Trail – Grand Lake, Colorado
Distance: 1 mile out and back
Description: If you’re in the Grand Lake area this hike is a great experience for all ages. This easy hike takes you out to a spectacular lookout point to view Adams Falls.

Local Parks:

Hideaway Park – Winter Park, Colorado
Address: 78841 US-40 Winter Park, CO 80482
Hideaway is a beautiful park located in the heart of Downtown Winter Park, Colorado. This versatile park is home to a number of events including the summer concerts series.

Park Features:
• Playground
• Rock Climbing Wall
• Skateboard Park
• Events Space
• River Walk
• Pavilions
• BBQ Grill
• Picnic Tables
• Public Restrooms

Wolf Park – Winter Park, Colorado
Address: 320 Kings Crossing Rd. Winter Park, CO 80482
Wolf Park is Winter Park’s largest park located off Kings Crossing Road in Winter Park. This neighborhood park is a great option if you would like to get off the busy beaten path.

Park Features:
• Playground
• Basketball Court
• Sand Volleyball Court
• Tennis Courts
• Fitness Trail
• Playing Field
• Pavilions
• BBQ Grills
• Public Restrooms
• Gazebo
• Picnic Tables

Old School House Park – Fraser, Colorado
Address: 153 Fraser Ave. Fraser, Colorado 80442
Old School House Park is located next to Fraser Town Hall (Fraser’s original schoolhouse). A great place for youngsters to safely view trains that are passing through.

Park Features:
• Playground
• Tennis Courts
• Playing Field
• Canopy
• Pavilion
• BBQ Grill
• Picnic Tables

Fraser Valley Sports Complex – Fraser, Colorado
Address: 220 County Rd 522, Fraser, CO 80442
Fraser Valley Sports Complex is a 40-Acre park located just north the town of Fraser. This spacious park has an awesome 360-degree view of surrounding mountain skyline.

Park Features:
• Playground (New Cowboy & Indian Playground Coming Soon)
• Soccer Fields
• Softball/Baseball Fields
• Ice Rink
• Big Teepee
• Sand Volleyball Court
• Public Restrooms
• Picnic Tables
• BBQ Grills
• Pavilions

Polhamus Park – Granby, Colorado
Address: Zero West Jasper Ave. Granby, CO 80446
Polhamus is a gated park located next to Granby Town Hall. This neighborhood park provides a variety of equipment making it perfect for all ages.

Park Features:
• Playground
• Skateboard Park
• Gazebo
• Playing Field
• Picnic Tables
• BBQ Grills
• Public Restrooms

It is that time of year again. The time when the aspen trees begin to turn and bull elk begin to bugle. Listening to an elk bugling “live” is an amazing experience. The range of pitches a bull elk can reach and the raw power of their calls will astound you and give you chills. We definitely encourage you to add, “listening to an elk bugle” to your personal bucket list.

Perhaps the best place to witness the fall elk rut and bugling is in our own backyard, in Rocky Mountain National Park. With hunting season in full swing, many animals flock to the park for protection. Drive through the park around dawn or dusk and chances are you’ll witness the rut going on in meadows and in trees. If you’ve got the time, head over Trail Ridge Road to the Eastern entrance of the park and look around for elk there.  Below are 15  facts about elk that will help you prepare for your Colorado Elk Experience and Excitement! 

15 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Elk




Fall in Winter Park, Colorado means the gorgeous glow of aspen trees, and they are already starting to POP! This year the aspens are expected to peak the third and fourth weeks of September. So plan ahead, Visit Winter Park, and see the magic as it unfolds.

Here are some insider tips on some of the best leaf peeping opportunities in the high country, (that require limited or no hiking at all)!

Must-do Leaf Peeping Drives:


CO – 125 North

Drive past Granby and take a right on CO – 125 North towards Walden – this paved and fun drive winds along the beautiful Coyote Creek, passes incredible rock formations and crosses large aspen forests that if you hit at the right time will be bursting with fall colors. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for moose and deer that frequent the willows and meadows. If you want to make a day out of it, stop by the Arapaho National Wildlife Refuge in Walden, Colorado. Here you’ll see a variety of native birds, moose, elk, antelope, and more.

Corona Pass

From the town of Winter Park, head East on Highway 40 towards Winter Park Resort. About a mile up, you’ll see a sign for Corona Pass on your left. Take this turnoff and follow 80. You’ll drive through aspen groves of all sizes, and chances are you’ll see some wildlife on the drive. While you can take the road to Rollins Pass at the top of the Divide, the road gets fairly rough at times, and the drive will take about an hour, (awesome drive if you have the time, but halfway up, the aspens dwindle). If you’d like to stick with the leaf peeping, take your second right onto 81 (Forest Road 128) and then take another right onto Arrow Trail until you reach Highway 40.

Cottonwood Pass

Cottonwood Pass is a hidden gem of Grand County Colorado. If you’re in search of an amazing trip through the backcountry, on maintained dirt roads, take Cottonwood Pass. From Winter Park, head West on Highway 40 through Tabernash, Colorado and continue until you pass the YMCA of the Rockies, (it will be on your left). About a mile after you pass the YMCA of the Rockies, you’ll take a left onto County Road 55. This dirt road will take you through meadows, fields, giant aspen groves, and eventually will drop you off in the town of Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado and reconnect with Highway 40, (you can take Highway 40 back to Winter Park, Colorado). While in Hot Sulphur Springs we recommend checking out the Pioneer Village Museum, the hot springs, or if you are hungry hit the Glory Hole for a fantastic breakfast, or the Dairy Delight for great burgers and ice cream.


County Road 8

Head West on 40 out of Winter Park, Colorado. After you pass the Fraser Post Office (on your right) take your next right onto County Road 8. Follow along County Road 8 for a few miles you’ll end up in the thick of a variety of aspen forests. After the turnoff for the Devil’s Thumb Trailhead, you can take a quick hike, turn around, or *adventure onto 128 (Water Board Road). *If you choose the last option, get a map, a full tank of gas, and plan your route before going.

Granby Ranch

Not in the mood to drive? Head over to Granby Ranch. Why? Granby Ranch is offering free chairlift rides for all foot passengers up and down the mountain! Grab a free pass from the shop, and hit the lifts. Once the lift drops you off at the top, you’ll be free and clear to explore the hiking trails, which meander through beautiful groves and look out over stunning views covered with aspen trees! (Wednesdays – Sundays* from 10am – 5pm through September 27th – weather dependent. Call ahead if you have any questions.)



If you’re looking for the perfect fall hike Columbine Lake a great option!

On this hike you enjoy limited elevation gain, stunning views of the Indian Peaks Wilderness, late blooming wildflowers, and of course the teal blue of the clear mountain lake.

To prepare:

Getting there:

The Hike:

The trail is approximately 8 miles round-trip and takes anywhere from 3+ hours to complete. The destination is the perfect spot to have a picnic, so plan ahead and make a day of it. The trail is rocky but well maintained and defined. Also, though there are multiple water crossings, all of them have rocks, bridges, or makeshift log bridges to use. (No one likes wet socks!)

Once on the trail keep your eyes peeled for moose and deer, especially in the meadows and forests! (My first time hiking this trail in July, I saw three big bulls and a few cows!) 


About a half a mile in, you’ll see an old homestead on your right. It’s pretty cool to check out and imagine how people used to live.

The trail is slightly sloped for the first three quarters and the last leg being a more dramatic incline. The trail runs along a few meadows, the Meadow Creek at times, enters pine forests, boulder fields, next to cliffs, and waterfalls. It is a very beautiful and fairly low impact hike.


Once you get to the lake there are plenty of boulders to sit on and enjoy the view. Some people (and dogs) swim, though the mountain lake’s icy chill prevents many.

Moral of the story:

Columbine Lake is a very accessible, beautiful, and enjoyable hike for anyone looking to get out, explore, and see some of Colorado’s untouched beauty this fall. Protected by cliffs and trees, you will not encounter the cold winds that other hikes are prone to this time of year, and with the cooler temps and natural springs, a variety of wildflowers are still blooming in the meadows and creek beds, (yes even in September).

If you still need more convincing, check out the photos below. Then grab some gear and your friends and hit the trail to Columbine Lake, you’ll be glad you did!






Visit Winter Park, Colorado
Your unofficial guide to all things Winter Park and the Fraser Valley
5 Surprises What to do in Winter Park, Colorado

1. A Summer Tubing Hill

Yes, you read that correctly. A summer tubing hill! We have the only summer tubing hill in Colorado and one of only three in the county here in our own backyard! You’ll be able to enjoy tubing without the heavy gear and snow pants. When you Visit Winter Park, Colorado be sure to add this downhill adventure to your bucket list!

Located at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA of the Rockies

2. An Experimental Forest

We are home to an experimental forest managed by the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Forest Service. Located next door in Fraser, CO this experimental forest is a 23,000-acre forest that was established in 1937. The forest focuses on researching the effects of different forest management styles on timber and water production. Take a hike in the Fraser Experimental Forest when you Visit Winter Park, it can be found down route 73 past the Fraser Rodeo grounds.

Find out more about the Fraser Experimental Forest.

Love the outdoors? Try a leaf peeping drive this fall!

3. Summer Dogsled (cart) Rides

Dogsledding in the summer? We’ve got it! Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park offers cart rides when there isn’t snow, sled rides when there is snow cover, and kennel tours year-round. Their team of nearly 80 dogs were born and raised to pull sleds and carts and just watching them work as a team you’ll realize what talented and passionate pups they are.

4. Lift-served Cross-Country Biking and Hiking

Not only is Granby Ranch is home to a fantastic downhill mountain bike park, but they also have lift-serve access to miles of cross-country biking and hiking trails. These trails range from beginner trails to expert and wind and curve along mountain vistas, through aspen forests, and end at the base of the mountain. Foot traffic enjoy free lift rides and hiking!

5. Hot Sulphur Springs

Located in nearby Hot Sulphur you’ll find Hot Sulphur Springs. As you may guess from the name, these springs are filled naturally by hot Sulphur water, originating from deep inside the earth’s crust. This historic hot springs was originally discovered by Native Americans who felt the springs were healing. William Byers rediscovered the hot springs in 1840 and decided to turn the hot springs into a resort, and named the town Hot Sulphur Springs.Read our guide for what to do in Winter Park, Colorado besides ski.


Do you remember the last time you went on a date with your significant other? If not, you’re overdue so plan a date when you Visit Winter Park, Colorado. If you’re in need of some Winter Park date night ideas we’ve got you covered, (we’ve even got childcare covered)!

Here is a list of options for date nights ranging from happy hour to a fun-filled night out on the town!

Pack a Picnic

Pack a picnic and a bottle of wine and head to the mountains with your significant other and enjoy a low-key date night of a sunset and stargazing. Be sure to bring headlamps, bug spray, a blanket, layers, and plenty of water if you choose to do your own backwoods cooking.  (Be sure a fire ban is not in place and prior to leaving make sure your campfire is out, out!)

Where to go? If you have 4-wheel drive head up to Corona Pass in Winter Park! – It’s a bit longer of a drive on a bumpy road, but the views from the top of the divide are unbelievable! Otherwise, head up Strawberry Creek in Tabernash, Colorado for a smoother drive and lots of great lookouts!

Pizza and a Movie

Winter Park, Colorado is home to The Foundry, one of the coolest movie theaters in the country. Here you can grab a drink, order a pizza or sandwich, and head into their deluxe and newly remolded theater with perhaps the most comfortable seats in existence. (Insider’s tip: The seats in the front are extra-comfy, lazy-boys that recline!) Not feeling a film? The Foundry also offers bowling and pool, in a retro-styled environment.

Ice Cream and a Show

In need of an extended night out, away from the words, “Mom” and “Dad?” If so, head over to Grand Lake, Colorado for a night on the town. In just 30 minutes you will be passing by the beautiful Lake Granby and heading on your way to the rustic town of Grand Lake, Colorado. There you’ll find a bustling Main Street complete with souvenir shops, art galleries, and ice cream shops.

Once you’ve grabbed some ice cream and checked out the town, head over to the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre and settle in for a great show. This year’s shows include, 42nd Street, The Addams Family, All Shook Up, and Forever Plaid.

Happy Hour

Looking for an early date night so you can get back with the family before bedtime? Try happy hour at Tabernash Tavern. Located a five-minute drive West of Winter Park, Tabernash Tavern offers a full happy hour menu, amazing drink specials, and live music on select nights.

Dinner and Live Music

Friday’s throughout the season, Cooper Creek Square is offering live music and outdoor dining. The various restaurants have gotten together to organize a delivery system so you can eat your meal while watching a live band perform in the courtyard. Cooper Creek Square offers a variety of different dining options including; Mexican, Sushi, Indian, Chinese, Barbeque, Coffee, Gelato, and more.

Fancy and Affordable

If you’re looking for delectable food, a vast wine selection, a romantic atmosphere, and a surprisingly affordable menu, Volario’s is the place to go. Located in downtown Winter Park, Volario’s offers a variety of Italian-American dishes, with homemade pasta, and fantastic service.


If childcare, (or lack thereof) might be the difference between a great date night out, or another night in have no fear. There are plenty of responsible and professional child care providers in the area.