It’s hard to deny that Winter Park, Colorado is a downhill enthusiast’s dream come true. When the fresh powder falls, those with a passion for hitting the slopes will find plenty to choose from. However, in the warmer months of summer, fall, and spring, the snow melts away to reveal a variety of natural attractions that are worth experiencing and exploring as well. Here are just a few of many to add to the list of must-see stops the next time you’re in Winter Park.
Vazquez Peak Wilderness
Stretching across both the Roosevelt National Forest and Arapahoe National Forest, the Vazquez Peak Wilderness encompasses a breathtaking 12,300 acres of protected and unspoiled landscape in scenic Winter Park. First established in 1993, the Vazquez Peak Wilderness enjoys over 15 miles of trails to discover the wildlife and plant life that await within its boundaries. Alpine tundra and spruce and fir forests dominate the terrain in this wilderness throughout which visitors will find a collection of creeks, streams, and six major mountain peaks. While bighorn sheep grace the slopes of this area alongside elk, bald eagles claim the skies in combination with falcons and owls.
Jim Creek Trail
Accessible from Winter Park Resort and offering up options to hike as far or a little as guests would like, the Jim Creek Trail winds through the Arapahoe National Forest in scenic style. This 8-mile route is moderately difficult and is popular amongst hikers, runners, and cyclists alike. Along the Jim Creek Trail, a wide variety of wildflowers can be admired throughout the year, but are particularly appealing in the spring season. No matter when you take to the Jim Creek Trail, make sure to see the route through to the end where a waterfall awaits to please cascade chasers. Flowing into a cool pool, many stop to dip their feet in before trekking the route back.
Shadow Mountain Lake
A gem of Grand County, Colorado, Shadow Mountain Lake is an inviting and beautiful place to admire and enjoy during travels to Winter Park. This reservoir seeps into Grand Lake which holds the title as the state’s largest natural lake and is also worth taking time to explore. Surrounded by rolling hills, towering peaks, and spruce forests, Shadow Mountain Lake is a picturesque piece of nature’s puzzle in the Colorado terrain. This lake is a wonderful place for bird watchers to come and see great blue herons, bald eagles, ospreys, and Canadian geese. It’s also home to larger land-roaming wildlife including moose, elk, deer, and even black bears.
Enjoy the Winter Park Experience
When you’re ready to head to the mountains, let the team at Winter Park Escapes make sure you’re settled in comfortable and welcoming accommodations. Contact us today to learn more and to begin planning. We also offer pet-friendly rentals for those who wish to bring along a furry friend!