Surrounded by the beautiful Rocky Mountains on all sides, Winter Park is a haven for wildlife. With almost 70 species of mammals, over 300 birds, and several different kinds of fish in Winter Park area, each outing in nature gives you an opportunity to see a new animal. Below, we’ve listed five of our favorite places to go see the beautiful wildlife of Winter Park in their natural habitat. Read about the wildlife you will see while hiking trails near Winter Park CO:
The Kawuneeche Valley
Although it’s located about an hour North of Winter Park, the Kawuneeche Valley on the West side of Rocky Mountain National Park is the absolute best place to see elk, bighorn sheep, and migratory birds.
In the fall, these animals and others are in the height of mating season. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to witness sparring between elk, bighorn sheep, and other powerful creatures. In spring, much of the wildlife in the Kawuneeche Valley have young babies by their sides, making for adorable photo opportunities. Hiking trails near Winter Park CO have something for everyone!
Shadow Mountain Lake
To get to large lakes prime for wildlife viewing near Winter Park, you’ll need to drive North along Highway 40. Once you get to the large lakes Southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll get excellent opportunities to see raptors, quail, woodpeckers, hummingbirds, and more. Shadow Mountain Lake is no exception.
Grand County is one of the best places for bird watching in Colorado. It’s also where many bird species choose to overwinter. No matter what season you go out for a lakeside trek at Shadow Mountain Lake, you can expect to see beautiful wild birds in their natural habitat.
When the lakes freeze over in Grand County, the fish are still thriving beneath the ice. A popular winter activity in Colorado, ice fishing is fun to try for people of all ages. To ice fish, experienced fisherman will drill a hole in the ice so you can drop a line in and catch trout and other cold water fish.
Ice fishing is a wonderful winter activity because it allows you to enjoy the serene beauty of Alpine winter wonderland while catching the day’s fresh dinner. Before you go, just be sure to pick up a Colorado State Fishing License, which is required by the state of Colorado. Luckily, they’re easy to purchase and are available at Winter Park Trading Company, Murdoch’s, and Safeway.
The Fraser River
For summer or fall fishing right in town, head to the Fraser River right behind the Winter Park Resort. The best places to access the river are via the Fraser River Trail, the Idlewild Campground, and any of the US Forest Service road turnouts.
In the Fraser River, you can expect to catch brown trout, rainbow trout, and cutthroat trout. Like any other body of water in Colorado, fishing requires a Colorado State Fishing License. By law, all rainbow trout must also be released.
Hiking Trails Near Winter Park CO
Wherever you go to view wildlife in Grand County, be sure to come home to a serene and relaxing landing spot to rest and recharge each day. At Winter Park Escapes, our luxurious vacation homes offer guests everything they need to relax in style.
To learn more about our incredible homes, amenities, and special offers, search our available Winter Park vacation homes today!