Want to find great Winter Park hiking trails? You’ve come to the right place.
Get out of your car, lace up your boots, and hike a trail to an alpine lake, a mountain peak, or a roaring waterfall. Whether trekking into the mountains or enjoying a scenic stroll along a creek, there are plenty of Winter Park hiking trails for you.
Where to Go Hiking in Winter Park
There are countless hikes in the Winter Park and Fraser Valley, from relaxing walks along mountain streams to rigorous treks to alpine lakes and waterfalls to grueling climbs to mountain peaks.
- For a gentle walk in the woods, stroll along the Fraser River Trail, paved from Fraser to the town of Winter Park. The trail begins again on the east side of the road near Beavers Lodge and travels along the Fraser River to Old Town and continues on Winter Park Drive to Winter Park Resort. There are picnic tables and benches along the way.
- The first two to three miles on the hike to Devil’s Thumb is great for families. The relatively flat trail follows Cabin Creek until it forks and climbs above the meadow. From there, a stop at the bridge for lunch is nice before heading back.
- Columbine Lake is a popular and moderate 2.8-mile (one way) hike from the trailhead above Meadow Creek Reservoir through meadows filled with wildflowers in July and August. The lake nestles at the base of Mt. Neva in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area.
- For a short walk (less than a half mile) to a beautiful waterfall, consider hiking to Adams Falls from the East Inlet Trailhead in Rocky Mountain National Park.
- Hike to Lulu City in Rocky Mountain National Park and see the small streat that is the beginning of the mighty Colorado River. Or, from the Alpine Visitor Center hike the Ute Trail along the tundra.
The Official Hiking Guide to Grand County™ has detailed information on 18 trails from Grand Lake to Winter Park hiking trails and includes directions to each trailhead, difficulty ratings, and elevation graphs. A portion of the $9.95 price helps maintain local trails. Find it in local area stores.
Winter Park Hiking Tips
The Rocky Mountains are not a theme park. The Fraser Valley is at 9,120ft elevation with mountains rising more than 13,000ft. Even fit individuals may experience altitude sickness. Before heading out, become acclimated to the elevation, drink lots of water (bring along two quarts) and follow these simple guidelines:
- Weather changes quickly in the mountains, so start hikes early and be off summits before noon to avoid lightning.
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return.
- Do not hike alone.
- If your feet are happy, the rest of your body will be happy. Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes are essential. No flip-flops or sandals. Wear a pair of wicking socks as well—no cotton!
- Wear a hat and sunglasses, apply lots of sunscreen and wear a bandana around your neck to protect yourself from the sun and heat.
- Insect repellent is important in July!
- Dress in layers, with a wicking material against your skin and then a warming layer like a fleece pullover.
- Carry a backpack that includes water (hydration packs are perfect), nutritious snacks, jacket, rain gear, map, knife, whistle, and first aid kit.
There is no better way to see the Rocky Mountains than on foot. See you on the trails!