Best Hikes Near Winter Park

We head to Winter Park, Colorado in part because of all the beauty there is to experience. Whether it’s a luxury mountain home to keep you cozy, or an inviting trail to explore with your family, Lakota has the inside scoop.

Hit the Trails

It’s almost time to store your skis for the season, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider a trip to Winter Park. The area offers hiking trails for all skill levels, making it a great place for families hiking with kids.

Kid-Friendly Hikes in Winter Park

Arapaho National Forest boasts over 700,000 acres of land, sprawling across Grand and Clear Creek counties. It contains peaks in the Rockies, the Continental Divide, the Colorado River, the South Platte River, and serves as a refuge for a variety of birds. It’s also a wonderful place to take the family for a warm-weather hike.

For hikes that are easy to access and don’t involve aggressive elevation gains, check out the following in the Winter Park area.

The Fraser River Trail

  • 6.3 miles
  • Stroller friendly
  • Dog friendly
  • Highlights: vegetation, wildlife, access to fly fishing, picnic tables

Mary’s Pond Trail

  • 0.03 miles
  • Stroller friendly boardwalk
  • Dog friendly
  • Highlights: scenic boardwalk trail around the water, wildlife

Creekside Flume Trail

  • 3.3 miles
  • Stroller friendly in some areas
  • Dog friendly
  • Highlights: vegetation, water, places to sit along the trail, wildlife

Monarch Lake

  • 4 miles
  • NOT stroller friendly
  • Dog friendly
  • Highlights: scenic access to Lake Granby, fishing access, old steam engine, wildlife

Discovery Challenger Trail

  • 1.2-mile loop
  • Stroller friendly
  • Dog friendly
  • Highlights: handicap accessible boardwalk, wildlife, river

Challenging Hikes in Winter Park

Leave the little ones with a sitter and challenge yourself with some more intermediate to advanced hikes in Colorado.

Yankee Doodle

  • 5 miles (round trip)
  • 1,225-foot elevation gain
  • Highlights: scenic views, wildlife

St. Louis Lake Trail

  • 12 miles
  • 1,991-foot elevation gain
  • Highlights: vegetation, alpine lake, wildlife

Byer’s Peak

  • 4.3 miles
  • 2,259-foot elevation gain
  • Highlights: vegetation, wildlife

Devil’s Thumb

  • 3.9 miles
  • 2,627-foot elevation gain
  • Highlights: meadows, Continental Divide, wildlife

Tips for Hiking in Colorado

If you’re visiting Colorado from a different altitude, hiking can be extra challenging, even on easy trails. The Colorado Trail Foundation recommends a few essentials while hiking, namely a form of navigation, sun protection, a first aid kit, and a headlamp. These items may provide priceless assets if you find yourself on a trail for longer than initially planned.

When hiking with kids, you probably know how important it is to bring extra water and snacks. But did you know that there are certain foods that can help you adjust better to the higher altitude in Colorado?

Stay Hydrated

Hiking at higher altitudes than you’re used to increases your respiration and heart rate. This means your body is using water at a faster rate, and it’s important to stay hydrated. Bring more water than you think you need when hiking any of Colorado’s trails. Avoiding alcohol in the days before hiking is also helpful; alcohol decreases blood oxygen levels, which is a problem that will be exacerbated in high altitudes.

Fuel Up

You may benefit from upping your calorie intake during your hike. It may not make much difference if you’re below 12,000 feet, but there are studies that suggest a high-carbohydrate diet is beneficial for hikes at that altitude and above. Protein can help with nausea, and potassium may also relieve symptoms of altitude sickness.

Did you know that high altitudes can decrease feelings of hunger? While you may not think it’s time for a snack, chances are you’re just not getting the same hunger cues as you would at a lower elevation. Plan for regular breaks to hydrate and eat on the trail.

Protect Your Skin

UV rays are stronger the higher you hike, so be sure you’re using sunblock and protective clothing on your hike. There is about 50% more UV radiation at 10,000 feet compared to at sea level, so use SPF 30 (or higher) that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Don’t forget about applying sunscreen on skin that is exposed to reflected light as well, especially if you’re hiking over snow. This means putting sunscreen under your chin and nose!

Pack Ibuprofen

There is evidence that suggests ibuprofen can combat the effects of altitude sickness. Before you hike in Winter Park, talk with your doctor about ways you can deal with any symptoms you may experience on high-altitude hikes.
You can learn more about life at Lakota Winter Park HERE. Our luxury mountain home neighborhoods offer unbeatable access to the great outdoors, all while keeping luxury in mind. Whether you’re looking for a new construction home or something already established in Winter Park, we have it.