Although Colorado is well-known as a winter destination, summer is a fabulous time to visit. There’s no need to worry about road conditions during the summer like you do in the winter, with the exception for road construction, the occasional rock slide, mud slide, or sink hole….lol. Seriously summer in Colorado is awesome.
On a previous road trip, daughter and I found ourselves hanging out in the town of Winter Park. We’re quite familiar with this town, having spent many a Christmas just up the road at Snow Mountain Ranch. However, this was our first summer visit.
Hmmmm, daughter and I wondered, “What does a mountain ski town have to offer in the summer?” First and foremost, relaxation. We stayed in a condo in the Winter Park Village, at the base of the slopes. Upon arrival, we spent the next couple of hours sitting on our balcony, enjoying good conversation, drinking a cold beverage, and admiring the spectacular view.
The view…..daughter and I are drawn to what appears is a huge concrete gutter twisting and turning up the side of the mountain. Is this some sort of special drainage for heavy snows? Nah, I know better, but I’m perplexed. With uncontrollable curiosity, we rush out of the condo, down the flight of stairs (elevator takes too long) and over to the item in question. Answer……..oh, how cool…..it’s an Alpine Slide. We check the hours of operation and decide that’s first on tomorrows agenda.
The Alpine Slide is some serious fun. You take the ski lift up the mountain, and shush on your little sled down the mountain. They have two runs; one for newbies who are a bit more tentative and the other for the daring with a need for speed. Need I tell you which run I chose and which one daughter chose? Ah, to be young and fearless. However, my second go (once is not enough) I opted for speed.
Winter Park is a small quiet community. It’s very family friendly and oriented. The “Village” sits at the base of the slopes and offers condo rentals, restaurants, shops, mini golf, ski lift, AND the Alpine Slide.
Granby Lake, Shadow Mountain Lake, and Grand Lake are an easy scenic drive north of Winter Park. The numerous lakes and streams in this part of Colorado offer a variety of fishing and boating experiences in addition to the plentiful hiking, biking, and horseback riding possibilities.
Getting to Winter Park is relatively easy and takes just a couple of hours from Denver. From Denver, take I-70 west to Hwy 40 north. Hwy 40 and Berthoud Pass have been improved immensely over the years with the addition of guard rails and a third lane. Three lanes going up and one lane coming down, BUT the folks coming down the mountain can use that center lane for passing. I think that’s why that center lane is known as “the suicide lane”. Try driving it in the winter when the road is covered with snow. Fun times! Our first time driving Berthoud Pass was well over fifteen years ago, before the third lane and guard rails were added. Yikes! It’s much improved since that first visit and summer driving is a piece of cake.
Throughout summer, Winter Park hosts a variety of events and activities. For the latest and up to date happenings click here.