Does your favorite hiking buddy have 4 legs? Ours, too… The Winter Park area has more than 600 miles of hiking trails, winding through beautiful forests and offering stunning mountain views. While not all the trails are dog-friendly (Rocky Mountain National Park for example), there are still plenty of great dog-friendly hikes!
The best dog-friendly hikes are through heavily shaded areas with water for your pup to play in and drink from. Our list below features 4 hikes that you and your k-9 will give 2 paws up!
1) Lower Roof of the Rockies
This mellow trail starts at the top of the Winter Park Gondola (Bonus: the Gondola is free for dogs😊). This 3.6-mile trail is great for all skill levels and dog sizes. Stroll through a shaded forest as you watch the Trestle bikers ride and go off jumps as you walk by. As you continue your hike, you’ll come to a beautiful open meadow with a stream and views of the Fraser Valley. Here’s an excellent spot for a quick break and a chance for your dog to get a drink of water and maybe even do some swimming.
After the break, you’ll re-enter the shaded forest for a few more miles. If you want a side adventure, take the trail for Fantasy Meadow. This area is covered with wildflowers, some shade, and wide-open spaces, making it another spot for relaxation and dog-approved fun. Enjoy!
2) Second Creek
A few scenic turns up Berthoud Pass sits the Second Creek Trailhead. Begin the hike with a climb next to the creek underneath a heavily forested canopy. As you emerge from the shade, you’ll be met with jaw-dropping views of the Continental Divide and the surrounding mountains. Traverse along the tree-line and head toward the backcountry ski hut (unfortunately, dogs are not welcomed inside). Behind the hut sits a trickling stream that can provide water for you and the pup.
The area around the hut is a great place to sit and soak in the views, or you can continue on to North Cone, the highest point at Winter Park Resort (12,060ft) for 360-degree panoramic views of majestic mountains and endless views.
3) Discovery Challenger Trail
Don’t let the name scare you off, this trail is quite leisurely. The Trailhead sits right across the street from the Resort entrance. Only a 1.2 loop, this is a good hike for all skill levels and has lots of shade, water, and picnic areas! During the loop, you’ll have beautiful views of Winter Park Resort and even a chance to see wild strawberries growing, rainbow trout in the water, and maybe a moose (but keep your distance)!
If you want to hike further, hop on the Jim Creek Trail and head toward Jim Creek Falls! This trail is more difficult than the loop, but it just makes it that much more worth it when you get there.
4) Fraser River Trail to Hideaway Park Brewery
Beer and hiking? Say no more. From the Resort, wander down through old town Winter Park and head for the trail on Winter Park Drive. This trail is great for all types of exercise and activities since it’s paved (so watch out for bikers)! This trail has beautiful views of Parry Peak and the Resort scattered through the dense trees and heavy shade. It also follows the Fraser River through the Idlewild campground and into town, which makes it perfect for the pup to play. When you pop out of the forested area, you’ll begin to see the town of Winter Park. Stay on the right side of the street as Hideaway Park Brewery is just a few blocks away, and I’m sure your dog already knows that because this is where all the local pups like to hang.
At Hideaway Park Brewery, we recommend the Mexican Lager or All Day Cream Ale… if they’re on tap!
Bring your doggo to Winter Park this summer to Venture Out together! And read our other Dog-Friendly Activities blog for even more recommendations! We’ll see you and your paw-fect pup on the trail 😊.