Summer, Summer Guides, Venture Out

Hidden Gems of Winter Park – Summer Edition

While Winter Park itself is a great place to get away from it all, there are even more ways to avoid the crowds and discover something new once you get here. Keep reading to find out about a few hidden gems near Winter Park that will take you off the beaten path.

Strawberry Lake

You might have heard of Strawberry Lake’s nearby neighbor, Monarch Lake, but if you’re looking for something a little more secluded, try this 3.7 mile moderate out-and-back hike. You’re likely to feel the burn for the first uphill, but rest assured, things mellow out after for a serene hike through the woods with a beautiful payoff and fewer people than other well-known area hikes.


With a new outdoor patio conveniently tucked behind Cooper Creek Square (often missed because of its location), and a special summer menu, this hidden gem offers a taste of Spain right here in Winter Park! Enjoy surf, turf, and veggie options alongside an iced sangria.

Serenity Trail

best things to do in winter park, Hidden Gems of Winter Park – Summer Edition
Beautiful views on the Serenity Trail

Don’t let the accessibility of this trail fool you, you’ll get lush forest, lots of wildflowers, and great views of the Continental Divide. Starting from the base, take a short walk along Tunnel Hill Road and you’ll see Serenity Trail off to your left. Check it out toward the bottom of our summer trail map here.  Continue on as far as you’d like on this out-and-back trail that also connects to the town trail systems. We like to wander this trail in the evening when the alpenglow lights up the surrounding peaks.

Fraser River Beer Co.

Name a better pairing than Colorado and craft beer…  this brewery features an open-air patio and plenty of fresh brews, including kombucha on tap. You can also grab a tasty bite to eat from the food truck in the front. While many visitors stick to the shops and breweries in Downtown Winter Park, just 5 minutes down the road you’ll find even more great offerings in Fraser.

Confluence Park

best things to do in winter park, Hidden Gems of Winter Park – Summer Edition
The only sound you’ll hear is the sound of the peaceful river

Located just behind the Rendezvous Event Center in downtown Winter Park, this wooded park features a short loop trail and takes you to where Vasquez Creek and the Fraser River meet, for a beautiful nature getaway, tucked right in the heart of Winter Park. You’ll be surprised by this little gem that’s hidden in plain sight.

Rocky Mountain Roastery

Shop small at this Fraser mainstay. You’ll find delicious locally-roasted coffee, handmade ceramic mugs for purchase, and a laid-back atmosphere that adjoins another local shop, Totally Wired Cyclery.

Scenic Drive on Cottonwood Pass

best things to do in winter park, Hidden Gems of Winter Park – Summer Edition
Cliffs, mountains, and breathtaking views on Cottonwood Pass

Escape the bustle of better-known scenic byways for this winding road from Granby to Kremmling. From rolling hills and aspen groves to dramatic cliffs and sagebrush, see the landscape transform on this mellow yet breathtaking drive. County Road 55 takes about 20 minutes each way, though you can easily hop on Highway 40 for the drive back.

Fraser Experimental Forest

best things to do in winter park, Hidden Gems of Winter Park – Summer Edition
Views of Byers Peak on Flume Trail

There are lots of great hiking options in this area! Just outside of downtown Fraser, take county road 73 west and you’ll hit a campground and parking lot. From here you can access Creekside Trail, Flume Trail, Chainsaw Trail, and more, all with views of Byers Peak and lush vegetation (you may even spot a moose)!

Whether it’s your first time or fortieth time in Winter Park, we hope you discover a new way to Venture Out in Winter Park this summer! And read our ‘100 Things To Do This Summer’ blog for more ideas!

Need a basecamp for your summer getaway? Find the best lodging deals here.

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