A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley

Winter is certainly what Winter Park is known for, but it’s spring that often gets the locals excited. The days are longer, the sun shines brighter, and everyone is just downright happy. Not to mention the promise of new adventure comes into view with every sun-warmed trail, every powder run and every clear mountain sunrise.

Here’s our 5-day guide to help you enjoy spring in the mountains as much as the locals do.

Day 1

Morning: Local Coffee + Breakfast

As with most things in life, start with coffee. Catch the sunrise and a cup of joe at Coffee & Tea Market. This is the perfect spot to read the newspaper, chat with locals, and catch a few morning skiers make their way down Larry Sale and Lower Hughes.

Midday: Fraser Trail Stroll

From breakfast, get the blood flowing and acclimate to the altitude! Make your way across the street from the resort and take in the local beauty on the Fraser River Trail. Or walk along the paved trail following the meadow in Grand Park. Take a break and bask in the sunshine while enjoying the beautiful snow-capped peaks of the Continental Divide glistening in the sun.

Love these beautiful mountain days!

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Afternoon: Cross Country Exploration at Pole Creek

For a local’s secret location to cross-country ski, visit Pole Creek Golf Course. Glide through trees and admire the scenery from this local nordic ski course. As you pause to soak in the sunshine, think about how lucky you are to have a trail to yourself, and the mountains in your peripherals. As the sun starts to set, enjoy the cotton candy-colored views that the front and back nine offer.

Grand County sunset.

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Evening: Dinner at Doc’s Roadhouse at Winter Park Resort

Close out your first day of adventure with a hearty dinner at Doc’s Roadhouse. Located in the Village at Winter Park Resort, Doc’s has something for the whole family. The tavern-style meals are sure to offer you a fulfilling meal to keep your energy level high after an adventurous day. If you’re a burger buff, you’re in luck.From the Mushroom and Swiss Burger to the Country Pulled Pork, each delectable entree will fill you up and satisfy your hunger.

Day 2:

Morning: Prep for the Day

Get up and grab a delicious breakfast at Moffat Market. While you’re there grab a to-go lunch from Einstein’s, and store it in your backpack to be enjoyed at a one-of-a-kind spot later in the day. Before you head out for your day of adventures, stop at the Adventure Concierge to grab snowshoes, poles, and link up with your guide for a snowshoe tour.

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley
Snowshoeing in Winter Park.

Midday: Snowshoe Adventure 

Once you find your guide, you’ll set off on a breathtaking snowshoe adventure on Jim Creek Trail. This 3.2 mile hike takes you meandering through the forest as you follow Jim Creek. The trail offers incredible views looking west, back toward the resort. As you gaze out over the Continental Divide, you’ll forget about your worries as you fully immerse yourself in this Winter Wonderland. And the end reward for your 3.2 miles of hard work? An incredible frozen waterfall, perfect for snapping that scenic photo and remembering a job well done.

Evening: Sunset Aprés at Sunspot 

Once you get back to Winter Park Resort say goodbye to your guide and quench your thirst with the most memorable après you’ve ever experienced. Take a scenic Gondola ride up to the top of Sunspot where you’ll see glorious pinks and oranges paint the sky and Continental Divide. Grab a craft beer or a fresh cocktail and kick back by the fire. Stay for dinner and request a table next to the expansive Sunspot windows. As you dine, occasionally glance up at the Milky Way and chat about the adventures you have planned for the rest of your trip.

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley

Day 3:

Morning: Rise and Shine

Cure the morning munchies with breakfast at Wake N’ Bacon for a classic breakfast dish, complete with eggs, hash browns and toast. Or, if you’re feeling extra salty, just order a heaping pile of delicious bacon and treat yo’self!

Midday: Soak in Hot Sulphur Springs

The small town of Hot Sulphur Springs offers the R and R we need on a day like today. After filling up on breakfast, drive out about 30 minutes to Hot Sulphur Springs, and soak in a variety of hot pools, all ranging in temperature and style.

Afternoon: Head Back and Mow on Fontenot’s!

Go back to town for Fontenot’s famous Cajun-style grub. If you’re up for it, get my favorite: the chicken dynamite wrap and some of those French Fries done the way only Fontenot’s knows how. For the rest of the afternoon, catch a movie at The Foundry, or get a massage at Alpenglow. Whatever helps you unwind.

#shrimpandcrabcake #poboy #sweetpotatofries

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Evening: A Local AND Visitor’s Favorite

Pizza Pedal’r is one of those restaurants that’s adored by locals and visitors alike. This is a must-stop place to get salad, pizza, and local brews or a nice glass of wine. It’s warm and welcoming the second you walk-in, and feels like a place your Italian grandfather dreamed up on his first visit to Winter Park.

Day 4:

Morning: SKI SKI SKI

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley

You can’t come to Winter Park and not spend a day hitting the home of the Seven Territories. Winter Park Resort has something to offer all skill level of skiers. From meandering runs off the Gemini Lift, to taking on the steep terrain of Eagle Wind Territory, you won’t be disappointed with where you explore.

Afternoon: Lunch at Lunch Rock

When you need to stop for a bite to eat, stop in mid-mountain at Lunch Rock for a lunch with spectacular views. After your legs are sore and heart full from an incredible morning of riding, you deserve to treat yourself to lunch and maybe a brew or two.

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley

Evening: Dinner at Derailer with a Stroll through The Village

You won’t need to go far from the ski lifts to find your dinner plans after your day skiing. Derailer sits mere feet from the runs meaning you can begin your evening of relaxation and dining, as soon as you’d like. Derailer always offers a great deal and an even better drink.

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP Valley

After you’re full and reenergized for the night, take a walk through the Village. It’s full of numerous shops, perfect to browse for a souvenir or a sweet treat. James and Parry’s offers an eclectic variety of goods and Goody’s is the spot for ice cream.

Night: Party Like a Local

Partying in the area is all about the live music, and man, do I love live music! Ullr’s Tavern tends to bring live music at least 2 nights a week. Or hit up The Basement on a Friday night to, as I like to say, “release your inner shower” with karaoke.

Day 5:

, A Local’s Guide to Spring in the WP ValleyDon’t go! That’s how most of us ended up here. We came out, we adventured, we partied, and on the last day we decided we wanted more. So we stayed. For a year, for ten years, for 30 years. We decided that this place is too beautiful, the people are too kind, and the adventure is too real to ever want to escape.

Sit on The Ditch’s patio in the sunshine on your last day, and after just two Margarita’s, the tequila will give you that same “mountain state of mind”. You’ll be thinkin’ about how you can make this permanent as well.


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