Wondering if you should bring your dog along on your trip to Winter Park? The answer is YES! We know your dogs are part of the family, but vacationing with them isn’t always easy. Winter Park makes it effortless to let your pup enjoy your travels as much as you do! Here’s our recommended itinerary for you and your four-legged friend to have the best possible trip to the Colorado mountains!
Day 1: Check-in
Early Afternoon: Check-in to the Vintage Hotel.
The Vintage Hotel is Winter Park Resort’s hotel-on-the-hill that offers a comfy home for you and your four-legged friend. Perfect for every season, the Vintage is in the heart of it all! Be sure to book a dog-friendly room from the get go, and the front desk will welcome you both with a treat.
While you’re at the resort, be sure to stop by the season pass office in Balcony House to get your pup his or her very own souvenir Winter Park Pet Pass! This pass doesn’t give your pup lift access, but your pet pass donation does support Grand County Pet Pals, a non-profit organization dedicated to assisting the Grand County Animal Shelter. You can also email your pet’s photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and pick up during regular season pass office hours.
Late Afternoon: Hit the Dog Park
Head over to the Fraser Valley Sports Complex, the place where dogs and their humans are always running at large. This park, complete with a hockey arena, several softball diamonds, a playground, and a ropes course, offers all the room you could ask for. Whether it be sunny or snowy, you and your dog will have a blast! Make friends with the dog-human-duos that are already playing fetch, chasing tails, and eating treats. For those dogs needing an enclosed place to play, check out the Granby Bark Park.
Evening: Dinner on the Five Mountain Patio
Back at your hotel, there’s a cozy restaurant with a varied menu. Sit on the patio so your dog can join you, and enjoy a juicy hamburger with fries while your dog eats his dinner and laps up a big bowl of water. Then, grab some snacks from the front desk before cuddling your pup on the couch to unwind and rest up for tomorrow’s adventures.
Day 2: Hit the Trail
Morning: Start with a Breakfast Bloody
You don’t have to go far for this famous Vertical special. Ask to sit on their patio that allows dogs and overlooks the pond, order a Bloody Mary, and prepare yourself. We’ll leave some of the delight of this surprise to Vertical itself, but don’t let your jaw drop when you see the chicken AND waffle that is only one part of this extravagant drink.
Daytime: Explore Jim Creek Trail
Make sure the pup is on a leash, then head straight across Highway 40 from the Vintage Hotel to Bonfils Stanton Outdoor Center. Bring your sneakers or snowshoes to enjoy this beautiful hike in any season. On this 7 mile out and back hike you’ll get warmed up on the gentle 1.5 mile Discovery Trail, then start your ascent on Jim Creek Trail. The trail continues on for about 2 miles, following the creek through the woods until reaching a picturesque waterfall.
Evening: Escape to Hideaway Park Brewery
Guaranteed to hit the spot after a day outside, Hideaway Park is the perfect place for you and your pup to unwind together after a day of playing. Check out the ever changing tap list, or stick with the tried and true staples. A place where dog lovers and beer enthusiasts come together, we promise that a visit to one of our favorite watering holes will be a perfect end to a day spent outdoors.
Day 3: Venture Out
Morning: Coffee for Two
Start the day with a coffee date for two. Just a short walk from the Vintage Hotel, the Village Starbucks features coffee for you and your pup! Make your friend feel as special as you are when you order a Puppucino – a whipped cream treat just for your pup. Get energized together before you start the day!
Afternoon: Explore New Trails
After you’ve fueled up for the day, head over to the Experimental Forest just west of downtown Fraser on County Road 73. Here you’ll find miles of trails ideal for x-country skiing, hiking, snowshoeing, and mountain biking trails. It’s a huge forested area without heavy traffic, making it a great place to explore with your pup. Hop on the Creekside trail and link up to Flume for great views of Byers Peak. These two trails make a 5 mile loop, if you’re interested in a longer hike without much change in elevation. This is also a great intermediate biking trail. For a slightly smoother, shorter trail, head to the other side of CR 73 to check out Northwest Passage, which is about 1.5 miles each direction.
Experienced mountain bikers have multiple more advanced trail options to explore, such as Tipperary, Backscratch, or Chainsaw.
Evening: Make a Music Stop
Winter Park is known for live music and rad events, and you can almost always find something happening. For a dog-friendly dinner that includes a live jam sesh, try The Peak, The Pub, or Crooked Creek.
Day 4: Soak in the Scenes
All Day: Let the Dogs Run
You may be worn out from the past three days of activity, but that pup of yours doesn’t even know the meaning of “worn out”. Who cares that he spent ALL DAY yesterday running circles around you and returned to the house panting and limping? If you ask him, that never happened. So today, take a chill day for yourself, but do it out at Grand Lake where you sit back on the shore and lazily throw your pup’s favorite tennis ball in the lake for him to faithfully bring back. An hour or two of this, and you’ll be feeling relaxed and rejuvenated while he passes out at your feet.
Night: Star Gazing
Whether you stay at the lake to camp in the summer or return to your slope-side suite, make time to soak in the incredible nighttime sky. The stargazing in the Fraser Valley is outstanding and few things can compare to a mountain-town sky filled to the brim with twinkling stars. A good way to spend some quality time with your furry friend, enjoying a clear Colorado sky is the perfect way to reflect back on your time spent here.
Day 5: Spoil Each Other
Morning: Treat Yourself
Treat your number one friend to a day at the doggy spa, The Dog’s Paw. And treat yourself too! Were you actually going to let him be the only one who gets pampered on this trip? After all, you’ve been right by his side throughout the same activities, and let’s be honest, you probably have a similar amount of dirt and grime goin’ on. Head to Alpenglow Massage in The Village at Winter Park Resort, book the full hour (now is not the time to skimp), and let the professional masseuse knead it all away.
Afternoon: Goodbye Over Berthoud Pass
As you head out of town, you’ll inevitably drive over Berthoud Pass. In winter, bring your uphill gear for some A+ backcountry riding, or check out the long list of hiking trails in the summer. We recommend pulling over at the warming hut located at the top of Berthoud Pass, and simply taking in the sights. You can hike the old ski resort hill, wander around the old base area, and even hit the restroom before heading home.
Do you have a pup that could use a little mountain adventure just as much as you? Let your furry best friend tag along to add a little bark to Winter Park!
Please understand and respect all rules concerning pets indoors. Businesses and individuals are subject to change their pet policies at any time. Service animals are permitted throughout all of Winter Park Resort.