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Jazzed About Our Summertime Trip to Winter Park

Happy Saturday evening from Winter Park!

We’re just winding down from a bomber couple of days playing in Winter Park / Fraser. And what a couple days it’s been.  From plodding through the forest…chomping on some amazing eats…catching jazz in the park…to taking the tike to the playground, we’ve had one hell of a time!  We even got to hang out with Bullwinkle moose along the way.

Bullwinkle in Winter Park

Here’s a suggested itinerary if you’re headed to Winter Park & Fraser for a few days:

Take a Hike or Bike 

Hike Devil’s Thumb Pass ~ For starters, we took an amazing hike along the Devil’s Thumb Pass Trail.  Much of the trail coincides with the Continental Divide Trail. It’s about an 8-mile trip (4 up, 4 down) to the pass and back.

Wandering Devil's Thumb
Wandering Devil’s Thumb

Located in the James Peak Protection Area. All bicycle use is restricted to designated routes. If over night camping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, a permit is required between June 1 and Sept. 15. Pets must be on leash in Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Directions: from US Hwy 40 between Fraser and Tabernash, take County Road 8 east to County Road 81. Go north for 2 miles to Forest Road 128.2C.

From the trailhead, the trail climbs slowly for the first mile as it parallels Cabin Creek. But all bets are off after then. The trail climbs straight up from there. We trekked about 2.5 miles in before heading back to town. Our little one was getting cranky and we didn’t want to push it.

A couple of other hiking options near Winter Park: Byers Peak, Fraser River Trail, & Caribou Pass Trail.

Byers Peak
Byers Peak

Catch Some Tunes

Celebrating its 34th year, the Winter Park Jazz Festival is one of the premier summer music festivals in Colorado. Jazz fans come to enjoy the two-day event, held in Hideaway Park. We especially enjoyed jamming to Hazel Miller earlier today – she’s been a mainstay in Colorado’s music scene for the last 25 years.

Winter Park Jazz Festival
Winter Park Jazz Festival

Other music opportunities in the summer: The Divide Music Festival (July) & Winter Park Music Festival (August).

Grub Down

Because Jazz Festival weekend gets a little crazy, we decided to bounce one mile down HWY 40 to Fraser to grab some eats. Sharky’s has always been one of our favorite, greasy spoon breakfast favorites.

And just a couple of hours ago, we tried out a brand spanking new burger shop for dinner, The One Love Beach Bar & Grill. Our experience was superb! We tossed down 30 bones for two delicious sandwiches, fries, and cervezas.

One Love Beach Bar & Grill
One Love Beach Bar & Grill

I find Red Stripe to be so refreshing after an action-packed day. If you hit this joint up, try the curry carnitas sandwich. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Curry Carnitas Sandwich
Curry Carnitas Sandwich

Other good eats in Winter Park: Deno’s Mountain Bistro, Randi’s Irish Grill & Pub, Mountain Rose, and Rudi’s Deli (especially if you’re eating on the cheap).


Tire ‘Em Out

Anyone with kids knows the joy of tuckering your little one out so you can enjoy some R & R at the end of the night. There are some prime time places to turn your kids loose in Winter Park / Fraser.  Our top summer spot is the park at the Fraser Valley Sports Complex (located just north of the Town of Fraser on the west).

Fraser Valley Sports Complex Playground
Fraser Valley Sports Complex Playground

The Historic Playground is any child’s dream. Full of teepees, slides, history, sand, and bliss, this park can make any kid smile for hours. We let our toddler bumble around for over an hour today. Much to my delight, I’m typing this up as she soundly sleeps.

Other summer Winter Park / Fraser kid ideas: Fraser Valley Recreation Center (has a world-class pool for families and kids of all ages), Hideaway Park (located in downtown Winter Park), and ride the alpine slide (located at the base of Winter Park Ski Resort).

Well…it turns out it’s been a big couple of days for me too! Time to wind down with a Stumpjumper IPA from Grand Lake Brewery and gear up for some mountain biking at the Winter Park Ski Resort tomorrow.



Josh T

Josh is a native son and big fan of pack burro racing. He thru-hiked the Colorado Trail, loves running and biking, and is passionate about sharing his favorite journeys and experiences with others. You can typically find Josh out exploring the less beaten paths under Colorado's sunny skies.

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