Winter Park, Colo. (Vocus) November 1, 2010
Everyone is looking for ways to stretch a dollar these days, even while on vacation. One of Colorado’s most accessible, convenient and scenic winter wonderlands, Winter Park-Fraser Valley, offers a number of budget-friendly cold weather activities for under $20. Here are a few ways Winter Park-Fraser Valley makes visitors feel like they are living high on the hog, without breaking the bank.
Free Skiing – Ski Free is back at Winter Park Resort, one of the premiere year-round destinations in the country. From now through December 25, 2010, book one night lodging (two night minimum stay) and receive a free adult lift ticket. Add-on lift tickets are available for $55/adult and $30/child. Not valid with any other promotion or discount, this offer must be booked on http://www.playwinterpark.com.
Cross-country Skiing & Snowshoeing - The Winter Park-Fraser Valley area offers hundreds of miles of hiking and biking trails that convert beautifully to snowshoe and cross-country skiing routes in the wintertime.
Snowshoe enthusiasts will appreciate the Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber’s free snowshoe tours in Hideaway Park, hosted every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Call 970-726-4118 or stop by the visitor center located at 78841 U.S. Hwy. 40 to check availability.
SolVista at Granby Ranch’s Nordic trail system encompasses 25 kilometers of groomed trails. Bring your own equipment or rent it at SolVista Base Camp Lodge. A single lift ticket for snowshoeing is only $5.
With more than 100 kilometers of trails tracing through 5,200 acres of mountain meadows, Snow Mountain Ranch’s Nordic center has something for everyone. Beyond cross-country skiing, guests may enjoy ice skating, sledding, tubing and snowshoeing. Activities are complementary for Snow Mountain Ranch guests, YMCA of the Rockies Members, kids five and younger and adults 70 and older. For everyone else, a single-day cross-country skiing trail pass is just $15 for adults and $8 for kids and seniors.
Grand Lake Touring Center offers a variety of terrain in its 25 kilometers of groomed tracked and skating trails. The center is also perfect for snowshoeing, featuring a variety of routes through forests and meadows. A day pass is $12 for adults and $5 for kids 16 and under. Get a half-day pass (starting at 1 p.m.) for $10.
Devil’s Thumb Ranch sits at the base of the Continental Divide and houses one of the premiere Nordic centers for Colorado cross-country skiing. Adults ski for just $18 a day; kids/seniors (under 12/over 65) are $8.
Tubing and Sledding – The Colorado Adventure Park, located just five minutes from Winter Park Ski Resort, offers activities for all ages and adventure levels. The most popular pastime is tubing ($16/hour). For children under three, there are complementary sleds and a mini-hill that is just their size. For those 13 and older, airboards are an adventurous option that are faster than regular tubes and can be steered by leaning to the left or right ($20/hour). Snowscoots (kid-sized snowmobiles) are also available for rent for children ages six and up ($10 for 10 laps).
The town of Fraser’s legendary Tubing Hill is nearby. The hill is groomed, lighted and complete with a lift. Adrenaline junkies may descend individually, in tandem, or - for the fastest and longest ride - in group clusters. After your chilly thrill, cozy up in the warming house with a hot drink and a snack. Rates are $12/45 minutes, $16/hour, or $20/90 minutes.
SolVista Basin at Granby Ranch (in Granby) covers more than 400 acres and gets 220 inches of snow a year, which is perfect for tubing ($11) and night skiing ($10). Children five and under ski free even during the day. Speaking of free, the resort offers a complementary wine and cheese real estate reception every Saturday.
Dog sledding is a unique wintertime activity in the valley. At Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park there are 80 Siberian and Alaskan huskies that pull sleds in the forests near Winter Park. For just $5 you can watch the change-over as the teams come in and out of the facility. If you want to indulge, consider taking a sled ride, which starts at $135.
Ice Skating – Winter Park-Fraser Valley also offers a few ways to put your vacation on ice, literally. Stop by the ice skating rink at Cooper Creek Square for a free spin. Rent your gear at one of the local retail shops for under $10, or bring your own for even more economical entertainment.
The brand new ice skating rink at the ball fields in Fraser is set to open in December. The rink will offer public free skate, as well as programs like ice skating classes and hockey. Skates will be available for rent on-site. For specific prices and details call the Grand Park Community Recreation Center at 970-726-8968.
Museums & History - Step back in time at the area’s museums. Cozens Ranch Museum and Stage Stop, the site of the first ranch and stage stop in the Fraser Valley, is located in Winter Park. The original 1876 house tells the story of early life in the Fraser Valley.
Venturing north, Grand Lake is home to the Kauffman House Museum. Built as a hotel in 1892, the building is the last of the early Grand Lake log hotels in existence. The museum has been restored to its historic appearance and contains many original furnishings.
At the Grand County Museum in Hot Sulphur Springs, tools, clothing and artifacts from the old west live on.
More Indoor Fun – NEST Artistic Home at Cooper Creek Square in Winter Park offers paint your own pottery in the Tree House Studio. For an $11 fee plus the cost of your pottery (which ranges from 50 cents to $30), you can channel your inner artisan and create a one-of-a-kind souvenir. NEST is open seven days a week; call 970-726-1036 for more information.
For $10/day/adult (less for kids), the Grand Park Community Recreation Center in Fraser offers an aquatic center that includes a 25-yard lap pool, hot tub, lazy river, water slide, and play structure for young children, a multi-sport gymnasium, gymnastic center, climbing wall, cardio/circuit training/free weight areas, fitness classes, whirlpool, sauna, steam room, and drop-in child care.
Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce
The Winter Park-Fraser Valley Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit Colorado corporation created to help further and maintain responsible growth in the Winter Park-Fraser Valley area, located in the Rocky Mountains just 65 miles west of Denver.
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