Secret Stash Blog

5 Favorite Public Use Cross Country Ski or Snowshoe Trails Near Winter Park

January 08, 2021

5 Favorite Public Use Cross Country Ski or Snowshoe Trails near Winter Park.

Interested in trying one of our recommended trails but don't have your own gear?  Rent cross country skis or snowshoes at Epic! We have rental equipment for children and adults, just book ahead to guarantee gear is available! 

A few quick notes regarding these trail suggestions:

All Directions begin at Epic Mountain Sports in Downtown Winter Park

Dogs are welcome on all trails listed, but they must be leashed. 

Always tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back before leaving.

We recommended dressing in warm layers and packing water, sunscreen and a snack before starting out. 

Please do your part to keep our forests healthy, pack out waste and clean up after your pet.

It is very common to see wildlife when recreating in these areas.  Keep your distance, do not engage or pursue wildlife.  These are beautiful creatures but they can be dangerous especially if they feel threatened,  they deserve your respect. 

1. Discovery Loop / Jim Creek Trail 

Difficulty: Easy (Discovery Loop) Moderate (Jim Creek)

Length: 1.5 mile loop (Discovery) or 7 miles round trip Jim Creek Trail 

Directions:  From Epic turn right onto Hwy 40 towards Winter Park Resort. Take a left at the 3rd stoplight where you see signage for Bonfils Stanton Outdoor Center, park here. The first part of this hike is a 1.5-mile boardwalk loop called the Discovery trail.  To access the Jim Creek section of the trail, follow the Discovery trail to the right and when the boardwalk ends, turn left.  Follow the trail to FDR 128, cross the road keeping Jim Creek on your left.

What to Expect:  The  Discovery Loop is an easy relatively flat trail that's great for families with young kids or anyone looking for an easy but beautiful loop.  The Jim Creek Trail which continues beyond the boardwalk is more difficult with some steep climbs and narrow trail coverage.  The Jim Creek trail ends at an expansive meadow with incredible views James Peak.

2. Rendezvous Trail System

Difficulty: Moderate

Directions: From Epic turn left onto Hwy 40 and stay in the right lane.  At the first stoplight turn right onto Rendezvous Way and continue for just over 1/2 mile to a pullout on the left where you will see pullouts for trailheads on both sides of the road. 

What to Expect: An expansive and well marked trail system with options inter-connected loop trails for beginners to advanced xc skiers.  This forested trail system provides astounding views of the Continental Divide, Byers Peak and Winter Park.  

3. Fraser to Tabernash Section of the Fraser River Trail

Difficulty: Easy - Moderate

Length: About 6 miles round trip

Directions: From Epic, continue on Hwy 40 through the town of Fraser.  Just as you begin to exit downtown Fraser turn left from Hwy 40 onto CR-5.  Then, take your first right at the Fraser Sports Complex (you'll notice ball fields, climbing course, and ice-rink).  Continue to follow the road behind the sports complex and park as close to the gate as possible without blocking the road or hindering traffic, the amount of snow accumulation will dictate how close you are able to park to the gate at various points during the season.  You will notice a large map near the gate with helpful reference points and trailhead information.  This trail system runs all the way to Granby, you may decide how far you would like to venture.  The Fraser to Tabernash section is a good introduction and approximately 6 miles out and back.

What to expect:  A mellow trail surrounded by pines and willows with a gradual incline and expansive views of surrounding mountain ranges.

4. Creekside Flume Loop

Length: About 5 miles 

Difficulty: Moderate

Directions: From Epic stay on Hwy 40 and continue for about another 2 miles until you reach the stop light at Safeway / Murdochs Shopping Complex.  At the light turn left onto CR 72.  Turn right onto CR 721 (the road in front of the tubing hills) and continue to you reach the “T” intersection.  At the intersection, turn left onto CR 73.  Stay on CR 73 until you see the entrance for St. Louis Creek campground, parking for trailhead is located just past the campground entrance. 

What to expect:  This is a popular loop trail that meanders through the woods and willows with small rolling hills and fantastic views of Byers Peak. 

5. Deadhorse Loop

Difficulty: Hard 

Length: 7 miles 

Directions:  From the Winter Park Information Center, follow highway 40 north until you reach the traffic light at Safeway/Murdochs Shopping Center. At the light turn left onto CR 72, then turn right on CR 721 (the road in front of the tubing hills) and follow that road until you reach the “T” intersection. At the stop sign, turn left onto CR 73. Stay on CR 73 for approximately 4 miles. approximately until you reach a Forest Service gate closure.  DO NOT continue past the gate, park in the trailhead parking area on the right.  You access the Deadhorse Trailhead at the back of the parking area.   Once on the trail, continue straight to until you reach a fork in the trail where it intersects with St. Louis Creek Trail, keep right on the trail to stay on Deadhorse.  Further into the trail, when you reach the intersection with Tipperary Creek Trail stay right again - follow the trail back to the parking area. and back down to the parking area. 

What to expect: Wooded spruce forest with some steep hills and panoramic views of the Continental Divide, Winter Park Resort, and Byers Peak

 


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