Zephyr Mountain Lodge in Winter Park is the perfect place for your
Summer Vacation to the Rocky Mountains
Zephyr Mountain Lodge and Winter Park are the right combination if your ideal summer vacation in the mountains is a mixture of moderate activities with something for everyone in the family. Throw in some awesome scenery, fresh clean air, trouble free relaxation, and wonderful friendly people and you've described our accommodations. Choose Zephyr Mountain Lodge for diversity, for being next to nature, and for superior elegance.
Diversity. If you want to try a bit of hiking, mountain biking, adventure rides, fishing, golfing, rafting, horseback riding, sightseeing, swimming, boating, or nature discovery then Winter Park and Zephyr Mountain Lodge can provide any or all of these with great convenience.
Next to Nature. Zephyr Mountain Lodge gives you the feeling of being right smack in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. Just 50 feet to the west, the lodgepole pine covered hillside rises up at a 40 degree angle 2500 feet to treeline and then another 1000 feet to alpine tundra covered peaks. Just 50 feet to the east, the Fraser River flows peacefully by as it makes it's way to the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon. A few miles further east are the towering 13000+ foot mountains of the Continental Divide. To the north are ski trails turned summertime meadows now covered by mountain grasses and wildflowers. To the south -- a half mile away -- are two other ski lodges, then nothing for 7 miles until the top of Berthoud Pass. The Zephyr Mountain Lodge's setting is undisturbed by McDonalds, Starbucks, Pizza Hut's, WalMart's, Texaco's, etc. The Zephyr Mountain Lodge's setting is undisturbed by the arcades, the hustle, the signage, and the overbuilding of National Park gateway towns. If it's McDonalds or arcades that you want, we will be happy to recommend the incorporated towns of Winter Park, Grand Lake, or Estes Park.
Superior Elegance. Zephyr Mountain Lodge is a deluxe property with service levels to match. A concierge's desk is ready to help you plan your outings and activities. You may enjoy free weekend concerts in the courtyard. The rooms are spacious and furnished luxuriously. You can relax in any of the 4 outdoor Jacuzzi's.
To make your final decision there may still be a couple of tough questions you feel need answers.
- You want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park.
- How do
Vail, Breckenridge, and Steamboat compare
- How do the
motels in down town Winter Park
- Where's Colorado's best golfing, fishing, hiking, etc...
Click on your question or just continue reading below.
Q: You want to visit Rocky
Mountain National Park
Should you stay in Grand Lake or Estes Park. |
This is an excellent question since these are the two gateway towns
and are as close as one can get to the actual National Park. To
answer this question, one must first understand the 4 things that there
are to do in and around RMNP.
RMNP has scores of hiking trails. So do the rest of the Rocky Mountains. The RMNP trails have one additional thing not prevalent in other areas: scores of people. It's not uncommon to encounter 100 visitors per hour in RMNP, while you might encounter just one other hiking party per hour in a trail 20 miles outside RMNP. After all, RMNP is the most visited spot in all Colorado. The scenery is equivalent inside and outside the National Park. RMNP has a few more waterfall hikes, while other areas in Colorado have wildflowers that far surpass RMNP. Personally, we rarely hike in RMNP, but everyone has their individual tastes.
If you are interested in wilderness camping in RMNP the lodging question is largely irrelevant. Note: campground reservations fill up months in advance. Make your plans early.
Driving Trail Ridge Road is a must-see short one day adventure. It's not nearly as interesting the second or third time.
Our personal advice to visitors heading to RMNP is to allocate one day for driving Trail Ridge Road and maybe taking one short hike to a waterfall. We recommend exploring the vast regions of the Roosevelt and Arapahoe National Forests in lieu of spending additional time amongst the crowds in RMNP. We find the mountain scenery equal or better, and the experience much more satisfying. We recommend staying 30-60 miles from the RMNP boundaries to get the best lodging values. We think you will find Zephyr Mountain Lodge's location --an hour away -- can be an ideal balance between the grandeur of the National Park and relaxing tranquility which cannot be found in National Park gateway towns.
Q: Why not Vail, Steamboat, Breckenridge or ....
A: While these other ski area anchored regions offer the same activity mix as Winter Park, these areas are all more crowded and more expensive than the Winter Park region. They all have towns with 5X, 10X or more the population of Winter Park. As a result you will have to travel much further to 'get away'. Prime fishing spots will be harder to find. Interesting hikes will necessitate a longer drive. Golf courses are harder to get on and are more expensive [a recent survey showed Grand County courses 30 percent less expensive than other ski resorts]. Your overall experience may feel more like small city rush and less like national forest tranquility.
If you're interested in a Rocky Mountain National Park visit we'd strongly recommend the Winter Park region since the other ski resort areas can be up to a half day's drive.
One plus for the other ski resort areas is shopping and dining where they offer more variety. Another plus of Breckenridge area is proximity to Lake Dillon if boating on 50 degree waters is one of your top priorities.
Q: I like what I see about the Winter Park region, then
why the Zephyr Mountain Lodge and not a motel in town?
A. There are are two dozen or so motels along highway US40 in the
20 mile stretch from Winter Park Resort to Granby. Any of them would
be happy to have your business. You'll get a typical motel ambiance:
You'll need your car -- regardless of where you stay -- for many other Rocky Mountain Activities like visits to the National Park, Jeeping, Golfing, Rafting, Horseback Riding, and Boating.
Our advice for visitors who may only spend a day or two in the Winter Park area is to grab a quick motel along US40. Presumably you are moving on to another part of Colorado and will get a motel there also. If you're going to spend several days in the region and maximally enjoy the various activities, then the Zephyr Mountain Lodge offers key advantage.
Q: Where is the best
Mountain Biking in Colorado
A: If Mountain Biking happens to be your favorite sport, you'll find the trails at the Ski Resort and in the surrounding hills to be among Colorado's finest. Match your skill level and riding pleasure to the more than 600 miles of trails -- all accessible directly from the Zephyr Mountain Lodge. The Winter Park region is Colorado's largest mountain biking trail system. Click here for more information on Mountain Biking.
Q: Where is the best Golfing in Colorado
Naturally the answer depends on what you like in a course. The
Winter Park region is rapidly becoming a golf mecca: Choose from 4
courses [with a 5th on it's way].
Other resort areas have similar number of courses -- Steamboat-4, Vail-5, Summit County-4 -- albeit with a much larger lodging base. The Grand County/Winter Park region is exceptional in variety and value.
Q: Where is the best Hiking in Colorado?
Naturally the answer depends on your interests, your fitness and your
level of experience.
If you take a quick look at detailed maps for Breckenridge you will see perhaps 2-400 hundred total miles of trails within the same driving distance. Vail and Steamboat have fewer miles still. The reason for fewer trails is 1-further from Denver, 2-not as much commerce in the 1800's when many trails were built, 3-no National Park.
Q: Who would you recommend not select
Zephyr Mountain Lodge for their summer vacation?
A: Zephyr Mountain Lodge might not be for everyone. If you are looking for excellence in a particular endeavor....
- Colorado's most prestigious golf courses
- The most difficult white water rivers in the West
- The highest concentration of 14000 peaks to summit
- Wrangling in the largest stretch of wilderness
.... then you should be targeting certain specific areas of the West.
|WP Small Town|