People’s first thoughts of Colorado often jump to the state’s capital, but the best experiences are always found in the mountains. Whether it’s winter or summer, Colorado’s fantastic mountain towns always have something to offer.
A great example of a cozy little mountain town in Colorado with plenty to do is Fraser. This town is barely an hour and a half drive from Denver, but the scenery of this place is a world away from the big city.
1) Winter Park Ski Resort
A World Class ski resort is definitely not a bad neighbor to have! A short drive south of Fraser will take you to Winter Park, a ski resort with over 150 different runs, with difficulty levels varying beginner greens to double-black diamonds to accommodate families with varying abilities! Be sure to arrive early, because Winter Park’s developed trail system will have you plowing the fresh winter snow for hours.
When you’re ready to take a break for lunch head to Pepperoni’s in the Mary Jane lodge for a hot slice of pizza and a crisp glass of New Belgium’s Mary Jane ale, a treat that can’t be found elsewhere.
Even during Summer, Winter Park still offers a variety of recreational activities for the adventurous sort such as tubing downhill in the grassy slopes or enjoying a canter around the mountain from horseback.
2) Colorado Adventure Park Tubing Hill
If you’re looking for family-friendly winter activities, Colorado Adventure Park Tubing Hill has you covered!
They offer both single and double tubing rides, as well as kid-sized snowmobiles for the more adventurous child, leaving your family with plenty of options for everyone. After all is said and done, their concessions also offer a variety of snacks from alcoholic beverages for the adults, to warm and cozy cocoa and s’mores for the kids!
This family-friendly tubing park offers adventure and excitement that everyone in the family can enjoy!
3) Fraser Valley Sports Complex
For those looking for a higher thrill, head to the Winter Park Adventure Quest, an aerial climbing and rope adventure park within the complex. It consists of platforms fixed to utility poles with elements — such as swinging logs, rope bridges, cargo nets, and other fun challenge elements — connecting each platform.
No matter your activity, plan to enjoy breathtaking views and to stay awhile!
4) Snowshoeing and Cross Country Skiing
There is more than one way to get down a mountain in winter, and not all require skis. There are a variety of trails that are snowshoe and cross-country friendly throughout Fraser.
Whether enjoying classes at the Nordic Center, groomed trails such as the Fraser River Trail, or a day in the wilderness, snowshoeing and cross country skiing is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors.
5) Fraser Rodeo
It’s hard to compete with an old fashioned Colorado rodeo, and it doesn’t get much better than The High Country Stampede Rodeo. An annual summer event, this Fraser rodeo packs enough excitement that locals as much as tourists love it.
The rodeo features barrel racing, bull riding, goat tying, team roping, and more. It also features crowd favorites including rodeo clowns and mutton bustin’ (if you don’t know, we encourage you to watch a video!).
Tickets are only $10/adult and $8/child.
6) Hiking and Mountain Biking
When the snow is melted and spring has long rolled around, Fraser knows no limits of things to enjoy. The summer doesn’t cease to provide this quaint town with plenty of activities.
Fraser is heavily invested in outdoor sports, especially mountain biking, with good reason. Nearly 600 miles of hiking, biking, and horseriding trails can be found in the area, and Fraser is just a 30-minute drive from the Rocky Mountain National Park west entrance.
Trails offer something for the whole family to love: from hard-core enthusiasts to beginners, from technical circuits to gentle winding dirt ribbons.
7) Area Nightlife
Fraser may seem like a sleepy, small-town community but there are plenty of things to do after dark.
Enjoy a drink or live music at the Hideaway Park Brewery. You can’t go wrong with a visit to Fraser Valley Distillery, which offers local liquor, food and even a behind-the-scenes tour. Nearby Winter Park also affords visitors plenty of nightlife and attractions like the Winter Park Winery.
8) Rafting, Fishing and Water Sports
If you’re a nature appreciator, this small town is placed well enough in the valley that hiking trails are everywhere you look!
If you’re feeling adventurous, a short trip north of Fraser will take you up to Grand Lake for some water-side enjoyment. Grand Lake offers options ranging from rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddling, and even boating. Vendors from around the area offer full and half-day rentals so you can find the match for your family. If you’re up to the challenge of stand-up paddling, then prepare yourself for the most intense core workout of your life!
And if all that adventuring has worn you down, or maybe you’re looking to just enjoy nature for what it offers, Fraser is a great place to do some fly fishing in the summer.
The technicolor beauties living in the Fraser or Colorado river are a great reward at the end of a long day. Stand in the river, listen to the bubbling waters and the light breeze. Take the moment to appreciate the beauty Fraser has to offer.
9) Elizabeth Kurtak Art Gallery
A lifelong Fraser resident and watercolor, Elizabeth Kurtak’s gallery is a sight to behold (no pun intended). It makes a great spot to stop during or after a long bike ride.
The gallery was established in 1998 in the historic Fraser Mercantile Building and features her original artwork on the local landscape, flowers, animals and anything else catching Elizabeth’s fancy. Elizabeth herself is often on site, sometimes found gardening or working on a piece.
Artwork ranges from $20 limited edition prints to framed originals under $100, to giant gallery-sized originals around $3000.Hours are 1–6 p.m., Tuesday–Saturday.
10) Grand Park Rec Center
Whether you’re visiting in the winter and feeling a little snowed out or looking for an escape from the summer heat, the Grand Park Rec Center has a plethora of activities to enjoy.
If you feel like climbing, they’ve got a rock climbing wall. If you feel like swimming, they have an indoor lap pool, waterslide, and a lazy river. Perhaps you’re looking to unwind and relax after a cold day in the snow, then you have the choice between a hot and dry sauna or the warm comfort of the steam room.
There’s no shortage of things to enjoy at the Grand Park Rec Center, and it’s open year-round to ensure you have every opportunity to enjoy it.