Summer Resorts 2003: Winter Park, Colorado

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Mtn Summer 0503

Winter Park owes its reputation as a mountain biker's paradise to the region's timber era. When biking boomed in the 1980s, locals looked at the vast network of logging roads that crisscross the Fraser Valley and saw the backbone of a premier trail system. Today, Winter Park boasts 600-plus miles of well-mapped trails, from novice loops on the valley floor to expert backcountry excursions.

But summer in Winter Park isn't just for pedal pushers. Golf at one of three cour-ses, zoom down Colorado's longest alpine slide, cast for rainbows in the Fraser River or stroll the path that connects the resort and town. For those with physical handicaps, Winter Park is renowned: The National Sports Center for the Disabled offers sailing, horseback riding and rafting trips.

Got beer? Tailgate with locals at the July 4th Block Party, which culminates with fireworks and an outdoor movie. Pinching pennies? Pitch your tent at river's edge in one of four campgrounds. For music lovers, rock and jazz festivals bring big-name acts during successive weekends in July, while Saturday night rodeos in Fraser draw the cowboy-hat crowd. Afterward, pig out on creative Southwestern at the Shed.

Sure, Winter Park may be the self-proclaimed Mountain Biking Capital, but this alpine valley's other options make it a great place to get a flat.

•DON'T MISS A women's cycling group departs Winter Park Sports every Wednesday, while both genders gather Thursdays at Beavers Sports.

•BEST DEAL The Family Western Adventure package, which includes four nights in a condo, rafting and horseback riding, costs $429 per adult, $145 per child. 800-729-5813; winterparkresort.com