Looking for the ideal winter getaway where you can enjoy all the mountains have to offer while also reconnecting with nature, yourself, and loved ones? Well, look no further. Nestled in the heart of the Rockies near Winter Park, YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch has it all. Spend time at Snow Mountain Ranch and you’ll never be bored. Tire yourself out on world-class Nordic trails, ski pow at nearby Winter Park resort, go dog sledding, get creative at the craft cabin, try yoga, or just chill and soak in the surrounding beauty. With so much to do, this is the perfect vacation spot for adventurers and families alike. Plus, the ranch is dog-friendly so your best buddies get to join in on the fun too.
One hundred kilometers of Nordic trails allow you to explore this 5,000-plus-acre ranch in peace. Work up a sweat on long skate-specific tracks or meander endlessly on trails sure to challenge classic skiers. Get in laughs and family time on shorter, simpler ski loops, or explore dedicated trails meant for skijoring with your pup. Rental skis are available, and trails are free to all guests at the ranch. Want to up your game? All levels, beginners to racers, will benefit from a lesson, or from one of the many classes and waxing clinics offered here.
Not into skiing but want to play in the snow? Don’t fear. Tromp through the forest on snowshoe-specific tracks, feel the wind in your face while tubing, or experience an authentic dog sledding adventure wherein Snow Mountain Ranch brings you a real taste of the Iditarod. You’ll learn about the sport and experience it firsthand as a team of Alaskan huskies pulls you on a tour of the property. Short rides, consisting of a quick 2-mile loop lasting 15 minutes, cost $35 per person and are available Fridays and Saturdays. Thirty-minute rides follow a longer path, offer a deeper immersion into mushing, and cost $125 per ride. Each sled can hold one adult and one child. Advance reservations are required due to limited availability.
And this isn’t all. The rec center offers a heated indoor pool and sauna, climbing wall, archery, basketball, volleyball, and so much more. Or get artsy at the craft cabin where kids and adults can tackle a range of creative projects.
REST & REFUEL
In winter, Snow Mountain Ranch offers a few different lodging options. Two- to five-bedroom cabins and/or vacation homes sleep four to 12 people and come equipped with full kitchens, decks, and fireplaces ($185-$450/night depending on size, type and date booked). Three lodges on the property offer well-appointed rooms ($80-$250/depending on size, type and date booked). And, because many of the cabins and lodge rooms at Snow Mountain Ranch are ski-in/ski-out or within walking distance from all the fun, you’ll spend more time playing and less driving. Plus, since some of the cabins and rooms are pet-friendly, you can bring along your furry friend for an extra fee. Summer lodging options expand with rustic six-person yurts and a campground that offers tent sites and hookups for RVs.
On-site dining at the Aspen Room includes a buffet offering a range of healthy and delicious options available at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The on-site Rustic Café offers a variety of convenient favorites including coffee, bakery treats, sandwiches, and soups for all three meals as well. Snow Mountain Ranch also offers a grocery delivery service (just one day advanced notice required) and catering for groups of 35 or more.
CAN’T MISS EVENTS
Moon Lit Ski & Snowshoe: Experience the enchantment of skiing or snowshoeing under a full moon at Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center on Friday, Jan. 26 and Friday, Feb 23. Nordic trails will be illuminated for easy navigation.
Photos Courtesy YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch