Mega affordable lodging at the YMCA’s Snow Mountain Ranch is just the start of big time draws. It’s an entertainment mecca, ideal for enjoying outdoor activities and adventures in any season. The family-friendly ranch keeps prices affordable with a variety of lodging options, from cabins that sleep up to 12 ($139 to $349/night) to yurts ($89/night) and rooms in one of their lodges ($79 to $159/night).
Whether you’re traveling with the kids, getting away with your girlfriends or organizing a family reunion, you won’t find yourself twiddling your thumbs. Without driving off property, you will find activities for any season that keep fun a focus. Snow Mountain Ranch is about a 15 miles from Winter Park and 80 miles from Denver.
Plentiful trails draw hikers from around the world to Snow Mountain Ranch. One of the most popular hikes is the Waterfall Hike, which is about three miles round trip starting at Snow Mountain Ranch. This hike is ideal for families as it’s not too hard for small children to complete. Follow along a bubbling stream until you reach the “waterfall loop.” About 20 feet high, the falls gush water and kids can even climb to the top for a great photo opp.
Another hike, or as some see it, a mini-pilgrimage, takes guests to God’s Mailbox. Installed by a past chaplain of Snow Mountain Ranch, it’s a real mailbox where people can leave their letters and wishes. You can find it affixed to a tree overlooking Resolution Point, about 1.5 miles uphill from the Nine Mile Mountain trailhead.
Winter sport beginners will love snowshoeing at the ranch, where they can rent snowshoes and take on trails that accommodate every level from newbie to advanced. Additional unique winter activities taking place at the resort and through over 130 miles of trails:
- Dog sledding with a team of huskies is offered a couple mornings a week after an introductory presentation
- Sledding and tubing, classic winter fun for kids on Snow Mountain Ranch’s hill
- Ice skating on property’s very own pavilion, located near the Nordic Center (free rentals available)
- Skiing & Snowboarding at the close by Winter Park and Ski Granby Ranch resorts (rentals available at Snow Mountain Ranch)
- Sleigh Rides from Sombrero Stables are available during the winter.
- Cross-country skiing is offered at the Nordic Center, with lessons from experienced instructors available for first-timers
- Scenic snowmobile rides (guided and unguided) through 130 miles of trails.
When the season flips to summer:
- White water rafting, available for easy half-day trips or more vigorous full day excursions
- Mountain biking, with options for all levels (and “trikes” are even offered for the kids)
- Horseback riding at Sombrero Stables, including guided trail rides, breakfast rides, lunch rides, dinner rides and hay rides
- Zip lining, choose from a “family-friendly” line that’s not too high or a high zip line for daredevils
- Hiking, running and walking is ideal for independent explorers. Discover beautiful wildflowers, stunning peaks, striking waterfalls and dazzling lakes.
- Canoeing at the Gaylord Reservoir
- Trout fishing
- Sporting games, including tennis, sand volleyball, basketball, archery, horseshoes, miniature golf and more at Snow Mountain Ranch
If the weather isn’t great during your stay or you need some time out of the sun, check out indoor activities. Inside the craft shop you can find do everything from pottery painting to jewelry making. Inside the Kiva Center you will find rock climbing, roller skating and archery. Keep in mind that some of the activities are geared more toward kids than adults, and that some of the more popular activities can fill up quickly. Contact the property before your stay or let them know when you check in what you’re interested in doing so you can make sure to reserve your spot.
Ready to start your outdoor adventure in the Rockies? Snow Mountain Ranch is the perfect place to go for an affordable, fun-filled vacation.
Snow Mountain Ranch offers an amazing variety of activities perfect for enjoying the great outdoors with friends, or introducing your family to a new adventure. Whether you’re reliving your childhood days at summer camp or just getting the family together for some good old fresh air, there’s truly something for everyone here.
Carri’s Catch: Coming this summer, Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA will open a summer tubing hill. Which is extremely cool because it’s only the third one in the nation. The experience will be free for guests staying on the property. For non-guests, the cost will be $15/hour plus the cost of a day pass (currently $15 per person). All kids 5 and under are free. YMCA members won’t need to purchase a day pass – they will just pay for the tubing hill.