Our family has traveled Colorado extensively. But the one area that we hadn’t explored until this weekend is the Rocky Mountain National Park area. WOW! Just a jump, skip and a hop from our home town, the area is spectacular. We had the opportunity to stay in a cabin at YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby, Colorado. It may be our new favorite Colorado destination.
While we love the outdoors, we tend to also prefer a bit of comfort. A comfortable bed and shower are priorities. Snow Mountain Ranch is very clean, friendly and comfortable with absolutely everything a family could want. We felt comfortable letting our kids explore on their own. For a Colorado summer, spending as much time outdoors is key. And, this is where Snow Mountain Ranch truly delivers.
Disclosure: We were hosted on this trip by YMCA of the Rockies. All opinions, however, are our own.
YMCA of the Rockies Snow Mountain Ranch Location
Snow Mountain Ranch is located near Winter Park in one of Colorado’s beautiful mountain towns, Granby, Colorado at 1101 County Road 53, just south of town. Coming from Eagle in the summer, it was the most spectacular drive on the Trough Road past Wolcott and State Bridge and Radium Hot Springs.
It is just a thirty minute drive to the spectacular Rocky Mountain National Park, one of Colorado’s four National Parks.
Snow Mountain Ranch Lodging Options
Snow Mountain Ranch has a variety of lodging options, all of which give guests access to the entirety of the property.
There are tent camping sites, RV camping sites, glamping at a yurt village, cabins ranging from two bedrooms up to five bedrooms and rooms in lodges.
We were originally booked in one of the lodge rooms but ended up staying in a spacious three-bedroom cabin. These mountain cabins are truly the way to go. They have large decks with outdoor seating, perfect for dinner or a morning coffee. While the decor is basic, they are very comfortable and have everything you could need.
Gas grills are available upon request and were a fantastic addition. Whether making a pancake breakfast or grilling steaks, meals are easy, leaving time for all of the fun activities.
You could quite feasibly stay in one of the cabins and not have to come closer than six feet to anyone outside of your group. A way to take a vacation with social distancing.
I suspect that most summers the cabins are in high demand and hard to get into. Summer 2020 may be a rare chance to snap one up!
Dog Friendly and then Some
The dog park is beyond amazing. It is the largest fenced-in dog park that I have ever seen. There’s a shaded area with seats and tables for the dog parents. A sand area for dogs to run, grass beyond and a mini pine forest beyond that.
Dogs are welcome almost everywhere on the property. Our furry family member joined us in our cabin, at archery, at the zip line, on the waterfall hike and on the paths and the parks. The only places we didn’t bring her were to the restaurants and the stables.
We packed as much as was physically possible into a weekend, and left knowing that we only scratched the surface of enjoying all of the fun family activities offered at Snow Mountain Ranch.
We’ve already shared about the most amazing dog park, but the kids park is equally fun. Just across from the dog park, it boasts a mini zip line. A very unique see-saw and slides down to a lower level. As everywhere on the property the views are spectacular from here. There were a couple of smaller basic parks in other areas of the ranch.
Looking for an adrenaline rush? Book zip lining for the family. Participants must be ages eight and over. You get the safety talk, get harnessed up, climb a ladder or pole up to high in the air and then step off of a platform to whiz down a metal line. The first go, I said, “Do I really just step off?” Eyes closed and heart racing, that is what I did. Second go round I enjoyed the views and feeling of flying through the air.
The entire family was excited to try their had at archery for the first time. We basically had lessons and got to try our hand at shooting a real bow and arrow into the target. It was a good test of eye hand coordination. And, was just fun to be outside cheering each other on.
The property boasts a beautiful waterfall hike. It is a drive down a dirt road. There are picnic tables at the trailhead. The trail is just over two miles round trip and is a fairly gradual slope on a wide path. Along the way you will find signs telling you about the wildlife, plants and more. The falls themselves are beautiful. Water rushing from above is always peaceful. Dogs on leash are welcome here. We spotted several families with young children. No bikes are allowed on this trail.
There is a great network of walking and biking trails throughout the property. Bikes are an excellent way to get around. The cabins do sit at the top of the property so are a bit of an uphill to get home. This slowed us down in exclusively using our bikes to get around.
The Snow Mountain Stables are independently owned and operated. My daughter and I took a one-hour trail ride, while my husband led my son on a pony ride. He just missed the age cutoff for a trail ride.
You can see parts of the property you probably wouldn’t get to otherwise on horseback. And, we learned a bit about the local wildlife and flora along the way.
There was also a new baby horse at the stables. It was fun to see him with his mama.
Insider Tip: There are many amazing horseback riding outfitters throughout the state of Colorado. It is a fabulous way to take in the mountain landscapes.
This wasn’t yet open, when we visited mid-June. Everything in Colorado is in a phased opening for summer 2020. While we were sad to miss this, it is only one of several things we want to return to experience.
Campsites include fire pits. But lodge rooms and cabins do not. However, there are fire pits available by reservation. A $25 fee includes wood and fire starter and the site is yours for the night. The sites are large and some even have picnic shelters.
There are a ton of family programs available. From nature art and fort building to gaga ball, our kids wanted to do it all and got to do none of it. These activities are free as a part of your visit. We left already planning a return visit.
Dining at Snow Mountain Ranch
We brought along plenty of food. When you have a kitchen and want to fit in as much fun as you can, it is easier just to make something in your cabin. But there are two very affordable restaurants on site. Our first night there we arrived around dinner time and ordered food from the Buckboard Grill.
The Buckboard Grill is located in the Administration Building where check-in is. It has been open for take out and recently opened back up for dining-in with health protocols in place. Our first night we ordered a family meal of pulled pork and a huge salad. Coming from the Eagle River Valley we couldn’t believe how inexpensive it was for a family of four to eat and have left overs. And, it was really good. Buckboard became our go to from then on.
There’s also the Schlessman Commons Dining Hall. We had breakfast there one morning. It is a quick and easy buffet, also with new health protocols in place.
YMCA of the Rockies Staff
Everyone working at Snow Mountain Ranch was so friendly. They were genuinely grateful to have us there. I imagine things were much quieter than usual, which was nice for us. Large groups will be hard to come by summer 2020, which really makes it an ideal time for families to visit.
Snow Mountain Ranch Offers
A new promotion offers 33% off lodge rooms at YMCA Of The Rockies. Book a minimum of 3 nights in any lodge room at Estes Park Center or Snow Mountain Ranch between June 12 and July 31, 2020. Breakfast for 2 is included each day.