If you are looking for a place with multiple opportunities for a variety of adventures, look no further than Snow Mountain Ranch. Located ten miles west of Winter Park in Tabernash, you can find a number of exciting activities in close proximity to each other. One of YMCA of the Rockies’ two facilities (the other is located on the east side of Rocky Mountain National Park, in Estes Park), Snow Mountain Ranch is situated on over 5,000 acres. A Snow Mountain Ranch Day pass gives you access to their cross-country trail system, rated as one of the most expansive in the US, snow tubing, snowshoeing, ice skating, horseback riding, sleigh rides, an indoor climbing wall, swimming pool, a craft shop and more (depending on the activity, additional fees may apply). Equipment rentals are available on-site as well. To plan a visit, log-on to their website: snowmountainranch.org
While many visitors come to Winter Park for the skiing and riding, you’ll find that the Fraser Valley and Grand County has a host of other things to do when you’re not out on the slopes. In as little as 40 minutes, you can be at the western gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, soaking in a mineral hot springs, snowmobiling along the continental divide, or, ice fishing on Grand Lake. Closer in, there are even more options to choose from that will suit most everyone’s tastes.
The list below is by no means complete, but instead reflects some of our favorite winter activities located nearby.
Grand County is home to four cross-country touring facilities with Devil’s Thumb Ranch, Snow Mountain Ranch, Grand Lake and Latigo Ranch, and we also have an extensive open trail system awaiting your discovery. If you’re new to the sport, stop in at a backcountry ski shop and speak with one of the staff. They’ll have a wealth of information to share with you on lesson and equipment needs and can also help you with a “short list” of trails ideal for you to explore. Icebox Mountain Sports (970) 722-7780 or Zach’s Mercantile (970) 726-8231
Fat Tire Biking
Another fast-growing and popular option is renting a fat-tire bike and hitting the trails. There are several local shops that rent the bikes and they can help you navigate the local trail system as well. Beaver’s Sports Shop (970) 726-1092
You can rent a pair of snowshoes at many of the local shops in the area. Snowshoes allow you to walk anywhere there’s snow, so you can venture as far as you like and enjoy the peaceful serenity of the trails. Alpine Sun Ski & Sport (970) 726-5107
A guided snowmobile tour can take you to the top of the continental divide, where you’ll uncover stashes of fresh powder and tour the mountainside above the Towns of Winter Park and Fraser, enjoying panoramic views of the valley. Grand Adventures (970) 726-9247
There are a variety of tubing options in the area that are open daily, and, some into the night as well (just look for the bright lights). This super fun activity is one that should not be missed. Be sure to dress warmly and let your inhibitions go! Colorado Adventure Park (970) 726-5779
Nothing feels more “cozy” than riding in a horse drawn sleigh in the middle of winter. As you ride through the meadows and forest, beneath blue skies or stars, you’ll find it to be a pretty amazing experience. Sombrero Stables (970) 887-1999
Experience a truly unique guided tour on a sled pulled by a team of dogs through a private trail system. If you’re not sure whether you want to take the tour, you can also visit the kennels to meet the dogs and speak with the guides. Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park (970) 726-8326
Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Early risers are rewarded with a different view of our beautiful valley. Flying high above the valley floor, you can sometimes see over 100 miles of countryside. A traditional champagne toast is also included with this excellent adventure. Grand Adventure Balloon (970) 887-1340
Hot Springs Resort
Located 30 miles west of Winter Park, you’ll find the Hot Sulphur Springs Resort. The resort features 21 mineral pools with temperatures ranging from 95º to 112º F and offers welcome relief after a day on the hill. (970) 725-3306
Grand Park Community Recreation Center
The Rec Center features an indoor climbing wall, a full fitness area, a lap pool with diving board and a 20 foot loop slide and lazy river. You’ll find plenty to do at this indoor sanctuary to blustery winter weather. (970) 726-8968
Visit a Museum
Grand County is home to a number of historical museums. Plan a visit to learn more about the history, culture and heritage of our surrounding area.
Cozens Ranch Museum, Fraser (970) 726-5488 grandcountyhistory.org
Emily Warner Field Aviation Museum, Granby (970) 531-1100 grandcountyhistory.org
Kauffman House Museum, Grand Lake (970) 627-9644 grandlakehistory.org
Moffat Road Railroad Museum, Granby (970) 887-9478 moffatroadrailroadmuseum.org
Pioneer Village Museum, Hot Sulphur Springs (970) 725-3939 grandcountyhistory.org
Smith Eslick Cottage Court, Grand Lake (970) 627-9644 grandcountyhistory.org
Have a Spa Day!
Rocky Mountain National Park
While winter conditions close Trail Ridge Road (the road that takes you across the park to Estes Park in summer), there are still plenty of things to do at the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park. The Kawuneeche Visitor Center is open, and there are also opportunities to go on a ranger-led snowshoe tour on certain dates every winter. Call (970) 586-1206 for more information.
Visit Grand Lake
The Town of Grand Lake is nestled on the north side of Grand Lake, Colorado’s deepest natural lake. The quaint town features local shops and restaurants set along a boardwalk that winds its way through town. It is a popular destination for ice fishing, and, the snowmobiling is out of this world! (970) 627-3402
Igadi Cannabis Store
While not for everyone, those over 21 can tour this state of the art facility located just down the road in Tabernash. The tour provides the guest with the ability to see and learn about the products in various stages of development, and, whether you partake or not, the tour is actually quite impressive. (970) 536-0420
Dining and Entertainment options abound in the Fraser Valley, making for plenty of options when the sun goes down. Our weekly calendar of events features nightly event listings, and, if you’re wondering where to go for dinner, just ask a local. We’re always happy to help you find whatever it is that you’re looking for.
Whatever you end up doing, we hope you enjoy your stay and come back to visit again soon!