Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Hidden Gem of The Rockies...SNOW MOUNTAIN RANCH!

Family vacation?  Yes, please!

And then the questions begin...

Where to go?
What to do?
Where to stay?
What to eat?
Will ALL the kiddos enjoy it?
Will the parents enjoy it?

Family vacations can be pretty've heard the saying, "I need a vacation from my vacation", right???

We all love to get away, but when it's harder to leave than to stay, it's easy to second-guess your decision to go.

May I share some advice?  It will save your sanity, and your family will think you are the Vacation Master.


The view from our room...GORGEOUS!

If you've never heard of the YMCA of the Rockies, it's time to do some research.  A little over an hour from the Denver area, between Winter Park and Granby, this resort-style camp is the perfect "staycation" for families.  We had the absolute pleasure of staying there for the weekend, and it was one of the best trips we've ever taken.

It is, for sure, a hidden gem right here in the Rockies.

We stayed in the Indian Peaks of three lodges on the property.  The room, meant for families (and starting at only $96 a night!), had two queen beds and a pull out couch.  It included a walk-out deck or patio, private bathroom and a fridge and microwave.  What it didn't include was a TV, and we didn't miss it for a second.  We were either too exhausted and went to right to sleep, or we hung out as a family by the fire in the lodge and drank hot cocoa.  Priceless.

Playing games by the fire at
The Indian Peaks Lodge
Hanging out by the fire in the lodge

The best thing about Snow Mountain Ranch is that you NEVER have to leave while you are there.  Everything you need or want is right at your fingertips...from the dining hall to the activities.  There is LITERALLY something for EVERYONE here...

  • 5,200 acres of  amazing land
  • tubing - bring your own or use theirs!
  • swimming - thee is a rock wall IN the pool!
  • roller skating
  • indoor rock climbing
  • indoor archery
  • ping pong
  • basketball
  • floor hockey
  • dodgeball
  • sledding
  • ice skating - this outdoor rink is a real treat
  • dogsledding - take a ride or hang out with the dogs!
  • sleigh rides - take a dinner ride or some hot cocoa
  • snowmobiling
  • snowshoeing - check out the Mountain Man's Cave!
  • nordic center
  • cross country skiing
  • horseback riding
  • library
  • craft shop - paint pottery, work with leather, and so much more!
  • campfires

Most of the activities are included with your stay, or are available for a nominal fee.  Seriously, where can you find THAT these days?

The Kiva Center

Archery at The Kiva Center
Riding the trike at the roller rink!
Rock climbing at the Kiva Center
My kids loved The Kiva Center, where they could roller skate and play indoor games like floor hockey and ping pong.  My youngest could even ride a trike on the roller rink!  (He loved it so much that I had to drag him kicking and screaming out of there on Sunday.)  We made appointments to rock climb and try indoor archery as soon as we got there...I would recommend it as the sessions fill up quickly. 

Tubing (and rolling around in the snow...
hence the crazy snow-covered face!)
Tubing was another favorite!  You can bring your own sled/tube or use the ones at The Ranch (we did both), and if you want to brave the drop in temperature after dark, you can use the hill until 8pm!

Roasting marshmallows at The Homestead

Sombrero Stables...some lucky
girl got to sit up in front!
We were super excited to take a sleigh ride at Sombrero Stables ( a hop and a skip from the Indian Peaks Lodge).  Our driver, Cole, was a hoot, and kept us entertained and informed throughout the ride.  We stopped for hot cocoa and roasted marshmallows at one of the property's historical sites...there is just something special about hanging out around a campfire in the snow, knowing that a family stood in that same spot 100+ years ago.  If you have the opportunity to take a sleigh ride, it is worth every penny.

Cabins, both family and reunion sized, are also available but book up quickly, and are perfect for small and large gatherings (and the view!  Gorgeous!).  The camp is open year round, and there are many spring/summer activities offered during the warmer months, including summer camp for your kids!

I could go on and on and on about Snow Mountain Ranch, and I could not give it a higher recommendation...BUT you simply MUST visit to understand the beauty of this place, physically and mentally.  You will want to go back as soon as you drive away.  We did.

Check out all the details about Snow Mountain Ranch here!  And be sure to tell them that Go Go Family sent you!

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