We drove west past Denver, gaining elevation, and winding our way through the shadows and the contours of the foothills. Thankfully, the little one was napping, and we could actually start decompressing a little bit for the first time in a while. I love when the sun hits the hills in that perfect spot where the valleys are dramatically darkened while the hilltops almost seem to glow.
|headed north into a cloud|
Then my husband said, "Do you realize that if we were playing by the rules, we'd be in gym class right now?" Does anyone else have conversations in movie quotes? We do. Whole conversations sometimes. (In case you're wondering, that's a reference to Ferris Bueller's Day Off.) And, this was pretty similar to the look I gave him. But... we get each other.
|entrance to Snow Mountain Ranch|
|in the room|
|huge stone fireplace|
On our first night, the little one was a little cranky after the drive, so we opted to skip the roller skating and swimming and rock climbing so she could rest up for Saturday. We grabbed a quick dinner at Schlessman Commons and headed over for a s'more at the campfire. We spent several minutes talking with the nicest guy who works there. He was just one of those people who instantly makes you feel like you're at home. Shout-out to Jerry!
|sign at night|
|Good morning Snow Mountain Ranch!|
After breakfast on Saturday, we suited up for some fun snow activities!
|on a mission|
|dragging the tubes to the sledding hill|
|daddy-daughter snow tubing|
|these LL Bean ice skates are super fun|
|great views from the ice rink|
|the halfway point|
|at the craft shop|
That night, after the little one went to bed, my husband told me to go sit on the back porch for a few minutes and just enjoy the quiet. So I bundled up, and I did. Underneath the full moon, hearing the gentle dripping of the icicles, I just listened to the stillness around me as it snowed. I felt my shoulders completely relax as I gazed off at the snow-covered peaks dimly lit in the distance. It was so peaceful. Take me back!
Sunday morning, my husband took our daughter over to breakfast while I worked on packing. I watched the Nordic skiers in the valley as the wind blew the freshly fallen snow on a beautiful sunny morning in the mountains. The pine trees were casting shadows across the snow. The blue sky was peeking out of the clouds. And there was a silver lining.
|view from our room|
|pines along the pass|
After passing a beautiful frozen waterfall, we found ourselves back in the warm and sunny foothills. The little one was asleep again, exhausted from an exhilarating weekend, so I just sat and soaked in the sun.
A fun-filled family getaway in a breathtaking setting, Snow Mountain Ranch is an ideal weekend getaway--just a couple of hours away--and we can't wait to go back for an extended visit!
More about Snow Mountain Ranch at YMCA of the Rockies:
- more than 5,000 acres
- over 100 km of Nordic ski trails
- accommodations include lodges, cabins, vacation homes, yurts, and campsites
- great location for retreats, family vacations, and reunions
- on-site dining
- Nordic skiing
- sledding and tubing hill
- ice skating
- horseback riding and sleigh rides
- dog sledding
- easy access to Winter Park downhill skiing
- horseback riding
- miniature golf
- easy access to nearby boating, fishing, and rafting
- massage therapy
- craft shop
- roller skating
- rock climbing wall
Disclosure: My family was hosted for a weekend at Snow Mountain Ranch, including lodging, meals, and activities for purposes of this review. All opinions are my own.