The Snow Mountain Ranch sits on 5,200 acres just off U.S. Highway 40 between Tabernash and Granby. It is a year-round playground offering more than 100 km of groomed trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, sleigh rides and other winter outdoor activities as well as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, Frisbee golf, zip line, climbing wall and other summer activities.
One of the best groomed Nordic Centers in the country, you can cross country ski from mid-November until mid-April with terrain accommodating first time beginners in loops around the Nordic Center to more challenging terrain suitable for even Olympic racers. And be sure to ski with your dog on the dog loops next to the Center and out to the campgrounds.
The Nordic Center will host the first Annual Snow Mountain Season Opener cross country ski race on Nov. 17. Starting at 9 a.m., the race will be 10K on trails groomed for freestyle skiing winding through alpine forests and meadows. Call the Nordic Center at 888-573-9622 for further information. Pre-registration is available Nov. 3 at www.ymcarockies.org/smrnordicraces.htm. Time to get your membership now and pray for snow.
The Nordic Center features a full-service ski shop. To re-energize, visit the Skinny Ski Cafe, opening about Thanksgiving, and enjoy a light snack or warm up with a bowl of soup and a sandwich. A simple one-year membership for $200 applies to either individuals OR families and includes cross country skiing, sledding, tubing, ice skating, swimming pool and Kiva activities like basketball and roller skating beside all the summer activities. You can rent cross country ski equipment and snowshoes, sleds, tubes or ice skates but the activities are included. And you get discounts on lodging.
Regular trail fees are $15/day with a $10 fee for Grand Nordic members and reduced rates for youth and seniors. There is a season pass for seniors ages 61-69 for $100. For the occasional skier, there are punchcards for 5 days at $50 and 10 days for $90. The joint Nordic pass with Devil's Thumb includes only cross country skiing for $260 obtained through Devil's Thumb. Call 970-887-2152 ext. 4173 for information.
Opening day is normally a free ski day for everyone and every Wednesday is a free ski day for locals. Snow Mountain Ranch has Moonlight ski evening to be announced and Grand Nordic will sponsor a dinner on March 2, the weekend of the Stampede - now a two day event.
The Denver University Guest Clinic is scheduled for Nov. 25 with the cost to be announced. The annual Classic Race is scheduled for Jan 5. A Ski Clinic with the University of Wyoming team members and coaches is scheduled for Jan. 6 as part of the series of free ski lessons offered by Grand Nordic including free equipment and trail pass for all Nordic Club members. Details forthcoming.
Other YMCA events like snowshoe races and the Sons of Norway Barnelopet for kids are scheduled in February with regular Colorado Biathlon events every week or two starting in December. The season winds down with the famed Snow Mountain Stampede now a weekend event on March 2-3. Check out the new YMCA website at www.ymcarockies.org and click on Snow Mountain Ranch and Nordic Center for details or to sign up for any events.
The free kids program starts Jan. 11 with both Friday and Sunday afternoons for kids 5-15 and runs every weekend in January and February ending with a Nordic Festival Feb. 22 and 24.
Visit the Grand Nordic Website for more information, www.grandnordic.org, or call Diana Lynn Rau, Grand Nordic president, at 970-887-0547.