The Snow Mountain Ranch sits on 5,200 acres just off 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’s full-service ski shop is where you will find great deals on lessons and rental packages. They also have the latest Nordic gear and apparel for sale as well as snowshoe gear. To re-energize, visit the Skinny Ski Café 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 per day with a $10 fee for Grand Nordic members and reduced rates apply for kids and seniors. The joint Nordic pass with Devil’s Thumb includes only cross-country skiing for $260, obtained through Devil’s Thumb. Ask the Y about seasonal rentals on skis/boots/poles packages and the Trade up Program for rentals for younger children or about the Learn to Ski package including trail pass, equipment rental and group lesson. Call 970-887-2152 X 4173.
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 evenings to be announced. The annual Classic Race is scheduled for Jan. 4. The last of the series of free ski lessons offered by Grand Nordic including free equipment and trail pass for all Nordic Club members is offered Jan, 5 with the University of Wyoming Team members and coaches assisting in the afternoon sessions. Jan. 13 is the NSCD Paralympic Experience Day, while The Denver University Guest Clinic is scheduled for Jan. 18 for a cost of $30. Other YMCA events like snowshoe races and the Sons of Norway Barnelopet for kids are scheduled in February with regular waxing clinics and Colorado Biathlon events every week or two starting in December. The season winds down with the famed Madshus Snow Mountain Stampede, now a weekend event on March 1-2. 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. 10 with both Friday and Sunday afternoons for kids 5-15 and runs every weekend in January and February ending with a Nordic Festival Feb. 21 and 23.