In Colorado there are so many options for a great family getaway in the mountains but Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park Colorado is probably our favorite place to start our summer off with the kids. Filled with beautiful views, great activities and plenty of memory making moments for the whole family Snow Mountain Ranch is sure to make the whole family excited!
Disclosure: In return for our honest review my family and I were guests at Snow Mountain Ranch for a weekend of fun. All opinions are our own.
Making A Family Tradition At Snow Mountain Ranch Colorado
At what point do you decide that you have started a family tradition? I believe we have a summer tradition with Snow Mountain Ranch in Winter Park Colorado and it might be our favorite weekend of the summer! This year marks the 4th year we have packed up the car and headed up the windy Berthoud Pass to Winter Park Colorado. What do you think – does 4 years equal a tradition? SURE!!
We picked a fantastic June weekend to go to the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch. It was warm enough to really enjoy the whole day outside. The reason we love going to Snow Mountain Ranch with the kids is because it allows us to enjoy the beautiful Colorado mountains but with activities for the kids too. It gives us time to go on some hikes, sit by the campfire and breath the mountain air but with out the dreaded “we are bored!” cries from the kids.
Let me be clear, this weekend we love so much usually requires an extra day off because it is always such a busy and packed weekend – no relaxing for us – but it is so worth it. Every spring the kids ask when we are going to Snow Mountain for summertime and they count down the days until we leave. It is a perfect ranch with lodging, food, and activities all in one place.
What Is Snow Mountain Ranch?
Located near Winter Park Colorado, Rocky Mountain National Park & Grand Lake; Snow Mountain Ranch offers a wholesome environment where friends, families & groups enjoy a tranquil setting, more activities than anywhere else & quality time together. You can fill your day and nights at Snow Mountain Ranch YMCA with our programs and activities. Every season brings fun and excitement for the entire family. Whether you are looking for adventure or a relaxing stroll, we can set you on your way.
Activities At Snow Mountain Ranch
Snow Mountain Ranch offers many activities on the property including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, canoeing, zip lines, fishing, archery, climbing wall, crafts shop, roller skating, mini-golf, swimming, both summer and winter tubing hill and more, making the destination an affordable and adventurous getaway for the whole family. (Most of these activities are included free for guests.)
This year we decided to explore the homestead and go on a hike to a Gold Mine. While we are so sad we missed Lollygagging with Llamas this time, we did get to do a great family hike and explore a mine plus hang out on the homestead. The hike to the Gold Mine was not long or hard at all but it gave the kids some time to enjoy the views and understand some of the history about the homestead and land around the mine.
While I did not jump at the opportunity to go into the Gold Mine the kids and Jeremy did! They also found that the further they went into the mine the deeper the cold water got! HA! So much for Teagan’s new shoes!!! They were both so amazed at how much colder it was in the mine than it was outside. It was a really great experience for the kids. And the hike was the perfect length for my kids – they didn’t even complain once!
After the hike we went back to the homestead to explore. Jude was busy learning about the history of the buildings and machines in the cabins while Teagan found a new love. Washing Clothes!! She was so mad when we said it was time to go. She loved getting the clothes dirty, then washing them, then ringing them out and then hanging them up in the sun. It was pretty cute. At the homestead the kids can dress up in clothing to match the time period of the homestead discovery too. It was kind of hot out so neither one of them were excited about that. If you have some time in between your scheduled activities at Snow Mountain Ranch you should head to the Homestead for a tour and some time to check out the “old” homestead items.
Last year Teagan was not big enough to try the rock climbing wall but this year she was!! YAY!! She was so determined to get this climb done and it was so much fun to see her keep trying over and over. As our hour was up she immediately said that the next time we are at Snow Mountain Ranch she wants to do the climbing wall every day!! She was so excited to make it half way up the wall.
Last year Jude tried to do the rock climbing wall but he was too nervous and ended up in tears. This year, he tried again, and while he still did not make it to the top he had way more confidence in himself and tried multiple times. I am so happy that he got back up on that wall and I can only hope he will keep trying so he can finally reach the top! Maybe next year!!
If you are looking for a day camp while in Colorado Snow Mountain Ranch has an affordable and convenient summer day camp on-site for ages 5-13 – like kids club. Kids can attend for one or two days or a full week. Keep the kids busy and enjoy one of the more challenging hikes or mountain biking trails or just grab some grown-up time. We all love some grown up time don’t we!?!
What is great about the Lodging at Snow Mountain Ranch is that even in the lodge rooms there is plenty of room to go back to the room and relax for a few minutes before heading back to the activities! I love that there is a little sitting area for us to enjoy a snack too. This year we were lucky enough to be on the first floor with our door opening right to a small playground! I cannot begin to tell you how much the kids loved this. Well honestly, I loved it too. Every morning we would get the kids ready and we would send them out to the playgroup while we got ready for our day. So fun!! We have never had a bad room at the Indian Peaks Lodge but hope to stay in one of the cabins one day just to experience it, they look beautiful.
One of Jude’s favorite activities is archery and honestly he is really great at it. He even got a bulls-eye this year!! Our session was great, we had the range to ourselves so all four of us had some bow and arrow time! Such a fun family activity.
All of these activities means we needed food! If you are like me, you want to know all about the food options for your family while on
vacation. I must say, the Schlessman Commons makes dining and food prep so easy for families. We were literally on the go the whole time we were at Snow Mountain Ranch which would have made food prep hard but we simply stopped in the Commons and enjoyed all 3 meals every day. It was so easy and a great way to sit down and relax for a while as a family.
Summer Tubing Hill – General Facts:
Snow Mountain Ranch guests can use this tubing hill free of charge!
The prices for day visitors are as follows:
- 13 and older: $35 per person
- 6-12 years old: $25 per person
- 3-5 years old: $15 per person
- *A full-day activity pass is included in this price.
- *Members of YMCA of the Rockies or another YMCA (with proof of membership) can use the tubing hill for $15 per person and receive a complimentary day pass.
Now, we certainly love every activity available at Snow Mountain Ranch but our family favorite has to be the summer tubing hill! Tubing in the summer with no winter gear? YES!!
Reservation, rules and amenities information:
Guests staying on-grounds can reserve their time slots for the tubing hill 3 days in advance at the Programs Building. Day visitors can reserve their time slots the day of their visit at the Programs Building. We highly recommend that guests book their time slot 3 days in advance. If you are a day visitor, please call the Program Department the morning of your visit to check on open times: 970-887-2152, ext. 4135.
- Helmets are available for no additional cost.
- Children ages 3-6 must ride with an adult (children 2 and under cannot ride).
- Flip-flops are not allowed; shoes must be secure. Please do not wear loose clothing or hats.
- A concessions and bathrooms house will be at the top of the hill for guest convenience.
Make sure you check out our first Summer Tubing Hill experience from 2015 and more information on what to expect.
Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone
Last summer we got to check out the new Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone . The kids loved it! A brand new park with some amazing features. Spruce Saddle Adventure Zone is right next to the tubing hill at the ranch. It is a great open space park and playground perfect for all ages and abilities. There are a number of playgrounds around the grounds of the ranch but this is truly an adventure zone!
Some features include:
- VIP Swing
- Small Zip Line
- Twisted Log Ladder
- Climbing Wall
- Climbing Structures
Accommodations range from lodge rooms, cabins of all sizes, yurts and campsites in the summer and even 8 bedroom reunion cabins that sleep up to 40 guests – perfect for a family reunion or corporate retreat. Plus, YMCA of the Rockies has on-staff retreat specialists to help plan large events. There is also an Estes Park location which is the place to be in the fall to see the Elk up close.