A summer family trip to Snow Mountain Ranch is definitely Instagram-worthy
Don’t get me wrong: The idea of camping? Love it. The actual act of packing everything up, sleeping on the ground in the cold, animal-proofing the food, the whole no bathroom deal? Not so much. But cabin life? Sign me right up. Snow Mountain Ranch, YMCA of the Rockies in Granby has just the right amount of outdoorsy-ness, and a recent stay with my husband and tween-age daughters in a spacious three-bedroom cabin meant not only tons of fun mountain activities but bathrooms, showers, a full kitchen, fireplace and even—much to my kids’ relief—WiFi.
Located on 5,100 acres and surrounded by stunning Rocky Mountain views, the property, in addition to the cabins, offers vacation homes (think family reunions—some sleep up to 40), yurts (complete with a neatly maintained nearby bathhouse), campgrounds and lodge
rooms. No, we didn’t have a TV (but even the kids admitted they didn’t miss it) but our iPhones were in tow as we set out to document our weekend. #yourewelcome
HORSING AROUND Sombrero Stables, on the property, offers horseback rides, breakfast and dinner rides and hayrack rides. #giddyup!
TAKE AIM A family archery lesson with our instructor, Mango (not making this up), was a blast. Bullseye bragging rights definitely included.
SKY HIGH The whole family (even my 9-yearold!) hit the forest zip line. Fear of heights? Somewhat conquered! #momisbrave
CLIMB TIME The kids got harnessed in and scurried up the three-story outdoor climbing wall, with routes for varying skill levels.
#ALMOSTCAMPING Next time, we’re staying in a yurt, complete with a queen bed and two bunk beds with nearby bathrooms and showers.
WATER PLAY Grab a canoe at Gaylord Reservoir on the ranch and paddle your way around.
NATURE WALK Spend a morning, afternoon— heck, the whole day—just wandering around the area’s trails for photo-worthy views. #nofilter
MEET A NEW FRIEND Learn to pack a llama and head out with the animal on a group hike (and try the string maze while you’re at it).
TEE TIME Putt-putt with the kids amidst epic scenery at the popular mini golf course. This girl scored not one, but two holes in one. #fore!
SKATE CITY I couldn’t tear these girls away from the indoor roller rink that’s housed with a basketball court and game room, too.
TOTALLY TUBULAR The way-fun tubing hill, the first of its kind in the state, has cooling misters and—#genius—a magic carpet to take you back up.
SOMETHING’S FISHY Catch trout (no license required) at the fully stocked Gaylord Reservoir. Fly-fishing and fly-tying classes also are available.
GO GREEN With miles and miles of trails right on the property, taking a hike among the aspen trees is as simple as walking out your cabin door.
SADDLE UP Even if you don’t choose to go riding, be sure to stroll by Sombrero Stables for an up-close-and-personal meeting with the horses.
SOMETHING TO GUSH OVER Don’t leave the ranch without hiking the Waterfall Trail, a family-friendly 2.5-mile loop with this beautiful payoff.
Pricing: Cabins start at $239 per night; vacation homes start at $389; lodge rooms start at $139; yurts are $99; campsites start at $53; value rates apply on select dates.
Day passes: Ages 13 and older: $20; ages 6-12: $10; ages 0-5: free.
Dining: Cafeteria-style buffet; Buckboard Grill (pizza, burgers, etc.)
Free summer activities: Mini golf, indoor pool, roller skating, tennis, basketball, campfires, disc golf, nature classes, horseshoes, tricycle court, hiking, playgrounds, ball field, library, Rowley Homestead Museum, tubing hill, petting farm, llama group hikes.
Paid activities: Crafts, archery, climbing wall, zip line, fishing, canoeing, mountain biking, horseback, pony and wagon rides.
FYI … SIGN UP FOR FAMILY CAMP! Mark Labor Day weekend (September 2-5) for three days of arts and crafts, archery, hiking, canoeing and more, plus lodging in a rustic camper cabin. Adults: $190; kids 5-12: $110; kids 0-4: free.