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Snow Mountain Ranch; Grand County, Colorado

Snow Mountain Ranch

Snow Mountain Ranch    Photo: Courtesy of Snow Mountain Ranch

A 5,100-acre playground outside Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park, Snow Mountain Ranch is best described as a year-round camp where grown-ups are welcome, too. It’s owned by the YMCA, and you can tell: with more than 50 utilitarian cabins, three lodges, and seven yurts, the vibe is rambling and rustic, and not at all resorty or ranchy. Ice skating, tubing, and sledding are all free, and some 62 miles of cross-country ski trails wind through the hills. Need a break from the kids? Leave ’em at the rec center, which has foosball, Ping-Pong, and a roller-skating rink, while you escape for a day at Winter Park Resort, just 12 miles away. The bunk-bed-equipped yurts are tempting at just $89, but they’re unheated—go with one of the cabins, where you can light a roaring fire. Cabins from $159.

From Outside Magazine, Jan 2012 Get the Latest Issue

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