By late February, you reach a point where you need the promise of warmth just to get outside. The hot springs at Avalanche Ranch and Nordic trails at nearby Spring Gulch, outside of Carbondale, Colorado, will give you the kick you crave, and then some. Kids and adults can ski all day on groomed track and afterwards soak in thermal pools. If you’re so relaxed you can’t bear to drive home, spend the night at one of the ranch’s 13 rustic but cheerful log cabins.
With over 700 acres of land and a 13-mile network of Nordic trails, Spring Gulch, about 15 minutes from the ranch, has something for everyone. For those just learning how to cross-country ski, there are plenty of beginner and intermediate trails, including Rafter-T, Rabbit Run, and Lazy Eight. There are also longer tours, like Finlandia, and steeper climbs like Highball for the more advanced skiers in the family.