SNOWSHOEING & NORDIC SKIING | Grand County has miles of great trails for the whole family
Grand County is a premier destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. With three Nordic centers in the county and free trails maintained across its public lands, the county has something for any skill level.
Before heading out to cross-country ski or snowshoe, make sure to have a safety plan with proper clothing and equipment. You should also thoroughly research weather conditions and bring plenty of food and water.
DEVIL’S THUMB RANCH
Located in Tabernash 15 miles from Winter Park, Devil’s Thumb Ranch has over 70 miles of trails at the base of the Continental Divide.
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Dogs on leashes are allowed on certain trails. Day passes are $25 for adults (13 and older), $15 for seniors (65 and older) and $10 for kids 6-12. Kids 5 and under are free. The pass includes complimentary access to the ice-skating rink.
The ranch also offers ski and snowshoe rental packages starting at $25 for adults, $15 for seniors and $10 for kids. Demo ski rentals are $40. The ranch offers one-hour lessons for adults 13 and older at $40 per person, not including equipment rentals and trail passes. Lessons take place at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. daily. One-hour lessons for children 6-12 include equipment rental and a trail pass for $55. Kids’ lessons are at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Private lessons and tours are available for $50 per person, excluding equipment rental and trail pass. Private lessons are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. The ranch is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 970-726-7010 for trail conditions. Visit DevilsThumbRanch.com or call 970-726-8231 for more information.
GRAND LAKE NORDIC CENTER
The Grand Lake Nordic Center has more than 20 miles of trails less than a mile from Grand Lake.
There is a dog friendly snowshoe trail and ski loop. Day passes for cross country skiing start at $18 for adults, $8 for kids 5-16 and free for children younger than 5. Prices for adults are reduced with an afternoon rate of $14 starting at 1:30 p.m. and a twilight rate of $12 starting at 2:30 p.m.
Rentals are $18 for adults and $8 for kids ages 5-16. Rates for adults are reduced to $14 at 1:30 p.m. and to $12 at 2:30 p.m. There is also a transferable five day rental punch card for adults for $72.
Nordic ski lessons are available by appointment only for all ages and experience. The hour-long lessons are $25 (cash or check only), excluding equipment rental and trail fees. Call the Nordic Center to reserve a day and time at 970-627-8008.
Snowshoe rentals are available at the lodge for $12 and the trail fee is $12. There are 3 miles of snowshoe trails ranging from easy to advance. While not groomed, the trials are well marked with yellow signs. Throughout the winter, the center also offers full moon skis from 5-9 p.m. featuring adult beverages and a bonfire. Visit the Nordic Center’s webpage at GrandLakeRecreation.com/nordiccenter for more information.
SNOW MOUNTAIN RANCH
With over 120 km of terrain for skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking — snow mountain biking — Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby offers trails for beginners to advanced.
Leashed dogs are welcome on some trails. A single pass for skiing, snowshoeing or fat biking is $25 for adults, $10 for kids 6-12 and a transferable 5-punch card that family members can share for $110. Children five and under are free.
Passes also give access to tubing, ice-skating and other amenities offered at Snow Mountain Ranch. If you’re staying at the YMCA of the Rockies lodging, trail passes are included in the stay.
Rentals for adult skis or snowshoes are $20 for a full day or $15 after 1 p.m.; child skis or snowshoes are $10 for a full day and $8 for half.
The ranch offers a demo ski rental for $35. The ranch holds group Nordic lessons daily for one hour at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with a maximum of 10 people per group. The group lessons are $35 for adults and $20 for children.
Private lessons are available at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. for $50, with $40 for each additional person in the private lessons. Call the Nordic Center at 888-573-9622 to schedule a lesson.
Guided snowshoeing hikes available for all levels are $15 per person. Call 970-887-2152, ext. 4135, to schedule. The ranch offers a learn-to-ski package that includes a one-hour lesson, equipment and trail fees. The package is $70 for adults ($55 for overnight guests) and $40 for children. The ranch is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more, call 970-887-2152, ext. 4173.
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