Diana Lynn Rau: Devil’s Thumb Nordic center aims for Nov. 19 opening
Grand County, CO Colorado
Nestled in the shadow of the Continental Divide near Tabernash, Devil’s Thumb Ranch has more than 6,000 acres of sweeping meadows and meandering creeks.
Now planning on a Nov. 19 opening if nature cooperates, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. Since 1938, cowboys and poets and ranchers and city folk and Nordic skiers have escaped to Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
The recently completed Lodge offers cozy single rooms and multi-room suites, a cafe, pub/bistro, fitness center, theater, a six-sided, three-story fireplace constructed from stones gathered from a rockslide near the Ranch, and even a miniature bowling alley. The cabins range in size from one bedroom lofts to spacious four bedroom cabins with full kitchens and two baths and many are dog-friendly.
The original Elk lodge at Devil’s Thumb Ranch was moved down the road a couple of miles and has been repurposed as the Bunkhouse designed for the budget-conscious traveler including nine rooms with private bath, four rooms with a shared bath, and two small common areas. Both Heck’s Tavern (B,L,D) and the Ranch House Restaurant (dinner only) are open daily and have received the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence among other awards.
Trail passes to use the extensive XC or snowshoe system are $18 per day. Grand Nordic members pay $13. Five day individual punch cards, transferable 10 day punch cards, and family passes are available. Grand Nordic member rates, local business passes and a joint pass with Snow Mountain Ranch are all available by calling the Adventure Center at 970-726-8231.
The tubing hill is free. Sleigh rides are available in winter and horseback riding year-round. In summer fly fishing, hiking and mountain biking are now available for everyone. And to end your day, relax in the hot tub or massage out the kinks at Ranch Creek Spa.
The National Sports Center for the Disabled has XC Ski days every Thursday, Friday and Saturday and every Friday is Grand County Public School Kids Fun Day. During January and February, kids 3-10 enjoy free lessons Friday mornings. Every month there is a Skijouring Clinic to learn to ski with your dog – equipment is available.
The Tommelfest is the season’s grand kickoff on Dec. 10 complete with free lessons by University of Denver Nordic team and Grand Nordic instructors featuring a noon clinic by Halley Johnson of the US Biathlon team with Laser Biathlon. Grand Nordic members additionally receive free equipment and trail pass if needed.
For more formation call 970-726-8231 or visit http://www.devilsthumbranch.com. Other events this year include the 25th Annual Governor’s Cup and Ski and Soak Day in January, the Grand Huts Progressive Dinner in February, and the Backyard BBQ on March 31 to end the season.
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