Grand Nordic Corner: Snow Mountain Ranch offers almost 75 miles of groomed trails
Grand Nordic president
Snow Mountain Ranch sits on 5,200 acres just off U.S. Highway 40 between Tabernash and Granby. It is a year-round playground offering over 120 kilometers (just shy of 75 miles) of groomed trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, tubing, sleigh rides and other winter outdoor activities as well as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, disc golf, zip line, climbing and tubing in the summer. Construction of the new buildings for Camp Chief Ouray and the activities center will continue through the winter at the far end of the Nordic Center parking lot compromising access to and many of the old CCO Loops.
Snow Mountain Ranch is considered one of the best-groomed Nordic Centers in the country, and you usually can cross-country ski from mid-November until mid-April. The terrain can accommodate everyone from the first-time skier to the elite racer. Be sure to ski with your dog on the dog-friendly loops next to the Nordic Center — but remember, leashes are required. This year the Nordic Center shop officially opened Nov. 21, but trails have not had enough snow to be officially open. Still, many areas of higher ground are being rolled. Hopefully the storms this week are changing that! Check out the new grooming report on Nordic-Pulse.com/ski-areas for great up-to-the minute information!
The Nordic Center’s full-service ski shop is where you will find great deals on lessons and rental packages. They also have the latest Nordic and snowshoe gear and apparel for sale. To reenergize, visit the Skinny Ski Café, which is scheduled to be open this season, and enjoy a light snack or warm up with a bowl of soup and a sandwich. Learn to ski with one of the ranch’s instructors or rent a chariot and let the rhythm of skiing help put your child to sleep.
A one-year membership for family or individual is $250 or three years for $600 and includes cross-country skiing, sledding, winter tubing and ice skating privileges. A membership also grants access to the swimming pool, basketball court, roller skating and so much more. You can rent cross-country ski equipment as well as performance gear, fat bikes and snowshoes at the Nordic Center. Also, with your membership, you also get discounts on lodging at the YMCA of the Rockies. Regular trail fees for adults are $29 per day but Grand Nordic members receive a 10% discount. Children 12 and under can ski for $14, and children 5 and under ski for free. A five-time punch card that can be shared between family members is available for $110. For details on trail passes, equipment rental and group lessons, visit the website or call 970-887-2152 (extension 4173). The first of two free ski lessons offered by Grand Nordic, including free equipment and trail pass for all Nordic Club members, is offered Sunday, Dec. 11. Signups for the free lessons are now online at Snow Mountain Ranch — go to GrandNordic.org for a direct link.
Following the Snow Mtn Classic Race on Jan. 14, 2023 is the Grand Nordic Ranch2Ranch Trek Feb 11 and 12. On both days, the Trek will start at Snow Mountain Ranch, go over the Fraser to Granby Trail and end at Granby Ranch — you can even ski back. The Trek benefits Kids Nordic skiing in Grand County. The season winds down with the famed Snow Mountain Stampede featuring both classic and skate events on March 11 and 12. Check out YMCARockies.org/nordic-center for details.
Colorado Biathlon claims Snow Mountain Ranch as their home venue. Rifle certification clinics are held every fall and winter. Several events are held each month starting in December at Snow Mountain Ranch. Check Colorado.Biathlon.org/schedule or call Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center 970-887-2152 (extension 4173) for more information. Come out to see the action and learn about biathlon.
The free Grand Nordic Kids program starts at 1 p.m. Jan. 20 for kids aged 5-10 and runs every Friday (except Feb. 3) ending with the Nordic Festival on Feb 24. Visit the Grand Nordic website or call 970-887-0547 for more information or to register for the Ranch2Ranch Trek.
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