Snow Mountain Ranch sits on 5200 acres just off Hwy 40 between Tabernash and Granby. It is a year- round playground offering over 120 km of groomed trails for cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, tubing, sleigh rides, A/T skiing classes and other winter outdoor activities as well as mountain biking, hiking, horseback riding, Frisbee golf, zip line, climbing wall, and tubing in the summer. Renovations in the parking area at the Nordic Center are complete for the winter but construction of the new buildings for Camp Chief Ouray and Activities Center will continue.
Snow Mountain Ranch is considered one of the best-groomed Nordic Centers in the country and you can cross country ski usually 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 officially opened Nov 16.
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 re-energize, visit the Skinny Ski Café, opening soon, and enjoy a light snack or warm up with a bowl of soup and a sandwich. Learn to ski with one of their instructors or rent a chariot and let the rhythm of skiing put your child to sleep. A one-year membership family or individual membership is $250.00 or three years for $600.00 and includes cross country skiing, sledding, winter tubing, and ice skating. A membership also gives access to the swimming pool, basketball, 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 and, with your membership, you also get discounts on lodging at the YMCA of the Rockies. Regular trail fees for adults are $25.00 per day but Grand Nordic members receive a discounted rate of $22. Children 12 and under can ski for $10.00, and children 5 and under ski for free. A five-time punch card that can be shared between family members is available again for $110.00. For details on trail pass, equipment rental and group lessons, visit the website www.snowmountainranch.org/nordic or call 970-887-2152 X 4173. New this year is on-line signup for Nordic ski lessons. See website for details.
Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center opened last weekend with great deals on equipment and clothing and lots of skiing on upper north facing slopes. Storms on the horizon could change that at any time. Visit the Conditions and Grooming information page on the website for updates. Learn about backcountry skiing covering modern Alpine/Touring equipment, basic avalanche safety, terrain management-travel-preparedness and touching on use of avalanche beacon, probe, and shovel in the Intro to Backcountry A/T class. Six dates are offered in January, February and March making this a perfect fit for those wanting to ski on their own outside the resort.
The second of the series of free ski lessons offered by Grand Nordic including free equipment and trail pass for all Nordic Club members is offered Sunday Dec 15 following the Industry Demo Day with Boulder Nordic Sport scheduled for Dec 14. Signups for the free lessons are on-line at the Snow Mountain Ranch and Grand Nordic websites. The annual Early Season On-Snow camp is scheduled for Dec 20-21-22 while the Snow Mtn Classic Race is Jan 11. The Grand Nordic Ranch2Ranch Trek Fest on Saturday Feb 8 will start at Snow Mountain Ranch, go over the Fraser to Granby Trail and end at the Granby Ranch or you can even ski back, all benefiting Kids Nordic skiing in Grand County. The season winds down with the famed Snow Mountain Stampede featuring both Classic and Skate events on Mar 14 and 15. Check out the YMCA website at www.snowmountainranch.org/nordic for details.
Snow Mountain Ranch will be hosting a Spring Festival (there’s more than just skiing but details to come) March 21-22. Free snowshoe or Nordic ski guided tours are offered many weekends for most of the winter. See the website events page under Nordic for details.
Colorado Biathlon hails 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 www.colorado.biathlon.org/schedule or call Snow Mountain Ranch Nordic Center 970-887-2152×4173 for more information. Come out to see the action and learn about biathlon.
The free Grand Nordic Kids program starts after the Christmas holiday Jan 10 with Friday afternoons at 1pm for kids 5-10 and runs every weekend in January and February ending with a Nordic Festival Feb 28. Visit the Grand Nordic Website for more information or to register for the Ranch2Ranch Trek Fest www.grandnordic.org or call Diana Lynn Rau at 970-887-0547.