What A Trip! Canoeing, Horseback Riding, Waterfall Hiking & More at Snow Mountain Ranch

Here, Chloe of @milehighandhungry and I reminisce about our late September stay at YMCA of The Rockies, at Snow Mountain Ranch. Though the Yurts we stayed in are closed for the winter, they book up fast for next season, late Spring – Fall, so check them out for an inexpensive get-a-way, sooner than later! Our Yurt slept 6 and was an absolute steal at $99 per night. If you’re looking for a winter stay (be ready to be dazzled by snow covered mountain views!) don’t worry, there’s plenty of available lodging, and you can check their prices and availability, here.

Winter activities at YMCA of the Rockies, Snow Mountain Ranch, include fat bike rentals, dog sledding, ice skating, snow shoeing,  sleigh rides and more!colorado vacation

On First Impressions…

Kayla: My first impression, was magic. I don’t think I’m overstating it at all. First, the drive from Denver was beautiful. The Aspens were just turning yellow and peaking out the pines. You’re winding through mountains to get to the YMCA of the Rockies and it’s just so relaxing.  I was feeling regretful we weren’t going to see the beautiful sunset, that we had arrived too late and right at that moment, we drove past the YMCA of the Rockies sign… we saw all the beautiful deer!

It made me so excited for our weekend!

Chloe: What a dream. The perfect secluded getaway. After stalking the YMCA’s Instagram and website, I didn’t know what to expect – but I was not disappointed. I grew up going to camp for several weeks and loved every aspect of it. Our visit to YMCA reminded me of those great memories. I kept looking at Kayla saying “How cool is this? We are at ADULT CAMP!”

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On Yurt Living….

Kayla: I couldn’t believe how cute they were and how the yellow leaves of the Aspens popped off the burnt orange of the yurts. They also slept six! So even though I was glad it was you and me, next time, we’re bringing all the girls!

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To the left you can see the outdoor campfire, which is set up by your yurt!

Kayla (continued): My favorite thing about the yurts how they really thought of everything! We had a skylight and windows if you wanted to read, we had a grill for cooking, we even had our very own setup for a campfire!  Bonus points for being dog friendly, too!

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Photo: Pinterest

On the Importance of S’mores:  

Chloe:  When I noticed that s’mores-making was the first activity listed on our itinerary, I made sure we left Denver on time to arrive by 7pm. When we arrived, we knew we had made the right decision. The sun had set, the fire was roaring and there were plenty of supplies to perfect our s’mores-making skills. Who doesn’t love making s’mores by a fire? The essential camping activity.


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Photo: YMCA of The Rockies

Let’s Go Tubing Down a Hill:

Kayla: You have to do it! First time, I went nice and slow, second time, I said, “Put a spin on it!” You end up both laughing and scream-laughing the whole way down! It’s awesome to look around and see pure joy on other people’s faces, too!

Chloe: Oh.my.goodness. MUST DO. The staff had been talking up the tubing hill since we arrived on Friday, and we had to patiently wait for our reservation on Sunday. We walked by the hill on Saturday and weren’t sure what to expect. Sunday brought a whole new element of surprise and excitement. The most exhilarating ride with a gorgeous mountain view, as your backdrop.

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Horses and Dog Parks and Canoes, Oh My! 

Kayla: I think what surprised me the most was the volume of activities you can participate in. They have horse back riding and a guided hike to a waterfall. You can go fishing (catch and release), canoeing, there’s archery, and so much more. I love that you really can be as active or as restful as you want.

Chloe: The amount of activities the YMCA offers is incredible. There was never a shortage of things to do and that’s what I loved the most. I am always looking for things to keep me busy and I found plenty of options – horseback riding, hiking at your leisure, crafts for adults and kids, taking your dog to the dog park, learning about the dog-sledding adventures, mini-golf etc.

Hands Down, My Favorite Part of the Trip Was….

Kayla: For me, the tubing hill for sure! Everyone had smiles on their faces and it was great to see that everyone, from kids to grownups were having THE BEST time. I really don’t think I’ve laughed that hard in a long time.

Second favorite would be the sheer privacy. They told us at the front desk that the YMCA was completely packed and we didn’t see a soul except for when we went to the cafeteria for meals or if we participated in an activity. I mean, I love people! But I love quiet and solitude, too, especially in such a beautiful place.

Chloe: My favorite part of the trip was the ability to escape the real world and to try something new. I always do a trip to see the Fall colors, and this trip couldn’t have been more timely. Every view was absolutely gorgeous. Staying in a yurt for the first time was an absolute dream and I loved the secluded retreat feel even if the camp was maxed on reservations for the weekend.

Thing I’m Most Looking Forward To, When We Go Back: 

Kayla: I didn’t know our Yurt slept six which for $99 is such a steal – so I’m mostly looking forward to bringing more friends.

Chloe: Horseback riding and exploring the YMCA during the Winter. Kayla and I went to see the horse stables twice and my biggest regret was not signing up for a ride, especially to enjoy the Fall colors. That’s what next time is for!


Find more, from Chloe, of @milehighandhungry, here!