SMART RANCH TRAVELER
Admit it—you love winter. The real thing: crisp, clean air, clouds scudding over snow-dusted mountains; inside, a hot drink beside a crackling fire awaits. Or not. Maybe at your home winter is all traffic jams and rain-slicked highways, with a cooling cup of bad coffee at your desk.
So get the heck out of that faux-season and go where real winter lives— out in clean, snow-covered ranch country. And while you’re at it, find some bargains out there!
At Colorado’s C Lazy U, shown above, January means that all your fave winter activities are going full blast. The pond is frozen, kids are sledding down the driveway luge run and the snowcat is fired up and ready to take you out for some private skiing. Sleigh rides, snow tubing, snowmobiling and even horseback riding are on the menu.
Ice hockey, ice skating (on a pond kept smooth by Zamboni grooming), as well as snow tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing round out the winter sports program at C Lazy U. Don’t worry about gear—they’ll provide just about everything you will need.
Don’t worry about anything, for that matter. Personal service is a big deal here—the kind of friendly, dedicated service that can only be provided by people who love their jobs and strive to make guests feel welcome and pampered. “At the C Lazy U Luxury Guest Ranch & Resort, we go that extra mile to welcome you and make sure you have a great time: we call it 5-Spur Service and it is what makes our Colorado dude ranch “Miles Above Ordinary.”
Open year round, this may be the ultimate Colorado winter resort, with cozy fireplaces and a world-class spa with a hot tub. Ahhh…
Another Year round ranch, Western Pleasure guest ranch offers four seasons of fun, but winter has a legion of fans. I saw this on TripAdvisor recently, posted by guests who’d taken a cross-country ski visit to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch.
“We had the most incredible day of cross country skiing at Western Pleasure Ranch. It was a glorious, sunny day when we arrived at this beautiful setting in the wilderness. We met friendly “grandma” Janice who was babysitting her two grandchildren in the spectacular lodge. She answered all of our questions and allowed us to check out one of the empty cabins. Wow! If anyone wants a very reasonable getaway, this is the place to go!! The start of cross-country trails are just a hop, skip, and jump from the lodge. The scenery along the 2-mile trail loop is incredible with views of Schweitzer, creeks, mountains and open fields of untouched snow (except for moose tracks?). When you finish cross-country skiing, drop by the lodge for coffee and popcorn. We will definitely return! G. and M., Cranbrook, BC”
Check out their “Log Cabin Getaway Ski Packages” and ski down remote hills and perfectly groomed runs in the secluded wilderness. Then, return to a cozy cabin and a crackling fire. Or try the ‘Schweitzer Ski Vacation package’, do all of that starting with a hearty country gourmet breakfast in the Grand Lodge and then travel a few miles to Schweitzer Ski Resort, North Idaho, and Sandpoint’s premier ski hill. This all inclusive ski package includes two nights lodging for two in a log cabin, one day of skiing at Schweitzer Mountain Ski Resort, a romantic horse drawn sleigh ride for two, and a hearty ranch breakfast served in the main lodge two mornings. $430.00/Couple (taxes does included).
This intimate, year-round lodge is best known as a fly fishing resort, but since Utah is known around the world for winter sports (Utah hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics), they really know how to play in the snow here.
Snowmobile ‘junkies’ know its hard to find a good balance of mixed terrain and untouched snow, but the folks at Crystal Ranch can help you find it. They know the Uinta Mountains well and can help you find the best. And while the ranch is in a remote area, the road is maintained in good condition year-round so you can drive your car or truck right to the lodge.
DETAILS: For more winter trip-planning help, including finding deals, go to Ranchweb.com.