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Off-the-Beaten-Path Escapes

Travel Tips Friday, January 12, 2018

No question, it’s getting busy out there at our favorite haunts. When it comes to getaways, most Nordic skiers aren’t looking for crowds or a flashy apres ski scene. Good food, fresh air and some heart-pounding trails? That’s more like it. Here are some of our favorite places to escape the throngs and get gone.

Destination: Thunder Mountain Lodge

What: Cozy rustic cabins in a wooded setting at 10,000 feet (and yes—there’s snow)
Where:  Grand Mesa, CO
You’ll love: Crowd control. Sure, this rustic getaway appeals to all stripes—Nordic people, snowmobilers, hikers and snowshoers. But you’ll be sharing the trails with squirrels and jays instead of half of metro Denver.
Bonus: Trail access. Grand Mesa Nordic Council’s trail system—54K groomed for classic and skating—are just steps away from the property.
Switch it up: Thunder Mountain Lodge rents snowmobiles, if you’re up for a little adrenaline.

Destination: Latigo Ranch

What: All-inclusive family-owned guest ranch with a family-first approach
Where: Kremmling, CO
You’ll love: Total seclusion. Latigo’s location at 9,000 feet in the heart of Grand County is a stunner, as are the views. The Ranch grooms an ambitious 50K of groomed trails which are also open to day skiers, but call first to check grooming status, which can be dependent on number of guests.
Bonus: Gourmet meals are available to vacation guests and day visitors.
Switch it up: Fat bikes are welcome on all 50K, conditions permitting. BYO, or rent them at Icebox Mountain Sports in Fraser or Arapahoe Alpine Bikes in Granby.

Destination: Tennessee Pass 

What: Rustic, full-service Nordic center (25K of trails), with on-site sleep yurts and cookhouse
Where: Nine miles northwest of Leadville, CO
You’ll love: Awesome amenities, like an espresso bar, log beds with down comforters, and rack of lamb, elk and pheasant for dinner.
Bonus: Yurts are nicely stocked with little creature comforts like good linens, coffee, hot chocolate, cards and checkers.
Switch it up: Head over to Ski Cooper for a completely chill day of downhill—full-day lift tickets are just $54.

Destination: Home Ranch 

What: Laidback luxury ranch in the heart of cowboy country, with lodge rooms, log cabins, and incredible gourmet dining
Where: Clark, CO (18 miles north of Steamboat Springs)
You’ll love: Skiing rollers through aspen glades. The 30K of groomed trails wind through undulating hills with thrilling descents and tons of mountain views.
Bonus: Every quaint and comfy log cabin has a private hot tub on the back porch.
Switch it up: Head out for some guided back country skiing w/access to a million acres of National Forest land.

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