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The Nordic Skier’s Perfect Fall Retreat

Tips & Ideas, Travel Tips Friday, October 13, 2023

Now is the perfect time for an escape—a self-directed wellness retreat to reset body, mind, and soul in time for the upcoming ski season.

Most cross-country skiers have no problem committing hours each week to driving to the trails, training in the gym, waxing gear, and logging trail miles. But how many hours each week—or each season—do you commit to prepping your overall wellness and mental state for the winter to come?

Carving out time for a fall retreat is one of those things that feels like a “must be nice” luxury but actually pays off in crazy dividends for outdoor lovers and skiers of any level and ability.

How so? Setting aside space for quiet and reconnecting with your body is a pathway to lowering stress, being more physically prepared for your season, and making the most of the present moment. Here’s the why, how, and where to get back into the groove for ski season with a retreat.


Benefits of a Wellness Retreat 

You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from an intentional escape focused on resetting your well-being, but for those committed to a sport they can be especially beneficial to help you:

  • Set intentions
  • Tackle setbacks
  • Reconnect with yourself
  • Remind you of what works
  • Gain insights
  • Brainstorm solutions to hold-ups, challenges, or problems
  • Take a break from old routines
  • Reset healthy habits, such as sleep, mindfulness, clean eating, hydration, quietude


Plan to Get Away

If you can, changing up your environment is always a power move for a retreat—novelty fuels your brain. A study published in 2020 in Nature showed people with more variability in their daily environment were often happier than those who tended to stay put. Exposure to new environments lights up the hippocampus and releases our feel-good brain chemical dopamine.

Assemble Your Tools

It may be a digital masterclass, a workbook, guided meditations, a documentary, or some books on a subject you want to excel at, such as endurance, sports psychology, or resilience.

Revisit Your Last Season and Reflect

  • How did you perform?
  • Where did you see improvement?
  • What did you feel was lacking?
  • What did you most enjoy?
  • What surprised you?
  • What was your greatest accomplishment?
  • What was your biggest disappointment?

Nurture Yourself

Be sure you define what that is for you and do it. Whether it’s going to bed extra early, a plant-based menu, comfortable clothing, or physical work such as massage or energy work like reiki.


Moody, unpredictable, equal parts glorious and cozy, fall in the mountains makes the perfect time to get up and away. Our Colorado Nordic guest ranches tout this as one of the best times for traveling—natural beauty pairs with the chance of stunning fall color palettes and fantastic hiking weather.

Latigo Ranch

Tucked in the wilds of Grand County, Latigo offers up serenity and peace, with mountain views stretching as far as 75 miles. The Ranch is known for its upscale comfort food and delish dining—you don’t want to skip meals or be on a cleanse here. (Pro tip: Ask about their winter dinner club.) Its beautiful high-country terrain is ribboned with trails, including 200 miles of horse trails alone. Because it’s all-inclusive, horseback rides and other ranch activities are all at your fingertips to help you get lost in your thoughts in the great outdoors.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch

This property is known for its beautiful lodge building and luxury amenities, particularly the Ranch Creek Spa. There are a variety of treatments offered to unwind for mind and body, but don’t miss the morning yoga classes offered there in a studio with a wall of windows facing the Divide. There are endless cozy nooks in the spa for curling up, resting, or journaling by a crackling fire, and plenty of hiking on 5,000-plus acres awaits. Packages are available, but most experiences are a la carte, so you can create your own retreat.

Vista Verde Ranch

They describe fall on the ranch here as a mix of “outdoor freedom and indoor snuggling opportunities.” This classic dude ranch outside of Steamboat Springs offers all-inclusive adult-only vacations in the fall and offers horsemanship clinics, fly fishing, hiking, and mountain biking. Linger longer with unique 5-night stay options in October.

No matter where you choose to settle in, devoting some time to how far you’ve come and where you’re heading both as an athlete and a person will pay off, helping you celebrate your accomplishments and embrace future growth.

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