• caseychapmanrossph

A Colorado Ranch to Call Home

Reminiscing on our time spent at the YMCA Snow Mountain Ranch and I’m about to go pack up the car and head North again! The thing we love most about this spot is that it feels like we are back at summer camp. Our time together there, as a family, is always fun-filled and effortless, which, let’s face it, is often hard to accomplish when planning for kids activities. The cool thing is that you can have this campy feeling with different seasonal programs, workshops, and activities happening all the time - YMCA Snow Mountain has everything set up for you to be able to relax and be present.

Last Fall, we flew kites, hiked, zip-lined at the playground, shot arrows, went roller-skating, built forts in the woods, went rock climbing, played mini-golf, did arts and crafts, and went exploring with our adventure packs (available to check out at the Programs Building). We also spent lots of downtime and virtual learning in our cabin by the fire and occasionally playing a good old fashioned game of Bingo which, simple as it is, is always a top kid request.

Located on over 5000 acres in Granby, Colorado, YMCA Snow Mountain is near Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Lake and so much more. They offer horseback riding, biking (electric bikes included), canoeing, fishing, boating, and rafting. They also have one of the most expansive trail systems in the United States for snowshoeing, cross country skiing...and dog sledding!

We stayed in a two-bedroom cabin with a gas fireplace (which can be helpful in wildfire season when it’s chilly enough for a fire but wood burning is often not allowed). The property has fifty-six cabins, nine reunion cabins, twenty-four yurts and three multi-unit lodges, making for a variety of different lodging options and price ranges. Based on the amount of programming offered with your stay, the pricing is extremely reasonable.

Programming aside, some of the biggest values I see in the YMCA of the Rockies are the inspiring young people from all over the country that come to work there. Some are there for a month or two, while others stay for years.They always have interesting stories of their travels. Some bounce all over the country working for various national parks, and some just love working with children. Some are deeply immersed in college studies and on break, while others never stop planning for their next adventure to an equally awe-inspiring environment. One of our favorite couples we met spent about six months at the Y, but were heading off to work at a coastal conservation camp in Alaska next!

As a parent, it’s great to see my kids light up when interacting with the Y employees! They ask questions and talk to the big “kids” about all the possibilities from studying forestry, to wildlife conservation, and learning marine biology. They are getting the added benefit of connecting with others, spending time in nature, and most importantly, learning about themselves so they may find their own spark one day and write their own inspiring stories.

At the end of the day, whether traveling solo or with a family, arriving in the heat of summer, or the chill of winter, the YMCA of the Rockies is a national treasure to call home for a short spell, or extended stay. Follow along with our family adventures on Instagram @caseychap.

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