A YEAR ROUND COLORADO RANCH IN GRAND COUNTY

DEVIL'S THUMB RANCH | TABERNASH, COLORADO

[TABERNASH, COLORADO] — If you’re looking for a Colorado ranch getaway, away from the slopes, but close enough, Devil’s Thumb Ranch is what you’re looking for. Outside the ski resort of Winter Park and just past the little town of Tabernash, Devil’s Thumb is setup to be its own self-contained year-round mountain resort. Focused in winter on the 100km of groomed cross-country ski trails, spa and other cold activities.

There’s 100km of groomed cross-country ski trails like this at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, weaving in and around 6,000 glorious acres on a big ranch not far from the Continental Divide* in Colorado.

At 8,500ft (2,600m) elevation you not only see your breath, but breathlessly feel it too, under the big bluebird sky.
You can scoot and slide around frozen ponds and into the surrounding trees and hills. Or ride horseback. Or just sit in the spa and smile at the sun. 🌞

If you like downhill skiing, Winter Park ski resort is only 20 minutes away. Not fancy or glitzy like Vail or Aspen, nor well-known to people outside the States. It’s our little secret. Just awesome, well-laid out runs that celebrate skiing like it used to be. Where duct-taped ski pants are more of a badge of honor than fur-lined parkas.

I spent a few nights there in mid-March of 2016. The setting is just beautiful, the buildings and rooms perfectly done. The service not so much, so they have some things to work out.  But after mentioning my not-so-great experience, the management team was all over it, wanting to know how to do better and even comping my rooms and offering for me to come back. We’ll give it another shot. I do commend how they went above and beyond in responding to my complaints, so huge kudos.

I do think I was in an anomaly, I have friends that live in the Fraser Valley who come here regularly and love it. While it doesn’t have the spit-and-polish of a high-end resort service-wise, you can make your own fun and have a killer stay. Will update on my future visits. Here’s what TripAdvisors have to say. And Forbes magazine‘s review, an article in the Denver Post, and of course, even the awesome Portuguese traveler Nelson Carvalhiero has been here!

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* If you’re not familiar with the Continental Divide, look at Google Maps. It’s the great crooked spine of the US, much like my own, that runs North > South, rising to an incomparable 14,000+ft (4,300m) elevation and dividing the country geographically. It creates its own weather… and for most of the country.

As boy kids, we chuckled at the story that if you stood on a ridge at the top of the Divide and you peed East ▶️ it would eventually flow to the great Mississippi and into the Gulf of Mexico. If you turned West and peed thataway ◀️ it would flow to California and the Pacific, where most of our Colorado water goes today. It gave us great Superpowers. So I’ll leave you with that thought…

 

The rooms and facilities are just awesome. With just about everything you need. An on-site casual restaurant and bar that’s the center of activities, a fine dining restaurant called The Ranch, where I had a fantastic meal, a killer spa, horses and other activaties. I head the summer is when the place really blossoms.

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