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Feb 21st
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Home Things to Do Winter Fun Colorado’s Dude and Guest Ranches Offering Alternative Ski Adventures, Winter Escapes

Colorado’s Dude and Guest Ranches Offering Alternative Ski Adventures, Winter Escapes

Winter Fun and Adventure for ‘Kids’ of All Ages

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Many people think of dude ranches only as a great summer activitiy for the family, but the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association would like you to start thinking ‘snow' as well.

"Most certainly, some of our ranches are trying to open up new opportunties," said Scott Dugan, president of the CDGRA, and owner of Tumbling River Ranch in Grant, Colorado. "Our members are trying to stretch their year and show guests how they can have fun in the winter, too."

The combination of outdoor adventure, beautiful scenery, great service, rustic and luxury accommodations, diverse activities, and gourmet and casual dining makes a winter ranch vacation quite distinctive from the usual ski vacation, the association said.

At some Colorado guest ranches during the winter, guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities (many of which include a guide and equipment) such as:

  • Scenic backcountry ski tours
  • Rigorous all day snowshoe adventures
  • Mild naturalist tours
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Sleigh rides
  • Ice skating
  • Tubing
  • Sledding
  • Horseback riding
  • Swimming
  • Fly fishing

Off-ranch activities such as hot air ballooning, snowmobiling, dog-sledding and downhill skiing can be arranged as well. And at the end of the day, the talented chefs at the ranch take over to treat you to casual and gourmet meals.

Celebrating the Holidays
During the holidays, guests can participate in progressive dinners, Christmas dinner, caroling, sleigh-rides or moonlit snow-shoe tours as well as a host of other activities.

Your Winter Base Camp
Some ranches function as bed and breakfasts during the winter season, providing guests with a base camp for exploring Colorado's winter playground and outdoor activities such as skiing, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.

Family Time
Families with children can also enjoy an array of kids' activities and programs at the ranches. Both the children's and teen's programs are active and adventurous.

Not all ranch members offer winter activities. Of those that do, each ranch offers different types of accommodations, activities and children's programs. Rates vary based on number of people, number of rooms, type and location of accommodations.

The Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA) is comprised of about 30 certified ranches located throughout the mountains and mesas of Colorado. For more information visit the association's web site at

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