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We Believe This Is The Best Cross-Country Ski Resort in Colorado

Picture 20 miles of epic cross-country, skate, and snowshoe trails right at your cabin door

We know it's not polite to brag, but this is Colorado cross-country skiing at its absolute best.  When you book your all-inclusive cross-country ski vacation at The Home Ranch, you can walk out the front door anywhere on our property, smile at the mountains, and start skiing into some of the best Nordic skiing terrain in the world. 

Every winter, our Relais & Chateaux dude ranch transforms into a beautiful ski lodge and cabin retreat and becomes one of the best cross-country ski resorts in North America. A short drive from Steamboat Ski Area, but a timeless world away from the condos and crowds, The Home Ranch is an idyllic, all-inclusive winter vacation playground with 30 km of exceptional Nordic, Skate, Classic, Backcountry, and Telemark Skiing and Snowshoeing opportunities right on our doorstep, and a host of exciting winter vacation activities for every member of your family.

There's a good reason why this area has produced over 70 winter Olympians and the 2010 Nordic Combined Silver Medal Team. There's a reason Steamboat Springs is called Ski Town USA. This is the very heart of Nordic skiing culture and terrain in North America. Ski out the front door of one of our eight charming cabins or six lodge rooms onto 20 miles of diverse terrain and perfectly-groomed Nordic trails, or head out into the million-acre backcountry of the Routt National Forest with your own ski guide.

Come back home to enjoy a soak in your private hot tub and ponder your next Nordic adventure or exquisite gourmet meal. Whether you’re an absolute beginner or an Olympian, we’ve got the guides, gear and trails to give you an unforgettable cross-country ski vacation.

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Want To See What It’s Like To Ski Here? Just Push Play And Take A Short Nordic Skiing Vacation Right Into The Sunset…

 

Your All-Inclusive Cross-Country Ski Vacation At The Home Ranch Includes ~

  • stunning and timeless Rocky Mountain scenery
  • the legendary fence burying powder of North Routt County (we average about 300 inches a year)
  • nightly viewings of the Milky Way and more stars than you have seen in a very long time
  • your own cabin in the aspens or one of our inviting lodge rooms
  • hot tubs to work out the kinks from a day on our trails
  • 30km of set and groomed tracks on the diverse terrain of our 500+ acre ranch
  • varied terrain of meadows, chutes, steeps, and trees for any level of skier or snowshoer
  • gear and equipment needed for skate skiing, classic, telemark, backcountry and snowshoeing
  • exceptional backcountry skiing with half-day or full-day excursions into the Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest with our Nordic ski and snowshoe guides
  • the exquisite gourmet cuisine of executive chef Clyde Nelson for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • winter horseback riding and horse drawn sleigh rides
  • tubing hill for little kids and big kids up to the age of 100
  • help in arranging dogsledding, fly fishing, or snowmobiling with a local outfitter
  • complimentary shuttles to and from the Hayden (HDN) airport
  • Free daily ski shuttle to Steamboat should you crave some downhill skiing or snowboarding

Home Ranch All-Inclusive Cross-country Ski Vacations

 

Home_Ranch_Winter_550x370Book Your Colorado Cross-Country Skiing Vacation Online

 

Come Enjoy Some of The Best Cross-Country Skiing in Colorado and The World

 

We'd love to help you plan your cross-country ski vacation at one of the best cross country ski resorts in Colorado.

 

Just call 800.688.2982 or book online now and choose your cabin or lodge room on this page. 

 

Push Play On This Video To See More Of The Cross-Country Skiing Vacation Experience At The Home Ranch

 

Cross-Country Skiing Trail Info

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Beginner Trails

Big Meadow Loop

  Take Big Meadow Loop for an easy cruise behind the lodge. This long, meandering trail offers great views and is just right for the beginner or as a warm-up for more advanced skiers.

JB Memorial

Once you make the gradual climb up "Irrigation Sensation" this lovely tour of our upper meadow rewards skiers with exceptional 360 views of the Elk River Valley, Hahn's Peak and Sand Mountain. "JB Memorial" gently bisects the meadow. JB was a horse who deservedly had one of his summer trails named for him.

Coyote Track

"The Chute" or "Otter's Run" will funnel you into "Coyote Track," which circumnavigates the meadow. It consists of flat terrain and always changing views including the Mt. Zirkel Wilderness and the Continental Divide. This in turn, gives way to "JB Memorial."

Easy Does It

Distance 1/2 Mile Advanced Beginner This is just one of the access trails to the upper wooded and wide-open meadow trails. A gentle uphill and fun cruise down on the way home, "Easy Does It" will really give you the scope of what The Home Ranch terrain offers. Take a left on to Boundary and this will bring you to "Runaway," more for the advanced skier: 200 yards straight down a rather steep hill...Point the schees downhill and bend zee kneez!!

Aspen Arches

Distance-4km Beginner Aspen Arches is aptly named for the Aspen grove surrounding this trail that gets bent over by the heavy, early fall snow storms. From the ski hut, skiers can begin their ranch tour with this easy loop before heading up into higher ground. It provides a great warm up out of the wind. Gentle terrain, sheltered from winds and storms it provides access to a delightfully peaceful sojourn along the Elk river under the canopy of huge fir trees. Within Aspen Arches is "Cody's Run" -300 yards long and groomed triple wide as a great practice area for skate skiers. Add in beautiful views of 10,847 ft. Sand Mountain as a bonus!

Intermediate Trails

Irrigation Sensation

Distance 4KM Adjacent to the Big Meadow, Irrigation Sensation is a gradual climb up through the aspens, and the only route from the front side of the lodge for access to the upper meadow runs of coyote track and JB memorial, and the upper level of the ranch trails.

Home Run, St. Louis Blues & Otters Run

Just off of "Easy Does It" are "Home Run" and "St. Louis Blues." They will connect you to three groomed trails running south. "Otters Run" (1 mile) starts along Boundary and weaves its way gently through aspen groves, past a huge old aspen scarred by a bear's claws and then across 3 other trails terminating at "Rabbit's Run." "No Tomorrow" (Intermediate 1 mile) runs parallel to "Otter's Run" and offers a delightful undulating downhill run from the chute back to "Home Run"-our guides favorite run home! From "Boundary" running west and downhill are "Bear Paw" (easy) "Fox Run" (longer and a little faster ) and "The Chute" (faster yet still intermediate except for the upper section). Each run is really fun and groomed wide to be able to make some turns.

Round Mountain, Llama Junction & Teepee Creeper

Back at the bottom of "The Chute" is "Llama Junction" and the intersection of "Coyote Track" with the trail south past the old Llamasary building. It crosses the Greenville Mine National Forest road and presents us with 2 more fun big meadow loops. "TeePee Creeper Loop" is an intermediate 1 1/2 miles with 2 fun downhill sections reconnecting to the Llamasary Trail via "Homestead Trail."  

No Tomorrow

Past "The Chute" exists still more great terrain. "No Tomorrow" extends gently uphill 1/2 mile and connects with "Boundary." Here you may retrace your tour for a really fun 1 mile ride back home on "No Tomorrow." You may also climb to the left to reach the highest part of "Boundary" and another series of fun downhills heading home (1 mile advanced intermediate). Finally, continue on "Boundary" to the top of one of our telemark runs, "Elk Run." Wide telemark skis are recommended for this 1/8 mile powder downhill.

Challenging

Boundary

This trail extends along our eastern border with the Routt National Forest. It is often a fresh powder run with some adventuresome short downhills. Outstanding views across the Elk River Valley and surrounding peaks.
 

Nordic Skiing Resources

Resources and Training Information

"Cross-Country Skiing's Community Lodge, Where knowledge and Stories are Shared." Ski Post is a web community devoted to spreading the joy of cross-country skiing with the world.
Ski Trax is "North America's Cross Country Skiing Magazine" with a host of news stories and information on Nordic Skiing in North America and the offical magazine of the USSA Ski and Snowboard association.
The web-based home of the Steamboat Nordic Council with a host of information on the Nordic skiing community in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Test your Nordic mettle by competing in the toughest Nordic race in the world. The North Routt Coureur des Bois is a one of kind cross country ski marathon and ultramarathon. For distance, climbing, altitude, scenery and support there is no event that can compare. In its 7th year, by popular consensus, the North Routt Coureur des Bois is the National Ultramarathon Ski Championship event.
The Boulder Nordic Club is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of cross-country skiing, and to the benefit of it's members.
Colorado's Official Cross Country Ski Guide with articles on tips, techniques, gear and trails.
 

Our Ski Guides

 

Head Ski Guide: Mike Braal

Our head ski guide, Mike Braal, caught the skiing bug early in life. He started schussing at about 5 years old up in Western New York state with his father and his older brother. At a young age he somehow knew he would one day live in Colorado. He moved to Clark in 1970 and never looked back. He calls himself a Lucky Guy for that decision. He absolutely loves Clark and the surrounding wilderness with its exceptional powder skiing, camping, wildlife, river rafting, and great community of friends.

 

When he is not leading Nordic ski tours around the ranch, or in the Routt National Forest, Mike can be found in Alaska, the Captain at the helm of his own whale watching charter boat. He says that "during a 1980 trip to Hawaii he swam with a mother and calf Humpback whale and the love affair with whales began." So in 1984 he went off to Southeast Alaska to paddle kayaks with the Humpbacks and lead other wilderness adventures. Since then he has guided river and hiking trips in the Brooks Range and the ANWR, spent time in the commercial fishing business and now owns his own nature charter boat and business. So when you are finished skiing, and are thinking of chartering a nature and whale watching tour in Alaska, check out his website and book a summer trip with Mike:www.whalebaycharters.com

 

The Lucky Guy Summers in Alaska and winters in Clark. This is his 12th season ski guiding at the Home Ranch and each year has been great. He says he "could not ask for more! It's a really fun bunch to work with, and interesting guests make it a pleasure to get out and explore the Colorado winter.

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Mark Ensner

Mark is a native Coloradan, though he learned to ski in Switzerland. Mark, and his wife and ski partner Leslie, live in a straw bale house just North of the Home Ranch in Columbine. Mark skis the Courier Des Bois race each spring, and though Mark excels at all forms of cross-country skiing—classic, skate, and telemark, he prefers to ski the backcountry and enjoy the quiet.

Leslie Lovejoy

Leslie has been skiing since the age of 11, when she lived in Europe with her family. She has lived and taught skiing in Switzerland and Steamboat Springs, starting in 1973. Leslie is the director of the Friends of the Routt Backcountry, which has worked locally since 1998 to create and preserve quality, non-motorized use of prime winter areas on public lands.

Leslie has also been the massage therapist at the Home Ranch since 1991 and is enjoying the opportunity as ski guide to get to know the Home Ranch visitors in a different environment.

Kelly Carlson

Kelly grew up here, in the Elk River Valley- just across the road from the Home Ranch and has worked for his dad, Doug, at the Sand Mountain Cattle Company all his life. Kelly will be finishing his degree this spring from Regis University. In addition to working with horses all his life Kelly has also skied. When he was younger he raced Nordic combined, and now frequently takes guests out skiing when he is not pulling the team or taking out a ride. Kelly has a gentle hand, a kind spirit, and is a wonderful asset to our ski program as well as our barn.