The activities visitors can experience include horseback riding through the meadows, creeks and hilltops; zip-lining above stands of sturdy green giants; mountain biking and hiking that could comprise a foray into the many trails of the Arapaho National Forest.
In the winter, recreation options still abound. There are frozen lakes to skate across and thrilling hills to sled down, cross country and snowshoe trails, horseback and sleigh rides. And only minutes away is Winter Park, one of America’s premier downhill ski resorts. A bit farther up the road is Grand County, where five quaint towns beg to be explored. The area also is the western gateway for Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive over the park’s Trail Ridge Road reveals elk and moose grazing, some with young calves trailing closely behind their mothers, breathtaking vistas of lakes and hillsides and even an abandoned ghost town called Lulu City. The former mining settlement boomed for only a brief five years, beginning in 1879, before miners and settlers deserted it for more promising digs. Colorado’s two largest lakes are here — Grand Lake and Lake Granby — one and two respectively, in size. Lake Granby offers more than 150 miles of scenic shoreline, ideal for fishing, camping and hiking. Locals insist that at certain times, the spirits of American Indian women and children can be heard moaning from the lake, lamenting their deaths due to those early tribal wars. Fact or fiction, it makes for an interesting campfire conversation.
The main lodge at the ranch fits in with the rough and tumble scenery. Photographs courtesy of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa