YMCA of the Rockies: My Colorado Love Affair

YMCA of the Rockies, 2006

I had an epiphany during our latest trip to the YMCA of the Rockies at Snow Mountain Ranch: I love their two Colorado properties. Now, let me qualify that. I am a fickle traveler and have many love affairs with destinations all over the world but most of those places are one-time deals. We visit, capture memories, check them off the bucket list and move onto the next.

For me, YMCA of the Rockies is a soul-stirring, this-is-where-I-belong kind of haven where I yearn to repeatedly return with my family and envy the couples who retire and move nearby to live out their days volunteering. Now, that is some serious amour.

I can’t put my finger on what makes it so special for me. Maybe it’s that YMCA of the Rockies was our first really fun vacation with Hadley (we coined it our “Crazy Fun Family Weekend,” a phrase that has stuck). Or that Jamie’s family had a memorable family reunion there.

It’s not fancy like many of the destinations we visit–in fact, it’s one of the most basic, even rustic. But it doesn’t matter. Between the natural beauty, family-building activities and outdoor fun, it’s about developing traditions and the simple joys of family and friends.

Bode lost (and swallowed) his second tooth, Snow Mountain 2013

Last summer, the kids and I joined some other Denver bloggers and their families for a retreat at YMCA of the Rockies’ 860-acre Estes Park Center. This time around, we congregated at Snow Mountain Ranch’s 5,100-acre family ranch located between Winter Park and Grand Lake. We last visited that location in 2007.
My, what a difference five years makes.

Stay tuned for our favorite activities in what I have deemed Colorado’s most fun and affordable family destination. And be sure to check-out my write-up about summer and winter highlights at Travel Mamas.


Don’t miss parts II and III of our adventures.

YMCA of the Rockies: The Nordic Redemption

YMCA of the Rockies: Reliving and Reinventing the Glory Days


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