Rustic Mountain Cabins Bordering Arapaho National Forest
From September through May, a thick blanket of snow covers most of Arapaho National Forest along the Continental Divide, its high mountain passes rendered all but inaccessible to humans. Moose, coyote, and snowshoe hares roam freely during the long winter—members of an exclusive club that has adapted to the terrain. Now and then, though, the silence is pierced by the hum of snowmobiles, which cut through some of the most secluded wilderness areas in the Rockies. After soaking up remote scenic vistas and catching an adrenaline buzz, guests on Aspen Canyon Ranch's snowmobile tours can return to the comforts of the resort's main lodge, where a crackling fire and hot drinks await.
Set on 400 acres of boreal forest along the Williams Fork River, Aspen Canyon Ranch cultivates a laid-back atmosphere centered on outdoor activities. One-room cabins are attached to private bathrooms and come with wraparound decks topped with a pair of hot tubs overlooking the river. The fully wood-furnished main lodge is decorated with hanging gas lamps, horse saddles, and a stuffed elk head. After meals of local venison and house-made sausage ($5–$13/person) at the long communal table, guests can curl up by the massive stone fireplace.
Hiking, horseback riding, and fishing are popular in the warmer months, but winters at Aspen Canyon are met with snowmobile tours. Riders will get outfitted with snowsuits, boots, and helmets at the lodge before boarding a van to the trailhead, where beginners practice on easy terrain before tackling trickier maneuvers such as triple gainers. During the two-hour tour, participants can expect to see stunning panoramas of the Gore Range and the Continental Divide.
Colorado Rockies: Snowy Playground with Unsurpassed Skiing
Much of western Colorado is comprised of protected national forest, making the region a mecca for all kinds of high-altitude outdoor activities, especially skiing. The ranch lies within easy driving distance of a handful of top-tier ski resorts, including Winter Park, Breckenridge, and Arapahoe Basin. To the north, U.S. Route 34 wends through Rocky Mountain National Park, filled with vistas overlooking pine-covered valleys, and occasionally, herds of elk and bighorn sheep.