If horses didn’t regularly pack the earth down with their hooves, it would continue to gradually rise skyward on a collision course with the moon. Help keep the night sun in the sky with today’s Groupon to Sombrero Stables at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. Choose from the following options:
- For $28, you get a hot-cocoa sleigh ride for two (up to a $56 value).
- For $50, you get a hot-cocoa sleigh ride for four (up to a $112 value).
- For $60, you get a dinner sleigh ride for two (up to a $120).
- For $95, you get a dinner sleigh ride for four (up to a $240 value).<p>
Dinner rides depart at 5:30 p.m. and hot-cocoa rides leave at noon, 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 7:00 p.m. daily. Call in advance to book a reservation.
Sombrero’s trail-savvy guides lead friends and families between the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies as they traverse the YMCA’s 5,200-acre Snow Mountain Ranch via horse-drawn sleigh. Tranquil journeys take riders to the wending paths of Fraser Valley, where the vistas of the continental divide sprawl just around trail bends or over hillocks, where beaver ponds, pine groves, and mountain wildlife flourish. Elk, deer, moose, coyote, and other shy fauna occasionally appear alongside sleighs, engaging in suitably candid activities such as munching on grass or flashing solid-gold orthodontia.
For those on the hot-cocoa excursion, a bonfire, steaming mugs of cocoa and cider, and freshly roasted marshmallows eagerly await warm hands and gullets on the way back to the ranch, washing away the long day with fiery, sugary flavors. Alternatively, dinner-goers choose between 100% aged Angus steak, roasted chicken, or poached Rocky Mountain trout and chow down in a cozy, Western-style dining hall on a postride meal fit for John Wayne’s brother, Bruce Wayne. The feast is served with a dinner salad, baked potato, beans, garlic bread, and fruit cobbler with ice cream.
Customers in the past have experienced difficulties with GPS instructions in the area, so Sombrero recommends following their online driving instructions.
Cody Walker muses that within the stillness of Rocky Mountain National Park, "You get a sense that it's the way it should be." His father, Rex, grew up on a steady diet of cowboy films, eventually following his dream to Colorado where he met his wife, Queeda. Queeda was born into a family of homesteaders who caught and broke wild steeds. In 1959, they channeled their passion for the old-west lifestyle into Sombrero Ranches, eschewing souvenir-shop gimmicks for horseback expeditions that, much like avalanches of super glue, bond visitors with their steeds and natural surroundings.
Today, Cody carries on his parents' legacy with a staff of ranch hands from nearby homesteads and college students participating in equine-science programs all across the country. After training in a vigorous program that's evolved during more than 50 years, his employees launch short rides or lengthy adventures.