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A Mountain Ranch Vacation — in Winter?

  • Courtesy Triple Creek Ranch

    10 Rocky Mountain Retreats

    Even in winter — especially in winter — it’s always a good idea to keep moving. So strap on the snowshoes … click into those cross-country skis … fire up the snowmobile. All that and more is possible at these cold-weather Rocky Mountain retreats.

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  • Paula Guttilla/Getty Images

    Latigo Ranch

    Kremmling, Colo.
    Set in a mountain meadow 9,000 feet high, the Latigo Ranch delivers gorgeous views of the Continental Divide. You can toast the panoramic peaks with a mug of hot cocoa from a hand-hewn log chair on the front porch of the main lodge, or explore some of the nearly 40 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails fanning out from the site. Practically limitless backcountry and telemark skiing are also available within the three national forests that wrap around the ranch.

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  • Courtesy Vista Verde Ranch

    Vista Verde Guest Ranch

    Clark, Colo.
    The Vista Verde Guest Ranch bubbles over with champagne-powder snow — the light, dry, fluffy stuff that fills skiers’ dreams — making it a choice destination for a snowy holiday in Colorado’s Steamboat Springs area. Over breakfast, ranch guides explain the various outdoor activities available that day. Besides the groomed cross-country and skate-skiing trails, you can choose a guided backcountry tour on skis or snowshoes; cabin-fevered cyclists will be happy to hear you can even pedal snow-packed trails on a fat-tire bike. The ranch stables horses during the winter months, making short horseback rides another fun option.

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  • Courtesy Home Ranch

    Home Ranch

    Clark, Colo.
    This Relais & Chateaux luxury dude ranch prides itself on its aura of “lazy indulgence,” meaning you can be as active —or as indolent — as you like. Snowshoe the ranch terrain within the Elk River Valley or cross-country ski the network of groomed trails. (For downhill skiing, there’s a shuttle to nearby Steamboat Springs Resort). Or — honoring the name Home Ranch — just read by the fireplace in your own timber cabin. Only guests of the ranch get to experience the gourmet Rocky Mountain cuisine, which has lured more than a few locals to book a stay just to dine.

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  • Heather Peters/C Lazy U Ranch

    C Lazy U Ranch

    Granby, Colo.
    The C Lazy U Ranch offers some paradoxically active snowcat skiing on its own slopes, plus shuttle service to nearby Winter Park and Ski Granby. The minimum stay is two days — hardly enough time, it turns out, to enjoy all the activities available once you release your bindings. For fast thrills, sled the private one-mile luge track. A Zamboni grooms the icy ranch pond, ideal for a game of hockey or a little skating practice. After snowshoeing or cross-country skiing the winding ranch trails, your muscles will have earned a massage at the spa.

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  • National Geographic Creative / Alamy Stock Photo

    Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

    Rifle, Colo.
    The small, remote, year-round Coulter Lake Guest Ranch is embraced by the White River National Forest in western Colorado. Because the ranch operates on mostly off-the-grid energy, bring a good book or two — there’s no Wi-Fi, internet or cellphone service. You can snowmobile right from the front door of your comfortable cabin; the nearby mountain trails feature some of the best motorized sledding in the West, with beginners to advanced riders enjoying access to miles of terrain within the vast trail network of the White River and Flat Tops.

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  • Courtesy The Ranch at Rock Creek

    The Ranch at Rock Creek

    Philipsburg, Mont.
    Remnants of mining ghost towns dot the geologically rich area surrounding the ultra-luxe Ranch at Rock Creek. Whether your passion is skiing or snowshoeing, the ranch provides all the top-of-the-line gear you’ll need for its daily guided snow excursions for all abilities. For sledding enthusiasts, snowmobiles await, replete with helmet, goggles and insulated snowsuit. At the onsite Silver Dollar Saloon, you can try your hand at poker, billiards, darts, shuffleboard or table tennis. Live music, karaoke, a movie theater and four bowling lanes round out the entertainment options.

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  • Courtesy 320 Guest Ranch

    320 Guest Ranch

    Big Sky, Mont.
    Beautiful Big Sky landscape surrounds the historic 320 Guest Ranch, whose rustic (but recently renovated) log cabins perch beside the Gallatin River. The front desk can arrange unique excursions: guided ice-climbing, wilderness dogsledding, maybe even winter zip-lining. Snowboarders and Alpine skiers can speed down the slopes at nearby Big Sky Resort. You may want to book a guided snowmobile or snowcoach tour of Yellowstone National Park, only an hour’s drive away. When you tire of snorting bison and spouting geysers — as if! — end the day back at the ranch with a starlit sleigh ride.

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  • Courtesy Triple Creek Ranch

    Triple Creek Ranch

    Darby, Mont.
    Stay in a woodland cabin with a hot tub on its wraparound deck at this adults-only, all-inclusive luxury retreat in the Bitterroot Mountain Range. A Triple Creek Ranch staffer will chauffeur you to activities such as Alpine skiing or snowboarding, while nonskiers can try their hand at snowshoeing, dogsledding or ice fishing. Got a taste for adventure? Try skijoring, a popular Montana pastime in which a skier gets towed behind a trained horseback rider. The sensation evokes that of water-skiing — just imagine cresting snowy drifts and meadows rather than lake waves.

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  • Jean-Baptiste Rabouan/laif/Redux

    Triple C Dude Ranch

    Dubois, Wyo.
    The Triangle C Dude Ranch is justifiably proud of its gateway location: Perfectly positioned between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the ranch tempts visitors to add a winter park visit before or after their stay. Along with inclusive activities — dogsledding, snowshoeing, cross-country and backcountry skiing — the Jackson Hole/Togwotee Pass terrain features some of the best snowmobile country in the Rockies, with groomed trails stretching hundreds of miles.

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  • Jean-Baptiste Rabouan/laif/Redux

    Triple C Dude Ranch

    Dubois, Wyo.
    The Triangle C Dude Ranch is justifiably proud of its gateway location: Perfectly positioned between Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park, the ranch tempts visitors to add a winter park visit before or after their stay. Along with inclusive activities — dogsledding, snowshoeing, cross-country and backcountry skiing — the Jackson Hole/Togwotee Pass terrain features some of the best snowmobile country in the Rockies, with groomed trails stretching hundreds of miles.

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  • Djamila Grossman/The New York Times/Redux

    Triangle X Ranch

    Moose, Wyo.
    The mountain setting alone — right in the center of Jackson Hole Valley, surrounded by Grand Teton National Park — rewards a stay at the Triangle X Ranch. The Turner family has operated the historic ranch since 1926, and now a fifth generation welcomes guests to one of the most inspiring locations in the West. Snowshoe or cross-country ski right outside your cabin door, keeping an eye peeled for moose, elk, bison, mountain sheep and bald eagles. And snowmobilers can get their fill of backcountry riding in the abutting Bridger Teton National Forest.

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