In a state like Colorado that offers so much for families to enjoy, it can be hard to pick a favorite spot, but I can honestly say that Devil’s Thumb Ranch is one of the best places we have ever been to in the state. Opened by a husband and wife, the ranch extends over 6000 acres of gorgeous valleys amidst fantastic mountain ranges in the Winter Park Valley. A very popular place for couples and weddings, the ranch has a wide variety of accommodations and tons of things for families to love. During our visit, we found five family activities at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
Acres and Acres of Trails
Devil’s Thumb Ranch has five different hiking trails, many of them perfect for families. There are both advanced and beginner trails throughout the property, so you can pick your level of challenge for the ages of your travelers. Kids as young as five have no problem hiking the Sawmill Yurt route, which takes you past the lower pond and up over the ridge to the upper pond for some fantastic views. Plan your route on a day when Paddleboard Yoga is in session and watch other guests try to stay on a paddleboard during tree pose. It results in some great entertainment for the kids. When hiking back to the main property, promise the kids a stop at the stables to visit the horses and that will keep them moving through the last few minutes of the trail.
Plenty of Horses
Horseback riding is a very popular activity at Devil’s Thumb. Every level of riding experience-from beginner to advanced can be accommodated, making it a family friendly activity as well. The ranch provides groups with a guide, who will take you through some of the most beautiful Colorado mountain scenery imaginable. A family can choose between a family ride, which can serve children of all ages or a one hour ride, which requires ages 13 and up. The one hour ride has a sweet treat at the end with the group gathering around a campfire to roast s'mores and remember the fun of the trail.
The pool at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, located on the east of the hotel facing the mountains, wins the prize of the most breathtaking view from a hotel pool. Shaped like a natural pond to blend in with it’s surroundings, there are plenty of shallows for early swimmers and little ones to enjoy. The pool as plenty of chairs and tables and is geothermally-heated so it’s usable even in the middle of winter. Kids have plenty of fun playing Marco Polo in the crisp mountain air and it’s just as relaxing for parents thanks to the amazing views.
Zipping Through the Mountains
The zip line at Devil’s Thumb is fantastic! It’s a perfect family activity for kids who are 75 pounds or over. The zip line encompasses five different lines, each one longer and faster than the last one, so you can practice plenty of times for the final line - over 1000 feet long! The trip starts with a quick safety lesson from a guide, who will also fit you with your helmets and harnesses. Then, the group hops in the truck for a 15 minute ride into the mountains. The first zip is only about 50 feet long and gives you a chance to get your feet wet if you’re a zip line novice like us. By the time we hit the last zip line, we were experts at flying through the air. Of course, the real payoff is the views. While you are zipping through the fresh mountain air, you can enjoy some of the best views in the valley.
Horseshoes, Croquet and Campfires
The ranch offers several activities for guests in the afternoons and it is not necessary to make reservations. Horseshoes and croquet happen every afternoon on the back lawn. It’s a fun, social activity which gives a family time together and time to meet and mingle with other guests. The weather is usually fantastic and horses graze nearby, making it one of the most relaxing activities the ranch offers. After a game and dinner, sitting by a campfire is a must. S’mores are available as a fantastic-and always necessary way to end a day.
There is so much more than these five family activities at Devil’s Thumb Ranch. The property is close to the town of Winter Park and Granby, it has several restaurants and bars and it is a great place to visit in both summer and winter. We really didn’t want to leave and we’re hoping to make another trip up to the property during the winter months for a different experience. Winter Park Valley as a whole is a fun filled place to visit and Devil’s Thumb Ranch is one of the top spots.