Wonderful Winter in the Rocky Mountains | My Family Travels

Winter in the Rocky Mountains is your chance to explore a snow cave, meet a search and rescue dog, try your hand at ice anchors and ice climbing and much more away from crowded snow resorts. A plus: at YMCA of the Rockies, you and the kids can borrow all the cold weather gear you need.

Winter is the time of year that allows us all to take a step back, breathe and rejuvenate in the expansive and beautiful Rocky Mountains setting. It’s easy to see why families love Estes Park, Colorado — gateway to Rocky Mountains National Park — and keep returning.

snowshoeing in Rocky Mountains National Park
Snowshoeing is a sport that all ages can enjoy together in winter. Photo c. YMCA of the Rockies

Celebrate the Rocky Mountains on Mountaineering Weekend

Visit the park this President’s Day weekend for the 4th Annual YMCA of the Rockies Mountaineering Weekend February 14 – 17, 2020. As the Rocky Mountains region celebrates the 105th anniversary of its national park designation by President Woodrow Wilson, YMCA of the Rockies will feature guided snowshoe hikes, winter ecology explorations and more.

Families and guests of all ages and all abilities will participate in ice climbing demonstrations, sessions on winter survival tips and learn mountaineering skills (think avalanche awareness, beacon rescue searches, orienteering and backcountry first aid), among the topics. Of course, there’s lots for families to enjoy at YMCA of the Rockies all year long as well.

YMCA of the Rockies, an Award-Winning Family Resort

Snow clad cabins at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado
Snow clad rental cabins at YMCA of the Rockies show off winter in the Rocky Mountains. Photo c. YMCA of the Rockies

Named “Best Family Resort in America” by USA Today’s Reader’s Choice Awards, YMCA of the Rockies is located right in Estes Park and bordering Rocky Mountain National Park on three sides.

For us, it’s Family Reunion Central, especially in summer when hundreds are held here. That includes my husband’s family — more than 100 strong — who have held multiple reunions here over the years and enjoyed the rustic resort’s beautiful location.

Why Families Love the YMCA of the Rockies in Winter

Girl making sand art sculpture at YMCA of the Rockies
There are lots of indoor sports and craft activities if your clan wants to come in from the cold. Photo c. YMCA of the Rockies

During winter in the Rocky Mountains, the YMCA is just as special. There are lots of organized games run by young staff, the resort is affordable (rooms under $100 a night with two free breakfasts) and there are plenty of complimentary outdoor and indoor activities. You can be outside as much as you want and try everything from a guided snowshoe tour of Rocky Mountains National Park to ice skating. Or, head inside and warm up with an indoor climbing wall, indoor pool, pickup basketball games in the gym — even creating souvenirs at the craft and design center.  

Cuddle up for daily s’mores by a winter campfire, or around one of the fireplaces at the resort, or in a resort cabin.   

Whether it’s your first time out or your family has camped in national parks many times, the special YMCA of the Rockies Mountaineering Weekend has excursions for every ability level and age. Younger kids will enjoy special story times, kid-led hikes and fun snow activities that end with steaming hot chocolate.

Ongoing YMCA of the Rockies winter activities will be running throughout the weekend, too, so there is plenty of time to do an art project, swim in the pool or simply relax by the fire.

Plan a YMCA Winter Getaway or Mountaineering Weekend

ice skating on a natural pond at YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, Colorado
Ice skating outdoors on a natural pond is a real winter treat. Photo c. YMCA of the Rockies

Register now to enjoy winter in the Rocky Mountains and have your choice of cabins and lodge rooms at YMCA of the Rockies. Guests can participate in the weekend for rates as low as $89 per night for a lodge room or $164 per night for a two-bedroom, pet-friendly cabin. Day passes for guests staying off-grounds are also available for $25 per person, per day. For more information and reservations, call 888/613-9622 or see more details on the YMCA of the Rockies Mountaineering Weekend website.

Got those waterproof mittens?

Eileen Ogintz, nationally syndicated columnist for Taking the Kids, contributed this blog post for sponsor, YMCA of the Rockies.

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