Welcome to your new favorite Colorado getaway. Located in Grand County, Indian Peaks Lodge at Snow Mountain Ranch is a family and budget-friendly hotel. This hotel embraces the outdoors because literally it is steps away from 360-degree spectacular views of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Mix in pet-friendly and family-friendly accommodations, with so many things to do and see, and we have a winner. Read on for why we’ll be back!
Colorado summer temps continue to scorch the Front Range, and it’s the perfect time to road trip west to the Rocky Mountains. Our family has escaped the summer heat with weekend getaways to Antlers at Vail, the Grand Lake Lodge (review coming soon!), and the pet-friendly Indian Peaks Lodge at Snow Mountain Ranch in Granby. This multigenerational family road trip included 3 adults, 3 children, and 2 dogs in two vehicles.
Located in Grand County, Indian Peaks Lodge is part of the YMCA of the Rockies, inside the 5,000 acres of Snow Mountain Ranch. This Colorado lodge is just 12 miles from Winter Park and 33 miles from Rocky Mountain National Park and Grand Lake.
The 2-hour drive on Interstate 70 is also scenic, exiting on US-40 West, winding through the mountains and Berthoud Pass, driving through Winter Park, Frasier, and Tabernash. GPS will take you there, but watch for the signs as the left turn into Snow Mountain Ranch is sometimes easy to miss.
Arrival to YMCA of the Rockies’ Snow Mountain Ranch Indian Peaks Lodge
Once on that road, soak up the views. And the wide-open spaces. This is Colorado’s outdoor playground. For the remainder of our visit, we breathed in the fresh mountain air and enjoyed those 360-degree views.
Snow Mountain Ranch offers multiple lodging options including cabins, campgrounds (RV parking and tent sites), and yurts, but for a fresh alternative to camping or having to pack all your supplies, check into Indian Peaks Lodge with its hotel-style lodge rooms.
After a short drive, check-in is at the Administration Building, the first left after the stop sign. In addition, this area also houses the Buckboard Grill & Grocery and the chapel.
Step into the lobby of the administration building and the reception desk is to the left, and check-in takes a few minutes longer due to COVID procedures and paperwork. Then I was given a map and hotel room keycards and we drove a few minutes more to the Indian Peaks Lodge, the first right turn after Aspenbrook Lodge.
Arrival at Indian Peaks Lodge
Located directly across from Schlessman Commons Dining Hall, Indian Peaks Lodge is set back against the gravel road, stretching across a long city block. The entrance to Indian Peaks Lodge opens onto a high-vaulted ceiling of a social area with fireplace and relaxed seating — and a hint at the views from your hotel-style lodge room.
Indian Peaks Lodge rooms are simple, with 2 queen beds and a queen sofa bed, accommodating up to 6 guests. Next to the sliding glass door opening out onto the “backyard” was also a table with two chairs. The bathroom consisted of a toilet with a shower, separate powder room, and an open-concept closet, similar to hotels. Also included were a mini-fridge and microwave. Accessible rooms are also available.
For our extended family of 6 and two dogs, one room would’ve been just too tight. The lodge was able to book us into two adjacent rooms with patios. Rooms above featured balconies. None of the rooms include a TV to encourage guests to explore the outdoors.
Like most mountain communities, air conditioning is also not included. Daytime temps peak around 75 degrees in the summer months and quickly cool off in the evening–nighttime temps can dip into the 30’s and 40’s even in summer. During our visit in mid-July, temps outside were definitely close to 90, and the room did get warm but bearable.
Free WiFi is offered, but to be honest, with Colorado outdoors steps away, we more often were exploring and experiencing than on our phones. Pets allowed in a limited number of rooms.
At first, we were disappointed that cabins were not available (NOTE: YMCA cabins are AWESOME, but book very quickly!) as we really wanted the larger living room and outdoor space. But our room was on the ground floor opening onto a view that literally took our breath away — especially the evening when we were treated to a unique rainbow over the mountains.
The grandkids loved the close proximity to the playground and firepit. The dogs loved the close access to outdoor space and nearby trails. As a family, every evening, we sat outside on the patio together — and a few times we even brought out the card games.
Dining Options at Indian Peaks Lodge
Located inside the complex called Snow Mountain Ranch, dining options are modest. A buffet-style dining hall (during COVID, servers dish up your meal), Schlessman Commons Dining Hall is located across the road, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Meals are pay as you go, or meal packages are available too.
Buckboard Grill & Grocery, next to the Administration Building, provides snacks, sandwiches, hot grill items, and limited variety of grocery supplies.
Open weekends during the ski season, Skinny Ski Cafe is located above the Nordic Center, serving soup, paninis, and snacks.
In addition, nearby Grand County communities of Winter Park, Fraser, Granby, and Grand Lake offer more than 100 dining options.
Things to Do at Snow Mountain Ranch
Guests of the Indian Peaks Lodge have access to countless on-site activities available at Snow Mountain Ranch. Most activities are included in your stay, but some require a small fee. On-site summer activities include hiking, biking, canoeing, zip-lining, and a variety of family programs, plus easy access to nearby fishing, boating, and rafting.
On-site winter activities include cross-country skiing, tubing, ice-skating, snowshoeing, winter family programs, and easy access to the Winter Park, Mary Jane, and Granby Ranch downhill ski areas. In addition, there is an indoor heated pool.
For those bringing their four-legged family member, this is the ideal location as there are plenty of trails for walking the dog. There is also a three-acre, fenced-in Dog Park.
We took advantage of their Craft Shop with projects ranging from painting pottery, tie-dye t-shirts, jewelry making, and more. Projects are affordably priced from $1 to $25. Even our 2 year-old grandson loved painting his dinosaur bank.
Indian Peaks Lodge Rates: Depending on the season, start at $109/night. Book directly through the lodge itself or check TripAdvisor for other booking options.