PO Box 465, Steamboat Springs CO 80477
Vista Verde Ranch (970-879-3858; 800-526-7433, www.vistaverde.com ), is a 4-star ranch in a secluded area outside of Steamboat Springs with 30 km of trails groomed for classic and skate skiing.
Lessons and rental equipment for xc ski, snowshoe and telemark are available. Vista Verde's groomed trail system is especially good for beginnersmost of the terrain is quite gentle. Guides are available to give pointers to beginners, who are looking to improve or tips on where to find the best powder stashes, best views with mountainside vantage points to see elk. Many skiers start on the groomed trails but after their first backcountry tour they are hooked for good. There are thousands of acres of national forest surrounding the Vista Verde Ranch.
During your stay you can be paired with different guides to learn a little from each one and see their favorite spots or you can stay with your favorite guide for the entire time you visit if you like. Backcountry tours are tailored to individual guest's abilities and interests and are usually a maximum of 4-5 people per tour (and sometimes one on one). The backcountry tours are adventurous but safe and within skiers' limits. This is a very personalized service.
There is a variety of first class complimentary equipment for different types of xc skiing and snowshoeing. Sleigh rides are available as is horseback riding on packed trails.
Recommended favorite trails include the Indian Meadows Loop for beginning skaters, which is pretty flat, very quiet and has beautiful scenery. Wooded Way is the most popular single track classic trail while The Overlook Trail is for those, who want to get their heart rate up and have some great turney downhills. For best views the Peak at the Peaks Trail provides snap shots of the Continental Divide.
Rates at Vista Verde are packaged to include 3 gourmet meals each day and all of the on-ranch activities (everything mentioned above plus cooking classes, wine tasting, kids and teen programs, evening entertainment, local transportation, etc.) The prices range from $250/night/person to $400 depending on length of stay and time of year.
There is a hot tub on the premises.With gourmet meals and luxurious accommodations, Vista Verde is in high demand, whether you stay in the cabins or the more convenient lodge. The number of guests is limited to about 30 people to insure personalized attention from the staff and full enjoyment of the ranch. Off the ranch, guests can enjoy snowmobiling, alpine skiing at Steamboat Resort, ice climbing, powdercat skiing, hot air ballooning and winter fly fishing. You can fly to a small airport outside of Steamboat, which is less than a hour hour away from the ranch or drive 4-5 hours from the Denver Airport. CCSAA member