On Location at Devil's Thumb Ranch

A high-country holiday celebration at the country’s top Nordic center

I went to the high country in search of snow; there wasn’t a single flake in Denver. A short drive to Tabernash, Colorado, had me pulling into my cabin at Devil’s Thumb, just 90 minutes later, amid a winter wonderland of snow.

Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa was recently named best cross-country ski resort by USA Today readers for a reason—actually, many reasons.

Foremost is the beauty of the ranch: It’s located on 6,000 acres of privately-owned wilderness at the foot of the Continental Divide in the beautiful Ranch Creek Valley.

The groomed ski trails, ranging from beginner to black, offer spectacular views from all directions. It’s a great way to get some exercise, breathe fresh Colorado air, and return to Heck’s Tavern for lunch.

Speaking of lunch, don’t miss the Wagyu burger or the Wagyu meatballs. The only Wagyu beef in Colorado are raised at Devil’s Thumb Ranch—true farm to table.

Each December, the ranch hosts a Tommelfest Nordic celebration and holiday market. Even the Grinch would get into the holiday spirit at these events.

During the Tommelfest Nordic Ski Festival, the ranch offers free lessons, keg tossing, glogg and all kinds of “Nordic” activities.

And local artists and craftspeople turn out with their beautiful wards for the much-beloved Devil’s Thumb Ranch Holiday Market in Heck’s Tavern loft.

Holidays at Devil’s Thumb book up in advance; it’s a popular destination for guests to stay, ski and celebrate.  

I’m counting the days until I can return to Devil’s Thumb, a true mountain paradise.

Categories: On Location