The kids and I jumped at the opportunity to spend 3 days up at the YMCA Camp of the Rockies last week and I would highly recommend this to any family! It’s a fabulous place for family reunions, group retreats and frankly just a weekend away!
The great thing about it is that it appeals to all age ranges – our group consisted of teenagers down through toddlers and adults with a wide variety of interests and everyone found something fabulous to do! We didn’t do the zip line, but for thrill seeking adults and teenagers, I hear it was a hoot!
I actually was able to visit the YMCA camp 5 years ago, but a lot has changed since then – notably they have a fabulous craft building where you can do almost any craft imaginable. Because we were short on time, we painted ceramic piggy banks, but there’s silk painting, tie die shirts, jewelry and mosaics. Projects are priced individually and I understand some people double their bill by doing tons and tons of crafts! (nope, not us, but I’m sure it would be possible!)
The kids LOVED the archery class – where they learned the basics of archery amongst the trees in the forest! Definitely felt like a trip into “Lord of the Rings”.
Thursday evening we got to hear “Iron Thumb: A Fur Trappers Life in the Mountains” – where normally you would have been huddled around a campfire, but watching the spectacular sunset was just as rewarding while listening to this fantastic guy talk about life for a Mountain Man! He tells what it was like to live as a beaver trapper in the 1800’s including dangerous humorous adventures and everyday tasks for survival. This talk is put on by the Rocky Mountain Nature Association and kept the kids riveted for an hour and half! If you’re a YMCA guest you can hear him for free, and if you’re just happening through Estes check www.rmna.org and you can sign up individually as well for a small fee (that goes to the Rock Mountain National Park!).
Last but not least was the horse back ride! If you have a tween daughter you’ve probably noticed horses, but I’m not sure you’ve actually taken the leap and done a ride – if not, this is the place! You can choose from 1 and 2 hour short rides, or book much longer ones!
Since it was both kids first rides we took the 1 hour! Jackson Stables are located right in the YMCA camp, but operate seperately – so you can just call them directly or there’s a local line within the camp! We found the rides book up fairly quickly so it’s great too book soon.
As you can see from the picture, the ride was gorgeous! Not only giving them the riding experience, but the views too! Our guide was wonderful with the kids – making them feel comfortable, answering questions and keeping them safe!
They also offer hayrides and pony rides for little kids!
I went with a wonderful group of other Denver area bloggers and so just don’t listen to me, be sure to check out their reviews on the links below!