It was all about family time – and it ended up being just that.
One of the reasons our family goes skiing is so we can be active together. We all know how difficult it can be to get the whole family together, let alone out in nature doing a physical activity. That is one of the many reasons why we chose Sunlight Mountain Resort and Glenwood Springs for a mini family vacation last weekend.
My husband and daughter had never been to Sunlight and I had not been there since 7th grade! So after getting a great deal on a hotel for the weekend, we hit the road Friday afternoon. The drive through Glenwood Canyon is always beautiful, but my husband was the real lucky one on this particular trip – he saw a mountain lion sitting on the side of I-70!
Everything about visiting Sunlight was easy – something that makes the Gems resorts so special. Parking was a breeze, there was no line at the ticket counter and snow conditions were perfect. All I remember about Sunlight from my early experience was the tree skiing. There are some nice “glens” where the trees aren’t too close together, so I felt totally comfortable with my daughter skiing through them, just like I had done many years before her. Plus, despite it being a Saturday, there was no one (and I mean NO ONE) on the hill. The crowds were literally nonexistent.
For on this particular day, it seemed like everyone was at the base lodge where hoards of locals were getting ready for the Chili Cook-Off and Taste of Glenwood happening that afternoon (and buying girl scout cookies from the local girl scout, who was making a killing by the way). Besides the Chili Cook-Off and Taste folks, there were several families taking a break and enjoying the sunshine on the deck.
After finding a spot to have a little lunch, only $14 total for the three of us (wow!), I struck up a conversation with a local mom. We both were from Denver so we obviously had a lot to talk about – yet her final words were about how happy she was to be living in Glenwood. She said she could send her kids off to ski and never worry about their safety – another nice perk of the Gems resorts—and while I wasn’t ready to let my kiddo go it alone just yet, I might just consider it next time.
We initially thought we would go to the hot springs after skiing, after all, isn’t that a must-do when visiting Glenwood Springs? But this weekend was about family time and the hotel had a great pool and hot tub. My daughter, a swimmer, wanted to simply head downstairs instead of schlepping across town to the hot springs, and I had to agree it sounded like a wonderful idea. It turns out that we were right, and were the only ones there, allowing for even more of our elusive together time. Maybe next time, hot springs…
Sunlight Mountain wasn’t the only highlight of the trip; the town of Glenwood also had plenty to offer. The local brewery was actually a nice, family-friendly place for dinner the first night. Great beer for my husband, cider for me and macaroni and cheese for my daughter – perfect.
On Sunday morning, my husband took his new fat bike out on some trails while my daughter and I dipped into the still-deserted pool. We soaked to our hearts content, and then reluctantly packed up. And despite the usual ski traffic on a Sunday afternoon we even made it home before half time of the big game. All said, it was truly a lovely weekend…
Words and Photos by Amy Banaszewski.