2016 is the year of the bucket list. 2015, as far as years go, wasn’t my fav, so this year, we are rallying with determination to make 2016 one of the best ever via the bucket list!
We each made a list of both domestic and international locations that we want to visit, of something we want to learn, and a few things we’ve always wanted to do. We actually did this for an interview, but liked it so much that we incorporated it into our 2016 Bucket List idea.
Every single list (except Kerry’s) had snowmobiling on it! Every single one! It’s kind of insane to think that we winter in Colorado, and have never been snowmobiling! But, I guess it was hard for us to imagine that any winter activity could be as fun as snowboarding.
But, I’m stoked to report that snowmobiling was absolutely epic. I don’t know if it was because our guide was so awesome and flexible or maybe the terrain we got to sled or what, but our first bucket list item for 2016 was a HUGE hit. Check out the video below, it’s really totally epic. Grady’s company, 14k Studios produced it for us. Be sure to subscribe to 14k Studios on Youtube, and don’t hesitate to give them a call for ALL your video needs 🙂
When I talk about Sunlight I often refer to the less is more philosophy, especially, and I mean especially, when I speaking or writing to and for families. Sunlight Mountain is nothing short of epic. We’ve been snowboarding there since 2000 and it’s our mountain of choice in Colorado.
I say that for many reasons. The staff is incredible, they all act as though they live to serve. The mountain is absolutely sick, the terrain park is wicked, there are 680 acres of skiable terrain, 2000’ vertical drop, zero lines, great atmosphere, a bar, food court, live music on Fridays and, my personal favorite: all the runs end up in the same spot! That is invaluable for parents who want to let their kids have a bit of freedom, but also don’t want them to get lost!
And of course, I love it because it’s affordable!! As Vail’s ticket price hit $175 for one person for one day, this season, Sunlight’s average ticket price is $60 per day for an adult! Less is soooo much more!
The Snowmobiling Tour
Adding to Sunlight’s epicness is the fact that they offer snowmobile tours! Something even non-skiers and riders could do whilst the rest of the family is enjoying the slopes!! I’m not even kidding, the quality of the snowmobile tour equaled the quality found on the slopes!
But, before you can get riding, your group must head to the Sunlight Tour Office, which is located in the basement of the newly remodeled Sunlight Lodge Bed and Breakfast. This is where you meet your guide, fill out the necessary liability forms and choose your helmet (provided).
You can choose from 3 different snowmobiling tours:
- A one-hour, 16 mile family tour that starts at the Sunlight Lodge Bed & Breakfast and “winds you deep into the White River National Forest, through a lush forest of tall pines and stunning Aspen groves.”
- The tour of our choice, the Adventure Ride, is 2.5 hours, 30 miles into the incredible backcountry. The Adventure Ride “treats you to magnificent 360-degree views of Mt Sopris, the West Elk Mountains and the Flattops Wilderness area.” And, lest you think it ends there, it gets even more amazing as you continue on into the backcountry of Baylor Park, “where we let you have at it in a huge undulating meadow of epic free riding.”
- A private tour where the Sunlight Guides do their best to make all your snowmobile tour dreams come true! I’m thinking this would be an epic 16th birthday party surprise!
Obviously, our crew rocked the Adventure Ride tour and it was the perfect mix of adrenaline charging speeds, beautiful scenery, hills and turns, in fact, we left nothing on the table. The only thing we wished we had more of was time because we had that much fun!
Our Sunlight Tour guide, AJ, was probably the best guide we’ve ever had for anything. Many guides talk and talk, they think they need to entertain. AJ had a respect for the beauty of the terrain, and pretty much let it speak for itself.
He knew we were mostly first-timers and gave us a quick safety talk and showed us the throttle and the brake, the kill switch and the ever important hand warmers on the handlebars. And then literally 5 minutes later, we were cruisin’ the trails.
I think one of the factors that made our Sunlight Snowmobile tour so great is that it truly was a personalized experience. All of us were in search of an adrenaline rush, and I think had the tour been designed to employ the best of all worlds, we might have missed some of the most breathtaking scenery.
There are opportunities to full throttle on straightaways and in the expanse of Baylor Park, where you are really turned loose and can full throttle the sled and shred some amazing powder. Your heart start pumping, the wind is in your face, you feel like you own the world.
And then there is a scenic aspect to the tour that will take your breath away. The silence of the backcountry, the aspen and pine forests, the smells, the vistas, the views, the communion with family, the wonder of creation … I mean I could go on and on and on. You just feel so small and insignificant, yet part of something so amazing … everyone needs to experience this phenomenon in their lifetime. Nature is a beautiful thing.
This tour was the perfect mix of excitement and awe inspiring beauty.
You can literally feel the stress, the worries, and everything else in the world melt away. That’s what is so amazing about getting out of the house, away from the job. It’s what has married our family to adventure. When you live in the moment and incorporate adrenaline and excitement and beauty into your daily life, everything else is easily put into perspective.
And to do so with your family, each of you relishing in the benefits of the experience. Life just becomes something extraordinary, out there in the wilderness, beyond the reach of most of the population.
You see, nature has a funny way of refocusing our thoughts, of helping us forget our worries and concerns and, instead of engaging in all that wasteful energy, changing our perspective into one of gratitude!
It’s safe to say that snowmobiling has the added benefit of making everything but the present pale in comparison.
Snowmobiling is a Family Activity
You know we are absolutely all about family and any activity that everyone can participate in AND have fun in, is something we promote and love.
Snowmobiling is yet another adventure that can be enjoyed by everyone!! Our younger children could have easily joined us on the back of anyone’s sled, and that will definitely happen the next time! Especially as the temperatures warm up and we eliminate the possibility of little kids getting too cold.
What You Should Know
- Late Winter/Early Spring is the perfect time for a snowmobile tour
- Dress in Layers, if you get too hot, it’s easy to remove clothing.
- Helmets are Provided
- You need to be 16 to drive, but children 4&Up are welcome as passengers.
- Bring your cameras, sunscreen, water bottles and goggles or sunglasses – the sun is bright!
After a wonderfully exciting and nature infused day of snowmobiling, we highly recommend you hit the Iron Mountain Hot Springs for an evening of pampering, relaxation and rejuvenation! There is nothing like geothermal hot springs ranging in temperatures from 107 degrees to 92 degrees after a day outside on a sled in the snow! The Iron Mountain Hot Springs overlook the Colorado River and is surrounded by a setting amidst the Rocky Mountains that will surely take your breath away.
Give yourself this sweet gift and you will feel so renewed after that you will sleep better than you have ever in your entire life … trust me!