Go snowcat skiing at the Three Forks Ranch this winter

Summer may still be in full swing across the U.S., with some of us continuing to battle triple-digit heat, but it is never too early to start thinking about winter and the ski season ahead. With that in mind, the Three Forks Ranch, located in the Sierra Madre Mountains, is preparing to offer visitors plenty of opportunities for adventure in the snow this year.

Located along the border of Colorado and Wyoming, the Three Forks is a private luxury resort that attracts travelers throughout the year. The ranch is home to some of the best fly fishing and hunting in the west, and includes a full-service spa that has gained a sterling reputation for pampering guests as well. But this winter, the Three Forks will offer its first full season of snowcat skiing, providing visitors with an experience that will be tough to find anywhere else.

How will the ski experience at Three Forks Ranch be different than other destinations? For starters, since it is a small, private resort, the slopes won’t be crowded at all. With just 15 rooms on property, and 200,000 acres to explore, I think it is safe to say that visitors will find plenty of solitude.

They’ll also find plenty of snow too. The ranch receives an annual snowfall of between 400 and 450 inches, which blankets the resort’s eight runs, spread out over two peaks and 1100 vertical feet, in some of the finest powder on the planet.

But where the Three Forks skiing and snowboarding experience will really stand out is when guests climb inside one of the ranch’s snowcats and heads out to the backcountry. The specially designed vehicles are built to travel through the deepest snows, and can provide access to places that no chair-lift ever could. Skiers will be able to shred untouched powder in a pristine wilderness that will make them feel like they’re the first ones to ever visit the area, providing a magical ski experience that is unlike any other.

The winter adventures don’t end there however, as the Three Forks also offers a cross-country ski course, ice fishing, snowshoeing, miles of snowmobile and dogsled trails, and a fun tubing hill as well. At the end of the day, you’ll be treated to gourmet meals in the lodge and warm, comfortable rooms for recovering from the day’s activities.

The Three Forks Ranch opens for skiing at Christmas and remains open into March. For more information on their snowcat skiing options, click here.

Adventures Along The U.S.-Mexican Border

The Sierra Madre mountains and the Chihuahua Desert, which fall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico, not only offer up stunning scenery, but plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure as well. Backpackers and hikers will find plenty to enjoy, as they walk the same path as Pancho Villa, the famed Mexican outlaw who once roamed this region as well.

British newspaper The Guardian recently sent writer Hugh Thompson to the border to explore these badlands and report back on this hidden gem for trekkers. Starting off in El Paso, Texas, and heading south, Thompason found an outdoor paradise that included a hike through Copper Canyon, a place that rivals the Grand Canyon in beauty, without the crowds.

Thompson and the rest of his group spent more than a week exploring the region, which they found to be surprisingly lush. He came to the area expecting an arrid, empty desert, but found that it was green with flora, including a variety of trees and other small plants. While descending into some of the deeper canyons, the team would pass through a different climate zone every 1000 feet, once again bringing a very unique experience from the Grand Canyon, which is mostly devoid of any type of green plants altogether.

Over the course of that week, the trekkers followed the footsteps of Pancho Villa and his band of rebels. They traveled up and down the Sierra Madre and across the desert, chasing the legend, and in the process had a unique adventure of their own. The best part is, this is one adventure that is easy to go on yourself. The region is still off the radar for most backpacker, which tanslates into open trails and miles of solitude.