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“Mountainside Lodge and Big Horn Annex at YMCA of the Rockies”

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YMCA of the Rockies
Certificate of Excellence
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
64 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“Mountainside Lodge and Big Horn Annex at YMCA of the Rockies”
Reviewed August 22, 2013

We spent 4 nights here June 29-July 4 for a family reunion of 40 folks from age 2 to 78. We rented both the Mountainside Lodge and Bighorn Annex (across the parking lot). This set up was perfect for reconnecting with each other and nature.

The cabin is UP the hillside about 1.5 miles from the main YMCA area so it's a hearty walk, doable but not more than once per day. For this reason we are glad we hit Costco on Boulder and stocked up before getting to the lodge. We cooked Lasagna, burgers, fajitas, pancakes, eggs, margaritas, beer and ended up eating for about $34 per person for the 4 day stay. This was way cheaper and more fun than schlepping to the busy lodge for each meal. The kitchen was well equipped with two fridges and two stoves.

The building is rustic cabin cool and comfortable and unique. There are views from every room and the deck at night offers phenomenal light-pollution-free start gazing. There are many activities at the Y, all are well run, however, we were not impressed with the kids fishing excursion by Sasquatch outfitters. That was more like a babysitting excursion that allowed the PARENTS to learn fishing. Paddling the Poudre was a great family friendly river excursion. It's a bit of a drive to get to the river but, still fun. You also get use of an outdoor pavilion with gas grill, tables and seating for 70 and power plugs, views, and protective awnings in case of inclement weather. There is also an outdoor chapel about 75 yards away for morning worship.

We are considering also returning to the Mountainside lodge and adding the house up the hill for more attendies next time.

Room Tip: Hit Costco and cook all meals in cabin for extra team building.
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank My_name_is_Paesan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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879 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (264)
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English first
Eatonton, Georgia
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Our 'cabin' slept 10 with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a full kitchen, two living rooms, 2 decks, TVs, and a fireplace. We really were roughing it! We were there for my niece's wedding so didn't take advantage of all the facilities, but it would be perfect for family reunions. It is also a wonderful location for an outdoor wedding with the mountains in the background. It is also very convenient to the Rocky Mountain national park.

Room Tip: Ask for one of the cabins which are higher for the view.
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Thank CarillonO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
joyunlimited14
Level Contributor
31 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed August 20, 2013

Yes, I'm a hotel snob. I'll blow 300+ at a five star because I like luxury. I'm also a huge outdoors-woman. I love hiking, site-seeing, riding horses, and just being in nature. I was torn as to whether or not the lodging at Estes Park would negatively outweigh the positively majestic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. Well, it didn't! We stayed in the recently renovated Wind River Lodge on the second floor (no elevator!), but they did have decks with chairs in each 2nd floor room. I read a few reviews that mentioned loud teens and weird smells, but we didn't see, hear or smell anything out of the norm. There were groups meeting in the lobby, playing board games, and we heard doors slamming during peak hours, but the quiet hours are 11pm-7am and everyone seemed to abide by the rules. :) As for the lodging: The rooms were basic, with heavy comforters, no A/C, and a very modest bathroom. BUT THE VIEW! The sunrise, the sunset, seeing elk walk right across the hillside, the fresh air and all the wonders of mountains...man, I couldn't get enough. We weren't really in the room very much at all, only to shower and sleep, so the rustic accommodations didn't matter much to us. They have tons of activities for kids, more for older kids 8+, but my five year old had a blast learning to use a compass, playing putt putt, and running around like a little hippy kid. The dining hall was basic and we were surrounded by teenagers and other families, but it was what I expected for a place run by the YMCA. I think if you set your expectations you'll be impressed. :) Make sure you check out the livery, the arts and crafts building next to the playground, the library, and go for a guided hike!

Room Tip: There are no elevators in the Wind River Lodge, but the 2nd floor was a good choice for us since the...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Joyunlimited14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed August 19, 2013

We like to take visiting grandchildren ranging in ages 5-15 years old to stay at cabins at the YMCA of the rockies. Horseback riding is fun for the older children and the younger ones love the outdoor experiences offered and crafts. We see hummingbirds, woodpecker nests with babies peeking out and like the hiking and nature.

Room Tip: Only stayed in cabins, which were secluded and comfortable. Higher priced cabins are worth the extra...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank Molly B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
denver
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed August 17, 2013

We have enjoyed the cabins at the YMCA of the Rockies for years with our family. It's not fancy, it's OK tho. The views and setting make the sparse amenities well worth it. Our boys grew up loving coming here. Our latest trip here was to participate in a half marathon so we opted for the lodge at the YMCA since the cabins were full and the Stanley Hotel was full. The lodge was disgusting. The carpets were stained. The beds had gross, old bed spreads on them, and they felt like diving boards. The place smelled like urine and damp. Until the wee hours of the morning it sounded and felt like the place was going to come crashing down on our heads because of the people walking one floor above us. This was unacceptable. The other guests were odd. There was one middle aged man walking around the "lobby" in boxers and socks. Avoid the lodges! Without a doubt this was the single worse "hotel" I've ever stayed in in my life. GROSS!

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
6 Thank kr20rk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canandaigua, New York
Level Contributor
154 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2013

My family has been visiting the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park since 1982, and both my brother and I worked there when we were in college. It's a long-standing, much-loved family vacation spot with lots of great memories.

I visited this summer with my family, which included three generations, including a 3 and 5-year old. We rented a 4-bedroom cabin that turned out to be in a good location, far from the central part of the camp, so we had no problems with noise. I credit my parents (who made the reservation) with getting us a good location, since they always write on their application their preferences. One summer of being across from the mini-golf course (hot and loud!!) taught us that we needed to ask for the location we wanted, and to the Y's credit, we've usually had those preferences honored. The cabins are rented out on a first-come, first-serve basis, so you want to get the application and fill it out and turn it in on the first possible date that they accept them. This will increase your chances of getting the dates and type of cabin you want.

I agree with many of the recent reviews about how the grounds are now overbuilt, the crowding is problematic, and the service seems to have dropped off. I hadn't been there in a few years, and the rate of growth of new buildings is astonishing. Granted, some of the old buildings were in bad repair and needed to be torn down, but the central part of the grounds are now filled with huge buildings. And I noticed that there's more and more grassy lawns that need watering! In Colorado! So much for stewardship of the environment and sustainability.

Most of the staff are hard working and we particularly appreciated the staff at the day camps for the kids. They were patient and kind, especially with the 3-year-old, who had a bit of a meltdown each morning. The children had a wonderful time! We also loved the craft and design center, with lots of choices of projects for people of various ages. There were times it was crowded there, though, and hard to get help. The hiking staff were also excellent, with a wide range of choices of hiking activities for all activity levels.

The main place I had issues with the staff was at the main administration desk. I went to pay my bill the night before in order to avoid the long morning check-out lines, and discovered that there was only one person working at the main desk, and a line of about 4 people. The woman being helped seemed to have a long list of needs, and so we waited and waited while she was helped. One by one the people in front of me got disgusted and walked off. In the end it took me 30 minutes to even reach the desk. There were other people in the back offices who would occasionally stick their heads out and see the line and then disappear again. It seems like the professional thing to do would be to get someone else to help. Even a brief, "I'm sorry to keep you waiting" would have gone a long way, but the worker seemed more inconvenienced by me being there than helpful. A disappointment.

My mother was bothered by details in the cabin that weren't clean - examples: food particles in the drawers in the kitchen and the windows were dirty. These details didn't bother me, but I think she worried that the housekeeping staff was overextended with all the new buildings to clean.

I hope the management will remember that they are a non-profit enterprise and stop expanding the number of people and buildings at the YMCA. The old sense of community and charm is wearing thin with the growing crowds, alas.

Room Tip: If you want a good cabin, get your preferences in early. If you are worried about noise, ask for on...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Elizabeth H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
302 reviews
67 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

We always come here in the summer and stay in a cabin, and go on hikes in RMNP every day. We all love it. Dad and daughter love hiking, little boy loves day camp and all the sports activities we do when Dad comes home from hiking, and mom like the peace and quiet, beauty, lectures, and craft shop. We love to sit in the incredible rocking chairs they have on the porch of the main building, where we sip sodas or hot chocolate depending on the weather. We make wonderful family memories every year here.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank hcmjkm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about YMCA of the Rockies

Property: YMCA of the Rockies
Address: 2515 Tunnel Road, Estes Park, CO 80511
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Estes Park
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 77 Specialty Lodging in Estes Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 600
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We are located outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. We have 7 lodges and 206 cabins spread over 860 acres. Perfect for family vacations, reunions, retreats and conferences. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Ymca Of The Rockies Hotel Estes Park
Ymca Of The Rockies Estes Park Center

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