North Routt County offers a private winter paradise

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"It's really beautiful," Greenway said, describing the scenery of northern Routt County. "There's always something that just takes your breath away."

Greenway, the property manager of Glen Eden Resort in Clark, moved to the area from Texas eight years ago, and there isn't a day that goes by when she isn't amazed by her surroundings.

Visitors to the Clark and Steamboat Lake areas usually agree, as a wide variety of winter recreation opportunities and secluded getaway spots make North Routt a popular vacation area.

Whether it's watching a herd of elk descend a mountainside into a snow-covered valley or enjoying a colorful winter sunset from the comfort of a hot tub, visitors to the Elk River Valley often find it a relaxing escape from busier Steamboat Springs.

Numerous resorts dot the area, offering visitors accommodations ranging from cozy cabins to larger condominiums and homes.

The Glen Eden Resort has several dozen stand-alone cabins and two-bedroom condos to choose from, as well as a number of amenities, including an on-site restaurant, hot tubs, a swimming pool and a small loop for cross-country skiing.

Guests at Glen Eden Resort are only a couple of miles away from a number of winter recreation opportunities, such as snowmobiling, horseback riding, ice fishing, backcountry skiing and snowshoeing.

"To get out of the hustle and bustle of the downtown Steamboat Springs area, this is a great place," Greenway said.

Glen Eden is in Clark, about 17 miles north of Steamboat on Routt County Road 129, also known as Elk River Road.

Several miles north of Clark is Steamboat Lake and the nearby town of Hahn's Peak.

Steamboat Lake State Park offers visitors excellent ice fishing as well as groomed cross-country ski trails and a snowshoe trail.

For snowmobile enthusiasts, the Steamboat Lake Snow Club grooms 156 miles of trails during the winter for motorized and nonmotorized use.

Steamboat Lake Outfitters provides a variety of lodging options for overnight visitors, from a choice of one- or two-bedroom cabins to more traditional hotel-like accommodations. An on-site restaurant and saloon is open seven days a week, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The saloon has a full-service bar.

Steamboat Lake Outfitters employee Katie Blatt said the resort caters to snowmobilers as well as cross-country skiers and snowshoers, though SLO won't provide guided snowmobile tours this winter.

"It's just a little slice of heaven up here. You can see the stars, it's quiet and it's peaceful," she said.

Blatt said that North Routt offers some of the best winter experiences in the county.

The Dutch Creek Guest Ranch is about 2 miles north of SLO and offers a horse-drawn sleigh ride.

Each ride includes a five-course meal afterwards at the ranch's lodge.

In addition to the sleigh rides, the ranch provides year-round cabin rentals for visitors and allows snowmobiling on the property although they do not do guided tours.

Routt County visitors who seek solitude and beautiful surroundings can't go wrong in the Steamboat Lake and Hahn's Peak area.

Other area lodging and entertainment options include the Dutch Creek Guest Ranch, which has horse-drawn sleigh rides, and live music at Hahn's Peak Cafe.

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