Have you ever needed a break, an escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life? After the chaotic last year, many of us are looking for a home away from home to recharge and reconnect. What better way to accomplish these goals than to embark on a remote wilderness getaway and rent a backcountry cabin in northwestern Colorado.
About Wild Skies Cabin
Wild Skies Cabin offers an opportunity for luxury off-the-grid living in the remote backcountry in the Colorado Flat Tops. Built in 2012, Wild Skies is a 100% naturally-run cabin with far more animals surrounding it than people. In fact, shoulder season is one of the best times to visit if you intend to see the most wildlife while snowshoeing. Elk and mule deer start migrating back during this time, as well as many different migratory birds.
The 4 bedroom cabin is surrounded on three sides by the Routt National Forest, just a couple of miles from the Flat Tops Wilderness. With outdoor activities at your fingertips, a warm fireplace, a foosball table, and games and books galore, this cabin is the perfect quiet couple’s getaway or reunion location to reconnect with family and friends.
The location, about 30 miles from the nearest town of Hayden and over 12 miles away from the nearest electrical lines (the cabin is heated with radiant in-floor heat), makes you feel completely alone with nature. On our trip, we did not see another human the entire stay. This property is unique because it is so uncrowded and one of the unknown places with no commercial activity. But the beauty is second to none!
Even with nature out your door, Wild Skies also offers Wi-Fi, a TV, beautiful furnishings, an impressive game room, and other modern conveniences for those looking for it. Personally, though, I quite enjoyed not having cell phone service and an opportunity to disconnect from technology. On our stay at this cabin in the Colorado wilderness, my husband and I actually made a point of not using the TV and avoiding the use of Wi-Fi so we could completely disconnect. Boy, was it refreshing to relax and have some outdoor fun!
Activities at Wild Skies Cabin
The winter months offer a snowshoer’s haven, with the perfect geography for snow. Until we were within 5 miles of the cabin, the entire drive was completely melted. However, the entire area around the cabin, from where we parked and on through the Routt National Forest, still had over 2.5 feet of snow on the ground in some areas.
In fact, on a good snow year, the wilderness area surrounding the cabin can receive more than 500 inches of snowfall a year, and sometimes more than 700 inches, which is well above the Colorado average. But, since Colorado winters are a continuous cycle of melting and new storms, that amounts to an average of 10 feet on the ground during the peak winter months.
However, whether winter or summer, this is the place to explore the trails and backcountry of the Routt National Forest and Flat Tops Wilderness. Snowshoeing, hiking, fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, wildflower picking, any outdoor activity you can name – it’s all right outside your door.
Routt National Forest
As mentioned, the entrance to the Routt National Forest is literally a few steps away from your front door. You can easily spend multiple days exploring the trails at East Fork trailhead. Or, if you prefer, you can follow the Scenic Byway (closed during the winter months) for about 5 miles to scenic Vaughan Lake and enjoy magnificent vistas along the way.
Furthermore, you can even create your own loop, as we did on our adventure. Start at the East Forks trailhead, take trail 1119, and then take trail 1172 back to a 2nd trailhead. Then, you can follow the Scenic Byway back to the cabin. Just remember that you’ll be heading into the wilderness, so bring the essentials, including a map, compass, or GPS (and know how to read them). You will be truly alone on those backcountry trails, and help is a long way away, so it’s essential to be prepared.
The snowshoeing in this area was absolutely spectacular, with more animal tracks than I have seen on my many snowshoe adventures. Snowmobilers and cross-country skiers will also enjoy the plethora of trails.
In the summer, word on the street is that the wildflowers in this area can grow up to several feet high under aspen canopies on nearby trailheads! The lakes in this area are phenomenal for fishing, as is the private river on the property with 95% pure river cutthroat trout. Thus, anglers, hunters, backpackers, and nature enthusiasts can also enjoy this area of the Routt National Forest in the warmer months.
When you’re not enjoying the beautiful outdoors, there are a plethora of activities in the cabin itself. Feel free to enjoy the dozens of games and thousands of books throughout the cabin.
For those with kids, there are also a large number of toys in the game room downstairs. You can also get competitive and enjoy a game of air hockey or foosball with family or friends. Or for more laid-back fun, cozy up by the fire either reading or take a trip down memory lane with a board game.
Things to Keep in Mind
Since Wild Skies Cabin is truly off-grid and surrounded by Colorado wilderness, it can be hard to find at night. The owners and I will recommend entering the GPS coordinates into your navigation, not searching for the location.
The drive will also be on a gravel road for a large portion of the time. So cars that can handle the elements are a must. In winter, you will park near the road closed sign and be transported to the cabin via a snowcat. For this reason, strategic packing is incredibly helpful, especially if in a large group.
The cabin is completely furnished (beautifully, I may add). You will have access to kitchen items and utensils, but you will need to bring your own food. We used the grill on the gorgeous patio a few times, and it made some incredibly delicious meals.
Keep in mind, though, that this truly is off the grid living. You will be alone with little civilization surrounding you. There is a landline in the cabin if you need to contact anyone, including the property manager. But your cell phones will not work in the house or on most of the trails. Plan accordingly and share your travel plans with others. For outdoor activities, be sure to bring along the 10 essentials with you.
Wild Skies Cabin truly is a remote wilderness getaway. With a plethora of outdoor activities and a gorgeous cabin full of games and books to come back to, you will leave feeling relaxed and recharged. It truly is a getaway for a slow pace in an idyllic setting.
Would you rent the Wild Skies wilderness and backcountry cabin in the Colorado Flat Tops? If you’ve been to the area, what are your favorite activities? Please share with us in the comments below.
Wild Skies Cabin hosted the author and guest for a weekend wilderness adventure. All opinions and experiences expressed in this story are the author’s own.