Off-the-Grid Luxury at Wild Skies Cabin in the CO Flat Tops

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.

cabin surrounded by trees

Take a break and be surrounded by the wilderness at Wild Skies Cabin. Photo: John Fielder

view from balcony at Wild Skies Cabin in Colorado wilderness -trees mountains and open sky in background

Enjoy this gorgeous view from your balcony at Wild Skies and recharge and reconnect. Photo: Susan Wowk

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.

side by side: view of river and trees from balcony and right: close up of foosball table

Surrounded by wilderness and with a plethora of game options, the ways to connect with family and friends are numerous. Photo: Susan Wowk

cabin in Colorado wilderness surrounded by snowy trees

Surrounded by forest, Wild Skies is the perfect place to re-connect with family and friends, whether covered in snow or during the summer months. Photo: Wild Skies

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!

This 4 room cabin is beautifully decorated with wilderness-themed decor and furnishings. Photo: Susan Wowk

Colorado wilderness cabin: Wild Skies upstairs bedroom

This upstairs bedroom opens up to a beautiful balcony overlooking the river on the property. Photo: Wild Skies

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.

forest of aspen trees

Surrounded by wilderness, a plethora of outdoor activities are just right outside your door. Photo: Susan Wowk

aspen grove in fall

During all times of the year, you can enjoy the aspen groves in your outdoor activities. Photo: Wild Skies

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.

side by side left: man with snowshoes in distance looking back right: view of snowy road with trees, blue sky, and mountains

Right: Snowshoeing on trail 1172 was full of aspens. Left: There’s a beautiful view of distant mountains from the Scenic Byway. Photos: Susan Wowk

panorama with snow in foreground and mountains in back

The many trails in the area offer beautiful scenery. Photo: John Fielder

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.

Read More: A New Found Passion: Wildlife Tracking and Identification

river surrounded by trees

During the summer, your can go fly fishing on the private river on the property. Photo: Wild Skies

flowers in Flat Tops Wilderness

The flowers in the summer are beautiful. Photo: John Fielder

Cabin Entertainment

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.

side by side: UNO card game and man at table in cabin with view of Colorado wilderness in background left: stacks of games and books

After a fun day spent outdoors, it was relaxing to come to a home away from home and relax and play games. Photos: Susan Wowk

downstairs game room at Wild Skies

The downstairs game room has a foosball table, air hockey table, and a multitude of games. Photo: Wild Skies

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.

snow covered road and trees with mountains in background

The road to the cabin is a snow-covered wonderland during the winter season, so your transport to the cabin will be via snowcat. Photo: Wild Skies

view off of balcony at Wild Skies Cabin in Colorado wilderness with trees in background

The view from the patio is gorgeous while making some delicious meals on the grill. Photo: Susan Wowk

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.

side by side - left: selfie of authors, right: woman snowshoeing toward open vista

When you head out into the wilderness area, make sure to have the 10 essentials with you for a fun adventure. Photos: Susan Wowk

Overall

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.

person reading under blanket on the couch by the fire in cabin in Colorado wilderness

Relaxing by the warm fire while reading a book was the perfect way to warm up after snowshoeing. Photo: Susan Wowk

Read Next:
Soaking and Snowshoeing in Strawberry Park Hot Springs
8 Reasons Why Winter Hiking Rocks
Top 10 Snowshoe Tips for First-Timers

About the author

Susan Wowk

Susan has owned Snowshoe Magazine with her husband, Paul, since 2015. In 2018, she became more involved in writing and editing content and now is the lead editor of the publication. She enjoys all things winter and snowshoes regularly with Paul and 13-year-old puppy Grizzy.

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2 Comments

  • Sure is outstanding, I would love to bring my group of snowshoe friends,but Midland Ontario,Canada is a long hike from Colorado.Love your magazine

    • Thanks, Garry! It was a pretty incredible stay and a stunning location. If one day you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend Wild Skies. We’re so happy that you love the magazine and hope you’ve had some great adventures this season in Ontario! -Susan