Colorado Winter Cabin and Crab Legs

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We went to Costco on Christmas Eve and loaded up on 4 lbs of Alaskan King Crab legs. What did we do with all of em??? We had some free time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve…..sooo, we decided to spend a few days in the mountains, away from people, in a rustic cabin, eatin’ crab legs and filet mignon – just Sean, me and Yogi. It was fabulous.

I’ll keep this post short and sweet as the trip was just that – short and sweet.

Where did we stay? The Beyul Retreat – Beyul is the Tibetan word for hidden lands. The property is aptly named as it’s a remote property in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. There are 15 cabins (Wifi free) and a main lodge with 8 rooms on 32 acres in the Frying Pan River Valley roughly an hour from Aspen, CO. It used to be called the Diamond J Ranch back in the day. In fact, it started operations as a guest ranch in 1941 – the place has been around for a LONG time.

The drive up through the Frying Pan River Valley is a STUNNER.

In 2021, some young. local entrepreneurs took over the Diamond J, revamped the name, and are trying to broaden the experience. The Wall Street Journal mentions, “The new owners have reimagined the property as a Burning Man meets backcountry experience, complete with artist residencies, breathwork sessions, avalanche safety courses and holistic hunting workshops that emphasize ecosystem management and full-animal butchery.”

It could have been the time of year, but we didn’t feel any of that vibe. I do, however, trust they have a vision and will do their best to make it so. It really is beautiful up there – the sky is the limit for their dreams. In all fairness, we did stay in our cabin most of the time – we only interacted with the owners once a day at the main lodge when we checked email. It was kinda sweet not being tethered to our phones all hours of the day and night.

The cabins are pretty basic and no frills – we often like it that way. The one thing about this place is you have to bring all of your food – I mean ALL of it – spices and oil included. There is no grocery store so if you forget something, you are hosed. We forgot eggs and had to borrow one from the staff to make brownies! Each cabin is outfitted differently so pay attention to that when booking – not all of them have full kitchens. If you are making something super special, it might also be a good idea to bring your favorite cooking utensils.

Once we were settled in, we put on our snow shoes and got outside. There was a TON of snow – in fact, it snowed almost 8 inches+ every day we were there – it was gorgeous! There were trails right on property that will take you for miles and miles. We also drove up to Forest Service Road 505 and snowshoed a portion of the route to the Betty Bear Hut – one of the more remote and difficult mountain huts to get to.

Yogi was in dog heaven – he loves the snow. He couldn’t run fast enough through the soft powder.

We also cooked up some of the best crab legs and filet mignon we have ever made. Too bad the only picture I took was of the leftovers in the sad aluminum foil. One of our good friends whipped up some chocolate mousse for us – it was so good we made it last the whole time we were there.

A couple of things that make our relationship so great is that we LOVE to play cards and build puzzles. The day before we left the cabin, we cracked open a 2,000 piece puzzle. Our checkout time was 10:30 the next morning so we had a bunch of work to do! We (Ok, maybe I) became OBSESSED with that damn puzzle. To make a long story short, we made our deadline with 4 minutes to spare. I don’t think my back and neck have ever been so sore in my life. lol.

Anyhoo, that’s it! We slept, ate, drank, snow-shoed, puzzled, played cards in simple digs for 3 nights. It was great. Loved every minute of time spent with our small, but precious family. Can’t wait to do more of it once we aren’t strapped to our jobs.

…i choose this…



    1. I also love jigsaw puzzles and agree that this looks like the perfect trip! I’ve been wanting to go to Colorado and only thought about ziplining but staying in a cabin is also on my bucket list!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. ohhhh Lily-Anne!! so many cabin opportunities in CO! This one is rustic and in a beautiful wilderness area – if you like to hike – its beautiful back in there. It’s also an hour from Aspen. Our other favorite cabins are the Pioneer Guest Cabins in Crested Butte – these are close to town – Crested Butte is our favorite town in CO. Both options are great – depends on what you want to do :-).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. That looks like a lot of fun. I think a good consolation for not seeing a moose while out in nature, is to eat a chocolate mousse. It looks delicious. I hate puzzles, but I’m glad there are people in this world who like them, otherwise they’d never be completed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I would have loved to have seen a Moose – but from afar for sure. The mousse was such a kind gesture from our friend. Ohhh TG – Hate is such a strong word – what is it about puzzles that brings so much disdain?

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was great!! Yeah, puzzles aren’t for everyone. I have been doing them since I was a kid – I often wondered how I could make money in puzzling contests. Pretty sure its NIL – so I had to go to college and find my way doing something different. lol.


    1. I know – I was literally obsessed to get it done. Sean kept trying to quit – I was like – no sir, get back here – lol. Agree on the business plan! Think they are still trying to figure it all out – fingers crossed they make it work – it really is a special part of CO.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rebecca! Do you have a favorite brand that you like?? I personally like the Buffalo games – they often have camping scenes so I kind of escape with them. Winter is Yogi’s favorite season – he heats up too much in the summer with his black coat.

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  2. What a magical place to decamp for a few days and off the grid. In all honesty, I’m not sure how I would deal with the no-wifi situation. Which probably means that this kind of retreat is exactly what I need, ha ha. Amazing photos, the cabin looks perfectly cosy!

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    1. Ha!!! I wasn’t sure how we would do also – but – it was great!! You can get wifi in the lodge so all is not lost, but it did take effort in that snow. I think we could all use a vacay in a cabin in the woods! Have a great day!

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    1. It was fantastic. Sometimes we try to shorten a trip and every time we do, I regret it. 3 nights here was perfect. The next time we do a trip like this, I’m bringing EVERYTHING. I often get in trouble for overpacking so I slimmed down a few things – never again. lol

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  3. Seeing those photos takes me back to Switzerland. 😌 We’ve not stepped in any snow yet here in Wales at all. Quite a contrast. But your break sounds fabulous and I love doing puzzles too, so well done for finishing that one just in time!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, your snowy posts in Switzerland were always incredible. Every place has it’s pros and cons right? What is it about puzzles???? I think they force me to stay in the moment and keep my mind focused. I need that every now and then :-).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, the brownie pan was also WAY bigger then we needed so they came out like thin cookies. lol. It was fund to improvise – definitely have to be prepared before you get there. The no Wifi thing was really nice – it actually forced us to relax and find other ways to entertain ourselves. I am on my phone WAY too much. lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohhh, this would be right up your alley! You wouldn’t have to interact with one human for as many days as you’d like. LOL. On the snow – same here – I hadn’t seen that much in a really long time – it was nice. It’s also a beautiful place in the summer with endless miles and miles of hiking.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahh, nothing says “relaxing vacation” more than “full animal butchery.” Haha! Seriously though, it looks really nice. I’m not much of a jigsaw puzzle person, but my brother gave me one with tiny doors photos from around the world and I, too, became obsessed!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Incredible photos of what looked like an amazing stay. THe snow and scenery is simply stunning and I love the sound of being completely offline for the whole time. You can’t beat cards and puzzles can you? Looked like the perfect place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

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