Winter came surprisingly early to Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado, crushing my plans to mountain bike and fly-fish amid fall foliage. Luckily, horseback riding is on offer year-round at the ranch stables. My horse Rusty braved the chilling temperatures (I was told Tabernash is the 5th coldest place in the U.S.), and the snowy trails during a three-hour ride across the property's 500 acres. Wildlife spottings included coyote, elk, and the ranch's famous 2,800-pound cow, Butters.
Post-ride I thawed out by the outdoor fire pit and then warmed up at Heck's Tavern with a whiskey-laced hot apple cider.