This is a great place to learn to cross country ski, and the Ranch actually caters to beginners, offering group lessons that are very reasonably priced. Rental of skis and trail passes are the same as other Nordic areas in the state, and are generally newer and provide more options than other areas. Devil's Thumb Ranch does provide dining options, from a cafe' with sandwiches to a beautiful dining room called Heck's, at varying prices, and also offers a Day Lodge for those who wish to bring their own lunch and keep costs down. Otherwise I agree that his is by far the best Nordic area with the best maintained trails and beautiful views.
Best Nordic Resort Denver 2010 - Devil's Thumb Ranch
With its relatively steep trails — and prices to match — Devil's Thumb isn't the place to go for your first time on cross-country skis. Set against the hills of Roosevelt National Forest between Fraser and Tabernash, however, it's a breathtakingly beautiful site. The ranch's 100 kilometers of groomed trails offer more than you could possibly get bored with in terms of difficulty and distance, and there are plenty of extras available, from a professional (ski) wax to maintenance and lessons.
I agree Devil's Thumb Ranch is the state's best Nordic Center and also think it's the best place to learn how to ski (for first timers). Also, trail passes are really affordable -- less than $20 per person on the weekends and season passes that cut this cost down even more. The Activities Center Nordic Staff are skilled, enthusiastic and very thorough in their approach to orienting and familiarizing all levels of skiers, and beginners in particular, about the nuances of cross country skiing. I have been with a lot of first timers who fell in love with cross country skiing at the Ranch based on their experiences with the Nordic staff. In addition, the Ranch's 100+ km trail system makes it ideal for all ability levels as the first several kilometers are in the beginner/advance beginner realm, with the more challenging trails further out -- allowing advanced skiers to warm up and beginners and intermediates some closer in easier trail options.