Rainbow Trout Ranch is the perfect way to combine Colorado Rockies splendor with northern New Mexico enchantment. We are located at 9000ft in the spectacular Conejos River Valley with the mountains soaring above us and the some of the best fishing in Colorado running right through the ranch. We promote the western lifestyle and traditions and we welcome guests to our historic lodge, rivaled only by the El Tovar Lodge on the south rim of the Grand Canyon and the Yellowstone Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. Our cabins are unique in their use of aspen and sub-alpine white fir logs and each is quaintly decorated and fronted by a covered porch where you can relax with some of the best coffee you'll ever drink and enjoy a view that falls away to the far side of the valley.
While many things combine to make Rainbow Trout the perfect ranch for a western vacation, we truly feel that our superb string of close to a hundred horses is the heart and soul. We own all our horses and we breed, raise and train Quarter Horses--so there are always foals for folks to enjoy when they come. Our guest horses are largely Quarter Horse based and we are very proud of each one and we take all care to match each of our guests with the right horse. While all our horses are excellent, our kids' horses are extra special and they have carefully carried many children countless miles, teaching as they go and leaving them with memories that last a lifetime. Our wranglers will instruct you from any level, or merely guide more experienced riders on some of our fantastic advanced rides. We offer loping, bushwhacking, team-penning, all-day rides, an overnight ride, a fun ranch rodeo where everyone can participate and we go out of our way to accommodate requests. The scenery is spectacular and our goal is to make this the best riding experience you and your family have ever had.
The first class fishing will also contribute to making this your best vacation ever. We have over a mile and a half of private fishing river teeming with mainly rainbows, but also brook and brown trout. We encourage catch and release although we are always happy to prepare your fish for any meal you like, or to help make arrangements to have that trophy fish mounted. We also encourage fly-fishing but we do have bait and spinner rods available as well as the fly-fishing equipment. There is nothing like the thrill of catching that first rainbow!
Then there are the very popular children's programs and the teen program. Each program (3-5, 6-11, and 12-17) has a counselor and varied activities and options offered each day. All programs are optional but they have proven to be a wonderful way for children and teens to enjoy their guest ranch vacation even more. We love children and we go that extra mile to make sure they have a great time riding, fishing, swimming, going on lunch rides, cooking hot dogs and s'mores, howling like coyotes on their own horse-drawn hayride and learning about horses and cowboys. The teen program is less structured than the two children's programs, and teens participate in the planning of each day's activities with options ranging from teen rides, day trips, rafting the Conejos River, the overnight trip and more. It is wonderful to watch teens evolve during the week--many of them arrive with an "I don't want to be here" attitude but by week's end they are hugging all their new friends and making plans to come back. We do have an old-fashioned Game Room (no electronics allowed!) as well as a basketball court, pool and acres of rocks and trees and outdoors to explore.
Evenings vary from dancing in the vast East Room of the lodge, to a horse-drawn hayride across the horse pasture while the sinking sun bathes the mountains and cliffs, or an evening with Will Dudley, authentic cowboy singer who has entertained our guests on Wednesdays for many years, to our adult candlelight dinner (teens and kids have their own fun plans) and finally the wrap up singalong, rodeo ribbons presentation and general talent show on Saturdays. Of course at the end of an RTR day, you may prefer to soak in the hot tub and reflect, or take a Rocky Mountain starlight stroll, or just sit by a crackling aspen log fire. We want you to relax, body, mind and soul, and this is the place to do it! By the way, we always say that RTR is particularly great for Moms and Mr. Moms as there is no cooking, cleaning or worrying about everyone having a good time. There is plenty of "me-time" to read, or walk, to take a ride, go on a hike, or lie by the heated outdoor pool, or play a game of horseshoes by the river at an evening cookout.
There is plenty more of course; please call so we can tell you about it. Or check out our main website for many photos, guest reviews and as much information as you want to read. And remember our proximity to New Mexico--many of our guests fly into Albuquerque, rent a car and make the easy drive to Santa Fe to enjoy "the city different" for a night or two and then drive on up through wildly rugged and beautiful country to our alpine Colorado haven here at the ranch. There are other great arrival options too, but mixing the southwest with the Rockies gives you two unique trips in one!
We are family owned and operated and we look forward to sharing the magic of Rainbow Trout with you.
Doug, Linda, David & Jane Van Berkum
Come live the west with us, RTR style...