Earth’s Gateway to Heaven
Colorado has always been a popular vacation destination due to its majestic mountains, natural beauty, fly fishing spots, active lifestyle, and strong western heritage roots. Luckily, you can experience all of these at one spot – Colorado Trails Ranch. Combining casual luxury with the beauty of its surroundings, this dude ranch is quickly becoming a popular choice. And if you have a family, this is definitely the right dude ranch vacation for you. To find out more, giddy up through the following lines.
The History of Colorado Trails Ranch
Unlike other ranches across North America, Colorado Trails Ranch was originally established as a dude ranch back in 1960. At the time, the property had two buildings: an old barn and an anteroom which was the Coney Cove dance hall in 1912. The log structure is still withstanding time till this day, but is used as wrangler staff housing.
Over the span of half a decade, the ranch has grown beyond its ‘new’ lodge and six Alpine cabins. It had to also leave behind its tradition of allowing guests to make their own brands and burning them into the lodge’s timber posts. However, this was necessary to protect the building from burning down. Luckily, some traditions continue to this day. In addition to the arrival of staff every May over the past fifty years, Colorado Trails continues hosting the Equine Investigator’s Academy, an event that aims at teaching animal control officers and animal professionals how to identify and investigate horse abuse.
Why Colorado Trails Should Be Your Next Travel Destination
So, what makes Colorado Trails Ranch one of the best Colorado vacations destinations? Of the many reasons that come to mind, the following stand out the most.
The dude ranch is only 12 miles away from the historic mining town of Durango, a hot spot for scenic beauty and a historic landmark since the days of silver mines. The 450-acre property also shares a property line with the two million acre San Juan National Forest, allowing guests to view its natural marvels as well. Moreover, visitors get to enjoy panoramic views of the undeveloped country, which is one of the reasons city slickers visited the area since the 1800s.
The dude ranch’s cabins are very comfortable and beautifully decorated with casual luxury in mind. You can choose from the following cabins available according to your family’s size:
- Country – These two cabins are duplex units (four bedrooms and bathrooms) which share the porch area but have separate entrances. Each section of the Country Cabin is a suite that features a king bed, a bathroom with a tub or shower. The connecting room contains two sets of bunk beds or a twin bed and a bunk bed along with another bathroom.
- Longview – This cabin features a living room, king-sized bed, a bathroom with a tub or shower, and a great porch you can enjoy the surrounding views from.
- Bird House – Built in 2013, The Birdhouse is designed to offer handicapped guests all the amenities they need. One of the cabin’s two bedrooms has a king bed while the other has a queen bed and a twin bed. Each bedroom has its own sitting porch and bathroom. However, you’ll need to share the central living room.
- The Fish Pond and The Den – Built in 2014 and 2015 respectively, The Fish Pond and The Den have two bedrooms and a central living room. While one bed has a king bed, the other contains a double bed and single bunk beds. Each room has its own private bathroom. The cabins have separate covered porches on each side.
- The Lake Cabin, Mountain Cabin and The Woodlands Cabin – Three of the newest cabins at Colorado Trails Ranch, these are duplex units with covered porches on each side. Each side comprises of a main room with a king bed and bathroom. The other room has a double bunk and a single bunk. The Lake Cabin features a large living room for all the tenants of its four rooms whereas the other two have separate living rooms for each two bedrooms.
- Storm Shelter – Built in 2014, The Storm Shelter has three bedrooms and a living room. Each bedroom has its private bathroom. Meanwhile, the bedrooms contain a kind bed, two double beds, and a double bed with a single set of bunks respectively.
Great Western Foods
At Colorado Trails Ranch, you can indulge your senses in scrumptious, wholesome edibles that are fulfilling and satisfying to all guests regardless of age. For instance, breakfast comprises of cold food selections such as bagels, yogurt and cereal, hot food selections like waffles and sausage. If you’re looking for something unique, you’re also welcome at the ranch’s cookout breakfasts.
Exciting On-Site Amenities
Even if you decide to stay at the ranch, you won’t be too bored. While the Lodge is the heart of the ranch community, you can enjoy the heated swimming pool, gym, archery and rifle ranges, and basketball court. You’ll also enjoy dancing at The Opera House, playing games at The Ruckus Room, indulging in milkshakes or ice cream at Soda Fountain, or getting fly fishing supplies from the Fly Fishing Center.
A Variety of Dude Ranch Activities
There’s so much to do and see while staying at Colorado Trails Ranch, including the following:
- Horseback Riding – You can enjoy the beauty of the San Juan Mountain trails on horseback. If you’re good enough, you can even take part in the Corral Capers guest rodeo. However, if you’re new, you can learn how to ride with the help of the ranch’s experienced riders.
- Fishing – The dude ranch takes pride in being a trout heaven, so get your gear ready. You can also learn from Gordy Herrick, an experienced fisherman and head of the ranch’s fishing program. So decide whether you’re in for half-day fishing or full-day fishing beforehand.
- Water Activities – You can go white water rafting on the Animas River with one of the ranch’s experts. Children are also welcome to go power tubing at the nearby Vallecito Lake.
Aside from these, you can go on a guided nature hike, enjoy horseshoe pit games, or trap shoot (with supervision). If you’re planning on relaxing during your vacation, the ranch also welcomes you to soak up in the ranch’s hot tub or curl with a book at the covered porch.
Special Activities for Children and Teens
As a family retreat, Colorado Trails Ranch offers kids from 5-17 years a range of activities that are suitable and safe for their age. For instance 5-8 year olds can go on a picnic lunch horseback ride, while 9-12 year olds can enjoy half-day river rafting trips. As for your teens, they can be part of the action during overnight wilderness camping or archery. The best part is that you’ll get to relax with your significant other while the ranch’s skilled staff helps them enjoy the vacation of a lifetime.
The ranch understands how important affordable vacations are for families, which is why it offers a range of packages that can help them slash costs. For starters, you have discount weeks, which offer up to 20% discounts on weekly rates between set dates. You also get special packages, which maximize your savings and fun. However, you’ll need to click these links to find out about the 2016 specials before the season starts in June.
The Bottom Line
If you’re looking for a place you and your children will never be bored to be at, Colorado Trails Ranch is what you seek. Just remember to reserve in advance to book your spot. Moreover, send through any dietary requirements you and your family members have in order for the chef to avoid ingredients that could bring on an allergic reaction.
If you’d rather not avail these special packages, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 per adult in a two-room cabin. Children will be charged at $2,250 at the very least if between 5 and 12 years, whereas younger children will be charged $950. If you have a third child, they can stay with you free. You can also plan your vacation with another family and get a 15% discount. However, you’ll get more value for money with one of the ranch’s packages. Find out about those at Ranchseeker next year!