RanchSeeker Blog

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Spotted Horse Ranch

7/15/2015 7:03:52 AM

Make Spotted Horse Ranch, located near Jackson Hole, top on your list for your next dude ranch vacation. You will find life laid-back at this Wyoming ranch where you will feel as if you have returned to a simpler time similar to the old west. The pace is different here- leisurely, comfortable and relaxing-but never boring! Choose from fly-fishing, hunting, and a scenic float trip on the Snake River or white water rafting for the more adventurous traveler. For those guests who want to get a taste of the wilderness that surrounds the ranch there are overnight pack trips available. And of course, there are daily trail rides to choose from. Come experience thousands of acres of scenic forest lands. Don’t forget your camera as you will be treated to majestic mountain vistas and valleys of wildflowers all from atop one of Spotted Horse Ranch’s Appaloosa horses.

Wyoming Guest Ranch
Spotted Horse Ranch

Two nights a week during the summer months the ranch hosts evening cookouts. Live entertainment provided by local talent and the smell of steaks grilling over an open-fire will take you back to a time gone-by. There is also volleyball, ping-pong, square dancing and horseshoes to try your hand at while taking a break from the more energetic activities. For the ultimate in rest and relaxation, guests are taken to the local hot springs for a dip in the natural “hot tub.” There are even great hikes close by, so you can warm up a bit before, well, warming up! Guests stay in comfortable individual cabins made of log featuring modern conveniences from home have spacious rooms with private baths and all embody the true spirit of the West. In the main lodge you’ll find the dining room that overlooks the Hoback River as well as a living-room with a beautiful rock fireplace and lounge. Other main features include a sauna, whirlpool, video library, and laundry facility. Spotted Horse Ranch truly has something for everyone so make your next summer vacation a dude ranch vacation!

Happy Trails!

A Solo Traveller's Guide to Dude Ranch Vacations

7/10/2015 1:37:18 PM

While the idea of traveling on your own may seem like a scary proposition, it’s actually one of the most thrilling experiences you’ll ever try. For starters, you get to spend more on yourself because you’re traveling on your own. You’ll also gain a powerful understanding of your own self now that you have time to be alone. If you’re sold to the idea of traveling alone, here’s a destination suggestion: dude ranches.

Single Dude Ranch Vacation

Why It’s Time to Saddle Up to a Dude Ranch

Unlike other vacation options out there, dude ranches provide single travellers with a lot of opportunities and benefits, including:

Become a Cowboy/Cowgirl Away from Judgmental Eyes – If you’ve been hesitating to live your childhood dream of becoming a cowboy or cowgirl, you don’t have to anymore. Dude ranches are the perfect place to giddy-up and be whoever you want to be without worrying about what others think. In fact, you get to interact with others who share the same dream, which is another perk of vacationing at a dude ranch.

Befriend Others who Share Your Passion – OnAt the ranch, you’re bound to come across individuals who love the Western culture, horse riding, and the beauty of nature just like you. Rest assured that you’ll be able to make friends for life there. You may even meet The One and return to the ranch for a romantic getaway later on.

Enjoy a Friendly, Family-Like Environment – Most dude ranches are run by their owners and their family members, which is why these facilities flaunt a friendly and intimate environment. In addition to offering group activities, you get to share your meals with others on at the ranch.

Connect with Yourself in Ample Privacy - If you need some ‘me’ time to revive your mind, body and spirit, this is the right place for you. Surrounded by Mother Nature’s masterpieces, these facilities offer you a spectacular view of the mountains, valleys or even the desert. You can head out there for some alone time or simply curl in your room or porch with a book.

Have Fun During Adult-Only Weeks – Many ranches host their own adult-only weeks, especially during the  Fall. During these special dates, you can enjoy a range of activities such as wine tastings, country dance classes, themed receptions and cookouts.

Where to Head During the 2015-2016 Season

If you’re planning on traveling alone during ranch season 2015-2016, consider the following options, especially since they don’t charge single supplements. Crystals Waters Guest RanchNestled in British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin, this guest ranch on Crystal Lake is surrounded by scenic lakes, meadows and forests. Famed for its horseback riding and fly-fishing, the ranch invites you to enjoy its facilities for $199 with horseback riding or $145 without.

Crystal Waters Guest Ranch

Tod Mountain Guest Ranch – Another British Columbia ranch, Tod Mountain ranch is best known for its private cabin accommodation, home cooked meals, and hands-on horseback riding experience. To become part of the fun, opt for the Wrangler Experience Package (starting from $345 in summer and $325 in fall), Ranch Adventure Package (from $527 in summer and $455 in fall), or the 24-Hours Taster Package ($345 in July and August or $325 all other dates).

Tod Mountain Ranch

Free Rein Guest Ranch – In the heart of British Columbia’s wilderness, the 285 acre Free Rein Guest ranch is perfect for those who seek a Canadian adventure. Winner of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, the ranch can accommodate 12 guests. Book your own stay starting from $825 for three nights in May and October or $975 between June and September.

Free Rein Guest Ranch

Western Pleasure Guest Ranch Idaho’s Western Pleasure Ranch promises a rustic vacation that is both comfortable and entertaining. For singles, the ranch offers an Adult Horsemanship Week. The five-night program, which is scheduled between September 6 -11, 2015, includes lodging, meals and activities including horseback riding and trail riding. Book your own slot for $1,250 plus tax right away.

Western Pleasures Ranch

Laramie River RanchThe century-old ranch at Glendevey, Colorado is renowned for its western hospitality as well as range of specialties including fly fishing and wildlife adventures. However, adults only are welcome between August 30 and September 13, 2015 for a minimum of $956 for three nights.

Laramie river ranch

Chilcotin Holidays Guest RanchSince the 1980s, this British Columbia based ranch has offered its visitors an all-natural experience. For solo travelers, Chilcotin Holidays offers its 10 Day Horse Assisted Hiking Trip on August 11-20 and the 7 Day Pack Trip on September 6-12, 2015. Women interested in enjoying a break are also welcome to the Autumn Cowgirl Getaway planned in October.

Chilcotin Holidays

So don’t worry about traveling on your own and get set to enjoy the experience of a lifetime.

7 Activities You Can Enjoy at Dude Ranches (Which Don’t Entail Horses!)

6/12/2015 3:15:28 PM

While many dude ranches tend to emphasize on their horseback riding packages, they do offer more amenities and activities to please all their guests. If you haven’t booked a dude ranch holiday yet simply because you don’t want to go horseback riding, here are seven activities that you can enjoy sans horses.

#1) Fishing

Fishing at dude ranches is special because you get to indulge in your favorite hobby in a wide, open space or near the mountains. You also get to experience the thrill of watching fish rise to your offering through the clean, clear waters of nearby springs or ponds. If you’re a fishing enthusiast and want to fish this holiday, the following dude ranches are great.

The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – An upscale working cattle in Shell, WY, The Hideout boasts 10 miles of creeks, casting ponds and challenging streams of the Cody and Yellowstone Park. If you’re in the mood for brook trout, brown, Yellowstone Cutthroat and rainbow, this is where you should be.

Fishing at The Hideout Lodge

Vista Verde Guest Ranch – If you’re planning on visiting the Rocky Mountains, head to Vista Verde and get the chance to be engulfed in serenity while fishing for rainbows, mountain whitefish and grayling. The ranch also offers high quality gear, including Sage rods and Simms boots, but you’re welcome to purchase equipment from the Fly Hut.

Spotted Horse Ranch – Located in Jackson Hole, WY, the Spotted Horse is perfect for fly fishing as it has access to some of the best streams and rivers for trout. You can also choose to go on a guided fishing trip or attend a casting lesson on Monday afternoons.

Bar Lazy J – Nestled on ¾ mile of the Colorado River, Bar Lazy J provides its guests with a memorable fly fishing experience. You can also cast your lure in the stocked trout pond, go on a fly fishing guided tour, or attend the Fishing Clinic lessons to improve your technique.

The Bar W Guest Ranch – This dude ranch offers ranch fishing at the Spencer Lake during summer, allowing you to catch small bass fish and even pikes. As one of Montana’s finest, The Bar W also provides access to the best fly fishing facilities and can hook you up with lake fishing within Flathead Valley.

Colorado Trails Ranch – A self-proclaimed Trout Haven, Colorado Trails has over two miles of private water on the Florida River, offering its guests excellent fishing spots on cold mountain streams. You can opt for a half-day fishing trip or a full-day one.

Crystal Waters – If you want to fish year-round in British Columbia’s Cariboo Chilcotin, Crystal Waters Ranch is perfect. You can fish at Crystal Lake between May and mid –July and again from September to late October. Once the lake freezes over, you can go on an ice fishing trip and catch rainbows as well as other local fish.

#2) Wall Climbing and Obstacle Courses

If you have adventure flowing through your veins but don’t want to ride horses any time soon, you can get thrills and chills while climbing walls or challenging yourself at a dude ranch’s obstacle course. Some of the ranches which offer this facility are:

Red Horse Mountain Ranch Idaho’s prominent dude ranch offers a challenge course and climbing wall which will keep your mind and body fit. While challenging, the 63 ft. climbing wall, 30 ft. platform, and 300 ft. zip line are checked and maintained regularly for your safety.

Climbing Wall
Climbing wall at Red Horse Mountain Ranch

Red Reflet Ranch – In addition to guiding you to explore several climbing sites, you can flex your shooting skills at the rifle range or go skeet shooting.

Vista Verde – Offering a twice weekly trip to climbing areas in the National Forest, the ranch will take you on a short hike up the climbing rock, where you can even learn climbing and rappelling.

White Stallion Ranch – If this is your first time climbing, White Stallion’s certified instructors will help you against the boulders located at the eastern end of the ranch. The ranch offers eight 25' to 35' climbs, but will expand to 125’ – 150’ climbs in the future.

#3) Archery

Archery is one of the popular non-riding activities at dude ranches, especially on days when you want to be outdoors but not out on the range. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games or DC’s The Arrow, you can perfect your archery skills at the following ranches.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch – This dude ranch provides an archery course where you get to build or improve your shooting abilities at 12 shooting stations. Perfect for both families and group events, this activity will ensure that you feel adventurous.

The Hideout Lodge and Guest Ranch – The Hideout invites you to its newest archery range, which feature professional archery mats instead of bales of hay and straw. The wranglers promise to “help you and set you up for a great Robin Hood time.

Bar W Ranch – Offered during summer, the archery program at Bar W focuses on teaching using recurve and compound style bows. Rest assured that you’ll hit a bulls eye every time in the future.

#4) ATV Rides

If you’d rather ride an ATV, many dude ranches will deliver. In fact, this experience will stand out since you’ll be riding through scenic trails surrounding the ranch. Here are some places where you can rent ATVs on the side.

Crystal Waters Ranch – The ranch offers to book you a tour with the nearby Cariboo ATV Tours. While on their tour, you’ll discover the natural beauty of British Columbia and explore remote lakes during your breaks.

Red Reflet Ranch – Red Reflet has 20 ATVs, four of which are for children. After instructing you on how to use the vehicle safely, you can explore the nearby trails via tours or groups.

Bar 10 Ranch – Bar 10 offers the most exciting ATV adventure, allowing you to ride through the Grand Canyon’s 217-mile-long, 6250-foot-deep gorge. You can pick between 90 minute tours to full day ones to truly explore the place.

ATV Rides
ATV Rides at Bar 10 Ranch

#5) Bird Watching

Most dude ranches are far away from civilization. As a result, you get to explore different flora and fauna than you do in the city. Even if you don’t want to leave the ranch, you can see different species as they hop on nearby branches and chirp their hearts out. And this is what Howard Creek Ranch has to offer. The ranch has a list of local species sorted out by the months you can watch them in. For instance, of you want to catch a glimpse of robins or scrub jays, visit the ranch in June.

#6) Cooking Classes

If you want to make your vacation a special one, learn a new skill such as cooking. Dude ranches are known for creating delicious dishes with special flavors you can’t copy without chef’s recipes. At Vista Verde Ranch, you can enroll in the ranch’s weekly cooking class to learn the secrets of bread baking, formal dinner recipes and much more. By the time you go home, you’ll know much more than microwaving meals. You can also join wine tasting classes to learn about wines and develop your knowledge on the topic.

Culinary adventures
Culinary adventures at Vista Verde Ranch

#7) Spa

Though you may want to rough it up during your vacation, you can’t expect to transform from a city slicker overnight. This is where a spa treatment will be valuable. Not only do spas offer the perfect balance to ranch life, but they also give you a chance to enjoy indoors while others are out on the trails. One of the relaxing ranch spas in British Columbia is Echo Valley Ranch, which specializes in Thai skin care, massages, and scalp and hair therapies. The authentic Baan Thai spa also offers western style treatments which you can try during your stay.

Spa services
Spa Services at Echo Valley Ranch

To enjoy these activities, book your next vacation at any of the suggested dude ranches or search through our database for facilities which offer them.

RanchSeeker's Photo of the Week: Southern Cross Guest Ranch

6/3/2015 6:52:23 AM

Considered “One of America’s Best Dude Ranches" by Travel + Leisure Magazine, Southern Cross Guest Ranch, is a wonderful All-Inclusive vacation in a horse lover's paradise. It is conveniently located in Central Georgia’s Historic Heartland and is within an hour’s drive from Atlanta. The ranch is best known for its exceptional hands-on horseback riding program, unguided riding opportunities, and peaceful, comfortable setting and is also home to well over 150 quality Paint and Quarter horses. There are various activities to choose from while staying at Southern Cross Guest Ranch but horseback riding is the featured activity. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced rider they have the horse for you. Lessons are available for those that need them and each rider is assigned their own horse for the duration of their stay based on their skill level. For a true hands-on and bonding experience you are encouraged to groom and help tack your horse. Rides consist of small groups of three to seven people and will take you across beautiful open pastures and lush wooded trails and the climate in Georgia is ideal for horseback riding all year round.

Georgia Guest Ranch
Southern Cross Guest Ranch

Other activities at the ranch include swimming in the pool, soaking in the hot tub, relaxing with a good book, playing pool, darts or foosball in the game room, riding mountain bikes, throwing horseshoes, shooting basketball or simply taking a nap after a delicious home-cooked meal. You can also use the ranch's convenient location to visit many of Georgia's local attractions like golf courses, shopping, fishing, skeet shooting, museums, and more. It’s your vacation and you can choose to be as active or restful as you want to be while staying at Southern Cross Guest Ranch. The ranch prides itself in providing good old southern hospitality, delightful accommodations, exceptional cuisine and a guest ranch experience for its guests year round. So for your next vacation why not consider Southern Cross Guest Ranch? Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Vista Verde Ranch

5/28/2015 7:38:13 AM

Nestled in the Elk River Valley is Vista Verde, a luxury dude ranch just north of Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Come enjoy the splendour of the Rocky Mountains with your family, friends, in a group, alone or on a romantic getaway with that special someone. Dude ranch season runs from June through late-October and it operates as a winter ranch from mid-December to early-March. During the spring and the fall the ranch closes down for “mud season” as Colorado locals fondly like to call it. Accommodations at Vista Verde are first class! Quiet, peaceful and luxurious cabins are available with one to three bedrooms and one to three bathrooms. Cabins feature living rooms, wood stoves and private hot tubs on the deck. The spacious, deluxe rooms are conveniently located in the lodge and have sitting areas, balconies and spectacular mountain views. Amenities include a swimming pool, classy Indoor Riding Arena, Kids cabin and a fitness center.

Colorado Luxury Ranch Resort
Vista Verde Ranch

The first part of the summer is set-up for family vacations, and September and October is for adults only. While Vista Verde pride themselves in providing an in-depth horsemanship experience they also offer a wide array of fun activities to choose from. Try your hand at fly-fishing in clear mountain lakes or rushing streams or hop on a mountain bike and choose from three different two wheeled adventures. There’s also hiking, rock climbing, paddle boarding, rafting and kayaking. When you feel like slowing down there are photography lessons, yoga, spa treatments and weekly cooking lessons and wine tastings. Wintertime Colorado becomes a Winter Wonderland. Take a sleigh-ride or strap on some skis and try a variety of styles of Nordic skiing from classic to skate to back country. There’s also snow-shoeing, “fat” biking (bikes with wide tires that allow you to bike across snowy terrain) and snow tubing. The ranch also offers their riding program during the winter months as well as photography lessons, yoga, spa treatments and weekly cooking lessons and wine tastings. The Vista Verde Ranch family will treat you and your travelling companions to personalized service and true Western hospitality. Their friendly, experienced staff is waiting to help you have an unforgettable Colorado dude ranch vacation. The ease of planning an all-inclusive vacation with so much to choose from will have you coming back year after year.

Happy Trails!

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Colorado Trails Ranch

5/21/2015 8:42:17 AM

Fun, adventure and breathtaking scenery await guests at Colorado Trails Ranch located in the San Juan Mountains outside historic Durango, Colorado. For over 53 years the ranch has been offering an authentic dude ranch experience to its visitors. Guest ranch stays are all-inclusive and provide the opportunity to re-connect with family members, create new friends, memories and perhaps learn a new skill. The best way to experience the beauty of the San Juan Mountains is from atop a horse. There are vast mountain ranges, creeks and meadows to explore. It doesn’t matter whether you are a 1st time rider, advanced or fall somewhere in between there are riding options for people off all ages and skill levels. You can choose from morning rides or afternoon rides or both. The more adventurous rider can also take part in team penning and steer soccer, for a small additional charge.

Colorado guest ranch
Colorado Trails Ranch

Colorado Trails Ranch offer a vast array of activities to do aside from horseback riding. You will be in trout heaven if you love to fish. If you are new to the sport you can learn the basics of fly-fishing and for the more accomplished fisherman there is the opportunity to try out some more challenging spots where you can test your skills out. Other fun activities to try are white-water rafting, trap shooting, and archery, guided nature hikes in the forests and mountains, volleyball, swimming in the heated pool and power tubing for the kids at the nearby Vallecito Lake. After a fun-filled day it’s time for the nighttime activities to begin. Many of the evening’s events are suitable for both kids and adults to enjoy together. There is Western dancing in the Opera House where you and your family will learn the footwork for square and line dancing. And everyone enjoys ice- cream social night, going on hayrides and cowboy campfire sing-a-longs. One night is always reserved for wood-fired cookout serving up beef tenderloin, chicken breast and all the fixings to be enjoyed under a magnificent Colorado sky. A guest ranch vacation at Colorado Trails Ranch can be as active as you want but it can also be just as relaxing too. You can kick-off your boots and enjoy some quiet time in your comfortable, and beautifully decorated cabin or take a relaxing soak in the ranch’s hot tub under a Colorado starry sky. There truly is something for everyone while visiting Colorado Trails Ranch.

Happy Trails!

Burnt Well Guest Ranch

5/19/2015 2:14:03 PM

A Dude Ranch in Alien-Friendly Roswell

Though Roswell, New Mexico has made a name for itself through the UFO crash in 1947, it’s also home to the Burnt Well Guest Ranch. This is one of the best places to reconnect with yourself, nature and your family. The New Mexico ranch has been around for three generations since 1950 but became a guest ranch in 2003. If you’re looking for a place where you can unwind yet still enjoy an adventure, read on to find out why Burnt Well may be what you seek.

Burnt Well Ranch

The History of Burnt Well Guest Ranch

In the early 1900s, the land on which Burnt Well was established was a popular grazing area where cowboys brought their cattle. However, when the Homestead Act was enacted, settlers moved in. According to the act, if they could live off the land for a year, they could earn a section of it easily. To rattle settlers on this land, cowboys from Bloom Cattle Co. burned the wooden windmill tower the former put up and threw its posts down a well on the property. This is why the area became known as Burnt Well camp. By 1950, Ivan Chesser purchased the land and raised his family. His son Kim, who was born and raised on the ranch, decided to carry on his father’s legacy. Kim loved the ranch way of life, but loved interacting with people more. After marrying Patricia, a native of New Mexico, he turned his home into a guest ranch whereby they could both treat visitors to long horseback rides, ole country food, and fiddle music at night around an evening campfire.

What to Expect During Your Visit

Kim and Patricia Chesser’s hospitality is unparalleled, but that’s only one of the reasons why Cowboys and Indians Magazine ranked Burnt Well Ranch as one of the Top 11 Working Ranches Worth Waking Up Early For. The following are some of the perks you’ll enjoy at Burnt Well Guest Ranch. Outstanding Riding Experience The dude ranch has 15-20 horses of a variety of breeds such as quarterhorses and geldings. You can ride on one of these across the ranch’s 15,000 acres and 10 miles of water pipeline any time of the day. There isn’t a riding schedule you should stick to. However, you’re welcome to guided rides accompanied by Kim, Patricia, their son Tye or anyone else. Or another staff member.


Specialty Weeks Burnt Well offers a number of activities which you can enjoy for a whole week. For instance, you can go on a cattle drive, which is paced according to guests’ wishes. The ranch’s cattle drives flaunts an Old West style, allowing you to experience hot breakfasts, suppers and nightly campfires while out on the trail. You can also go on a Cowboy Camp or a Cattle Working Cowboy Camp, both of which start at $1,915 plus tax. The Art of Marriage One of the special weeks at the ranch, it’s  are held once in December, January, February, June, July and August. Kim and Patricia will strengthen your marriage during a week of fun activities. However, be ready to spend a considerable chunk of your time during the most unpleasant half of the day (coldest or hottest time) watching a series of videos from Family Life’s The Art of Marriage. Comfortable Accommodation at the Casita If you don’t want to spend a lot of time roughing it up on the plains, consider booking the 600 square foot Casita. Built for those who seek peace, it is far from traffic, cell phone service and the town itself. However, you can bring your own music and videos as there’s a VCR and DVD player there. Moreover, you can cook your food in the fully equipped kitchen or BBQ grill. Perfect for couples, singles or family retreats, this is a good option for those who don’t want a full service dude ranch stay but would like the other perks on this list. On the other hand, you can move into the lodge and enjoy the hospitality that has put Burnt Well Guest Ranch on the map.


Child Friendly Activities Children at the ranch will learn how to ride safely using a halter and lead rope. They can also enjoy the arts and crafts collected in the guest house’s toy box as well as play board games. For older children, you can opt for animal and horse care activities as well as trail riding.

Other Non-Traditional Activities You can enjoy bird watching or a dunk in the hot tub at the ranch. However, there are off-site activities you can go for too, such as trips to Historic Lincoln, the Roswell International UFO Museum and 1947 UFO crash site, or Ruidoso Downs Race Track. Also in season is ranch rodeo, in which Kim has participated four times and qualified for World Champion. To find out more about the ranch’s availability or current rates, don’t hesitate to contact it right away. So give Burnt Well Guest Ranch a visit if you seek a relaxing yet exciting holiday in New Mexico. Rest assured that you won’t experience a single dull day since  from the time you step arrive at  this working ranch.

RanchSeeker’s Photo of the Week: Marble Mountain Ranch

5/5/2015 6:46:25 AM

In Northern California you will find Marble Mountain Ranch, a guest ranch, which offers American ranch holidays centred on a Western Trail Riding theme. Come join the adventure! Here, your horseback trail riding vacation is combined with exciting guest ranch activities like white-water rafting, kayaking, sporting clays, fly fishing, jet boat adventures on the Lower Klamath and traditional American ranch events. Foodies love Marble Mountain Ranch for its fine cuisine. Executive chef and ranch owner Heidi Cole creates healthy, hearty, wholesome, meals using only the freshest ingredients using produce from the ranch’s very own gardens and orchards. After spending your days outdoors in the crisp mountain air taking part in the various activities provided by the ranch you will find that you will enjoy mealtimes even more than usual.

California Guest Ranch
Marble Mountain Ranch

Marble Mountain Ranch is a great place to bring your kids. With lots of fun, educational and exciting activities to choose from you will never hear “Mom, Dad, I am so bored.” From riding games, Western shooting sports in the morning to kayaking and fishing in the afternoon and camp-fires in the evenings your kids will be entertained from sun up to sun down. Even your little ones have a special program designed just for them like enjoying nature walks, arts and crafts, feeding small animals, harvesting chicken eggs that are still warm, and more. Whether you prefer a cozy cabin, or a deluxe furnished home, one thing for certain is that the lodging at Marble Mountain is designed to provide each guest with comfort, quiet and surrounding beauty. Perfect for individuals, couples, families or larger groups, Marble Mountain Ranch will always accommodate the needs and special requests of their guests to the best of their ability. So for your next vacation consider a stay at Marble Mountain Ranch….a great choice for adventurers, foodies and families! Happy Trails!

Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

4/28/2015 4:59:05 PM

Colorado’s Rustic Retreat All Year Round

Hidden in a wild valley on a pristine mountain like, western Colorado’s gem Coulter Lake Guest Ranch promises a unique experience all year round. The small ranch near the Rocky Mountains is part of the White River National Forest, which is world-renowned for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Complementing Mother Nature’s gifts are the facilities and hospitality which you’ll enjoy to the fullest, whether you’re alone, with your family, or simply with your special someone.


Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

The Who and What of Coulter Lake Guest Ranch

Over seven decades old, Coulter Lake has been welcoming visitors to the Rocky Mountains, creating memories to for those dropping by to enjoy their vacations, family reunions, weddings and getaways. Since 2008, Tim and Sue Weller have been managing the activities at the lake and welcoming guests to their new home for the next few days. Tim is an expert wrangler, which is why he leads the pack and oversees the hunting program. Meanwhile, Sue manages the kitchen, the cabins and activities on the ranch. Together with the rest of the staff, the Wellers offer a unique experience to all vacationers, especially those seeking quality family time, trail rides, a broad range of summer and winter activities, and outdoor wedding locations.  Coulter Lake Guest Ranch provides comfortable accommodations for those who just want to relax during their visit and enjoy western gourmet meals served family-style.

Coulter Lake

Why Your Next Vacation Should Be at Coulter Lake

The dude ranch has a range of tempting offerings that you can definitely enjoy on your upcoming vacation, including the following:

Green Vacation

 If you’re conscious about the ecosystem, you should definitely consider Coulter Lake. The ranch relies on solar panels and hydropower to generate most of its electricity, but it uses propane generators to back its system. Moreover, with no cell phone service, e-mail or TV, you will get a break from technology to focus on the important aspects of your life.

Six Cabins with a View

Coulter Lake has six cabins, two overlooking the lake and four spread across the ranch’s aspen trees. Brookview, Woodland, Hilltop, Aspen, Lakeside, and Forest Haven have been built between 1934 and 1950, offering visitors a rustic place to sleep. However, there aren’t any air conditioning units or mini fridges as the cabins are at 8,100 ft. and the running stream helps in keeping beverages cold.


Great Food

The home-cooked meals are one of the reasons vacationers head to the dude ranch every year. Served at the lodge or outdoor locations, the food is prepared in a traditional Dutch oven. You can have your fill of French toast, eggs, blueberry pancakes, BBQ ribs, and even steaks. If you have a sweet tooth, rest assured that you’ll be treated to something new every evening.

Wide Range of Activities for Both Summer and Winter

The summer season, May through August, is considered one of the best times to enjoy horseback riding, hiking, swimming, boating, golf and wildlife observation. The ranch is close to great attractions such as the Frying Pan River, the Riparian Zone trail, and Rifle Creek Golf Course. As for winter, you can take part in activities such as sledding, ice skating, x-country skiing, and snowmobile tours.


Big Game Packages

If you’re a hunting enthusiast, there are different game packages which you can take part in. Coulter Lake can customize hunting packages for elk and mule deer from $1,800 per person sans guide. On the other hand, spring turkey hunts start from $600 per person for three-day hunts

Different Programs for Different People

The dude ranch is famous for its Wilderness Adventure Programs, which can be four weeks long to ensure that you learn important skills such as wilderness horsemanship, fishing, outdoor cooking, and survival. You can also take part in Cowboy Camp, which can be a weekend-long or full week with your family. Another option is the Guide and Packer Program, which is a four-week program that teaching you how to set up and manage your own hunting camp or help one out.

Discounts and Special Prices

To help you save while vacationing, Coulter Lake offers a range of seasonal discounts. For instance, for summer, you can get 15% off by booking between May 23rd and June 6th, or knock 10% off a holiday for a group of five or more.

The Bottom Line

Coulter Lake Dude Ranch is definitely one of the prominent vacation spots for those heading to Colorado. While it may be too rustic for those dependent on technology, it’s ideal for people who want to connect with their loved ones and the nature surrounding them.

Ranch Spotlight-Laramie River Ranch

4/3/2015 11:18:28 AM

The Newest Old Ranch in Colorado

For those who have dreamt of becoming real cowboys or those who simply desire the rustic western lifestyle, Laramie River Ranch is ideal. Nestled in the majestic Rocky Mountains, the ranch flaunts scenic surroundings with views of wildlife such as antelope, elk and moose. It also boasts a wide range of activities and even a kids’ program, earning it a spot on the 100 Best All-Inclusive Resorts of the World and Jim Balzotti's Best Guest Ranches and Horseback Riding Vacations.

Laramie River Ranch


Laramie River Ranch – Yesterday and Today

According to many of the ranch’s structures, Laramie River Ranch dates all the way back to the 1880s. At the time, Glendevey, Colorado was home to numerous ranches due to its beautiful surroundings and proximity to the city (just 45 minutes). Since then, the ranch changed hands until it was sold to Bill and Krista Burleigh. In addition to changing the ranch’s name from UT Bar Dude Ranch, the couple and their children have worked to make this rustic 1,360-acre ranch an attraction for modern travelers. The historic lodge built in the 1880s features a stone fireplace, a large living room and a dining room that offers a view of the Rawah peaks. Complementing these are climate controls, electronics and modern amenities you may need during your stay. There are also five historic log cabins which were constructed from the local forest’s lumber by hand. In addition to offering similar amenities to those in the lodge, you get a personal cookie jar that is refilled daily whenever the room is cleaned.

Laramie River Ranch


What to Expect While Visiting Laramie River Ranch

The cozy accommodation options with modern facilities are just one of the things which make this dude ranch worth visiting. If you’re in Colorado between June 7 and September 13, 2015, here are some reasons to consider residing at Laramie River Ranch. Rustic, 100% Original Western Menu If there’s one thing which this dude ranch knows for sure, it’s that guests tend to develop healthy appetites. To ensure that you enjoy every aspect, the dude ranch offers informal, western meals served family style. Starting from ranch baked breads to authentic cowboy desserts, your palate will enjoy every morsel entering your mouth. Complementing the food is beautiful views of the nearby Rawah Peaks and Laramie River. Fun Activities for Families, Couples and Singles There’s no end to the fun and excitement offered at the ranch. In addition to horseback riding and hiking, you can take part in many guided activities such as wild flower walks, bird watching, stargazing, and casting animal tracks. You can also pick up a few ranch-related tricks such as grooming and saddling your horse or roping. If you’re the kind of person who goes with the flow, do so literally at the Laramie River. You can float down the river via innertube before reaching the lodge. However, if you’d rather stay wet and indoors, you’re welcome to take a dip in the hot tub.

Laramie River Ranch

Special Program for Children

Laramie River Ranch offers three programs for children: Toddlers and Infants, Kids Under Six, and Kids Six and Over. Through the first program, babysitters will take care of your toddlers while creating programs around your schedule. For those under six, counselors will arrange for children to take part in adventures such as pony rides, swimming in a great hole, and hay rides. Finally, kids over six can participate in the riding program to explore the valley’s ecosystem. They’re also welcome to guided rides, tubing, fishing, and bonfires among age-appropriate activities

Entertainment Options Indoors


To make evenings fun at the ranch, live musical entertainment is offered. From cowboy poetry to fiddle players and all the way to cowboys with guitars, rest assured that no minute is boring. You can even join other guests and the crew while square dancing, regardless of having two left feet.

Exciting Rodeo Show

By staying at this dude ranch, you can easily take part in the area’s popular rodeo show. Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo (July 17-26, 2015) is the daddy of all rodeos, dating all the way to 1872. The event includes numerous shows such as steer wrestling, bareback bronc and team roping. The rodeo also features historical attractions like the Indian Village and the Old West Museum.

Laramie River Ranch

Action-Packed Cattle Drives

What’s a cowboy without cattle? Laramie River Ranch offers you the chance to be part of its bi-weekly cattle gathering and “team pen” activities. You can even participate in moving the cows and calves of neighboring ranches during spring or fall, but you should call ahead for dates.

Laramie River Ranch


The Bottom Line

Promising visitors the real deal, Laramie River Ranch promises to make your visit to Colorado a memorable one. For a minimum of $956 for three nights (Sun-Wed), you can enjoy all the ranch’s offerings and even tag your family along for a fun-filled holiday. To learn more about the ranch, direct your URL to http://www.lrranch.com/.

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