Have you already explored many local Colorado locations by hiking, mountain climbing, bouldering or cycling? What about by horseback riding? Journey into the old west, to a time before chacos and mountain bikes. A time when wagon wheels and horses were your means of transportation. A dude ranch vacation is themed in Western tradition. Don’t worry, they won’t make you wear a dress to ride, and suspenders are optional. The only requirements are cowboy boots and a desire to explore a new piece of country by a living means of transportation (horses).
The below ranches are all located within driving distance from your downtown or suburban life in Colorado, and offer a spectacular new perspective on the state you call home. Trail riding in the National Parks and National Forests of the Rocky Mountains will be just the start of your historical dude ranch adventure. Your stay will also include fine dining, nightly Western ‘cowboy’ activities and cozy high-end cabins. Bring the whole family (even the ones not too keen on horses). There are plenty of additional outdoorsy activities for them to be included, not to mention kids programs that will rival any day care or summer camp. Look over the below ranches and imagine your family summer staycation. Any questions you can’t find on our website will be easily answered by Colleen and Leah at the Dude Ranchers’ Association. Give us a call or shoot us an email. 307.587.2339 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Wind River Ranch
Wind River Ranch is located seven miles south of Estes Park, Colorado, between mile-marker 7 and 8 on Highway 7 at 9,200 feet of elevation. The ranch has one of only 15 Concessionaire’s permit with the Rocky Mountain National Park and also does have permits to ride in the Roosevelt National Forest on certain trails. You will get to ride up to Eugena Mine, Aspen Brook, Twin Sisters, Lily Lake, and many other beautiful spots. Let the horses carry you up to the top during summer staycation. Call 800.523.4212 for more details. Lost Valley Ranch
While Lost Valley Ranch is just 90 minutes from Colorado Springs and two hours from Denver, it’s the trip’s last nine miles you will remember forever. That’s where the pavement ends and your adventure begins. You may be eager to arrive…but take your time. Half the fun in getting here is changing your pace; leaving the concrete world behind and learning to watch for wildlife, smelling the fresh mountain air and reveling in the splendor of the majestic Rocky Mountains. The ranch is located in the middle of tons of adventure. Call the Lost Valley Ranch for more information at 303.647.2311. Waunita Hot Springs Ranch
Waunita Hot Springs Ranch, located high in the Colorado Rockies at an elevation of 8,946 ft., is 10 miles west of the Continental Divide. The ranch is surrounded by Gunnison National Forest land and summer pasture. U.S. Forest permits and private leases enable us to ride on, pasture and otherwise enjoy use of hundreds of thousands of acres in eastern Gunnison County. The ranch is also the site of Colorado’s hottest springs, allowing us not only water for our 35×90 ft. swimming pool, but also heat and domestic hot water for all buildings. Here you can ride all day and soak in the hot springs at night. Call them to schedule your stay at 970.641.1266. Tarryall River Ranch
The Tarryall River Ranch is located in the Pike National Forest and is abundant with great trails to ride horses or hike. They range from easy to challenging. On the ranch’s Box Canyon ride you will get to both ride and hike to some really incredible geological sites. After riding over rolling hills on a secluded trail you are able to tie up your horses to experience some extremely large boulders and rock formations. Take a look at the picture to the left and give Tarryall River Ranch a call. 800.408.8407