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“Service equal to the Ritz Carlton” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Trails Ranch

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Wilderness Trails Ranch
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23486 Country Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122   |  
Hotel amenities
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Service equal to the Ritz Carlton”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 6, 2012

With the exception of Jan, the female half of the proprietorship who was on occasion, capriciously rude and unwelcoming, the staff at WTR was really quite wonderful, providing me with an experience of a liftetime. It is because of her unwarranted hostility that I cannot in good conscience give the totality of the experience the 5 Stars I would, otherwise, have rated it. The title of my review is no exaggeration. Any problem, any "need" I experienced, I could ask any of the excellent and attentive staff to fulfill - whether it was their "job" or not. Inadvertently locked out of my cabin, I saw one of the cooks (Taylor) walking in the distance, called to him that I was locked out and he detoured to the office and retrieved a key. He did not grumble, he did not smirk (it was the 2nd time he'd unlocked the door for me), and when I smiled and said "thanks," he said "no problem" with an even bigger smile. When I asked Lance(?), the owners' son, to plot a course for me to drive back home, he delegated it to Eric, a wrangler. Later, Lance saw me and asked if Eric had plotted a satisfactory course. I was impressed by his diligence. I was as impressed by Eric for when I came for my computer printout, he had not only plotted a course to the hotel I planned to 'overnight' at in Nebraska, but went a step further and plotted a second course from Nebraska to my doorstep. Again, all done with a smile.

Then there was Stacy, a wonderfully friendly and competent young woman who shared with me an intimate life story. As well as Jackie, an all-around employee who regaled me with archeological stories of the area as well as - and often - with her own life story (I "love" life stories!). And, of course, there was our wrangler, Nate, who was taking a break from real-life cowboying. Under his tutelege, I felt like a real-life cowboy "apprentice" his instructions on riding and driving cattle was so expert.... not to mention he was really good at dancing the "two-step", even if he danced 'pigeon-toed.' I also learned much from Eric about the agonies and glory of riding the rodeo circuit, plus the fact that his mother wants him to quit the circuit and settle down and give her some grandchildren ...lol.

Last, but not least, the Chuck Wagon cook was the absolute best! Never have I tasted ribs so perfectly seasoned or cooked so tender (my mouth waters thinking about it). And his desserts - oh my goodness!

So other than the jarring unpleasantness of Jan and her attitude (fortunately I did not see her often), I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. Did I mention I had written an email to a friend telling her exactly what I was looking for - riding horses during the day and sitting in a rocking chair on my cabin porch gazing at the stars at night - and that it was EXACTLY like that? Only with really quite wonderful people, of all ages attending to my every 'want', thrown into the mix? I would recommend WTR to anyone.... with the caveat to keep away from Jan. SMH

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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66 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    54
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    2
    3
    2
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36
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Biddeford
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 24, 2012

This was an interesting and exciting week though I personally prefer to be in mixed company. Still, I enjoyed the experience and enjoyed being pampered by the staff. The food was fabulous and the Thursday evening dance was lots of fun. And, the guests were a fun mix of adventurous women.

At one point during one of my morning walks I told myself: I think that I could live here.

If there were not so much that I want to see, I certainly would return to Wilderness Trails Ranch. However I am looking forward to a brand new adventure next year.

Micheline

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

I went on this vacation alone but left with new friends from CO, TX, WI, Australia and the UK. The wranglers (modern day cowboys) know what they're doing and introduced us to their culture (riding, roping, wrangling, trailblazing and horsemanship). Although I hadn't ridden in years, my skills soared with their guidance. The program began with scenic walks and arena work but progressed nicely into challenging rides through incredible forests and up to a 10,000 ft peak. Be prepared to gain a few pounds or deny yourself scrumptious hearty meals and spirits. If you're looking to escape 'tech' overload and rediscover serenity, book a trip to WTR. I drove away in tears...it was so tough to say goodbye to the ranch (and my new equine pal, 'Rico').

Room Tip: Cabins vary slightly. If you're tall, ask for the open beamed units (I'm 5'7" and...
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clearwater, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2012

The current stellar reviews of WTR are exactly right. The vibe was like joining some favorite relatives at their awesome ranch and having no responsibilities. The horses were beautifully trained and perfectly assigned. During my stay, the trail rides and cattle working sessions were in small groups each arranged by skill level. Then it was cocktail time in the saloon, followed by a yummy dinner with excellent choices and never a bad dessert. Those of us who were a little rusty on the two-step or the cotton-eye Joe got a chance to practice with the upbeat staff (especially Stacy) before Thursday evening when the guests were joined by a few fun-loving locals for dinner and western dancing to the best live band around Durango.

Stetson's off to the Roberts Family for putting together the perfect package and delivering perhaps the best vacation of my life. No more cities for me!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Howell, Michigan
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

We could not have picked a better place to fulfill my wife"s "bucket list" dream. We can't say enough about the staff, not only were they very knowledgeable and excellent teachers, they were just fun to be around. Having never been to CO, we both were in awe with the views from everywhere. The accommodations, food, and and atmosphere of the ranch were excellent. Really met all our expectations. We both learned a lot about riding and ranching with the "hands" on experience. Thanks for all your hard work.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Durango, Colorado
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2012

Wilderness Trails hosted our Leadership Retreat for 20 people and made the success of it! The staff was so welcoming and accomodated any need that we had. The facilities were comfortable and charming; giving us a feel from being away from the outside world but yet, still provided us the technology and tools to create a positive learning environment. Every one of our participants had positive reviews of the Ranch and we intend to use it as our Retreat venue every year!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rocky Mount, North Carolina
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 11, 2012

Bottom Line Up Front - Outstanding property, Superlative Staff, Outstanding Food, and a Perfect Stay. We both have traveled the world from Fairbanks to Christchurch, Seoul to Sidney, Kabul to Santiago, Bora Bora to Jaipur and nowhere did we find a bunch of more personable hosts that we discovered at this ranch north of Durango, Colorado. My DW and I stayed during week of 2-8 September 2012 during adult only week. WTR staff (Vanessa, Stacy, Jan, Eric, Sky, Allie, Catherine, Eric and Nathan, et al.) went above and beyond the call of normal duties to make our stay one of the most memorable experiences in our lives. So much to say - accommodations - great; cabins were neat, tidy and meet any traveler’s needs. View of the valley – to die for! Pool and hot tub were just right after a day of riding (cool and hot). Sky’s collations were outstanding! But most of all the wranglers (Eric and Nathan) made this trip a true "City Slicker" moment in our lives. Whatever you do, go out on the cattle drives – once and a life time experience. Unlike my previous reviews – I have nothing critical to say about WTR. WE WILL RETURN!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilderness Trails Ranch

Address: 23486 Country Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122
Location: United States > Colorado > Bayfield
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 11 Specialty Lodging in Bayfield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Ride, Relax, Recharge! Experience the freedom of the West at our stunning, secluded, family-operated dude ranch. Wilderness Trails is nestled in a true mountain valley surrounded by wilderness. All-inclusive 3-6 day packages include exceptional dining, cozy cabins, tailored horseback riding and cattle work, youth programs, water skiing, fishing, excursions, and evening entertainment. Serving western hospitality and lasting memories since 1970, join WTR for the best week of your year! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Wilderness Trails Ranch Hotel Durango

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