We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Relaxing Ranch Experience” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Wilderness Trails Ranch

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Bayfield
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Wilderness Trails Ranch
23486 Country Road 501, Bayfield, CO 81122   |  
Hotel amenities
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Relaxing Ranch Experience”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2013

This was our sixth guest ranch experience. We have stayed at two others, one twice and the other three times. Here's how they compare: Wilderness Trails was more expensive than the one we have visited three times (the other one is no longer in business); the cabin we had could have been more comfortable by placing furnishings differently; and it is more isolated than the others. On the plus side -- and the plusses far outweigh the small minuses -- the horse program was outstanding, with great wranglers; the location made for a very relaxing atmosphere; wi-fi was available at the lodge; and you won't find better food on a top notch cruise ship. The Robertsons apparently provided a generous food budget, and Chef Sky Hamilton prepared every meal to perfection. Wilderness Trails is really worth considering if you want a ranch vacation.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
wildernesstrails, Manager at Wilderness Trails Ranch, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are very open to hearing your thoughts on how we could make our cabins more comfortable! Please do not hesitate to contact us as we value your input and would love to chat about your experience and insights.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

62 people have reviewed this hotel

Traveler rating
    53
    3
    2
    3
    1
See reviews for
36
5
7
1
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 (8)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 2, 2013

A friend and I decided to go to Wilderness Trails Ranch for Cowgirl Week after reading the good reviews. We went to bond and have some camaraderie with ladies of similar interests. Well, we soon found out that, other than one woman who brought her own horse and stayed in her trailer, we were the only guests staying at the ranch! The other lady was a friend of the owners, so I don’t really consider her a guest on our level and that was a surprise to us, but I suspected something was off because I never got a definitive answer as to how many other cowgirls were coming. They told us that 4 had canceled, but I tend to doubt it.

The ranch staff didn’t want us to come to the ranch directly from the airport because check in was after 3pm. That was strange, but we walked around Durango for a couple hours and had lunch. The staff driver picked us up and drove us the ranch where we checked in but had to pay upfront before even seeing the cabin! Apparently there were only two guests the week before and we didn’t understand why we couldn’t check in right away. The driver didn’t really know how many guests or how many staff at the ranch, which was odd. I think he knew about the guests, but didn’t want to say. Also, about half the staff had left the week before.

The cabins are well appointed with a great western theme. The scenery is beautiful but with a limited view from the porch of the lodge. Meadows had horsed grazing, but there were prairie dogs and their holes. The staff actually said they shoot the prairie dogs for target practice! I am an animal lover and that made me very upset. What a thing to say to guests!

My horse was selected for my riding skills very well. His name was Tigger and he took signals very well. My friends horse seemed to fit her skill set also. The wranglers were what we called “the real thing” including chaps, scarves, spurs, etc. I appreciated that a lot. We worked with a mustang on ground work in a ring, which was a lot of fun and educational. Also, one day we did an equine clinic wit Barb Richter, also fun and educational.

Due to the lack of guests one or two staff members were invited to join us in activities, which I didn’t appreciate because we were the paying guests.

There was something peculiar about the ranch and staff and the vibe of the ranch was off, which we picked up on. A husband and wife, Jan and Gene, own the ranch. Sadly Gene has dementia, however was allowed to intermingle with us. That was very uncomfortable. Apparently he had an altercation with the chef. Yikes!

The schedule we had been given was loosely followed and some activities were either forgotten or ignored altogether. I believe it was because it was just the two of us, which in reality shortchanged us. We did a cattle drive, but were not told exactly what to expect and thought we would be doing arena work with the cows first. That didn’t happen and we drove the cattle up the mountain bushwacking through the trees and over stumps and logs. My horse jumped a log when I thought he was going to step over it and I almost fell off. I didn’t want to ride after that due to the bad vibes and drama at the ranch. Drama being that almost every staff member had issues and problems. Unfortunately we had to hear them because they sat with us during meals, partly our fault because we asked questions.

The pool was not heated because we heard the heat was turned off. The hot tub didn’t work either because the motor was burned out. Housekeeping was also lacking. We heard that staff couldn’t get paid and they were asked to leave earlier than they expected to for the season. We could tell something happened because of the attitudes of staff and the wranglers. They were distracted and distant.

We really wanted to leave as fast as possible by the end of the week. Friday we had had enough. We went for a hike on Friday to get away from the bad feelings. There is much more, but I think you will get the idea.

I would like to know who wrote the previous, positive reviews as our experience didn’t come close to theirs. It wasn’t all negative and we did have fun in the beginning of the week and on our visit to Mesa Verde. The scenery was beautiful but the elevation is over 8,00 feet and the oxygen is thin. Be aware of the thin air as it affected me for a few days. Both of us did get used to it after three days.

All-in-all I would not recommend this ranch for Cowgirl Week. Perhaps family week or adult week there are more guests, which would make for a better vacation.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013 via mobile

Recently returned from fourth year visiting the ranch. It is truly a spectacular place for a family vacation. My grandson age 11 was gone from 7 am until 10 pm in constant motion with fishing, riding, tubing and just hanging out with his new friends. My disabled adult daughter loved the riding and playing pool. I was alone but met some wonderful people to share drinks and conversation. The food by Sky is incredible and all the wranglers like Doc, Dallas are terrific. Working with the cows is more fun than you can imagine. Will definitely return next year.

  • Stayed August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Annandale, Virginia
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

From the moment we drove in to the Wilderness Trails Ranch, we knew we were in for a treat! Nestled in a mountain valley, the setting of the ranch house and surrounding log cabins is breathtaking. The highlight of our trip was the daily horseback riding on the mountain trails and even helping the wranglers move cattle. Novice and experienced riders are helped by the friendly and professional wranglers Doc, Dallas, Ray, and Wendy. They are the "real deal" and make the experience authentic and memorable.

Other activities included a hayride, live music, country dance instruction, campfire sing-along, hiking, yoga, fishing, tubing and a children's rodeo. All of the staff are welcoming and accommodating, from the owners Jan and Gene to the excellent chef Sky and the bartender Eleanor. The food was excellent and exceeded our expectations, from made-to-order breakfasts to dinners of elk and scallops to prime rib and salmon. The Watering Hole offered Colorado wines, beers, and liquors.

The ranch is small enough to be comfortable and inviting and is perfect for family reunions, small groups, and corporate retreats.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 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.
Annandale, Virginia
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2013

Our family of 4 (2 kids ages 6 & 8) just returned from WTR. The good reviews on TripAdvisor are true! We had a wonderful week. The first night home our son cried himself to sleep because he missed "his" horse. The staff really set WTR apart-- they were all friendly and helpful. We enjoyed getting to know the other guests and our kids loved playing with the other kids. If you go, don't miss the cattle driving or yoga on the porch. We loved the formal dinner on Thursday night as well. Our kids loved the Kids Rodeo on Friday and the hike they took one afternoon to a creek (maybe a river) where they learned to light a fire and roast hot dogs.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lincoln, Nebraska
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

This is my third time at this ranch I like it so much I keep bringing other family members! The Trail rides are half day or full scenic rides I have never had a bad horse yet. Somedays they offer cow work that is a blast so if you have never tried it IT IS a must! everything e I come there is someone who has not done it and they have always said man am I glad I got to try that ;0) Some evenings they have BBQ around the chuck wagon with bond fires and sing alongside. one night a week they have dance lessons and one night TONIGHT they have. Big dinner and dance. it's a blast! This year I tried fishing with a guide on his boat we caught bass,pike and of course Rainbow Trount which you can bring back and they will cook it up for you. the ranch also has a stream running threw it with fishing poles or stocked ponds to fish on. I have staiyed in two different cabins and they are both very nice. Yes they have Internet and a full bar. very family friendly with a full kids program and a kids rodeo on Friday... I am coming back again this time with more grand kids! I have been to more the this one Guest Ranch and this one is a diamond...

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • 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 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Antonio, Texas
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2013

My husband and I took a kids-free trip to Wilderness Trails Ranch to celebrate our anniversary, and we couldn't have picked a better place. We worried a bit at first about being the only ones there without kids but it wasn't an issue at all. You won't find a friendlier family than the Roberts Family. They truly make you feel at home and will go out of their way to make your trip what you want it to be. Because we weren't part of a family reunion that was there at the same time, we sometimes wanted to do a different activity than the rest of the group. It wasn't a problem- they found us a guide and made it happen. The guides and wranglers are really great and you get to know them as the week goes on. They all sit and have meals with you so it has a real family feel. You can do as much or as little as you want. We were surprised with a cake at dinner time for our anniversary, and champagne and choc covered strawberries were waiting for us when we got back to our cabin that night. A true testament that they listen to their guests and care about making their trip special. The chefs were fantastic too, serving wonderful food at each meal. And super accomodating too- if there's something on the menu you don't like, no worries, they'll fix something else just for you! We really liked the happy hour each evening, and it was fun getting to know all the other guests. The area is breathtaking. I can't say enough about this family and their service. We will definitely go back someday and take the kids.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 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.

Been to Wilderness Trails Ranch? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

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 ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 10 Specialty lodging in Bayfield
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
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

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Wilderness Trails Ranch, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.

Bookmark for later
Save Saved
You added Wilderness Trails Ranch to your Saves list