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“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” 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
Charlotte, North Carolina
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2010

The Good
The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The ranch's small size (only 9 cabins) helps in this regard. The scenery is, on the whole, beautiful. The food is very good and evening entertainment was very good. Accomodations are average - think Holiday Inn in the woods.

The Bad
The ranch is surrounded on three sides by its neighbor's property. This significantly limits the riding opportunities. Fortunately the ranch does back up to National Forest - which offers a lot of variety on longer rides. For shorter rides, however, you are basically limited to a 1.5 hour loop. Our kids unfortunately had to ride this same loop repeatedly. The adults rode it more than we would have liked.

Trotting and cantering is possible but limited to a few smalli/medium-sized fields. You essentially get to trot or canter for 15 seconds then it is back to nose and tail riding. This is primarily due to the restricted property boundaries. It is also a function of Colorado's large groundhog population. Riders must stay on the trail while cantering lest they injure themselves stepping into a gopher hole.

The Ugly
A large wildfire scarred the landcscape around the ranch in 2002. The 1.5 hour loop referenced earlier travels through several burned areas and some of the hills across from the ranch were badly damaged (90%+ trees destroyed). Overall the secenery is beautiful - just not unblemished.

Summary
This ranch gets a "B-." For the price I expected nicer accomodations and a greater variety of riding options. Dude ranches are mostly about riding and this one fell short on this account. The only area in which the ranch exceeded expectations was the quality of its staff. The were friendly, helpful and responsive.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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.
wildernesstrails, Owner at Wilderness Trails Ranch, responded to this review, March 17, 2011
Wilderness Trails Ranch strives to be certain that our guests experience an outstanding all -inclusive vacation. We were sorry to hear we did not meet these folks’ expectations.

Our ranch borders wilderness of 555,000 square miles and is where we ride. The landowner bordering our ranch, does not affect our riding and we have a great variety.. We are uncertain why these guests rode on the same trail, which is highly unusual, but possibly a safety issue, because of rain. Normally rides go to a different wilderness area every day.

Terrain will dictate where we are able to canter/lope; however, we have approximately 12 areas where we are able to ride at a faster pace. Safety is our main concern. Rider’s skills need to be appropriate for the ride and difficulty of the trails. Because of uneven, rocky terrain, faster riding is limited to trails that are safe for horse & rider. We do not have groundhogs, but do have other burrowing rodents in some areas. Independent riding off trails is offered in areas that are safe and accessible.

A fire did occur in 2002 which consumed some trees on and near our property. The resurrection of trees has been dramatic with young conifers and aspens everywhere. There are still some dead trees in a small area. Our guests however constantly comment on the beauty. Many say we are the most beautiful mountain area they have ever been.

We’ve never been labeled “Holiday Inn in the woods”! Our log cabins are classy, extremely clean, and truly comfortable, decorated “Western style”& get numerous “rave” reviews. Amenities included in the cabin are often referred to, “on guests survey” as going “above and beyond” what was expected. Every deck has a pristine view in the beautiful Pine River Valley.

We invite everyone to come to us with suggestions, comments or improvements. As they noted, our staff was “friendly and accommodating.” We cannot correct the fact that we had a fire, but are always willing to correct any thing that is within our power to change.

The ranch, is our passion and has been for over forty years. Again we are so sorry we did not meet these guests’ expectations and wished we would have known about this when the guests were at the ranch. We care about our guests more than you can imagine. “Our guests are, our friends".

The Roberts Family
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66 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Niwot, CO
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 5, 2010

We recently returned from a stay at Wilderness Trails with our three children and our parents. What a perfect place for an extended family vacation. The children were delighted with riding with their own age group and counselors, and we adults were free to ride with our own group or hike, relax, or explore the other activities offered. We really enjoyed coming together for dinner to swap stories and participate in the nightly entertainment. The staff is incredible---everyone knew our names by dinner, and they were extremely flexible and accommodating with our group's desires. Lodging is rustic, but comfortable and clean. The food was delicious, you can hardly take your eyes off the beautiful scenery, and the Natural Horsemanship clinic absolutely changed the way I feel about horses and riding. In short, a great vacation! We would recommend this to anyone looking to fulfill their Western dreams or to reconnect with nature.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2010

My family have been visitors to Wilderness Trails for more than fifty years. I can say it is still the most beautiful spot in the world. The ranch lies in a private open valley with a river below and the pine-covered mountains above. Add the ambiance of the ranch lodge, cabins, and horses and it just doesn't get any better, except for the above-standard level of service.
The Roberts family and their friendly staff are able to meet your every need and make your stay enjoyable. And for the parents, you can relax on this vacation as the ranch has a children's program like no other. The program has several age groups and provides age-appropriate activities while the adults can enjoy their own skill-level horseback ride. Extra attention is given to matching each guest to a safe and patient mount. Just sit back and take in the awesome scenery and wildlife. Or guests can take advantage of the hiking trails or local fishing.
Add to all this, executive chef meals, special kid's meals, evening activities for the family, an abundance of night stars, and a relaxing let-go-of-it-all climate and you have a vacation that will leave you refreshed and wanting to come back.

  • Stayed June 2009, 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.
Los Angeles
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 26, 2010

Well I visited the ranch because my sister had told me how beautiful it was. I also visited because it was cowgirl camp and I am an experienced horse person that wanted to learn and ride in Colorado. I was so happy with the quality of the horses they provided and the beautiful scenery was beyond all expectations. The food is fresh and just plain good. All the employees were enthusiastic and out to have fun and ensure that I had a great time. I also brought my 2 year old daughter and she talks about Colorado to this day. The employees are great with kids, she asks me when we are going back!

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 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.
Oswestry UK
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2009

Having stayed at another ranch last year we were a little worried that WTR would be able to live up to our expectations, IT DID, and surpassed them, The riding was brilliant, and the wranglers receptive and open to suggestions and requests, and happily altered the planned rides to fulfill our requests. They matched the horses very well to each riders skills. The food was brilliant, by the end of the week my wardrobe was drastically reduced to just loose fitting clothes! All the ranch staff were receptive to comments and requests and swiftly responded appropiately. All activites that had been advertized were offered. It is an expensive ranch but I suspect that is because of the high ratio of staff to guests, it was great to have different levels of rides for the adults.

  • Stayed August 2009, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 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.
Syracuse
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 2, 2009

My friend megan & I had done alot of "lookng" prior to booking this ranch, and we kept coming back to it because of all the qualities it had offered. That is a under-statement, this place had more then we expected. As a horse lover and horse owner I do believe because we asked what we could do , besides just a regular trail ride, they accodated extremely well. We went on trails that not your average person went on, I re-named some of those , as I say EXTREME trails. Erika had taken us out, to a really pretty spot over looking a lake, and Gary & Joe were also awsome about taking us out to tails that were not for the faint of heart. Those horses were very brave, hard working , in great shape, and well cared for. Now as for the Food, OMG , we had the best food , we were NEVER hungry , and being fed 3 times a day and riding we spent all those calories just keeping that pace all week. The coffe and breakfast in the Am was more then we thought we would get, fresh fruit , bagels, made to order breakfast ect..........lunch was always something new , and YES you can pack a lunch to take on your adventuredepending on what you chose that day. The cabins were really clean , neat and ALWAYS HAD HOT WATER. I am thrilled to say that all those prior reviews about the down turns people were not happy, are BUNK , to each is own if you do not ask do not expect the trail hands and family that run this ranch to read your mind. Also if you are not a Horse person and you do not ride often , do not expect to ride anything but single file for your safety.This staff cares about the care of the animals as well as guests..........thank you to all of you , you were all very professional & remembered.........Carol

  • Stayed July 2009, traveled with friends
    • 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 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maryland
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2009

My mother treated her 4 children and grandchildren to the most amazing week at WTR. 18 of us (grandchildren ranged from age 4-20) had the "week of our lives". There is so much to share about WTR. First and foremost, the staff is incredibly warm, welcoming and customer oriented. The kids program is phenomenal. Our children cried themselves to sleep on the last night as they did not want to leave their counselor and the entire experience. Each day the kids have so much fun doing so many different things. The adults can relax and enjoy their own rides. The adults enjoyed doing cattle 101, massages, and daily rides. The food is truly outstanding. Lunch, breakfast and dinner. Truly awesome. The night of branding, the award ceremony, the dance, the rodeo, waterskiing....all of it was wonderful.

I would recommend WTR to anyone and everyone. It makes for a wonderful venue for a family or for a large extended family reunion with lots of cousins.

We are grateful for the week of memories that we just created with the Wilderness Trails Resort staff!!

  • Stayed June 2009, traveled with family
    • 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.

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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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