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 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.
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.
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.
- 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