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“Guest Service WOW” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Elk Mountain Ranch

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Elk Mountain Ranch
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13000 CR 185B, Buena Vista, CO 81211   |  
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Clermont, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Guest Service WOW”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

I take my daughter (30) on a vacation every year and I decided to try something I always wanted to do but never did: a dude ranch. I searched and searched and decided for us I wanted a small ranch (didn't think I'd enjoy an experience with 50 or more other people) that seemed to really know horses, one that included white water rafting at no extra cost (money is definitely a big factor for us). Boy did I get lucky. From the moment they picked us up for the ride to the ranch to the minute they dropped us off at the airport the following Sunday, we felt like we were at the Ritz of dude ranches.

I'm a senior now but during the first 30 years of my life would consider myself a very very experienced rider. I realize I haven't seen a horse for 33 years and have gained quite a bit of weight so I was a bit concerned about all the activities, especially the riding. I thought I'd be able to handle myself well but maybe it's not like riding a bike??? My daughter never rode except for Y camp when she was in second grade. I was hoping for a horse that wouldn't be boring but I wanted a super steady easy one for my daughter. Well, the wrangles and Tom (the owner) get to know you that first Sunday and they figure us all out pretty fast. Apparently they go have a cowboy horse meeting Sunday night and decide what horse will fit what guest. Holy cow do they match them up perfectly.

The food, the service (they anticipate your needs before you realize they are your needs) ... all exceeded our expectations sooooo beyond what we expected.

I highly recommend it for families, couples, and solo and a bunch of friends. It's a vacation we will never forget!!!

  • Stayed June 2012, 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
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114 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (23)
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 1, 2012 via mobile

What a great mother daughter trip this was!! I can't rave enough about the customer service and staff :) it was our home away from home....and my mom even cried when we left!

Thanks for a great memory!
Jeanne slingluff

  • Stayed June 2012
    • 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.
Cocoa, Florida
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2012

My husband and I recently visited Elk Mountain Ranch. We found them through the Dude Ranchers Association site. It looked like the experience we were looking for and it was!!
All of the staff were warm and inviting. They knew our names after the first day! Every meal was yummy. Many fresh salads and fruits accompanied the meals. Since I don't eat pork/beef, Sue made sure I had an alternate. Turkey hot dogs at cook out, chicken at main meals, and even turkey bacon:) The horsemanship orientation that Tom provided was the best we ever had. We learned so much in that hour and half that will enrich our next horse experience. The cabin had a perfect western feel. Safety on the horses was at the top of the list. The wranglers were great. The rides took different trails every time. Our favorite was the one through the Aspen forest. I could just go on and on. Sue and Tom were wonderful. They run a" tight ship"
The children's programs were great as well. So if you have families, you can ride and know your children are well taken care of.

  • Stayed June 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.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 24, 2012

My wife and I just finished with our vacation at EMR, and I can without reservation tell you that it was our best vaction ever. From the very first contact, the staff at EMR made us feel special. I had mentioned to Sue that I wanted to do a mountaintop vow renewal, and she took it from there, offering to contact a local Reverend, and just went out of her way to make our dreams come true. The rides were fantastic, the staff was outgoing, and the fellow guests really made our vacation feel like a family gathering rather than an anonymous "by the numbers" event. I do have to say, that the staff really went out of their way for us, and I am very grateful for that. My wife is lactose intolerant, and at every meal, they offered her Silk, and made entrees specifically for her, without cheese or dairy in order to accomodate. There was not a moment during our vacation, they didn't make us feel like Kings of the Mountain. If you are considering ANY other vacation other than Elk Mountain Ranch, stop now, and book at EMR. You won't regret a second of it. (Make sure to stay up after the power goes off to see the stars!)

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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Brea, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 13, 2012

We really didn't know what to expect as we have never been on a "dude ranch" vacation. I can say the brochures didn't do it justice. It was beyond our expectations. Tom & Sue and the staff were the best! The food was delicious. The accommodations were clean and comfortable. The horsemanship orientation at the beginning of the week was awesome, as you could really tell that EMR cares about their horses and their guests and wanted each person to have the best possible riding experience. My husband who is a more experienced rider than myself had a great time. Tom & Sue helped me feel comfortable on my horse (at my request) before setting me out on the trail. The horses and the riding were fantastic. The scenery was breathtaking, and we even got to see some of the wildlife. We met some great new people and can not wait to go return.

  • Stayed June 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.
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

My wife and I had never been to a Dude Ranch, and we can count on one hand how many times we had ridden a horse. But having just spent a week at Elk Mountain Ranch, it was hands down the best vacation experience we have ever had. We have been to Italy, France, Bermuda, etc. but this is the first place we definitely plan to go to again, likely next year. I can't say enough about the staff. To a person they were friendly, helpful, and one of the best parts of the experience. The food was fantastic; we did not have one bad meal, even among the several which were served out on the trail. The scenery was of course breathtaking, and their initial training before we even got on a horse was perfect, and made the whole experience fantastic. We can't wait to go next year with our children. The fact that they limit the guests to no more than 30 per week (there were 23 the week we were there) makes it a very personable, unique experience. Add in the fact that the price was amazingly reasonable; this experience would be worth it if it were double the price. I cannot say enough about Tom and Sue and the folks at Elk Mountain, all I can say is that even if you don't see yourself as a "Dude Ranch" type, you can't go wrong here. Enjoy!

Room Tip: All rooms are perfect.
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  • Stayed June 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Ellyn, Illinois, United States
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 7, 2012

We just returned from a week long stay at Elk Mountain Ranch with our 3 kids ages 5,6 and 9. As with most vacations, we did lots of research and read all the reviews. EMR is everything and more. First off, for the parents, this place is staffed with youthful, happy and energetic young adults - mostly college age or a bit older. Equestrian experience, child experience and overall young professionals in their approach to treating "guests". They like and want to hang out with you and /or your kids.....and the ranch has a kids pgm which allows you to enjoy some time on the trails/horses while the kids hunt for teepees or pan for gold with their ranch counselors....the ranch was clean, full of time to rest or do activities. Really the perfect blend of down time and an agenda... which is nice when you have small kids who get bored easily. My 9 yr old son fished plenty in the pond on the grounds, did archery, rifle shooting, horse riding of course, river rafted.... and he met other kids his age..The food was by far one of the most impressive aspects of this trip. 3 meals a day and each and every one was fantastic. Really the perfect mix of "dude ranch" lifestyle and upscale customer service. Always a smile from Sue and Tom the owners who were always around and SO accomodating. We also had booked the first week for the season which was great - because the staff was fresh and ready for the season. No bugs (yet!) and the cabins were impeccable. The weather was great - cool mornings and evenings but warm days. My kids loved the "lights out" from 11 pm until 6 am to conserve power....the flashlights were a hit for the middle of the night bathrrom break when needed ! A huge thumbs up - great place to go on your own OR with a couple friends. You will not be disappointed. Afterwards we drove down to the Grand Canyon and onto AZ for some hotel resort R&R....the chlorine in the pool was needed after a dusty but VERY worth it week at Elk Mountain!! We hope to return again someday!

Room Tip: Loved our cabin called the Aspen. Furthest from the main lodge but we were right next to the horse...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 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.
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Additional Information about Elk Mountain Ranch

Address: 13000 CR 185B, Buena Vista, CO 81211
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Buena Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Buena Vista
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colorado's highest guest ranch at 9600 feet. Weekly package includes meals, lodging and activities - horseback riding, white water rafting, shooting sports, van trip to Aspen, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hayride, square dance, childrens' program and more. Massage and overnight pack trip extra. 35 pampered guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elk Mountain Ranch Hotel Buena Vista

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