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!!!
- 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