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“Second to None” 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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Randolph, New Jersey
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Second to None”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2012

We just returned from our vacation at Elk Mountain Ranch. It was an amazing family vacation. The hospitality provided by the owners and the staff are second to none. Everyone has a smile and always eager to please and accommodate. There are so many things to do... horseback riding, white water rafting, fishing, hot springs. You never have to worry about the arrangements. You just make your choices and Tom and Sue Murphy do the rest!

  • Stayed August 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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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmurphElkMtn, Owner at Elk Mountain Ranch, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Thank you to you and your wonderful family for making our "jobs" so pleasant. Loved having you.
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114 reviews from our community

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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
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English first
Wilmington, Delaware
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

I travel al lot for business and as a result my family gets to travel all over the country. We have been to most of the national parks, Hawaii, Disney you name it and the week we spent at Elk Mountain Ranch may have bee the best vacation we ever took. Mind you the price isn't cheep but after spending a week on the ranch you realize these people don't do what they do for the money. Everyone including the owners have a job in the off-season in addition to taking car of the 52 horses. They truly love what they are doing.
Having said that the owners, Tom and Sue, are a great couple that takes a dozen or so 20 something’s and turn them into the nicest most hardworking young people you ever meet. The service is great, the food is outstanding. When was the last time you said a heartfelt goodbye to the support staff on a vacation. They are as much a part of the vacation as the horses.

If you’re riding experience is little or non-existent don't worry. We are not horse people. We like horses but don't live and die for them but by the end of the week you not only love your horse but also appreciate where he can take you. The rides are unbelievable. The scenery was spectacular, if you go take the overnight you won't be disappointed. Keep in mind there are several different activities each day so you can ride as much or as little as you want.
There were families with kids from 6 to 18. Everybody found a new friend by the end of the week. My kids are 15 and 17 and actually had fun with mom and dad.
If you ever wanted to try this, do not hesitate.

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SmurphElkMtn, Owner at Elk Mountain Ranch, responded to this review, May 10, 2013
Thank you for your kind words. Still hoping we get a job application from your kiddos some day.
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Sussex, Wisconsin
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2012

Our extended family visited Elk Mountain Ranch to celebrate our parents' 50th wedding anniversary, so there were 13 of us, including our 7-year-old and 9-year-old daughters, 4 teenagers, one 21-year-old, several 40-somethings, and two 70-somethings. We all agreed it was the best vacation ever! Our daughters actually said it was better than our trip to Disneyworld, so that sure says a lot! We cannot say enough about the staff at the ranch. Tom and Sue (the owners) were so gracious and helpful even before we arrived, answering emails promptly and helping us to prepare for the trip, as we were all "newbies" to the ranch vacation idea. Once we arrived, we were immediately impressed. The transportation from the airport was perfect (It was so nice to be able to relax and enjoy the increasingly beautiful scenery.), and we were greeted so warmly by the entire staff upon arrival at the ranch. We immediately felt at home, and the cabins are great--clean, comfy, and cozy-but-not-cramped. The schedule for each day allows for each person to choose the best way to spend their time. The activities are varied enough, and there really is something for everyone, even volleyball and basketball courts and a game room for the kids between activities. And the food! Amazing! But truly the best part of Elk Mountain Ranch is the staff. Everyone knew our names from the first time we met them, and they often anticipated our needs even before we did! It sounds corny, but we really did feel like part of the family there. From Tom and Sue to the kitchen and housekeeping staff to the wranglers, everyone was fabulous! The kids' program was perfect for our daughters. They rode their horses every day, helped care for them by brushing and feeding them--they even thought it was fun to clean up the poop!--and doing other fun things like roping practice, hiking, hunting for arrowheads and panning for gold, and crafts and games. Even the wranglers took an interest in our kids, as we ate meals with them and squaredanced with them, in addition to the riding, of course! At dinner on the last night, Tom gave out fun "awards" for the kids, including cute little stuffed horses that actually looked like the horses the kids had ridden all week! Seriously, they think of EVERYTHING! All of us felt sad when it was time to leave because it was such a perfect vacation. We've been home for 2 weeks and still cannot stop talking about the trip, looking at our amazing pictures, and imagining exactly "what the new group is doing right now." I could go on and on, but the EMR website does give a great overview of the fabulous vacation experience they provide for you! We definitely plan to go back!

  • Stayed August 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northfield, New Jersey
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2012

Great vacation! Our family of 9 with ages 1 to 61 all came to Elk Mountain Ranch and there was something for everyone. The staff is genuinely interested in making you feel at home. I was amazed at the professionalism and attention to detail. The kids' camp was perfect for my 5 and 7 year old while I loved riding the horses. With a 7 day stay, all of the guests got to know each other well and tears were shed when we had to say our goodbyes.

Room Tip: If you are a family of 4 or more, go for the Bighorn!
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012 via mobile

My son was diagnosed with leukemia is Nov. 2010. Elk Moutain Ranch was more than happy to grant my sons Dreams Come True wish to ride horses in the big mountains. The staff is hands down the best. You will feel at home and fit right in. This was my best vacation ever and my son has memories to last a lifetime, as we all will. Great fun, activities, and food. Love, The Lee's

  • Stayed July 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 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clarksville, Maryland
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

Our family has been to Elk Mountain Ranch 13 separate weeks since 1993 and 2012. We have visited four other dude ranches in Colorado and Wyoming and there are none that compare in our opinion. The guest size is just large enough to enjoy many different people, yet small enough to get to know everyone and gain new friendships. The staff has been great year in and year out. Tom and Sue, the owners, truly care about your experience. We have gone to the Ranch with both older and younger children and there is something to do for each age group. We even took our daughter as a six month old and it was great! The cabins are comfortable and the food is great. We like to ride, and the horses and riding is enjoyable, but there are also many other things to do. It is a great experience for even novice riders!

Room Tip: All the cabins are comfortable.
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  • Stayed July 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jay, Vermont
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2012

Yep, Elk Mountain is a Ranch. Rustic, yet very comfortable. It is not a resort with a riding appendage. It is a ranch that lets a few (~35 at full tilt) lucky guests stay there. Owners Tom & Sue have imbued the staff with a helpful, cheery attitude. Together, they couldn't do more to make your stay more pleasant. Always thoughtful, looking for ways to take the burden off you and let you enjoy the day, the ride, the song, the hot tub, your book. I'd give it 5 stars, but, hey, you're sleeping in summer log cabins (not the Ritz Carleton) and it is rustic. The electric generator and hence the lights go off at ~11PM, back on at ~6AM - no problem. Lousy cell phone coverage - perfect! It is exactly what my daughter and I hoped for. The food was delicious and plentiful. No one could be hungry or thirsty. New friends, a love for riding high up in the mountains, and a new appreciation for what it means to be a wrangler. The location is spectacular with views of the Collegiate Peaks everywhere. The extra-curricular stuff was there if you wanted it - skeet/trap, fishing, rafting, hiking - but my daughter and I became fans of riding and watching the scenery roll by from the back of a nice horse, so we took advantage of *every* opportunity to ride. Never pass up a chance to ride! Can't wait to be able to share this place with the rest of my family someday soon. Can you tell, I'm a big fan of this place now?

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 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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