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“Our Very Best Vacation - Love this ranch” 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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10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Our Very Best Vacation - Love this ranch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

I’m scared to tell the world how I really feel because we plan to return and I’m afraid that if everyone else knows they will book their vacation before me. It’s really that good. Way better than we had imagined. Not only is the location a great spot, the horses are perfect – but it’s the people. Tom and Sue are meant to be and they are the real deal. They make everyone feel like family, the ones you like :) and their staff holds the bar to excellence. Oh, how I miss those riding boots! We chose to ride a lot since we use to own horses and miss them. The trails were unique every time, which allowed the rider new challenges and experiences. And when your teenager doesn’t miss sending a gazillion text message because they are having too much fun – you know you are in the right place. Sue and Tom include details for their guests that share their love of horses and all things outdoors and it’s really amazing. Everything is done to perfection and class without the snobiness of a 5 star hotel. This is a credit to the staff. They went the extra mile to make sure you enjoyed yourself while letting you enjoy them too. I’ve never had that experience before and found it to be the missing link at all the glitzy places I’ve been. We searched a lot of options and elected this ranch, it was the best decision, and we were very pleased. No one had told me the food was going to be awesome too. We rented a car and toured other places in CO that gave us a good experience to enjoy the beauty that was everywhere out west. I have traveled the world but I will always have a place in my heart for Elk Mountain. I can’t say that about a lot of top rated places. Thanks for the memories!

  • Stayed July 2010, 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

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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
Marietta, Georgia
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 8, 2010

One word sums up Elk Mountain Ranch: family. Stay for a week and you're part of the family. Check out the damp eyes each Sunday morning as guests prepare to leave. First-timers hug Tom, Sue, the staff, and each other.Those who have done it before have an even tougher time saying "goodby" to to both new friends and old friends....all family. EMR is indeed my home-away-from-home. complete with extended family members from several states and several countries. A high percentage of guests are "repeaters".

I've ridden those mountain trails for six years, and I go for two weeks each year. Tight aspen woods, pine woods, open meadows, horseshoes on slate, some trails straight up, straight down (almost), at 10,000 feet....in bear and elk country. Those trails are fantastic, and a could be a bit challenging if you've never ridden Rocky Mountain trails before. But Tom, after his orientation talk....informative, safety-oriented, and fun.... has even the first-timers relaxed and ready to ride.

Scenery: none better. Cabins: log, cozy, clean, comfortable. Food: fantastic family style....eat your fill.....wait 'till you try Sue's Eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy. Staff: you won't believe the high calibre and attitude of these kids. Horses: Tuffy, a textbook sorrell, is my sure-footed buddy. Evening entertainment: western superb.

A family ranch with a great kids' program during the summer, and super Adults-Only weeks in the fall

My home-away-from-home. And even if you prefer $660 Gucci "stone-washed, skinny-leg" jeans to Levi's and Wranglers, EMR could be your perfect high-country ranch home.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 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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cheshire
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2010

Sue and Tom Murphy and there staff are most welcoming and work hard to make the holiday special. The atmosphere is one of friendship The wranglers make the riding enjoyable Safety is paramount but without compromising enjoyment. White water rafting trip midweek makes welcome break for those that are saddlesore The overnight camping trip is an experience not to be missed - six hour ride each way
Cannot wait for the chance to go back again

  • Stayed September 2010, 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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Manchester, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2010

I've been to Elk Mountain both with family and on my own 4 times now, and would not dream of going anywhere else for a ranch vacation. The setting is incredible - gorgeous views of the Rockies and plenty of chances for spotting the local wildlife! Tom and Sue (the owners) and their family could not be more welcoming, and along with their always wonderful staff, could not do more for you to make sure you have both a fun and relaxing time.
There are plentiful opportunities for riding at a variety of paces and the opportunity to go on a long ride with an overnight camp out. Equally, if you're less keen on riding, there's also lots of time to try out activities like trap shooting, archery, volleyball, fishing or even just relax at the comfortable lodge if you're feeling lazy! Included in the trip is also the chance to go on an all day rafting trip on the Arkansas river or visit the local hot springs for a dip. One of my favourite things about the evenings was the opportunity to sit and eat the incredible food with the other guests and wranglers, making friends that I've kept in touch with since. There are also entertainments in the evenings, including square dancing and traditional music, which are always enjoyable.
With regards to the above review about the orientation - Tom gives an entertaining talk on the first morning that reminds you about safety whilst on the trail, but also informs you about the way horses think and act, which I found really interesting. I'm a fairly experienced rider, but I'd much rather go back to basics and stay safe on the trail, especially as there are always people with different levels of experience each week - even on my first visit I found the talk reassuring rather than intimidating.
One of the best things about being a 'repeat offender' (as Tom calls returning guests) at Elk mountain is that you get to see the new guests falling in love with the ranch too as the week progresses - I'm sure there can be few places where people return to so often at the earliest opportunity!
In short, I can't recommend a visit to Elk Mountain highly enough - I will definitely be returning there as soon as possible....

  • Stayed August 2010, 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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Manchester, United Kingdom
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2010

My teenage son & were U.K. visitors to Elk Mountain Ranch, in July 2010, we did not want to leave, there were tears on departure day.
The service is amazing, nothing is too much trouble, you are made to feel like part of a large family from the moment you arrive. There are no more than 30 guests at any one time so you have space too. The food all home cooked is plentiful and delicious. The log cabins are cosy and have all the amenities. You can be as busy or relaxed as you like, there are varied activities to suit every age and ability, but needless to say the amazing horses and the riding are the stars of the show. The scenery, slap bang in the collegiate peaks is AWESOME, and being on horseback you get to places you otherwise wouldn't see, and you do not have to be an expert rider, I hadn't been on a horse in over 20yrs & never ridden western, but it was great.. Sue & Tom the owners cater for everything & employ the best staff. I am planning on going back in 2012. "YEEHAH!!!" Till then I have the best memories......

  • Stayed July 2010
    • 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kent England
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2010

Picked up from hotel close to Denver International, by Tom the ranch owner, who already knew our names straight away. Arrived at Ranch in the most beautiful scenery ever! Met and greeted by the wonderful staff with big smiles, made to feel sooo soooo welcome.:)
Stayed in log cabin with all mod con's, cleaned daily, very comfy beds. The food was out of this world never went hungry, and all home made mmmmm!
We were two English girls, both owned horses as children so not unfamiliar with our four legged friends. What can I say my faithful trusty steed for the week 'Romeo' was well mannered, but with spirit, superbly looked after. ( If I were a horse, I would love to live at the Ranch).
The talk we had on the Monday morning, I found so interesting, even being experienced about horses it was excellent. The wranglers were brilliant, looking out for you all the time with those big smiles:) We were matched with horses to our ability's, and for all were perfect matches. Consideration was given to guests and horses alike, safety was a must, but we galloped where safe. The cook outs were equally fantastic. I will never forget eating on top of a mountain 2 miles up, looking across the Rocky's, unforgettable. I would return in a heart beat. Elk Mountain exceeded my expectation by miles. If you undecided don't be, you will not regret it, worth every penny. I will be back for sure !!! :)

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with friends
    • 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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Colleyville, Texas
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2010

The service was friendly and personal. We took advantage of their shuttle from the Denver Airport this time. We were happy to have the ranch owner pick us up and were able to catch up after 10 years during our ride to the ranch. The accomodations were rustic, cozy and comfortable, just what you would expect at a "Guest Ranch". All the personnel were very friendly and got to know the guests individually, very quickly. The horse orientation which occurs on Monday morning was detailed and very safety oriented. We were well prepared to begin riding! All meals were well prepared, delicious and second or third servings always available for those hearty eaters. The "on the trail" meals were especially good. A unique way to spend a week with or without children.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 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
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 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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