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“Awesome family vacation spot” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Black Mountain Ranch

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Black Mountain Ranch
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4000 Conger Mesa Road, Mc Coy, CO 80463   |  
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East Longmeadow
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Awesome family vacation spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Our extended family of 11 just came back from BMR. Ages ranged from 7 to 77 and fun was had by all! Everyones prior riding experience varied but we were all matched up with great horses (you can request a different horse if you don't fall in love with your match) and there were options of shorter rides for the less experienced/adventurous guests. If you didn't want to ride, you could hang at the hilltop pool or in the hot tub or try taking a lesson. I can't say enough about the staff. They were awesome! Everyone was so accomodating and went out of the way to make sure you were havig a great time. Chris' food was fantastic and the cabin was clean, comfortable and nicely decorated. We had a chance to camp out at pack camp where the food was cooked over an open fire and we were served delicious fajitas with margaritas. Tents and cots were available but my kids chose to pull their cots outside and sleep under the stars with the wranglers. Great bragging rights! The one downfall was the lean-to outhouse which lacked a door. Not for the faint of heart, but we all managed, and they have a system worked out to ensure your privacy. White water rafting was a blast and the trip to Steam Boat Springs included dinner, shopping and a rodeo. Nichola, the ranch's professional photographer, is outstanding and for a small fee you can have incredible pictures of your vacation without spending your time behind the lens ( doubtful anyone's picture can compare as she is an experienced rider and can get angles most could not.) Nights in the saloon were kid friendly with games, music and dancing with the wranglers. This trip was definitely exhausting but well worth it! My four children are ages 8- 14 and they all loved this trip. My kids now all say they want to move to Colorado and my 12 year old says he wants to be a wrangler! My 14 year old says he liked this trip better than Hawaii and wants to go back next year ( if you have a teeenager you understand how rare it is for them to want to go anywhere with their family!) Pack your cowboy boots and hat, as everyone seemed to embrace the theme. You may want to bring a nice outfit for the end of the week coctail party although it's not necessary. All in all,it was an awesome family vacation with lots of chances to meet new people and make new friends.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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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121 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 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 (20)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Maple Park, Illinois, United States
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2013

I really did my homework to find the best dude ranch fit for our family of 5 beginning with contacting the Dude Ranchers Association who were very helpful in assisting me to narrow my search down to about ten ranches. After much computer time and a checklist to help me keep it all straight I decided on BMR. My parents were right oh so long ago....it pays to do your homework! Our family of five consists of one parent that owns/rides horses, one only grudgingly sits on a horse to go along about twice a year, one 21 year old daughter that hasn't ridden regularly in about 5 years, and two boys (15 and 18) who don't ride at all but love the idea.
The staff at the ranch was excellent at listening to everyone each morning to design a day that was appealing to all of us. Short rides for my husband and long 4 hour rides for the kids that all met up at the lake for lunch together, riding lessons for the boys followed by trap shooting with our wrangler Kyle, it was these type of offerings that provided something for everyone in a pretty diverse family. Some of the highlights of the week for us were the overnight pack camp, the cattle drive and the delicious meals each day. The cabins we're wonderful and it was obvious that care was taken to match wranglers with guests. The honor Saloon was a great place for guests and staff to mingle throughout the week and really played a huge part in making us tight-knit group of good friends in just seven days. I have to say I wasn't able to stay very late each night cause I was exhausted from the days activities... a 'good' exhausted. I also saw great care being given to the families who had younger children along to make sure they were matched with a horse they could safely enjoy for the week (this would have been very important to me when mine were younger). I can't recommend BMR enough for families of teenagers though. It brought us all together to enjoy really unique activities yet as parents we could let the kids have their space in the evenings hanging out with the great/diverse staff on their own. I know the ride home was spent connecting over Facebook with the long list of new friends they had all made. It was also very nice to get to know the family that owns the ranch who obviously put their heart and soul into the business. It's no coincidence that each review listed here is so high, there are a lot of folks back at the ranch working to make sure you can honestly write one too when you get back home.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 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.
Palos Heights
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

I’ve been home from BMR for almost two weeks now and still think about our trip every day. I went with my son (18) and we had a fantastic time. He said it was the best vacation he ever had. Riding, camping, rafting, shooting, rodeo and the nightly visits to the saloon were all great.

There were about 34 guests at the ranch the week we went. By the end of the week it felt like we were all one big group of friends.

Many thanks to the entire staff and the May family. They all work very hard and are a big part of a great vacation experience.

Grab your cowboy gear head to BMR. It’s a fun filled adventures vacation you won’t forget it.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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.
Frederick, Maryland
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Hands down, my week at Black Mountain Ranch was one of the best weeks of my life. I had some reservations about what to expect, mostly because I had no idea what to expect, but it was the best vacation I have ever taken.

Between the staff, who were just amazingly friendly, helpful, and just awesome to be around (Helen, Alicia, and Perry I miss you guys!), and the horses, which were well mannered and very fun to ride (Patches was just my perfect horsey match), the week was fun filled and very rewarding. It didn't matter that I hadn't been on a horse in 14 years, I was still more then able to enjoy the riding and the gorgeous scenery. The ranch itself is situated in a beautifully rugged landscape. The food was excellent as well (Thanks Chef Bob!) There were tons of activities to keep me busy and it was just a very soulful and wonderful place.

I did find that there were mostly a lot of families there, and I was the token single gal, but honestly I never felt alone or that I was the odd man out. I actually was pseudo adopted by two families during the week! The atmosphere was just so friendly and the rest and relaxation that I had been looking for was easily found. I only wish that it had been a longer trip!

If you are looking for a fun time with family or just going by yourself to ride the Rockies and find some peace of mind, Black Mountain Ranch is a perfect place to do it! I was matched with the best horse (in my opinion), and the staff really took time to get to know the guests and make sure that everything was going well.

It really was the best vacation I've ever taken!

  • Stayed July 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
switzerland
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2013

Black Mountain Ranch is 17 hours’ straight travelling time (and 8 time zones) from home and, having just made it back, I can tell you it’s worth every one of the thousands of miles. The laundry is almost done, but there’s one thing I can’t bear (ahem Perry, Calloway) to wash just yet – the fleece jacket/travel pillow that still carries the smell of the ranch, the Rockies, and one amazing holiday.

This was a childhood dream, so I may well have been setting myself up for disappointment. Not likely at BMR. Having filtered out a few candidates on www.duderanchers.org (working ranch, small, logistically do-able) I started looking at websites, and knew I’d got the right place when the BMR site had me in goosebumps and tears. It all seemed perfect, the TripAdvisor reviews were universally glowing, every contact with the ranch so warm and welcoming (even a mail a week ahead asking if I had any more questions, and a postcard saying they were looking forward to seeing me). Yet cynical me arrives wondering where the catch is.

There isn’t one. Seriously. It really is just like it looks on the website, with the same sense of humour and fun, and beautiful horses and wonderful staff. And over the week guests and staff genuinely did begin to feel like a big extended family. As a solo traveller I never once felt left out. The problem was more the choice of companions for the day! I think like attracts like, and BMR attracts the loveliest, warmest, funniest, smartest, most interesting and most inspiring people I’ve met in a long time.

As for the riding: I forget who it was said that’s what they do at BMR between meals. (The food’s as great as everyone says, and your stomach adjusts very quickly to the breakfast/lunch/dinner bell). Your wranglers work from sunup to sundown to make sure you’re having a great time, and will even be sweet enough to show sympathy about sore muscles later on in the saloon. I recently took up riding again after a 20-year break, and both the company and my lovely horse Cassidy were a perfect match. Where I felt out of my depth one day (still a great challenge!), I rode with another group the next (and not at all one day – it’s up to you!). BMR will switch things around until you are perfectly happy. And I was.

The only thing I can add to the website (which really is true to life) and the other reviews is: take the altitude seriously and stay hydrated, even when you have a long ride ahead. And there’s no shame in puffing up the hill, even if you’re super fit at home. We’ve all done it. This wannabe cowgirl learned about altitude sickness the hard way. Don’t be proud. Hydrate. Another nice touch is the personal water bottle in your cabin to remind you to drink, and BMR – the May family and their staff – take care of you there just as they take superb care of you everywhere else.

I always said that “one day” I would go to a dude ranch. I can’t tell you enough to make “one day” now, and to put yourself in the best hands at BMR. You’re even guaranteed perfect photos from their wonderful resident photographer, who promises she’ll only show the flattering stuff. She’s a genius. I’ve never looked so good.

As one of my lovely new friends said on FB just now: “Just go!”. My jetlag and I are going to bed. Which, despite being my own bed, may or may not be as comfy as my bed at the ranch. Yes really.

Just go.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jefferson City, Missouri
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2013

BMR provides a natural high to all who are lucky enough to experience it! Just returned from an amazing 7 day, adults only vacation at BMR. You can believe every word of every review written about this ranch. It truly is a horse riders paradise. Every guest is specifically matched to a horse and then the riding begins - immediately! Up the trail you go. Remember though, what goes up, must come down and these well-trained horses are sure-footed, thank you very much! Ride twice a day or once a day. Ride with a group or plan a ride 1:1 with "your" wrangler. Would you like to go on a "fast" ride with many opportunities to lope? No problem. And the ultimate adventure, ride to the top of Black Mountain, at 10,000 ft. But, even if you are a beginning rider (like me!) don't let that stop you from going - the amazing wranglers will hold your hand every step of the way and you can always say "thanks, but, no thanks" to that ride to the top of Black Mountain or any of the activities. Be sure to ask the wranglers to tell you their story.....I found them all to be fascinating. Thanks to all of you gals & guys for your patience, encouragement, and fun times! These are young people who will inspire you. Do be prepared to experience an adjustment to the 8,200 ft. altitude at the ranch, I thought I was in good shape when I arrived, but that first walk up the hill to the cabins was humbling. Oh, and don't expect to lose weight because Chef Bob and his staff ply you with meals that are irresistible. All in all, my best friend and I will always treasure the memories we made, the new friends we made (staff and other guests), the laughter, the scenery, and, of course - that small slice of cowboy life we experienced!! Just do it - go to BMR and leave with a smile in your heart.

  • Stayed June 2013, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MV
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 16, 2013

Since taking up horseback riding late in life, I had been wanting to go to a dude ranch and experience the full flavor of such a trip. After much research, it was clear to me that the following elements were crucial in my decision: 1) must be a working cattle ranch 2) must be family owned and managed 3) horses must be their own 4) must be in the mountains, not near the mountains 5) must be a diversity of activities 6) above average good food!! I am here to tell you that BMR exceeded those elements and we will never go anywhere else! The ranch is stunningly located at 8800 ft, Texas Longhorn cattle is their business, the owners and managers, the May family, is intimately involved with every aspect of your stay, the 82 horses are theirs and all sound and beautiful, the food is gourmet, creatively and beautifully presented at every meal, and there are endless activities. As other reviwers have said, you can do as little as you want, or as much as you want. My husband reluctantly came with me and had notions of another kind about dude ranchers. He is a convert after a week at BMR. We had a cozy private log cabin, which was constructed by the family, pot belly stove, and wonderful comfy beds and high quality towels (not that it mattered, but a day in the dirt they felt so good). We were picked up at the Eagle Airport and greeted so warmly and genuniely...characteristics central to our stay. Your interest and comfort were definitely the family's agenda and nothing was overlooked. I casually asked Kaylee if there were boot pulls in the cabin...while not a routine item, it was there when we arrived. The ranch is sprinkled with the cabins and lodges, a pond, garden, rock lined paths, wonderful honor saloon with old ski lifts hanging and swinging in the front, Trading post for incidentals, laundry facilities, and so much more. So....the horses...fit and fabulous for all types of riders. Wild Bill, a Pinto, was such a perfect match for me, the advanced beginner. Poncho and my husband just got along famously. There are different trails every day according to your abilities and desires, and the talented and charming wranglers are flexible and there to help you every inch of the way. Clean fresh water in the troughs, well maintained barn, highly organized and efficient. There was a great overnight pack camp, river rafting one day, skeet shooting, fly fishing, horseshoes...emdless. Oh, did the I mention the baby goats that you could bottle feed? Oh, and the chickens, and Josephine and Hugo the donkeys, and the highly trained herding dogs. Oh, by the way, an absolutely charming professional photographer was there with you capturing your wild west dreams come true, and a lovely woman ready to give you a massage. Oh, must not forget the cattle drive, dinner trail ride and all the new friends that we have made.
You will have your socks blown off by the quality and diversity of the meals..how does chili encrusted mahi mahi grab you? Extraordinary cuisine. Should be in the Top 50 in the US! So, fellow travelers, I will not tell you the very best of the week, but it has something to do with the herd being let out of the corral for dinner! Will we return...no question ( only during adult weeks that are offered)..I cannot stop thinking about one of the best vacations of our lives....go there....you will see what I mean!

Stayed June 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Black Mountain Ranch

Address: 4000 Conger Mesa Road, Mc Coy, CO 80463
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Mc Coy
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Mc Coy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Come join us for a taste of the wild west. Your week long package includes lodging, all meals, unlimited horseback riding, an overnight pack trip, a longhorn cattle drive, whitewater rafting, fly and spin fishing, rifle and trap shooting, archery, a trip to a local rodeo and so much more! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Black Mountain Ranch Colorado

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