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“Wonderful Vacation” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Deer Valley Ranch

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Deer Valley Ranch
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16825 County Road 162, Nathrop, CO 81236   |  
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10% off room rate
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful Vacation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 8, 2013

Where to begin is always difficult when describing a truly amazing place.

To begin with we did a family vacation with several families, so there were quite a few of us. None of us had ever been to a dude ranch and all I can say it more than exceeded our expectations!.
Food: What can one say when the food is more than plentiful for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Speaking of breakfast. DVR has two wrangler breakfasts. What fun it is to ride a horse to breakfast, there are always two DVR wranglers to lead the way. If riding is not your thing, you can take a nice hike. If hiking is not your thing, DVR will transport you to breakfast. The point being, everyone is made to feel included.
Lunch, yummy. My favorite is when we went to the cookout and had burgers. Families could ride a horse to, or drive, or be transported to the site. The all families softball game that followed was terrific fun.
Dinner, my goodness the food was quite good. We never had a bad meal. The food was simply wonderful.
Speaking of food, one family member had to eat gluten free meals and DVR went above and beyond for her. They always remembered to make her gluten free desserts or gluten free cookies.

Activities: My daughter and son never rode a horse before they arrived at DVR. The wranglers were simply amazing. They were so patient with all the riders teaching everyone to ride who hadn't ridden before. The morning or afternoon rides were terrific. Ben and his crew even arranged for a family ride with 10+ riders. For those who want to feel like a true cowboy they can rent boots and a hat for a rediculously low price.

Our two kids were 11 and 9 so they participated in the kids activities and all I can say was they were never bored. Kelsey and Emily were fantastic with the kids. It was so safe to leave the kids with those two.

There were teenagers in our group and all I can say was that they were completely occupied. The teens always talked about how much fun they had on the activities.

We stayed in a cabin not the lodge. The cabins were large and spacious and I loved waking up and enjoying the views of the mountains. At night my family enjoyed the views of the stars.

DVR has many activities for everyone who chooses to participate. One can either choose to participate or not choose. Nobody is pressured to do any more or less than they would like to do. There are many hikes to take, horse riding, golf, white water rafting....Noah's was great...never did it before and loved it. Square dancing.....yes, square dancing. I had never square danced before and gosh did I have a blast!!!!! The whole square dancing was fantastic. Watching the staff help us to learn the dances was a tremendous amount of fun. The hayride was a hoot. A gentleman singing and playing the guitar, "Big" Ed reciting cowboy poetry......what fun.

John, what a nice guy, there aren't enough words to describe how nice and friendly he is to all the guests. What was even more fun was watching how he and my nine year old talked baseball. Go Dbacks!!!

The staff. The staff was incredible, always pleasant and nice. Always greeting everyone with a hello. Such friendly young people.

As my nine year old just said, "it was a really fun experience". If you are looking for something fun and different.......go.

  • Stayed July 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.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for posting! We are so glad to hear the entire family enjoyed their vacation at Deer Valley. Our meals, kids' and teens' programs, and all other activities are truly unique. There are always plenty of things to do, as well as many opportunities to relax! We hope your fun memories will bring you back to us soon!
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126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 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 (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Phoenix, Arizona
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2013

The 15 of us in our family range in age from 8-70 and take a group vacation every 2 years. Deer Valley Ranch is now our #1 choice. The riding, white water rafting, hayride, hiking, cabins, programs for kids and teens, and food are truly amazing. The staff went out of their way to make us feel very special. I would highly recommend this all-inclusive vacation to everyone! It cannot be beat!!

Room Tip: We loved the cabins over the lodge rooms.
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  • Stayed July 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
We enjoyed meeting your whole family, and we are so happy they all had a wonderful time. Deer Valley truly offers fun for every age! We hope your family will return to see us!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

Trying to find an 'Out-west' vacation can be challenging, to say the least. To save others from spending hours on the internet, I'd like to submit the following review about Deer Valley Ranch.

My family and I go to the best place on earth. Every Summer, we go to Deer Valley Ranch in Nathrop, Colorado. Deer Valley Ranch is located at the foot of Mount Princeton, at the base of the Chalk Cliffs. In the mornings, we have the blessing of waking up to incredibly beautiful, blue Colorado skies, majestic views of 14,000 foot Rocky Mountains, and a delicious homecooked, family style breakfast with some of the nicest people in the world.

Deer Valley Ranch was founded by Parker and Clara Woolmington in the mid-50's, so that families would have a place to come for a nice, western vacation. If you know anything about Walt Disney, this is a similar reason to why he opened Disneyland - to give families a safe and fun place to vacation together. It is my opinion that Mr. Parker and Mrs. Clara were visionaries of the Walt Disney caliber. Thousands of families' lives have been positively impacted by Deer Valley, including mine. Everything that occurs at Deer Valley is suitable for your family. There are no shows, parties or activities that are morally inappropriate for anyone.

Days at Deer Valley are filled with unbelievably delicious meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), instructional horseback riding as well as trail rides through gorgeous scenery, unbeatable kid and teen programs, swimming in natural warm springs pools, relaxing in one of two hot tubs, hiking in truly unspoiled back country, fishing a well-stocked lake, or just sitting on the front porch of the lodge reminiscing with old Deer Valley friends or getting to know new Deer Valley ones. We have also whitewater rafted with the folks at Noah's Ark, whose owners are good friends with the Deer Valley folks.

One slogan Deer Valley has used goes something like "Arrive as guests, leave as family", and I can attest that the slogan is true!

Lodging at Deer Valley consists of cabins and rooms in the lodge. Lodge rooms are centrally located and ideal for small families, singles, folks who can't walk long distances, and guests who want to stay where they can smell breakfast being cooked first thing in the morning.

My family stays in a cabin every year. For this traveler, it is the perfect mix of rustic and modern. Walls are paneled with knotty pine, floors are carpeted and warm to the feet on those chilly early mornings, most cabins have more than one bathroom, the kitchens are fully equipped for those wanting to cook their own meals, and each has a good sized porch for those cool Colorado Rocky Mountain evenings. I AM NOT one who enjoys camping, and these cabins are perfect for me. Our favorites are Hortense and Alpine.

As mentioned before, meals at Deer Valley are homemade (with recipes that are now handed down to the third Woolmington generation) and served by the sweetest and friendliest young ladies you will ever meet. We so enjoy getting to know each one of them as we rotate through their tables. Desserts - even the most disciplined of us is tempted by the scrumptious creations offered to us at lunch and dinner.

The horseback riding is one of the biggest draws for us, having one horse-crazy daughter. We have all learned to ride with the help of very patient wranglers. Our daughters, ages 14 and 12, came to the ranch in 2007 as non-riders. Each year the wranglers work with all of us at our own pace, helping us to become more comfortable and raising our skill level. Our 14 year old daughter has used her experience at Deer Valley to graduate into showing horses. A great joy for me is to be able to watch her in action, learning, improving, and gradually switching to more challenging horses. We all have our favorite horse - Hondo, Sedona, Misty, Johnny, and Denny.

Our 12 year old goes mainly for the social aspect of Deer Valley. She has made wonderful friends through the years, some that she gets to spend our Deer Valley week with each year. Children and teen activities range from racing ping pong balls down Agnes Vail Falls, going into town to a thrift store and buying outrageous outfits for a fashion show, Frisbee golf, gold panning, tie-dye water fights, pool parties - the list seems endless.

My husband and I also have made lasting friendships with other guests and the staff at Deer Valley Ranch. At this point, we have more family members that we've "adopted" from Deer Valley than we have actual siblings, cousins, etc.

So if you are looking for an ideal family vacation, Deer Valley is it! Run by the second and third generations of the Woolmington/Dewalt families, the ranch welcomes families with open arms and smiling faces. It is truly a safe and adventurous place for you and your kids. The owners and staff are people of faith and integrity. As a parent, I appreciate that alcohol is not allowed on the ranch property.

(Our first year at Deer Valley Ranch, our girls were 8 and 6. Literally, the second day on the ranch, my husband and I went on a ride and left the girls back at the ranch, knowing they would be in good hands. I can't even describe how that freedom felt to two ultra protective parents. )

Deer Valley is an easy 2 -2 1/2 hour drive from either the Colorado Springs or the Denver airport. Transportation is not provided by the ranch, so you will need to rent a car. Summer weeks run from Saturday to Saturday. The ranch package covers all meals, up to $350 worth of horseback riding, whitewater rafting, maid service for your cabin or lodge, and lots of blessings from a staff that will see you as an individual and treasured guest.

In the off season, cabins are available for rent. Meals and housekeeping are not available except during the summer. We like to rent a cabin for a few days in winter and ski at Monarch.

What we once thought would be a once-in-a-lifetime trip has become an annual family tradition for us. We wouldn't have it any other way!

  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for the kind comments! As one of our "family," you know better than anyone how special Deer Valley is. Our rich heritage of families who return again and again is one of the things that sets us apart. We are truly a family-oriented destination, and we strive for excellence in all aspects of our program. We are thankful for our many guests like you who continue to come. We can't wait to see you again!
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Saint Louis, Missouri
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 30, 2013

We have gone to DVR for 2 years as part of CMDA meetings.
Our boys (10 & 13) love it so much, they can't imagine not going. They have already looked up the qualifications for being a wrangler. While we didn't see much of our 13 year old since the teen group has so many fun activities, it was great to see him enjoying himself fully. The Christian environment creates a safe place for the kids to be themselves, develop deep friendships and build self confidence and independence. We enjoyed riding horses on trail rides, wrangler breakfast rides and instructional rides too. The wranglers are adorable and helpful young men. The entire staff is a delight. The teen and children leaders encourage the kids with sincerity. The food is plentiful and fantastic. We really enjoy visiting with other guests and staff during the meals.
The Hymn sing, western night show, and square dancing are just a few of the enjoyable family activities. White water rafting is great and the hikes amazing. The beauty all around draws you close the the One who created it all. We are blessed to have experienced the joy DVR brings.

Room Tip: We have stayed in Futurity and Hancock. Both cabins were rustic, private, and had beautiful views.
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  • 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
Thank you for your kind comments. Deer Valley is a safe, worry-free place for families to enjoy themselves. Our Christian commitment is foundational to our program, and our kids' and teen programs are filled with fun activities that allow kids to get to know one another under the supervision of our excellent staff. We are glad your kids love to come here, and we hope to see you again soon!
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denver, co
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Our first trip with young kids 6 and 2 and we loved it! The cabins are NOT fancy, very basic, but they are all equipped with what you need and well spaced so you have privacy and can enjoy the views. The staff was EXCELLENT! The meals were made from scratch, whole real food and delicious! You get a chance to meet the other guests during meals. Beautiful location, amazing views, great hiking. The activities they offer for kids and adults are fun. Fantastic horseback riding. It has been one of our favorite vacations. It is simple and quiet and rustic. We are going back!

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
We are so happy to hear you enjoyed your time. We pride ourselves on our rustic but abundant hospitality, our fabulous food, our friendly staff, and our fun-filled program, all in the most beautiful setting imaginable. We love it here and we are glad you do too! Hope to see you again soon!
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Pensacola, Florida
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 29, 2013

Great ranch for a family vacation in a Christian environment.
Wonderful staff.
Great to meeting and get to know the summer student staff.
This visit was my 3rd visit, but we would like to come back every year if we had the time.

Room Tip: Lodge rooms are convenient, but I prefer the cabins.
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 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

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 15, 2013
We were so happy to see you for the third time, and we hope you come again soon! We are so glad you enjoyed your vacation!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
carolinas
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 26, 2013

Deer Valley is a great way for families with kids to spend a week. There are plenty of activities for both kids and teens so mom and dad can be off on their own. Riding, hiking, or just reading a book. Food is plentiful and above average--something available even for picky eaters. The staff is primarily college students. You'll want to bring one of these great kids back home with you. Cell phone coverage poor especially for verizon customers and wi-fi is limited. But that is a plus unless you need to work while on vacation

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service

Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bevearlyjo, Front Office Manager at Deer Valley Ranch, responded to this review, July 6, 2013
We are so glad you enjoyed your week at Deer Valley including the food, fun and relaxation in our beautiful mountain setting. Because of our location in the mountains, our cell phone and WiFi capabilities are more limited than many guests are accustomed to. We are constantly pursuing options for our guests and each year we see technological improvements for our area. Thank you for your feedback and we hope to see you Back at the Ranch in the future!
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Additional Information about Deer Valley Ranch

Address: 16825 County Road 162, Nathrop, CO 81236
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Colorado > Nathrop
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Nathrop
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Destination Christian family dude and guest ranch, south central Colorado, located between two 14,000’ peaks. Horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing, children & teen programs, hot springs pools and outdoor hot tubs, outdoor meals, great food. Families, singles, couples and family reunions. Discount weeks. Open year round. September to May great for groups – church, ski and corporate - and weekend cabin rentals. Making memories since 1954. ... more   less 

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