A stay at the Bar Lazy J guest ranch is truly a unique experience—the kind that lingers in your memory long after you’ve returned home. The natural beauty, serenity, good food, and great people all make for an exceptionally enjoyable stay. This is one of those reviews I’m reluctant to write—because the Bar Lazy J is SO outstanding that I’m afraid it will become impossible to get reservations. Amazingly, most of the guests are repeats, some having visited the ranch for as many as six or seven years in a row.
The outdoor surroundings are truly beautiful. The Colorado River runs right through the property, near the cabins and dining area. The immediate grounds are very well kept up with unique planters and flowers throughout the grounds.
The cabins are rustic but clean. Our group of five stayed in the ranch house, which was extremely roomy and would accommodate a group of at least eight or nine. The rustic furniture was attractive and comfortable and the walls were decorated with unique western-style decorations—interesting and attractive without being corny. Care, thought, and attention to detail were evident in such things as the large bottles of hand and body lotion in the bathroom and next to each bed (much appreciated, as the high altitude and low humidity have a definite drying effect). The house held an excellent selection of books to borrow, from fiction to non-fiction and included books on local history.
Meals are very good and very plentiful. Coffee and other drinks are available at any hour, as is a “bottomless” cookie chest that is continually restocked with freshly baked cookies. We had brought along snacks that were totally unnecessary.
The horse experience.
The wranglers and schedulers are exceptionally accommodating and will provide lessons and interesting rides for all levels--from total novices to experienced riders. The horses are well trained and assigned according to a rider’s experience and ability. Since you ride the same horse all week, you get to know your horse and are able to develop a bond. Don’t miss the breakfast ride, a highlight of the trip.
Fishing is at the top of the list. The section of river that runs through the property is open only to ranch guests; consequently you’ll see a lot of action. No license is necessary to fish the stocked pond on the property (catch and release), but you’ll need a Colorado fishing license to fish the river (available online from the ranch).
You don’t need to be an active sportsperson to enjoy the ranch. There are a lovely heated pool and hot tub, a nice library, and leisure games freely available. During part of the week, you can schedule a massage. In addition, evening activities are varied and the entertainment is enjoyable.
Even considering the beautiful setting, comfortable accommodations, well-trained horses, and well-organized activities, it’s the people who make the experience. Owners Jerry and Sherri are incredible…gracious and friendly, attentive to their guests, while keeping things running smoothly and making it all look easy. They have a special knack for choosing exceptional employees (whether kitchen and housekeeping staff or talented horse wranglers), whose sincere aim is to ensure that you have a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Jerry and Sherri’s easy-going, friendly attitude is contagious and creates a comfortable atmosphere where guests freely interact. The other guests we met were all friendly and considerate.
The Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch is truly a one-of-a kind, not-to-be-missed experience.
Advice to future guests:
1) You don’t need to bring extra food; meals are frequent and plentiful. Alcoholic drinks aren’t served with meals but you can bring your own if you like.
2) Bring plenty of sunscreen—and use it! A hat and sunglasses are recommended, as well.
3) Be prepared to leave a generous gratuity for the staff. In view of the considerable cost of staying at the ranch, the suggested 15-18% additional gratuity seemed unreasonable prior to our visit. Then we saw how hard the young wranglers, kitchen and housekeeping staff work. They are an exceptional group and do everything possible to make your stay as pleasant as possible. I suspect that most of their income is from gratuities (divided equally among all 22 workers). Be sure to factor this cost in when planning your visit.
4) Avid fishermen and women may want to bring their own waders. While equipment is available to borrow, many of the waders leak.
5) If you plan to fish, you may want to purchase your Colorado license ahead of time and save the state’s $10 fee for doing so online (which can be done using the computer at the ranch).
6) Bring a generous supply of insect repellent. There are mosquitoes, LOTS of them. Some are big enough to have their own horses.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.