Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, Colorado Springs: Hours, Address, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site Reviews: 4.5/5

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site

Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site
4.5
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
Visit history in the valley of the Garden of the Gods! Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site is a living history museum and farm, depicting life in the Pikes Peak region. We representing American Indians circa 1775, homesteading in the 1860's, farming, gardening, and boarding tuberculosis patients in the late 1880's, 19th Century Blacksmiths, and Edwardian privileged lifestyle up to 1909. The Ranch was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1979.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
197 reviews
Excellent
146
Very good
41
Average
5
Poor
3
Terrible
2

LegalEagle007
Columbus, OH3 contributions
We took our 2, 6, and 9 year olds to the Ranch today. I was SO impressed. The actors are wonderful and really took time to answer the kids' questions. It was a gorgeous day and it was so nice to be able to be outside at a living museum. It helped that there was no one there! The Garden of the Gods is packed with people so I just assumed this would be too. But we were one of the only visitors - so we had basically personal tours of all the homes. The kids loved the scavenger hunt. Highly recommend if you have inquisitive kids.
Written August 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tamara H
Granite Falls, WA252 contributions
Despite how crazy busy Manitou Springs and the Garden of the Gods was on the Friday we were there, Rock Ledge Ranch had very few visitors. It was a nice peaceful experience, especially after our two crowded tourist stops prior to arriving. This historical ranch was mostly original buildings and had a few places to visit. We first stopped by a cabin reconstructed to match the original owners abode, then a Native American trading post and teepee. After that, we walked to the ranch house and farm buildings, over to the trading post, then to the blacksmith shop, another home built on the property, and finally to the carriage house (which now houses the public restrooms). The buildings were spread out which meant quite a walk to see the entire grounds, but again, it was a nice warm day and the walk was pleasant.
Our favorite thing was to talk with the docents and junior docents, dressed in period clothing. They were knowledgeable and gave us plenty of interesting stories and facts about the ranch and a glimpse into what life may have been like then.
We especially liked talking with Noah, one of the junior docents at the main house, and watching the blacksmith actually making an iron decoration in the forge. It’s very cool that the people that are employed or volunteer there actually work the garden and cook with what they grow. They made popcorn over a campfire and baked some zucchini bread in a clay oven the day prior to our visit.
Our schedule allowed two hours, but we definitely could have used another 30-60 minutes to chat with the last of the docents before leaving the grounds. It’s a nice place for people interested in history, reasonably priced, and definitely worth a visit.
Written August 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

MitchM29
Tampa, FL96 contributions
Solo
Nice little Ranch to visit. Right by the entrance to the Garden of the Gods. You'll see some Animals and a Good View of the Garden of the Gods. Kids will like seeing the animals. Horses, pigs, Goats and a big cow.
Written October 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lynne M
11 contributions
Keep a lookout for frequent events at this living history sight. We've even seen a period baseball game attended by Prez Lincoln himself. Buy a membership to support this beautiful place and save all year.
Written November 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

cintuchi
Las Vegas, NV2,277 contributions
Solo
From multiple hiking options to take fantastic pictures of the historic site this place, it's wonderful.
Written June 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Julie32159
The Villages, FL359 contributions
Friends
If you like history at all, and especially if you like living-history sites, you will love this place! We went there because we had already done all the other "must-sees" in the area, but we both agreed that this should be in the top 3 things to do -- after Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak. Check out their website for details. Their period-costumed guides are wonderful. Example: As we rounded the bend to the first settler's cabin, we were greeted with the sight of two little girls in prairie dresses and bonnets playing with old-fashioned toys in the front yard. Looked just like Laura and Mary Ingalls! We fully expected to see Pa walk out of the cabin. The rest of the place was equally charming and informative. Also on the premises were a very talented blacksmith, two wonderful carpenters, and various other extremely knowledgeable costumed staff. We went on a Saturday afternoon and it was not crowded. This place would be entertaining for both children and adults.
Written June 24, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SuzieeQQ
San Diego, CA211 contributions
This marvelous hands-on site was, surprisingly, my family's favorite part of our Colorado Springs vacation. Rock Ledge Ranch stimulated our imaginations and minds and gave us an entertaining history lesson.

A living history museum is a replica of a historic setting, usually with guides in period costumes who explain the everyday life of a particular setting at a particular time in history. This ranch is a replica of different time periods in Colorado Springs history. The "museum" guides were dressed in period costume, and took on the role of their character, depending upon which home they were located in, and provided lots of interesting information about daily life, encouraged questions, and allowed us to examine and touch everything in the houses, without rushing us.

We entered a typical Indian shelter and learned how native Americans in Colorado Springs found food in the 1700s, how they made their clothing & tools, and were able to touch different items in the teepee. We then walked 1/8 of a mile to a 1 room log cabin where a family, in period costume explained how the cabin was built, what it was made of, the farm work, what chores the chidlren did, what the beds were made of, etc. Next was a 2 story farm house that was fascinating, with a working wood stove (they were making biscuits!). The guides provided a great deal of interesting information about who had lived in the house and what their daily life was like, displaying upholstered furniture, fancy wallpaper, etc. Walking through all these houses, able to touch and see items from another time period was a fascinating way to learn about our country's history. The blacksmith shop is not to be missed: a live demonstration, lots of info, provided in a friendly way. EXCELLENT!! And right next to the amazing Garden of the Gods, one of the main tourist attractions in the Colorado Springs area. http://www.gardenofgods.com/home/index.cfm

We spent 4 hours at the Rock Ledge Ranch, and we didn't even get to see the mansion! Allow at least 2.5 hours, or more if you are of a curious nature, like we are! There is a lot of grassy space. You could bring a picnic lunch, or eat across the street at the Garden of the Gods visitors center. No food was available at Rock Ledge Ranch when we were there.
Written September 4, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Vincent L
Colorado Springs, CO154 contributions
Located immediately adjacent to Garden Of the Gods, Rock Ledge Ranch is a wonderful place for a stop of 2-4 hours. It's relatively inexpensive, particularly considering all you get.

I began at the Indian settlement, perhaps the only let-down here. Essentially it was one teepee, albeit an authentic one. There was an old Native American man on duty, and he was friendly to chat with.

From there I stopped at the settler's cabin, and got a wonderful 5 minute tour of the cabin. The young man in period costume knew what he was talking about. Although just one cabin, a clay cooking furnace, and a cow in fenced in plot, this had the feeling of isolated authenticity and gave one a real sense of what it might have been like being a settler.

The next stop was Rock Ledge House itself, along with its barn. The house (1874) is wonderful with period rooms that give you a real idea what it would have been like living there before the turn of the century. Again, the docent in period dress was wonderfully welcoming and brimming with knowledge. The memorabilia in the house is remarkable. Although why the people of CS liked asparagus so much is beyond me! Take the tour, you'll see what I mean. :-)

The blacksmith shop is well worth a stop because it is a working one! The smithy was more than happy to discuss his equipment and show me how it all worked and the product he was making.

Orchard House was a highlight. After purchasing the property from the family who owned Rock Ledge House, Colorado Springs' founder -- General William Palmer -- built the 3-storey frame residence in 1907. It's a relatively modern, upper-class house of the era, with indoor multiple in-house bathrooms and steam heat. Wait till you see the authentic copper sinks! The tour includes both the living areas and the servants quarters and work areas. Again, the memorabilia in the house is authentic and outstanding, as was the information given by the docents.

I went here expecting to be disappointed and feel a little ripped off. Quite the opposite was true. One can easily spend half a day here, enjoy authentic history covering multiple eras, enjoy the friendliness and knowledge of the docents, and walk away feeling it could be priced higher! Then, right next door you can drive through (or better yet take a hike) through the Garden Of The Gods. Regrettably, the seasonal hours of the Rock Ledge Ranch are quite limited, but it is a treat not to be missed. Oh, and by the way, take all the photos you wish! No restrictions there.
Written June 26, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Paurian
Colorado Springs, CO2 contributions
I'm surprised more places aren't doing this. It's really inexpensive and has an impressive array of "time periods" to visit. There's an Indian settlement, a pioneer log house, a blacksmith shop, a Victorian farm house and an elegant Edwardian mansion.

But what's really amazing is that tours of these houses are all led by someone dressed in period costume who all know their stuff. You get to interact with these people and ask them questions beyond whatever they're doing... and they actually do the job they're dressed to do. Servants cook in beautiful wood burning stoves, farmers are taking care of the animals, blacksmiths are smithing... it's really great! The only other place like rock ledge ranch that comes to mind is Williamsburg.
Written June 15, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

davegidd
Bonsall, CA1,448 contributions
Couples
After a very hot and crowded visit to Garden of the Gods, we just happened to see the sign for this place on the way out. There were only a few people there and we had no idea what to expect. We figured we'd walk around through some recreated ranch scenes and such, but that's about it. What we found though was much more interesting than that. If you follow the loop trail as we were instructed to do at the entrance, the first thing you come to is a Native American camp. There, two actual Native American women were making food with local vegetables and beading some leather articles. I commented that they have the coolest spot to sit in their authentic shade structure, so they invited us to sit on the log with them for a chat. They were very nice and not at all phony. I'm usually very uncomfortable in these period reenactment places, but the people working at all of the different displays were very nice and not at all fake.

The man at the homestead was also very informative without going too far. He invited us into the cabin where a nice young man told us about life back then. Then it was on to a farm with live animals and a big barn. A man there was showing visitors how to use farm tools. There's a boarding house/home where three young women were out on the porch knitting. They greeted us as they would in the 1800's, but once inside on the short tour the young lady was friendly and very interesting. She even played the organ in the parlor for us.

The best part of the day was the blacksmith demonstration. We were the only people there when he started making a bottle opener shaped like a wizard's face. That doesn't sound like much, but the end result was nothing short of art. He was very informative and showed everyone step by step what he was doing right up to the finished product. This was the best demo of this type I've ever seen anywhere.

There are a couple of other buildings on the site, plus a small museum with Native American art and artifacts. The woman there was extremely nice. There's a general store selling hand made items from the period, plus some modern souvenirs for very reasonable prices.

The cost is only $8 for adults; $5 for seniors over 55, so very affordable. I was very pleasantly surprised and am so glad I accidentally found this place.
Written June 29, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site is open:
  • Wed - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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