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“Trip of a lifetime”
Review of Elk Mountain Ranch

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Elk Mountain Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 7, 2011

We recently visited Elk Mountain Ranch as part of a family vacation. My wife, sister and her parents had an experience at a Colorado Dude Ranch 30 years ago and now that our family has grown they wanted to share the experience with our children and their grandchildren. My mother and father in law did extensive research on several dude ranches and let's just say he picked the right one! Tom and Sue Murphy (the owners) welcome and treat everyone at the ranch like family. From the time Tom picked us up at the airport to the time we left the service, atmosphere and commardarie was five star. The staff and wranglers that Tom and Sue hire are first class individuals, no matter what the request was, we never heard no for an answer, everything was yes! The food was fantastistic with an elegant cowboy flair. Options were always available if the kids were not interested in the main course or dessert. The dining room was intimate and Tom, Sue their children and staff joined guests nightly. On site entertainment was provided at least five nights of our stay. Wonderful experience, other industries could learn from the 5 Star experience offerred at Elk Mountain Ranch. Very kid friendly as well, daily activities no matter what the age. Children's program had a different theme each day. Children were able to horse back ride daily as well as partake in age appropriate activities. The kids truely couldn't wait to start their day! Children's activities were designed in a way that children could play with kids their age while adults partook in rides or other activities at the ranch while still joining their parents for meals. Truely can't imagine a better experience and something we will all remember for a lifetime. This was a Ritz Carlton like experience with a better view!!!!!!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank ClevelandWalloonLake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 156 of 186 reviews

Reviewed July 5, 2011

A beautiful setting to enjoy while receiving individually specific and friendly service from the outstanding staff. The family atmosphere was evident throughout the week, and the owners, Sue and Tom, work very hard to ensure their guests enjoy each moment.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank patcflyer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 3, 2011

If you want a fun week with no worries, then Elk Mountain Ranch is for you. Everything is included in your stay for the week, including white water rafting. 3 meals a day and you never go hungry. Horse back riding, trap shooting or time to yourself. No people or traffic to deal with, since the main highway is 9 miles away from the ranch. This is our 2nd trip here in 4 years and we are looking forward to going back. Thanks Tom & Sue for a great time. Bob.....

Room Tip: Family of 4 get the spruce cabin.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank Fire2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2011

If for no other reason, visit EMR to meet people who are genuine, hardworking and who love what they do. The staff at this ranch is simply amazing. Each person is warm, interesting and interested in making sure you have a wonderful experience. Love is in the details and they have thought of EVERYTHING.

Our 6 year old son simply loved the kids' program and the staff was so fun and caring that we worried not one minute when he was with them.

We are not horse-ridin' folk, but we had a blast under the care of the wranglers and the well-cared for horses. The views were TOO DIE FOR. The location is so remote, you will enjoy clean air and a blanket of the brightest stars you have ever seen.

Aside from riding horses, there was fishing and whitewater rafting, and volleyball and massages and anything you could possibly want to do. The food was plentiful and delicious.

The accommodations were modest, yet functional, comfortable and spotless.

In short, this vacation was well worth the cost and the memories will be with us a lifetime. We will certainly return.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank uplandfamilyofthree
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 21, 2011

A repeat wonderful experience! We were there 10 years ago and came back and had a better time than before. Tom and Sue are great hosts! The wranglers were friendly and fun. The house staff was super. The cook was fantastic. Best food we have had on any vacation. Even the dogs and cat made us feel welcome. The lodge was very nice with fun cabins, neatly furnished, and convenient to everything. Horses were well mannered and well taken care of. I would recommend this to anyone. It is a great experience and well worth repeating. We are talking about going back a third time. Loved it and it will always be a highlight of our vacation experience. Our nieces had a great time and were very sad it was over and they had to go home. Thanks to all for everything.

Room Tip: Cabins are fun and the best way to go.
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  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bruce63_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2011

Just returned from the holiday of a lifetime at Elk Mountain Ranch. We booked for seven nights and extended our stay by three nights..…..it still wasn’t enough.
The ranch is set in a peaceful, sheltered location at nearly 10,000 feet and consists of a number of comfortable log cabins and a communal dining and lounge area set around a small lake.
The food at the ranch was wonderful and you will need plenty of energy as the activities on offer are numerous. Each day we rode out on sure footed horses through Aspen forests to beautiful locations where we enjoyed camp fire cooking or packed lunches. We saw a bear, elks, coyotes, antelope and deer. If riding is not your thing you could enjoy rafting, shooting, fishing, archery, volleyball, cycling, hiking or just rest up and enjoy the tranquillity.
However, what made the ranch really special was the hospitality and friendliness. Tom, Sue and the staff were incredibly welcoming and the attention to detail and service was first class.
We are already planning next years visit.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank tomkina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2011

As a travel writer, I've been fortunate enough to experience many enjoyable vacations in a variety of destinations but without a doubt, my time at Elk Mountain Ranch last spring was most certainly the greatest family getaway I've ever shared with my wife and children!

The secluded ranch, carefully tucked away high in the magnificant Colorado Rocky Mountains, is surrounded by rolling hills and breathtaking scenery.

It boasts simple but very clean and more-than-adequate accommodations of various sizes.

Home-cooked meals there are plentiful and very good with enough variety to please even the pickiest of eaters...such as my son.

While visiting Elk Mountain Ranch, guests can stay as busy as they choose to with entertainment options that include horseback riding (of course), horseshoes, fishing, hiking, volleyball, basketball, board games and card games and even skeet shooting, just to name a few. Personally, during my one-week stay, I also enjoyed some private time in the ranch hot tub.

Above all, however, what made this trip stand out above others I've experienced was the people who live and work there. Owners Tom and Sue Murphy along with their children, Hunter and Tyler, eagerly welcome guests in as if they were actual family members. Their warmth and kindness, which extends throughout each and every staff member, is genuine and sincere!

I have nothing but heartfelt praise for Elk Mountain Ranch and strongly recommend a stay there for families and individuals alike!

Elk Mountain Ranch is truly something very special!

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled with family
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Thank GregSeiter
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 Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Specialty Lodging in Buena Vista
Price Range: $2,850 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colorado's highest guest ranch at 9600 feet. Adjacent to the Browns Canyon National Monument. Weekly package includes meals, lodging and activities - horseback riding, white water rafting, shooting sports, van trip to Aspen, excursion to ropes & adventure park, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hayride, square dance, childrens' program and more. Massage extra. 35 pampered guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elk Mountain Ranch Hotel Buena Vista

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