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Elk Mountain Ranch
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Reviews (189)
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Reviewed March 8, 2012

We stayed at Elk Mountain back in Sept 2006, but I wanted to add to the great reviews. We went with our friends, The Rouths, who used to work there many years ago. We have them to thank for letting us come along to experience this amazing little piece of Heaven! The staff and owners were all very nice and accommodating. The food was fantastic! The views are absolutely breathtaking! We stayed in the Navajo and Ute cabins. Very clean, comfortable, and exactly what you would want at a Ranch. Thank you for the fabulous vacation! We hope to make it back there someday with our family!

  • Stayed: April 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank Colleen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 21, 2011

My family took a detour from the old Disney route and planned a first-time trip to a high mountain ranch (in June 2011). There were lots of expectations and a little anxiety about the unknown. I say " a little anxiety" because there were so many positive reviews about Elk Mountain that it made the plans seem less risky.
We were met at the Denver IAP, at the precise time, in the precise location, by ranch owner Tom and cowgirl Tally. They loaded up the vans and we took off for the three hour drive to Elk Mountain Ranch. First, coming from sea level, you may want to prepare for the altitude. The air's thin as I found out when I carried my daughter to the bathroom. Drink lots of water and acclimate yourself slowly. (It may take a few days to get used to the altitude.) The drive is a little long so, as I also found out, bring some motion sickness medicine since everyone can't sit in the front seat. This is about the only downside of the trip. The drive contains incredibly beautiful views of Colorado which changes by the hour. By the time you get to the ranch entrance, you'll be hungry and ready for the adventure.
There's a 20 minute ride to the ranch from the blacktop on a washboard road. Elk, mountain goats, and antelope are watching you from the many cliffs, open fields and Aspen groves. The ranch is exactly as pictured on the website.
The cabins are comfortable, clean and quiet. In June, the temps. were in the 70's during the day and 40's at night...great sleeping conditions. At night, it's as dark as the millions of stars allows and it's quieter than you can imagine. One night, almost our entire group walked the gravel road as a former cowhand pointed out constellations. The moonlight made the gravel road glow while the mountains stuck out like dark, pointy walls. We sipped coffee and hot chocolate while some of the kids sang songs. No TV, electronic games or phones needed, we had good old fashioned fun. Another night, we took a hayride to spot and sat by a big ol' fire roasting marshmallows. There was a square dance, a multi-talented violin player (skinny jeans I think) that told stories and recited poems. It's the kind of thing that makes you say to yourself, "How lucky am I to be part of this world." Many more activities are available to experience also. There's no pressure to follow an itinerary either. Tom and Sue make it clear you can participate, just spend time wandering or just clear your mind (you can do that in the hot-tub nestled in the Aspen trees).
The days were filled with plenty of activities. On day one, the cowboys and cowgirls match you to a horse after Tom's informative horse class. Then, you're off to the mountain trails. Quickly, I learned alot, especially that horses have a range of personalities. The trails are varied in geography so they offer different views. If you are new to horses, you'll get plenty of real experience to build your resume. One of the best trails was the one leading to the mountain top breakfast. You have to experience a delicious, fresh-cooked, champagne breakfast at 10,000 feet overlooking snow-capped mountains and green valleys. Afterwards, everyone played a game of wiffle ball on a mountain field. One of my favorite experiences was watching Tom try to sneak clay pigeons past me during the trap shoot. He definitley tried!
Speaking of food, it starts this way...a giant food-bell is rung. It's heard far away. That's your signal to mosey down to the ranch's dining room. They don't serve fast food here. The ranch has its own certified chef. She, along with her team, creates delicious meal after delicious meal. I'm not exaggerating either. We eat out alot and found the Elk Mt. dinners to be much better than most high-end eating establishments. The service is outstanding too. Just try to empty your plate or glass before someone is asking you to refill it. One evening, my daughter got a little headache and wanted to sleep through dinner. Elk Mtn. staff was not going to simply let her miss dinner. Instead, the staff delivered her dinner a little later and came back even later with some homemade ice cream! That's extra care that makes a real difference to a parent. Kids especially, will form bonds with the cowhands. It's amazing how Tom and Sue pick the right kids to become their cowhands. As a parent, you'll have no problem trusting them to take care of your little ones if you want to go off with your spouse on your own adventure.
There are a few choices to make while you're there, do I go on the Aspen roadtrip or go mountain fishing? Do I take the overnight camping trip of go white-water rafting? Well the rafting trip was awesome and I think Aspen is the place I'd live if I had alot of money. They are both "must dos." Some people stayed in and massage therapy from a licensed pro. (Something for everyone.)
This review is abbreviated, but I hope it gives you an idea that we had a great time and found it to be an excellent value with excellent services. One couple extended their trip while we were there. That's another point to be made. The ranch holds a limited amount of people. With a small group, you can certainly make new friends here if you choose. We now know why people go back to Elk Mountain!

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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4  Thank Chris S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 27, 2011

Excellent location. great scenery, good food, wonderful companionship with the other guests ; but the over-riding impression for me was the warm welcome, constant smiles and terrific support from all the staff.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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Thank ajkaye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2011

Have been here multiple times and every one has been a great experience. Top priority of the owners and employees is to make your week as enjoyable as possible. The horses are well cared for, the food is delicious and the scenery is awesome.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mjh0728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 22, 2011

This is our 5th Time in 5 Years and booked again for next year. No words can explain how AWESOME this place is and I recommend everyone, young or old should experience Elk Mountain Ranch. The place, The owners Tom and Sue, The hand picked Staff, THE FOOD!! (wow) and the Horses (especially Romeo and Quigley) are all second to none. It is a Beautiful place and the scenery is to die for. (A little piece of Heaven)
If you go - you will not want to leave!

Room Tip: We always stay in the Vista Cabin which has beautiful views of the Mountains. But every cabin has it's own characteristics and charm.
  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Chris1809
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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