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“Christmas at SFR - Superb Experience!”
Review of Smith Fork Ranch

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Smith Fork Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed December 28, 2011

Spent Christmas Eve & Day at the Ranch & had a magical experience. Staff continues to excel at customer service. Accommodations were “Five Star” and the food was “out of this world!” Even with 17 inches of snow on the ground, we were able to enjoy two spectacular horse rides & enjoyed snow shoeing around the ranch grounds. We could have fished if we would have been hardy enough! Everything about this Ranch is First Class. Remains our favorite vacation spot; we will return again & again.

Room Tip: Select a suite or a cabin for extra room.
  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Thank morandc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (75)
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63 - 69 of 75 reviews

Reviewed August 5, 2011

Superior lacation, accomodations & staff!

Horseback Riding & Fly Fishing is amazing. Thier website does not do they justice.

Instruction for riding & fishing is superior & focused on guest. Personal touch in everything.

Accomodations are exceptional; roomy & comfortable.

Food is exceptional & service is world class!

Limited internet & NO cell service. It was heaven!

Managment is excellent & responsive to every guest needs.

Will return again, again & again.

  • Stayed: July 2011, traveled with family
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2  Thank morandc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2011

My husband and I are always looking for new places to explore in Colorado. This time, we decided to spend a long weekend at a guest ranch. However, we didn't want to rough it; we wanted "rustic luxury" with excellent cuisine and wine. Our search led us to Smith Fork Ranch in the western Colorado Rocky Mountains. Although the ranch is secluded, we were impressed with the up-to-date rooms with private baths and modern amenities, as well as the high-speed wireless internet. The only thing one does need to know is that cell phone service at the ranch is close to non-existent.

The staff, however, is SFR's greatest asset. General Manager Jim Nielsen shared his passion for fly-fishing with us. Rachel, KT, and Ciara matched us up with horses for a day-long trail ride on the ranch, into the neighboring national forest and along the streams. Jess made arrangements with Gunnison River Expeditions for us to go white water rafting on the Gunnison River.

Dinner was a relaxing four course meal on the porch, with Chef Seth introducing us to his creations. SFR prides itself on working with local producers, so everything was fresh. Cheeses come from a local goat farm. Cider is provided by a local merchant. They have their own garden, but it was too early in the season to yield any produce, so local organic farms filled in. Holly introduced us to the wineries. We discovered that they are the best kept secret in Colorado, since the vineyards are small and the wines stay local.

We expected our stay at SFR to be "Old West." What we got was an adventure, an education, and a gourmet experience all rolled into one. It's a discovery we would like to share.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank yijiuwuer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2010

We had a wonderful time at the ranch...came from KY, CA, FL, and CO. The instruction for horseback riding, archery, and fly fishing was excellent. We felt very comfortable trying each new activity. The food was delicious...game hen, trout, cooked to order breakfast, and fabulous picnic lunches. We had the perfect place to stay. We each had our own room in the guest house and were able to share great times around the fireplace or rocking on our porch. The scenery around the ranch is breathtaking. We would all recommend SFR to all your readers.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled with family
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1  Thank Bev1210
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2010

This was our first experience at a guest ranch. What a way to start! The ranch is nestled in a wonderful little canyon where you feel completely isolated from the rest of the world. The only sound you hear is the wind blowing through the trees. We were lucky enough to be there just as the aspen and cottonwoods were turning gold. It is a truly serene and majestic location.
I would be happy in a tent and cooking on a campfire in such a location, but that would be roughing-it. There is no roughing-it at this ranch, not for the guests anyway. The food was way beyond our expectations and I loved the wine. The cabins were charming but the furniture was a bit uncomfortable.
The truly remarkable thing about the ranch is the people that work there. They seem to truly care about what they are doing and are very good at it. I don’t think I have ever felt more welcomed and attended to. My wife was a little ill one day and the staff looked in on her while I was away for the day. I didn’t ask them to do it, they just wanted to.
My wife and I very much enjoyed our stay at Smith Fork. They set the standard very high for any other guest ranch that we might go to. I look forward to going back to Smith Fork.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank 20thAnivRoadTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 12, 2010

Literally everything about the trip was amazing. Not just because I chose the place to propose to my girlfriend, but the staff, the food, the surroundings were all beyond compare. I've been to other ranches in Colorado, but this is truly intimate, and simply perfect.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rordanshane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MCSilva, Director of Sales at Smith Fork Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded October 14, 2010

Thank you Rordan and congratulations!!!

- Mary Clare

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 26, 2010

I spent a lot of time in the Rockies as a kid, mostly skiing in the areas around Vail and Keystone, but had never been to the Western Slope of the Rockies. After seeing a great deal at Smith Fork Ranch through a special promotion, we decided to make a trip there as part of a Colorado vacation.

Flying into Denver and driving over to the Ranch makes for a long day (if you are arriving in Denver after noon, you might consider spending the night there and driving to Crawford the following day), but we were warmly welcomed on our arrival, just in time for a wonderful dinner with other guests.

We stayed in the West Elk suite in the guest house. This is the most private of the rooms in the guest house, as well as the most spacious. The Ranch was not very full when we were there (there was one other couple in the guest house and another foursome in one of the larger cabins), so I'm not sure how it would feel being in the guest house if it was full, but our experience was perfect.

The room had a king-sized bed and a nice couch, so we felt there was plenty of room to stretch out day and night. The bathroom was a little small but perfectly adequate, with a very nice shower (no tub). Also in the guest house are two very comfortable sitting areas (a small sitting room and a larger living room with a kitchenette) which are available for the use of all those staying in the guest house. There is also a lovely porch swing which makes a great spot for reading or watching the sunset. Again, as we were there at a quiet time of the year, we felt we had the whole place to ourselves.

Breakfasts were hearty and delicious, with buffet items and eggs cooked to order. We originally thought we would eat dinner elsewhere a couple of nights for a little variety (our room rate included breakfast but not lunch and dinner), but once we saw how remote the ranch is and how scarce the nearby eating options are, we decided we would stay at the ranch each night for dinner. We were not disappointed. The dinners were excellent, drawing heavily on the ranch's garden and other local sources for most ingredients.

Meredith in guest relations was very helpful when we called to ask some questions before making our reservations, and gave us a wealth of tips and information during our stay that helped make the visit extra special. Marley and Linda, the owners, are warm, lovely, and welcoming. Transplants from New York, they have clearly invested in being a part of the Crawford community and seem to know just about everyone around town (and are clearly and understandably very well liked). They, too, offered us some wonderful ideas to get the most out of our trip. The staff was universally helpful, well-informed, and friendly.

Everything we saw led us to believe that Smith Fork Ranch would be a great experience for families. As a couple traveling without children, we were happy to be there in the off-season for a little more grown-up and quiet experience, though if you booked a cabin (rather than the guest house), I can imagine a couple could have a great time being there any time of year.

Don't miss the Black Canyon of the Gunnison if you travel to Crawford. We spent one afternoon there and loved it, then decided to get up at dawn the next day to go back and see the Canyon in the early morning light. This was an absolute highlight of our trip and worth setting the alarm even on vacation!

We also visited a few wineries in nearby Paonia--Stone Cottage was our favorite. Leroux Creek (in the other direction near Hotchkiss) was also a treat, as the husband/wife team who run the property make both wine and the most luscious lotions and other skin care products.

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TripsPlease
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
MCSilva, Public Relations Manager at Smith Fork Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded October 4, 2010

Thank you for your kind review and we look forward to your next visit!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Smith Fork Ranch

Address: 45362 Needle Rock Rd, Crawford, CO 81415-9114
Location: United States > Colorado > Crawford
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Specialty Lodging in Crawford
Price Range: $250 - $450 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Smith Fork luxury ranch is located on Colorado's Western Slope, approximately 7 1/2 miles east of the town of Crawford at an elevation of 7200'. The Ranch is nestled within the beautiful Gunnison National Forest adjoining the wild, untamed West Elk Wilderness Area. The luxury ranch and its surrounding areas are home to stunning mountains, abundant rivers, high altitude streams and lakes, and breathtaking views. The Ranch itself has three miles of frontage along the Smith Fork of the Gunnison River and seven trout ponds. Intimate Colorado ranch offering rustic luxury in the Rockies. Customize your unique family adventure. You can enjoy horseback riding, fishing and hiking the same land that the Ute Indians, Teddy Roosevelt and John Muir fell in love with. Experience a horseback riding vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Discover our special part of Colorado where generations of western ranch culture blend with exceptional artists, craftsmen and artisanal makers of Colorado's best foods and wines. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Smith Fork Ranch Hotel Crawford

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