Wow, wow, WOW! As a Colorado native, I thought I'd seen it all in my beloved state. Nestled in Chalk Creek Canyon is a sight of spectacular beauty: a soaring chalk mountainside, lush forest speckled with aspen, a snow-covered mountaintop, a picturesque creek where Mount Princeton Hot Springs delights folks with pools and spots IN THE RIVER that are warmed by the hot springs. And in the midst of this incredible setting sits Deer Valley Ranch. The gals at the front desk were kind, warm-hearted souls who truly care about their family-owned establishment. We put our family of 7 in the Pitkin cabin, a three bedroom, two bathroom rustic, cozy cabin with a massive stone fireplace and floor to ceiling windows with amazing views. It was SUPER CLEAN, which is amazing for a place built in the 1950's! My kids also loved the room with the bunk beds. We used the kitchen to cook breakfast and dinner with ease-- it has everything you need. And best of all, the reason this place gets its name, are the herds of peaceful, gentle deer that roam the grounds of this dude ranch. They walked by our cabin throughout the day, quietly going about their business of foraging in the snow for food. They are friendly enough to pose for pictures and come as close as your porch to say hello. Just a ten minute drive west is the ghost mining town of St. Elmo, which despite its snow-packed uphill road, was easily accessible by our minivan with snow tires. The ranch has an old western town play area for the kids. Mine felt like they were in Disneyland, they loved it so much. The horses are stabled on site as you enter, which makes for a joyful spot to stop and say hello. The deal we got to stay here through Living Social was unbelievable. Deer Valley Ranch staff even sweetened the deal with complimentary tickets to the hot springs just a mile down the road. Our family loved this place and the surrounding area so much we vowed to come back someday during the summer. Although I must say, coming here in the off-season was second to none, in terms of its peacefulness, the value for your money, and the plethora of activities and sites to see in the area. Did I mention we went to Ski Cooper during this trip? And white water rafting is just ten minutes away. Amazing place, amazing location, five stars hands-down from this usually tough critic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Destination Christian family dude and guest ranch, south central Colorado, located between two 14,000’ peaks. Horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking, fishing, children & teen programs, hot springs pools and outdoor hot tubs, outdoor meals, great food. Families, singles, couples and family reunions. Discount weeks. Open year round. September to May great for groups – church, ski and corporate - and weekend cabin rentals. Making memories since 1954. ... more less