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“Best Vacation Ever”

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Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch
Reviewed June 25, 2012

We just got back from the Bar Lazy J. This was the best vacation I have ever had as an adult. My wife and I arrived at the ranch on Sunday afternoon and we did not see our rental car until the next Sunday. We had no desire at any time to leave the ranch. Your every need is taken care of. Our biggest decision of the week was what type of ride we were going to go on. The meals were outstanding. The scenery is breathtaking. I had a great time learning about the horses and how to ride them. I had almost no experience with horses when I arrived and I had a great time. There are rides for every skill level every day. We did not take children with us, but we saw the kids that were there had a great time. It appeared to be a top notch children's program. We can't wait to go back. The owners have put together a top notch crew. Everyone is friendly and ready to make your vacation perfect. If you are looking for a place to go on vacation this is THE place.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Bob J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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67 - 73 of 114 reviews

Reviewed June 22, 2012

The Bar Lazy J gets better every year. This was our fourth year and somehow we see more and different areas every year. The staff is outstanding and well trained in all areas. We have been there four years in a row and have reservations for next year and hopefully beyond.

They offer about four different horse rides every day including all day rides on three days. We can do loping, bush-wacking, or just riding--usually to the top of a large hill with spectacular views in all directions. The kids program is outstanding per my grand daughter. The shows every night are excellent. The children all loved Washboard Annie.

The food is superb with NY strip steak, prime rib, awesome ravioli, BBQ, grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, hamburger steak, ribs, great desserts, veggies, and the best sausage around every day for breakfast. One day we had steak and potatoes for breakfast, my favorite breakfast ever. Sue and Dale's coated pecan/cashew/almonds are better than ever.

The cabins are rustic on the outside with updated interiors and facilities. Each room has small refrigerators for drinks, etc. The trail mix is extra special with their secret blend.

Walking out of the cabins is a real treat. First you see the Colorado river flowing, then the mountains. Everyone so far has been very friendly--I think the fresh air makes smiles. Those fishing in the Colorado all caught fish, but had to release them. One can keep the fish from the property pond and the kitchen will cook them to order. I prefer beef though.

I don't know why I am saying all this good stuff because it will make getting reservations more difficult in the future, but it is so fantastic, we felt inspired to share our joy. About 70% of the guests when we were there are returnees with many having been back more than we have.

My grand daughter plans to put a big picture of the Bar Lazy J on the wall in her bedroom. Now that is a testimony for the outstanding staff and everything they have to offer.

Room Tip: All rooms are within walking distance to the unlimited cookie box
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  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank jamesbond44
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 27, 2012

This is the best choice in "Dude" ranches. We vacationed here with our family and friends. Although the drive to the rance is a long one, once you get there, the drive is well worth it. There is never a dull moment at the Bar Lazy J, with scheduled trail rides for every level of rider twice a day. You can hike or fly fish in the Colorado river directly behind the cabins and there is also a pool. Food is exceptional and there is plenty of it. The views and photo opportunities are endless. If you are looking for a wonderful family destination - look no further. Our teenage daughter is returning this year with her Godparents.

  • Stayed: June 2011, traveled with family
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Thank cynthia b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 25, 2011

If you want to enjoy the beautiful Colorado mountains, waking up to the sounds of the Colorado River, eating fantastic food, horseback riding on numerous pictureous trails then the Bar Lazy J is for you. This year was my 6th visit with number 7th already scheduled for 2012. Upon every return it feels like going home to family. Jerry and Cheri are wonderful owners and are involved throughout the week with the guests. The staff has always been amazing and will take care of what ever you may need. On the last day of vacation I always hear the guests saying the same thing " I wish I could stay another week" and this is so true that is why myself and my family keep coming back and will continue to do so.

  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled with family
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3  Thank MSullivan2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 21, 2011

Adult Week- September.
To quote the song,"I had the time of my life", if there is a Heaven on Earth, I found it at the Bar Lazy J Ranch. This was my first solo trip & for as 65 year old women, I could not have been treated better. Cheri & Jerry(owners) & staff get it, as to how to make a guest feel at home. Yes, they truly do match you to your horse, have all levels of rides & safety is always foremost.
There also are many other things to do if you do not ride & they make sure that each individual is comfortable plus having fun.
The food is delicious,be sure to sample the deserts, breads & soups.
The horses are well cared for,comfortable around guests & with expert wranglers, each ride is a treat. The views are outstanding,each rise brings a "Wow".
You bond with fellow guests & leaving is truly a hard thing to do. Many return year after year & I plan on joining them with a return trip next year.
So tape your favorite TV shows(no TV's),turn off your cell phones, store away your lap top & come to Colorado for the time of your life. The Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch will not disappoint you.
If you cannot live without a computer Jerry has built a "Jail House" with internet.
Plus I have heard from my fellow returning guests that the kid program is outstanding.

Room Tip: All Cabins are on the Colorado River.
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  • Stayed: September 2011, traveled solo
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3  Thank jadRetied
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 12, 2011

It is difficult to come up with new superlatives to describe the Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch. After going there annually for 7 years, you would think that there would be no surprises…but that is not the case…and all the surprises are good ones. They continually exceed our expectations with new trails to explore, improvements to an already fantastic facility, and a level of customer service that is beyond compare.

If you are looking for great trail rides; cozy adorable cabins; over-the-top hospitality; jeans-busting delicious food; and a magical location…then book a vacation at the Bar Lazy J in Parshall, Colorado.

This year our band of four otherwise known as the Hole in the Pants Gang expanded to include a total of eight cowboy wanna-bees. It was fun to see the ranch from newcomers’ perspectives…and to know that our promises of an over-the-top vacation were met in grand fashion. From owners Jerry and Cheri, to each and every staff member, we were treated as friends as well as valued guests.

The wranglers are fantastic! They tailored each ride to our group’s riding ability. Never content to merely offering nose-to-tail walking trail rides (although that is certainly an option for people desiring beautiful scenic rides), we loped across the flat land, charged up some great hills, crossed rivers and bushwhacked through the sage brush searching for antler sheds. The horses at the Bar Lazy J are well cared for and fantastic for riders at any level. And Cheri is a master at matching the right horse for each guest. Having visited different ranches…and as someone who owns my own horse, I can say the riding at the BLJ is superior to anyplace.

After several hours on the trails, it is such at treat to return to the heated pool, hot tub and the luxury of just sitting with a favorite beverage on our cabin porch. It is a perfect setting to relax while visiting with old friends and making new ones.

And not to be overlooked are the outstanding foods created by Chef Eddie. Man, that guy can cook! The menus are varied (yes, even the vegetarians among us are in food heaven) and every morsel is delicious—much to the dismay of tight jeans! And now, Eddie has become the king of homemade breads. It is exciting to show up at dinner each night to see what delicious bread is stuffed in the bread baskets!

From the evening activities (campfire performers, line dancing, Buckhorn Saloon night….) there is always something to do. While I understand that the regular season is great for families with kids of all ages, we choose to enjoy one of the ranch’s adult weeks. While we might act like kids at various times, it is fun to be there with other urban cowboys living out our dreams and experiencing the magic of a western lifestyle.

With their outstanding commitment to guest service and providing a unique dude ranch experience it is no wonder that the ranch is just concluding its 99th year in business. And with Jerry and Cheri as caretakers and owners of this magical place, it will continue to be the BEST PLACE TO EXPERIENCE THE WEST. One other thing is certain…the Hole in the Pants Gang will be there for the 100th season. See ya on the trails!

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank KalamityK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 26, 2011

We spent the 3rd week of August at Bar Lazy J. This is such a fantastic vacation for families! The cabin was so cozy, comfortable and clean! The food was delicious with plenty of options. Cheri and Jerry, the owners, were very in tune to their guests and were completely involved the entire week. There are so many optional activities (most prices included). You can do as little or as much as you want. Our children were in the Lil' Buckaroos program, ages 3-6. Our 4 year old was led around on her horse, and our 6 year old had a little more freedom guiding her horse by herself. They did many crafts, cooking, games, and playing with animals. I do think age 4 is a bit young for the program, I would advise ages 6 and up. As for the riding for the adults, there is something for all levels, and you can progress quickly if you pass the loping class. Otherwise, the scenic rides offered twice daily are plenty exciting themselves. Some of the more advanced riders were off immediately on what I heard were very challenging rides. Some highlights were the breakfast ride (you cross the Colorado river on horse back and then served the best meal ever- sourdough biscuits, sausage, pecan pancakes, coffee ready on the fire!), the line dancing, and the bonfire singalong.

A couple of pointers:
1. Pack lightly. Everyone wears the same things all week- jeans, long sleeved light weight shirt layered over t-shirts, hat, sun glasses. You can do the wash for free during your stay. There are plenty of cowboy boots as loaners, so don't buy boots if you already have them. It is very chilly in the morning and night. You need one jacket.
2. Pack plenty of mosquito repellent and sun block .
3. I saw no one wearing a helmet, including the kids all week. There are some to borrow and your kids need to bring their own if you want them to use one. They are not allowed to borrow.
4. The AmTrak train schedule is very unreliable. If you decide to take the train on Sunday home, you will need to make your flight for Monday. The train is known to 6 hours late sometimes.
5. A really fun side trip is the Alpine Slide at Winter Park about 50 minutes away.
6. Skip the hot springs. Very dirty and quite a tourist trap.

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled with family
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8  Thank MadrugadaTampa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch

Address: 447 County Road 3, PO Box N, Parshall, CO 80468-8714
Location: United States > Colorado > Grand County > Parshall
Amenities:
Free Parking Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 2 Specialty Lodging in Parshall
Number of rooms: 14
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colorado's oldest continuously operating guest ranch is nestled in a peaceful valley along the beautiful Colorado River. Near Rocky Mountain National Park. Warm Western hospitality and delicious home cooked meals served in our historic lodge will add to your experience. Enjoy Gold Medal fishing, scenic horseback rides (all levels), jeep rides, mountain biking, guided hiking, river rafting, and sightseeing van trips. Extensive children's program, evening entertainment, recreation barn, and heated pool/jacuzzi. Listen to the Colorado River rush by in your private log cabin. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Bar Lazy j Guest Ranch Hotel Parshall
Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch Colorado/Parshall

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