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“Saddle-up and Wrangle the High Country!”

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Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Leave the modern world behind at the Bar Lazy J in Parshall, Colorado. The world looks different from the back of a horse. You also feel like a different person when you're actually back on the ground! This guest ranch is a lliving, breathing link to the past. Here, the horse is king, especially when it's a mare! Do everything you've ever wanted, at an altitude of 7,600 feet. The ranch caters to families and is all about the experience.Safety is a watchword here, both for riders and mounts. You can do as much or as little as you like, You're in the high desert, yet the Colorado River runs through the ranch, a smaller version of its wilder self. You can fly fish on this silver medal river, or spend your days on a horse, bushwacking through sagebrush, looking for antler sheds. Eating here is a community event. The food is varied and plentiful; in short, it's also a fun and delicious adventure! You haven't experienced a real pancake breakfast until you've caught Cheri's back-fliipped-expertly-tossed-blueberry-infused concoctions on your strategically-positioned ranch plate that you're holding with your eyes closed on behalf of your hungy faimily! No pressure here for anyone, of course, except for air pressure.
We brought our 10 and 13 year-old daughters here in 2006 and returned as a couple in August 2012 for our 25th anniversary. It just so happened that the Bar Lazy J was celebrating their 100th anniversary as guest ranch in Colorado!
We are proud and pleased to sumit our review to TripAdvisor.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank chickadee830
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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62 - 68 of 114 reviews

Reviewed September 16, 2012

There isn't much that I can add that hasn't already been mentioned in previous reviews. I can say, however, that before I booked my trip I read every single review. Just so I knew was I was getting myself into. You can't really put into words what an experience at the ranch will do for you. If you are concerned about the cost of the week, as that was my concern pre-trip, don't be. It was worth every penny. So much so that I did not hesitate to sign up for my next visit before I left the ranch. If you are concerned about your riding ability, again it's not an issue. I had one prior riding experience and it was a terrible one to boot. The wranglers were awesome about teaching me, answering any of my questions and providing encouragement. The hospitality is superb. Leave the technology at home. There already isn't enough time to take advantage of all that's offered at the ranch. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled solo
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4  Thank GuidedbyGrace
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 7, 2012

People ask how many times we've been here, but we are beginning to lose track! We just returned from what is probably our 12th trip to the ranch. This year was the 100th Birthday for the ranch. This was one of the best trips we have had to the ranch. We both LOVED our horses, spent time with old friends and met lots of new friends. It has to be right up there with the best group of travelers we have spent the week with. Lots of laughing, interacting and getting to know one another. As we left, most of the travelers that were there already signed up for the same week next year! Go, you wont be sorry.

  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank w0rkt0travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2012

A stay at the Bar Lazy J guest ranch is truly a unique experience—the kind that lingers in your memory long after you’ve returned home. The natural beauty, serenity, good food, and great people all make for an exceptionally enjoyable stay. This is one of those reviews I’m reluctant to write—because the Bar Lazy J is SO outstanding that I’m afraid it will become impossible to get reservations. Amazingly, most of the guests are repeats, some having visited the ranch for as many as six or seven years in a row.

The setting.
The outdoor surroundings are truly beautiful. The Colorado River runs right through the property, near the cabins and dining area. The immediate grounds are very well kept up with unique planters and flowers throughout the grounds.

The accommodations.
The cabins are rustic but clean. Our group of five stayed in the ranch house, which was extremely roomy and would accommodate a group of at least eight or nine. The rustic furniture was attractive and comfortable and the walls were decorated with unique western-style decorations—interesting and attractive without being corny. Care, thought, and attention to detail were evident in such things as the large bottles of hand and body lotion in the bathroom and next to each bed (much appreciated, as the high altitude and low humidity have a definite drying effect). The house held an excellent selection of books to borrow, from fiction to non-fiction and included books on local history.

The food.
Meals are very good and very plentiful. Coffee and other drinks are available at any hour, as is a “bottomless” cookie chest that is continually restocked with freshly baked cookies. We had brought along snacks that were totally unnecessary.

The horse experience.
The wranglers and schedulers are exceptionally accommodating and will provide lessons and interesting rides for all levels--from total novices to experienced riders. The horses are well trained and assigned according to a rider’s experience and ability. Since you ride the same horse all week, you get to know your horse and are able to develop a bond. Don’t miss the breakfast ride, a highlight of the trip.

Other activities.
Fishing is at the top of the list. The section of river that runs through the property is open only to ranch guests; consequently you’ll see a lot of action. No license is necessary to fish the stocked pond on the property (catch and release), but you’ll need a Colorado fishing license to fish the river (available online from the ranch).

You don’t need to be an active sportsperson to enjoy the ranch. There are a lovely heated pool and hot tub, a nice library, and leisure games freely available. During part of the week, you can schedule a massage. In addition, evening activities are varied and the entertainment is enjoyable.

The people.
Even considering the beautiful setting, comfortable accommodations, well-trained horses, and well-organized activities, it’s the people who make the experience. Owners Jerry and Sherri are incredible…gracious and friendly, attentive to their guests, while keeping things running smoothly and making it all look easy. They have a special knack for choosing exceptional employees (whether kitchen and housekeeping staff or talented horse wranglers), whose sincere aim is to ensure that you have a pleasant and enjoyable stay. Jerry and Sherri’s easy-going, friendly attitude is contagious and creates a comfortable atmosphere where guests freely interact. The other guests we met were all friendly and considerate.

The Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch is truly a one-of-a kind, not-to-be-missed experience.

Advice to future guests:
1) You don’t need to bring extra food; meals are frequent and plentiful. Alcoholic drinks aren’t served with meals but you can bring your own if you like.
2) Bring plenty of sunscreen—and use it! A hat and sunglasses are recommended, as well.
3) Be prepared to leave a generous gratuity for the staff. In view of the considerable cost of staying at the ranch, the suggested 15-18% additional gratuity seemed unreasonable prior to our visit. Then we saw how hard the young wranglers, kitchen and housekeeping staff work. They are an exceptional group and do everything possible to make your stay as pleasant as possible. I suspect that most of their income is from gratuities (divided equally among all 22 workers). Be sure to factor this cost in when planning your visit.
4) Avid fishermen and women may want to bring their own waders. While equipment is available to borrow, many of the waders leak.
5) If you plan to fish, you may want to purchase your Colorado license ahead of time and save the state’s $10 fee for doing so online (which can be done using the computer at the ranch).
6) Bring a generous supply of insect repellent. There are mosquitoes, LOTS of them. Some are big enough to have their own horses.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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8  Thank LS-Los_Altos
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 3, 2012

This is our eighth visit to the Bar Lazy J and each time it just gets better and better. Over the years, we took our sons to the ranch each summer to spend time without electronics and to become good at horseback riding. Now for the first time, we returned without our children (who have grown up) and we enjoyed it immensely! Jerry and Cheri are the greatest hosts and the ranch is a magical paradise. Nestled in its beautiful valley along the Colorado River, it offers us wonderful horseback rides through amazing scenery with the nicest guests and wranglers. Over the years, we have made wonderful, special friends from our visits. We LOVE the Bar Lazy J and highly, highly recommend it as a perfect vacation.

Room Tip: All of the cabins are unique and each has its special ambiance.
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  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Susan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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.
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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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