Our family first visited the Bar Lazy J in 2002 with a group of 21 for our parent's 50th Anniversary celebration. We did quite a bit of research at the time to find a place that would be suitable for our family, which spanned three generations and included children ages three and up. We wanted a place with a strong children's program, separate accommodations for each family group, good food and a range of activities. We chose the Bar Lazy J and it has been an annual event ever since. This June will be our 8th consecutive year of visiting our Bar Lazy J family.
Why do we choose to return year after year instead of selecting something different? I will try to articulate what it is that we love so much, and why we highly recommend that every family should experience the ranch at least one time.
Atmosphere: We have been visiting the ranch since our girls were 3 and 6 years old. Both girls, now 11 and 14, greatly enjoy the ranch and count down the days until our return to Colorado. The kids program is fantastic and your kids will fall into bed tired and happy every night. The ranch provides a safe and fun environment for kids to enjoy the horsemanship program, swim in the pool, sing songs at the Powwow and even ride their horses to the country store for an ice cream. And, if you have ever spent a vacation at a place like Disney where you are pulling out your wallet every five minutes, you are in for a very refreshing change at the Bar Lazy J!
Accommodations: Despite the fact that the ranch has an authentic Western feel to it, do not expect that you will be “roughing it” for the week. The cabins line the Colorado River and, in addition to offering a wonderful view, are very well appointed, clean and comfortable. What a great change of pace to sit on the porch of my cabin at the Bar Lazy J, watching my husband try his hand at fly fishing and enjoying something cold after a day of fun out on the trail.
Activities: I happen to greatly enjoy the riding and have rarely choose to sit one out in all those years at the ranch. The wranglers, horses and the horsemanship instruction at the ranch are excellent for riders of any caliber. There are several daily options ranging from scenic rides to more adventure, or try the spa ride to Hot Sulphur Springs for a soak in the mineral baths. We have had friends and family join us over the years that preferred other activities such as fly fishing, hiking, jeep rides and river rafting. There are also those who wanted to curl up in a comfortable chair by the river with a good book. Most evenings offer a fun activity like line dancing, a trip to the rodeo or entertainment by the campfire. My personal favorite is the staff “talent” show on Friday night.
Staff: You can’t talk about the Bar Lazy J without mentioning Jerry and Cheri and the fantastic staff they assemble year after year. Every staff member makes it their mission to help you have the great vacation you desire, whether that is adventure or leisure.
As I think back on our years at the ranch there are so many great memories, so many fun times with friends and family and new friends that we have made, both guests and staff, at the ranch. I will say that no one in our family agrees on what is the “very best thing” about the Bar Lazy J. Is it the breakfast ride, the Powwow, the trail rides or the fantastic staff? For me it is probably the fact that the ranch is a place that I can go for a week with my family and unplug from the 24/7 life that is the other 51 weeks of the year. Sure, with your BlackBerry you could find out what is happening in the rest of the world, but resist the temptation. Relax and enjoy your family! The only bad thing about the week at the Bar Lazy J is that it does draw to a close and you have to say goodbye to the ranch, your favorite horse and your friends until you return again.
- 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