by Cindy Hirschfeld
A stay at this lovely guest ranch, on 5,000 acres below the Continental Divide and about 20 minutes from the ski area, can be a vacation in and of itself. The upscale-rustic lodge rooms, many with fireplaces, are convenient to everything at the ranch. For privacy, room to spread out, and a beautifully rendered version of Western luxe style, book one of the 16 cabins a half-mile from the lodge (dogs are welcome in some, too). Two restaurants are on site: the romantic Ranch House, in the ranch’s original handhewn-log homestead (from 1937), and the family-oriented Heck’s Tavern, housed in a hexagonal room built to resemble Oregon’s Timberline Lodge.
Activities are numerous: In winter, the ranch grooms more than 100 kilometers of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, and also offers sleigh rides, horseback riding, ice skating, and sledding. Summer brings fly-fishing ponds, hiking, mountain biking, an extensive menu of horse-related options, and the opening of the indoor/outdoor pool.
The ranch also has a wealth of family-friendly activities; some of the more notable ones include Old McDonald (a guided meet-the-farm-animals experience), pony rides through the woods, family horseback rides, kids’ barn BBQs, movie nights, and a good old-fashioned game room (no video). Kids 5 to 12 can sign up for a half- or full day of Cowpoke Camp on summer weekends (giving you a chance to duck into the incredibly soothing spa for a treatment or a yoga class) and 10- to 14-year-olds can attend one of three monthly Junior Wrangler Daycamps — the three-day sessions devote mornings to horseback riding and care and afternoons to other outdoor activities and games.
Our Editor Loves
- Children's and teens' summer programs
- Indoor/outdoor pool onsite
- Pony rides and farm animals
This place is so special! We were just there last weekend to celebrate our 15th anniversary. It is every bit as great as the last time. It feels like you're in a place so remote, but you have everything you could possibly want right there. We were upgraded to a suite which was fabulous. We got there late Friday night and thought for sure we missed any option for food, but headed to the bar to at least have a drink and the first thing the bartender said as he's putting out coasters for us was 'you hungry?' - so welcoming, friendly. We sat by the big fire with an old fashioned and had some delicious empanadas. Heck's food is so so good, and we ate at the Ranch House as well and that was AMAZING. Every single thing was outstanding and the presentation of each course was amazing as well. The main lodge is so cozy. The grounds are beautiful. Next time I will definitely visit the spa. I can't wait to go back again!
by John D
What a great place. This was our first time visiting the resort but it won’t be the last. The resort is about three miles off of the main highway nestled in a valley all by itself. The accommodations are great and just what you would want for a winter or summer retreat. Great staff, good value, good food. Cross country ski trails that transform into biking trails for n the summer. Horse back riding and daily activities for the small fries. We did experience altitude sickness which was a first for us old timers. Great place, five stars!!!