by Eileen Ogintz
Remotely located in the heart of the Rockies, Elk Mountain Dude Ranch hosts fewer than 45 guests at a time within the San Isabel National Forest near Buena Vista, California. It’s about a two-hour drive from Denver or Colorado Springs. Guests come in the summer for a week-long, all-inclusive adventure that includes horseback riding, whitewater rafting, hiking, riflery, fishing, mountain biking and more, staying in cozy cabins that sleep four to six. The Bighorn Cabin is one of the most spacious, with a king bed, a second bedroom with a bunk bed and bath and a large sitting area with a day bed. The front porch overlooks the pond. This is a good bet for families with young children. The ranch offers a week of supervised activities for children aged 3 to 7; those 8 and older typically participate in regular ranch activities, but can also join the children’s program. Meals include trail ride cookouts, steak fry and country candlelight suppers. There are kids’ menus and snacks always available. Minimum stay is three nights.
Check-in time is 3 p.m., with check-out at 10 a.m.
Our Editor Loves
- Remote Rocky Mountain location
- All-inclusive rates that cover meals
- Children's program
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Onsite Dining
by Dave T
Very hands on staff and good teachers when it comes to horse riding, trips organised off the ranch to take in local sites like the Continental divide ... the food and accommodation were outstanding and hope to go again
We spent a week at the ranch with our 3 grown up sons, they had never ridden before but by the end of the week we were all cantering. We were particularly impressed with the horses who were responsive and very well looked after and the rides were varied with stunning scenery. Tom, Sue and all the staff were so welcoming - it's like being part of a big family in a very relaxed environment. We had such fun with all the wranglers (all lovely young people), one of best family holidays we've ever had. With 3 boys food features highly and every meal was a delight. Other than riding there are lots of other activities and we enjoyed the fishing, rafting & square dancing. Highly recommend.