by Amanda Geronikos
You don’t have to leave the U.S. for an all-inclusive family vacation! Consider a stay at Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch in Parshall, Colorado. Accommodations, meals and activities are included in rates. And activities there are, with kids’ programming, horseback riding, fishing, zip-lining, and more included in one, easy price. Offsite excursions such as hot air balloon rides, whitewater rafting and trips to Rocky Mountain National Park can be arranged, too.
Accommodations are cozy, updated cabins that sleep six to eight guests — perfect for families or even multigenerational groups. They feature kitchenettes and screened-in porches. Traditional guestrooms are available, as well.
Note that Bar Lazy J Guest Ranch does not provide alcohol or soft drinks, but you’re welcome to bring your own!
Our Editor Loves
- All-inclusive rates
- Onsite and offsite activities
- Cabins for large groups
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Dude Ranch
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
- Onsite Dining
We write this review with tears in our eyes reliving our recent adult week stay at BLJ. Having never been to a guest ranch before but always wanting to taste ranch life and horseback riding, we chose BLJ after 2 years of research. We couldn't have chosen a better place! BLJ is an authentic ranch, no Disneyland Amusement Park replica. It's the real deal oozing with hospitality and one of the most beautiful ranches on earth. Cheri & Jerry (Owners)...well they are charming, hospitable and caring from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave. Every day they eat with you, they participate with you,and get to know all their guests by first name. Always accommodating and never a negative word or can't do or won't do attitude. Tammy & Chad (Ranch Managers) have been there many years, live on the ranch with their beautiful children and take care of everything you need or want. If the daily schedule of things to do--ride, zipline, hike, fish,etc.--was not exactly what you felt like doing, the staff were flexible and made sure you were able to do what you wanted on any given day. The horses are absolutely beautiful and well cared for. Each and every one of the wranglers are real "cowboys and cowgirls" and totally committed to you, your horse, and your experience. The ranch crew and Chef Eddie were amazing. Fabulous meals with MORE than you could ever want and a Cookie Box that never goes empty. A favorite was the Breakfast Ride which we will never forget. Out to the high country, crossing the Colorado River, and sitting down to a real outdoor western breakfast in the mountains, by the river, with your horse, your new found friends, while listening to Wrangler Joseph play the guitar. You try to comprehend how Chef Eddie and the whole crew puts it all together so perfectly. The scenery is some of the best in the west. Spectacular high country, mountains, river and plateaus. Many guests have described their visit to BLJ as wonderful, fun, awesome, a great place to visit--which it is. It's hard to find the right words to describe it. We feel it has to be experienced. BLJ is a classic, one-of-a-kind, western ranch full of tradition cared for by the most wonderful people; Cheri, Jerry, Tammy, Chad, Chef Eddie, Christina, and each one of the entire staff (you know who you are). We think it's like no other place on earth. We LOVED our time with you, miss all of you, and look forward to our next visit.
We stayed at the end of the family season and had a great time. Our daughter really enjoyed the kids program, which lets the kids go off together (with awesome wranglers) and allows you to decide how much freedom to give your kid. The kids had a great time. They rode (including loping), played games, fed the animals in the petting zoo, and swam. The adult program pairs you with a horse for the week and allows you to choose how often you want to ride, and how adventurous you want your ride to be. They allow a lot of loping for competent riders. They were also very flexible in accommodating special requests. We arranged a family ride with our daughter simply by asking (thanks Jasmine!).
The accommodations are rustic but exactly what you’d want at a ranch. The cabins are western themed and clean and comfy. The main house is also a nice place to hang out and if you need WiFi, the only place to get it (enjoy the Internet prison).
The owners and staff are all fantastic. We didn’t meet a single person who wasn’t friendly and helpful. They offer a variety of activities included in the price, and a few others at extra cost. There’s pretty much always something to do, but it’s perfectly acceptable to pull up a book by the river and do nothing. My daughter is already plotting her next visit.