by Julie Bielenberg
This is one of the nicest, most luxurious places in the area. Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch and vacation rentals is situated in the countryside of Cortez, Colorado near Mesa Verde National Park. Please note that this is not a B&B, but a private home and cabins. The historic guest ranch is located in the McElmo Canyon, a Sedona-like setting in Southwest Colorado with more than 5,000 documented archeological sites in the area. There are six vacation rental units on the ranch: the newest is the Wagstaff Cabin, the Mokee House with Anasazi tower, the historical Elden Stone House, the Cowboy Log Cabin, the Ranch House and the Pioneer House. The owners can help arrange wine tasting and vineyard tours just seven minutes away, ideas on where to explore ancient ruins and rock art panels, horseback riding, hiking, biking, steam train engine, and so much more like skiing, water activities, etc. Nearby attractions like Canyons of The Ancients Monument, Mesa Verde National Park, Durango Steam Train, Monument Valley or Mexican Hat are all within a 1.5-hour drive. The famous ski resort, Telluride, is less than two hours away.
Our Editor Loves
- Private cabins
- Location to incredible outdoor sites
- Private, forested property
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Family Room 5+
- Free Wi-Fi
by Gareth B
What a stunning home in a stunning location.Ming and Garry are amazing, welcoming and genuine hosts and made you feel like one of the family and really couldn't do enough for you. We stayed in the Wagstaff Cabin, a relatively recent build (and a star build from the Barnwood Builders show!) and incredibly well laid out. Western / cowboy styled throughout, two bedrooms (one on the mezzanine level), kitchen with all mod-cons, fantastic bathroom and living area with fireplace. Large porch area outside with lots of seating, gas bbq and views of the property.
On the evening we arrived, first we set off a mile or so down the road and met with the owner of a local winery (Sutcliffe Wines, a Brit) and had some wine tastings and a great chat. Very friendly, before heading in to Cortez for some provisions. Upon our return, we helped feed the sheep (hi Quasi!) then took off in a ute to more fields to see some of the fantastic landscape in the golden evening light and admire all the wild desert flowers. We had a tour of the ranch and introduced to all the cats and dogs and sheep and horses. We met some of the other guests staying at some of the other buildings, who were all fantastic.
The next day we went on a magical mystery tour of some of the local sites for ancient rock carvings...utterly fascinating and about as far off the beaten path as you can get. What a great day, fantastic scenery, fascinating history, great people. Highly highly recommend doing this if you get a chance on your stay. That evening, barbecued one of the ranch's "home grown" steaks and sat with a bottle of wine enjoying the stars.
We had planned to visit Mesa Verde the next day, but we loved the Ranch so much we decided to stay there and just soak in the atmosphere and enjoy the relaxation the ranch provides. In the evening, Ming and Garry hosted a cookout in one of the buildings (converted barn) and everyone brought food and drink. What a meal, such a feeling of family and friendship. Afterwards we headed out the firepit in one of the fields, where we were treated to some great informal Native American music with a roaring fire under the stars.
Sadly the next day we had to leave, but not before we had a tour of some more of the property and invited to Ming's house where we played with the animals, chatted and said our goodbyes.
All in all a fantastic stay and I cannot wait to go back some time. Great place for scenery, hiking, photography, history, relaxation and more, all in a welcoming and caring atmosphere. Just one regret...and that's that we didn't book for longer. Thank you Ming and Garry!
Our stay at the Canyons of the Ancients Guest Ranch was wonderful! We were on the last leg of a monuments tour, just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, we experienced our stay there.
We stopped at the City Market in Cortez and picked-up breakfast items and headed in. (We loved being able to cook our own breakfast and start a leisurely day; and spoiler-alert…the fridge had fresh, free-range eggs that were rich and creamy, not like the runny eggs in the supermarket; they were delicious!
When we arrived, we expected the formal check-in process, but was greeted by a welcome sign at our (upgraded) cabin, “Eldenstone House “with all of the warmness of a cozy home! The place was all set up waiting for us.
Ming later stopped by and offered us some good ol fashion hospitality that was wonderful. She took us for a tour in her quad runner and showed us the spectacular cabins she has on the property.
Our place was delightful; so much so that it felt like (and actually is) a three-bedroom home with kitchen, bathroom and living room, etc. When I needed a coffee fix and forgot to buy some, guess what? There was some in the kitchen cabinet. YAE!
On the way out the next morning, we met Ming’s husband Gary who is just as nice as she is. His kindness is something we really appreciated. We got to meet his pet sheep (yes that is correct); led by Quasi-Moto who we had the privilege of feeding breakfast! Those animals are smart and funny, not unlike some smart dogs…they just have thick fluffy fur!
My wife calls it a magical place. It is so beautiful, yet serene and calm. We had a much-needed relaxing time that gave us a second wind. We hope you enjoyed our depiction of our visit; If we had to do it all over again, we would do it in a heartbeat.