by Julie Bielenberg
This is an incredible family experience located in the Southeast part of Colorado. Rainbow Trout Ranch has been lovingly-owned and cared for by a couple who fell in love themselves on a ranch in Montana! Jane is from Kenya, but now calls Rainbow Trout home, with husband David, and their children, and has done so for more than 25 years.
There are 16 log cabins onsite, all that have fire places, and that can sleep anywhere from one to eight people. The ranch is nestled on 600 acres and surrounded by National Forest. And, for fishers from novice to expert, the Ranch owns 1.5 miles of a private stretch on the Conejos River that is precious and ripe for nabbing supreme size trout.
Activities are endless at the ranch. From river activities to horseback riding, this ranch has a very strong reputation for excellent programming. Their returning family numbers represents the inclusiveness and extremely special nature the owners take in tailoring programs for families. A major perk in the Ranch’s week-long programming is a white-water rafting trip, included in the price, which is rare. There’s so much to do, you would need three weeks to get it all done. Onsite there is a pool and hot tub, evening activities such as BBQ by the river, dancing, talent shows, afternoons rodeos, campfire and S’mores, and much more.
What you will not find at this ranch is TV, DVD, much wireless coverage or much other technology. The focus is the outdoors, the expansive beauty and landscape, and the abundant activity.
Our Editor Loves
- Children’s program and PB& J Ride
- Dance night, stunning and massive lodge
- Horseback riding, private river access
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Game Room
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
Just returned home from our 2nd holiday at RTR in Colorado and this one was possibly even better than last year. They have something so special going at this Ranch! The warmest welcome from the family of hosts and staff, (who all know you by name from Day 1! And go out of their way to ensure you have the best time, every day). Their fabulous horses are so incredibly well trained, and Jane has that special gift of matching guests to their perfect horse, ensuring everyone is completely at ease and within their comfort zone. We’re English riders and they make the transition to western so easy! The Ranch is set amongst stunning scenery and every ride out is a wonderful experience, whilst you get to know every wrangler there. There is nothing I would change about this experience, and I would love to go back again and again! Oh and for non riders there’s fishing and walking, and kids clubs with tons of activities so it’s great for all the family..
I honestly don't know where to begin, I have been gushing about Rainbow Trout Ranch to anyone who will listen since we returned home last week. RTR allows you to do everything (ride, swim, raft, shoot, eat, hike, or fish) or nothing at all- in the middle of beautiful Colorado.
Our group (two families with kids aged 9, 8, 8, 7, and 5) traveled at the end of July/early August 2019 and had a marvelous time. We were assigned two lovely wood cabins for the week. Family of five in one that had a queen bed, and two rooms with bunks in each (and two bathrooms). Family of four in a two room cabin. Both had fireplaces, covered porches, and central heat.
My 8 year old daughter is a bit horse crazy so this was the vacation of a lifetime for her. All guests interested in riding are assigned a horse for the week which is so nice because you get quite comfortable with them (get to know their quirks) and are able to advance your skills nicely.
We tried to take advantage of all of the activities offered at RTR, but just didn't have enough time- guided fly fishing, heated pool, white water rafting near Taos (off site but included in the cost of the week), hiking, different riding experiences (mosey, trotting/loping, full day, family), line and square dancing, cattle sorting, shooting and archery, and hay rides.
Plenty of other reviewers have mentioned the food, but it bears repeating...you get really hungry at 9000 feet and the RTR kitchen staff keeps you well fed!
The staff at RTR deserve their own paragraph for praise. The Van Berkum family truly understands the meaning of hospitality. When we arrived Doug checked us in and gave us a tour (and then kept our coffee cups filled for the rest of the week). Jane, Dave, and the wranglers works so diligently with guests so that their horseback riding experience is phenomenal. The wait and housekeeping staff kept our plates filled and cabins spotless. The fly fishing guides are so patient and helpful with novices. So many hard working, caring, and funny folks to get to know in just one week!
I have to admit that on the first night I was very surprised by the number of repeat guests at the ranch but by Tuesday afternoon, I completely understood why they keep coming back. It was a perfect family vacation, and we will return one day.