by Julie Bielenberg
This is by far one of the most luxurious and high-end ranches in all of Colorado. Cabins range in accommodation numbers from two to 10. They are historic buildings, lovingly restored with a painstaking eye for detail. All rooms come standard with feather beds, fine linens, handmade soaps and organic lotions. Rates are all-inclusive, for six-night long stays and include the ranch’s Signature Western Vacation Experience that is open from June through September. All stays include superb cuisine served at all ranch meals, including campfire breakfast, barbecue, trail-side picnics and gourmet farm-to-table cuisine with fine dining services; and two, half-day guided activities per person per day. Some of the these guided activities might include horseback riding, fly-fishing, sporting clays for age appropriate, biking in the mountains, hiking, archery and much more.
Specifically for teens and children are the Ranch’s family programs. Smith Fork Ranch takes pride in a program that focuses on age appropriate activities that are both exhilarating and educational in the Western environment. They have youth counselors and guides that have been carefully chosen for their talents, flexibility and experience with kids and teens from 5-17. Activities might include a climb in the multi-leveled tree house, a horseback ride with kid-friendly horses and wranglers (and pony rides for those under seven), game of volleyball, kite-flying, a hunt for river rocks and driftwood to paint, boat making to sail in the creek, scavenger hunt, swimming pond and more.
Smith Fork Ranch also really shines when it comes to farm-to-table cuisine and practices. There is an onsite organic farmstead, cooking demos and opportunities to guests of all ages to get involved in the food process of the ranch. Also note, in the evenings at 6 p.m., the ranch has an optional kids dinner with the counselors, while adults enjoy cocktails on the pavilion that might include make-your-own pizza night (where do you think the pizza veggies come from!!) and the ranch will always adjust menus based on age and preference.
And, once the sun goes down, even more fun is to be had. After dinner, kids can head to the front lawn or back pasture for supervised activities while adults linger over their meals. Kids can gather down by the river at the campfire pit with log benches for singing and music with staff, gaze into the amazingly clear Colorado sky, learning about the planets and constellations. This ranch truly puts family as a priority and even though the true family programs began at five years of age, kids from birth will enjoy this extremely special place.
Our Editor Loves
- Luxurious, Western experience
- Endless, age-appropriate activity
- Gorgeous setting of mountain, forest and river
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
by lee r
My family visited this exquisite dude ranch in Crawford colorado in July 2018. My 10 year old daughter had never ridden horses before. The very qualified wranglers took grest pains to make her proficient as a rider. By the second day she was able to take a fabulous ride in the mountains with a picnic lunch for several hours. The chef is fabulous. The owners are hands on and are present and such genuine host and hostess. The morning coffee left on your door step for when you wake up is so thoughtful. The cocktail ride up in the mountains with breathtaking views was spectacular, as was the morning campfire breakfast. This is an incredible find. We will be back for years
We feel so lucky to have landed at SFR after having to change plans last minute due to a hurricane on the east coast. There were so many positives it is hard to know where to start. We went in September with the temperatures cool and perfect for outdoor activities. Courtney and the rest of the staff made sure our stay was relaxing and enjoyable. The choices of activities were a great chance to try something new (fly fishing) but also do some things we love (hiking). The Food was fantastic with several dishes with ingredients grown in the garden. Hard to explain but can't express how much the ranch buildings and grounds creates an environment of relaxation and beauty. Sitting on the front porch drinking coffee early in the morning looking at the beautiful grounds was a perfect start of the day and that feeling of "the day was made for me" continued throughout the day.