by Julie Bielenberg
This is an extremely wholesome and charming Western dude ranch located in the Red Feather Lakes area of Colorado. The owners are extremely personable and hands-on. What is also very interesting about this ranch is it is open most of the year, which many of the ranches do not do; they shut down after September (often, and adults-only week). Not Sundance Trail, they have wonderful B&B rates in the winter where meals and limited riding is available.
The focus is on the wee ones having the time of their life, and the other generations celebrating in this time, so there is something for everyone. The kids program has kids only horseback riding in the arena or small group trail rides, gathering eggs from the hen house, playing with the ever-present kittens and goats, group hikes and rock climbing, fishing, picnics and campfire sing-alongs, outdoor games and treasure hunts, movies and crafts and so much more. Also note that babysitting can be arranged for a reasonable hourly rate.
There is an onsite hot tub, foosball, horseshoes and pool. The professionally decorated dude ranch suites have private baths, private outdoor entrances and decks and daily maid service. All suites include AM-FM radios, refrigerators and individual coffee service. This is a BYOB ranch, but there is a liquor store on the property for soda, beer, wine and spirits.
Our Editor Loves
- All-inclusive packages
- Horseback riding, national forest
- Games, children's programming
- All Inclusive Rates
- Horse Back Riding
- Water Sports
- Children Programs
- Family Room 5+
- Free Breakfast
- Free Wi-Fi
- Game Room
- Kids' Theme Meals
- Meal Plan
- Onsite Dining
by Bev G
My daughter and I spent a long weekend at the STR for fall break this year. This is one of the only ranches we found that would allow us a less than week long stay in late October. Amanda answered all our pre-arrival questions and took care of all our reservations then Dan, Ellen, Maddie, Justin, Josh and Tonya all made us feel so welcomed during our 4-day stay.
We had a couple of unavoidable hiccups that were handled quite well....one morning the pilot light had blown out on the water heater and we had cold showers and another evening the entire area lost power, but we just stoked up the fireplace. Be aware that cell service is pretty limited. The lodge is a converted home, so some of the spaces are a bit cobbled, but they work pretty well. Food was plentiful, varied, homemade and delicious.
But we were really there for the horseback riding! Farm Manager, Maddie led us on all our rides...each one was unique and on each we were able to see wildlife...deer, coyote, and even a mountain lion. Some of the terrain was fairly rugged to an Indiana girl, but with Maddie as our lead, we felt confident to traverse each varied situation. The views on the rides were just phenomenal - photos just don't capture the beauty of this area. My only regret is that it was so windy, hiking wasn't safe (saving that for next trip). Other ranch activities were limited due to the inclement weather - Dan said we had January weather in October - but we had plenty to keep us occupied.
If you have one, bring a GoPro; I was leery to bring my phone on the trail as I didn't have zippered pockets and was afraid I'd lose my phone.
There for a week end September / start October, travelling solo...highly recommend it. The horses are great - I experienced and saw not a single problem with any of them, and they clearly love the animals. The trails are incredibly beautiful - the pictures don't do them justice. They are a small, friendly crew who really want to make your stay enjoyable. Also $110 return pick-up from Denver airport was, compared to others I've had elsewhere, extremely good value. I looked at quite a few options for this trip and felt I made a great choice. Unfortunately, nearly all my photos area on my Gopro ????♂️