The essential guide to dude, guest, and working cattle ranches worldwide.
Colorado Ranch Vacation Guide
A Colorado ranch vacation is considered one of the best as this is by far one of the few states where you can be guaranteed to find some of the most picturesque vistas, spectacular star-filled night skies, friendliest people, varied outdoor adventures, and, of course, the most beautiful and hospitable dude ranches and resorts in the United States.
Originally the state of Colorado was owned by the English and French, then in 1803 was bought by the US as part of the Louisiana Purchase, and soon became “home on the range” for thousands of ranchers and farmers- hence the rich historic traditions still seen throughout the state more than two centuries later.
Whether one comes to Colorado seeking to find adventure and excitement or peace and solitude in the great outdoors – no one leaves disappointed. From the high mountain wilderness areas to the rolling plains and unspoiled lakes and rivers, Colorado is home to some of the best fishing and dude ranches with endless opportunities for families, hunters, bird-watchers, equestrians, nature lovers, anglers and fly-fishing enthusiasts.
Hunters are offered a variety of both big and small game animals – deer, elk, pronghorn, moose, pheasant, sage grouse, quail, squirrels, marmots and rabbits – all amidst alpine meadows and rich forests, many of which are inaccessible to motor vehicles.
Colorado ranch vacations are paradise to nature lovers and photographers, being home to nearly 400 bird species and providing endless watchable wildlife among the most scenic and dramatic landscapes. One can catch sight of white-tailed deer, red foxes, river otters, baby mountain goats, and a wide variety of birds including wild turkeys, red-necked pheasants, prairie falcons, cardinals, eastern blue jays, great blue heron and bald eagles. Even without wildlife, the lush meadows scattered with blue harebells, scarlet paintbrushes and lavender columbines (Colorado’s state flower) in spring and summer are simply breathtaking.
Colorado dude ranches also make for the perfect equestrian immersion with their varied landscapes, endless trails, and long time, pioneer history of horseback riding. See below for our list of dude ranches in Colorado that offer a variety of horseback riding options that accommodate any level of horsemanship.
And if this weren’t enough, Colorado offers some of the best fishing in the world. Headwaters of four major rivers – the Arkansas, Colorado, Platte, and Rio Grande- and with more than 6,000 miles of rivers and streams, with an elite 200 miles having the Gold Model designation, Colorado has no shortage of lakes, rivers, streams and reservoirs to fish.
Anglers who vacation at Colorado fishing lodges and many of the dude ranches will be either guided or directed to the best places where catching trophy size walleye, lake trout, kokanee salmon, largemouth and white bass, channel catfish, bluegill, northern pike and yellow perch is guaranteed.
So whether you’re looking for a laid back, relaxing atmosphere or an adventure for you, your family and your friends, Colorado dude ranch vacations offer something for everybody. With weeklong stays, delicious home-cooked meals, tailored riding instruction, pack trips, cattle ranching, access to the best fishing, kid’s programs, and unrivaled hospitality, the dude ranches in Colorado listed here offer a lifetime experience for everyone.
View our listings of Colorado ranches to start planning your perfect ranch vacation now!