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“Wonderful Horseback Riding and Vacation Experience”

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Rainbow Trout Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 17 September 2013

RTR is special. My daughter and I have spent over 12 summer vacations at the ranch-it's that good. Set on the Conejos River next to Colorado's San Juan Wilderness area, RTR has everything you could want in a dude ranch vacation. It begins with a relaxing, friendly western culture cultivated by the VanBerkum family that quickly engages every guest. The food is excellent and plentiful, served in the lodge, by the pool or by the river. Evenings are filled with cowboy singer, Will Dudley, dancing or storytelling. The fishing is excellent. But the activity that my daughter and I enjoy most is horseback riding in the San Juans. We are horse owners, and we love the RTR all day treks to views above 11,000 feet, or loping on trails through Aspen and Ponderosa forests, it doesn't get better. Jane and Dave VanBerkum do an outstanding job of ensuring that the skills of the rider and the horse match. One way you can judge the quality of a vacation experience is by the number of repeat visitors. You will find that RTR is at the top of the repeat list when it comes to dude ranches... We now live in Colorado and still come back to RTR.

Room Tip: All the cabins have wood burning fireplaces, and their own bathrooms and showers. All cabins are equ...
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  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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100 - 106 of 202 reviews

Reviewed 10 September 2013

This place lives up to it's reputation as a first class Dude Ranch! The owners Doug and Linda are salt of the earth, very hard working, friendly, accommodating---really the perfect hosts. My daughters and I recently visited this ranch for the first time and loved every minute of our stay! This ranch is set in a part of Colorado that few people think to visit which makes it the perfect get-away from the crowded tourist destinations. The ranch is on 600 acres of the most gorgeous scenery you could ever imagine. The ranch also butts up agains the Rio Grande National Forest so your horse back adventure is truely epic.The staff is very knowledgable, professional, and will treat you as one of their own family. Look no further, you can't go wrong booking your next vacation with this outfit.

  • Stayed: September 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Sam W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 September 2013

Everything about our recent RTR vacation was superb! From the moment our family of 6 adults arrived, until the final goodbyes were said, we all had a BLAST. The horse program was beyond our wildest expectations, meeting the needs of the most inexperienced to the most advanced rider. Each and every employee went out of his or her way to accommodate our every desire. The food was plentiful, varied and delicious, our cabin (Birch) clean and comfy, evening activities entertaining and fun, and the other guests delightful. A great week, enjoyed by all!

Thank you to Jane & David, Linda & Doug and their outstanding staff for making us feel special and insuring a superb experience was enjoyed by all.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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Thank Marcia H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I own and ride horses at home. I was amazed with the service, treatment, quality, and experience that this ranch gave. When they do not require a tip and you WANT to give them the maximum that I could afford, it tells the story. The staff, owners, horses, scenery, activities, and food are all prime time. I felt like I was safe and definitely was delighted with each ride. The all day rides were breath taking. My only regret is that I had to go home. The aura of the ranch gives you a sense peace and serenity. The family that runs the ranch take care of every need you could imagine. The cabins and lodge are very clean. The activities (which are optional) are so positive and fun. The staff makes you feel like family and you want to bring them home with you. My dream is to take my grandchildren to experience this ranch in the future. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions that I could help you with. My email is squeakbrookkbf@hotmail.com.

Room Tip: Contact the ranch and have them suggest the cabin that fits your needs. They are different and all...
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled solo
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3  Thank Katherine F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2013

We have been repeat visitors to Rainbow Trout Ranch over the years. Whether you travel with children or adults only, Rainbow Trout offers everything you need for a relaxing vacation!
The horseback riding is second to none. Each guest is "assigned" your own horse for the week, and Jane spends much time making sure that assignment is just right. You can ride as little or as much as you want. The scenery is gorgeous and the wranglers are the best. If riding isn't what your looking for, the pool is very relaxing, and the trout fishing is superb. You're less than 2 hours away from Taos, so a daytrip for whitewater rafting or shopping is always an option. The accomodations are comfortable and super-clean. The food is AMAZING!! Especially the desserts!! You will be treated like family here--RTR is NOT to be missed!!

  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tracy R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2013

I love reading tripadvisor reviews but sadly-- rarely do I do reviews. But wow—when I read the last review I just l had to respond. I was quite surprised to read: “the ranch felt a bit like a Christian summer camp.” My large extended family has been going there for over a decade and we never once felt like we’re being proselytized. This is especially true in my case since I’m a non-Christian. Religion is just not discussed. Jewish friends have felt quite comfortable in this non-denomination environment. (The only hint of any religion would be Doug the owners shrines to the old-fashioned cowboy virtues of Roy Rogers and Gene Autry). Rainbow Trout Ranch—if anything—is an old time dude ranch where computers, phones and electronic gadgets are frowned upon. The kids, instead, run around in their outstanding children’s and teen programs. The staff is incredible—an assemblage of well-traveled, educated, fun and talented young people who work at the ranch during their summer leave from university. The cabins are rustic—decorated in western theme, clean and with plenty of hot water. The food is excellent and plentiful (they bend over backwards to help with food special needs). The trout fishing is great and the hiking spectacular. For the riders in my family none have complained that the riding is anything less than fun and challenging. My wife is actually happy at times to not ride with our daughters who enjoy energetic lopping and galloping along the scenic trails and pastures. I just don’t get the last review—to each their own.

  • Stayed: August 2013, travelled with family
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4  Thank nauclair
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2013

My mother, sister, and I enjoyed Rainbow Trout Ranch several years ago. The lodge is so beautiful and the food was fantastic. We especially loved our delicious breakfasts of melt-in-your-mouth pancakes and creamy scrambled eggs ;>) ! We also liked the free-choice seating during mealtimes as opposed to assigned seating at some other dude ranches. Some of our highlights included the line dancing, last-day rodeo in which guests participated and wranglers showed off their equestrian skills, and the performing guest musician. We were there to RIDE, so we appreciated Jane's attention to detail in terms of matching us with suitable, quality horses that were not plugs. The scenery was very beautiful, however, we were surprised that the rides were not more rigorous and varied. We spent most of our week riding on maintained forestry roads, or weaving through the same meadows, riding mostly nose to tail, with frequent breaks. In retrospect, it seems like the perfect ranch for beginning riders as Jane is an excellent teacher and horsewoman. Future guests should keep in mind that this ranch felt a bit like a Christian summer camp. Cabins are set closely together, many children run about the property, and the young college-aged wranglers and wait staff with whom we interacted openly discussed their faith during dining and trail rides. Those traits surely appeal to some, but perhaps not so much to others. Although this ranch may not have been the perfect fit for us, we still had a wonderful time in a very pretty setting.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank RoadTrippin007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VisitRTR, Head Wrangler/Part of Owner Family at Rainbow Trout Ranch, responded to this reviewResponded 29 August 2013

Thank you for your kind words about the ranch--it is a special place to say the least. I do apologize for the fact that we obviously didn't get you onto some of our advanced rides. Our riding program is very strong and we have tremendous variety with everything from gentle meadow rides to truly advanced rides--in fact we were voted the Dude Ranch with the Best Horseback Riding in the 2013 Signature Ranch Awards. Many guests remark that our riding is the best they've come across in all the ranches they've visited. We do take short breaks on our rides--we've found that it adds to our safety-first attitude and gives folks a chance to stretch while their horses graze and relax. And while we have a wonderful safety record, we still have fun and spectacular riding with plenty of loping and other adventures, as well as mosey rides for those who prefer that. As far as being a Christian ranch, we certainly don't bill ourselves as such although we are very selective in our hiring process, handpicking each staff member based on strong values and integrity. Some of our cabins are indeed relatively close together (although we do have some more secluded cabins) and during the summer months, we do have lots of families with children who find it a refreshing change to roam at will with complete safety. Each week in the summer becomes one big family, and our 65% plus return rate is a testament to that. I am so glad that you enjoyed yourself even though it wasn't the perfect fit for you. By the way, if we had the rodeo when you were here, we were still in our summer season. I would highly recommend that you come in the "Adults Only" time given some of your thoughts and comments--and we would certainly love for you to come again so that we can expand upon your previous visit. Or we can certainly suggest some other ranches that might suit you better. We do want everyone to have the perfect dude or guest ranch vacation for them. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please never hesitate to call or email us directly if questions or comments. Sincerely, Jane Van Berkum

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Additional Information about Rainbow Trout Ranch

Address: 1484 Fdr 250, P.O. Box 458, Antonito, CO 81120-9303
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Colorado > Antonito
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 Speciality Lodging in Antonito
Price Range: £1,059 - £1,362 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 16
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Spectacular guest ranch set at 9000' in the southern Colorado Rockies. Superb riding and fishing, fun kids' and teen programs, evening activities, trapshooting and more. The adventure of a lifetime. Share our special brand of western hospitality and see why folks keep coming back for more! Member of all accredited associations, Horse Safety certified. Top Ten Dude Ranch. Signature Ranch. All-inclusive, and exclusive. Wonderful experience in every way. Come share it with us! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rainbow Trout Ranch Hotel Antonito

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