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“Didn't want to leave!”
Review of Elk Mountain Ranch

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Elk Mountain Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 23 June 2010

This was the best vacation we've ever taken! The staff and owners bent over backwards to make sure every need was met, the scenery was beautiful and peaceful, the food was incredibly good and the activities were really fun. It was nice to get to know the other guests during the meals and rides, and the staff couldn't have been more pleasant to us. My husband even learned to ride and is already wanting to go back. This was truly a stress-free vacation. Wish we never had to leave!

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank jenbar418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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171 - 177 of 183 reviews

Reviewed 9 June 2010

Other reviews have already covered in detail the activities and general ambiance. I wholeheartedly agree with all the superlatives written and want to add this: I am two days back from Elk Mountain Ranch and I am simply HOMESICK to return there. And I live in Hawaii, so it's not like I had to return to some awful, drab existence!

"Homesick" is the best way to describe it. Everyone at the Ranch, beginning with Tom and Sue and down to every last staff member, make you feel at home. They pamper you and cater to you, but--much more than that--they make you feel like they truly enjoy your company and are glad to have you there. Lots of places provide impeccable service. Many less provide the kind of service where you want to cry upon departure because you'll miss the PEOPLE who work there.

The food is hearty and delicious. The horses are well trained and delightful. The activities are fun and varied. Tom is always gracious and patient, while at the same time brooking no compromise when it comes to the safety of his horses and his guests. All of these attributes make Elk Mountain Ranch a special vacation destination. But Tom and Sue and their marvelous staff are what make Elk Mountain Ranch an unforgettable one.

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
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Thank Mommysgirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2008

My husband and I went here with his parents, college age brother and teenage brother for a family vacation. We had an amazing time. Elk Mtn Ranch is tucked away in the mountains just far enough to give it that private feel - but still convenient enough to get to main roads for the day trips. The Ranch and surrounding area is beautiful.
There is never a dull moment here. There is always something you can take part in - or you can just relax in your room or in the main lodge if you want a slower pace. The owners, Tom and Sue, are amazing and they hire the best staff! They are always willing to go the extra mile. Do not hesitate to try this Ranch if you are looking to ride horses a lot. There are daily trail rides, sometimes in the morning and the afternoon, and all the horses are well trained. Groups are kept small so you can feel more comfortable.
Meals are family-style with the other guests and that is a great touch. We made some great friends here and look forward to keeping in contact with them. The food is amazing - there is never a shortage and they will cater to special requests.
I just can't say enough good things about this place. It has that rustic feel - but you are not without any luxury, no "roughing it."
The ranch is run on generators so from 11pm - 6am there is no electricity, but there are flashlights in the rooms and propane lamps available. It was amazing waking up in the to TOTAL darkness. Most of us city people wish for it to be this dark at night!
Do yourself a favor and give Elk Mtn Ranch a try! You will not regret it!

  • Stayed: August 2008, travelled with family
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2  Thank PuffinSEO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 July 2008

I LOVED THIS! We stayed for the week, and did the horseback riding. Everyone is nice, and funny, and the horses are great. I loved it! The lodging is great too. I would defintely recommend going! IT GAVE ME ONE OF THE BEST WEEKS OF MY LIFE! You can choose to ride everyday, which we did, and recommend. All the trails are great. Or, you can sit back and relax, do shoot two different types of guns, shoot clay pigeons, whitewater raft, or do archery. I also recommend the horse Buddy, Jasper, or Latifah. You get a horse for the week, and these horses are great. You are allowed to request a horse.

  • Stayed: July 2008, travelled with family
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Thank rancher_123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2008

All we can really say is that the Elk Mountain Ranch is a wonderful place to spend your vacation. Not only is the staff well trained, but the staff goes beyond the normal expectations of a five star hotel. We went to the ranch on our honeymoon in May of 1999, and went back in 2004 for our 5 year anniversary, and plan to go back on our 10 year anniversary in 2009. We cannot begin to describe how relaxing as well as exciting this place was, except to say that we love the entire Murphy Family, and I know that we both gained 10lbs from the amazing home cooking we had. We Highly Recommend visiting the Elk Mountain Ranch if you are seeking a truly stress-free, but exciting vacation!!!

Jason and Carol Campbell
Villa Ridge, Missouri

  • Stayed: May 2004, travelled as a couple
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Thank qhcowboy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 2007

On arriving at the Elk Mountain Ranch, Tom Murphy thanked his guests for allowing the opportunity to take responsibility for our special vacation time. Tom and Sue clearly take this responsibility seriously and it shows from start to finish. My wife and I and our two boys (ages 9 and 12) can safely say that this was one of our best vacations ever (if not the best). The Murphys have succeeded in creating a very special place in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. We will undoubtedly return soon!

  • Stayed: August 2007, travelled with family
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1  Thank Win_E_Bago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 July 2007

We had an amazing time at Elk Mountain. From the time we arrived, we were treated like members of the family by the owners, Tom and Sue and all of the extremely professional, hardworking and friendly staff. The ranch is in set in amazingly beautiful scenery in the Rockies, 9 miles down a dirt track. We stayed in a rustic log cabin which was spotlessly clean and the food was as good as any restaurant. Our horses were very well trained and looked after. There is a full program of activities daily and you are encouraged to do as much or as little as you want. We only sat down to eat!
Riding is on the schedule every day, either a morning and afternoon ride from the ranch, or brunch cookouts, or for the brave an overnight camping trip, If you want a break, or for non riders, there are other trips such as white water rafting, fly fishing, trips to a hot springs and Aspen. In the evening there are hayrides, square dancing, volleyball and visiting entertainment. The week we were at the ranch, we went to the local rodeo. All activities are included in the price.

The electricity is by generator and we found our mobile phone chargers and battery chargers didnt work, nor could we get a reception on our mobile phones (although some people could), so it is worth bearing this in mind and preparing for this prior to your stay.

Nothing was too much trouble to make your stay comfortable, with Sue even going into town to get a replacement watch battery for me, when my watch gave up on the second day!

Being out of civilization for a week was the most relaxing experience ever and we really did not want to leave.

If you are looking for a dude ranch holiday, either as friends, a couple or a family, dont hesitate to book Elk Mountain! - There is loads to do for everyone, and we all had a whale of a time.

  • Stayed: July 2007, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Snozzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Elk Mountain Ranch

Address: 13000 CR 185B, Buena Vista, CO 81211
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Colorado > Buena Vista
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 18 Speciality Lodging in Buena Vista
Price Range: £2,104 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Colorado's highest guest ranch at 9600 feet. Adjacent to the Browns Canyon National Monument. Weekly package includes meals, lodging and activities - horseback riding, white water rafting, shooting sports, van trip to Aspen, excursion to ropes & adventure park, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, hayride, square dance, childrens' program and more. Massage extra. 35 pampered guests. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Elk Mountain Ranch Hotel Buena Vista

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