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“Great Horses and a Zip Line with Zip”
Review of Drowsy Water Ranch

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Drowsy Water Ranch
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Granby
Carlsbad, CA
Level 6 Contributor
94 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great Horses and a Zip Line with Zip”
Reviewed 22 August 2013

Drowsy Water Ranch is an exceptionally well-run dude ranch located in northwest Colorado. We got there by flying to Denver and driving two hours to Granby. Ken and Randy Sue Fosha have owned the place since 1977. We saw a lot of them during our weeklong stay and they sure are good at what they do. The same goes for their sons Justin and Ryan. DWR accommodates the full spectrum of riders’ capability, so things start off slow as the Foshas make sure everyone from first-timers to capable cowpokes are comfortable.

The ranch is set on 700 acres at an elevation of more than 8,00 feet with lots of riding also on adjacent BLM land. There is majestic scenery in every direction. We would have liked more flat, wide-open spaces for faster rides, but the groves of aspen and pine are beautiful. The ranch keeps some 120 horses, and they are so obviously well cared for. The Foshas pair you with a horse to match your ability and size, and that is yours for the week.

Ken Fosha promised us at orientation that we would be impressed with his staff of some 25, most of whom are college-age, and he was absolutely correct. Service with a smile doesn’t begin to give enough credit.

There is a kids program for parents who want to ditch the little ones (under 13) to ride with other grown-ups. I admit we are in the minority--we want to ride with our 12-year-old son (who’s as good a rider as my wife and me)—so this required a little arranging to free him some times from doing crafts (like painting horseshoes) or playing in the stream that runs through the property so we could enjoy some family time in the saddle.

While we ultimately judge a guest ranch by the joy (and speed) of our rides, I must admit my most lasting takeaway will be riding a zip line for the first time. Not only was it a deal price-wise compared with others we have seen, the middle of the three runs reportedly is the longest in Colorado (and is 300 feet high). We soared across the valley bottom of the ranch at 30 mph for some 1,200 feet. It was breathtaking (literally). Other non-riding opportunities included fishing (didn’t see much luck there) in the lake by the lodge, an off-site white-water rafting trip (I was told it was fun) as well as mountain bike and hiking trips into the mountains.

There are also the usual assortment of activities, including a cookout, singing by the campfire, guest rodeo (team penning was quite a challenge, but I’ll be better next time), playing with the various ranch animals (chickens, goats, dogs), square dancing and carnival night (which proved you can have good old-fashioned fun with activities that do not require electricity). There also is a pool and hot tub as well as massages.

Our accommodations, a two-bedroom/one-bathroom cabin, were excellent. The mini-fridge is great as Granby is only seven miles away, so we kept it stocked with “essentials” (some containing alcohol).

While dude ranch vacations typically are not cheap, this one delivered more than its cost (approximately $5,300 for the three of us). The price is all-inclusive except for a worthy tip (15 percent) for the wranglers and staff.

Drowsy Water Ranch was all we expected—and all the Foshas promised. The little bit of rain that coincided with one ride was nowhere near enough to dampen our enthusiasm for this charming place.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank BlueBoots92008
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
  • Japanese first
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English first
Brussels, Belgium
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2013 via mobile

This ranch really is as good as everyone says. The horse back riding was amazing, with beautiful scenery, excellent guides, wonderful horses, small groups (max 6) and a good pace. The kids program was also a hit with many fun activities.
The cabins are basic, but well equipped. We especially appreciated the hummingbird feeder, which meant that we constantly had a dozen birds outside our cabin.
I clearly see why so many people return to this ranch every year. I would love to go back!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ann_Britt_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Greater London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 August 2013

I've been dreaming about going to this place for the last 20 years since my brother and his family visited and recommended it. I was not disappointed. Immediately upon arrival, The Fosha family make everyone feel extremely welcome and nothing is too much trouble. I travelled with my husband and two teenage sons, none of whom had ever sat on a horse before and it had taken me a long time to convince them to try it. I can safely say we have all come away from DWR longing to go back and my 3 non-riders can now lope (canter) with confidence. The staff were amazing, always cheerful and polite. Special mention must go to Jake and Ryan who look after the Rangeriders (6-13 yrs old) which such energy and fun whilst they are not riding and to all the wranglers who coached, guided and entertained us all on each of our rides.
The food was plentiful and home cooked fresh everyday- even the bread! Delicious cakes, cookies and desserts were supplied, along with packed lunches for the all-day riders. Meals are served in the dining room and all the guest sit together which gives you an opportunity to chat with other guests and compare stories about the day.

The cabins are clean and comfortable, each has a slightly different layout. Ours had 2 bedrooms and one bathroom, with an extra wash basin area. They are cleaned everyday and towels replaced. They provide pool towels too.
On the Ranch there is a pool and a hot tub, a kids fishing lake, a small play area, some chickens, goats, a pig, the family's dogs and of course, not forgetting all the fabulous horses. Each one is hand picked by the Fosha family to match the rider and it is clear to see that the family love each of these horses dearly. There is a zip line course, (additional cost) but it is great fun and well worth the extra cost, guided by two fully trained staff members.
There is something going on most nights- campfires with s'mores and songs sung by Ken and his band, hayrides, a staff show, a fun carnival evening playing family fairground type games.

The scenery around the ranch area is amazing. Each ride takes a different route mostly, so you get to see a different view every time you ride. You can ride for just the morning, just the afternoon, both or all day - whichever suits you best. Nothing is too much trouble - if your horse doesn't suit you, they will swap it for a different one without any problems. The wranglers will guide your ride and explain the different types of flowers, the mountains, the legends of the area, spotting wildlife such as moose, elk, chipmunks, squirrels etc. It is easy to sit back on the horse and just relax, take in the view and partake in casual conversation with the other riders and the wrangler.

This place is a little bit of heaven hidden in the Rocky Mountains and we can't wait to visit again. It has been our best family holiday by far. Well done everyone at DWR. You are all brilliant.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
Thank expatsabroad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Carlsbad, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

If you are looking for a great Western horse-back experience, then DWR should be atop your list of finds.

My wife, and daughter (12) and I travel with another terrific family of three, all of us good riders (the kids are the best of course) and experienced Dude Ranch vacationers. We loved DWR.

First and foremost, the riding experiences were incredible, with terrific vistas, comfortable and challenging rides through 1000's of acres of the Great Divide! My trip to the top of Music Mountain, offering a 360 degree view of the entire Granby/Hot Sulphur Springs and Rocky Mountain valleys were amongst some of the best. And the challenging ride up & down those mountains was so much FUN!

We were there to ride, but when we weren't riding, we weren't bored! There is plenty to do (or not do if you like peace & quiet), like Ziplining 320 feet above the DWR's grounds, mountain bike riding, trout fishing, adult team penning, campfires, kids rodeos, & kids programs, and more! The evening activities included dancing, a carnival, and a very, very funny DWR Ranch Hands show. Everyone goes home with something, and there's something for everyone at DWR!

The facilities were clean and well kept (a lot of work goes in to that!). We were very comfortable in our 2-bedroom cabin by the flowing Drowsy Water stream that runs through the property. We enjoyed our porch view each day for our own happy hour, while we relaxed to the view.

They are only about 10 minutes from Granby, so if we needed anything we could drive into town, get whatever we needed and get back in very short time. Very convenient.

The Fosha family are wonderful folks, and know how to provide a true Western Adventure for the beginner and the experienced! Their staff is very professional, outgoing, and extra-ordinarily friendly...many grew up going to DWR with their families, so they know all there is to know about DWR as well!

Put them on your list of adventures!

Room Tip: Book early!
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank Geoff L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Springfield, Ohio
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

This was our second trip to DWR. 3 years ago, we took our granddaughter; this time we added our son and daughter-in-law. So there were 5 of us ranging in age from 8 to 66, and we all had a fabulous time. The Fosha family and their staff are exceptionally friendly, knowledgeable, and accommodating. The setting is beautiful, and the scenery on some of the trail rides is genuinely breathtaking. The facilities are appropriately Western rustic; the cabins and lodge are spotless. The list of available activities is long, varied, and always entertaining.

The atmosphere of DWR is firmly unpretentious; self-important Club Med types will not really fit in here. But for the rest of us, DWR delivers an experience to reflect upon happily for years to come. We will be going back, for sure.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank dvrooman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Cincinnati, Ohio
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

We all(4) had a great time with only one bad experience with one wrangler. Everyone else on the
staff was great.Great place for young children to learn about ranching and riding. If you love the outdoors and the wide open West, this is the place for you.

Room Tip: Get a cabin by the Creek . The sound will relax anyone.
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Citysliciker007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DrowsyWater, Owner at Drowsy Water Ranch, responded to this review, 18 December 2014
Thank you for the review on our ranch. We are sorry to hear you had an issue with one of our wranglers. We strive to hire outstanding, honest, responsible and entertaining folks at the ranch in all of our departments. Thanks again and we look forward to seeing your family in the future.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Roanoke, Virginia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 July 2013

We traveled to DWR with our four kids (ages 9, 11, 13, 15) not really knowing what to expect. We are "city folk" through and through, but we had an AMAZING time. This area of CO (about 2 hours north of Denver) is gorgeous. The family which owns DWR (The Foshas) are warm and welcoming and go out of their way to make their guests feel at home. Our cabin was adorable, situated right on the kids' fishing pond. We feel asleep to the sound of the creek right outside our window. Our kids all really enjoyed the kids' program -- they learned how to ride horses, made great friends, and really enjoyed the counselors. With our kids enjoying the kids' program, my husband and I were free to take half-day or full-day rides into the mountains. The scenery was beautiful and our wranglers were knowledgeable both about the region and the horses. My oldest son and I really loved the zipline -- it was a highlight for us. The food was very good, and we especially enjoyed the "adults-only" dinner. My kids were already talking about returning next year before our week was over! And did I mention they have Wi-Fi?!! This was truly a relaxing and fun experience for our whole family.

Room Tip: DWR has a variety of cabins and rooms to fit any family size...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank roanoker226
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Drowsy Water Ranch

Property: Drowsy Water Ranch
Address: County Road 219, PO Box 147, Granby, CO 80446
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Colorado > Grand County > Granby
Amenities:
Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Granby
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our dude ranch is totally committed to bringing guests into the beautiful Colorado Mountains in a friendly, clean authentic western ranch environment for families, singles and couples. We take extreme pride in our programs and genuine hospitality!! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Drowsy Water Ranch Hotel Granby
Drowsy Water Hotel
Drowsy Water Resort All Inclusive
Drowsy Water Ranch Colorado/Granby

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