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“A Relaxing Getaway with Really Nice Folks” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch

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Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch
Certificate of Excellence
Denver, CO
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A Relaxing Getaway with Really Nice Folks”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2010

Like most Colorado Guest Ranches, Sundance Trail is known primarily for it's week-long family-oriented stays in June, July and August. What sets it apart for us is that they're open with a full horse program year round. We live in Denver, 2 1/2 hours south, and typically visit the ranch for short stays about three times a year, typically with out-of-town family and friends who want to experience the Colorado of their dreams.

We actually "discovered" the tiny town of Red Feather Lakes several years before we discovered the ranch. It's one of those "end of the world", out of the way places that time forgot with several cabins for rent. Our family of four loved to get a place up there until we found the ranch just outside of town. It's been Sundance Trail Ranch ever since.

We discovered the joys of Colorado Guest Ranches before we discovered Red Feather Lakes, having stayed at over 20 of them and using that first-hand knowledge to start a small company matching interested folks around the country to a ranch we knew would be a good "fit" based on their interests. Guest ranches take on the personality of their owners - by the kind of staff they hire, the way they're trained to treat guests, their horses and riding program, their approach to meals, the accommodations, activities program, everything.

We know ranches, and Sundance Trail is our favorite. The owners, Dan and Ellen, are who have made this ranch so special to us. After professional medical careers in Texas they took a leave of absence to work a summer at an excellent ranch in Durango, CO, then did an extensive search for the perfect year-round ranch. They're now living their dream, and we guests get the benefit of the love and passion they put into what they do. They have a loyal following of repeat guests and referrals.

The ranch is one of the smallest in the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association, accommodating 24 guests, max, and that's part of what makes a stay so memorable - you become part of the ranch family while you're there. The dining room has just four 6-person tables, the hearty western meals are served family style, and you'll typically get to know all the staff and fellow guests by the end of your stay. We find ourselves eagerly anticipating the dinner bell before every meal.

They keep an excellent string of horses and do a good job matching riders with their mounts. The instruction prior to your first ride is excellent, and the rides get better and better the longer you stay, venturing further into adjoining Roosevelt National Forest, with vistas to Rocky Mt. National Park to the south. No nose-to-tail rides here.

The comfortable lodge and cabin rooms have Southwestern decor. We particularly enjoy the bedside clocks - the alarm starts with ten different songbird calls that gently wake you from your sleep, ending with a much more insistent crowing rooster! The activity program is extensive - the river rafting and rock climbing are just during the summer, but the horse program, rifle/skeet shooting range, disc golf course are used year-round. The rec building has pool and foosball tables and a great outdoor hot tub.

This is where we take our guests and ourselves for a relaxing time experiencing the best that Colorado has to offer.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank EricDurland
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DanMorin, Owner at Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch, responded to this review, 20 October 2014
Brooke, Eric, every time you leave, we hate to see you go so quickly. You have such interesting stories, and we never seem to have enough time together.You and Garrett and Evan always bring such interesting folks with you! Thank You! We can't wait until your next visit!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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88 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (17)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Oklahoma City
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 March 2010

At Thanksgiving this year, I joined my sons at Sundance Trail for a week of new adventures. We had a remarkable time. After an excellent breakfast, the guests were thoroughly prepared concerning how to ride one of 30 horses that live there. Afterward, we were off on the trails with expert guides. Imagine being at the top of a mountain and at the edge of a National Forest, while on a horse? It’s like nothing I ever experienced before.

In addition, we were served three wonderful meals a day at the ringing of the dinner bell in a cozy home -dining environment. We joined the other families staying there and learned about people from all over the globe.

My boys enjoyed the pool table and hot tub, and I learned about rifles and targets and how they can work together. The option of a superior Frisbee golf course is also on the premises. My boys played. I watched.

Lastly, and certainly not unimportant is the phenomenal accommodations. I slept in a huge hand-built bed with a private bath (some have fireplaces) that overlooked the beautiful property, where I could watch the horses graze, and goats, cats and dogs wander.

In every way, Sundance Trails was an experience I’ll never forget. I hope I may be able to go back someday.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled with friends
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank butter7ly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver, Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2009

My wife and I love this place - it's become a Thanksgiving holiday tradition! Wonderfully warm and friendly owners/staff make you feel welcome and at ease. Delicious home-cooked meals served sit-down style at 4 tables seating 6-8 gives lets you chat with the staff and other guests.

Plenty to keep you busy: Horseback riding on well-cared for and trained horses; 3 goats (kids love them!), and donkeys; hiking along wooded trails with bouldering opportunities; Championship 18-hole Frisbee Disc golf course with loaner dics (hosted Colorado State tournament in 2009, but still fun for us amateurs, too); target shooting of various kinds; large, multi-person hot tub; pool table; board games; books. Fort Collins is only 40 minutes away if you're looking for shopping/city life.

Or, just sit on the porch soaking up the sun, the mountain air, the sound of the breeze in the trees, and retire to your comfortable room for a nap.

  • Stayed November 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Colorado_couple88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Colorado
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2009

We had a wonderful vacation experience and loved the ranch. The cabin was extremely comfortable and, compared to other ranch cabins that we have seen, was very nicely decorated and maintained. The staff was excellent, and the food was absolutely delicious and abundant. The horses were very friendly and well matched to our riding abilities. I loved the fact that we kept the same horse throughout our stay, which made it easier to progress in our riding ability. The location is beautiful, the rides were incredible, and the experience was phenomenal. We will visit the ranch again, it was a great vacation.

  • Stayed March 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank horseloverColorado
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
europe
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 March 2009

Having traveled to a number of different destinations, there has been no place I thought of returning to before visiting this ranch. Set deep in the Colorado mountians, there are few places on earth more beautiful! The staff are very friendly and flexible, and every rider is catered for regardless of riding ability. There is a lot more to do in addition to the riding- adventurous and relaxing. The food is excellent and the venue exceptional. I would highly recommend this ranch to families, couples and single individuals who are looking for a holiday to remember.

  • Stayed July 2008, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank charlie2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Denver
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 May 2008

My partner and I spent a weekend at the ranch and had a great time! This is an awsome place to come, relax and unplug. Our cabin had no TV, radio, internet, land line or cell phone service - and we loved every minute if it.

The ranch is VERY dog friendly. We brought our two dogs and they were not on a leash the entire weekend; they had a blast hiking and playing with the ranch dogs. The owners are animal lovers and it shows. Their dogs, horses, chickens and geese (they may have other animals) are all well cared for and loved. I went trail riding on both days of my stay and the trail guide tailored our ride to my experience level. We were able to walk, trot and canter in the forest; it was an amazing experience.

They also serve great food - very basic but delicious! We ate breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everybody eats family style and there was always plenty of food. They also leave out sweets, coffee and tea all day and night for the guests.

It was a great weekend and I would recommend this place everyone!

  • Stayed April 2008, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank moosey13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodstock
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2007

I discovered this ranch using my indispensible ranch vacation guide, which, for the most part, is accurate.
Sundance is not pretentious, family owned and operated.
The riding was fun, and the ranch hand we had discouraged nose-to-tail riding! The scenery was spectacular, and we had a nice group of people staying there when we did.
The accomodations were clean and cozy, and not fancy, which was fine with us. I would say that Sundance had a rather "Walton's" feel to it.
I liked that I was allowed to brush my horse and even tack him up if I wanted. These are not uptight people at all.
The only negative thing that I can come up with for our stay was the food. They were between chefs at the time, so one of the sons took over the job of cooking. The best meal of the day was breakfast, and lunch was decent....but you were at the son's mercy for dinner. He just wasn't culinary trained, but thought he was.
Despite the disappointment during dinnertime, we did enjoy ourselves, and got to enjoy seeing the mountains on horseback.
The owners are very nice people, very warm, and down to earth.
By now I'm sure Sundance has a real chef in that kitchen!!

  • Liked — The horseback riding
  • Disliked — Dinner
  • Stayed September 2005, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Check-in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank WoodstockGanesha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch

Property: Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch
Address: 17931 W County Rd 74e, Red Feather Lakes, CO 80545
Phone Number:
Region: United States > Colorado > Red Feather Lakes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Speciality Lodging in Red Feather Lakes
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Family owned and operated dude ranch 100 miles NW of Denver - we love living here, and we love guests!Family friendly summer dude ranch, and pet friendly B&B the rest of the year, with horseback riding every day.Families play together and make memories of shared adventures. Horseback riding, mountain hiking, white-water rafting, awesome disk-golf, trout fishing, riflery/trap and lots more!Ours is not a nose-to-tail program - a good place to learn to ride. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sundance Trail Guest And Dude Ranch
Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch Hotel Red Feather Lakes
Sundance Trail Guest & Dude Ranch Colorado/Red Feather Lakes

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