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.
- 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