Trails Rides, Excursions and Day Trips Take You from Ranch to Park
Shawnee, CO (November 20, 2014) – Leave your worries behind and enjoy the Colorado’s all-inclusive dude and guest ranch vacation where you can ride horses, build campfires, explore the natural beauty of Colorado’s national parks, hike Colorado’s national forests, rock climb to majestic views, mountain bike scenic trails, fish gold medal rivers, and more.
“Since a number of our member ranches are located near Colorado’s national parks and forests, it’s a natural fit to tie-in the western ranch experience with exploration of America’s natural bounty in both the parks and forests.” says Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association Executive Director Courtney Frazier.
Below is a sampling of the ranches located near Colorado’s national parks and forests:
Rocky Mountain National Park
Bordering the eastern side of Rocky Mountain National Park, Wind River Ranch (Estes Park, CO) features views of the 14,256-ft Longs Peak and Twin Sisters mountain. Ride your horse to Twin Sisters Peaks, Lily Lake, or elsewhere in the park. Access hiking trails to Eugena Mine, Storm Pass, Estes Cone, Aspen Brook, Twin Sisters, and Longs Peak by foot from the property. Or, drive your car a short 7 miles to the park entrance to view magnificent wildlife and the unparalleled Trail Ridge Road.
Roosevelt National Forest
The 300-acre Cherokee Park Ranch (Livermore, CO) is surrounded by the wild and scenic Roosevelt National Forest where wildlife viewing abounds. Whether exploring miles of trails on foot, or just relaxing on a porch swing, guests will marvel at all of the wildlife such as pronghorn, deer, elk, coyote, moose, eagle, hawk, fox, beaver, and rattlesnake. The ranch also offers sightseeing trips to Rocky Mountain National Park where a chance encounter with a herd of elk or a bighorn sheep may occur. Lunch is served picnic-style at a roadside park.
Mesa Verde National Park
At Colorado Trails Ranch (Durango, CO) you can explore Ancestral Puebloan history and cliff dwelling with a guided full day trip to Mesa Verde national Park. With a picnic lunch packed, some of the sites you may see include: Park Point, the Mesa Top Ruins, Square Tower House, early pit houses, early pueblo construction, Sun Point, the museum, Spruce Tree House and the new Visitor’s Center.
San Juan National Forest
Whether you’re an avid hiker or just want to take a casual walk through the wilderness, at Majestic Dude Ranch (Mancos, CO), there’s plenty of beautiful scenery to explore in the San Juan National Forest. Ride or hike through the aspens and summit peaks or cast your line in a mountain lake. The ranch also offers kids’ hayrides through the national forest. Located 24 miles Mesa Verde National Park, it’s a short car ride for a day trip to the park to explore the Ancestral Puebloan cliff dwellings.
Great Sand Dunes National Park
A 103,000-acre real working, bison, cattle and guest ranch, Zapata Ranch (Mosca, CO) is bordered by the Great Sand Dunes National Park and the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range with its several 14,000 foot peaks. The ranch offers horse rides, hikes and naturalists tours into the park, which is located only two minutes away. These expeditions can be self-guided or led by a local guide knowledgeable in the area’s history, geology, bird species, and other native plant and animal life. Be sure to bring your camera!
The above is just a snapshot of the many ranches that offer trail hikes, rides and day trips to the national parks and forests, including Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.
The Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association (CDGRA) is comprised of 26 certified ranches located throughout the mountains and mesas of Colorado. For more information and/or request your free Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch vacation guide and DVD, visit www.coloradoranch.com.