Burn Calories with Outdoor Activities and Adventures for ‘Kids’ of All Ages
Shawnee, Colo. (March 31, 2014) – Grab your favorite gear and head to one of Colorado’s dude & guest ranches this summer for some outdoor fun and adventure. The Colorado ranch experience is unlike any other with chuck wagon cookouts, gourmet food, campfire singing, and old cowboy tales.. However, it’s the outdoor fun and adventure that guests return for year after year. You get to decide how adventurous you want to be at any of the member ranches located across the state.
Most activities are included in the weekly rate, so you can create your own custom adventure itinerary. Here are the top ways to get outdoors, be adventurous, and simply have fun!
Cattle Drives: Gather and herd cattle from one pasture to another to prevent over-grazing and preserve the land. Cattle drives are seasonal and can involve pushing livestock up into federally-leased land in the Colorado’s High Country during the spring, summer, or fall bringing them back to deeded ranch land.
Zip Lining/Climbing Walls: Get your adrenaline rush with a fast moving ride along the mountain treeline, reach new heights on a climbing wall, or traverse ropes courses. At Bar Lazy J Ranch you’ll glide along the 1,500-ft long Colorado River Zip Line, one of Colorado’s longest ziplines and the only one that crosses the Colorado River. Other ranches that offer thrilling zipline experiences include Drowsy Water Ranch, Wind River Ranch and C Lazy U Ranch. Both Wind River and C Lazy U boast climbing walls. C Lazy U Ranch also offers guests the opportunity to try their hand at a ropes course.
Fishing: Everyone can fish, regardless of age or experience. Wet a line along stretches of Gold Medal rivers and explore secluded ponds with your family. Most ranches stock their own ponds or are near local streams and lakes where staff can advise you on the fishing hotspots. Many can also outfit you with the latest gear or set you up with a seasoned outfitter for instruction and guided trips.
Hiking: Hike the Colorado wilderness and forest land – there are dozens of trails to explore on foot or on horseback. Take a guided hike or nature walk with guides knowledgeable about local history and the ranch’s plants, birds, and wildlife. Some ranches even offer alpine treks up nearby peaks (you can climb most of Colorado’s highest mountains without technical climbing gear).
Baseball: Put your team colors on and Play Ball! Majestic Dude Ranch has built its own baseball diamond and batting cages for guests to enjoy America’s favorite pastime.
Horseback Riding: Take a relaxing trail ride into the Colorado high country on a well-trained horse. Trail riding is just one way to enjoy horses at Colorado ranches – other horseback activities are offered at many of the ranches including, cattle roundups, team penning, horseback overnight pack trips, family rodeos, and arena games like running barrels and pole bending.
Mountain Biking: Many ranches have mountain bikes on site or can arrange a rental with a local bike shop. It’s a great way to see wildlife and spectacular Rocky Mountain scenery, and is great exercise. Vista Verde Ranch has developed a very extensive program involving instruction in the Terrain Park as well as adventurous single track or Forest service road rides.
River Rafting: Take a relaxing float trip on a class-one river with a fly rod, or, paddle through wild class-five whitewater. Most ranches offer time in the week for rafting. The ranches contract with the best, most reputable outfitters around and a rafting is sometimes covered in the inclusive ranch rate or offered at a discounted rate.
Rock Climbing: Some of Colorado’s ranches offer rock climbing adventures where you can spend a few hours learning the basics of climbing and rappelling. Guides are able to challenge strong climbers while teaching newcomers. Other ranches offer man-made climbing walls for less experienced climbers.
Equestrian Geo-caching: Grab your horse and GPS and search for hidden treasure around the High Lonesome Ranch. The ranch has a course where race against your family and friends to find checkpoints and uncover prizes.
Although many ranches are open for only part of the year, a handful of Colorado ranches remain open during the winter season. Winter outdoor activities include scenic backcountry ski tours, snowshoe adventures, mild naturalist tours, cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, ice skating, tubing, sledding, horseback riding, swimming, fly-fishing, and more. Off-ranch activities such as snowmobiling, dog-sledding and downhill skiing can also be arranged.
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.