Like a cat with nine lives, The High Lonesome Dude Ranch has served many purposes in its lifetime, with many to follow.
This dude ranch was homesteaded on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies in the early 1900’s. Presently it boasts the Orvis fly-fishing seal of approval, as well as serving as a wing shooting lodge and most recently a guest ranch for horse lovers.
I was visiting as a solo cowgirl, but I was surrounded by fishing enthusiasts willing to give horseback riding a go, as well as a multi-generation family eager to try multiple sports from wagon rides to cattle drives.
As with it’s multiple personalities, The High Lonesome Dude Ranch offers numerous lodging options during its operation May 15- August 31. The all-inclusive guest ranch experience ranges from $2,650 per person for a six night, five day stay, to $1,500 per person for children 15 years and younger. Rates include Grand Junction airport pickup and the 15% resort service fee covers gratuities. Guest are called before arrival to refine experiential activities, as well as screen for food allergies. While golf, rafting and massage are all available for an additional fee, I highly recommend penciling in a deep-tissue massage after 3-4 days in the saddle.
Family style dining
With dinner plates the size of restaurant chargers, Executive Chef Jordan Asher will keep you well fed with three square meals morning, noon and night. Park your comfortable pants, as menu items range from lighter-than-air Angel biscuits with homemade gravy, apple-wood smoked bacon and secret recipe granola with local berries to mashed potatoes, buttermilk fried chicken, fresh baked rolls and garlic green beans, followed by banana pudding served in a jar.
Trail rides may end with a picnic of ribs, bean salad, corn muffins and blackberry cobbler served in a meadow, next to a spring-fed trout pond.
High Lonesome Ranch Guest House
Offering air-conditioning, a full kitchen, living room and game room with pool table, the Guest House features eight bedrooms and is ideal for families and girlfriend getaways. After a week of horseback riding, I was thrilled to take advantage of the washer and dryer, returning home to California with a suitcase full of clean clothes and many happy memories.
My room, Mule Deer, offered a log frame Queen bed with private bathroom and shower. Resting on my bed was a High Lonesome Ranch environmentally-friendly water bottle that would be mine to use during the week and take home with me. At this high elevation, it’s important to stay hydrated during your Colorado vacation. The only thing missing was a boot jack to remove from cowboy boots at the end of the day.
Need to Know
The guest houses, three in total, are spread out on the property. I appreciated the electric golf carts supplied for each guest house. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to be late for any of the meals – yum! The Pond, Homestead and Guest house include refrigerator and coffee service. Both the Guest and Pond House include flat-screen satellite TV’s, washer and dryer facility and free high speed Internet access. Unless you plan to go river rafting, don’t bother to pack a bathing suit. The property has plans for a swimming pool, but until then, you’ll need to cool down in your in-room shower.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter and follow The High Lonesome Ranch on Facebook. The High Lonesome Ranch is a member of the Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association.
If You Go:
The High Lonesome Dude Ranch (970) 283 -9420
De Beque, Colorado
Article written by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown of What a Trip, Travels from Northern California. Top photo courtesy of The High Lonesome Dude Ranch. All other photos courtesy of Nancy D. Brown. I was a guest of The High Lonesome Dude Ranch.