Elk Mountain is Top50's latest family dude ranch

BY Jody Dahl | Mon 16 Jan, 2012

Elk Mountain Ranch in Colorado, USA, is the latest family dude ranch to be named of the Top50 Ranches in the world, offering superb dude ranch vacations for adults and children alike.

High in San Isabel National Forest in Colorado, USA, lies Elk Mountain Ranch – the Murphy family's home and passion since 1985. Warm and friendly hospitality combined with an off-the-beaten path charm, this remote Colorado dude ranch boasts spectacular scenery, quality horses, endless activities and superb cuisine – the ultimate retreat for families looking to reconnect.

Family dude ranch vacations at Elk Mountain

Elk Mountain is family-oriented ranch and, as such, offers a comprehensive and fun-filled children’s program for three to seven year-olds – although children aged eight and upwards are more than welcome to join in. The well-supervised program includes riding in the arena, themed days – eg, “Cowboy Day”, where kids can get stuck into roping, panning for gold and making sheriff badges – and off-ranch trips to Mount Princeton hot springs. Guests looking for a quieter dude ranch vacation can take advantage of Elk Mountain’s adult-only weeks, which run every September.

Surely the only way to relax and take in the beauty of Colorado is to go horseback riding through unspoilt wilderness on one of Elk Mountain’s 50 horses. Rides are kept small and led by one the ranch’s experienced and competent wranglers, allowing guests to get the most out of their western horseback riding experience.

Elk Mountain Ranch also offers a whole host of non-riding activities, including golf, archery, hiking, fishing, mountain biking and much more. Coined the "white water capital of Colorado", the town of Buena Vista lies just minutes from Elk Mountain and here, guests in search of adventure can enjoy thrilling white-water rafting along the Arkansas River. Evening activities include leisurely hayrides, square-dancing and musical entertainment, or guests can simply soothe tired muscles with a massage or a dip in the hot tub.

After an action-packed day, superb home-cooked meals await guests at the ranch dining table at the Main Lodge. The varied menu offers something for every appetite, however hearty or discerning. The options are endless – from hors d’oeuvres, steak fry and fabulous desserts, to Champagne brunches, trail-ride cookouts and, the highlight at week's end, a country candlelit dinner.

Appetites satiated, guests can retire to comfortable and spacious accommodations – which range from rooms and suites in the Main Lodge, to private log cabins ideally suited to families. Tastefully and traditionally decorated, the comfortable accommodations offer a true feel of the ‘Old West’.

If you’re looking for the perfect family dude ranch vacation in Colorado, Elk Mountain can provide.

TAGS: elk mountain ranch, dude ranch vacations, family dude ranches, colorado dude ranches, top50 ranches, guest ranch vacations, luxury dude ranches

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