Vista Verde Ranch offers a wide array of summer activities like many Colorado ranch resorts, but what sets us apart is the flexibility and personalization that goes into each experience. And, unlike a resort, we're still a just a ranch with down to earth people who treat you like family. We're ideal for families, but also offer adult weeks!

Our diverse selection of summer activities can make it hard to choose what to do each day. We come around at mealtimes and you tell us what you want to do. Your day, your way! Do you want to hike? Ok. How long, what kind of terrain would you prefer? Do you want to pack a lunch and go all day? The wranglers and guides will go out of their way to tailor each experience to your interest and ability. Top-notch gear and equipment are provided to make these summer activities all the more enjoyable in our cool Colorado climate.

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes
  • Belongs to

    Dude Ranchers Association, Colorado Dude Ranchers Association
  • Good time to go

    September is our favorite month in the summer. It is adult only and such a beautiful time of year! Christmas is also very magical in a totally different way. It’s just what Christmas should be.

Lowdown

  • Manager(s)

    Ben Martin & Dace Starkweather
  • Address

    PO Box 770465, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, USA, 80477
  • Tel

    800-526-RIDE
  • Fax

    970-879-6814
  • Capacity

    45
  • Open

    Jan-Mar, Jun-Sep, Dec - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $385-542 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Dude Ranch, Luxury Ranch
  • Great for

    Romance, Action & adventure, Pampering, Kids - age 6+

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Highs

  • Outstanding facilities including an indoor heated arena for winter riding; lessons and clinics geared toward all riding levels
  • High end horse program includes both breeding and training so you know you're riding top horses
  • Children's program designed by a mother directly knowing exactly what children enjoy and taking into consideration their attention span
  • Full time year round management team ensures they truly know the ranch inside and out
  • 1 to 1 guest to staff ratio ensures premium customer service

Lows

  • Higher price tag; however everything is included
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    Jun-Sep
  • Nightly rate

    $385-542   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (children)

    $300-450
  • Minimum stay

    1 week
  • Preferred arrival day

    Sun
  • Preferred depart day

    Sun
  • Booking Policy

  • 25% deposit, balance due at checkout
  • Included in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, gratuity, Riding, guided backcountry ski and snowshoe tours, skate and classic skis and boots, snowshoes, sledding(a snowmobile brings you back up!), horsemanship clinics and lessons, sleigh rides, photography workshop, kids and teen programs, evening entertainment, cooking classes and wine tasting, top-not gear and equipment
  • Extras

  • Tax

    3.9%/person
  • Other

    downhill skiing at Steamboat Springs, adventure activities by local outfitters - hot air ballooning, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice climbing, power cat skiing, premium wines from a select list

Winter Season Rates & Booking  

  • Open

    Jan-Mar, Dec
  • Nightly rate

    $295-425   view details on lodging rates
  • Nightly rate (children)

    $300-450
  • Minimum stay

    3 days
  • Preferred arrival day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred depart day

    Any day is fine
  • Booking Policy

  • 25% deposit, balance due at checkout
  • Included FREE in your stay

  • meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, gratuity, Riding, yoga
  • Extras

  • Tax

    3.9%/person/night
  • Massage

    start at $130/hour

Weather

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Avg Temp (°F):

252535506070757570603025

Avg Rainfall (in):

2.52.32.22.32.11.51.51.51.751.922.4

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    7800 ft.
 

Nearest Airports

  • Steamboat-Hayden Airport, Hayden

  • Nearest town / city

    Hayden
  • Distance to ranch

    40 miles
  • Time to ranch

    45 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United, Frontier, American, Continental, Delta - Winter Season
  • Ranch shuttle

    free!

Private Air travel

  • Nearest town / city

    Steamboat Springs
  • Travel by

    Airplane
  • Distance to ranch

    45 miles

Nearest Town / City

  • Steamboat Springs

  • Population

    10,000
  • Distance

    45 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Facilities

    grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum
  • Shopping

    boutique shops
  • Ranch shuttle

    free!
 

Our riding stands out

  • Personalization - rides are small and geared to ability
  • Horsemanship opportunities for each guest - clinics/learning opportunities
  • Professional horseman on staff as well as a quality breeding program ensures that good horses are on hand at all times

Our horses

  • guest horses

    90
  • horse types

    Quarterhorse, Geldings, Mares

Our Riding

  • Unscheduled rides

    We typically tend to ride at the same time each day; however, it's not scheduled. Guests have the ability to determine the length and area of ride for that day. If you would like to trailer out, we'll be happy to accommodate.
  • Guided rides

    Rides are fully guided at Vista Verde.

Good to know

  • Riding considerations

    225-250 lbs, no riding experience needed
  • Saddles

    Western

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Intermediate
  • Rides are grouped by

    Ability
  • Max riders per ride

    1
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • We assess rider's ability to trot and canter through our Monday morning orientation with a lot of instruction on first ride.

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 3 hours, Afternoon - 3 hours, Evening - n/a
  • Riding

    Openly through property, On specified trails
 

Riding Lessons

  • Details

    lessons come with package, basic riding lessons, advanced horsemanship lessons
  • Lessons given by

    wrangler, horse trainer, ranch owner or manager
  • Lessons located

    on the trail, in the arena
  • We are exceptionally accommodating to each guests needs and goals. We will truly arrange the type of riding lesson you are looking for. Just ask!

Cattle work - pasture gathers

  • When

    Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
  • Frequency

    Weekly
  • No. of yearlings

    600
  • Interaction

    Guests participate
  • We have 600 yearlings that reside on National Forest Service that we ride through and check each week. Fall gather - September 11-October 2 ride daily to gather and move yearlings from their summer pasture on National Forest Service. We trailer out each day.

Arena Work

  • Type

    indoor arena, outdoor arena
  • Activities

    penning, sorting, barrels, pole bending, cutting
  • Guests enjoy the ability to work in our arenas and further their riding skills. They have the opportunity to work with our wranglers and horse trainer for enhancement of their riding abilities. Guests tend to spend a good amount of time with our riding experts as their knowledge and personalities are very infectious!

Horsemanship Clinic

  • Clinician

    Terry Wegener
  • Details

    Clinics occur weekly, Clinics occur yearly, Included in package, Clinics occur in the arena
  • Focuses on

    Terry covers general horsemanship with a bend toward reining. Weekly clinics cover Balanced Riding Clinic, Cattle Working Clinic, Groundwork Clinic. There is a yearly winter clinic, generally in early March, and covers basic horsemanship. This is a 4 day clinic.

Sample Riding Itinerary

  • Please contact us directly for our schedule of events.

Setting

  • Private Land - 250-1000 (acres)

  • Public Land - more than 50k (acres)

  • Guests ride in the Routt National Forest.

Our cuisine at Vista Verde Ranch is designed to impress even the most experienced palates. Our Executive Chef Matt Campbell has a full staff of trained and experienced Chefs.

We serve food that walks the line between ranchy and fancy. The chefs take as much pride in preparing creative and freshly prepared cookouts as they do in the formal dinners served in the dining room. Wine and beer are included in the stay and wines are thoughtfully paired with the meals. We look at wine as an integral part of the dining experience and take pride in having a Chef who takes time to be trained in wines of the world so he can lead his weekly wine tastings.

We do not publish our wine list as it changes frequently and our Chef is constantly keeping an eye on special and new wines (as well as fun beers) to bring into the ranch.

Personalized services

Guests can request favorite wine on-hand, request specific soda/non-alcoholic drinks

Good to know

Alcohol

wine provided with dinner, available for purchase

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Gourmet
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, everyone eats together, children dine separately, scheduled meals
  • Enjoy dining in

    patio, dining room (casual attire), dining room (formal attire), bar & grille, in-room dining, private dinners
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch-raised beef, ranch-raised pork, ranch-raised chicken, farm fresh eggs, ranch garden, organic produce, locally grown produce, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts, Our beef, pork and chicken are supplied by local ranchers within our area.
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians

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Guest Favorites

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Colorado Lamb Shank
  • Jumbo Sea Scallops

Wine List Sample

  • Our wine selection changes each season with a variety of wonderful wines.
 

Your Chef

  • Your dedicated chef is Matt Campbell

  • Matt Campbell is our artistic and talented Executive Chef. He attended the Keystone culinary institute where he completed an apprenticeship with Keystone Resort that is certified by the American Culinary Federation.

    Matt has worked in professional kitchens for the past 10 years consistently in settings from classical French, seafood specific, steak houses, upscale American cuisine and now combining classic ranch comfort food with elegant cuisine.

    He grew up in the country in Fayette County, Tennessee spending summers with his grandparents where he fell in love with food at a young age watching them harvest and cook fresh vegetables from the garden. Matt has called Colorado home for the past 11 years and spends his summers fly fishing and hiking and his winters backcountry snowboarding.


     

Sample Menu

    Appetizer

    Country fried squab over grilled apple slaw and finished with a Dijon aioli

    Entrees

    Grilled Kobe strip loin with lobster stuffed potatoes, Croquettes, sauteed zucchini and topped with a white truffle garlic butter

    Chef's Wine Recommendation - Chateau Julien Merlot

    Lighter Side

    Pan-seared Tasmanian Steel Head atop a wild rice salad topped with a grilled peach chutney, served with a citrus port wine gastrique and steamed sunburst squash

    Chef's Wine Recommendation - Alamos Chardonnay

    Comfort Food

    Colorado Braised Lamb Shank served with a wild mushroom spaetzle Ragout and sauteed spaghetti squash

    Chef's Wine Selection - Hess Select Cabernet Sauvignon

    Dessert

    Chocolate mousse with raspberries and whipped cream

    We are happy to accommodate any special requests, just ask! We can even serve mixed berries or a trio of sorbet for those looking for a lighter dessert.

Ranch Recipe

    Carrot and ginger soup with coconut milk

    Ingredients:
    1- Bunch celery
    4- Carrots
    2 tbsp. minced ginger
    1- Yellow onion
    3tbsp. olive oil
    4 shallots- rough chop
    3 tbsp. sesame oil
    ¼ cup- rice wine
    ½ cup- sake
    2- 8 oz. cans coconut milk
    Salt and pepper to taste
    ¼ cup- fresh cilantro
    1 cup- green onion tops
    1 gal- vegetable stock or water

    1- Rough chop 1/2 celery and 2 carrots, and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast off the vegetables in a 350 degree oven until lightly browned.
    2- Meanwhile take the rest of the celery, carrots, onion, and shallots, and process in a food processor until it is finely chopped. Sweat off the chopped vegetables in the olive oil and sesame oil until the onions turn translucent; add in the roasted vegetables and cook for another two minutes. Deglaze the mix with the rice wine and sake, and add in the ginger, and veg. stock.
    3- Bring the mixture to a boil, adjusting the seasoning with salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes to an hour, and then puree it with an immersion blender. Strain the soup through a medium strainer, and return to the stove.
    4- Bring the mix to a boil again, and thicken it with a cornstarch or arrowroot slurry if needed. Pour in the coconut milk, green onion, and cilantro, then adjust the seasoning and serve.
     

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 6 and over



We offer many wonderful activities for kids and teens headed up by our eager and energetic counselors.

6 and up as we have such an active program and evening activities that make it hard for the younger ones to hang in there. Our children’s program was designed by a mom, so it has a lot of thought into the minds of children and how to engage them. The teen program gives the teens a chance to split off and be a little more independent and adventurous with activities like special teen rides and an overnight campout.

From the Welcoming Day Hayride -- to the toasted marshmallows on the last night, the kids days and nights are filled with experiences only found in the great outdoors.

Detailed Activities

  • Arts & Crafts

    play-doh, coloring, We offer a variety of arts and crafts activities for your children.
  • Games

    scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, soccer, volleyball, pool table
  • Riding based activities

    animal care, horse care, arena riding, trail riding, gymkhana, rodeo

Vista Verde – literally “The Green View” – was named by a relative of the Tufly family in the 1930’s. Hollis and Jean Tufly took over some early homesteads in the depths of the depression and built a cattle ranch that continues today. The old Homestead cabin located southeast of the Lodge was hand built by Hollis for his bride in 1936. In the 1950’s the Tufly’s added a couple of cabins – now Dome – to create a small and very rustic hunting and fishing camp.

Frank and Winton Brophy purchased the Vista Verde in 1975 and built the guest ranch business as we know it today. When John and Suzanne Munn became the owners in 1991, they took the ranch to the next level. The characteristics of the ranch that distinguish it – attention to detail, fine food, authentic log cabins, the diversity of activities both summer and winter, the feeling of a ranch not a resort – were developed by them. Peggy and Jerry Throgmartin took over ownership in 2006 and have put us in place as stewards of this fine property. We now we have a tradition to uphold. We intend to preserve the small and special nature of the Vista Verde and to maintain its position as one of the premiere guest ranches in the country.
 

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1920
  • Guest ranch since

    1970

Our Staff

  • Love of People
  • Willingness to Work Hard
  • Love of the Outdoors
  • We have 10 wranglers on our staff, aged 19 to 50

Email Ranch  View Website

 

Our Managers

  • Manager - Ben Martin & Dace Starkweather

  • Hometown

    Illinois and Pennsylvania
  • With ranch since

    2005
  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Ben Martin and his wife Holly have four kids ranging from seven to nineteen years old: Amanda, Chelsea, Annie and Jack. Originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Ben has taken a career path that led from professional soccer, to head wrangler, to foreman at another Colorado ranch, and then to working with high school kids in Denver. With that diverse background, Ben is just the guy to chase down, wrangle, and guide the management team. 

    Dace Starkweather is our singing cowboy. A brief look at his timeline takes him from a family farm in Illinois to the University of Colorado at Boulder, on to another ranch as head wrangler and staff manager for seven years, then to Biola University for a quick master’s degree and now to VVR. Dace shares the general manager job with Ben, and his focus is recruiting, hiring and managing our wonderful staff.


     

Our Wranglers

  • Wrangler - Terry Wegner

  • Hometown

    Colorado
  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Terry is a horse trainer who came from the Reining Horse World. He absolutely loves to share his love of horses and horsemanship with guests and his knowledge and personality are totally infectious. Guests want to work with him constantly! He's very addicting.
  • Wrangler - Johanna Stouder

  • Age

    26
  • Hometown

    Indiana
  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Warm, accepting, calm person. People want to be around her and horses respond well to her.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • Cabin | Vista Verde Cabins$385-$542$285-$425

    • Description

      With 9 cabins on-site, Vista Verde style is first class, and friendly, whether our guests select to stay in a private cabin or deluxe lodge room. The quiet, luxurious cabins are all standalone units, not duplexes, and range from one to three bedrooms and one to three bathrooms with living rooms, wood stoves and private hot tubs out on the deck. Named after the local mountains, our nine cabins are rustic on the outside and anything but on the inside. Of course like the mountains, they are beautiful and spectacular.
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom, Shared bathroom
    • Amenities

      seating area, wood fireplace
    • Entertainment

      hot tub
  • Lodge | Vista Verde Lodge$385-$542$285-$425

    • Description

      Vista Verde style is first class, and friendly, whether our guests select to stay in a private cabin or deluxe lodge room. The spacious lodge rooms are very convenient and have sitting areas, balconies and gorgeous mountain views. Located just up the stairs of our Main Lodge, you don't even have to put on shoes to come down for breakfast! Our three lodge rooms are named after nearby lakes that have captured our fancy just like the views from the lodge room balconies have captured the hearts of our guests.
    • Max occupancy

      6
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      mini-bar, fridge, hair dryer, seating area

Services

Communications

  • wireless internet
  • telephone
  • free long distance
  • Business Services

    • common computer
    • Meeting Room and Vista Verde can fax for you

    Cell Networks

    • cell service is sporadic

Additional Services

  • Spa

    relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, scrubs, manicures, facials, pedicures.
  • Corporate Retreats

    For groups of 30-40. We offer an exlusive ranch buy out for corporate retreats - maximum of 25
  • Weddings

    We can cater for groups of 75-100. A beautiful location and intimate setting, we offer an exclusive ranch buyout for weddings

Onsite

Outdoor Activities

  • climbing
  • mountain biking
  • Yoga
  • Water based Activities

    • outdoor pool
    • hot tub
    • whitewater rafting-adventure
    • Winter Activities  

      • cross-country skiing
      • snowshoeing
      • Sledding

      Additional Activities

      • sleigh rides, sledding, tubing, horseback rides, snowshoeing, cooking classes and wine tasting

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags, Rain coats
 

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Fishing

  • Types of fishing

    fly, river, stocked pond, lake, stream, guided inclusive, instruction available
  • Guided fishing on stocked ponds, small streams, larger rivers, private water and high alpine lakes. Access to RMAC gold medal waters at an additional rod fee.

  • Wildlife and birding

  • Elk, deer, foxes, moose, bears, and little critters like ermine

Offsite Activities

  • Summer

    Pro-rodeo in Steamboat

    Winter

    Downhill skiing at Steamboat, dogsledding and snowmobiling.

    No shuttle fee.

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Steamboat Ski Resort

  • Enjoy skiing at one of the finest ski resorts around. Just minutes from the ranch, enjoy off-site activities at Steamboat and the luxury of Vista Verde to relax.
  • Distance

    25 miles
  • Time from ranch

    45 mins
  • Ranch shuttle

    free

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Check Availability

Tel 800-526-RIDE

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Winter Activities Abound
Ranch aerial view
Mountain Biking trails
 

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