North Fork Ranch is a family owned and operated ranch and fly fishing lodge that's been welcoming families since 1985. Located just an hour from Denver, the ranch offers a multitude of activities to satisfy everyone's interests.

Enjoy activities ranging from guided fly fishing, horseback riding, ziplining, hiking in the beautiful Colorado backcountry and whitewater rafting. As an Orvis-endorsed fishing lodge, North Fork Ranch guarantees a world-class fishing experience.

North Fork Ranch excels at luxury in both accommodations and dining, without compromising its focus on families.  A beautiful property in a great location - a vacation here is never long enough!

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?

    yes
  • Belongs to

    Orvis Endorsed Lodge, Colorado Lodging Association, Colorado Mule Riders
  • Good time to go

    It's always a great day at North Fork

Lowdown

  • Owner(s)

    Dean and Karen May
  • Address

    PO Box B, Shawnee, Colorado, USA, 80475
  • Tel

    800-843-7895 / 303-838-9873
  • Fax

    303-838-1549
  • Capacity

    35
  • Open

    Apr-Oct - view details
  • Nightly rate

    $198 - view details
  • Ranch Type

    Luxury Ranch
  • Great for

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Pampering, Solitude, Kids - age 8+

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Highs

  • Great location - just over 1 hour from Denver International Airport
  • Meals are homemade and delicious and accommodations very comfortable, and Dean and Karen's warm hospitality maintains a personal touch
  • Dean and Karen are committed to quality and strive to give guests the best vacation possible
  • The ranch was endorsed by Orvis in 2008, guaranteeing guests first-class fishing
  • Excellent value for money, with an extensive, family-friendly range of activities offered
 

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Open

    Apr-Oct
  • Nightly rate

    $198
  • Minimum stay

    No minimum stay
  • Preferred arrival day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred depart day

    Any day is fine
  • Booking Policy

  • Reservations are best made by phone so we can answer all your questions and place you in the best fitting accomodation.
  • Included in your stay

  • Extras

  • Tax

    3.9%
  • Gratuity

    Ave 15%
  • Massage

    $90/hour
  • Other

    Airport transfers

Winter Season Rates & Booking  

  • Open

    Apr-May, Sep-Oct
  • Nightly rate

    $185-235   view details on lodging rates
  • Minimum stay

    No minimum stay
  • Preferred arrival day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred depart day

    Any day is fine
  • Booking Policy

  • Reservations are best made by phone so we can answer all your questions and place you in the best fitting accomodation.
  • Included FREE in your stay

  • Extras

  • Tax

    3.9%
  • Gratuity

    Ave 15%
  • Massage

    $90/hour
  • Other

    Meals, Limited Activites, Limited Riding, Guided Fly Fishing

Environmental & Social Practices

  • Environment

  • North Forks practices "leave no trace" wilderness and forest use, and feeds only certified, weed-free hay to its animals.

  • Community

  • The ranch hosts "Casting For Recovery" twice a year, and has hosted "Wounded Warriors". North Forks supports the local school with its "Chances" scholarship fund, and regularly hosts local church fund raisers and food drives. The ranch team also visits local nursing homes with their quiet horses and mules.

  • Conservation

  • Recycling Programs

Weather

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

Avg Temp (°F):

2426.331.638.947.556.261.759.952.843.131.725.3

Avg Rainfall (in):

0.40.51.21.921.72.62.51.31.10.70.5

Lowdown

  • Elevation

    8100' ft.
 

Nearest Airports

  • Denver International Airport, Denver

  • Nearest town / city

    Denver
  • Distance to ranch

    70 miles
  • Time to ranch

    1 hour 30 mins
  • Airlines

    Delta, United, Alaska, United Express, Continental, American, Southwest, Frontier, Lufthansa, British Airways
  • Ranch shuttle

    $200 each way per family up to 6

Private Air travel

  • Nearest town / city

    Centennial Airport, Denver CO
  • Travel by

    Airplane
  • Distance to ranch

    70 miles

Nearest Town / City

  • Bailey

  • Population

    9000
  • Distance

    6 miles
  • Facilities

    church, school, post office, medical clinic, bank, gas station
  • Ranch shuttle

    none
 

Our riding stands out

  • Wranglers are trained in "Mutual Gains Horsemanship" and teach these principles to guests
  • Rides are small, diverse and intimate, and tailored to individuals' desires
  • Quality tack and horses, beautiful forests and amazing scenery

Our horses

  • guest horses

    10
  • horse types

    Quarterhorse, Appaloosas, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings, Mule

Our Riding

  • Scheduled rides

    Each day a variety of length of rides can be offered. When our rides enter the National Forests we are required to be in certain areas on certain days.
  • Guided rides

    All rides are guided by our amazing wranglers for your saftey and enjoyment

Good to know

  • Riding considerations

    Up to 225 lbs, no riding experience needed
  • Saddles

    Western

Lowdown

  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

    Beginner
  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Families Ride Together
  • Max riders per ride

    8
  • Wranglers per ride

    1
  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guests must be able to demonstrate control and balance before riding a faster gate.

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle

    Morning - 2 hours, Afternoon - 2 hours, Evening - n/a
  • Easier, shorter walking rides are always offered
  • Riding

    Openly through property, On specified trails
 

Pack Trips

  • Details

    weekly trips, remote
  • Extras

    Pack trips are offered over two different weeks in July, venturing into the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. This is an increadible adventure for a family, or two to three couples.

Arena Work

  • Type

    outdoor arena
  • The arena is used mainly for instruction and riding practice

Sample Riding Itinerary

  • Rides are offered every day both lunch rides and morning or afternoon rides.

    We offer a wide variety of trails to see different areas of the property! 

     

Setting

  • Private Land - 250-1000 (acres)

  • Public Land - more than 50k (acres)

  • Pike National Forest and Lost Creek Wilderness

Our goal is to serve family-style meals with a gourmet flair that you wouldn't normally attempt at home. From fresh salads and vegetables to homemade breads, only the best ingredients are used to create delicious, balanced meals. Desserts are truly sinful!

All meals are served with families in mind, meaning kids will love the food and adults with be just as impressed. Special diets and requests are never a problem.

Wine and beer are welcome at meals - BYOB

Good to know

Alcohol

BYOB

Snacking

BYO snack

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Gourmet, Ranch-style, Health oriented
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Enjoy dining in

    nature settings, patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

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Guest Favorites

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Pork Tenderloin with Raspberry Chipolte Sauce
  • Wild Game Dinner
 

Your Chef

  • Your dedicated chef is Hayley

  • Karen has been cooking for our guests since 1985. She has published six ranch cookbooks and it's our hottest seller. You will not be disappointed! She has passed her knowledge on to her daughter, Hayley, to ensure the same level of excellence for meals!

Sample Menu

    Breakfast: Help yourself to our breakfast bar complete with fresh fruits, homemade muffins, yogurt, breads, and hot and cold cereals. To really set you up for the day, delve into eggs benedict with hash browns.

    Lunch: Enjoy a Mexican buffet where you can build your own tacos and burritos, and tuck into pork tamales and tortilla soup.

    Dinner: Fresh spinach salad with poppy-seed dressing, fresh-baked peasant bread, pork loin with raspberry chipolte sauce, rice pilaf and roasted sugar-snap peas.

    Dessert: Home-made chocolate ice-cream roll.

Ranch Recipe

    Colorado Pine Nut Salad

    Ingredients

    1 tsp onion salt
    2 tsps black pepper
    1/4 cup minced garlic
    2 cups olive oil
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
    1/2 cup white or red wine vinegar
    1 1/2 tbsps stoneground mustard
    1/2 cup pine nuts
    1 large head Romaine lettuce, chopped
    Fresh cranberries, to serve
     

    Method

    1. In mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the lettuce, cranberries and pine nuts. Whisk or place in food processor until blended, then refrigerate.

    2. Brown the pine nuts in a saute pan with a little oil over medium heat, then transfer to paper towel to cool.

    3. Stir and toss the chopped lettuce with desired amount of the refrigerated dressing, top with roasted pine nuts and a few cranberries, and serve.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 8 and over



We encourage families to take part in ranch activites together. We want the parents to be the ones remembered for being the hero, catching their first fish, camping out together, taking a pony ride, and swimming in the pool together.

We're here to help you have a memorable vacation with your children. For the older kids we provide supervised .22 target shooting, skeet shooting and bow-and-arrow, and they are also are encouraged to help the wranglers in the corral and to feed the horses, and anything else to get them involved with ranching.

After a hot, dusty day of riding and ranching, kids will love splashing into our heated pool!

Detailed Activities

  • Arts & Crafts

    coloring, painting, stick-art
  • Activities

    Fishing in the pond
  • Games

    scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, volleyball, ping pong, pool table
  • Riding based activities

    pony rides

Babysitting

  • Available for children age

    0 to 7
  • Provided by

    Local help if they are available.
  • Hourly prices from

    $10

The Knisley family homesteaded the ranch in 1910, harvesting hay and supplying timber to the mines, smelters and railroads.

In 1930 the Peterson Family built the Stonehenge Mansion, and the two properties combined a decade later in 1940. In the 1950s, the Carter Family founded an egg-laying operation on the then named Stonehenge Ranch, and when the egg market fell out in 1960, an existing building was converted to a lodge, providing accommodations to the local ski area.

In 1984 the property was purchased by Jim Gordon, who begain remodeling to open as a dude ranch a year later. Dean May was hired as manager and, after later being given the opportunity to work into the partnership, bought out the partners.

In 1986 Dean married his beautiful bride, Karen, and they raised their two children, Hayley and Tyler, on  North Fork Ranch while developing it into a premier ranch and Orvis-endorsed fishing lodge.

Lowdown

  • Ranch established

    1910
  • Guest ranch since

    1985

Our Staff

  • A serving attitude towards life
  • Self respect
  • Applicable Talents
  • We have 8 wranglers on our staff, aged 18 to 55

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Your Hosts: The May's   NFR
Time To RIDE !   NFR
Our Friendly Staff   NFR

Owner Info

  • Owner - Dean and Karen May

  • Languages spoken

    english
  • Dean has a degree in Forestry and Land Surveying, and had been dude ranching for 31 years. Karen is a registered nurse and has been dude ranching for 28 years.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates

  • Lodge | Wild Horse Lodge$198-$300n/a

    • Description

      Centrally located for activities and dining. Ideal for couples and singles.
    • Rooms

      5
    • Max occupancy

      10
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, washer / dryer, Handicapped Accessible
  • House | Stonehenge Mansion$198-$300n/a

    • Description

      Decorated in classic southwestern elegance. Two seperate family accomodations - Santa Fe and Taos. Ideal for two families with older children or a large family. A three-level common living room area, each area with its own elegant fireplace
    • Rooms

      6
    • Max occupancy

      10
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      3 nights
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace
  • Cabin | Homestead Cabin$198-$300n/a

    • Description

      A classic cabin built in 1910, remodeled with the charm of yesteryear but with modern amenities. Three seperate units can host one large family, two small families or three couples. Common living room with large stone fireplace
    • Rooms

      5
    • Max occupancy

      8
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace
  • Cabin | Klondike Cabin$198-$300n/a

    • Description

      A duplex log cabin built in 1989. Accomodates two families of four, each with full privacy. Master bedroom suite with cathedral ceilings and a large stone fireplace
    • Rooms

      4
    • Max occupancy

      8
    • Prices listed are

      per person
    • Minimum stay

      no minimum
    • Bathrooms

      Private bathroom
    • Amenities

      safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace, washer / dryer
Main Lodge along the River   NFR
Main Lodge along the River   NFR
Main Lodge along the River   NFR

Services

Communications

  • wireless internet
  • telephone
  • cell phone coverage

Business Services

  • specializing in small meeting groups, <20

Cell Networks

  • AT&T
  • verizon

Additional Services

  • Spa

    relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, rock treatments.
  • Corporate Retreats

    For groups of up to 30. Quiet, peaceful mountain setting

Onsite

Shopping

  • Ranch Trading Post

Outdoor Activities

  • Skeet & .22 Target shooting, Bow and arrow

Water based Activities

  • outdoor pool
  • hot tub
  • Additional Activities

    • Enjoy the tranquility of relaxing in a rocker alongside the rushing river.

Good to know

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy boots, Saddle bags, Rain coats
 

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Fishing

  • Types of fishing

    spin, fly, river, stocked pond, equipment available, guided non-inclusive, unguided, instruction available
  • North Fork Ranch is an Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodge. Fishing in our two miles of private water is all guided to ensure quality and safety for your experience, and you can also fish unguided on the public water just below the ranch as well as great spots within close driving distances, where you'll find plenty of fish.

  • Wildlife and birding

  • Wildlife you might see include mule, deer, elk, Bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose, coyote, fox, bobcat and a multitude of birdlife, including our resident Bald Eagle, "Baldy".

Offsite Activities

  • Ranch shuttle available to whitewater rafting on specific trip day, zip line, mountain biking, and guided high-country hiking.

    Also nearby are several 18-hole golf courses and the South Park City Museum, for which you will need a hire car to visit.


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  • Depart On*:

Party Details

  • Adults:
    No.
  • Children:
    No.
  • Ages of Children:

Contact Info

Name:

Telephone:

Email:

Preferred method of contact   


Any Requests


Check Availability

Tel 800-843-7895 / 303-838-9873

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Relax near the creek   NFR
Sq Top Mtn   Guided Hike  NFR
Whitewater Rafting   NFR
Skeet Shooting w/instruction   NFR
 

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