Rainbow Trout Ranch is a family dude ranch nestled in the wilds of Colorado. The ranch offers horseback riding, fly fishing, children’s programs, a fun teen ranch program, trapshooting, swimming and much more. Your family will enjoy delicious home-cooked meals in a stunning setting, and your aspen-log cabin accommodation is cozy and welcoming after a long day of adventures.

The Van Berkum family have owned and operated the ranch for over 20 years, and they truly love what they do. They raise horses themselves, as well as being competitive team-ropers and they take their riding program very seriously, but with plenty of fun thrown in. You will be matched with a wonderful horse of your own and be able to enjoy the trails and beauty of the Southern Colorado Rockies; the real time-honored American Wild West.

Good to know

  • Works with travel agents?



  • Owner(s)

    Doug and Linda Van Berkum
  • Address

    1484 FDR 250 , Antonito , Colorado, USA, 81120
  • Tel

    719-376-2440 1-800-633-3397
  • Ranch Type

    Dude Ranch, Bed & Breakfast
  • Great for

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery, People of all ages

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  • The perfect Colorado dude ranch vacation for adults, families, singles, couples, groups and anyone else who wants a family ranch vacation
  • Offering superb fly-fishing, awesome children’s programs and a fun teen ranch program. Try trapshooting, swimming, day trips to Taos, white-water rafting and the chance to ride America’s highest and longest narrow-gauge steam train. RTR brings timeless simpler pleasures to life in a spectacular setting
  • Exceptional Colorado horseback riding, they take the riding program very seriously, but there's plenty of fun thrown in, too! As well as being competitive team-ropers, they raise their horses themselves and you are matched with a wonderful horse of your own
  • A great place to rejuvenate. Hospitality is taken very seriously, too – most everything is prepared from scratch and baking is a speciality. There are BBQ cookouts and each meal is a special occasion, whether in the Lodge, by the pool or near the river
  • The guest cabins are beautiful, picturesquely grouped around amongst the aspen and ponderosa pines. They vary from quaint two-bedroom cabins, to larger three-bedroom cabins all with living rooms and fireplaces. The ranch cabins are beautifully appointed in Western themes, and each has a wonderful porch and view


  • There's too much to do and too little time!
  • Because you're in the wilderness, cell service and internet are poor

Summer Season Rates & Booking

  • Included in your stay

  • Extras


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

Avg Temp (°F):


Avg Rainfall (in):


  • Elevation

    9000 ft.
  • Remote Location


Nearest Airports

  • Albuquerque, Antonito

  • Nearest town / city

  • Distance to ranch

    25 miles

Nearest Town / City

  • Antonito

  • Population

  • Distance

    25 miles
  • Rental car



  • Type of riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced

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You'll enjoy

  • hours in the Saddle


Pack Trips

  • Details

    part of ranch experience, day trips, remote

Arena Work

  • Type

    indoor arena
  • Activities

    penning, sorting, roping from the ground, roping from horseback, rodeo, cutting

Each meal is a special occasion at the ranch. The ranch chef is a graduate of the Culinary School of Arts, and takes great care in the preparation and serving of every dish – they embrace home cooking in the traditional sense.

Most everything is prepared from scratch and baking is a specialty. In addition to entrees such as steak, ribs, fresh trout, tenderloin and turkey, there’s a good choice of vegetables, fruits and salads, and during the week there are frequent barbecue cookouts, which are always a highlight. Meals are served family style with all you care to eat and consideration is given to the requirements of children, as well as those with special dietary needs.

There’s a BYOB policy at the ranch and guests bring alcohol of their choice or the ranch will pick up what you request on their town-runs. Santa Fe has some wonderful wine shops and you can stop by local wines and breweries on your way to the ranch. If you prefer, you can also ship to the ranch ahead of time. Glasses, ice machine and openers are available in the lodge and there’s a large guest refrigerator easily accessible from the dining room where you can store anything you wish to keep cold.

And if you are not an alcohol drinker, there’s RTR coffee and a selection of teas available at any time, as well as a selection of sodas and drinks in the Trading Post.
At meals lemonade is served, refreshing juices and iced tea, and there is always the cool, pure RTR well water.

Good to know




BYO snack


  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style, Health oriented, Home-cooked, barbecue cookouts, sunrise hikes with snacks, candlelight dinners
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together
  • Dietary restrictions catered for include

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

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Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 3 and over

Children and teens welcome! The little ‘Buckaroos’ (3-5 year olds) can enjoy short rides around the barn and river areas, led by the counselors. Children aged three and older take part in full daytime activities and are supervised by qualified counselors.

Children aged six and older are given their own horse for the week and can go on the trails. The kids’ horses are specially selected to meet each child’s ability level, helping them to improve their riding ability throughout their stay.

The ranch teen-program is less structured than the kids’ programs (thus allowing for that much needed teen independence), and includes lots of activities with the teen counselor. If teens choose to go off-ranch, day-trip adventures are available, too.
The counselor will meet with the teens on Sunday night and they will map out their week activities together.

All the programs are optional so that families can spend as much time together as they wish, or everyone can go their different ways.

Detailed Activities

  • Games

    horseshoes, volleyball

In the 1870s the region became a haven for gold and silver miners. Numerous small towns were quickly erected, and a railroad (which still operates today) was built between Antonito and Chama to serve the miners. Most of these towns were then abandoned in the early 1900s with the demise of the local mining industry.

During this time, however, Rainbow Trout Ranch was a noted fisherman’s paradise and soon a private fishing club was established for a select group of sportsmen. As the ranch’s popularity grew, guest cabins were built and by the mid 1920s construction began on the lodge, which was the largest log structure of its time. Built with local Engelmann spruce, it is said that not a single nail was used in the entire 18,000 square foot structure—just wooden pegs!

In the late 1920s the door was opened to the public as a fully functioning guest ranch boasting extraordinary fishing and as time went by it developed a fine reputation for providing unexcelled family vacations.

Today the Van Berkum family continues to cherish the ranch and have dedicated their lives to its continuation. It was truly the showplace of the Rockies, and happily remains so today.


  • Ranch established

  • Guest ranch since


Owner Info

  • Owner - Doug and Linda Van Berkum

  • Doug and Linda run the ranch with the help of their son David and daughter-in-law Jane who live at the ranch year round with their three children.

    Guest ranching became a tradition for the Van Berkum family in the late eighties when David went to wrangle on a ranch in Montana and daughter Rachel took a job helping in cabins on a Colorado ranch. Doug and Linda visited them both and pretty soon, guest ranching was in their blood.

    A few years of searching for just the right place led them to the Rainbow Trout Lodge in southern Colorado, long famous for the amazing lodge and superb fishing. They changed the name to the Rainbow Trout Ranch, bringing the focus onto both the exceptional fishing and riding, and the rest is a wonderful, rich history of western vacations and experiences.

Rooms & Rates

  • Room type | nameSummer ratesWinter rates



Water based Activities

  • outdoor pool

Fishing & Wildlife

  • Fishing

  • Types of fishing

    spin, fly, river, stream

Offsite Activities

  • Taos Pueblo adobe dwellings
    Toltec and Cumbres Narrow Gauge Railroad
    Conejos River Valley
    Southern Colorado
    Rio Grande National Forest
    San Juan wilderness
    Santa Fe

Local Attractions

  • We've only highlighted attractions that may add to your stay!
  • Taos Pueblo adobe dwellings

  • Toltec and Cumbres Narrow Gauge Railroad

  • Ride ‘America’s Longest and Highest Narrow Gauge.’ The scenic railroad runs between Antonito, CO and Chama, NM, and the ranch is about midway between these two towns. To quote their brochure: “A special journey into yesterday, this enchanting narrow gauge steam railroad is an exciting and marvelous adventure, meandering 64 miles in the awesome peaks and valleys of the scenic Rockies, through tunnels, gorges and breathtaking trestles.”

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Contact Info




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Tel 719-376-2440 1-800-633-3397

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Cooking out
River riding
Making Friends
Team Penning
Evening Hayride
Enjoying the view

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