Top50 Ranches

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Lowdown

  • Established

    1910. Guest ranch since 1985
  • Owner

    Dean and Karen May
  • Manager

    Hayley & Nick Horner
  • Tel

    800-843-7895 / 303-838-9873
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $198
    Winter: $185 - $235
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: No minimum stay
    Winter: No minimum stay
  • Maximum Guests

    30
  • Works with travel agents?

    Yes
  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Pampering, Solitude
  • Memberships

    Orvis Endorsed Lodge, Colorado Lodging Association, Colorado Mule Riders

Intimate size, diverse activities, personal attention to detail & the ability to create your own ranch experience/package stay. 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 time to go

It's always a great day at North Fork

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!

Arts & Crafts

coloring, painting, stick-art

Activities

hiking, picnics, outdoor play area, petting zoo, supervised swimming, Fishing in the pond

Games

scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, volleyball, ping pong, pool table

Riding based activities

pony rides

Baby Sitting

From age 0 to 7. Hourly cost $10.

Baby Sitting Provided By

Ranch staff

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

Ranch History

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, at North Fork Ranch while developing it into a premier ranch and Orvis-endorsed fishing lodge.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Gourmet, Ranch-style, Health oriented
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

    BYOB
  • Enjoy dining in

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

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

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

Family-style meals with a gourmet flair that you wouldn't normally attempt at home along with traditional barbeque's & cookouts. Fresh salads and vegetables, homemade breads, only the best ingredients are used to create delicious, balanced meals. Desserts are truly sinful!

Special diets and requests are never a problem.

Wine and beer are welcome at meals - BYOB

Guest Favourites

  • Eggs Benedict
  • Pork Tenderloin with Raspberry Chipolte Sauce
  • Steak Cookout

Your Chef, 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!

Lowdown

  • Address

    PO Box B
    Shawnee
    Colorado
    80475
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    8100' ft
  • Private Land

    250-1000 acres
  • Public Land

    more than 50k

Nearest Town - Bailey

Bailey has a population of 9000 (approx), and is situated 6 miles from the Ranch.

Facilities in Bailey include: church, school, post office, medical clinic, bank, gas station.

For shopping Bailey offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops.

Ranch shuttle

none

Nearest Airports

Denver International Airport, Denver

Distance

70 miles / 1 hour 30 mins

Airlines

Delta, United, Alaska, United Express, Continental, American, Southwest, Frontier, Lufthansa, British Airways Nearest private plane airport - Centennial Airport

Ranch shuttle

$99 per person


Private Air Travel

Nearest location(s)

Centennial Airport, Denver CO

Travel by

Airplane

Distance

70 miles

Ranch shuttle

$99 per person

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
  • Guest Horses

    12
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Appaloosas, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings, Mule
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (250-1000 acres)

Public Land (more than 50k acres)

Pike National Forest and Lost Creek Wilderness


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

Guests must be able to demonstrate control and balance before riding a faster gate.

Weight limit for riding

Up to 225 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed

Hours in the saddle

Easier, shorter walking rides are always offered


Why 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

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! 

 

Riding Lessons

Our wranglers are always keen to help improve your horsmanship skills, and safety is their first priority

Given by

wrangler

Location

on the trail, in the arena

Arena Work

The arena is used mainly for instruction and riding practice

Type

outdoor arena

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    Summer: $198
    Winter: $185 - $235
  • Minimum Stay

    No minimum stay
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Any day is fine

North Fork Ranch can cater for up to 30 guests. Accommodation includes Lodges, Houses and Cabins. See below for details and indicative rates.

Lodge | Wild Horse Lodge

Rates (Per Person)

$198 - $300

Minimum Stay

No minimum

Description

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

Rooms

5

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, washer / dryer, Handicapped Accessible

House | Stonehenge Mansion

Rates (Per Person)

$198 - $300

Minimum Stay

3 nights

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

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace

Cabin | Homestead Cabin

Rates (Per Person)

$198 - $300

Minimum Stay

No minimum

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

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace

Cabin | Klondike Cabin

Rates (Per Person)

$198 - $300

Minimum Stay

No minimum

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

Bathrooms

Private bathroom

Amenities

safe, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace, washer / dryer


Booking Policy

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

Extras

Tax

3.9%

Gratuity

Ave 15%

Massage

$90/hour

Other

Airport transfers

Lowdown

  • You can borrow

    Cowboy boots, Saddle bags, Rain coats
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone, cell phone coverage.
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon.
  • Business Services

    computer and fax hookups, common computer, specializing in small meeting groups, <20.

Onsite

Shopping

Ranch Trading Post

Outdoor Activities

Yoga, sporting clays, wagon rides, Skeet & .22 Target shooting, Bow and arrow

Water based Activities

outdoor pool, hot tub

Spa

relaxation massage, deep tissue massage, rock treatments


Fishing & Wildlife

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.

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, river, stocked pond, equipment available, guided non-inclusive, unguided, instruction available

Wildlife

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".


Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

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

Weddings

We can cater for groups of 40-50. Contact the ranch directly


Top50 says

Highs

  • Great location – just over 1 hour from Denver International Airport
  • Meals are homemade and delicious, and accommodations very comfortable
  • Dean and Karen's warm hospitality and personal touch show how committed they are to quality. They really strive to give guests the best vacation possible
  • The ranch was endorsed by Orvis in 2008, guaranteeing guests first-class fishing

Lows

  • No cell service on most of the property, so it's a great chance to disconnect

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Best fishing EVER!

Whether you are new to fly fishing (like me) or a seasoned fisherman, you must try this magnificent venue. Dean & Karen are gracious, wonderful hosts and Casey rounds out the team to provide tasty, plentiful meals to all guests at the lodge. Cabins are spacious, warm and very comfortable. OBTW, the water pressure in our cabin was better than at home. A special shout out to Jeff & Monroe, local guides who expertly told us where to cast and with what rigs. I caught the biggest fish of my life x2. Fish on!

5 stars

You can find more reviews for North Fork Ranch on TripAdvisor