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.
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.
hiking, cookouts, whitewater rafting, supervised swimming
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.