Swimming Pool and Saloon

Our Story

Every dude ranch has a story behind it, and each is unique.

Colorado Trails Ranch is different from all of them and a very special place. Rather than being an adaptation of some sort of former ranch, ours was built to be a dude ranch from its very beginning in 1960.

Prior to any original construction, there were only two buildings; a tiny old barn and the anteroom portion of what was once Coney Cove dance hall, built around 1912.  This log structure is still in use today as wrangler staff housing. The first few years there was only the new lodge and six Alpine cabins. A lot of growth and change has taken place over the past half of a century on this guest ranch.

In early years, guests made up their own brand, which was burned into the timber posts in the lodge. Those brands are still there, but this practice came to a halt many years ago. It was a sad end to a great Colorado Trails Ranch tradition, but necessary to protect the building from burning down.

Each year, the ranch comes alive in May with the arrival of our staff from all over the country, and sometimes from around the globe. CTR would not be the special vacation spot it is without the liveliness, and vitality, of the staff.

We’ve enjoyed thousands of new friends through the years.

Five decades of our staff and guests who came to work and play. Every wall holds millions of warm memories left by those who had fun within them. No matter how advanced the world may become technologically, the magic of this dude ranch remains quite the same.

Guests find it hard to leave, and many return over and over again. Past staff members return as guests, introducing their new families to the wonders of dude ranch vacations.

For Jeanne Ross, our General Manager, the CTR experience has never ended. She came to work as a staff member in 1966, and has yet to find a reason to leave. Over the years, she has filled lots of support roles including housekeeping, kids’ counselor, cooking/baking and running the office.

Mike North is also a longtime figure here at Colorado Trails. Since 2002, he’s overseen all physical aspects of the ranch. Mike applies his many skills and talents very well as our head of maintenance.

There’s one very special week we are extremely proud to be a part of.

It isn’t a vacation style of dude ranch event, but the Equine Investigator’s Academy. Colorado Trails Ranch has been hosting this event since 1984, first under the American Humane Association, and with Code 3 Associates since 1996. This national school teaches animal control officers, and other animal professionals, how to recognize and investigate horse abuse. Today, we host two levels of this class which are accredited by Colorado State University.