How to choose a ranch: tips from ranchers

We were e-chatting with Stephanie, at Colorado’s Vista Verde Ranch, on things that guests can do ahead to make sure they’re selecting the right ranch for them. She was kind enough to share her thoughts (below). Vista Verde, tucked in a secluded meadow outside Steamboat Springs, has been around for years and so they know a thing or two about helping guests find the ranch that’s right for them. Here are Stephanie’s suggestions to guests, searching for their perfect ranch:

1) Trust your gut. “I know this sounds silly,” Stephanie says, “but I have noticed that a lot of people choose us over another ranch just because it felt right.” There’s something to be said about that, because if it just feels right, you’re probably not going to be second-guessing your decision. “And the reality is, often times you can’t really go wrong, as the ranches you’re looking at are all good and any one of them would be a great pick.”

2) Talk to your friends and see if anyone has been to a dude ranch before; a former guest will have a better handle on the reality of the experience than any website.

3) Then check the ranch website: it will answer a lot of basic questions and offer pictures of accommodations, facilities, etc.

3) Check the ranch’s reviews (on sites such as tripadvisor or Ranchweb).

4) Ask plenty of questions: What is the terrain like for riding? How is the riding program set up for ride size, ability, instruction? How are the meals organized: family style, buffet, with kids, without kids? What is the food like- typical breakfast, lunch and dinner? And what other activities are there to do if we get tired of riding?


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