What is the difference between a dude ranch and a guest ranch?
Excellent question! There is no difference at all! The term “dude ranch” and the term “guest ranch” mean exactly the same thing. We all provide family ranch vacations. You might like our article A Short History of Dude Ranching.
How do I decide which dude ranch is is the best for my family vacation?
It can be very confusing! We have two pages that you might find helpful finding your Colorado ranch vacation: first is the article How To Choose The Right Dude Ranch for Your Family, and the article What Makes Our Guest Ranch Different?
Also feel free to call guest ranches that interest you – talking with owners about your family vacation ideas can be very helpful! (oops! Our phone # 970-224-1222 or 800-357-4930!) Or you can email us at Sundance Trail Guest Ranch.
Can I come visit and see your place before making a reservation?
Absolutely! Or if you have a family member or friend who lives nearby, feel free to send them to inspect us. Give us a day’s notice, so we can be sure someone is home to welcome you.
Where are you located?
We are about 100 miles north of Denver (just a bit less than 2 hours from Denver International Airport), about 40 miles north of Fort Collins (45 minutes from campus), about 50 miles south of Laramie WY (about 60 minutes). Click here for our Map & Directions
What do your rooms look like?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words! So here are some pictures on our Accommodations page.
Tell me about your food?
The dining room has four tables. We eat family style. Platters are filled using the “Mae West” philosophy of “too much of a good thing is… just wonderful!”
Our diet is “hearty western” meaning meat and potatoes, but you will always find plenty of vegetables and salads as well. (We often have vegetarian staff.)
Our desserts and many of our breads are home baked. You should always find home baked cookies or sweets on the dining room buffet.
What about special diets or food preferences?
Ellen and Dan are both Registered Nurses, and very comfortable supervising the kitchen staff in preparing special diets, including vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, etc.
We can also work around food intolerance, and allergies.
Fussy eaters? Give us a list of preferred foods when making your reservation, and we can easily accommodate just about any requests.
The grocery store is about 45 miles from here, so the key is adequate preparation time! If you can tell us your dietary needs when you make your reservations, we can be prepared.
Tell me about your horse back riding program.
First, this is not a nose-to-tail riding program!. Our program is small enough to accommodate both proficient riders, and beginners.
Those who enjoy sight-seeing at a walk can; and those who want the faster jogs and lopes can too!
Our program uses a series of six steps to bring beginners from the ground up, starting with basic Dude Ranch Western Riding and ground manners. These steps are based on principles of Western Riding taught by the American Association of Horsemanship Safety and the Dude Ranchers Association Wrangler Safety Certification programs. More details on our
We have two different lifestyles, according to the seasons. We live a dude ranch lifestyle in the summer, with information listed on the left side of each page, and we live a quieter “Country Inn” or “Bed and Breakfast” in the fall, winter, and spring - details are listed on the right side menus of each page.
What about summer activities?
Visit the pages listed on the left side menu.
Yes. There are four lakes in the Roosevelt National Forest less than 5 miles from here. For the serious fly fishermen, the Cache la Poudre River is 11 miles – a “Wild and Scenic” River. We have equipment that you can borrow at no charge. We are not allowed to guide fishing trips, but can refer you to excellent local fly fishing guides.
How does tipping work?
Some ranches do not allow tipping. On these ranches, the wranglers usually get tipped “under the table” and the other staff get nothing.
Some ranches automatically add a “service charge” which does not motivate the staff to delight guests.
We are often asked by guests about how gratuities should be handled. This can be an uncomfortable topic – this note is to help you be informed, but not feel pressured. If you feel you have received exceptional service, you may show your appreciation by leaving a tip for our staff. Unless you specify differently, tips are divided equally among the staff. As a guideline, many guests leave a fifteen or twenty percent tip; however gratuities are left entirely at your discretion.
What should I pack?
You should find helpful hints for packing on our Planning Tips page.