Elk Mountain Ranch

Location: Rocky Mountains | USA

Price guide: £££££ £350-£500 per person per night

At 9,600ft in elevation Elk Mountain is Colorado’s highest guest/dude ranch. Overlooking the Arkansas Valley and adjacent to Browns Canyon National Monument, you will be surrounded by dramatic mountains so tall their peaks often sit above the clouds. With plenty of activities on offer, this family-owned ranch works perfectly for young families in search of an adventure.
Perfect forWith 2 and 3-bedroom cabins available, and children aged 3+ able to ride here, Elk Mountain is great for families - as well as couples and small groups.
In the knowIf white water rafting is on your bucket list, then Elk Mountain should be taken seriously. The ranch has access and tours taking you to Buena Vista, home to arguably America's greatest rafting opportunities.

Recommended for...

  • Riding
  • Landscapes & Scenery
  • Water activities
  • Walking & Trekking

Hotel Overview

Sense of Place

Elk Mountain Ranch is secluded in the San Isabel National Forest in the heart of the American Rockies, a pleasant 2.5-hour drive south-west of Denver. The remote nature, vast grasslands and towering peaks provide the ideal setting for an activity-based wilderness holiday.

Rooms at Elk Mountain Ranch

The Western-inspired accommodation includes cosy and comfortable log cabins which come with two or three bedrooms, a spacious suite in the Main Lodge with two bedrooms and a lounge area, and the Pioneer Lodge, which has three bedrooms and is ideal for larger families and groups. For a room with a view, opt for the aptly-named Vista Cabin, whose porch looks out over the majestic snow-capped Mount Princeton, which stands over 14,000ft high.

With a maximum occupancy of 30 guests at any one time, the experience remains intimate and relaxed, and all guests will be greeted with fresh flowers and a gift basket on arrival in their room.

Food & Drink

Guests at the ranch certainly won't go hungry - enjoy three hearty meals each day, with something to suit all tastes. Wake up to a delicious home-cooked breakfast, enjoy trail ride cookouts when you're out in the mountains, and return to relax on the deck before dinner with daily hors d'oeuvres, before ending the day in style with a candlelit supper and irresistible desserts perfect for those with a sweet tooth.

This is a family-owned ranch, and children's meals are also offered, and special diets can be accommodated too. Coffee, tea, cocoa, fresh fruit, crisps and cookies are always available for whenever you fancy a drink or a snack.


During downtime at the ranch, head to the Main Lodge, which has a bar and a lodge room with a large fireplace to cosy up by, plenty of board games and puzzles, a library and a piano, as well as both an enclosed porch and a sun deck. Get into the local spirit and settle down to watch a classic Western movie.

Activities at Elk Mountain Ranch

Children can ride from the age of 3 and can ride with adults from the age of 8 - and there is also a kids rodeo competition! Rides vary in route and scenery but are predominantly slow trail rides, and will take you through pristine, unspoiled wilderness and beautiful landscapes. Due to there being a maximum of 30 guests at a time, activities can be tailored to suit your interests and ability levels. These rides are ideal for beginner riders and those with little or no experience - more experienced riders will not be tested.

Although horse riding is Elk Mountain's main activity, there are many other enjoyable adventures to be had too - including some of America's finest white water rafting, as well as hiking and mountain biking. Play golf nearby, go skiing in Aspen (reached via a spectacularly scenic drive), or spend a fun-filled day at Browns Canyon Adventure Park, which sits by the Arkansas River and offers a range of ziplines and fun obstacles.

Enjoy square dancing or hayrides, play volleyball, basketball or badminton, and at the end of an exhilarating day, gather round the campfire for some evening entertainment. 

Practical information:
The ranch is open from early June to mid-September.
The ranch offers 7-night packages from Sunday to Sunday. Adults-only weeks are also available.

Best time to go

Best time to travel

Good time to travel (but some limitations)

Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

  • Jan
  • Feb
  • Mar
  • Apr
  • May
  • Jun
  • Jul
  • Aug
  • Sep
  • Oct
  • Nov
  • Dec
Best time to go

Hotel location

Elk Mountain Ranch is a 2.5-hour drive from Denver airport.

More places to stay in Rocky Mountains


call us on 020 7337 9010 to start planning your perfect trip

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