Colorado Dude Ranches Video Tour

Saddle up on a horseback riding adventure through Colorado, as we explore Colorado dude ranches in this Equitrekking video.

by Darley Newman

In Colorado, we rode horses at a variety of working cattle ranches and dude ranches, getting to know the owners and their way of life, as well as taking in beautiful mountain scenery. In the below video from the Equitrekking Great American Ranches TV episode, explore Colorado dude ranches.



Colorado Ranch Vacation Video Transcript

DARLEY NEWMAN: Colorado is a great state for ranches that encompass the spirit of the Old West. Whether you ride the plains of the North or the Rockies of the South, you’re in for off the beaten path Western adventures.

DARLEY: Northern ranches, like the Colorado Cattle Company, rest amid Colorado farm country. Working ranches like this provide a rustic setting and cater to those who want to take home new skills and have a physically active vacation, and you might take home more than skills. Potential bumps and bruises help guests remember their adventures on the range.

DARLEY: Ranches in the South offer totally different Colorado scenery. Longtime ranchers Gene and Jan Roberts welcome families from around the world to ride the Rockies at Wilderness Trails Ranch.

GENE ROBERTS: The ranch is located not too far from Durango, Colorado. An area that has generally been referred to at times as the Switzerland of the West, and we have lots of tall, tall mountains. We have more 14,000-foot tall peaks within three miles of here than any place else in North America, grouped together. The ranch is at 7800 hundred feet, but it rises rapidly. A lot of our rides go quickly to 10,200 feet. Some to 11,000 feet. A variety of terrain from low to high.

DARLEY: Staying at this ranch in Southern Colorado allows one to explore the vast wilderness by day and hunker down in a warm cabin at night. This type of guest ranch caters to families, incorporating special programs for kids.

JAN ROBERTS: We knew we didn’t want to live in a city for the rest of our lives, so we started looking for a ranch and initially we actually looked for a cattle ranch, but we found that it’s difficult to make money in the cattle business. Still is, and it evolved into looking for a dude ranch. So we came upon Wilderness Trails and we negotiated with the owner and we bought it in ah. We started negotiating in 1969. We actually bought it the end of ’69 and moved here in the spring of ’70. This is my office. You can’t beat that.

DARLEY: Jan and Gene’s story of pursuing their dream of buying and running a ranch is not totally uncommon in today’s guest ranching industry. The American West still holds a kind of mystique associated with romanticism and freedom.

Learn more about dude ranch vacations and search for great dude ranches, guest ranches and riding holidays in the Equitrekking Vacation Guide. Search for more great trips on, which features exceptional riding vacations.