Pre-Arrival Guest Information

We are excited to have you joining us at the ranch soon!  You should have received all this information with your confirmation, but if you need it again, here are the Advance Guest Information forms and packing lists.  Please don’t hesitate to call or email with any questions.  We will be in touch about 2-3 weeks before your arrival with more info, so stay tuned, and start getting ready to have fun on your luxury ranch vacation!

First off, if you will fill out the Advance Guest Information form that will help us know more about you, your arrival information, and any special requests or dietary needs.

Advance Guest Information Form - Summer & Fall
Advance Guest Information Form - Winter

Next up, take a look at our packing lists to help you figure out what you’ll need for your vacation at the ranch.  Click on the tab that coordinates with the season when you’ll be visiting for the full packing list.

Winter Packing List

The weather in the mountains can best be described as unpredictable. It’s just another part of the intrigue of mountain living. Winter temperatures average between +10F and +30F, but can range as far as –20F and +40F. We suggest you, and those in your party, dress in layers to make it easy to regulate your temperature by adding or removing a thin layer of clothing. In general, your inner layers should be loose and stretchy to allow freedom of movement, while a set of windproof clothing makes a good outer layer on colder days. Synthetic fabrics (polypropylene, coolmax, fleece, etc…) work much better than cotton as base layers for keeping you warm and dry. The good news is sunshine is the rule rather than the exception in the winter at Vista Verde! With our high altitude and low humidity, the sun is intense and it is important to protect you eyes and skin. You should certainly bring sunscreen and some good sunglasses (goggles are usually unnecessary).

While packing you may want to consider the following:

  • Snow boots- these are a must with all the outdoor activity!
  • Base layer top and bottoms (aka long johns- but not cotton!)
  • Wool socks
  • Heavy and light gloves
  • Light snow pants and jacket
  • Several sweaters or fleece pullovers
  • Slippers for cabin or lodge wear
  • Knee-high gaiters (see below)
  • Small backpack- if you want to do any all-day adventures, you will need to carry your own water and lunch in your pack.
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Swimsuit for the hot tub
  • Hand warmers and foot warmers

You can purchase gaiters for about $35 as well as other necessities in our ranch store. If interested in gaiters, go to REI for examples. These are most needed for backcountry skiing, but also very helpful for other snow activities.  We also have a small fleet of over boots for rent, which are handy if you really don’t want to purchase snow boots for your vacation.  The slip on over your shoes and provide warmth and traction in the snow. We have also found that many of our guests like to purchase traction devices (Ice Trackers) to strap onto the bottom of their shoes for extra traction when the packed snow becomes slippery.  These are available for purchase or rent at the ranch.

If you participate in any of our horsemanship clinics, you will want a pair of riding boots. Please note that we have a supply of boots to borrow for riding, so if you don’t have any, you can use ours while you ride.

Although we are casual and many don’t dress up for dinner, some find it fun to take this opportunity to “cowgirl” or “cowboy” up for the evenings with a skirt and boots or Western dress shirt and jeans. It’s totally up to you…we’re informal, but have a little fun if you want!

The cabins and lodge rooms come filled with amenities that otherwise would take up space in your luggage. We have hairdryers, water bottles, coffee makers and mini refrigerators in each unit. Let us know if there is anything special you need in your room for your stay.

Please keep in mind the accommodations do not have phones or TVs. If you feel like you can’t live without digital entertainment, please download those movies before your arrival, as our bandwidth is very limited and downloading or streaming isn’t an option once you’re here. We do have a guest phone available, and wireless internet access in the lodge. There’s spotty cell phone service in the cabins, but if you are having trouble getting service, feel free to use our guest phone. And there is a TV on the ranch that you might get around to finding towards the end of your stay…..

One other suggestion: With airline travel what it is these days, you could well arrive at the ranch before your luggage. While it invariably arrives within 24 hours, you could nevertheless have an uncomfortable first day. Accordingly, we suggest you pack some overnight items or a change of apparel in a carry-on.

Have a safe trip out here and we’ll see you soon!

The VVR Crew

PS- If you’d like some visuals on what to pack, check out our Pinterest boards that we put together to help you get an idea of what works well here.

Summer Packing List

The ranch is situated in the mountains at an elevation of 7,800 feet. During the summer months the temperature can range from the high 80’s during the day to the mid 40’s at night. Most people find they need to bring a light jacket, sweater or sweatshirt to wear in the evenings and for layering. We also have occasional passing showers and it is handy to have a waterproof jacket with a hood available to you.

This is more a ranch than a resort, and we dress casually at all times. Comfortable clothes and casual shoes or boots work out the best. It is a week of adventure and activity, plan on getting your clothes dirty. Rest assured that laundry service is available at the ranch with a 24-hour turnaround.

You will need a pair of riding boots for horseback riding. It isn’t safe to ride in sneakers, because your foot could slip through the stirrup. Hiking boots are not safe either. They can get stuck in the stirrup and are even worse than sneakers! If you don’t have boots, please don’t feel you must buy new ones. A pair of old tie-on shoes with a sharp-angle heel and smooth sole will work just fine. Or, we do have a selection of boots at the barn that you can borrow for the week. They come in various sizes and shapes, so we can’t guarantee that we’ll have your perfect fit, but they’ll keep you safe.

On the topic of safety, we recommend wearing a helmet while riding, especially for the youngsters. If you or anyone in your family already owns a riding helmet that has been fitted for you, we suggest you bring it along. While we have a supply of helmets available here for you, they are in generic sizes (S, M, L) and may not fit as well as you like. We do carry some items in the ranch store in case you want to purchase those here (cowboy hats, ball caps, gloves, sunscreen, socks, bug spray, toiletries, etc..) Also, our saddles come equipped with rain slickers for those sudden showers that can occur throughout the summer.

This is an active multi-sport vacation, and you will probably be participating in a variety of different activities besides riding.

If you are interested in doing some hiking, you should think about bringing a shirt and pullover that is made out of synthetic, wicking material. In the mountains, the weather can change quickly and the synthetic fabrics (fleece, coolmax, etc..) will keep you warm and dry better than cotton when you are working hard. Hiking boots are recommended as some of the trails are rocky or you may cross small streams while out on the trail. Wool socks are better than cotton socks as cotton socks can give you blisters and don’t keep your feet as warm when they get wet. This same attire works for rock climbing and, for the most part, biking as well.

We offer watersports during the week, as well. Bring some clothes that can get wet and will dry out quickly. Fleece works best for this, but a t-shirt and shorts over your swimsuit is sufficient when it’s warm. Water shoes are good for wearing in the river.

Vista Verde has a good supply of fly fishing gear- rods and reels, waders, boots, flies etc…so, if you’re an angler, you can leave your equipment at home.

More and more guests are trying out mountain biking with us. We have great bikes for you to use, but we strongly recommend bringing a pair of bike shorts if you think you may do it more than once. We do have these for sale in the Adventure Center. Padded bike shorts just make the riding more comfortable and keep you from walking funny after your ride…… If you are an avid biker and have your own bike shoes and clipless pedals, bring those, as well. We do have bike helmets for you to use, but again, if you have your own that fits well, you may want to bring it along.

The cabins and lodge rooms come filled with amenities that otherwise would take up space in your luggage. We have hairdryers, water bottles, coffee makers and mini refrigerators in each unit. Let us know if there is anything special you need in your room for your stay.

Keep in mind the accommodations do not have phones or TVs. If you feel like you can’t live without digital entertainment, please download those movies before your arrival, as our bandwidth is very limited and downloading or streaming isn’t an option once you’re here. We do have a guest phone available, and wireless internet access in the lodge. There’s spotty cell phone service in the cabins, but if you are having trouble getting service, feel free to use our guest phone. And there is a TV on the ranch that you might get around to finding towards the end of your stay…..

To wrap things up, here is an overview of items you might want to bring:

  • Light waterproof jacket with hood
  • T-shirts and long sleeve shirts
  • Jeans for riding (at least 3 pairs)
  • Fleece pullovers or sweaters
  • Shorts and bathing suits
  • Riding boots
  • Hiking boots, sneakers and socks
  • Slippers for cabin or lodge wear
  • Tevas/water shoes/old shoes that can get wet
  • Sunglasses and a hat
  • Sunscreen and bug spray, allergy medication if you’re inclined
  • Gloves for riding (for morning rides)
  • Backpack or fanny pack
  • Ibuprofen! (aka Vitamin I)

Although we are casual and many don’t dress up for dinner, some find it fun to take this opportunity to “cowgirl” or “cowboy” up for the evenings with a skirt and boots, dress western shirt and jeans. It’s totally up to you…we’re informal, but have a little fun if you want! One other suggestion: With airline travel what it is these days, you could well arrive at the ranch before your luggage. While it invariably arrives within 24 hours, you could nevertheless have an uncomfortable first day. Accordingly, we suggest you pack some overnight items or a change of apparel in a carry-on.

Have a safe trip out here and we’ll see you soon!

PS- If you’d like some visuals on what to pack, check out our Pinterest boards that we put together to help you get an idea of what works well here.

Fall Packing List

The ranch is situated in the mountains at an elevation of 7,800 feet. In the fall there is always a chance for weather, but the temperature generally ranges from the 70’s during the day to the low 30’s at night. You’ll find it nice to have a medium weight jacket, sweater or sweatshirt to wear in the mornings and evenings and for layering. Layers are key in the fall. Although the weather is typically quite nice and sunny, we have had rain, snow showers, and sun on the same day at times. Since there is a chance of snow, please follow the weather before arrival. It is handy to have a waterproof jacket with a hood available to you.

This is more a ranch than a resort, and we dress casually at all times. Comfortable clothes and casual shoes or boots work out the best. It is a week of adventure and activity, plan on getting your clothes dirty. Rest assured that laundry service is available at the ranch with a 24-hour turnaround. You will need a pair of riding boots for horseback riding. It isn’t safe to ride in sneakers, because your foot could slip through the stirrup. Hiking boots are not safe either. They can get stuck in the stirrup and are even worse than sneakers! If you don’t have boots, please don’t feel you must buy new ones. A pair of old tie-on shoes with a sharp-angle heel and smooth sole will work just fine. Or, we do have a selection of boots at the barn that you can borrow for the week. They come in various sizes and shapes, so we can’t guarantee that we’ll have your perfect fit, but they’ll keep you safe.

On the topic of safety, we recommend wearing a helmet while riding. If you or anyone in your family already owns a riding helmet that has been fitted for you, we suggest you bring it along. While we have a supply of helmets available here for you, they are in generic sizes (S, M, L) and may not fit as well as you like. We do carry some items in the ranch store in case you want to purchase those here (cowboy hats, ball caps, gloves, sunscreen, socks, bug spray, toiletries, etc..) Also, our saddles come equipped with rain slickers for those sudden showers that can occur while riding.

This is an active multi-sport vacation and you will probably be participating in a variety of different activities besides riding. If you are interested in doing some hiking, you should think about bringing a shirt and pullover that is made out of synthetic, wicking material. In the mountains, the weather can change quickly and the synthetic fabrics (fleece, coolmax, etc..) will keep you warm and dry better than cotton when you are working hard. Hiking boots are recommended as some of the trails are rocky or you may cross small streams while out on the trail. Wool socks are better than cotton socks as cotton socks can give you blisters and don’t keep your feet as warm when they get wet.

Vista Verde has a good supply of high quality fly fishing gear- rods and reels, waders, boots, flies etc…so, if you’re an angler, you can leave your equipment at home.

If you’re going to bike with us, know that we have great bikes for you to use, as well as, helmets. If you have some, we strongly recommend bringing a pair of bike shorts. We do have these for sale in the Adventure Center. Padded bike shorts just make the riding more comfortable and keep you from walking funny after your ride…… If you are an avid biker and have your own bike shoes and clipless pedals, bring those too. We do have bike helmets for you to use, but again, if you have your own that fits well, you may want to bring it along.

The cabins and lodge rooms come filled with amenities that otherwise would take up space in your luggage. We have hairdryers, water bottles, coffee makers and mini refrigerators in each unit. Let us know if there is anything special you need in your room for your stay. Keep in mind the accommodations do not have phones or TVs. If you feel like you can’t live without digital entertainment, please download those movies before your arrival, as our bandwidth is very limited and downloading or streaming isn’t an option once you’re here. We do have a guest phone available, and wireless internet access in the lodge. There’s spotty cell phone service in the cabins, but if you are having trouble getting service, feel free to use our guest phone. And there is a TV on the ranch that you might get around to finding towards the end of your stay…..

To wrap things up, here is an overview of items you might want to bring:

  • Light waterproof jacket with hood
  • Thicker waterproof jacket if chance of snow
  • T-shirts and long sleeve shirts
  • Jeans for riding (at least 3 pairs)
  • Mid-weight fleece pullovers, jackets, or sweaters
  • Shorts and bathing suit
  • Riding boots
  • Hiking boots, sneakers and socks
  • Waterproof/resistant shoes in case of snow
  • Slippers for cabin or lodge wear
  • Tevas/water shoes/old shoes that can get wet for hiking (creek crossings) or water sports
  • Sunglasses and a hat
  • Sunscreen and allergy medication if you’re inclined
  • Gloves for riding, and gloves to keep hands warm
  • Backpack or fanny pack
  • Ibuprofen! (aka Vitamin I)

Although we are casual and many don’t dress up for dinner, some find it fun to take this opportunity to “cowgirl” or “cowboy” up for the evenings with a skirt and boots, dress western shirt and jeans. It’s totally up to you…we’re informal, but have a little fun if you want!

One other suggestion: With airline travel what it is these days, you could arrive at the ranch well before your luggage. While it invariably arrives within 24 hours, you could nevertheless have an uncomfortable first day. Accordingly, we suggest you pack some overnight items or a change of apparel in a carry-on.

Have a safe trip out here and we’ll see you soon!

PS- If you’d like some visuals on what to pack, check out our Pinterest boards that we put together to help you get an idea of what works well here.