Steamboat Springs Tag

Turning up the heat

With many of us squeezing in vacation time the past couple weeks (yes, you may have noticed an absence of blog posts…that would be me sneaking away for a bit), it’s been pretty quiet around the ranch. This week the long term crew begins to roll back in. Ben is the last one to arrive back, hot off the beaches of Mexico where he and Holly snuck away for a little R&R. Our pre-season kick-off meeting with all the managers will be this Thursday, and then we’ll all go running with our to-do lists. As we race around getting ready for the staff to arrive, and the ensuing orientation weeks, we’re anxiously watching the sun melt the snow. It turns out we have had a blockbuster, off the charts winter. The news is saying that the Steamboat area has set an all-time record for the state of Colorado. In April, we got 27 days of snow. Too bad the Steamboat Ski Area didn’t extend it’s winter vacation season! So, the hiking guides may be doing their training on snowshoes as we wait for the snow pack around our dude ranch to melt away prior to opening day. We’re going to have some fun adventures with snow still up in the high country. It will be like no summer I’ve ever seen. I bet we’ll be able to find snow up at the highest peaks in August…so get ready for snowball fights on your all-day hike!

With the sun shining and the birds singing, we are also enjoying other new life….BABIES! The Elk River Valley is dotted with baby cows, running and frolicking with their friends. And we have had our first foal of the year. Rachel gave us a Cinco de Mayo filly, a little bay with a white star. She is so adorable and so sweet. I believe Charlie won the bet on when that first foal would come. No surprise there.

For those of you coming this summer, we look forward to a full house of interesting and lively guests at our dude ranch. For those still thinking about coming, we are down to the wire with one cabin open in early June, and then a couple spots later in September during our adult only weeks.

Come on sunshine, melt it away! – December 2010

Steamboat Is Featured In Eddie Bauer Catalog– Shannon Luthy, Colorado Editor

Steamboat received plenty of ink in the “Christmas in Steamboat” edition of the Eddie Bauer catalog. Page after page featured the northern Colorado town, also known as “Ski Town U.S.A.” Olympian’s were featured on a page titled, “Steamboat’s Legendary Winter Olympians Meet Up With Eddie’s Legendary Down Sweater.” Those featured include Nelson Carmichael, Todd Lodwick, Bugs Werner, Johnny Spillane, Caroline Lalive, and Chris Puckett.

Steamboat’s ski and snowboard instructors also are outfitted in Eddie Bauer.

One of the principals in the Eddie Bauer company apparently spends time in Steamboat and got in touch with officials of the ski area. Loryn Kasten with the Steamboat Ski Area says Eddie Bauer thought Steamboat would be a great location for the holidays, to show the Christmas spirit. “It’s a prime example of alternative means for the resort to speak to clients and potential guests to get the message out about what a great destination Steamboat is.”

It’s more than just the catalog, according to Kasten. “I was just in Denver at the mall and saw huge displays of Steamboat, with the More Barn, and Champagne Powder Snow. It’s great exposure for Steamboat and the community as a whole.”

It was a community effort, with shooting locations on the mountain, at Marabou Ranch, and Vista Verde Ranch, as well as downtown on Lincoln Avenue, which is Steamboat’s main drag. “The Steamboat Chamber was very helpful, as well as the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club kids who came out for a shoot at Howelsen Hill with Billy Kidd.

“The end result is definitely a prime example of how the community comes together to get the word out about Ski Town U.S.A.,” said Kasten.

Randomness from a busy week at the Ranch

It’s amazing how quickly time flies once we get into our summer season at Vista Verde. There is just so much going on each day and people going in so many different directions. This is so much more than a guest ranch…we toy with calling it an Adventure Ranch with the hiking, biking, rock climbing and all the other activities in addition to great riding. The energy is contagious! I just realized how long it’s been since I’ve blogged. I have a spotlight on Terry in the works, but it isn’t ready. So, until I can slow him down from spending all day in clinics and lessons, you’ll have to settle for a little monologue on my view of the ranch lately.

We are into our third week of the summer guest ranch season, and so far they have been full of wonderful people and some great memories. I had a really fun day last Thursday as I rounded up a crew to help me get the Wild Yoga location all set up for our first class. The crew ended up being an all girl team of Kid Supervisors. Despite the heavy lifting, the crazy Gator ride up the hill, and the trudge through grass, bogs and across streams to the Wild Yoga location, the girls did great and were laughing the whole time. And that afternoon Kelli and I got to lead our first Wild Yoga practice of the season with a full class of fun guests. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it!
Another highlight for me last week was watching Nicky and Reid halter breaking the 4 foals. Those little babies are smart and strong, and aren’t all that sure that they want to be trained yet! But they are so cute and kissable. I keep threatening that if Little Joe (my favorite) is missing one day, there’s a good chance he’s hidden in my house somewhere.

We’re getting more and more calls about our Cattle Gather weeks in September. Charlie led the inaugural all-day ride up in that section of the forest last week and everyone had a ball. It’s a huge area, some with trails, but mostly a lot of exploring and finding gorgeous views. We’ll head up there with some of our all-day rides all summer to check on the cows and make sure they are staying in the right area. That will help us keep tabs on them so when we lead the gather in the fall, we’ll have an idea of where to find them in order to push them to lower pastures for the winter.

As I headed to the Post Office this morning to get the mail, I spotted a Moots Cycles (really amazing high end Steamboat bike company) van following some guy through town. I crossed paths with them as I came out from getting the mail and asked what was going on. They were following Erik Lobeck as he made his way out of Steamboat Springs on the Tour Divide Race, riding a Moots bike. This guy is amazing…read his story and that of the Tour Divide on the Moots blog. Steamboat Springs is such a diverse town in the sense that it has such strong ranching and rodeo ties but also is home to outdoor adventurers and several well-renowned outdoor outfitters (Smartwool, Big Agnes, Moots, Kent Erickson).

So there is the randomness from the Ranch. We’re loving our guests so far this summer and look forward to seeing those of you coming out soon. Hopefully we can meet some of those who haven’t made it yet. There’s still space in early July!!!! Call me, let’s get you out to Colorado this summer.

Article from about Luxury Guest Ranch



Vista Verde Ranch, Colorado

By , Guide

This luxury guest ranch near Steamboat Springs ski resort welcomes families year-round. Price includes gourmet meals, snacks, beverages (including beer and wine), evening entertainment, airport transfers, gratuities for staff, horseriding and many other outdoors activities. Accommodation-only rates are also available, whereby guests can pay for activities a la carte.

Families can stay in a lodge room or a luxury log cabin; the cabins are standalone units and have up to three bedrooms, with a woodstove and a private hot tub on the deck; fridges are stocked with complimentary beverages. Be prepared to relax and disconnect: there are no phones or tvs in the rooms. (Complimentary wireless is available, though.)

For evening meals, parents can opt for family-style dining, or indulge in a candlelight dinner while the young’uns have their own kid-friendly meal.

The ranch also has a kid’s hut play zone, a Great Room (photo above) with a nightly fire in winter months, and an indoor riding arena. Vista Verde has received a AAA Four Diamond Award.

Seasonal Activities

The all-inclusive rates at Vista Verde offer lots of outdoors fun that families can sample as much or as little as they like. In summer this include horseback riding, clinics with horse trainers and wranglers, guided hikes, guided mountain biking on trails or in a terrain park, use of bikes, guided fly fishing with gear, rock-climbing, river rafting and kayaking, a photography workshop, cooking classes, kids and teens programs, transport to Steamboat, and evening entertainment such as barn dances.* Guests can also enjoy the ranch’s swimming pool.

In winter, rates include guided backcountry skiing, snowshoe tours and cross-country trails, as well as the gear you’ll need for these activities. Winter also offers sledding, horseback rides, sleigh rides, a photography workshop, cooking classes, teen programs during holidays, and evening entertainment. Transportation is provided to and from Steamboat for ski days. Guests can also pay extra for dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice climbing, and massage treatments.

The holiday season is a top time to visit. Before Christmas, each family has its own tree in the lodge to decorate. Families can also try seasonal activities such as making decorations, and take a horse drawn sleigh ride to go caroling.

Kids and Teen Programs

Naturally, horse-riding is a primary focus for all ages, and kids are matched to an appropriate horse for the week. For other fun, “kid wranglers” take kids age 6 to 11 to treasure hunts, powwows in the tepee, boat races in the creek, gold-panning in the river, fishing, campfires… Meanwhile, teens age 12 and up have a separate program, with movie night, adventure rides, and other activities.

The Vista Verde winter staff are here!

Monday afternoon the staff rolled into Steamboat Springs and then to the ranch to begin the 10 day information download called orientation. We are excited to have so many returning staff from last summer and winter. Steve and Kelli have the Dream Team up in the Nordic Center with 100% returners. Charlie has already deemed his crew of ranch hands as the A-team. So, it may turn into the A-team vs the Dream Team this winter. Dace and Rusty put together an agenda of fun activities mixed in through the next week or so to add a little fun to all the work they are doing. So, for starts, everyone headed into Steamboat Springs last night for a hard core bowling competition. I bet you didn’t even know Steamboat Springs has bowling? Bekah and her server staff took the lead for the night and showed everyone they know how to “serve up” a whopper of a win. Pardon the pun. Well, now it’s off to get my latte as Bekah has the girls practicing making espressos and lattes. Ah….life is rough here at the ranch.

Creating a Romantic Mountain Getaway

It is something in the air?

Romance  seems to abound here at Vista Verde Guest Ranch. I should know. I met my (now) husband here six years ago, and know several other couples who met here and are still together years later.

There’s something about the west that is just plain romantic. Gorgeous mountain vistas, a light breeze, adventure in the air – makes for the perfect romantic mountain getaway. Even an east coast girl like me can get wrapped up in the draw of rugged cowboy chivalry.

A few weeks ago, we had a young couple stay with us. She worked for us years ago, so she knew she was in for the ultimate romantic Colorado getaway –  though I’m not sure she had any idea just how romantic it would get.

Her man worked with us behind the scenes to plan a private afternoon horseback ride to the cliffs. Chocolate-dipped strawberries, a bottle of bubbly and a beautiful view… plus, the all-important element of surprise. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

She got to say “Yes!” to a modern cowboy, fresh out of the stirrups and down on one knee – boots, hat and all!

Congratulations and best wishes to the newly engaged couple!

Who knows…. they  just might be back to enjoy our romantic Colorado honeymoon cabins!

Whether you’re planning a proposal, special event, or simply looking for romantic vacation ideas, you might consider a Colorado luxury dude ranch. We have all the right elements for a unique and romantic adventure getaway.