This post has been sponsored by Vista Verde Ranch. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.
This January I had the fortune of visiting Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. As a warm weather loving girl, I was hesitant about venturing to Colorado in the winter. With temperatures regularly dropping below freezing and heavy snow, I wasn’t quite sure what I was signing up for. But after spending three nights at Vista Verde Ranch I can safely say that this was one of the best trips of my life and everyone should experience a luxury dude ranch. If you’re looking for an all-inclusive honeymoon destination or an adventurous girls trip idea, read on below to learn why Vista Verde Ranch is a must visit. Vista Verde Ranch is located in Clark, Colorado, 25 miles North of Steamboat Springs in the middle of Colorado’s Routt National Forest. Guests fly into Steamboat / Hayden airport and the ranch provides complimentary shuttle service. (A lifesaver if you can’t drive in snow like me!) If you arrive early, the shuttle will take you into Steamboat for the day. A Denver friend of mine suggested lunch at The Paramount so we took the shuttle there for warm turkey sandwiches. After a fun afternoon our shuttle driver took us to Vista Verde Ranch – kindly answering all of my many questions along the drive. Vista Verde Ranch is the finest example of an all-inclusive stay I have experienced and it’s no surprise that 50% of guests return each year. From gourmet meals to a bevy of included activities, the ranch is ideal for honeymooners or girls trips. Everything is taken care of the minute you arrive at the ranch and you can sit back and soak in every hour of the day in this gorgeous landscape.
One of my favorite memories of the trip is the first drive into Vista Verde Ranch. When you first pull down the drive you cannot see much, then as the car makes a turn it’s as if the entire valley opens up. I was in complete awe at the natural beauty as the ranch came into view and the pasture of horses was suddenly in sight. It is a magical landscape that not many get to see regularly and truly took my breath away. Vista Verde Ranch includes 12 private log cabins with hot tubs on each porch and 3 lodge rooms. I was lucky enough to stay in a log cabin overlooking the horses. Our cabin included two rooms, heated bathroom floors, and a gas fireplace. It was definitely my idea of luxury ranch living! The cabins include a stocked fridge with beer, wine, and local root beer. Plus a snack basket full of yummy treats!While at Vista Verde you can make your trip as relaxing or adventurous as you would like. A few of the summer activities include horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and paddleboarding. While the winter activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snoga, sleigh rides, ice fishing, and wine tasting. And unlike most all-inclusive resorts there are no hidden fees as the activities are all included.
With the gourmet meals served at the ranch (including pastries and desserts) I knew I wanted a more active schedule! While on the ranch I tried my hand at snoga, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and ice fishing. I am deathly afraid of horses but felt if I was at a dude ranch, I was going to face my fear and get on a horse! While most all-inclusive resorts simply hand you the reigns, Vista Verde’s wranglers first take guests through an hour-long horsemanship workshop. During this workshop you learn how to better communicate with your horse and improve your riding skills. After the workshop you are lead on an hour long trail ride that takes you through the gorgeous, snowy landscape of Vista Verde. After my experience at the ranch I feel way more comfortable around horses and can definitely say I would ride again.Snoga was one of the activities I was most interested to try. Our instructor Devyn led us on snowshoes to Homestead Cabin (one of the oldest cabins on the ranch). Where we then enjoyed a flow yoga class by a toasty fire. I also chose to cross country ski and ice fish as both are activities I had never experienced and definitely won’t get the chance to in Charleston! (If you head over to my Instagram you can see the fish I caught!) The adventure guides at Vista Verde are truly one of a kind. They are patient and friendly and seem to thoroughly enjoy their jobs.While Vista Verde Ranch offers gourmet dining, luxurious cabins, and endless activities, it is the people that make this ranch a special place. During my stay I had the pleasure of chatting with several employees and guests who made the trip truly memorable. Meals are served in a communal dining hall where you can befriend other guests and chat about the day’s adventures. My favorite part of the trip was learning about life at Vista Verde for the staff members and the different adventures my fellow guests had been on that day.The most surprising part about visiting Vista Verde in the winter is that I never felt cold! The temperatures were in the low 20’s during the day and single digits at night. Our cabin was super cozy with heated floors and a gas fireplace. During the evening the main cabin on the ranch has a roaring fire where you can curl up with hot chocolate and the ranch’s cookie of the day. That’s right – there are free cookies ALL day.With nightly music, line dancing, and family style dinners, a stay at Vista Verde Ranch feels like a warm hug. You can choose to book a honeymoon at any number of resorts but why not say yes to a true adventure. Vista Verde Ranch will be a trip you won’t forget anytime soon.