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North Fork Ranch

Shawnee, Colorado

North Fork, set in its own private mountain valley, is a wonderfully warm and hospitable ranch with superb horse riding and trekking on its Rocky Mountain trails and great fly-fishing, and provides everything required for the perfect family vacation.

At a Glance

  • Authentic dude ranch experience

  • Horse riders of all levels welcomed

  • Orvis endorsed fly fishing clinics

  • Homely, western style cabin accommodations

  • Combines well with cool California or a Utah desert adventure

Family, Fishing, Riding

Insider's View

The fresh mountain air, the sound of the river rushing by and the birds singing is blissful at North Fork. Coupled with Karen and Dean's warm hospitality and great home cooking, you'll leave the ranch rejuvenated.

Maudie Tomlinson

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to North Fork Ranch


Situated at 8000 ft in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, North Fork Ranch sits on the tranquil North Fork of the South Platte River. North Fork is a family-run ranch and fishing lodge that offers guests the chance to experience an authentically western way of life, with horseback riding on over 500 acres of forest and mountain trails, Orvis-endorsed fly fishing clinics, alpine hiking and shooting.

The main lodge porch looks out over the river and accommodations range from small lodge rooms to individual family cabins with traditional western country decor. Don't expect all the bells and whistles of a luxury resort - North Fork is all about enjoying the great outdoors, warm family hospitality and delicious home-cooked meals.

Expect hearty breakfasts and steak cook-outs, BBQs, wild game and fresh fish. Freshly baked breads, sinful desserts and home-baked cookies are plentiful and extremely welcome after a day of activity in the fresh mountain air. When the sun goes down, you can sit around the campfire and enjoy cowboy ballads, take part in a square dance or old-fashioned hayride and enjoy sharing stories with other guests.

Horseback rides venture into the surrounding mountains, aspen forests and flower-filled mountain meadows. Riding is offered each day, and all levels are catered to from beginners to more advanced riders. The intimate size of the ranch allows families to ride together. Take a picnic with you on one of the longer trail rides, or simply spend a morning bushwhacking or loping through the meadows before returning for lunch. Right off the back of the porch is a mile-long stretch of the North Fork of the South Platte River, with world-renowned fly fishing. The Orvis guides along with trophy trout make for an unforgettable fishing experience.

Summer dude ranch weeks at North Fork offer even more: thrilling white water rafting, trap and target shooting, archery, guided or independent hikes in the surrounding high country, and even sleep-outs in the riverside tepee for the children. Cool off in the heated pool or enjoy a therapeutic massage.


The main lodge offers small, but comfortable guest rooms with traditional, homely suites with private bathrooms that are most suited to couples. 'The Stonehenge' was originally built as a private home, built in the style of a southwestern ranch house it provides family units of one, two or three bedrooms with private bathrooms. For those looking for a more traditional cabin lodge, The Klondike Cabin or The Homestead provide cozy family accommodations with fireplaces and living areas.


North Fork is the perfect spot to spend time as a family. Children 6 years and up are able to take on the whole ranch experience, riding out on the trails and participating with the entire family. For white water rafting, children must be 8 years and above.

For the under 6 years, there's a petting zoo, pony rides, fishing in the trout pond, swimming and napping in the riverside tepee. The ranch offer supervision for the under 6 years from 9am-3pm if parents are busy doing activities with older children or alone.


The ranch takes great pride in feeding guests well. Fresh breads, warm cookies and hearty family cooking with a flare are a highlight of staying at the ranch. Although meals are served family style, special diets and requests are easily accommodated by attentive staff.


Horseback riding on the trails; fly-fishing on pristine rivers; biking; hiking and off the ranch get a thrill white water rafting and zip-ling.

Location & Directions

Shawnee, Colorado

The ranch is located close to the Pike Forest in Shawnee in the beautiful Colorado mountains.

When to go

The ranch runs it's dude ranch program from May 24th through September 6th offering a fully inclusive program to include horseback riding, shooting, fishing and rafting. Guests can also opt for shorter stays with a three night minimum stay throughout the summer. The Ranch remains open for riding and fishing until the end of September and tends to attract adults rather than families, particularly fishing enthusiasts. Fly fishing begins March or April dependent on the river conditions.

Best time to Visit

Good time to visit

Average time to visit

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation to North Fork Ranch

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