Nestled amid striking mountains and national forest in Crawford Colorado, Smith Fork Ranch is an upscale guest ranch with a dreamy location. With just 28 guests, the ranch offers a personalised experience for active families who like to be pampered.
Intimate and personalised ranch experience in the high Colorado Rockies
Inclusive; all meals and on-site activities. May, September, October; B&B packages available
Ranch operates from Memorial Day May 31 through to the end of October
Accommodation options range from cosy lodge rooms to stunning riverside home
Located at the foot of Sleeping Indian Mountain on the edge of the beautiful Gunnison National Forest, the ranch straddles three miles of the Smith Fork River Valley, midway between Aspen and Telluride. With an equal staff to guest ratio, on-site activities and service is extremely personalised. The location is far from the only charm, the owners have a superb eye for native and local crafts and as a result, the ranch looks and feels like the old Wild West. It is evocative of an innocent age as children play out in the tepees, hang out in the swimming pond and roast marshmallow s’ mores.
Choose to stay in the cosy Mountain House Rooms, individual cabins or book the River Cabin, a family home complete with hot tub overlooking the Smith Fork River. The main lodge is home to an atmospheric lounge, with plank floors, deep leather sofas, Western antiques and artefacts, with a snooker table, games and even a fly-tying table where fisherman can make their own flies. Talented craftsman and local artisans were employed to restore the ranch from the start; the ranch is filled with rich local textiles, handmade pottery and elk antler chandeliers evocative of the West. The Hodgson's passion for local crafts is reflected in a beautiful gallery shop collection that supports local craftsman.
At the ranch your lodging, meals and on-site activities are included. Horseback riding and arena lessons, biking, archery, fly-fishing, shooting clays and hiking are guided by friendly, enthusiastic staff. Ride on horseback to a mountain top as the sun sets over the Colorado Rockies, mountain bike or hike through seemingly endless miles of national forest with breathtaking views in every direction, and challenge yourself to three miles of private fly fishing along the fast-flowing Smith Fork of the Gunnison River, and five stocked trout ponds. Other unique experiences at Smith Fork Ranch include archery, sporting clays, tailored children’s programs, and cooking classes. Guests of all ages may pick fruits and vegetables from the organic farmstead.
Food is farm-to-table and Smith Fork Ranch boasts a stellar Wine Spectator cellar of wines from premiere growing regions around the world. Colorado's own wine country is just a short distance northwest of the ranch, and wine tastings and bike tours of the North Fork Valley can be arranged.
Come for the genuine Western spirit, rustic cosy comforts, blissful tranquillity and endless adventure. It’s a place to kick back and soak up some of nature’s finest scenic wonders, especially the nearby Black Canyon of the National Park. Those who demand lavish luxury, round-the-clock service and high-speed internet may miss the point of a premier ranch vacation in the high Colorado Rockies.
When to visit
Try your hand and tying your own flies in the Elk Lodge before heading out to one of the ranch’s five stocked ponds, and three miles of private water.
Smith Fork is located on Colorado's Western Slope, approximately 7 miles east of the town of Crawford. The Ranch is nestled within the beautiful Gunnison National Forest adjoining the wild, untamed West Elk Wilderness Area. The Ranch and its surrounding areas are home to stunning mountains, abundant rivers, high altitude streams and ponds, and breathtaking views.
9-hr 50-minute flight from London to Denver with British Airways.
Local airports for connections include Aspen (2-hrs), Montrose (1.5-hr) and Grand Junction (2-hrs). Scenic drive from Denver approx. 4.5-hours.
Family Fun in Colorado and California
Teenagers and parents searching for a Stateside summer holiday, full of excitement and new experiences, should look no further than this dude ranch and Rocky Mountain adventure that finishes with an injection of LA cool on the sunny California coast.