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Lowdown

  • Established

    1920s
  • Owner

    Doug and Linda Van Berkum
  • Tel

    719-376-2440 1-800-633-3397
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $365 - $375
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $270 - $342
  • Minimum Stay

    1 week
  • Works with travel agents?

    No
  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery

Rainbow Trout Ranch is a family dude ranch nestled in the wilds of Colorado. The ranch offers horseback riding, fly fishing, children’s programs, a fun teen ranch program, trapshooting, swimming and much more. Your family will enjoy delicious home-cooked meals in a stunning setting, and your aspen-log cabin accommodation is cozy and welcoming after a long day of adventures.

The Van Berkum family have owned and operated the ranch for over 20 years, and they truly love what they do. They raise horses themselves, as well as being competitive team-ropers and they take their riding program very seriously, but with plenty of fun thrown in. You will be matched with a wonderful horse of your own and be able to enjoy the trails and beauty of the Southern Colorado Rockies; the real time-honored American Wild West.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 3 and over

Children and teens welcome! The little ‘Buckaroos’ (3-5 year olds) can enjoy short rides around the barn and river areas, led by the counselors. Children aged three and older take part in full daytime activities and are supervised by qualified counselors.

Children aged six and older are given their own horse for the week and can go on the trails. The kids’ horses are specially selected to meet each child’s ability level, helping them to improve their riding ability throughout their stay.

The ranch teen-program is less structured than the kids’ programs (thus allowing for that much needed teen independence), and includes lots of activities with the teen counselor. If teens choose to go off-ranch, day-trip adventures are available, too. The counselor will meet with the teens on Sunday night and they will map out their week activities together.

All the programs are optional so that families can spend as much time together as they wish, or everyone can go their different ways.

Activities

hiking, cookouts, whitewater rafting, supervised swimming

Games

horseshoes, volleyball

Ranch History

In the 1870s the region became a haven for gold and silver miners. Numerous small towns were quickly erected, and a railroad (which still operates today) was built between Antonito and Chama to serve the miners. Most of these towns were then abandoned in the early 1900s with the demise of the local mining industry.

During this time, however, Rainbow Trout Ranch was a noted fisherman’s paradise and soon a private fishing club was established for a select group of sportsmen. As the ranch’s popularity grew, guest cabins were built and by the mid 1920s construction began on the lodge, which was the largest log structure of its time. Built with local Engelmann spruce, it is said that not a single nail was used in the entire 18,000 square foot structure—just wooden pegs!

In the late 1920s the door was opened to the public as a fully functioning guest ranch boasting extraordinary fishing and as time went by it developed a fine reputation for providing unexcelled family vacations.

Today the Van Berkum family continues to cherish the ranch and have dedicated their lives to its continuation. It was truly the showplace of the Rockies, and happily remains so today.

Lowdown

  • Enjoy

    Ranch-style, Health oriented
  • Meals served

    family style, everyone eats together
  • Alcohol

    BYOB
  • You'll definitely love

    fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, other

Each meal is a special occasion at the ranch. The ranch chef is a graduate of the Culinary School of Arts, and takes great care in the preparation and serving of every dish – they embrace home cooking in the traditional sense.

Most everything is prepared from scratch and baking is a specialty. In addition to entrees such as steak, ribs, fresh trout, tenderloin and turkey, there’s a good choice of vegetables, fruits and salads, and during the week there are frequent barbecue cookouts, which are always a highlight. Meals are served family style with all you care to eat and consideration is given to the requirements of children, as well as those with special dietary needs.

There’s a BYOB policy at the ranch and guests bring alcohol of their choice or the ranch will pick up what you request on their town-runs. Santa Fe has some wonderful wine shops and you can stop by local wines and breweries on your way to the ranch. If you prefer, you can also ship to the ranch ahead of time. Glasses, ice machine and openers are available in the lodge and there’s a large guest refrigerator easily accessible from the dining room where you can store anything you wish to keep cold.

And if you are not an alcohol drinker, there’s RTR coffee and a selection of teas available at any time, as well as a selection of sodas and drinks in the Trading Post. At meals lemonade is served, refreshing juices and iced tea, and there is always the cool, pure RTR well water.

Lowdown

  • Address

    1484 FDR 250
    Antonito
    Colorado
    81120
    USA
  • Remote Location

    Yes
  • Elevation

    9000 ft

Nearest Town - Antonito

Antonito has a population of 777 (approx), and is situated 25 miles from the Ranch.

Rental car

Required

Nearest Airports

San Luis Valley Regional Airport , Alamosa

Distance

30 miles / 30 mins


Albuquerque International Sunport , Albuquerque

Distance

185 miles / 3 hours 15 mins

Rental car

Required


Denver International, Denver

Distance

305 miles / 4 hours

Rental car

Required

Lowdown

  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Rides are grouped by

    Ability, Pace of Ride, Children ride together
  • Guest Horses

    130
  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse

Our Riding

Weight limit for riding

225-250 lbs


Why our riding stands out

  • The ranch owns an excellent string of over a hundred horses in the guest remuda, and close to a hundred and thirty on the property, so we can find the best match for each person’s ability.
  • Spectacular all-day rides with waterfalls and views of the Continental Divide are offered later in the week.
  • Let our trails carry you away from it all and back to the very origins of our nation. Experience the timeless grace of the land, the exhilarating rush of the wind at your back, and the warmth of pure sunshine.

Arena Work

We have an arena where you can work cattle and compete in team-penning, as well as practice for our weekly ranch rodeo.

Type

indoor arena

Activities

penning, sorting, roping from the ground, roping from horseback, rodeo, cutting

Lowdown

  • Nightly Rates (per adult)

    $365 - $375
  • Nightly Rates (per child)

    $270 - $342
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $310 - $320
  • Minimum Stay

    1 week
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Sun
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Sun
  • Packages available

    1 week

Booking Policy

To hold reservations, we request a deposit of $500 per person. This is refundable (less a 10% handling charge) up to 60 days in advance of arrival. Less than 60 days in advance, it is refundable (less 10%) only if we can re-book the space.

Groups of ten or more and travel agent bookings require payment in full sixty days in advance of arrival.

We accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover. A 2.5% discount will be offered with your payment by personal check/cash.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding

Extras

Tax

Rates Do NOT Include: taxes (state sales tax of 2.9%, county lodging tax), staff gratuity, Taos transportation. Our state sales tax is one of the lowest you will find.

Gratuity

We like for our guests to have the freedom to decide about the gratuity, therefore it is completely up to you.

Lowdown

    Onsite

    Outdoor Activities

    Shooting - trap / clays

    Water based Activities

    outdoor pool


    Fishing & Wildlife

    Fishing on offer

    spin, fly, river, stream

    Local Attractions

    Taos Pueblo adobe dwellings

    This adobe settlement has housed a Native American community for more than seven centuries

    The Pueblo Indians have lived in this fascinating complex of multistoried adobe homes and ceremonial structures since they were built in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. When the first Spanish explorers set eyes on the settlement in 1540 it looked much as it does now, and the descendents of the original inhabitants remain here to carry on ancient traditions.

    Distance

    85 miles / 1 hour 30 mins


    Toltec and Cumbres Narrow Gauge Railroad

    Ride ‘America’s Longest and Highest Narrow Gauge.’ The scenic railroad runs between Antonito, CO and Chama, NM, and the ranch is about midway between these two towns. To quote their brochure: “A special journey into yesterday, this enchanting narrow gauge steam railroad is an exciting and marvelous adventure, meandering 64 miles in the awesome peaks and valleys of the scenic Rockies, through tunnels, gorges and breathtaking trestles.”

    Our comments

    Highs

    • The perfect Colorado dude ranch vacation for adults, families, singles, couples, groups and anyone else who wants a family ranch vacation
    • Offering superb fly-fishing, awesome children’s programs and a fun teen ranch program. Try trapshooting, swimming, day trips to Taos, white-water rafting and the chance to ride America’s highest and longest narrow-gauge steam train. RTR brings timeless simpler pleasures to life in a spectacular setting
    • Exceptional Colorado horseback riding, they take the riding program very seriously, but there's plenty of fun thrown in, too! As well as being competitive team-ropers, they raise their horses themselves and you are matched with a wonderful horse of your own
    • A great place to rejuvenate. Hospitality is taken very seriously, too – most everything is prepared from scratch and baking is a speciality. There are BBQ cookouts and each meal is a special occasion, whether in the Lodge, by the pool or near the river

    Lows

    • There's too much to do and too little time!
    • Because you're in the wilderness, cell service and internet are poor

    Visitor Reviews

    Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

    THE dude ranch for you and your family!!

    This was our first trip to a dude ranch and we were BLOWN AWAY by the location, property, and courtesy of ALL staff members. The food was delicious as well. The horseback riding and trails were beyond amazing and we’d were matched beautifully with our horses. They also have hiking, rafting, and fishing.

    5 stars

    You can find more reviews for Rainbow Trout Ranch on TripAdvisor