About Us – Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

Pg2011 Spring

Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

Imagine your Colorado family vacation is horseback riding, breathing the cool crisp air, under a blue sky surrounded by Rocky Mountain views. Relax. Picking the right ranch can be confusing. Handy article: Pick the right ranch for you!

What Makes Us Different?

People sometimes ask: “What makes the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch different from other Dude Ranches?” or “What is a Dude Ranch vacation?”  These are very good questions! It can be a challenge to decide which dude ranch is the best for your adventure vacation.

We have visited many of our Colorado neighbors, both big and small dude ranches, and each is unique. Here are some of the aspects of the Sundance Trail Guest Ranch that make us little bit different:

Size – We are a Small Colorado Dude Ranch:

  • You will find it very easy to meet and get to know the other guests here.
  • No name tags. No crowds. No lines. Our dining room has only four tables!
  • Our ranch is one of the smallest Colorado dude ranches that we know. Because we are such a small ranch we accept no more than seven families or 24 people maximum.
  • Our Colorado dude ranch may be small, but our playground is big. You will have a million acres of National Forest to play!


  • Take off your watch. You won’t need it. We ring the dinner bell for the most important activities of the day!
  • You will find a ranch vacation weekly schedule of activities with lots and lots to do, but you’re not locked into a rigid schedule – every activity is optional, and there is a good balance of “unstructured time.”
  • The best vacations are relaxing!


  • You may not have ever ridden a Western horse before, or
  • You may own a horse and ride every day
  • Because we are so small, and because we keep riding groups small, we are able to be very flexible in our Colorado horseback riding program and in most activities.

Adventure Vacation:

  • White water rafting
  • Rock climbing & belaying
  • Hiking
  • Exploring
  • Mountain bikes
  • Jackalope Hunts!
  • The best vacations have adventures for every member of the family.

We Love to Teach:

  • Our barn is an excellent place to develop your horseback riding skills.
  • Beginners begin with the basics – most are jogging and loping by the end of the week.
  • We coach the proficient – if desired, coaching is always available.
  • We believe that Colorado horseback riding should be fun, should be safe, and that learning never ends.

Not a Nose-to-Tail Program:

  • Our wranglers will never tell you to “get in line.” We don’t believe in lines! (If you enjoy lines, I guess that you’ll have to go to Disney…)

Concern for Your Safety:

  • Our barn follows the standards of the American Association of Horsemanship Safety, and
  • Our wranglers are Safety Certified by the Dude Ranchers Association, and
  • Dan is a certified Instructor in the DRA Wrangler Safety Certification program.
  • Frankly, you should not consider a dude ranch that does not have safety certification from an outside organization. (There are a number of fine organizations that provide standards and safety certification programs.)

Concern for the Environment:

  • The environment is not “something out there,” or covered with concrete and asphalt. Our life is part of the Rocky Mountain moraine ecosystem.
  • You will not see trash on your trail rides. Ever. Only very rarely will you see any other people!
  • We live the “No Trace” Ethic, which means that we do our best to leave a very small foot-print in our National Forest. We leave nothing in the forest and we take nothing from the forest – except, of course, good memories and good pictures!

Pet Friendly:

  • We are the only Colorado  pet friendly dude ranch that we know!
  • Your dog, if he/she is well mannered around children and other animals, is welcome! Give us a call and we can discuss details.Or visit our Pet Friendly rules page.
  • Your horses are also welcome! Call us about hay, vaccinations and coggins.

Close to the Airport:

  • How much of your vacation do you want to spend “getting there”? Although lost in the mountains, we are less than a two hour drive from Denver International Airport.

Family Orientation:

  • We enjoy sharing our lifestyle with people, especially families. We enjoy helping families play together.
  • If you are looking for a “drop-off” children’s program, then Sundance Trail is not the best vacation ranch for you.


  • We have no county, city, hotel or restaurant taxes – just 3.5% state retail tax.

Tips and Surprise Fees:

  • Some ranches add an automatic “Service Fee” or “Gratuity” to your bill. We do not.
  • If our staff has delighted you, you may leave a tip on the bill, that is divided equally among the staff. This is entirely at your discretion.
  • “Adventures” shouldn’t mean surprise fees!

Association Memberships:

  • We belong to
    • the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association,
    • the Dude Ranchers Association,
    • the Larimer County Horseman’s Association.

    This means that we take pride in maintaining high standards of guest safety, horse health, cleanliness and business ethics.

Come Visit Us:

  • This is our home, we live here and we’re open year-round.
  • You are very welcome to come visit our Colorado dude ranch, and meet the staff and horses. Just give us a call!

If these differences attract you, then the Sundance Trail may be a great fit for your Colorado family vacation. If not, feel free to give us a call, and maybe we can direct you to aneighboring Colorado dude ranch.

This article may be useful: How To Choose the Right Dude Ranch For Your Family