About Us – Sundance Trail Guest Ranch

affordable family dude ranch vacation

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 that make us little bit different:

Sundance Trail is the smallest guest ranch in the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association.

This allows us to be relaxed, to “connect with” and be extremely flexible in caring for our guests.

We are open year-around. Summers most of our guests stay for an entire week – experiencing an entire range of activities.

Fall, winter & spring – folks usually come up a couple of days – to experience quiet, our open spaces, our views and to UNPLUG, to ride horses and relax.

How did we get here – Our history: Dan and I have been together 40+ years. Throughout our careers we have cared for people/families from within the medical/nursing field.

Dan – home care nursing and hospice

Ellen – oncology and then Women’s health

After 25 years in our careers, we found out that we both fantasized that it would be fun to care for people from within our favorite vacation activity – horse back riding and Dude Ranching.

1. Our mission is to HELP families play together and ‘connect’ with each other.

. Make memories doing activities together

. Unplug from technology and see each other, laugh with each other…without someone looking at their phone/Ipad – fingers twitching

. With our nursing background, this mission is even for families with physical challenges – yes, someone in a wheelchair can often ride a horse, shoot a gun, throw horse shoes or whatever they choose to challenge.

2. Help folks to get dirty, tired, maybe a little sore


. Horseback riding

. Rock climbing

. Shooting a gun

. Throwing a tomahawk or learning to throw a rope

. Riding their horse in a barrel race pattern

. Hike our local hills (mountains)

. Play a game of Disc Golf

3. To help them rest, relax and recharge

. Enjoy an evening of square dancing

. Singing around a campfire

. Enjoy sitting on the front porch – sharing a cup of coffee and a cookie fresh from the oven.

. Maybe by dressing up to play a Murder Mystery Game over a weekend away

4. To teach the “Last Child in the Woods” the wonders of being outdoors

. RDD – Recreation Deficit Disorder

. Many of our guests…have never seen the milky way, slept outdoors, seen deer grazing!

. We allow folks time to just be outdoors. Not all the time here at Sundance Trail needs to be structured…folks have time to explore/experience nature on their own.

5. To “DELIGHT” each guest so they will return and by word of mouth, do our marketing for us!

. We want to help our guests to find JOY in being up here in the mountains, whether that is:

. At our meals

. On our rides

. Sticking a tomahawk in that post

. Sharing a story about their ride

. Sharing a story about Lady Moon

Future Plans: We often get asked about doing weddngs, holding events – we are doing small weddings or elopements now; and renewal of vows celebrations. We celebrated three 50th wedding anniversaries this summer.

We hope to do more in the future…we enjoy helping couples celebrate their love and commitment!

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