Travel at its best gives us an opportunity to experience life out of the ordinary for our pleasure, edification and enrichment. But sometimes, even the experience of travel includes stresses and activities that wind up as taxing as the everyday life from which we’re supposedly getting relief.
If you’re seeking to truly relax and experience the beauty of natural surroundings with a do-what-you-want list of activities, then Rawah Ranch in the upper reaches of Colorado is your ticket to the perfect getaway.
A warm welcome from nature and the ranch
From the moment you head down the road toward Rawah Ranch in Colorado, you’ll get lost in the natural beauty around you.
The air seems cleaner, the colors brighter.
Unless you already live in a wilderness paradise, the surroundings will excite you with the impression that you’re entering virgin territory.
You’ll feel drawn into nature the way that folks like John James Audubon, Ansel Adams and Henry David Thoreau did as they tried to capture and share it with us.
The exterior of the main lodge is rustic. But inside, you’ll see the warm and sumptuous décor that hints this is where “Luxury design meets the wild, wild west.” And it won’t be long before you feel the thrill of discovery, as though you’re one of the lucky few to uncover this hidden gem. And, you kind of like it that way…
The Rawah Ranch managers, who receive you as warmly as grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, will likely greet you. And don’t be surprised if you’re given a sweet treat, a drink or some other surprise from the gourmet kitchen as soon as you arrive. Yes, these people are feeders – and we love that about them!
The main lodge consists of two large rooms. One is where you dine family-style at a gorgeous wooden table with fellow guests. The other is where you can relax on comfy couches and chairs, read a paper or book, play a board game or just enjoy the scenery.
Rawah Ranch in Colorado offers nine comfortable cabins, with sizes that accommodate singles or couples and suites that accommodate a large family or group.
Each cabin is unique and all have beautiful finishes.
The luxurious amenities includes porches, fireplaces and wood stoves, refrigerators, sitting areas and private baths and showers.
We stayed in the Cowboys cabin, spacious and cozy, nestled among the aspen trees near the Big Laramie River. Each morning moose and deer, sometimes with their young, would visit the mineral blocks outside our cabin – a highlight of our stay.
Plenty to do at Rawah Ranch in Colorado
A variety of Rawah Ranch activities are available to suit every interest.
Fly-fishing and horseback riding are two favorites. There’s also plenty of hiking, archery and shooting. A program is available if you bring kids but want some time for venturing out on your own. Whitewater rafting and spa services can also be arranged.
The ranch hosts special events as well. From spending a night camping under the stars to live music, campfire cookouts, dancing at the Rawah Hoedown or enjoying an outdoor cowboy breakfast, there’s something for everyone.
You can do as much or as little as you like – it’s all up to you. Unleashing your inner cowboy (or cowgirl) is optional. If you just want to sit on a rocker and enjoy the wilderness beauty, that’s also encouraged.
Food, glorious food
As wonderful as the scenery is, we wouldn’t be FoodTravelist if we didn’t let you know that you will never go hungry at Rawah Ranch.
The culinary creations of Chef Ford, a masterful chef and world traveler himself, are satisfying and imaginative. If you’re out and about, you can also take delicious food with you, as we did with some jumbo sandwiches, fresh fruit and chips on our long ride one day. Appetizers and cocktails are served before dinner so you can relax and share the day’s discoveries. All meals are nourishing and made from scratch.
Breakfast might include eggs and omelettes, pancakes or waffles, breakfast tacos, sandwiches and Eggs Benedict. Lunches vary by day from deluxe sandwich buffets and salads to prime beef sandwiches and more. Dinner might be roasted Cornish game hen, grilled Colorado lamb chops, oven roasted salmon, beef tenderloin, seared swordfish or prime rib and more. Desserts? Perhaps crème brûlée, fresh berry Napoleons, peach cobbler or Tiramisu. And anytime you want a special snack, just ask and the kitchen staff is happy to accommodate.
One of our favorite indulgences, aside from the sweet treats perched in the lodge or on our pillows each evening, was the morning coffee service.
French pressed coffee and warm pastries fresh from the kitchen are delivered upon request to your cabin door.
It’s difficult to explain how wonderful it feels to sip hot coffee while sitting in front of a crackling fire and looking out at nature on a crisp morning. It is truly balm for the weary soul, and a heavenly way to start the day.
On the sad day we had to leave, we received yet a further gift. Leaving at 3:30 in the morning, we looked up at the sky and saw more stars than we’d ever seen. It was a goodbye so awesome, so moving, we vowed we would return soon.
You see, while we got lost in the beauty of the Colorado wilderness, we also found ourselves refreshed, rejuvenated and renewed by the spectacular comfort and warm embrace of Rawah Ranch.
You have to see these horses running!
What’s appealing to the over-50 luxury traveler?
- Rawah Ranch in Colorado is truly a wonderful opportunity to enjoy nature while still having the comfort of welcoming staff and spacious, comfortable accommodations.
- The ranch is all-inclusive so you know your costs upfront.
- While comfortable and with top-notch amenities, it is a “rustic” environment with no television and very limited internet access.
IF YOU GO
- Website for Rawah Ranch, Jelm, Colorado
About guest ranches in Colorado:
- Previously on GettingonTravel: At Home on the Range: Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch
Be sure to get the whole scoop on Rawah Ranch in Colorado on Food Travelist!
*All photo and video credits: Sue Reddel and Diana Laskaris
The authors’ stay was sponsored by Rawah Ranch.
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