A Family-Friendly Dude Ranch Vacation In Rocky Mountain Paradise
Come join us and experience the art of adventure and relaxation
If you are looking for a truly unforgettable, family-friendly vacation experience that provides both adventure and relaxation for every age, Wind River Ranch is just the place! With the pristine wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park surrounding us, and the breathtaking grandeur of Long’s Peak in our front yard, The Wind River Ranch provides a wholesome gamut of healthy outdoor activities to satisfy every facet of your family’s recreational needs and desires. We offer adventures for the thrill seeker, fun activities for all ages of kids, and quiet spaces of solitude to relax, revel in nature, and just read a book.
Our friendly and well-trained activities staff offers a wide variety of kid’s activities, day and night, and kids experience the freedom of ranch life in a safe and satisfying Christian Vacation Environment. Whether they choose to hang out at the Tweens club or go horseback riding with our amazing wranglers, your kids will find both the elbow room and latitude they need to explore freely, combined with the supervision and security you need to ensure they have a wonderful and safe experience in the great outdoors. So whether its nestling up to a crackling campfire or scaling a mountain peak, Wind River ranch offers the perfect mix of activities to leave you feeling rejuvenated at the end of your vacation. Not a day will go by that isn’t completely fulfilling to every member of your family. Come join us for the experience of a lifetime.
BBQ and Cookouts
Wind River Ranch has one of the grandest settings in all of Colorado. We want you to enjoy our 78 degree afternoons and absorb all the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. We have a huge BBQ pit and giant smoker on wheels and it does move around a bit. Everyone will enjoy eating meals outside in a variety of spots around the gorgeous property. We do a lunch cookout in our upper meadow, breakfast in our lower meadow, lunch outside, and snacks by the pool. The point is that WRR serves great food in a great setting and we let you enjoy both. Our BBQ is finger licking good!
The original ranch didn‘t start off with a basketball court! This is now located in the middle of camp and it gets a ton of use. You will be square dancing and line dancing here, you can enjoy games of basketball or “lightning”, you can join in with the chalk art, or you can just sit in one of the log swings and watch everyone else run out of breath at 9,200 feet.
Each week the ranch has a new guest speaker. The adults, and Teens if they wish, can attend a morning bible study from 9:30 – 10:20 am, Monday through Friday on the Ranch House deck or in the Library. The speaker will talk about encouraging and challenging topics for the family. You will be blessed indeed to just be in this amazing setting. The lessons from incredible teachers will help refill your spiritual batteries. Please click here to see the 2009 Inspirational Speakers info that is found on the home page.
WIND RIVER RANCH WEEKLY SCHEDULE (All Activities are Optional & this is only an example of what a week might look like)
|8:30 – 9:30 am||Breakfast in dining hall|
|9:30||Bible Study in Ranch House or on Ranch House Deck (optional )|
|9:30 – 12:30 am||Kid‘s Club/Tweens/teens program|
|10:45 – 11:45 am||Horse Orientation(optional for returning guests)|
|12:30 pm||Lunch in the upper meadow|
|1:45 pm||Wind River Olympics in the Arena|
|2:30 pm & 4:00 pm||Horse Rides meet at the barn|
|3:00 to 5:00 pm||Family Team Building Course (meet in the Cocoa Cabana)|
|6:30 pm||BBQ Dinner (dress western)|
|7:45 pm||Square Dance on the basketball court|
|8:15 – 9:15 am||Activity Sign-up in the Dining Hall|
|8:30-9:15am||Breakfast in the Dining Hall|
|9:30am||Adult Bible Study in the Ranch House (optional)|
|9:30-12:30pm||Kid’s Club/Tweens/Teens Program|
|10:30/10:45/11:00am||Lunch Rides meet at the Barn (lunch is provided)|
|11:30am||Golfers meet in the Dining Hall for lunch Tee Time in Estes Park is 12:45pm|
|12:30pm||Lunch in Dining Hall|
|2:00pm||Horse Rides and Free Time|
|6:30pm||Dinner in the Dining Hall|
|7:45pm||Wind River Ranch Sports Mania|
|8:30pm||Fireside in the Ranch House|
|8:15-9:15 am||Activity Sign-Up in Dining Hall|
|8:30-9:15am||Breakfast in Dining Hall|
|9:15-12:15pm||Private Fly Fishing Trip into Rocky Mountain National Park (booked with company before arrival)|
|9:30am||Adult Bible in the Ranch House (optional)|
|9:30-10:30am||Kid’s Club /Tweens/ Teens Program|
|10:30am||Children’s Rodeo in the Arena|
|11:30am||Horse Training Demonstration by WWR Wranglers|
|11:30am||Rafters leave. Lunch is provided; please provide your own transportation. (booked with company before arrival)|
|11:30-2:00pm||Adult Lunch Ride to Baldpate Inn(cost is $20 per person)|
|12:30pm||Lunch in the Picnic area behind Dining Hall|
|1:45&2:00pm||Horse Rides and Free Time|
|2:30pm||Fly Fishing Class(limited to first 8 guests to sign up, cost is $40 per person)|
|4:15pm||Mini Golf in Estes Park for Teens & Tweens (cost is $10 to $20 per person) meet at Dining Hall|
|6:30pm||Dinner in Dining Hall|
|8:15-9:15 am||Activity Sign-Up in the Dining Hall|
|8:30-9:00am||Breakfast in the Dining Hall|
|9:00-9:30am||Bible Study (location to be announced)|
|9:30-12:30pm||Kid’s Club/Tweens/Teens Program|
|9:30-1:00pm||Morning Horse Rides|
|10:30am||Fl;y Fishing Class(limited to first 8 guests to sign up, cost is $40 per person)|
|12:30pm||Lunch in Dining Hall|
|1:30pm||Group Hikes Leave|
|1:30pm||No Afternoon Horse Rides or Riding Lessons!|
|1:30pm||Van or Jeep Tour of RMN Park (booked with company privately)|
|2:00-6:00pm||Fly Fishing River Trip (cost for 1-$110,2-$185,3-$260 for 4 hours)|
|6:30pm||Steak Dinner in the Dining Hall|
|8:00pm||Hootenanny in the Rec Hall|
|8:00am||Kids/ Tweens/ Teens Horse Rides to Wrangler Breakfast(Adults may sign up for extra spots)|
|9:15am||Van Rides from the Dining Hall to Wrangler Breakfast|
|10:00am||Wrangler Breakfast in the Lower Meadow|
|11:45am||Adult Bible Study in the Ranch House (optional)|
|11:45 am||Kid’s/ Tweens/Teens Program|
|12:45 pm||Gather for pool party and snacks|
|2:30 & 3:45pm||One hour Horse rides (sign up with Nick or Luke at Pool Party)|
|6:30pm||Adult Dinner in the Dining Hall|
|6:30 pm||Kid’s/ Tweens/ Teens Pizza Party in Rec Hall (please take kids to Rec. Hall for party)|
|7:45 pm||Kid’s Club Awards in Dining Hall|
|8:15 pm||Closing Fireside and a video of your week at the Ranch|
|8:00 – 9:00am||Continental Breakfast in the Dining Hall|
|9:30am||Please have belongings out of your cabin|
What is a hootenanny? You will just have to wait to find out because you have to see this to believe it. You will laugh until your sides hurt. This is why we only do this once a week. This talent night will provide a night of skits performed by the staff as well as one or two featured guests. This is not recommended if you have a weak stomach or faint heart. We are firm believers in the old adage…”Laughter is the best medicine.”
Wind River Ranch has one of the best horse programs in the nation. Cowboy Nick and his wranglers will accommodate you and your families every need. Our herd of 65 horses is owned by WRM ministries or private owners. Each horse has been properly trained. The average cost of a one hour horse ride in this area is $45 dollars an hour! At Wind River Ranch, there is not a separate fee for the horse rides. The wranglers will teach you how to ride correctly during our horse orientation on Monday. The wranglers will also go out on each trail ride to visit with the guests and make sure everyones horse ride is enjoyable and safe.
If you wish to learn more about horses and try trotting or slow loping, please sign up for an afternoon lesson starting on Tuesdays. There is no additional fee for this service, but space is limited! For more information, please click here on this link, Horseback Riding that is also found on the home page.
Kids and Teens Program
Wind River is a vacation for everyone. We have wonderful counselors who love to hang out with your Kids. Every day from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, there is a planned activity or craft which has a meaning and purpose. Skits, scavenger hunts, Bible stories, horseback riding, and short nature hikes are just some of the activities. Parents will love the free time to attend the morning bible studies, go on a horseback ride, or to just relax with each other. Our staff is incredible and you will find that they are the kind of young adults that you not only want your Kids to hang out with, but the kind of young adults that you want them to look up to as role models.
For more information, please click here on this link, Kids and Teens Program that is also found on the home page.
You can rest at ease that we don‘t keep any bulls for this event. The MBT (mobile broadcast trailer) will be on hand to help provide awesome play by play announcing for the Kids rodeo. At Wind River Ranch we do everything all out and leave nothing in the tank. The kids will participate in a variety of fun filled horse events and challenges. You will laugh and applaud at truly one of the most unique ranch rodeos in the entire West!
You and your family will get to see the Olympic torch lit and then jump right into the poo poo shovel race, the watermelon seed spitting contest, the egg toss, and many other ranch Olympic events. Bring your cameras or just jump right in there and go for the gold. The MBT (mobile broadcast trailer) will be there to provide sound and play by play action of this great, this historical, and this weekly event.
Down near the barn is the Recreation Hall. If you are looking for your child and they are not with the wranglers at the barn, they are more than likely at the Rec. Hall shooting pool, playing fooseball, ping-pong, air hockey, shuffle board, etc. Kids Club usually starts the day out in this area and this is aslo the home of the Thursday night Hootenanny.
There is nothing like a day on the river in the summer. We use the Cache La Poudre River which is a Class 1-5 river that is north and west of Ft. Collins, Colorado. Guests do not simply go along for the ride. You are issued a helmet and a paddle and you become part of the crew. When you get to the ranch on Sunday, please sign up for the Wednesday excursion. It is a long day and it is an hour and forty-five minute drive from the ranch to the A-1 Wildwaters head quarters and then a bus ride to the river. There are age and weight requirements. Call A-1 Rafting Company at 1-800-369-4165 with any questions. Transportation to and from rafting is the guests responsibility.
Shopping in Estes Park
Estes Park is only 7 miles from the front gate of the ranch. Estes Park is a beautiful quaint mountain town that comes alive in the summer. Main Street is full of antiques, souvenirs, Starbucks and other quaint coffee shops, an authentic malt shop, a gelato shop and candy and chocolate stores everywhere. It is well worth an afternoon journey to town if you are so tempted. If you go to the malt shop, Cowboy Don likes the apple pie milk shake or the chocolate suicide.
Monday night is square dance night under the stars on the basketball court. Cowboy Don will mix in some fun dances with some line dancing, a couple of two stepping songs, and definitely with a couple of squares. There’s lots of laughter and smiles as you learn new steps you thought you would never try or need to try. Monday is a power packed day and dancing the night away is great way to end it
Swimming and hot tub
There is nothing like a swim in our brand new, beautiful heated swimming pool under a blue Colorado summer sky. We also have a hot tub to help on those long days in the saddle or to ease the muscles after an invigorating hike in the Rocky Mountain National Park.
Wind River Ranch has a sand volleyball court that stays pretty busy. It is a huge sand box for the kiddos and a great spot to join in a friendly game of volleyball amongst the staff and guests. We can play the music of Top Gun in the back ground if needed.
A horseback ride to breakfast in the brisk mountain mornings will get your day started right. Coffee and hot chocolate around the wood burning fire pit always tastes great. Can’t you just smell the sausage, giant hot cakes, fresh fruit, gut buster powdered sugar donuts, wood burning stove cooked biscuits and scrambled eggs. It doesn’t get any better than this. You will want to bring your camera and watch Cowboy Don flip the giant pancake and listen to some true cowboy poetry by Cowboy Nick. It is a grand morning to be enjoyed by all.
Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday evening after dinner we have a fireside in the upper meadow overlooking Long’s Peak and the Rocky Mountain National Park. The western sky turns crimson to signal the end of another wonderful day in the mountains. We have a pleasant fire in the firepit and gather around on the benches. Everyone will join in as we sing songs and praise God for all His provisions. The speaker will share a short children‘s sermon and the roasting of marshmallows will close out the day.
Wow, what an incredible spot for a family reunion. Many families have chosen to put on a family reunion here and we would love to host such an event for your family. We would be happy to reserve certain tables for just your family for the meals and arrange the cabins so your group can use our library for a family hangout spot in the evenings. Please speak to the Director, Don McIntyre, about a group discount. This is quite an investment, but it is one your family will never forget. Don‘t be surprised if everyone begs to come back here the next year too.
This is a great area to go trout fishing. If you want to go down to our pond in the lower meadow and see if any lunker trout are hungry, please venture down there at any time. The biggest one caught so far is 22 inches long. The pond is stocked yearly with rainbow, brown and brook trout. We do have some fishing equipment available, but can‘t guarantee that it will be untangled when you find it. It is always best to bring a rod or two and some glitter power bait. You do not need a license to fish in the pond.
If you love fly fishing, we can steer you to the honey holes. You are welcome to line up a local fly fishing guide at your cost and enjoy a wonderful half day or whole day of fly fishing in the mountains. I would suggest Estes Park Anglers located in Estes Park. Please visit with Don McIntyre or Chuck Cauthorn about the St. Vrain River, The Wild Basin area, or the Big Thompson River hot spots.
The ranch schedule is full of daily activities. Please don‘t forget that it is your vacation and you can do all of the ranch activities offered or just relax on your cabin porch and read a good book. Feel free to enjoy YOUR vacation.
The ranch put in a very challenging par 3 Frisbee golf course. The course was laid out by the legendary Kyle Ford in 1997 and the featured hole is number 15. The current course record is 13 under and local high altitude calibrated Frisbee‘s will be provided so each player will be equally challenged. Remember to use the force. Please note that you get a free drop when your Frisbee lands in elk poop.
Golf in Estes Park is breathtaking. When you arrive on Sunday be sure to sign up for golf on Tuesday. Please note that Golf and Rafting are the only two activities not included in the price. Each Tuesday a group of Wind River Ranch guests play 18 holes of golf on the beautiful course surrounded by the Rocky Mountains. This 6,700 yard layout is challenging, and there is a local rule that you can take a free drop out of elk poop and hoof prints. Although it is true that your golf ball goes further on the higher altitude golf courses, it is still up to you whether it is further left or further right. The Estes Park Golf Course does have rental clubs, but they are definitely not Callaway clubs.
Very few activities in Colorado match the exhilaration of hiking in the Rocky Mountains. The ranch will provide a booklet in your cabin that helps suggest various hikes that will match your skills and preferences so you can enjoy them as family or on your own. It is a great time to really bond with your family as well. Thursday afternoon is great time to do so or even go up to Twin Sisters and watch the sun rise one morning. Please let the kitchen know at breakfast and they can put a box lunch together for you and your family. We are fortunate to have hiking trails near the property like Twin Sisters, Lily Lake, Eugena Mine, Aspen Brook, etc.