History of the Home Ranch
One of the Best Dude Ranches in Colorado
The Home Ranch was founded in 1978 by Ann and Steve Stranahan and Ken and Sharon Jones. The Stranahans had long enjoyed vacationing in the West, and had discovered the beauty of the Yampa Valley in the early 70's, when they purchased a condominium in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. In the summer of 1977, they met Ken and Sharon Jones, who were managing an old guest ranch in Wyoming. Steve was a businessman from Toledo, Ohio; Ken was a third-generation cattle and dude rancher from Montana. The Stranahan and Jones families decided to join forces and start their own ranch, wanting to offer other families the unique experience of a traditional western ranch vacation.
In early 1978, they found an old homestead for sale just north of Steamboat Springs, in a little settlement named Clark. This ranch had everything they had dreamed of for their new venture: 580 acres in the breathtaking Elk River Valley, one of the last Alpine ranching valleys in the American West. The land consisted of irrigated hay meadows, high benches with dramatic views, beautiful Aspen and Evergreen forests bordered by the wild and scenic Elk River and National Forest. The location was easily accessible by air or auto; yet at the same time, thousands of acres of spectacular wilderness lie within easy access.
In this wonderful location, they began to build The Home Ranch, modeling the lodge and cabins after the old homesteads still found in the valley. The first guests came for Christmas in 1979. More cabins and lodge rooms have been added over the years, and the original 570 acres has grown to 4000 acres available to The Home Ranch guests, a great bowl that touches the National Forest lands on the east and west. The Home Ranch and its neighboring large ranch owners have worked together to place over 8,000 acres of the Upper Elk River Valley in a permanent conservation easement, ensuring that most of this extraordinary agricultural landscape and way of life will remain unchanged.
Since its inception, The Home Ranch has been distinguished by the beauty of its setting, its singular charm and style, its gifted and hospitable staff, and its amazing food. The quality of the guest experience, it's memorable and challenging activities in both winter and summer, is now legendary. Since 1986, membership in the famed Relais & Chateaux small hotel association has extended its reach and reputation, and The Home Ranch is now one of the most beloved guest ranches in the world. The Home Ranch is now welcoming its second generation of guests, young men and women who want their families to experience the traditions, camaraderie and accomplishments that they first experienced as children at The Home Ranch, and still cherish today.