Often used synonymously, “guest ranch” and “dude ranch.” Why are these two terms similar and why, in today’s marketplace, are they so very different?…

Well, ranches who accepted outside guests, started as “dude ranches” – they were dirty, dusty, a slice of the old west – the experience was centered only around horses and rodeos  – the food was a chuckwagon BBQ served under the stars – you stayed in an accommodation referred to as rustic, but really it was simple, basic, no frills.

Today, luxury has had an influence on certain ranches to include culinary journeys, immersive experiential offerings, fine accommodations, spa offerings, world-class guest amenities and the first-class service you would expect when purchasing a luxury experience. This, ladies and gentleman, is a “guest ranch” that still pays tribute to the old west, but with the refinements today’s traveler expects and today’s travel trends dictate.

Since 1980, The Home Ranch, Relais & Chateaux, has been luxury-inspired. We have pioneered dude ranch to guest ranch. As our Chef often says, “a little bit ranchy, a bit more fancy.”

The Top 10 Reasons You Should Plan a Home Ranch, Guest Ranch Vacation…


4. Our Fly Fishing

The Elk River Valley, bright sunshine, gold-medal waters, four species of native trout, expert Orvis Endorsed guides, catch-and-release has never been so much fun.

5. Nearby Steamboat Springs

Take a stroll through Steamboat Springs and explore the Western culture that extends beyond The Home Ranch! Steamboat is one of North Americas top destinations summer and winter for many reasons.

6. Our Children and Teen Program

Children & teens, frolicking in the high-alpine, doing what kids do best – having fun, experiencing nature, meeting new friends their age from around the world and creating memories that last a lifetime.

1. Our Equine Adventure and Horsemanship

The equine program and the resulting horsemanship sets The Home Ranch apart from any other guest ranch in the United States.

2. Our Culinary Journey

Chef Jonathon Gillespie and his culinary brigade execute fine culinary offerings as you would expect from a Relais & Chateaux and their ideology on locally-inspired cuisine.

3. Our Farm

Farm-To-Table has never been so true and authentically curated. Our on-ranch farm produces a high-alpine varietal of herbs, vegetables and proteins that drive daily inspired menus.

Family horseback riding at Colorado dude ranch
bikers & sand mountain

7. Unplug from Technology

In today’s world, technology has taken over, and we’re often looking down at our smartphones rather than paying attention to our surroundings. The activities, dining, and views will have you occupied and in awe. Take this as an opportunity to really disconnect from technology and take in Colorado’s natural beauty.

8. Traditional Live Music & Entertainment

One of the many things that makes The Home Ranch so special and unique is that our intimate size (only 45 guests) allows our guests to interact with our staff in many ways. Our Ranch Operations Manager, Michael Moon, is a locally-acclaimed musician. Michael and his band play the sounds of the Rocky Mountain west during our weekly Barn Dance…and sometimes during an evening sunset in the main lodge.

9. Spa Treatments

 Need to relax after an activity-packed day? Our massage treatments are tailored to relax the active Rancher in all of us.

10. Fun All Year Round

Many ranches are only open for the summer season. The Home Ranch offers stays May – October and December – March. Guests trade their cowboy boots for ski boots and explore the Elk River Valley on 30 km of groomed cross country ski trails with access to the nearby Routt National Forest.

A guest ranch vacation is far from the typical getaway. The list of activities is endless, and you’ll never catch yourself wondering what to do next. With an all-inclusive stay at The Home Ranch, you’ll find yourself as engaged or relaxed as you so choose.

Intrigued? Learn about The Home Ranch…we hope to welcome you home soon…