#1 Internet Site for Ranch Vacations Worldwide
 Watch Video


  • Established

  • Owner

    Susan & David Jessup
  • Manager

    Karen Burbank
  • Tel

  • Open

    All year
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    $425 - $500
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $296 - $346
  • Minimum Stay

    5 days
  • Maximum Guests

  • Works with travel agents?

  • Great For

    Peace & quiet, Solitude, Diverse scenery, Large family reunions, Corporate Retreats, Weddings
  • Memberships

    DRA, CDGRA, Equitrekking
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

The 'New West' – a lot like the Old West, but a whole lot more comfortable! Our historic working horse and cattle ranch has been in operation since the 1920s, and is a little piece of heaven tucked on the quiet side of Eagle Ridge, on the banks of the Big Thompson River.

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch invites you to disconnect from your every day life, and settle back and gain a fresh perspective. Discover new adventures in the beauty of our valley. Reach beyond your comfort zone. Interact with friends, family and associates.

You’ll find both comfort and convenience in our gathering rooms, and lots of room to roam in our outdoor gathering spaces.

Our cozy cabins and friendly guest houses promise a good night’s rest, and our indoor and outdoor dining facilities complement our homemade Colorado cuisine.

A ranch vacation to Sylvan Dale will help you and your family and friends create memories that will last a lifetime!

Check out our Cattle Drive week or our Native American Living History week for special programming, meals, activities and lodging are included in our package pricing.

Good time to go

Between April and November

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 6 and over

We offer a kids' program each morning, from 8:30am-12pm. Kids age 3-12 can join in on the fun! Always led by a wrangler and kid counselor.

Minimum age children can ride

3 and over


hiking, outdoor play area, cookouts, petting zoo


board games, horseshoes, volleyball, ping pong, pool table

Environmental & Social Practices


Most of the ranch property is under Conservation Easement.

Ranch History

Sylvan Dale Ranch has a rich history: The Jessup family has owned and operated the Colorado ranch since 1946!

However, it all started out in the early 1900s. Mr. and Mrs. Frend Neville owned a small cattle ranch at the mouth of the Big Thompson River, and wealthy doctors from St Louis came to the area to hunt deer.

They liked it so much that they wanted to bring their families, so the Nevilles built some cabins and a lodge along the river, and planted apple trees in the yard.

Years later, the facilities were sold to Cotner College, a Christian Church school in Lincoln, Nebraska, but during the Depression of the ’30s, Cotner College closed and Sylvan Dale was leased out as a youth camp.

Maurice Jessup, then a college kid in Oklahoma, overheard a conversation about Sylvan Dale Ranch and asked for a summer job. He hitchhiked to Loveland and caught a ride with the mail carrier, and when he arrived, was overwhelmed with the beauty of the mountains and the rushing water.

He immediately told Camp Director JB Weldon" “You know, I just love this place. Someday I’m going to own Sylvan Dale.”That was in 1934.

Twelve years later, the Sylvan Dale Ranch was for sale and Maurice Jessup was in the Army Air Corps. He received special permission to go and bid on the property. After scratching his bid on a piece of paper, he and his wife Mayme 'Tillie' were awarded the 125-acre run-down property.

Through a lifetime of hopes and dreams solidly based on faith, dedication and hard work, the Jessups and their two children, David and Susan, increased the 125-acre ranch to a 3,200-acre working guest ranch.

The Big Thompson flood of 1976 threatened to put an end to the dream, but reconstruction efforts were successful and what was once a summer guest ranch became a year-round facility, loved by many.

Your Manager, Karen Burbank

Karen was born and raised in Massachusetts. Having grown up schooling in dressage, jumping, and competitive trail, her interests eventually led her Colorado, where she earned a B.S. in Equine Studies from Colorado State University. Over the years, Karen has managed two dressage facilities, wrangled at three guest ranches, been a small and large animal vet tech, and has taught countless lessons to aspiring equestrians. Most recently, for the past thirteen years, Karen has been the Head Instructor, Lesson Program Coordinator, and Dude Ranch Vacation Specialist for Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. She's the one who coordinates your vacation, assigns your horse for the week!

Your manager


  • Enjoy

  • Meals served

    buffet style, meals roll with days activities, everyone eats together, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

    BYOB, wine provided with dinner, available for purchase
  • Enjoy dining in

    patio, dining room (casual attire)
  • You'll definitely love

    ranch garden, organic produce, locally grown produce, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegetarians, Gluten free

We serve a wide range of options, buffet style. We can accommodate most diets, with the exception of Kosher and vegan.

Guest Favourites

  • Bison Meatloaf
  • Tillie's Chicken (fried chicken)
  • Pork Loin with an apple demi-glaze

About our Wines

We serve mostly Californian wines

Your Chef, Sarah Patin

Chef Sarah hails from the South, near Georgia and Tennessee. She's a talented gal with lots of ideas, great presentation and has the ability to truly tickle your taste buds!


  • Address

    2939 North County Rd. 31D
  • Remote Location

  • Elevation

    5280 ft
  • Private Land

    1000-5000 acres
  • Public Land

    250-1000 acres

Nearest Town - Loveland

Loveland is situated 8 miles / 15 mins from the Ranch.

Facilities in Loveland include: grocery store, pharmacy, church, school, post office, medical clinic, hospital, bank, atm, gas station, museum.

For shopping Loveland offers: small hometown necessity shops, boutique shops, western wear.

Ranch shuttle


Nearest Airports

Denver International Airport, Denver


67 miles / 1 hour 15 mins


Delta, United, Skywest, Allegiant, Horizon, Northwest, Alaska, United Express, American Airlines

Ranch shuttle



  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

  • Rides are grouped by

    Age, Ability, Pace of Ride, Rides tailored to guest requests, Rides dictated by ranch work, Families ride together, Children ride together
  • Max riders per ride

  • Wranglers per ride

  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Draft Cross, Paints, Geldings, Mares
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (1000-5000 acres)

The terrain varies from flat and easy to mountainous and climbing.

Public Land (250-1000 acres)

We border the Roosevelt National Forest!

Our Riding

Scheduled rides

Family rides, advanced rides, overnight pack trips (ages 12 and up), cattle work (ages 12 and up)

Guided rides

All rides are guided

Riding Freedom

Nose to tail for novices. Freer riding for those who have experience.

Good to know

Guests must be approved to lope!

Weight limit for riding

225-250 lbs

Riding considerations

no riding experience needed, We consider height and athletic ability as well as a guest's weight

Why our riding stands out

  • Our horses are ranch-raised and trained.
  • We cater to all experience levels, from age seven and up!
  • We own the land we ride on and it's nestled around the Big Thompson River.The 3,200 acres offer a 'don’t fence me in' riding experience for all ages, shaded by cottonwoods, along old wagon trails on Alexander Mountain, up the rocky slopes of Eagle Ridge and across the meadows of Green Ridge to catch the breathtaking view from the Rim Ride.

Riding Lessons

Private lessons can be booked for an additional cost, with our head instructor.


basic riding lessons

Given by



on the trail, in the arena

Cattle work - pasture gathers


Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep



No. of yearlings



Guests watch, Guests participate

Branding work




On Request

No. of Branding



Guests watch, Guests participate

Pack Trips

The overnight pack trip is for ages 12 and up only. Offered between the months of June and September.

Arena Work


outdoor arena


sorting, roping from the ground, barrels, pole bending, gymkhana


  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    $425 - $500
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    $296 - $346
  • Nightly Rates (non-rider)

    $360 - $446
  • Nightly Rates (nanny)

    $296 - $346
  • Minimum Stay

    5 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

  • Preferred Departure Day

    Fri, Sat
  • Style of accommodation

    Ranch rustic, Western rustic chic
  • Packages available

    5 night, 6 night
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch can cater for up to 40 guests. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | Annie Oakley or Baby Doe

Rates (Per Person)*

$360 - $496
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Minimum Stay

5 nights


Fireside Cabins

The sound of the river can’t be missed in your sweetheart cabin… if you open the window! Adorned with custom Western decor, this secluded space includes a living room with fireplace, comfortable furniture, refrigerator, microwave and coffee pot.

These two cabins each have a separate bedroom area with queen-sized bed and private bath.

A private deck overlooks the grounds. Ideal for romantic escapes or quiet solitary lodging.




Private bathroom


fridge, microwave, hair dryer, seating area, air conditioning, wood fireplace, Disabled Accessible

Booking Policy

Deposit: For groups under 20, a deposit equivalent to 30% of the total package price will secure your dude vacation reservation. Groups of 20 or more, special packages and retreats require a 50% non-refundable deposit.

Tax: A 3.7% sales tax will be applied to your bill at time of checkout.

Service Charge: An 18% service charge will be added to your bill, in order to cover increased wages. You are welcome to leave additional gratuities with individual staff if you feel they went above and beyond!

Final Payment: Final payment is due at check-out but can be prepaid. We appreciate payment with a personal check. We also accept American Express, Master Card and Visa.

In Case of Cancellation: If you must cancel, we will refund the entire deposit less $100 per person if the cancellation is at least 90 days prior to planned arrival. If the cancellation happens in fewer than 90 days, we’ll discuss your options to either keep the deposit on file for a future stay, or if we can resell your space only retain $100 cancellation fee. For groups over 10, we highly recommend Travel Insurance through Travel Guard.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, lodging, Riding, Access to game courts, games room, outdoor pool, hiking



3.7% State Tax


18% Service Charge





Guided Fly Fishing

$300 per person


  • You can borrow

    Cowboy hats, Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags
  • Communications

    Wireless Internet/Wifi, telephone, free long distance.
  • Cell Networks

    AT&T, verizon.
  • Business Services




The Dam Store: a local tourist shop and the Ranch Gift Shop

Outdoor Activities

climbing, tennis, Yoga, campouts, wagon rides, bird watching, Shooting - trap / clays

Water based Activities

outdoor pool


relaxation massage

Fishing & Wildlife

Fishing on offer

spin, fly, river, stocked pond, lake, guided inclusive, instruction available


Possibly bighorn sheep, mule deer, black bear, bald eagles, golden eagles

Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

For groups of 20-30.

Over 300 businesses and wellness groups have held their company or group retreat, meeting, training, classes, holiday party or picnic at Sylvan Dale. Sylvan Dale Ranch offers conducive gathering spaces, some of the best home cookin’ around and room to roam! 

Traveling to Sylvan Dale is also a hassle-free commute for you and your guests, as it's only an hour from Denver or Boulder.

Contact us now to reserve dates and discuss custom pricing. Call 970-667-3915 or email ranch@sylvandale.com


We can cater for groups of 100 & over.

Weddings at Sylvan Dale: The ranch boasts two scenic outdoor wedding sites and an indoor/outdoor lodge for receptions. Enjoy your cocktail hour on our back deck with romantic lighting, or have a campfire under the stars to complete your perfect day.

With charming cabins for you and your guests to spend the night, your wedding is a true Colorado experience at Sylvan Dale Ranch! They even have a dedicated weddings website, so take a look today and plan for your big day.

Local Attractions

Rocky Mountain National Park

Rocky Mountain National Park in northern Colorado spans the Continental Divide and encompasses protected mountains, forests and alpine tundra. It's known for the Trail Ridge Road and the Old Fall River Road, drives that pass aspen trees and rivers.

The Keyhole Route, a climb crossing vertical rock faces, leads up Longs Peak, the park’s tallest mountain. A trail surrounding Bear Lake offers views of the peaks.


25 miles / 45 mins

Rental car



  • Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch offers 'Legendary hospitality since 1946' and the reviews speak for themselves! With a plethora of adventures to suit your needs, they cater for families, weddings, wellness escapes, exclusive company retreats, holiday parties, summer picnics and much much more!
  • The ranch is also an excellent and dedicated wedding destination, with two scenic outdoor wedding sites and an indoor/outdoor lodge for receptions, all set against stunning mountain and river backdrops. Cocktail hour and campfires under the stars will complete your perfect day before you and your guests turn into the charming cabins for the night.
  • Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch organizes very popular speciality weeks, like family week, cattle drives the Great Grownups Getaway (adults-only) and their Cowgirl Roundup (ladies only!).
  • If you're looking for just a B&B ranch vacation and/or a trail riding option, Sylvan Dale is just an hour from Denver and offers cosy accommodations and a hearty ranch-style breakfast to start the day! Or why not pop in and head out on a trail ride on one of their highly-praised horses.


  • It's worth noting that GPS units and mapping sites/apps (eg Google Maps, Apple Maps, Mapquest, etc) can lead you astray if you use the ranch's mailing address to navigate there, use their detailed directions and location map guide on their website to find Sylvan Dale.
  • If you want to stream movies while you're at the ranch, be aware that the ranch WiFi is not strong enough to accommodate this, so if you plan on watching movies from your device, make sure to download them prior to arrival!