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  • Established

    1920. Guest ranch since 1970
  • Owner

    The Jones Family
  • Manager

    Ben Martin
  • Tel

  • Open

    Jan-Mar, Jun-Dec
  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    Summer: $883 - $1,166
    Winter: $657 - $967
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    Summer: $783 - $1,066
    Winter: $557 - $867
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 6 days
    Winter: 3 days
  • Maximum Guests

  • Works with travel agents?

  • Great For

    Romance, Action & adventure, Peace & quiet, Pampering, Corporate Retreats
  • Memberships

    Dude Ranchers Association, Colorado Dude Ranchers Association, Orvis
* Rates will vary based on Season and Accommodation selection. Please contact the ranch directly for Date Request, Availability and exact Rate quote/proposal

Vista Verde Ranch offers a diverse array of activities both summer and winter, but what guests love is the flexibility and personalization that goes into each experience. And, unlike a resort, we're still just a ranch with down-to-earth people who treat you like family. We're ideal for families, but you can also choose our adult weeks if you're not traveling with children.

Our broad selection of summer activities can make it hard to choose what to do each day. We come around at mealtimes and you tell us what you want to do. Your day, your way! Do you want to hike? Ok. How long, what kind of terrain would you prefer? Do you want to pack a lunch and go all day? The wranglers and guides will go out of their way to tailor each experience to your interest and ability. Top-notch gear and equipment are provided to make these summer activities all the more enjoyable in our cool Colorado climate.

Good time to go

September is our favorite month in the summer. It is adult only and such a beautiful time of year! Christmas is also very magical in a totally different way. It’s just what Christmas should be.

Children at the Ranch

Great for children aged 3 and over

We offer many wonderful activities for kids, tweens, and teens headed up by our eager and energetic counselors.

Vista Verde accommodates families with children 3 and up during the summer and 6 and up in the winter. Our children’s program was designed by a mom, so it has a lot of thought into the minds of children and how to engage them. The teen program gives the teens a chance to split off and be a little more independent and adventurous with activities like special teen rides and an overnight campout.

From the Welcoming Day Hayride -- to the toasted marshmallows on the last night -- the kids days and nights are filled with experiences only found in the great outdoors.

Minimum age children can ride

6 and over

Arts & Crafts

coloring, sketching, We offer a variety of arts and crafts activities for your children.


hiking, biking, picnics, outdoor play area, cookouts, campouts, petting zoo, supervised swimming, Gold panning, ride on an antique fire engine, haywagon rides, and more!


scavenger/treasure hunts, board games, horseshoes, pool table

Ranch History

Vista Verde – literally 'The Green View' – was named by a relative of the Tufly family in the 1930’s. Hollis and Jean Tufly took over some early homesteads in the depths of the depression and built a cattle ranch that continues today. The old Homestead cabin located southeast of the Lodge was hand built by Hollis for his bride in 1936. In the 1950’s the Tufly’s added a couple of cabins – now Dome – to create a small and very rustic hunting and fishing camp.

Frank and Winton Brophy purchased Vista Verde in 1975 and built the guest ranch business as we know it today. When John and Suzanne Munn became the owners in 1991, they took the ranch to the next level. The characteristics of the ranch that distinguish it – attention to detail, fine food, authentic log cabins, the diversity of activities both summer and winter, the feeling of a ranch not a resort – were developed by them. Peggy and Jerry Throgmartin took over ownership in 2006 and have put us in place as stewards of this fine property. In 2016 Laura and Chris Jones became the owners of Vista Verde Ranch. We now we have a tradition to uphold. We intend to preserve the small and special nature of Vista Verde Ranch and to maintain its position as one of the premiere guest ranches in the country.

Your Manager, Ben Martin

Originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Ben has taken a career path that led from professional soccer, to head wrangler, to foreman at another Colorado ranch, and then to working with high school kids in Denver. With that diverse background, Ben is just the guy to chase down, wrangle, and guide the management team.


  • Enjoy

    Gourmet, Ranch-style
  • Meals served

    family style, buffet style, everyone eats together, children dine separately, scheduled meals
  • Alcohol

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

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

    ranch-raised beef, ranch-raised pork, ranch-raised chicken, farm fresh eggs, ranch garden, organic produce, locally grown produce, fresh daily bread, fresh daily desserts
  • Dietary restrictions catered for

    lactose intolerant, vegans, vegetarians, Gluten free

Our cuisine at Vista Verde Ranch is designed to impress even the most experienced palates.

We serve food that walks the line between ranchy and fancy. The chefs take as much pride in preparing creative and freshly prepared cookouts as they do in the formal dinners served in the dining room. Wine and beer are included in the stay and wines are thoughtfully paired with the meals. We look at wine as an integral part of the dining experience and take pride in having a Chef who takes time to be trained in wines of the world so he can lead his weekly wine tastings.

We do not publish our wine list as it changes frequently and our Chef is constantly keeping an eye on special and new wines (as well as fun beers) to bring into the ranch.

Guest Favourites

  • Everyone loves breakfast! Breakfast Street Tacos Scrambled Eggs, Chorizo, Fire-roasted Jalapeno, Grilled onions, Pico De Gallo, Queso Fresco On 3 Flour Tortillas Red Velvet Chocolate Chip Pancakes Whipped Cream & Vermont Maple Syrup
  • And the "formal" dinners are an event in themselves, with this dish being one of the favorites: Moffat Country Lamb Rack, Chickpea-Sweet Potato Stew, Sautéed Kale, Za’atar Spice
  • And of course there is a BBQ night! Mixed Green Salad With Assorted Dressings Coleslaw Loaded Twice-Baked Russet Potatoes Roasted Broccoli & Cauliflower Country Style Baked Beans Cheddar - Scallion Cornbread King Crab Legs with Drawn Butter Roasted Cornell Chicken Jack Daniel’s Barbecue & Mustard Barbecue Sauces From the Smoker Hickory Smoked Pork Ribs Hickory Smoked Beef Brisket Dessert Strawberry & White Peach Shortcake Trifles

Your Chef, Jonathon Gillespie

Chef Jonathon's philosophy with food is to source the best ingredients available, including organically raised products: from vegetables, to wheat, dairy products, you name it; hormone and antibiotic free beef, pork, and chicken, as well as sustainably caught seafood from both coasts. In conjunction with these principles, his crew strives to keep the flavors clean so the exceptional ingredients can shine. With each meal, the chefs balance ranchy with fancy, comfort food with a lighter option, as well as accommodate any dietary restrictions or requests.


  • Address

    PO Box 770465
    Steamboat Springs
  • Remote Location

  • Elevation

    7800 ft
  • Private Land

    250-1000 acres
  • Public Land

    more than 50k acres

Nearest Town - Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs has a population of 20,000 (approx), and is situated 25 miles / 45 mins from the Ranch.

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

For shopping Steamboat Springs offers: boutique shops, western wear.

Ranch shuttle


Nearest Airports

Steamboat-Hayden Airport, Steamboat Springs


25 miles / 45 mins


Delta, United, Alaska, United Express, American Airlines, Various airlines during Winter Season

Ranch shuttle


Private Air Travel

Nearest location(s)

Steamboat Springs

Travel by



45 miles

Ranch shuttle



  • Type of Riding

    Western Riding
  • Riding opportunities for

    Beginner, Intermediate, Experienced
  • Most riders are

  • Rides are grouped by

    Ability, Pace of Ride, Families ride together, Children ride together
  • Max riders per ride

  • Wranglers per ride

  • Pace of ride

    Walk, Trot, Lope
  • Guest Horses

  • Horse Types

    Quarterhorse, Geldings, Mares
  • Hours in the saddle

    Morning - 2 hours
    Afternoon - 2 hours

The Setting

Private Land (250-1000 acres)

Public Land (more than 50k acres)

Guests ride in the Routt National Forest with trails going every direction from the ranch.  

Our Riding

Guided rides

Rides are fully guided at Vista Verde.

Good to know

We assess rider's ability to trot and canter through our Monday morning orientation and then work with each guest to improve their skills while at the ranch.  

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

  • Personalization - rides are small and geared to ability
  • Horsemanship opportunities for each guest - clinics/learning opportunities
  • Professional wranglers on staff ensures that well trained horses are on hand at all times

Sample Riding Itinerary

Although there are plenty of opportunities to develop your horsemanship skills while at the ranch, there are also plenty of opportunities to hit the trail and enjoy the natural beauty of the Elk River Valley from the back of your horse.

During the summer, we start the week out with a riding orientation to get everyone on the same page, and help you understand how we handle our horses. Even experienced riders will learn something as every horse is different, and every training style is different. During the orientation, we will introduce you to your horse and let you get to them him or her on the ground first.  After some basic training drills, we then climb up and head out on a short trail ride to make sure you two are a match.

And then the "Choose-Your-Own-Adventure" begins!

Most days include the option of heading out on the trail both morning and afternoon. Sometimes we have opportunities to pack a lunch and head out for an all-day ride, with a lunch break in a beautiful setting. The rides vary based on the ability of the riders, the weather and terrain, and the condition of the horses. We pair riders together who are looking for similar riding experiences to ensure everyone gets the type of ride they desire. Family rides are encouraged, and rides will be tailored towards the lowest level rider in the family.

Riding Lessons

We are exceptionally accommodating to each guests needs and goals. We offer group riding lessons throughout the week in addition to our clinics. 


lessons come with package, basic riding lessons, advanced horsemanship lessons

Given by

wrangler, horse trainer


on the trail, in the arena

Natural Horsemanship Clinic


Clinics occur weekly, Included in package, Clinics occur in the arena

Focuses on

Numerous horsemanship clinics are offered throughout the week to help our guests understand better how to communicate with their horses for a more productive relationship. 

Cattle work - pasture gathers

During the summer we offer a cattle clinic and a team penning each week. In the late-fall we offer a round-up week to bring the cow-calf pairs that summered on the National Forest land back to their winter pasture.


Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep



No. of cow/calf pairs



Guests participate

Arena Work

Guests enjoy the ability to work in our arenas and further their riding skills. They have the opportunity to work with our wranglers and horse trainer for enhancement of their riding abilities. Guests tend to spend a good amount of time with our riding experts as their knowledge and personalities are very infectious!


indoor arena, outdoor arena


penning, sorting


  • Nightly Rates (per adult)*

    Summer: $883 - $1,166
    Winter: $657 - $967
  • Nightly Rates (per child)*

    Summer: $783 - $1,066
    Winter: $557 - $867
  • Minimum Stay

    Summer: 6 days
    Winter: 3 days
  • Preferred Arrival Day

    Summer: Sun
    Winter: Any day is fine
  • Preferred Departure Day

    Summer: Sat
    Winter: Any day is fine
  • Style of accommodation

    Luxury 5-Star
  • Packages available

    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

Vista Verde can cater for up to 52 guests. Accommodation includes Cabins and Lodges. See below for details and indicative rates.

Cabin | Vista Verde Cabins

Rates (Per Person)*

Summer: $983 - $1,166
Winter: $714 - $967
* 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

6 nights


Vista Verde style is first class, and friendly, whether our guests select to stay in a private cabin or deluxe lodge room. The quiet, luxurious cabins are all standalone units and range from one to three bedrooms and one to three bathrooms with living rooms, wood stoves and private hot tubs out on the deck. Named after local mountains, our 12 cabins are rustic on the outside and anything but on the inside. Of course like the mountains, they are each different and beautiful.




Private bathroom, Shared bathroom


mini-bar, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes, wood fireplace


hot tub

Lodge | Vista Verde Lodge

Rates (Per Person)*

Summer: $883 - $1,083
Winter: $657 - $833
* 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

6 nights


Vista Verde style is first class, and friendly, whether our guests select to stay in a private cabin or deluxe lodge room. The spacious lodge rooms are very convenient and have sitting areas, balconies, and gorgeous mountain views. Located just up the stairs of our Main Lodge, you don't even have to put on shoes to come down for breakfast! Our three lodge rooms are named after nearby lakes that have captured our fancy just like the views from the lodge room balconies have captured the hearts of our guests.




Private bathroom


mini-bar, fridge, hair dryer, seating area, plush bathrobes

Booking Policy

A 50% deposit is required to secure most reservations.

Included in your stay

meals, activities, ranch shuttle, lodging, gratuity, Riding, Guided hiking, biking, fly fishing, backcountry ski and snowshoe tours, skate and classic skis and boots, snowshoes, tubing (a snowmobile brings you back up!), horsemanship clinics and lessons, sleigh rides, weekly yoga, photography workshop, kids and teen programs, evening entertainment, cooking classes and wine tasting, top-notch gear and equipment



3.9% state tax applied upon checkout.


No expectation of gratuity.


60-minute and 90-minute massage therapy treatments available for an additional cost.


Downhill skiing at Steamboat Springs, adventure activities by local outfitters - dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice climbing, power cat skiing, premium wines from a select list.


  • You can borrow

    Cowboy boots, Riding helmets, Saddle bags, Rain coats
  • Communications

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

    AT&T, verizon. cell service is sporadic.
  • Business Services

    common computer, Meeting Room for small groups.



We have a small gift shop, called Fancy's Mercantile, in our lodge where guests can buy Vista Verde Ranch souveniers and clothing, as well as cowboy hats and other small knick knacks from our vendors. 

Outdoor Activities

mountain biking, Yoga, wagon rides, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, paddle boarding, archery, cooking class, wine tasting, photography workshop, and more!

Water based Activities

outdoor pool, hot tub


relaxation massage, deep tissue massage

Winter Activities

cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, down hill skiing, snowshoeing, winter ice fishing, Tubing, cooking class, wine tasting, leatherworking, painting, photography workshop, and more!

Fishing & Wildlife

Guided fishing on stocked ponds, small streams, larger rivers, private water and high alpine lakes. Access to RMAC gold medal waters at an additional rod fee.

Fishing on offer

fly, river, stocked pond, lake, stream, equipment available, guided inclusive, instruction available


Elk, deer, foxes, moose, bears, and little critters like ermine.

Additional Services

Corporate Retreats

For groups of 30-40.

We offer an exlusive ranch buy out for corporate retreats.

Local Attractions

Steamboat Ski Resort

Enjoy skiing at one of the finest ski resorts around. Just minutes from the ranch, enjoy off-site activities at Steamboat and the luxury of Vista Verde to relax.


25 miles / 45 mins

Ranch shuttle



  • Outstanding riding facilities, including an indoor heated arena for winter riding, lessons and clinics geared toward all riding levels, and their high-end horse program means you know you're riding top horses
  • Children's program designed by a mother who knows what children enjoy and takes into consideration their attention span
  • Full-time, year-round management team ensures they truly know the ranch inside and out
  • One-to-one guest-to-staff ratio ensures premium customer service


  • Although it's one of the pricier ranches, it's all-inclusive so you don't have to worry about a thing

Visitor Reviews

Dont just take our word for it, see what visitors like you say...

Super Amazin

Best place I’ve been to in my life. They are like extended family. Everyone greets you by name and asks how you are. Room stays stocked with drinks and food. All activities were planned ahead of time so you always knew when, where and who you would be with. Very accommodating to your needs. Everyone from management to maintenance was a pleasure

5 stars

You can find more reviews for Vista Verde on TripAdvisor