1) Don't get bogged down in the process of trying to make everyone else happy. No matter if you're organizing this trip for a family of six or a family of 20 people, for every person you'll have different suggestions on what this vacation should look like.
Everyone has their own image as to what a vacation on a dude ranch really is. Some feel like it's going to be a cheesy experience, to some it's been their dream vacation since they were children, and some just don't know what to expect. The key is to remember that once you actually get your family to step foot on a Colorado guest ranch, all those worries if everyone's going to be happy subside.
2.) Start your search with the best. The members of the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association are the elite of the elite. Each member goes through an inspection process to make sure that they qualify by offering a western experience that promotes horsemanship, incredible customer service and a wonderful all-around experience for guests. The association website allows you to search through the list of ranches based on several parameters that are likely important to you: price, capacity, dates open, etc.
3.) Go with your gut. Once you've narrowed down the price that's suitable for your family, how big or small a guest ranch you want to visit, what activities you want provided, and what dates work best, then it's time to call the handful of ranches that made the top of your list. Make sure that you get on the phone with a person (whether owner, operator, manager, whatever the title) who's going to be directly in charge of your family's experience. Is this person someone you'd like to know more about? Do you get along well on the phone? Is this someone you can trust to give your family the best vacation of their lives? What's your hunch? If you get a positive vibe on the phone, it's likely that this will truly be a great fit for you and your family.
Once you've settled on your ranch, have an incredible time anticipating the trip and then actually enjoying it while you're there! In the meantime, if you need more help in finding the right place for your family, don't hesitate to reach out to me (Bex) at (970) 879-1946. Or, if you'd like more information about the Elk River Guest Ranch or are ready to make a reservation, don't hesitate to call me soon. Cabins are booking up for this coming season! :)