Family Life, Family Travel, Holidays, Outdoor fun

Every Family’s Dream Camp Experience, Ranch Vista Verde 

November 3, 2020

Sometimes you expect a lot out of a vacation, with activities, adventure, insta-worthy snaps.

Other times, your only goal is to relax, rest, and return home feeling better than when you left. Somehow, Vista Verde magically accomplishes both.  

Imagine a warm, friendly, four-star dude ranch tucked into the Rockies, and you have Vista Verde. The combination of luxury and service coupled with a family-friendly, luxurious atmosphere makes this place so perfect for a complete get-away.  

Romanced by the views 

Nestled on Colorado’s Routt National Forest on 540 acres, Vista Verde boasts 12 private log cabins (and three deluxe lodge rooms), each cabin has one-to-three bedrooms with a hot tub on each private balcony overlooking true ranch life. Easy to reach by plane or car, the ranch is not too far from Steamboat Springs and its airport, and yet it has a feeling of total seclusion and otherworldliness. From the moment the staff greeted us at the airport and brought us ‘home’ to our cabin, tensions from ‘life’ immediately fell away and we were excited for our long weekend.  

The wranglers and staff are friendly and accommodating, perfecting the balance of helpfulness and inclusiveness but respectful of guest privacy. This is the sort of place that you leave your cabins unlocked – without a second thought.  

Winter activities  

Before our trip began, they welcomed us electronically with ideas, activities to schedule, and the assurance that we needn’t worry – they are flexible. Don’t feel up to cross country skiing? How about a horseback ride, or tubing over the fresh snow? Every evening before dinner guests and staff gathered in the stunning Main Lodge for happy hour and games by a roaring fire. 

Staff mingles and checks in with each guest to accommodate changes and to make suggestions for the next day’s activities. With a staff:guest ratio of one-to-one (and a maximum of only 40 guests per night), it’s easy to feel a part of this culture. And especially enjoyable for us were the fabulous meals (being from New Orleans, we enjoy good food!) provided by their very talented chef and the family-style dining with the other guests.  

We visited in March, so all our activities were winter-focused. We packed riding, cross country skiing, sleighing, and tubing into two days. With a ski guide and one other guest, I trekked across lakes and through the snowy woods and experienced everything Colorado has to offer in winter sunshine – it was exhilarating!  

Our riding started with a small group lesson in the enclosed arena, followed by a trail ride; crunching through the snow, past pastured horses and vistas. Tubing was nothing short of feeling spoiled – we barreled down the hill over and over, as the staff snowmobiled us back up the hill. Why wasn’t it like that when I was a kid?  There also are snowshoeing, yoga, cooking classes, photography, and many more activities to enjoy. 

Summer activities 

In the summer, time for the kids really shines, with their children (6-10) and tweens (11-13) programs. They can fill their days with horseback riding, mountain biking, hayrides, camping, hiking, swimming and much more. Parents too enjoy a full scope of activities – why send the kids to camp when the whole family can go? You deserve it.  

Vista Verde is a luxurious, all-inclusive, camp experience, and not inexpensive, but the staff, amenities, activities, and ease of mind make it very worth the splurge. The memories your family makes will alone be worth it! 

Vista Verde Guest Ranch 
Steamboat Springs, CO 80477 

Ann Bower Herren is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Nola Family. An intrepid world traveler, Ann can pack her bags in 10-minutes flat. 

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