The Mountains Are Calling: Vista Verde Awaits

Share This

Longing to be sky-high in Colorado? You needn’t be a seasoned rancher to enjoy the mountainous magnificence of Vista Verde Ranch. I recently returned from a long weekend of skiing and snowshoeing in a veritable winter wonderland, and can’t wait to return when the Rock Mountain wildflowers are in bloom this spring. Tucked away in Clark, Colorado, this luxury guest ranch offers a taste of the cowboy lifestyle all year round — and we’ve rounded up (pun intended) the top reasons to visit in every season. 

Whether you’re interested in line dancing to country music, back-country skiing in the Park Mountains, or relaxing by the fire, we’ve got you covered. So, read on and giddy up — wide open spaces (or, shall we say, vistas) await.

Winter: Best In Snow

Downhill & Cross-Country Skiing, Ice Fishing, Sleigh Rides

Riding in a horse drawn carraige through the snow

(Image provided by Katherine Parker-Magyar)

In the colder months, Vista Verde becomes “Vista Blanca,” and the ranch transforms into a cozy wintry escape. The ranch was established first in 1919, with a deed to the land granted by the government to Loren Blair and John Hay as part of the Homestead Act. Today, it sits on 600 acres. Though warming up by a blazing fire in your log cabin is always a popular option, there’s no shortage of activities to beckon you into the wild. Appreciate the gorgeous serenity of the snowy landscape on an ice fishing adventure, or head out for some snowshoeing and cross-country skiing across the ranch’s extensive trails through the rolling hills and snow-covered pastures. A sleigh ride is a picturesque afternoon activity to appreciate the serene landscape, while adventure lovers can opt for snowmobiling, fat biking, or snow tubing on the property. And, when in Colorado during the wintertime, it’s a sin not to at least attempt some downhill skiing — nearby Steamboat boasts a wide variety of terrain suitable for all levels. 

Spring: Rocky Mountain Majesty

Trail Riding, Hiking, Archery

Mountain flowers in full bloom

(Image provided by Adobe Stock)

When the weather starts to warm up, the western wildflowers begin to bloom, and the landscape is cast in varying shades of green. And there’s no better place to enjoy a Colorado springtime than the aptly named Vista Verde. Opt for some line dancing to the live music in the early evenings, and by day, why not improve upon your outdoor skills? Archery lessons and horsemanship clinics are available year-round for cowboys and cowboys-in-training. Your horsemanship guides at Vista Verde offer careful, in-depth instruction that’s exceedingly rare to find anywhere else — often visitors may find themselves stuck on boring trail rides instead. Here, you have the opportunity to really connect with your horse and learn to trot, gallop, or canter. You may even head back home with a newfound skill — which you can develop each time you return to the ranch, of course. Giddy up!

Summer: Cowboy Take Me Away

Paddle Boarding, Mountain Biking, Horseback Riding

Saddling up for a horse ride on the ranch

(Image provided by Katherine Parker-Magyar)

It’s oft said about Colorado that transplants come out for the winter, but stay for the summer. And Steamboat Springs is no exception. Embrace your inner cowboy with a full day spent out and about at the ranch, and take advantage of the sunny days by maximizing your time outdoors. Elevate your equestrian skills at the clinics and on trail rides, and set out for some hiking in the Rocky Mountains. Mountain biking is available for the more daredevil travelers among us, while paddle boarding provides a more laid-back way of embracing nature on a hot summer’s day. We recommend Ranch Cruising, where you can take one of the ranch’s single-speed cruisers down to the river — or, even better — to the Clark Store for an afternoon ice cream. And, for aspiring cowboys, summer is also when the Fall Cattle Round-Up, when ranchers head out to over 16,000 acres of forests and fields to round up the cattle before the first snowfall. 

Autumn: A River Runs Through It

Fly Fishing, Line Dancing, Wild Yoga

The Elk River flowing through the mountains in Autumn

(Image provided by Adobe Stock)

Fall is famously fly fishing season out west, and guests who pay a visit to Vista Verde in September or October would be remiss not to cast their luck in the local rivers and streams. Vista Verde is located on The Elk River, and the on-ranch Hinman Creek is home to Rainbows, Brown Trout, and Mountain Whitefish. During summer and autumn months, guests can also take their on-site yoga sessions outside for some Wild Yoga surrounded by the Colorado gorgeous nature (in wintertime, the yoga session is indoors, followed by a hot tub session, of course).  In short, there’s a plethora of diversions for adventurous travelers every season, and it’s not too late to book a last-minute trip to check it out for yourself! Yee-haw, indeed.

Visions of Vietnam: Ancient Cities & Marble Mountains

Read on for your guide to the beauty and magic of Vietnam

New Year, New Travel Plans: 24 Trips to Book in 2024

From the high desert of Peru to the wine regions of France, read on for the top 24 places to visit in 2024

The Insider’s Guide to Bavarian Christmas Markets

Top 4 Christmas Markets in Bavaria, Germany

Sint Maarten & Saba: Two Islands, One Vacation

Read on for your guide to this ultimate two-island getaway

Tales of the Caribbean: 20 Islands to Visit Now

A wide selection of Caribbean islands to consider based on your individual interests

Faraway Martha's Vineyard: A (New) New England Escape

An exposé on the re-launch of America's fifth oldest hotel