Two ranch hands sit on horses and welcome guests as they drive through the entrance to Lost Valley Ranch.

Lost Valley Ranch

Just 40 miles outside Sedalia, Lost Valley Ranch is a lush oasis surrounded by rugged peaks. Here, evergreens and cottonwoods, along with vibrant, wildflower-rich meadows spread across the dramatic mountain steeps and rolling foothills. You’ll love driving the winding roads up to the ranch with breathtaking, million-dollar views around every turn.

Lost Valley Ranch is spread across a forested pocket of valley floor along the banks of the Goose Creek. Close to the mountains, guest cabins peek out between the trees — cozy, log-style abodes designed with traditional Western decor. Relish in elements like cushioned rocking chairs, antler-adorned lamps, studded leather headboards, ceiling-high stone fireplaces and plush leather sofas. Cuddle up with your sweetheart on the loveseat porch swing. Sway gently as you watch the sun come up through the treetops or gaze up at the glittering heavens.

Most meals are served in the wood-paneled lodge, but don’t be surprised if you find yourself enjoying meals al fresco — it is a dude ranch after all. Relish a breakfast of campfire pancakes and eggs atop a mountain or savor slow-smoked racks of ribs at picnic tables in the grassy meadow. If you’re an adventurous type, ease your hunger after a morning ride with a hearty sack lunch amid stunning nature views.

What makes it special?

Whether your party is full of adults or includes teens and tots under the age of 2, everyone will find themselves welcomed and well taken care of. The ranch offers four special junior programs that group kids by age — or provides one-on-one babysitting services for the wee ones. Teenagers will love the opportunities to socialize, play games and ride at an adventure level fit for adolescents. Meanwhile younger kiddos will have the time of their lives romping around the ranch, doing crafts and learning a few horsemanship skills.

Atop a mountain near Lost Valley Ranch, a campfire meal cooks in the coals. Behind it are spectacular views of mountains.

The most Colorado thing about this place

The ranch’s fall specialty weeks are what Colorado is all about — experiencing the beauty and bounty of nature. Go during Cattle Week to help ranch hands round up adorable cow/calf pairs roaming 37,000 acres of national forest land.

Got some Colorado wanderlust? You’ll have the journey of a lifetime roaming the wilds around the valley during the Ride, Ride, Ride Week. Just be sure to pack a camera in your saddlebag — you’ll want to snap photos of the incredible sights awaiting you on these riding trips.

Or, if you just want to grow as a rider, the Horsemanship weeks allow you to build your riding confidence. Bond more deeply with your horse companion with days of skills training in the on-site arena and practice on the nearby trails.

Coolest amenity

There’s always something to do at Lost Valley Ranch during the day, from splashing in the heated swimming pool and trap shooting clay pigeons to hiking trails and horseback riding. In the evenings, you can do-si-do on the line-dance nights and make gooey s’mores around a crackling bonfire. If we had to pick just one, our favorite amenity is the weekly summer rodeos where guests become the stars of the corral. You can show off your amazing new skills at the end of the week by competing in competitions such as barrel racing, steer pinning and egg-and-spoon racing.

A group of people ride horses through a field near Lost Valley Ranch. Behind them is a lush pine tree forest and mountain peaks.

Most unexpected amenity

One thing we didn’t expect on this ranch was the octoball arena, also known as gaga. This ball-based game takes place in an octagon-shaped court where players aim to be the last person not touched by the ball.

Our favorite traveler review

“Honestly the best family vacation we have ever taken. The staff go above and beyond in every way to make sure your stay is perfect. We did everything from trap shooting, fly-fishing, two horseback rides per day, line dancing and hiking to barrel racing and steering cattle. Cannot wait to return!” — Cristina C., Google

Adults mingle around a brick firepit at Lost Valley Ranch. The sky is darkening and overhead string lights begin to glow.

Things to see & do nearby

Mountains near the ranch offer numerous hiking trails including paths around Cheesman Reservoir, on the nearby Sheep Rock Trailhead or up to the Goose Creek Miner’s Cabin.

Back in town, explore Daniels Park, a hidden gem of the area with easy walks, stunning views and meandering bison. If you’re lucky enough to see some, just remember to keep your distance as they’re still wild animals. For a little local history, head up to Cherokee Ranch & Castle for a tour of the Scottish-style structure as well as tea parties, performing events and wine or whiskey-tasting nights.


Photos courtesy of Lost Valley Ranch

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