A deep blue sky sits above a large snowy and tree-covered hill in Clark, Colorado. At the base of the hill is a large clump of wood cabins with snow on their roofs, surrounded by trees. At the forefront of the photo is a larger cabin with a broad, tall stone fireplace.

Vista Verde Guest Ranch

Nestled amid mountains and pine forests, you’ll find Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Clark, just 40 miles north of Steamboat Springs. Here, luxury meets Western adventure with glowing sunsets admired on horseback and hearty meals paired with pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. Try the private hot tub on your cabin porch for soaking while you gaze up at the sparkling Milky Way.

Vista Verde isn’t your average guest ranch. On top of their authentic cattle drives and more than 100 potential riding companions, the ranch offers a mix of year-round AAA Four Diamond amenities boasting loads of Western charm and hospitality. In the warmer months, you can learn how to fly-fish like a pro, paddleboard on the lake or race along shaded trails on mountain bikes. Come winter, the ranch transforms into a cozy ski lodge with snow tubing, snowshoeing, skiing and sleigh rides. Horseback riding is, of course, available year-round. See all ranch activities.

A grassy hill takes up most of the photo, covered in green-and-yellow aspen trees under a dusty blue sky. In the middle of the hill is a log cabin with maroon roofs and a staircase leading to the dirt path in front of it, going perpendicular.
Two laughing and smiling people in their respective blue-and-black snow tubes tied to each other slide down a white, snowy hill as it snows outside. One of the people throws their hands up in the air looking at the camera, and the person behind them has their arms out wide beside them, looking at the person in front.
A tall-ceilinged, tall, elaborate hall decorated with wooden beams, lots of square windows, warm brown paint on the walls, a large circular chandelier hanging from the ceiling and a tall, broad stone fireplace. On the floor of the hall sit several wooden tables, cushiony seats, lamps, rugs and Wild West decorations.

What makes it special?

Vista Verde’s options for trip customization really stand out. The ranch offers you the flexibility to adjust your activities each day based on how you’re vibing. Feeling tired and want to sunbathe by the pool instead of trekking through the aspens? No problem. Want to spend every day in the saddle atop your trusty horse companion? Can do.

This is especially useful for traveling families when children and grown-ups may have conflicting ideas about vacationing. Young’uns can go to the Kid's Hut and parents can do their own activities — or everyone can enjoy their time together.

Rather vacation child free? There are times throughout the year when the ranch hosts adults-only sessions that offer opportunities to relax and release your inner kid (without actual little ones present). Couples can canoodle in a cozy cabin for anniversaries, surprise proposals or simple Wild West elopements.

Do you need a personal escape? Vista Verde offers plenty of mixing and mingling opportunities for solo travelers along with plenty of time to unwind and recharge on your own. Relax by the fire with a good book or through a self-led session at the Wild Yoga hideout.

The most Colorado thing about this place

In Colorado, a few feet of snow won’t stop the fun and adventure. That’s why Vista Verde has a whole fleet of fat-tire bikes, ready for you to take out and explore nature — Colorado-style. Bike a lap around the ranch and you’ll understand why so many people love this sport.

A warm-colored, large room with a small kitchen in the back of the photo. The cabinets in the kitchen are red and above the sink hangs a framed photo, horse-riding equipment and a rope for decoration. There are stairs leading up to another level. In front of the stairs is a wooden bench decorated with two throw pillows. The room is lit with natural light as well as light from the fixtures in the kitchen.
Two smiling people dressed in cowboy hats, flannels and jeans sit on saddled horses. The horses chase two brown cows in the middle of a grassy pasture. The sun is shining brightly.
A large HotSpring hot tub filled with clear water sits on a deck in the sun at the Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Clark. The deck looks out on another adjacent cabin as well as the distant tree-spotted hills under a blue sky.

Most unexpected amenity

With all that Vista Verde offers, we couldn’t choose just one. Surprising offerings span the gamut, from food to wine to photography.

Whether you’re already experienced behind the pan, are a first-time cook or just want to watch, the lead chefs will be happy to show you their kitchen and let you get your hands dirty with Vista’s culinary adventure.

Rather sip vino? Book a wine-tasting session to sample flavors from sweet and fruity to bold and adventurous. Learn techniques for evaluating wine and develop your wine vocabulary to express your sensory impressions. During the winter months, you can attend beer-tasting sessions, too.

For the artist at heart: Attend the weekly photography session with local professional, Carla Jones. She’ll help you capture the beauty of nature and the magic of your most memorable moments on the ranch.

Coolest amenity

Don your plaid shirt and cowhide boots and get ready to kick up your heels at the weekly country dance. Listen to the twangs of good ol’ country-style music and follow along to the Western barn dances to party like they did in the Wild West. If you’ve never line-danced or two-stepped, Vista Verde staff will happily show you the ropes (or you can practice beforehand with their instructional videos).

A fluffy, large horse pulls at least five people dressed warmly in a red carriage through a wide path surrounded by deep snow. In the background are several tall pine-tree-covered hills with snow dusted on them.
Two smiling people wearing sunglasses, helmets, and outdoor athleisure gear bike through the aspen trees in a grassy uphill field.
Two smiling and warmly dressed people have glasses of red wine in their hands, sitting in comfy chairs in a cozy corner of a dining hall at Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Clark, Colorado. The windows around them display the distant snow-covered mountains.

Our favorite traveler review

“This was my first visit to the ranch and I went with my mom (her ninth visit) and my daughter. I heard her rave about the ranch but never quite understood it … until now. The tranquility and views were spectacular. The staff was so friendly and wonderful. We felt like family by the end of the trip,” — April M., Tripadvisor

Things to see & do nearby

Motor over to Steamboat Springs (the ranch will provide transportation there and back) for a day of mountain-town fun, starting with a game of locally themed mysteries at Crooked Key Escape Rooms. Next, visit the Yampa River Botanic Park where you can roll up your sleeves and help the lead horticulturist tend giant snowdrops and harebells. Check out the park’s special event for opportunities to enjoy yoga alongside the beauty of nature or attend musical events that include everything from mystic Celtic songs to flowing piano melodies. Feeling thirsty? Grab a cold one at the Storm Peak Brewing Company. Must-trys include the hoppy Penny’s Pale Ale, the sour Hoochie Mama and the light Mad Creek.


Photos courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch.

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