Historic Milestones & Fun Facts

Timeline of C Lazy U Ranch History

  • 1900-1910

    The Dexter House, currently used to house staff, served as a post office and stagecoach stop.

  • 1917

    Wilson Smillie purchases the ranch on Willow Creek and sends his brother Aubrey Fenton “Jack” Smillie to run it as the F Slash.

  • 1919

    Jack Smillie marries Gertrude Mildred McQueary.

    First guest houses built on the property when known as the F Slash Ranch.

  • 1920

    Jack Smillie buys the F Slash from his brother Wilson.

  • 1925

    The Smillies build the initial barn and several other structures to accommodate two dozen guests.

  • 1945

    The Smillies sell the guest ranch in the late summer.

  • 1946

    Dick and Katie Schoenberger purchase the ranch and rename it C Lazy U.

  • 1947

    Construction of the Lodge begins.

  • 1948

    Two wings are added to the Lodge to welcome the arrival of guests in the winter.

  • 1949

    Marion Palmer arrives at the ranch and establishes the children’s program.

  • 1955

    Head wrangler, Dawn Cone starts working at the ranch until his retirement in the mid 1990s.

  • 1957

    The Patio House and swimming pool are built.

  • 1958

    Clark and Peg Murray visit the ranch for the first time.

  • 1963

    Dick Schoenberger dies suddenly.

  • 1973

    Katie Schoenberger sells the ranch to George and Virginia Mullin who met at the ranch while on their honeymoon.

  • 1988

    Clark and Peg Murray purchase the ranch.

  • 2008

    Clark and Peg Murrays’ son, Brian, announces a new, extended partnership of families who have a collective commitment to preserving and revitalizing the C Lazy U as one of the last great American western experiences.

  • 2011

    Jacobs and Murrays sell their ownership interest to the Singleton and Bailey/Stanford families.

  • 2019

    The C Lazy U Ranch celebrates 100 years in operation!

Fun Facts About the Ranch

The C Lazy U Ranch first became a guest Ranch in 1919.

2017 marked our 98th year as an operating guest Ranch.

Luis’ Old Place Store was originally a donkey barn many years ago.

The ranch is home to two Sicilian Donkeys: Tilly and Petey. Petey is quite famous, making frequent appearances in Las Vegas, Denver, and for the Colorado Rockies’ annual season opener baseball game. Tilly currently acts as Petey’s understudy, learning the tricks of the trade.

Petey is more than a cute face, he has a very important job at the ranch…protecting the herd. That’s right, little Petey helps keep the horses safe by braying and kicking at any predators that might threaten the herd.

David Craig, our General Manager, wrote the children’s book “Petey & Wolf” which is a story about Petey and several horses in our herd. It is available for sale at Luis’ Old Place.

Our original marketing slogan was “Horseback riding, Bear Hunting, and All You Can Eat Steak and Apple Pie.” Not much has changed!

C Lazy U Ranch has access to more than 8,500 acres of private land, and is the ultimate mountain getaway, sitting at 8,200 feet in elevation.

All remodeling projects on the ranch are completed using Beetle Kill wood that has been cut down from standing dead timber and milled right here at the ranch.

We are an Orvis-endorsed Fly Fishing Lodge, and offer instructional and guided fishing trips on and off the ranch.

In Colorado it is illegal to ride a horse while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Dexter Meadows still has the remnants of an old stagecoach turnaround.

All horses move naturally with four basic gaits: the four-beat walk, which averages 3 miles per hour (mph); the two-beat trot or jog, which averages 8 to 12 mph; the three- beat canter or lope, which averages 12 to 15 mph, and the gallop which can average up to 25 to 30 mph.

Six days each week during our summer season, in the morning and evening, our entire herd of 200 horses “jingles” in and out of the pasture. The name “jingle” comes from a time when ranchers would put cow bells on their horses so they could find them in the early morning hours.

Bill Fisher, Head Wrangler, first started working at the ranch in 1962, yet began vacationing here with his family in 1957 when he was just ten years old.

More than a vacation destination, the C Lazy U Ranch is an authentic working ranch:

  • Producing approximately 300 tons of hay per year.
  • Irrigating our hayfields and pastures.
  • Caring for almost 200 horses, 30 cows, and 2 donkeys.
  • Using traditional ranch equipment including a variety of trucks, tractors, and implements.

The C Lazy U is the only Ranch in the world to have ever achieved both the “Five Star” and the “Five Diamond” Resort designations from Mobile and Triple A respectively and to do so for 25 consecutive years.

The Town of Granby is the most populous municipality in Grand County, Colorado. Granby is situated along U.S. Highway 40 about 85 miles west of Denver, Colorado and southwest of Rocky Mountain National Park. The town was founded in 1904 along the route of the Denver, Northwestern, and Pacific Railway.

On July 1, 1908 President Theodore Roosevelt established the Arapaho National Forest. Almost totally encompassing the town of Granby.

Follow C Lazy U on social media to learn more about the ranch and maybe even see your photos shared!

Rocky Mountain National Park was established by Enos Mills on January 26, 1915, and proclaimed the tenth national park by President Woodrow Wilson.

Back to Top

Ranch Blog

When they are surrounded by our untouched nature, guests at C Lazy U Ranch can relax and rejuvenate their bodies, minds and spirits. Our love of providing this special escape for guests is one reason we offer yoga year-round — and why we’re proud to announce a special five-day, four-night yoga retreat in October, hosted … Continue Reading »

Continue Reading

From the Horse's Mouth

“Great family vacation”

I love this ranch. So many activities offered and they really make an effort to make it a great week for parents and kids. Staff is so friendly and helpful. They treat the horses very well and you get a lot of horseback rides in. Plus the rooms are very comfortable. Overall great stay. Awesome place for family bonding.

More Reviews on TripAdvisor

View All Awards