10 Reasons to Visit C Lazy U Ranch This Summer

C Lazy U Summer vacation

Time is quickly running out to book a summer getaway at C Lazy U for 2015 with only two weeks with remaining availability, though it’s never too early to start planning for summer 2016 too! Are you ready for a luxurious outdoor escape in colorful Colorado in the heart of the Rocky Mountains? For anyone who might be on the fence about a Colorado summer vacation stay at our luxury dude ranch, here’s some extra convincing for you.

1. Summer Photo “Mugshot” Contest

If cold lemonade, ginger beer, and moscow mules served up in copper mugs reminds you of summertime, then you’re a perfect contestant for C Lazy U’s “Mugshot” Contest. Share your best C Lazy U snapshots on social media with the hashtag #CLazyUMugShot and you could win a pair of C Lazy U copper mugs, with a new winner chosen each week! Plus, if your photo is the hands-down best of the summer, you could win the grand prize – a free 2-night stay at the ranch this winter.

2. Family Fun – Leave the Kids to Us!

You love your kids, and so do we. That’s why our kid’s programs work well for everyone. You get to take some time to yourself, and we get to have fun in the mountain outdoors with all the youngsters together. Your kids are in good hands with our experienced counselors. Take a breather and leave the supervision to us, then join back up as a family for quality time at meals and in the evening.

3. Wedding Season

C Lazy U has a flair for staging truly Colorado-style ranch weddings. Our wedding coordinator is on hand to put all the details together, set in a picturesque Colorado mountain locale. Groups of 40 or more can rent out the luxury guest ranch exclusively for the wedding event. If you’re lucky enough to receive an invite to a wedding at C Lazy U, clear your calendar and don’t miss it. It may very well be the best wedding you’ll ever attend.

4. Monty & Anna Week

Unleash your inner songbird with a singing and songwriting workshop. Talented husband and wife duo Monty Powell and Anna Wilson are a musical power couple. During the week of August 16-23, they will grace the C Lazy U dude ranch with their performances in an intimate and approachable atmosphere where you can learn and play with the pros.

5. Guided Fly Fishing

Experience Orvis, the gold standard for fly fishing at C Lazy U. Our dude ranch is Orvis certified, so you know that you’re receiving great guidance. Whether you’re a first-timer learning the basics in our pond, or a seasoned fisherman looking for a wilder off-ranch opportunity, we’ll make it happen. You’ll be angling and loving it in no time.

6. Mountain Biking

Mountain biking trails crisscross the ranches 8,500 acres of land. Two-wheel enthusiasts can either take off on their own, or sign up for a guided mountain biking excursion. The ranch’s cyclist guides have something in mind for every level of experience on a bike. Don’t worry about bikes and gear – it’s all here waiting for you.

7. Poolside Relaxation

A family summer vacation isn’t complete without some serious relaxation by the side of a pool. Conveniently, drinks and snacks are just an inner tube’s throw away. The hot tub is perfect for soaking on a chilly high-altitude summer evening during your Colorado summer vacation. You can even take your relaxation to a whole new level by booking a spa treatment.

8. Sports and Games

Just like the neighborhood parks where your kids hang out in the summer, C Lazy U has sports courts where guests can get their game on. Volleyball, basketball, and even bocce ball await the athletic at heart. Or try a classic western pastime like horseshoes for some friendly competition over a cold drink.

9. Glamping

C Lazy U has created the ultimate camping experience for every member of the family, even the one voted least likely to spend the night in a tent. Our luxury camping experience is no ordinary night in a campground. You’ll have our special Outpost to yourselves, where frilly creature comforts and under-the-stars beauty melt together like the chocolate and marshmallow of a tasty s’more. We’ve thought of everything to make sure camping gets remembered as a safe, comfortable, and super-fun pastime.

10. Woodsie Breakfast on Fridays

Dining at the ranch is a rustic gourmet adventure year-round, but during the summer we uphold an extra-special tradition for breakfast on Fridays. Get out of the dining hall for a cookout breakfast outside, where we watch the day warm up over the reservoir with a campfire roaring. On the breakfast menu are drool-worthy items like homemade donuts, trout, fresh fruit, and cowboy coffee.

10 Tips to Throw an Unforgettable Destination Wedding

When it comes to wedding planning, there is a notorious amount of preparation, details and stress — and with destination wedding planning, it can be doubled (or even tripled). Not many couples will take on the challenge of a destination wedding; in fact, only a fifth of American weddings are destination weddings, according to The Knot.

wedding family

Destination wedding planning in a far-off location may take a bit more thought, but the adventure offers so much opportunity. With these unique and fun destination wedding ideas, you can make it a truly once-in-a-lifetime event.

1. Send some goodies before the wedding.

While most guests will just be expecting a welcome bag upon arrival, send a little something extra a few weeks before the wedding to show your appreciation for their RSVP. A mini language guide and a personalized travel tote are perfect for destination weddings abroad, while rustic leather luggage tags and a neckerchief in your wedding’s color palette will get guests excited for a vacation at a dude ranch in Colorado.

2. Set up a website.

Having a wedding website is now commonplace, but you can take yours a step further. In addition to bridal party introductions and hotel information, include a guide to the region to which your guests will travel. A packing list — which can be developed with help from the destination wedding venue’s wedding planner — will help guests pack appropriately, while a list of nearby sights and things to do will get them excited for the trip. As you schedule events, add them to the website as a calendar to make sure guests stay up to date.

3. Greet guests as they arrive.

If most of your guests are staying at one location, which is typical of destination weddings, make sure that all guests are greeted at the front desk by a member of staff, a family member or a member of the wedding party that can inform them of the goings-on. Along with a friendly smile, offer a drink — perhaps a themed cocktail or hot spiced rum for winter weddings.

4. Organize a regular gathering time.

Chances are, your guests will be staying longer than a weekend at your destination wedding venue. Designate a certain time during the day for family and friends to meet up, such heading to the pool for midday swims or gathering around the bonfire after dinner. Destination wedding resorts often have other guests on the property during a wedding, making it more difficult for the wedding guests to stick together — unlike C Lazy U Ranch, which is rented exclusively for wedding guests.

5. Stash some necessities at the front desk.

A missing button, a hairbrush: there are dozens of things to forget when traveling away from home. Instead of making guests purchase these items from the nearby pharmacy or the front desk, stash away a selection of items for guests free of charge.

6. Do away with normal welcome gifts.

Out-of-town guests staying overnight in a hotel often receive welcome gifts consisting of bottles of water, some snacks and perhaps a few aspirin for the morning after. Make your welcome gifts reflect the wedding and the location, including gifts such as a local travel guide, sunscreen for sunny locations and an itinerary for activities you’ve planned. Smaller weddings at more exclusive resorts such as C Lazy U Ranch offer more wiggle room in the budget to offer luxury gifts such as a complimentary treatment at the spa.

7. Highlight local traditions.

During the stay, have guests attend a class that features local cuisine, crafts or traditions. At C Lazy U Ranch, guests can appreciate all that Colorado has to offer at cattle pushing clinics or Hike to Yoga lessons with a view.

8. Give away departing gifts.

Since not all guests may leave at the same time, give guests one final sendoff upon checkout with a travel kit: a blindfold or earplugs, some salty and sweet snacks and a puzzle book such as Sudoku to keep them sane on the journey home.

9. Send photo books as thank-you cards.

The cost of a destination wedding is actually comparable to (or less than) hometown or nearby big city weddings, which can be due, in part, to the smaller guest list. As a thank you for guests for traveling so far, ditch the standard thank-you card and send a small photo book, each personalized with a handwritten message.

10. Choose a location that merits a trip.

The location you choose will make or break your destination wedding. While you may love the idea of marrying in, for example, that little remote village you saw on the cover of a magazine, beauty may not be all your guests are after. A destination wedding venue such as C Lazy U Ranch appeals to everyone — adventure- and leisure-seekers, nature lovers and foodies — to ensure your destination wedding is a trip to remember.

10 Winter Weekend Getaway Moments for Families to Share

winter weekend getaway ideas

Family getaway moments are the stuff that childhood memories are made of. During a Colorado weekend winter getaway at C Lazy U Ranch, days are filled with magic moments for kids that will crystallize into lifelong memories.

1. Feeding the Ranch Animals

After breakfast, each day on the ranch starts with the option to jump on the feed wagon and visit the horses in the meadow. Here’s a chance to get face-to-face with a herd of over 185 horses with our wrangles on the feed wagon.

2. Riding Horses in the Snow

At C Lazy U, horseback riding is a year-round activity. We believe there’s something magical about horse-drawn sleigh rides and horseback riding through snowy mountain scenery. Kids feel like they’re inside the pages of a storybook.

3. Making Snow Angels

Abundant fresh snow at C Lazy U sets the stage for all sorts of whimsical winter weekend snow-play. You’ll never run out of white stuff for building a family of snowmen, making snow angels, launching snowballs, or even constructing a fort.

4. Spinning Downhill on a Snow Tube

C Lazy U has built the ultimate snow tubing hill! A snowmobile tows riders up to the top. Add a twist to the push, and the tube will go spinning down. It’s a dizzying rush followed by a smooth finish in the flat landing area below.

5. Holding the Reins of a Dogsled

With special advance arrangements, C Lazy U can add the magic of this arctic tradition to your winter weekend getaway. Meet the team of adorable, well-trained Alaskan huskies and hold on as they take you for a dogsled ride of a lifetime.

6. Scoring a goal on the Open-Air Hockey Rink

An afternoon hockey game is a daily tradition in the wintertime here at the ranch. We have skates and sticks to lend to players of all ages, and even a Zamboni machine to keep the ice smooth and safe for all to use. The ice rink is also open for figure skating or just wobbling around on two blades in the Colorado sunshine.

7. Breaking fresh trails

Even in snowshoes, you still sink into truly fresh powder. For the aerobic workout of your life, try breaking fresh trails across the snowy landscape. Not only will you burn a ton of calories, but you’re likely to be rewarded by seeing wildlife that you won’t see from the beaten path…bringing us to our next moment:

8. Spotting Wildlife

C Lazy U sits on 8,500 acres of land – an alpine wilderness area that is home to an impressive amount of wildlife. During the winter months, guests have spotted moose, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, marmots, pikas, and many other critters prancing through the snow – who knows what you will spot when on the ranch!

9. Feasting in the Dining Room

A major highlight during a winter weekend getaway at the ranch is the gourmet dining! Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the family dining room of the main lodge, where everyone comes together to enjoy the gourmet Colorado-inspired fare.

10. Warming up by the Fire

Whether it’s the crackling fire pit outside the main lodge or the cozy fireplaces inside the cabins, there’s always a fire roaring to warm up cold hands and cheeks after a day outside. That’s what the C Lazy U luxury dude ranch is all about – quality family time together in an atmosphere of cozy comfort.

5 Facts About Fly Fishing in Colorado

Here at C Lazy U Ranch, we can’t wait for fly fishing season to arrive. April feels a lot like limbo for anglers; the warmer weather makes us want to throw on our waders, but weather conditions can change in an instant. For now, we’re getting our fly fishing fix by sharing 5 facts about fly fishing in Colorado:

4 guys fishing

Colorado fly fishing is some of the best there is

Colorado is home to over 9,000 miles of rivers, 2,000 natural lakes and hundreds of crystal-clear streams. And with a diversity of fish species, there’s no shortage of angling challenges to tackle.

Whether you’re just learning how to fly fish or a master angler, you’ll find the perfect fly fishing in the Centennial state.

Colorado has golden waters

We don’t mean the water is actually gold out here; Colorado has bodies of water that are considered “gold medal” waters.

Gold medal waters are rivers and lakes that offer anglers exceptional opportunities to catch large trout. Out of Colorado’s 9,000+ miles of trout streams, about 300 of them have received the “Gold Medal” designation. The US Department of Natural Resources has also awarded gold-medal status to several Colorado lakes and 12 Colorado fisheries.

instructor fishing

In Colorado, fish can fly

The fish anglers catch in the beautiful alpine lakes atop the Rocky Mountains weren’t necessarily spawned there — they were flown there.

Every year, CPW stocks close to 350,000 trout into 500+ backcountry lakes across the state. How? By ariel stocking. CPW has a fleet of four airplanes that handle the task of stocking Colorado’s waters with fingerlings (tiny trout that are less than an inch long).

The pilots fly the tiny trout to their new homes and then, with the click of a button, drop them 150 feet above the water! Ariel stocking makes Colorado fly fishing possible.

Trophies don’t go on the mantle

Unlike most sports, when it comes to fly fishing, you don’t get to take trophies home. Trophy fish are fish of a certain species and size that you have to put back.

We’ve laid out the guidelines for what constitutes a trophy fish in Colorado. You don’t have to worry about memorizing the guidelines; your fly fishing guide knows how many fish per day you can take home and what constitutes a trophy fish that must be released.

Permits do more than let you fish

Everyone who wants to fish in any of Colorado’s lakes, streams or rivers needs a permit to do so. And it’s the purchasing of these permits, Habitat Stamps, and licenses that actually make fly fishing (or any kind of fishing) possible in Colorado!

This is because Colorado Parks and Wildlife doesn’t receive general tax dollars to fund its fish hatcheries, stocking efforts or conservation programs. So the money CPW generates from selling fishing permits goes directly into funding, caring for and supporting Colorado’s fishing resources.

Fly fishing at C Lazy U Ranch

As one of only six Orvis-endorsed fly fishing lodges in the entire state of Colorado, C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect place to cast your line — especially if it’s your first time. We offer guests a 30 minute, complimentary lesson to learn the basics of fly fishing right here on our pond.

Learn more about C Lazy U’s guided fishing program, two miles of private stream, private fishing permits and the other angling opportunities at our Colorado dude ranch.

5 Great Ways to Enhance Corporate Retreats

group retreats

At a time when a newfound emphasis has been placed on quality work environments, corporate retreats have become increasingly popular. At C Lazy U guest ranch in Colorado, we know how to incorporate creativity and innovation into business retreats, with an unbeatable selection of activities and meeting spaces. Here are five ideas to enhance your next corporate retreat:

Find the GREAT in the Great Outdoors

There is nothing “retreat-like” in a corporate outing to a local hotel’s bare meeting space or reception room, and recent studies indicate that spending active time outdoors, and away from electronic devices improves creativity and problem solving by as much as 50 percent! Destinations like C Lazy U, which has 8,500 acres of open space, but is still easily accessible from a city, like Denver, creates an ideal setting to get away from it all without the hassle of traveling far and wide to do so. After all, time is money!


While we understand improving workplace cohesion and productivity is the main objective of a corporate retreat, we also know the importance of ensuring each member of your team is able to provide their peak performance. By scheduling a spa treatment or a tranquil nature walk, employees will find themselves revitalized and may even be able to approach key matters from a whole new angle.

Make the Most of Your Meeting Space

While collaborating in the same boardroom may be okay at the office, incorporating different work environments should be a corporate retreat priority. The same surroundings typically breed the same ideas, and a little change in scenery can really boost the imagination. Whether you plan a meeting at our re-imagined haybarn, breakouts in our outdoor ‘glamping’ tents, or a barbecue at our beautiful outdoor ‘Woodsie’ overlook, hosting events within unique spaces will increase imaginative work-flow at any meeting.


Did you know that recent studies also show that physical activity increases brain function? Any type of activity in which groups are encouraged to work together to solve a problem helps people find news ways to work together. And, if you can make sure your team breaks a sweat while doing so, you can make your retreats even more productive! C Lazy U is home to some of the best summer and winter group and team building activities in the Rocky Mountains. Groups can find new ways to work together through activities such as cattle roping, teepee building and navigating our ropes course.

Fuel the Machine

Let’s face it, half of the fun of leaving town – for work, or play – is the excuse to eat delicious, new food. While cheese plates and crackers may suffice at the office, a quality meal at a corporate retreat can only help to “fuel the collective machine” of your organization. At C Lazy U, our gourmet, family-style dining utilizes all the best seasonal ingredients and meat products the region has to offer, leaving our guests ready to take on anything the retreat throws at them!

5 Must-See Locations In The Rocky Mountains

C Lazy U guest ranch is famous for many reasons – its luxurious accommodations, mouthwatering food, all-inclusive activities, and breathtaking views of the Colorado mountains.  Located just to the south of Rocky Mountain National Park, the dude ranch boasts some of the most beautiful sights in the American West.  Read on to discover 5 of the must-see locations in and around the ranch all year long. 

Related: When Is The Best Time To Go On A Dude Ranch Vacation?  

Woodsie Scenic Lookout 

Located just a quarter-mile from the main ranch, Woodsie provides some of the most cherished views on the ranch. Guests have been enjoying this overlook for over 100 years, and for good reason: standing high above the ranch, you’ll enjoy amazing views of the Willow Creek Reservoir, Colorado’s unforgettable mountain range, towering pines, and colorful aspens. Guests can enjoy breakfast at Woodsie every Friday in the summer or hike up to the lookout on their own.  For a particularly spectacular view, we recommend taking a winter hike up to Woodsie around sunset and enjoying the Alpenglow.   

Woodsie View

Yellow Brick Road 

If you’re chasing Colorado’s fantastic fall colors, follow the Yellow Brick Road. Found along Curtis Ridge, the Yellow Brick Road is a strip of yellow aspen trees that line the trail on both sides. Wondering how this location got its name? In the fall, the leaves blanket the trail, creating a natural Yellow Brick Road. While it’s one of the more secluded locations around the ranch and takes some effort to get to, it’s worth it! You won’t see anything but nature – including elk, moose, and deer. Interested in seeing it for yourself? Talk to the team at the Outfitter’s Cabin about arranging a horseback ride or mountain bike trip.

yellow brick road

Garden Of The Gods Rock Outcropping 

Located a little over a mile from the main ranch you’ll find the Garden of the Gods rock outcropping.  Featuring unique rocks and expansive views of the ranch and pastures, you may be able to see the entire herd of horses below. Many guests sit back, relax, and take in the views while more adventurous guests can try some independent rock climbing or bouldering. 

garden of gods view

Lazy You Spa 

If you’re looking for peace, serenity, and an amazing ambiance, the Lazy You Spa is just what you need. In addition to luxurious spa services, guests can enjoy a unique view of the Colorado River. The spa is built entirely of reclaimed timber and features glass-bottom floors, giving you a one-of-a-kind look at the river while you pamper yourself. Visit the ranch between May and October to enjoy this exceptional view! 

the c lazy u spa

Baldy Mountain Summit

Want a 360° view of the ranch? Ask one of our guides to take you to the top of the summit we affectionately call Baldy. This beautiful mountaintop is easy to access year-round through guided hiking, horseback riding, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling. In the winter, guests can even ski down from the top right back to the Main Lodge! 

baldy view

Are you looking for some of the most scenic places in the Colorado Rockies? Book your stay at C Lazy U ranch today!

5 Reasons to Go on Spring Break in Colorado

When you hear the words “spring break,” you may think of college kids in Cancun — but spring break is actually something that the whole family can enjoy. The kids are home from school for a week or two, and the parents have to figure out a way to keep them (and themselves) occupied and entertained.

Instead of getting a babysitter, trekking around a too-busy theme park or letting your older kids play video games all day, plan a spring break vacation in Colorado to bring your family closer together.

colorado spring break with the family

1. Get the family moving.

Lounging on the beach is nice, but letting the kids dig in the sand doesn’t quite get all their energy out — and you won’t even get to enjoy the sound of the breaking waves and warmth of the sun. In Colorado, which has again been rated by Gallup’s 2017 State Well-Being Rankings as one of the top five most active states, you’ll never have a shortage of physical activity.

Spring break in Colorado means lots of active outdoor fun. At C Lazy U Ranch, for example, there are tons of winter activities that will get your bodies moving, such as horseback riding, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowtubing and much more. Skiing in Colorado is a given, but there are plenty of activities other than skiing in Colorado if you’re not one for the slopes. In short, there is something active for everybody, even the laziest couch potatoes.

2. Bond with the kids.

When you’re at a ritzy city resort or busy theme park that you’ve been to a million times before, you may not have that much time to really talk with your family. Parents may be too busy relaxing on the beach while the kids have their own fun, or the all-too familiar sights of your yearly vacation destination don’t give you anything new to discuss. It’s the same old, same old once again.

Instead, have an adventure. If you’ve never been to Colorado, your family gets the chance to experience it all together — sparking deep conversations and creating memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

3. Experience the best in nature.

The United States is rich with nature from coast to coast, but Colorado is arguably one of the most beautiful. Its majestic mountain peaks, impossibly tall aspens, wonderful wildlife, and crystal-clear waters make it one of the most breathtaking states in the country.

You may not even have to make any plans — simply walking, hiking, snowshoeing or cross-country skiing throughout the countryside is enough. Getting back to nature is good for your health, too: there have been countless scientific studies that show the benefits that simply being out in nature has on your physical and mental health.

4. Try new things together.

Colorado gives you access to activities and sights you and your kids may have never experienced otherwise. Visitors who come from the flat states of the Midwest will get to speed downhill like they’ve never experienced before, while city kids can get up close and personal with animals they might have only ever seen in a zoo. Exposing your family to new things is a great way to not only enrich their lives, but better your relationship with each other.

5. Create a new family tradition.

A typical spring break at a seaside resort is fun, but if you’ve already hit all the beaches and seen the sights of all those standard spring break destinations, it may be time for something a little different. Surprise your family with a spring break trip to Colorado for a wealth of new experiences — you may just create a new family tradition.

5 Reasons to Host a Family Reunion at CLU

Family reunions don’t happen often enough — and when they do happen, they are too short to spend the quality time you need with your family members, some of whom may have traveled a long way. Instead of a one- or two-day event at your average venue where you simply eat food, chat and go home, go on a family retreat at C Lazy U Ranch to truly reconnect with your kin.

family reunion at C Lazy U Ranch

1. Get some quiet alone time with the family.

A family reunion is meant to bring everyone together, but a busy venue in a city often places you in the company of many strangers instead. C Lazy U, tucked away in the Rocky Mountains and far removed from hustle and bustle of city life, offers families the opportunity to spend time with each other — and our helpful staff, of course. If your family reunion is large enough, you may even be able to rent out the entire ranch.

Because you’re all gathered in one place, you’ll finally get the chance to reconnect with the cousins you spent so much time with as kids, meet new additions to the family, and truly listen to the stories your elders tell.

2. Go on adventures.

Most family reunions feature the typical activities: three-legged races, water balloon tosses, talent shows, scavenger hunts and more. While those games are certainly fun and family-friendly, there are so many more enriching activities to do— and they’re all at C Lazy U.

With our Kids Program, children and teens will be grouped together under the supervision of counselors, giving the adults some time to themselves and the kids the opportunity to explore. Our horseback riding program is the crown jewel of C Lazy U, but there’s so much more to do on the ranch, depending on the season you’ll hold your family reunion: fishing, trap shooting, archery, a ropes course, zip line, mountain biking, ranger tours and much more.

3. Stay together in a family-like setting.

Staying in a hotel can be fun, but it can also be impersonal — there will always be other people staying on your floor or within the same building. C Lazy U offers cozy cabins instead of large buildings, so that each family is close enough together, but gets their own personal space.

Guests can choose individual rooms or full private cabins, some of which feature children’s rooms with twin beds or bunkbeds. Each room is serviced daily by housekeeping, and includes refrigerators, robes, coffee stations and more to make it feel truly like home. With all of its cabins, C Lazy U is like its own little village — and when your family is holding its reunion here, it’s all yours.

4. Spend enough time together.

Family reunions often last just a day or a weekend, but part of that time is often simply saying, “Hello!” to everyone you see or, worse, traveling to the venue. Family reunions at C Lazy U can last a whole week (or less, of course), giving you plenty of time to take advantage of all C Lazy U Ranch’s activities and enjoy each other’s company.

5. Experience a new place together.

C Lazy U is a place unlike any other, so share that unique experience with your entire family. Those who have never been to Colorado can marvel at its natural wonders, while native Coloradans can share the beauty of the state and its culture. No matter where your family comes from, your next family reunion at C Lazy U will be one for the history books.

5 Reasons You Wouldn’t Go on a Dude Ranch Vacation (and Why You’re Wrong)

A dude ranch vacation at C Lazy U is unlike any other: in addition to all the outdoor adventure that comes with the American West, guests enjoy luxury accommodations and endless amenities. Even with all these perks, some vacationers are still hung up on the same-old, same-old trip to the beach, wondering why they’d ever go on a dude ranch vacation — and here’s why they should think about it again.

reasons to go on a dude ranch vacation

Reason #1: “I don’t know how to ride a horse!”

The horseback riding program at C Lazy U is the star of the ranch. Each guest is matched with one of our 200 horses, which are all expertly cared for and trained, for the duration of their stay. Guests don’t have to be expert equestrians to stay at CLU — in fact, some guests have never even been around a horse before!

First-timers are just as welcome as advanced riders, and our staff will be by your side to teach you everything you need to know. The experts won’t feel held back, either: there is enough space on our 8,500 acres for everyone to get their fill of horseback riding.

Reason #2: “I just want to relax.”

C Lazy U Ranch sets schedules for each week, but guests aren’t obligated to take part. If you’d rather spend your days lounging by the spring-fed, heated pool or getting luxurious treatments at the award-winning Lazy You Spa, you can — it’s your vacation, after all.

If you’d like some alone time, you can relax in your own comfortable, cozy cabin: put on your complimentary robe, have a cup of tea, and settle down in front of the large stone fireplace. Luxury is just as important as the horseback riding at C Lazy U, and we make every effort to ensure guests are pampered.

Reason #3: “I want to eat fancy gourmet food, not ranch grub.”

At some vacation destinations, food is an afterthought; breakfasts are standard buffets and dinners are underwhelming. At C Lazy U, however, the cuisine is part of the luxury experience. Dining at the dude ranch means made-to-order breakfasts, a jam-packed lunch menu and an intimate, four-course meal in the evening. The menu changes daily, with seasonal produce, local meat, and an extensive wine, beer and alcohol list to accompany your dinner.

Reason #4:“We have young children.”

Families have been coming to the ranch for years — and some kids have grown up with us! The Kids Program at C Lazy U is renowned for good reason, with tailored activities for all ages. Kids ages three to five are our little cowpokes, and they have plenty of fun with their counselors during activities such as story time, fishing and picnics, while older kids can hit the trails on horseback. Kids younger than three are welcome at the ranch, but need a nanny — for these guests, we offer special discounted rates to ensure kids (and the parents!) can have the time of their lives.

Reason #5: “I’ll be bored!”

When people think “dude ranch vacation,” they often think that horseback riding is the only activity available — but that couldn’t be further from the truth. C Lazy U Ranch offers a plethora of indoor and outdoor ranch activities to ensure that everyone has something to do: archery, trap shooting, zip line and ropes course, tennis, yoga, mountain biking, and much more. Teenagers are the hardest to please, but because the Kids Program puts them all together, they’ll feel as though they’re on their own vacation.

Those who have never considered a dude ranch vacation should let go of all those preconceived notions they have — a vacation at C Lazy U Ranch combines all the luxury of a five-star resort with the rough and tumble adventure of a ranch, making it an ideal spot for a family vacation.

5 Romantic Spots on the Ranch

Romance is built right into C Lazy U Ranch. Its towering mountain backdrop, crystal-clear waters, and relatively remote location in Colorado give couples the rare opportunity to get away from it all in one of the most magical places on earth.

When you’re visiting C Lazy U, whether you’re there as a couple or with the whole family, there are certain spots on the ranch that best lend themselves for a stolen kiss under the moonlight.

And there is no better time to sneak away than on the most romantic day of the year: Valentine’s Day.

Woodsie Overlook

There is a good reason that the Woodsie Overlook, a spectacular spot overlooking the Willow Creek Reservoir, is one of our most popular wedding sites. Standing high above the ranch with amazing views, you’ll feel as though you and your loved one are the only ones on earth.

woodsie overlook

Take a leisurely hike with just the two of you to the Woodsie Overlook for some much-needed alone time – and perhaps bring a picnic and a blanket or two to get extra cozy.

The Spa

The Lazy You Spa isn’t just for a solo soak in the tub or a massage for one: it’s the perfect Tranquility sign by spaplace for couples to reconnect. In the summer, you’ll lay in a personal open-air cabin along the banks of Willow Creek; in the winter, the spa is relocated to one of our winter spa locations or, if you prefer, your own personal cabin.

While you can both indulge in some solo treatments such as a facial or massage, you can also pamper yourselves together. Enjoy a couple’s massage and soak side by side in our massive copper tubs – complete with champagne and strawberries, of course!

Majestic Pond

The pond at C Lazy U, though close to the pool and tennis courts, is still removed from the hustle and bustle of the ranch. Surrounded by lush green fields and wildflower-filled meadows, Majestic Pond can be a peaceful place at the right time: after dinner, take a walk around its tranquil waters, or start your day early with a cup of coffee right at the water’s edge.

But sometimes fun is what you need to rekindle your relationship: take a spin in a paddleboat in the summer, or race around the ice in the winter on skates.

Out on the Trail

One of the best parts of a dude ranch vacation at C Lazy U is experiencing some of the most beautiful landscape Colorado has to offer – and simply being in the heart of it can get yours pumping. Head out on horseback to take it all in on a leisurely ride, either in the summer or the winter when a hush falls over the ranch.

For some real time out in nature, bundle up and trek the four miles of cross-country ski trails – best yet, guests are free to go it alone, meaning you and your loved one can take some much-needed time for yourselves.

Around the Fire

Nothing is more romantic than cozying up around a roaring fire, snuggled up under a blanket with a warm drink in hand. Just steps from the pool is our grand fire pit, which gives you the opportunity to mingle with other guests under a starry sky – but even more romantic is relaxing in your own room.

Roasting marshmallow on a bonfire

Most of C Lazy U’s guest rooms feature massive stone fireplaces and plush, comfortable couches. After a long day of riding, hiking, skiing, fishing or one of the many other ranch activities, you can put on your PJs and have a cozy night in with each other in front of the fire.

At C Lazy U Ranch, love is always in the air – so take advantage of it and put the spark back in your relationship at one of the most romantic places in the world.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About C Lazy U Ranch

After over 100 years as Colorado’s premier guest ranch, C Lazy U Ranch is known for giving guests a once-in-a-lifetime experience that combines the luxury of an all-inclusive resort with the adventure of the American West. But there’s much more to C Lazy U than five-star amenities, world-class horseback riding, gourmet dining, and relaxing spa services.

Close up of pool

This is a special place where memories are made, families come together, and bonds are forged. Get to know the ranch better by discovering these five things you didn’t know about C Lazy U.

1. We Have the Freshest Water on Earth

Our entire water supply comes from the crystal-clear natural springs flowing from the hillside above the guest ranch, including our drinking water and the water that fills our pools and spas. In fact, the water from our taps is about as clean and fresh as one can find.

If you really wanted to, you could drink it straight from the source! But we think the complimentary reusable water bottles we give each guest do the trick. It’s important to stay hydrated at high elevation, especially when you’re horseback riding all day. Drinking the freshest water helps make that easy.

View of lake and mountains ins summer

2. We’re a Family-Owned Business

From family reunions to large family vacations, our Colorado guest ranch is all about family. In fact, C Lazy U Ranch has always been family-owned! Currently, the Singleton and Baily/Stanford families share ownership of the guest ranch. It’s not unusual for the owners to be on-site personally welcoming you for dinner, taking you on a scenic bike ride, sharing a bottle of wine, or having you over to their house for cocktails.

3. Guests Can’t Wait to Come Back

Once you’ve experienced the magic that is C Lazy U Ranch, you can’t help but come back. On average, 55% of our summer guests rebook for the following year upon checkout. Depending on the week, that number may be as high as 96%!

Woman sitting with three kids

With the warm sun, wildflowers, and Colorado wildlife on the trail, summertime is one of the most popular times for a horseback riding family vacation. Come summertime, our cabins are coveted, and once you get the cabin you like, you’ll want to keep it!

4. We Have Some Prestigious Awards Under our Belt

In our 100+ year history, our spectacular service has earned us quite a few awards, and we’re proud of every single one. From our award-winning wine to our Orvis-endorsed fly fishing, we’re proud to create unforgettable experiences for every guest.  We’re particularly honored that our ranch is the only resort in Colorado named on Travel + Leisure’s list of the Top 100 Resorts in the World (2018) and is in the top 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts.

5. You Can Buy Property At C Lazy U

Guests who fall in love with C Lazy U Ranch don’t have to go home after their vacation is over. Check in forever by buying one of the 35-acre properties we’re offering on site. You can by land on which to build your dream Colorado vacation home, or you can buy one of the beautiful homes currently available. But you have to act fast; these mountain homes don’t come on the market very often.

Group of horses feeding by barn

Once you purchase your C Lazy U Colorado ranch estate, you’re granted exclusive membership rights that let you take advantage of everything our luxury guest ranch has to offer. Learn more about the benefits of ranch membership and check out our Colorado land for sale or C Lazy U mountain homes for sale.

6.  C Lazy U Is A Working Dude Ranch 

We always go above and beyond for our guests, so why not add an extra fact? As a working dude ranch, C Lazy offers a truly authentic experience. Not only do we care for over 200 horses, 30 cows, and 3 donkeys, but we also produce about 300 tons of hay each year and irrigate our own hayfields and pastures. 

Experience Everything C Lazy U Ranch Has to Offer

Now that you’ve gotten to know us a little better, come on down and see what a Colorado dude ranch vacation is all about! Contact us today to make a reservation.

5 Tips to Help You Be Prepared for Horseback Riding in the Winter

At C Lazy U Ranch, the preeminent activity is, of course, horseback riding. Every day, guests are encouraged to mount their trusted steeds and explore our expansive ranch with the help of our experienced wranglers — even when it gets a little chilly out.

Colorado winters aren’t known for being particularly severe, but there can be a lot of snow. If you’re used to riding horses in mild, sunny weather (or you’re not used to riding at all, then here are some tips), horseback riding in the winter on mountainous terrain might sound a little challenging. But if you come to the stables prepared, you’re guaranteed to have a good time on the snowy trails!

group going on trail in snow

5 Tips for Winter Horseback Riding

1. Dress for the weather

Those who aren’t familiar with horseback riding may not know that it can be a pretty strenuous activity, especially when riding at a gallop. While you’re riding, you’re using muscles to balance yourself, especially in the legs, and you can work up quite a sweat — but sweating in cold weather is never good, as the sweat can freeze and cause you to get even colder.

The key to horseback riding in the winter comfortably is by dressing in layers. Your base layer should be loose (but not too loose) and made of a breathable and moisture-wicking fabric. A turtleneck is ideal, since it will cover your throat and prevent air from entering your clothing. Add a long-sleeved shirt, and top it off with a waterproof winter jacket. If it’s especially cold, you can add another layer under the jacket, such as a vest, to further insulate your body.

Not many people pay attention to what they wear on their legs, but they’ve still got to stay warm, too. Make sure not to wear those slippery waterproof pants, as you may find it more difficult to stay on your horse; choose winter riding breeches instead, which are still waterproof and often feature a soft thermal lining to keep the chill away. Don a pair of thick, breathable socks to keep your toes warm, and don’t forget one of the most important pieces of clothing of all: winter riding boots. The boots should be warm, waterproof and tall, but too bulky that they’ll get caught in the stirrups.

Check out our winter and spring packing list for more specifics on what you should bring on your next winter family vacation.

horseback riding in snow

2. Warm up beforehand

Before you get in the saddle, do a few stretches, move around a little and get your blood flowing — you don’t want to feel stiff when you’re already on the trail.

Learn some new yoga stretches that will get you ready to ride horses in the winter.

3. Drink your water

It’s easy to forget to drink water when it’s so cold out, but staying hydrated is essential to keeping yourself warm. Horseback riding is still exercise, after all! You may even want to bring along a warm beverage to sip while you rest.

4. Protect against the sun

Even if the sky isn’t clear, there are still UV rays shining down, and the white snow can intensify those rays. Wear sunscreen out on the trail, making sure to get every bit that’s exposed, and wear a pair of your favorite UV-blocking sunglasses.

snow horses

5. Be prepared to move a little slower

Plowing fiercely through fresh powder, clouds of snow exploding around you, may sound like something out of the winter-themed Wild West adventure. But a horse can’t maintain that level of activity without working up a sweat — and sweating in the cold is just as harmful to horses as it is to humans. Horses also take a lot longer to cool down, and their thick coats stay wet with sweat far longer.

Horses do best on powdery snow, but they can’t quite handle ice. Going nice and slow on trails will avoid any accidents, as patches of ice can be lurking under friendly-looking fresh snow. You may also have to cut your trek short if the weather turns or if the trail turns out to be too treacherous.

With its plethora of winter activities, luxury lodging and gourmet meals, C Lazy U is a unique Colorado mountain resort destination that whole family can enjoy. Learn more about our Colorado Winter Vacation Packages!

5 Tips to Make the Best of your Horseback Riding Adventure


Horses are beautiful, gentle creatures and horseback riding is an ideal way to explore and see the outdoors, especially as a part of your Colorado dude ranch vacation! Here are some tips to keep in mind when first getting on the saddle to ensure a positive attitude and experience on your horseback riding adventure. Keep these in mind, and you’ll be a pro and ready to show off your skills in no time!

1. Honesty

Be honest with your riding instructor about your height, weight and skill level. A horseback ride is intended to be fun, but being paired with the right horse is the foundation for any successful ride.

2. Come Prepared

Rides can range in length of time, but you always want to be prepared for anything the unpredictable Colorado environment may throw your way. We encourage our riders to wear proper pants (full-length jeans), foot appeal (thick-soled boots with a heel) and head wear (a hat that will remain secure during a ride, a cowboy hat with a chin tie is preferable).

3. Keep your Chin Up

Remaining alert while on a horse is imperative, especially when riding a new horse on new terrain. By keeping your head up you are not only maintaining good balance and control of your horse, but you are also more aware of any dangers that may be out of the field of vision of your instructor or horse.

4. Remain Calm

Horses are sensitive animals, and can often times sense when a rider is stressed, worried or irritated. Remaining calm and putting your trust in your instructor and horse is the best way to ensure your ride is enjoyable. If you do find yourself in a situation where you do not feel safe, be sure to bring it to the attention of your instructor, as horseback riding is meant to be enjoyable for all.

5. Have FUN

The most important tip we could ever provide a rider would be to have fun! Riding at the ranch is for enjoyment, and C Lazy U offers rides throughout the property’s more than 8,500 acres that feature incredible views and beautiful scenery.

5 Unique Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Ideas

wedding rehearsal ideas_

Wedding season is full of celebratory parties, but the rehearsal dinner is often limited to fine dining amongst close family and friends. While we understand that rehearsal dinner is not the main event, we still believe there is plenty of room for fun! Here are five unique ways to liven up the night before your wedding:

1.Get Dancing!

The dance floor is not just for the reception! A quality dance session at a rehearsal dinner is a great way to loosen up your wedding party, and maybe even inspire a choreographed dance at the wedding, like this one. C Lazy U brides have found line-dancing lessons to be a great fit for their rehearsal dinners. A little time with our instructors, and your wedding party will look like line dancing pros!

2.Brand Your Love

While some couples offer small gifts to their wedding party as a token of their appreciation, others like to do something a little more permanent. We love when wedding parties brand their boots with our logo, or better yet, when a couple creates their own brand to commemorate their special day. What better way to close out a rehearsal dinner than sitting around a fire with those you love, and putting your mark on their “sole?”

3. Ranch Barbeque

Not interested in a big fancy meal the night before you walk down the aisle? A fun way to avoid the added pressure of a fancy rehearsal dinner is to instead throw a deliciously casual barbeque. With hot dogs, hamburgers and more summertime favorites, a barbeque is a great opportunity to enjoy a laid back evening before a day full of dress-up.

4. Drink Options Galore

While champagne and wine may be the typical drink for such occasions, a fun way to make a rehearsal dinner your own is by offering alternative drink options, such as beer or whiskey flights, wine tastings, or even creating your own signature rehearsal dinner cocktail.

5. Lawn Games

With the stress of your wedding day quickly approaching, a rehearsal dinner should be a chance to relax and enjoy the company of all those involved. We suggest throwing some friendly competition into the mix. What better way to do so than by playing some fun lawn games? From corn hole to ladder golf, lawn games are a great way to relieve stress and help you enjoy the time you have with those closest to you.

Whatever you decide to incorporate into your perfect rehearsal dinner, just don’t forget the fun!

7 Reasons You Should Visit C Lazy U Ranch This Winter

When’s the last time you went away for a week or weekend to relax and explore the mountains? As we continue to move toward a snowy Colorado winter, it’s time to get away from the city and spend some time in mountain country at C Lazy U all-inclusive resort.

kid in snow tube

C Lazy U is a luxury dude ranch in the beautiful Colorado Rocky Mountains. Our ranch resort host families, friends, and companies all year long, and our long list of activities and events provides fun for everyone. Plan a trip to the resort this winter, and experience what it’s like to sleep, eat, and live on a western ranch.

7 Reason to Visit C Lazy U for your Next Winter Vacation

1. Go Snow Tubing with the Family

One of the most popular activities at the C Lazy U ranch every winter is tubing. Snow tubing in Colorado is a great activity for both adults and children, as it doesn’t require as much equipment as an activity like skiing. You can go out for an hour, or spend the whole afternoon going down and up the hill.

2. Take Advantage of our President’s Day Weekend Special

Don’t have plans for President’s Day this year? Consider a trip to the ranch with the whole family! C Lazy U is offering a $100 booking credit* for our President’s Day weekend special which requires a two-night stay from Wednesday, February 13 until Friday, February 22, 2019. Since this special takes place around Valentine’s Day, the ranch will be providing a supervised kids program Friday through Monday so the adults can have a romantic dinner date away. We will be joined by the ever talented Denver based singer Hazel Miller as our headliner Saturday night.

*$100 booking credit is only valid for new reservations. Can’t be combined with any other specials or offers. Credit is non-transferable. Only one credit per booking party. To qualify for the credit you must have a minimum of 2 people for 2 nights at the prevailing room rate.

3. Go on a Romantic Sleigh Ride

There’s nothing quite as special as going on a cozy sleigh ride with your partner. All winter long, C Lazy U offers sleigh rides to guests! Explore the ranch from a two-horse sleigh, and get up close with the other 200 horses on our property. This makes for an incredible group activity, as 12 people can go on the sleigh ride at once.

sleigh ride

4. Have a Spring Break Family Vacation

It’s never too early to start planning your spring break vacation! Give your family a break they’ll never forget with our Family Spring Break Vacation special. The parents will enjoy the gourmet meals our award-winning chefs will serve up, and the kids will enjoy the animals around the ranch, along with the endless amount of activities in the snow. The family can start the day with a little skiing, then warm up in the hot tub or inside in our game room.

5. Relax in the Spa

Another reason why you should head to the ranch this chilly winter season is to relax and unwind in the Lazy You Spa. Our award-winning services will loosen you up after a long day on the slopes. For your convenience, we transform your cabin into your own spa, or you can reserve one of our tranquil winter spa rooms.   

spa room
Imagine a tranquil massage by the river as a perfect way to relax on your all-inclusive ranch vacation.

6. Ski Before the Season is Over

Skiing in Colorado is like surfing in San Diego — it’s a must! Before the season ends, head on up to C Lazy U to take advantage of Colorado’s most beautiful ski trails, while also resting in luxurious cabins and eating chef-prepared meals. We partner with local ski resorts to help organize lift tickets and transportation to the mountain.

7. Find Your Inner Cowgirl

Need a trip away with the girls? Yogini legend Cathy Woods is coming to C Lazy U for three-day Body, Mind, Equine™ Women’s Retreat. During this all-inclusive yoga event, horses and yoga will be combined to renew your mind, strengthen your body, and become a conscious rider. Whether you’re seasoned in riding and yoga or you’re completely new to both, this yoga retreat accommodates every woman.

Learn more about our all-inclusive winter resort at C Lazy U’s Colorado winter activities.

7 Ways to Bond With Your Family at the Ranch

Guests know C Lazy U Ranch for being a family’s dream vacation spot, with tons of adventurous activities, comfortable family-style cabins and food that even the pickiest children can’t resist. Couple those amenities with the famed Kids Program, and you’ve got yourself a family vacation spot that you’ll keep coming back to.

bond with family at the dude ranch

Those that want to take the opportunity to truly bond with their family members while vacationing at C Lazy U can take part in the ranch’s top 7 family-bonding activities.

Catch Your First Fish

As one of only five Orvis-endorsed fly fishing lodges in Colorado, C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect spot for the kids to catch their first fish. Fly fishing enthusiasts can impart their knowledge on the young ones, while first timers can get a complimentary one-hour lesson on the pond. And with private stretches of the Colorado River, you can experience this precious moment privately in one of the most beautiful locations in the U.S.

Challenge Yourself on the Ropes Course

Work together as a team and take on the CLU ropes course: two levels of extreme physical challenges that will take you through a tandem rock wall; vertical playpen; spider web; log bridge; lava boxes (a favorite for the kids!); and the Leap of Faith, a 30-foot jump that takes some guts to complete. Split your family into teams to see who can finish the course the fastest or compete individually to crown the winner of the ropes course — however you take on this thrilling challenge, you’ll have fun as a family.

Explore the Rocky Mountains

Take a walk in the wilderness to not only connect with nature but connect with your family. Schedule a guided hike with one of our knowledgeable ranch hands, who can teach the kids (and the adults, of course) all about the flora and fauna of the Rocky Mountains.

Start Your Cowboy Training

C Lazy U Ranch is a working ranch: not only are there over 200 horses, there’s a whole herd of cattle. Earn your cowboy hat by joining a cattle clinic after a rigorous horseback ride — the camaraderie you feel when rounding up these majestic animals is rare, and experiencing it with your family can make it a special memory that you’ll treasure for years to come.

Once you’ve worked on your skills, the whole family can participate in the Shodeo, held every Saturday afternoon. The kids demonstrate their new horsemanship skills as the parents cheer them on, while the adults put on a little performance of their own.

Go Glamping

C Lazy U’s ranch accommodations are cozy, comfortable and chic, but there is something about sleeping under the stars. Take your family on a camping adventure in Colorado right at the ranch — luxury camping, that is! You don’t have to give up the comfort of a cabin when glamping at CLU, thanks to our beautifully appointed tent, which features a king-sized bed or three twin beds, a fire pit and, most importantly, the best views at the ranch.

Learn Some Survival Skills

You may never end up in a doomsday scenario, but that doesn’t mean your family can’t learn some new survival skills. Sign up for archery with the family to see who can get closest to the bullseye, or practice your gun skills with trap shooting. Both activities have extensive safety briefings beforehand — not only will the kids learn about the sport, they’ll learn the importance of safety as well.

For those with younger kids, hatchet throwing is ideal: safe for kids ages 6 and up, this activity is offered twice daily in a safe, controlled environment. Start practicing your aim!

Hit the Trails on a Family Horseback Ride

Horseback riding is C Lazy U Ranch’s pride and joy. Families at the ranch enjoy daily trail rides — the kids with the kids and the adults with the adults — but there are weekly family rides to enjoy the outdoors together. Exploring the trails as a family is the perfect way to round out your week at C Lazy U — and the best way to remember your vacation.

7 Ways to Celebrate a Colorado-Style Valentine’s Day

valentines day in Colorado
Up in the Colorado high country, folks have a special way of showing their affection for each other. Forget the traditional city-slicking clichés of restaurant dinners, rose bouquets, and chocolate boxes: romance here is all about outdoor fun in the Rocky Mountain fresh air.

Watch out for Cupid’s arrow with your sweetie this Feb. 14 at any of these only-in-Colorado Valentine’s Day weekend activities and events.

    1. Dude Ranch Getaway

It’s not too late to book a stay at Colorado’s premier dude ranch, C Lazy U. Take advantage of special President’s Day pricing, which runs from Feb. 13–20. Add a romantic twist by leaving the kids at home and spending time in the Lazy You Spa for indulgences such as a couple’s massage or a soak in the twin copper bathtubs with a view.

    1. Royal Gorge Train

Take part in a Centennial State tradition that has been running strong for decades. If you’ve never been on the Royal Gorge historic train route near Cañon City, there’s no better way to experience it than on the grand Valentine’s Day train, complete with gourmet dining (lunch or dinner) and jaw-dropping views of the canyon. This is no ordinary train ride on any old day—for the occasion, each lady on board will be gifted a long-stem rose. The train ride is available Valentine’s Day weekend, on Saturday, Feb. 11, and Sunday, Feb. 12.

    1. Loveland Fire and Ice Festival

Loveland, Colorado, takes its nickname as the “Sweetheart City” very seriously. Every year, the city goes all out for Valentine’s Day with a multi-day festival packed with love-themed performances and events. Layer up and break out the hand warmers for fireworks, ice sculpting, craft brews, food trucks, and great live music. Bring the whole family or just your significant other: there’s something here for everyone. The festivities kick off on Friday, Feb. 10.

    1. Mass Wedding at Red Rocks

Elope the Colorado way with an official wedding at Red Rocks Amphitheatre — along with hundreds of other couples! For the 12th year running, local radio station 103.5 The Fox will sponsor this legendary V-Day event, in which lovebirds of all feathers flock to Colorado’s famed outdoor amphitheater to say their “I dos” for the first time or to renew their vows.

    1. Denver Valentine’s Day 5K at Washington Park

For those sticking around the Mile High City, shed the box-of-chocolate calories in the city’s favorite place to stay fit outside—Washington Park. On Feb. 12, join hundreds of others for a 5K dash, complete with fanfare, a photo op with Cupid, and a fun run for the kids. Dress up as your favorite famous couple and compete to win the costume contest! You can even go solo: check out the kissing booth and “spin the bottle” at the finish line.

    1. Colorado Hot Springs Getaway

When it comes to hot springs, Colorado is well stocked. Favorites among the locals are Strawberry Hill in Steamboat Springs, Sulphur Springs near Granby, Mount Princeton Hot Spring and Cottonwood Hot Springs near Buena Vista, Orvis Hot Springs in Ouray, and Glenwood Springs. The pools and baths in each of these resorts is a piece of Colorado history, and also the setting of plenty of steamy memories for Colorado couples.

    1. Ice Skating on Evergreen Lake

Find out why CNN and Sunset Magazine list Colorado’s Evergreen as one of the 10 most beautiful outdoor ice skating rinks in the world. It’s the largest Zamboni-groomed outdoor rink on earth, featuring plenty of space for both a main rink and 11 hockey rinks. After gliding (or wobbling!) hand-in-hand around on the ice, warm up with some hot cocoa in the cozy Lake House while you enjoy the view of the pine-covered foothills on the horizon. Turn up the romance with night skating under the lights.

8 Reasons To Plan A Winter Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Named by DudeRanch.com as the “premier Dude Ranch in Colorado,” C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect destination for your winter vacation. Think of it as a “Winter Wonderland Escape,” with an array of fun, family-friendly, winter activities at your fingertips, including:

Horsebacking riding in snow
The horses wear special shoes for winter trail rides in the snow here at our year-round luxury dude ranch in Colorado.

Winter Horseback Riding 

Horseback riding in the winter? It’s true. C Lazy U Dude Ranch offers winter horseback riding both indoors and out for our guests. Choose to ride in our heated 12,000 square-foot indoor arena or take in the stunning beauty of the outdoors with a snowy trail ride over the hills and through the unmatched Rocky Mountain landscape. 

For guests who are enjoying a family vacation, C Lazy U offers guided family trail rides with trails for beginners and for more experienced riders. 

Each winter horseback ride is unique and full of magical moments.

Ice Skating & Ice Hockey 

Our Zamboni-groomed pond is the ideal place for ice-skating and ice hockey. Lace up your skates any time of day and glide at your own pace. Feeling a little competitive? Join a spirited pick-up broomball or daily afternoon hockey game. 

You can leave your ice skates and hockey gear at home because figure skates, hockey skates, hockey sticks, and broomball equipment are all provided at the ranch. 

Take a look at why so many guests love to ice skate and play ice hockey at C Lazy U Ranch. 

snow hockey

Cross-Country Skiing

We invite our guests to enjoy four miles of groomed cross-country ski trails located in the main meadow and on the upper mesa of C Lazy U Ranch. Schedule a guided tour or go out and cross-country ski on your own. Don’t be surprised to see elk herds and red foxes on the trail, or if you’re lucky, you may even look up and see a bald eagle soaring high above in the sky. 

Learn more about some of the winter vacation ski packages we offer. All equipment is provided and coordinated through the Outfitter’s Cabin. 


Did you know? C Lazy U Ranch was voted the “2nd Best Snowshoe Destination in the WORLD” by Snowshoe Magazine. Yes…in the WORLD. Snowshoeing is a fun winter vacation activity and with 8,500 acres to explore in our own backyard, guests will be treated to a remarkable trail system highlighting the beauty of the ranch. 

C Lazy U offers guided snowshoeing tours or our guests can explore on their own. All equipment is provided and coordinated through the Outfitter’s Cabin. 

Sleigh Rides

Yes, you read this correctly. Guests can head out and enjoy scenic sleigh rides through the snow. This special, family-friendly, winter excursion introduces riders to our team of Belgian Draft Horses. Learn about the “horsepower” behind these gorgeous animals, while enjoying the magnificent beauty of the surrounding meadows. 


C Lazy U Ranch has designed its own snowmobile tours on ranch property. Our fleet of snowmobiles is waiting for guests like you, to use. We offer tours for up to eight people, lasting two hours which explore a wide variety of ranch terrain. To keep our guests safe, helmets are required and provided, and guests must be 16 or older with a valid driver’s license to drive. 

Snow Tubing

Enjoy the thrill of snow tubing with your entire family on C Lazy U’s private tubing hill. Located on our property, guests can choose to ride on a one or two person tube. The snow tubing adventure begins each afternoon at 2:00 pm (we will get you to the top of the hill on a snowmobile). Safety first! Helmets are required and provided. Wheee!!! 

Learn more about this popular winter vacation activity. 

snow tubers

Feed Wagons

You may be asking yourself, “what is a Feed Wagon?” C Lazy U Ranch’s Feed Wagon sleigh provides our guests with the unique opportunity to feed our herd of 200 horses up close. Learn about the herd dynamics when they are out to Pasture. 

The Feed Wagon typically happens on a Sunday or a check-in/check-out day when the horses are off and the ranch isn’t offering guest rides. 

Keep your eyes open for “Petey,” our miniature Donkey. He loves to hang out with his friends in the herd. 

Winter Kids Club

Of course, we can’t forget about the kids. We offer both a “Holiday Kids Program” and a “Winter Kids Program” for children ages 3-17. From horseback riding to tubing and arts & crafts to guided cross country skiing, our vast array of kids activities are sure to keep their hearts (and hands) warm. 

Read more about our Winter Kids Club programs. 

For guests who are looking to do a little winter skiing during their visit, C Lazy U provides complimentary shuttles to nearby Granby Ranch and Winter Park ski areas. Pow! Pow! 

Whether planning for a family vacation or a special winter getaway for two, guests at C Lazy U Dude Ranch will leave the ranch with memories to last a lifetime. 

C Lazy U Ranch is all-inclusive and most activities are included in your nightly rate. 

kids in snow

Schedule Your Winter Family Vacation 

If you’re ready to book your family’s winter vacation, now’s the time! Space is filling up fast. Visit our special events page to learn more about our long weekend specials, or call the ranch to inquire about a longer visit.  

Contact us directly with any questions or to make reservations. 

9 Subjects to Photograph on the C Lazy U Dude Ranch


Photographers, practice your quick draw. The photographer’s dilemma at C Lazy U is keeping the cameras close at hand and ready to shoot at all times. The photo-worthy moments just keep coming.

We’ve hosted hundreds of photographers over the years, from pros with lenses as long as their arms to Instagram stars who work their magic with just an iPhone and filters. Whether you’re pro or amateur, SLR or smart phone, the ranch will have you shuttering away and feeling some serious Insta love. Here are a few ideas of photos to capture while you’re here.


This is the place for wildlife photographers. We share our 8,500-acre backyard with all sorts of wild creatures, big and small. To capture them in a photo, your best bet is to go hiking, horseback riding, or snowshoeing out on the trails. You’re likely to run into the likes of elk, deer, antelope, and maybe even a moose! Or, you never know when a sly fox will show up just outside the main house.
buffalo in Colorado

Mountain landscapes

Whether you capture our gorgeous Rocky Mountains as the subject of a photo or try to keep them in the background, they’ll steal the shot and give it a distinctly Colorado flavor. Our nearby peaks shine in photos all year round, from sunrise to sunset.

Family portraits

Looking for the next family photo worthy of the annual holiday card? The ranch has all sorts of backdrops to choose from. These are the family vacation photos that will be cherished for years and even generations to come.

Gourmet food

For foodies who live by the expression “the camera eats first”, the ranch has plenty for the lens to feast on. A stay at the ranch includes three gourmet meals each day, lovingly plated and ready for their close-up.

Mountain ranch architecture

It’s not every day you come across a deep backcountry warming hut, a vintage barn house or a classic log cabin. These are the architectural icons of mountain ranch life. Be sure they appear in a few of your ranch photos.
winter weekend getaway ideas

Horse culture

Our horses are a photogenic bunch. The ranch staff themselves aren’t too hard too look at either. Put them together, and you can get some great portraits of cowboy life, with strong themes of nostalgia and the Great American West. Whether you’re out to capture an action shot of a galloping herd, or an up-close micro of a cowboy boot in a stirrup, the ranch just may inspire an ‘Americana’ series of photos.

Action adventure

Get your shutter speeds ready for some great action shots at C Lazy U. Kids (and adults) whizzing down a tubing hill. Fly fishing line whipping through the thin air. Horses kicking up a cloud of dust. Quick! If you blink, you (and your camera) will miss it.

Fireside coziness

No matter the season, C Lazy U wards off the high-altitude chill with a crackling fire in its main house pit. Practice your low-light photography skills by capturing the flames and warm glow in the dusk or dark.


Mountain western sunsets

Our beautiful Rocky Mountain backyard looks great in any light, but something really special happens right around sunset. Once the sun has already dipped down below the horizon, a rosy glow lingers on the peaks. This is called alpenglow. Capture it, hashtag it, but be sure to put the camera down and just enjoy it too!

A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing

Ever thought of giving fly fishing a try but worried it would take years to learn? With the right gear and a little help from our expert guides, fly fishing can be fun for the whole family, whatever your skill level!

fly fishing

During your all-inclusive family vacation at C Lazy U ranch, our experienced guides will teach you the fly fishing basics, outfit you with the right gear, and reveal some of the best hidden spots for angling in the state of Colorado.

What Exactly is Fly Fishing?

While other types of angling use the weight of the bait to cast, fly fishing uses the weight of the line to cast out into the water. This minimizes splashing that could startle a prize fish away. Fly fishing is mainly used on rivers and still waters, and can give you a better chance of catching certain species such as trout, salmon, bass, and pike.

Unlike traditional fishing where you simply drop a line into the water, fly fish casting is best suited to wide open spaces — and that’s one thing that makes our sprawling dude ranch ideal for beginners.

Learn more: 5 Facts About Fly Fishing in Colorado

What is the Right Gear for Fly Fishing?

fly fishing rod

When you book a fly fishing class or guided fishing trip at C Lazy U, we provide all the equipment you need for a fun and relaxing day on the water. Your expert fishing guide will outfit you with the perfect fly fishing setup for beginners, with Orvis rods, reels, flies, waders, and boots. All you need to do is bring yourself and a Colorado fishing license, which can be booked online or in our Outfitters Cabin.

How Do I Learn to Fly Fish?

If it’s your first time picking up a rod, our experienced guides will share pro tips on fly rod setup, tying knots, selecting the right flies, and casting basics.

fly fishing string

Finding the right location can be another challenge for many fly fishing newbies — but not to worry.  During your lesson or guided trip, our fly fishing experts will share their favorite angling spots on our 8,500 acres of ranch land and private stretches of the Colorado River. With its pristine rivers and lakes, C Lazy U is a prime environment to dip your toes (and waders) into this highly addictive sport as you connect with the outdoors, relax, and bond as a family.

Intrigued to learn more? Download our fly fishing brochure or contact our ranch concierge for help with pricing, details, and scheduling.

A C Lazy U Tradition: The Jingle

As the premier guest ranch of the West, C Lazy U is home to over 200 horses. Tucked in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, this elegant dude ranch combines authentic western tradition with five-star luxury, providing guests with unforgettable experiences.

horses running in field

While C Lazy U may be famous for horseback riding, gourmet dining, glamping, and fly fishing, one of the most beloved traditions is a daily event called the Jingle.  

What Is The C Lazy U Jingle? 

girl riding horse with others behind

The C Lazy U jingle happens twice a day when the herd enters and leaves the ranch. Most of our horses spend each night in one of the ranch’s pastures. In the morning, a team of wranglers and their horses ride out to the pasture to round up the rest of the herd and drive them back to the ranch. At the end of the day, the wranglers repeat the jingle, this time sending out the herd for a night of freedom and relaxation.  

What Does The Jingle Look And Sound Like? 

Watching 200 horses move together is a truly extraordinary sight. The sound of hundreds of pounding hooves racing towards the ranch can often be heard before the horses reach the main part of the ranch.

Guests who rise early get the extra treat of watching (and hearing!) the horses arrive while sipping on our famous Cowboy Coffee. In the afternoon, guests can watch the Jingle as the horses trot past the Lodge and the Patio House.   

Why Is It Called “The Jingle?” 

In cowboy campsites, most of the horses were allowed to graze overnight with some degree of freedom and then rounded up first thing in the morning.

close up of horses

To keep track of the horses, cowboys attached small bells to them so they would ring out whenever the horse moved. When cowboys of this era rounded up their horses, their herd would truly jingle! 

Book Your Horseback Riding Vacation Today 

C Lazy U is the perfect combination of adventure and elegance. From our cheerful daily jingles to our world-class horseback riding, spa services, and activities suitable for the whole family, C Lazy U offers something special to every guest. Contact us today to schedule your luxury dude ranch vacation! 

A Complete Guide to a Horseback Riding Vacation in Colorado

complete guide to horseback riding vacation

Colorado is blessed with an abundance of wide-open spaces and wilderness. Hidden away are mountain trails so rugged that the only way to access them is on foot—or, even better, on hoof!

The mountain vistas always look even more stunning with a horse in the picture. A horseback journey in Colorado is an iconic experience, but just one day in the saddle doesn’t quite do it justice. Slip into the cowboy lifestyle for a multi-day horseback riding vacation at a premier dude ranch such as C Lazy U, where you’ll make real progress as a rider.

It’s far from roughing it: you’ll get treated to luxurious amenities at the same time.

When to Visit

Dude ranches such as C Lazy U are open year-round for horseback riding vacations, but each season brings its own charms and challenges.

  • Summer is high season for horse-centric visits to Colorado, and for good reason. Days in the high country are long and warm but not too hot, and the landscape is alive with wildflowers and shades of green. Summer’s popularity means it’s important to book in advance.
  • Spring and autumn are the “shoulder seasons” for horseback riding vacations, which means fewer tourists. The weather is cooler and more variable in the spring (also known as mud season) and fall, but if you hit the timing just right, you can catch some beautiful seasonal phenomena like the turning of the Aspen leaves toward the end of September.
  • Winter riding is a horse of a different color, so to speak. The Colorado Rocky Mountains draw crowds with world-class ski resorts and fresh blankets of snow set against blue skies. In fact, horses love winter just as much as snow bunnies. If you don’t mind bundling up, a horseback riding in Colorado vacation in winter is like a fairytale.

Getting There

Reaching the remote areas of Colorado where the horseback riding is best takes a little patience. Luckily, the state boasts one of the busiest and most connected airports, Denver International Airport, where the famous blue bucking bronco statue makes a strong first impression. Horseback riding in Colorado will be well worth the travel.

From the Denver airport, the most popular way to reach the high country is to rent a car and enjoy the scenic drive. In as little as an hour or two from the busy capital city, visitors will ascend thousands of feet of altitude and enter mountain terrain. The main artery between Denver and the high country is Interstate 70 (I-70), which extends directly west from Denver.

To reach C Lazy U Ranch and Rocky Mountain National Park via Granby, for example, take I-70 west to Highway 40.

Packing List

When packing for a horseback riding vacation in Colorado, there are a few special items to keep in mind. Remember that you’ll be in high altitude with intense sunshine—sun protection is essential! Bring a good supply of sunscreen and lip balm, as well as a hat or visor and sunglasses. And carry a water bottle with you at all times to stay hydrated. This is important year-round—rain, shine, or snow!

A few other cowboy tips for items to bring:

  • Jeans or other heavy-duty work pants, such as Carhartt, for your time in the saddle.
  • A cowboy hat not only works wonders against the strong rays of the sun, but it also looks great in photos.
  • Pull-on boots with a heel for horseback riding. Lace-up boots will work in a pinch, but traditional tall boots are ideal. For those who don’t already have a pair, cowboy boots make a great Colorado souvenir.
  • Activewear undergarments. Ladies, this means sports bras. This simple item is easy to forget but hard to live without on horseback!
  • Layers, layers, layers. The biggest trick to staying warm, dry and comfortable in the saddle is to dress in layers. Bring a rain jacket or poncho, no matter the season, and long underwear for cool evenings after the sun goes down.

Note that many dude ranches often offer guests most of the necessary equipment for horseback riding. See C Lazy U’s packing list for details on what’s included, and check out the on-site country store  to gear up with western apparel at the start of your vacation.

A Typical Day

Each day on a horseback riding vacation in Colorado is a small sampling of life on a ranch—though without all the work! The pace of things slows down a little; full-time ranchers are usually early to rise and early to bed. Embrace the rhythm of ranch life and let it whittle away the stress of the usual routine.


  • Cowboy breakfast. Rise bright and early to make full use of the day! A special tradition at dude ranches in Colorado and across the country is a “cowboy breakfast” outside, complete with a roaring bonfire to ward of the morning chills.
  • Morning ride. With a full belly, horseback riding vacationers get down to business. On the first day riding, you’ll be matched to a horse based on temperament and skill level. You’ll get to know each other, as well as your expert guide who will accompany you on the trails.


  • Lunch. Every meal is a treat on a luxury dude ranch vacation, and lunch is no exception. Depending on the length of your ride, you’ll either return to the ranch for another decadent meal, or the staff will pack you a tasty picnic to take with you on the trail.
  • Afternoon leisure. Afternoons are flexible on a dude ranch. Get back in the saddle, participate in other outdoor activities, or lounge around at the pool for some lazy time with family and new friends.


  • Dinner. The trails may be dusty, but even cowboys like to get gussied up at the end of a long day—so Don’t forget to pack a smart outfit for dinner. At luxury dude ranches such as C Lazy U, dinner is a “rustic elegant” affair.
  • Campfire quality time. Evenings are for gathering around the fire pit. This is where stories are told, songs are sung, jokes are cracked, and sparks fly! Roast some marshmallows, sip a beer, and turn in early for another full day of horseback riding and high country fun ahead.

See a sample daily schedule here.

Keep Trotting

A huge perk of spending several days on a horseback riding vacation is that riders have enough time in the saddle to make some real progress. After five to seven days at a ranch, many guests find that they’ve graduated to a new level of horsemanship. They’ve also formed close bonds with their horse, the guides, and the beautiful place they’ve been immersed in for days.

It’s no wonder that the first horseback riding vacation is rarely the last. Whether you look for greener pastures to explore on horseback or book your next stay at the same ranch with newfound friends (both horse and human), keep up the momentum. As with anything, practice makes perfect. Horseback riding is a lifelong pursuit, full of rewards and new challenges as you learn and grow.

A Day In The Life Of A C Lazy U Horse

Hello and welcome to C Lazy U’s blog! I’m Starbucks, and the ranch asked me to lend a hoof and tell you all about what life is like as a horse on a Colorado dude ranch. 

white horse close up

I love being the center of attention, so of course I said YES! Giddy up – there’s so much to say!  

Wake Up Call

I love sleeping in the pastures with my friends, Molly, Missy, June, Betsy, and Whiskey. There’s always lots of yummy grasses to munch on, and nothing can beat those Colorado sunrises and sunsets. During the summer season, our wranglers come and wake us up around dawn so we can be prepared for the day’s horseback rides. During the winter, we get to sleep in a bit more.  I can’t decide which I like more – extra sleep is nice, but I can’t wait for horseback rides on the trail!   

Morning Exercise

horses running

Once everyone is awake, our wranglers help us get back to the main part of the ranch. They call it “the jingle” because a long time ago, wranglers used to put cow bells on the horses so they could find them in the early morning. Even though we don’t wear bells anymore, the jingle can be pretty loud, especially if we run. There’s 200 of us, so when we’re really running fast, I’ve heard that you can hear us approaching the ranch before you can even see us. Once we get inside, we get hay, water, and (on the best days), GRAIN! 

Morning Horseback Rides

Depending on who is at the ranch, we get saddled up for the morning horseback rides. Our Director of Equestrian Operations, Ami, talks to all of our guests to find out how much experience they have and pair them with the perfect horse. I love taking it slow and scenic with beginner riders, and I like hopping on medium rides to change it up. No matter what trail I’m on, I’m really good at taking care of my rider. Plus, since there’s 8,500 acres of land, there’s always something new to explore!      


After a few hours of horseback riding, guests come back to the ranch for lunch – and the horses do, too. C Lazy U produces about 300 tons of hay every year, so we snack on homegrown hay bales a lot. I love hanging out with my besties and taking a quick break from the trails. 

girl smiling with horse

Saddle Up!  

Not everyone knows that we offer way more than horseback riding at C Lazy U. Guests can attend grooming clinics, where they learn how to care for us horses. I love to be pampered, so grooming clinics are my absolute FAVORITE. Plus, it’s fun to get to know guests face-to-face. It’s extra great when they bring me treats and give me extra pats!   


After we finish with the day’s activities, we do the afternoon jingle with our wranglers. They rotate between pastures so we never get bored or eat too much grass in one spot. It’s always exciting when we get a brand new pasture with brand new grass to eat! When it’s finally time to go to bed, I always sleep well. We’re completely safe from danger because our miniature donkeys, Petey and Tilley, are there to protect the herd. If they see a predator, they’ll bray and kick at them until they go away. Those little guys are so tough!    

close up of white horse

Well, there you have it – a day in the life of a C Lazy U horse. From jingles and horseback riding to meeting new guests and exploring new places, living at the dude ranch sure is sweet. Hopefully one day you’ll come up to visit and meet me in person (when you do, can you bring some extra grain?).  

A Day In The Life Of A CLU Wrangler

C Lazy U is more than a luxury vacation destination in the Rocky Mountains. It’s a real, working dude ranch with miniature donkeys, cows, and a herd of 200 horses. Rooted in the authentic American West, C Lazy U offers the perfect blend of excitement, adventure, and relaxation. Our team of talented wranglers is essential to keeping our animals and guests safe during horseback rides and other activities. To give you the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a C Lazy U Wrangler, we interviewed Tami Burkett, the Equine Health and Veterinary Care Manager.  

Tami Burkett

What Does A Wrangler Do During A Typical Morning? 

Our day starts with preparing the jingle horses, riding out to pasture, and jingling the herd to the main part of the ranch. Some wranglers ride the jingle horses and make sure the herd stays together, and other wranglers watch the horses come in and look out for any injuries or lameness.  

If we spot an injured horse, my team will pull them from the herd to give them a check-up. Sometimes their injury is as simple as a rock getting stuck in their shoe, and other times it may be a small cut or bite. Depending on their injury, we’ll decide whether to rest the horse, give them antibiotics, or if we need to call in the vet.  

Once all the horses are accounted for, we’ll prepare them for the morning ride by brushing them, saddling them up, and giving them grain. Depending on their age and weight, some horses get regular grain and some get senior grain, which is easier to digest. Then, we’ll start pairing guests with their horses and get ready for the morning ride.  

What Do Wranglers Do During Guest Rides? 

We try to keep rides around 6-7 guests per wrangler. By keeping groups small, wranglers can look out for the safety of the guests and the horses. On advanced and intermediate rides, we’ll offer some coaching to improve our guests’ skills and acclimate them to trotting or loping. When we’re not offering advice, we’re talking to guests about our land, swapping stories, and making the ride as fun as possible for the whole group.  

group riding in background

What Do Wranglers Do In The Afternoon and Evening? 

After the morning riders return, wranglers check on the horses, make sure they get food and water, and prepare for the afternoon ride. Once all rides are finished for the day, we take the saddles off of all the horses and jingle them out to pasture for the night. Once we return to the ranch, we’ll sweep, clean up the barn and paddocks, and make sure everything is clean and ready for the next morning.

What’s The Best Part Of Being On The C Lazy U Team? 

I love the staff! I’ve made a lot of good connections and our team really feels like a family.  Of course, the horses are amazing. I originally took the position 12 years ago because it blended my interests in veterinary care and riding, and I’ve been here ever since. Not many places offer the opportunity to work with 150-200 horses on any given day, and it’s so cool to work with a big herd like this! 

Do You Have A Favorite Horse?

You really get to know the horses and each one is so different.  I love seeing all the personalities our horses have. If I had to pick, Alice would be one of my favorite animals to work with.  I’d worked with foals a lot before coming to the ranch, and since Alice was born on the ranch, it’s been really fun to watch her grow up over the past 5 years.  

Tami’s energy is contagious, and with a passionate group of wranglers and staff, it’s no wonder our guests come to love our horses just as much as our team. We’d love to see you on the ranch sometime soon

Interested in joining the C Lazy U team? Check out our open positions!   

A Day in the Life of a Real Rancher

Guests know C Lazy U as the best destination for a vacation in the Colorado countryside, but there’s much more to the ranch than just horseback riding, amazing food and the myriad outdoor and indoor activities. C Lazy U is a working dude ranch, meaning that there is a lot going on behind the scenes.

working dude ranch

The Animals at C Lazy U Ranch

Besides C Lazy U Ranch’s horses — over 200 of them! — there are other animals you’ll see moseying about the ranch. In addition to our lovable, huggable Sicilian donkey duo, Petey and Tilly, C Lazy U Ranch has a number of Angus cattle.

Guests have a chance to interact with our cattle herd during cattle pushing clinics, which provide the perfect opportunity to feel like a real cowboy. You’ll ride out with a group to the meadow where the cattle roam to collect and herd the cows; individually, you’ll be able to learn the art of “cutting” the cows.

Cutting cows isn’t what it sounds like: it is actually the practice of separating a single cow from the herd. Cutting cows is a typical real-life ranch activity, in which a cow needs to be removed from the herd for veterinary care, for example. It’s not easy, but it’s certainly a lot of fun — and at the end, you’ll have learned a skill that only true cowboys know!

A Wrangler’s Day

Taking care of such a large number of animals is a lot of work, but guests may not always see it — they simply see a well-kept, clean and orderly ranch. Our wranglers, however, are always hard at work.

The day starts early for the C Lazy U Ranch wranglers, who are up and working between 4:00 and 5:30 a.m. — long before many of our guests have risen. They bring in the horses from the pasture to the corrals, where they’ll feed, groom and saddle them up for a day on the trails.

Our wranglers also provide veterinary care to any horses that are injured or sick as well as check on the cows to ensure they’re healthy and happy. In addition to animal care, the wranglers are busy maintaining the ranch: fixing fences, cleaning the barn, irrigating the hay meadows, checking grass levels in the pasture, and preparing the gates for the horses.

Corey takes care of most of the land and hay operations, spending a lot of time irrigating the hay meadows to ensure they’re ready for harvest in July. In addition, he oversees the logging operation and ensures the trails are in good condition for both our horses and their riders. Dale, Garret and Sheldon, another hardworking group of wranglers, oversee the livestock operations — they’re in charge of making sure the cattle are fed, trained and healthy.

The day only ends for the wranglers when the horses are safely back out to pasture at around 5 p.m. It’s a long, hard day for the wranglers, but it’s the love of the ranch that makes it less like work and more like play.

It’s only because of the painstaking efforts of the wranglers and other team members at C Lazy U that we can maintain our status a real working dude ranch in Colorado while still providing superior service to guests.

A Fresh Take on Water Treatment at C Lazy U

C Lazy U Ranch’s water comes from natural springs from the hillside at the ranch, making for some of the purest and cleanest water on earth. You can literally drink the water out of the springs, but Colorado state requires that you treat the water for safety regardless of how naturally pure it is. In addition to the two natural springs, there are two backup wells to draw water, which assures C Lazy U’s guests that there will always be an ample water supply.

Landscape work being done outside

The legal water rights and the engineering that goes behind developing and creating a large public water system is extremely complex and expensive. There are four sources of water all connected to the main treatment system, featuring sensors every step of the way to gauge each location. When one area is drawn down, a second source automatically kicks in.

Once the water is drawn from the springs above the ranch or pumped up the hill to the main treatment facility, it goes into a series of storage collection points, beginning with raw water storage. It then enters the complex treatment process.

A State-of-the-Art Water Treatment Facility

water treatment facility at C Lazy UThe treatment facility is state-of-the-art, and the inside looks something like the interior of a submarine. There are pipes, display boards, loud noises, blinking lights and treatment equipment laid out in a very methodical and complex system. The water is constantly monitored and tested for turbidity and then chlorinated for safety. The entire system, a smart water system, has alarms that can be dispatched to the ranch’s state-certified water operator on his cellphone. That same cellphone can make changes remotely and act as a control board.

The ranch has an amazing team of engineers that check levels throughout the day and act as first responders if issues arise. The system has complete redundancy: every step has two or more of everything, so the system never goes down. If we lose power, everything can run on a backup generator.

Once the water is treated, it is stored in a number of storage tanks that release the water on demand and in sequential order to ensure that it is never goes stale and is the highest quality. The ranch can go through as much as 22,000 gallons on a peak demand day; the 32,000 gallons in total storage on the property allow for these variations in demand. There is always a source feeding new water into the system, and it can operate on demand if needed.

Prior to the new treatment facility, the ranch upgraded all the water lines through the property as the old water lines were losing thousands of gallons of water each day. This substantial project was a major improvement, though the guests never saw. The ranch chose to do underground directional boring instead of trenching the areas around all the ranch buildings, a method that costs more but is extremely precise. With underground directional boring, you can run the lines hundreds of feet right to the correct connection point under the cabin without ever disturbing the ground above it.

The treatment facility was completed in late 2017, and the guests will enjoy this upgrade for the next 50-75 years in operation. The combination of the new treatment facility and the miles of underground piping helps the ranch save thousands of gallons of water each day that the old system was losing. The new water is cleaner and safer than ever, and our guests truly enjoy the fresh and crisp taste of the spring water delivered right to their cabin.

A Guide to the Animals at C Lazy U

From the early morning jingle, where our herd of 200+ horses comes in from pasture, to afternoons spent riding and bonding with your trusty steed, our animals are the stars of every stay at our premier guest ranch. Get to know some of the animals you’ll come to love when you visit C Lazy U Ranch.

Group of horses with donkey


Meet Petey, one of our miniature donkeys. Petey is the C Lazy U Ranch mascot, but he has another, even more important job: he protects our horses from predators. He also occasionally moonlights at Coors Field for baseball games.

Man on horse with donkey nearby

What does he eat? Petey loves to eat hay, grass and feed.

Where does he live? He lives out in our pastures with the horses he protects.

What’s his job on the ranch? In addition to guarding the horses, Petey gives donkey cart rides.

Fun fact about Petey: There’s no one Petey loves more than his wife Pebbles, who’s a horse!


Meet Tilly, our other Sicilian miniature donkey. Tilly is also our ranch mascot and will soon help Petey protect the herd. The most important thing to know about Tilly is that she loves people. Make sure you come say hello! Your family can visit Tilly in her pen by the Barn and Hay Barn.

Closeup view of donkey

Where does she live? Tilly lives in our pastures and in her pen. She’s still a bit too young to run free with the herd.

What’s her job on the ranch? Tilly is training to give donkey cart rides and just made her first Coors Field appearance this April!

Fun fact about Tilly: She’s very loud; you can hear her hee-haw from far away!

The C Lazy U Herd

Meet the horses of the C Lazy U Ranch herd! We have over 200 horses at our dude ranch, and they each have their own name and unique personality. We match each guest to the perfect horse for them, based on things like temperament and skill level. You’ll spend your stay getting to know your horse and developing your horseback riding skills with horsemanship, grooming and riding clinics.

Horses running

What kind of horses are in the herd? We have horses of all different breeds like: Paint, Draft, Leopard Appaloosa (like Domino), and Quarter Horse.

What do they eat? The horses’ diet is similar to the donkeys’. They eat hay, grass and feed.

Where do they live? The herd lives out in the pasture, a horses dream life.

What’s their job on the ranch? All of our horses have different jobs. Some teach kids how to trot or are skilled at cattle pushing, while others take guests for easy trail rides, sleigh rides, all-day rides or leisurely trots.

What do they like to do? Some horses love to visit with guests and get pet and groomed, while others love to jingle in from pasture, show off at the Shodeo, spend time with their best friend (like Dixie and Shoshoni), push cattle, or roll around in the mud. You can learn all about life on the ranch for our horses.

Fun fact about the horses: Our horses live on the ranch year-round, and grow a very thick fur to protect and keep them warm throughout the cold Colorado winters.

Can’t wait to meet our horses? Get to know some of the Horse of the Month winners: Dusty, Buck and Betsy.

Come Meet Our Animals on a Colorado Dude Ranch Vacation

Check out our guide to the perfect horseback riding vacation, then give us a call to book your stay at C Lazy U Ranch! The animals can’t wait to meet you.

A Horse’s Tale: A Glimpse of Life on the Ranch for our Horses

There are tons of great activities here on the ranch, but it’s no secret that many of our guests come to C Lazy U to meet our biggest stars: our horses! If you’ve ever watched a daily jingle at the ranch, or have just enjoyed our photos and videos online, you may have wondered about how our horses are cared for, where they come from and what they do for fun.

Closeup of horses

We sat down with Ami Cullen, our Director of Equestrian Operations, to get some behind the scenes info and fun facts about the daily lives of our herd.

How does the ranch find its horses?

We have several sources that help us purchase horses. We typically receive around a dozen new horses every year, and we are fortunate to have excellent help in finding horses that will excel as guest horses. 

Once they arrive, are the horses trained on the ranch?

We spend time with all our new horses training them to become excellent guest horses. Many of the horses that we purchase have already been a great riding horse for someone else. Once they arrive at C Lazy U, they are put through our ground work program and evaluated under saddle. When they are ready, the horses will be placed with a Wrangler and will begin their training on the trails, where they will trek many miles each summer. Our new horses will encounter many new things, such as moose, elk, grouse and jackrabbits, and they must learn that these animals are just part of the fun of spending their days in the beautiful Rocky Mountains.

Once a horse has been in the arena and on the trails with Wranglers, and has proven that they are ready for guests, they will join our guest program. All guest horses are frequently evaluated by Wranglers to ensure that they remain safe for our guests. 

What do the horses enjoy most about working with guests?

Our horses love exploring the trails with our guests, and they seem to thoroughly enjoy meeting new people every week. One of their favorite activities that they absolutely love is when the guests groom them after a hard day’s work.

What do guests love about horseback riding at the ranch?

Horseback riding is a great way to see the beautiful scenery C Lazy U Ranch has to offer. You will enjoy the stillness of nature and marvel at the wildflowers, aspen trees and fields of sage. Since horses are pretty quiet movers that often sound like other wildlife moving through the woods, there is always a chance to see wildlife, such as moose, antelope, deer and elk. You will also fall in love with your horse and begin to understand just how wonderful horses truly are and, if you are lucky, you may even learn something about yourself that you never knew from your horse.

Who is in charge of the horses on the ranch?

The C Lazy U herd is loved and cared for by all the Wranglers on the ranch. I (Ami Cullen) am the Director of Equestrian Operations and oversee our herd, our guest riding program, our member riding program and our children’s program. Tami Burkett is the herd health and veterinarian care manager and is responsible for ensuring that all our horses are fat, happy, healthy, and ready for guests. Garrett is our barn maintenance manager, and ensures that the horses are fed daily and have well-maintained facilities to enjoy. We couldn’t be a successful operation without the love and care that everyone puts into our horses.

How many horses live on the ranch?

C Lazy U Ranch currently has around 200 horses. This includes our miniature donkeys, Petey and Tilly, our amazing kid’s pony, Katie, our Belgian Draft Team, Fred and Big Mike, and our new Halflinger team, Sam and Tom. 

Which horse has been on the ranch the longest?

Shoshoni has been at the ranch since 1994. He is one of our incredible kid’s horses that came from Wyoming many years ago. Shoshoni has a best friend named Dixi. Shoshoni is approximately 28 years old, and Dixi is around 27 years old. They are commonly referred to as Grandpa and Grandma by the Wranglers and are seldom apart (unless Shoshoni is getting a good scratch in on one of our fence posts)!

Who are the most recent arrivals?

Our newest additions are Lucy and Linus. They were donated to the ranch by a very kind man that wanted them to find a home together since he could no longer care for them himself, but still loved them very much. Lucy and Linus are both 6-year-old quarter horses. Linus is a handsome buckskin gelding with big ears and Lucy is a beautiful liver chestnut mare. These horses came to us this past winter and will begin their training to become guest horses soon.

Where do the horses live and sleep on the ranch?

We have 10 pastures that we rotate our horses on every summer, where they graze on luscious grass and rest at night. In the winter, our horses live in our west meadow where they are protected from the winter elements by the hillside and willows. 

What do the horses do for fun?

The horses run to and from pasture every day in the summer. This is a highlight for both our guests and horses! In the winter our horses may stay out to pasture for a couple days at a time. Our horses love to play with one another in the field and the corrals. You will also find many of our horses sunbathing in the warm Colorado sun.

What’s one of the best stories about the C Lazy U horses?

Every horse at C Lazy U has a personality all their own. We have several serious relationships in our herd. In fact, we held a wedding a few years back for Bam Bam and Roxy, who are madly in love. Every time Bam Bam and Roxy come back from a ride they immediately start calling for one another, which always makes everyone smile.

What happens to CLU’s horses after they leave the ranch?

Horses leave the ranch for retirement or to pursue second careers when they can no longer work in the mountain terrain, or would be better suited for just one person. Many of our former horses have found their second home with families with small children, where they are loved just as much as they were when they were here. 

C Lazy U Ranch strongly believes that all our horses deserve a fantastic retirement or second career when their time at C Lazy U comes to an end. In our quest to ensure this, we have teamed with a phenomenal horse rescue, Drifters Hearts of Hope (http://www.driftersheartsofhope.org/), and helped create the Annie Project. The Annie Project (http://www.driftersheartsofhope.org/the-annie-project.html), named after one of our beloved horses, Annie, ensures that retired dude ranch horses stay out of the slaughter pipeline.

A Separate Peace – brought to you by the makers of Colorado family vacations – the C Lazy U

The nights here lately are different than I can ever remember seeing them- every evening at around 9:30pm the whole world lights up with a blue hue that is anything but subtle (it’s as if a giant blue spotlight has been turned onto the world, truly, as it becomes as bright as day when the moon appears… but bright and blue). I’m not sure what causes the phenomenon, but I can say that I’ve never seen anything quite so romantic, so peaceful; and it seems as though every living thing feels it, because it has never been quieter here either-  even the coyotes don’t howl on nights like these. If someone were to take a stroll during once of these evening, they would feel as though they were surrounded by a sea of tiny lights that is the snow catching the radiant shining moon, reflecting it’s beauty in each crystal flake that lays on the ground, shimmering contently.

I wish that pictures could capture the sight, and the feeling of nights like these, but alas, they cannot. I do know that it is nights like this that remind me how we are the best of the best when it comes to Colorado family vacations- everything has it’s place, creating an atmosphere of incandescent happiness and content, but on nights like the ones we’ve been having lately, there is an entirely separate peace that can be had here.

My entry today is short- it’s Dale’s birthday (our Operations Manager) and I have to go give him his birthday present… the opportunity to pet me (I am so giving).

A Trip of a Lifetime: Making the Most of Your CLU Vacation

When guests book a trip at C Lazy U, they’re in for a real adventure. But the excitement doesn’t just start when they step foot on the sprawling ranch: guests can make every step of their trip to Granby, Colorado, part of a vacation of a lifetime.


Arriving in Denver

Guests who arrive from out of state often fly into Denver International Airport before setting off on the trail to the ranch. Instead of immediately climbing in a shuttle, cab or limousine to make the 2.5-hour journey to C Lazy U, though, you can take it slow. At DIA, hop on the train instead of an Uber and ride on the A Line straight to Denver’s historic Union Station.

Trains leave every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes outside of those hours. It’s a fairly short trip — only about 40 minutes — but you’ll get to ride through Denver’s neighborhoods on the way there, including Morris Heights, Stapleton, Park Hill, Cole and more. The train ride stops at only three stations before reaching Union Station in LoDo (to the non-locals: Lower Downtown Denver).

Union Station itself is something to behold: originally built in the late 19th century, the massive station is now home to tons of shopping and dining opportunities and even a hotel. It may be hard to drag yourself away, but make sure you have enough time explore the rest of Denver!

Stay in Style & Eat Like a King

Once you’re in the heart of Denver, you can start adding a touch of urban lifestyle to your rural vacation on the ranch. Book a room at one of Denver’s best hotels such as the Four Seasons for a relaxing and luxurious stay, or opt for an artsy yet chic boutique hotels in one of Denver’s less crowded neighborhoods.

While you’re in Denver, make sure to dine out — Denver has some of the best restaurants in the country, boasting everything from American comfort food to Argentinian eats. Acorn, located in The Source, offers you a chance to explore a 19th-century foundry building-turned-market and cultural hub while enjoying some of the best food in the West (with the exception of the fare you’ll enjoy at C Lazy U, of course).

Grab a savory breakfast at Onefold in City Park West or something sweet at Habit Doughnut Dispensary in Highland before exploring the city on foot: visit Cherry Creek to do a little shopping while checking out some of its plentiful art galleries, or head to the Denver Botanic Gardens to really smell the roses.

If you’re with the kids, a stop by the Denver Zoo — boasting over 4,000 animals in natural enclosures in the heart of City Park — is always worth a few hours.

Get to Granby

Once you’ve had your fill of Denver, eschew a private shuttle and go for a scenic train ride to Granby. Amtrak’s California Zephyr will take you right from Union Station to Granby — with only one stop in between — and offer you views you just can’t miss. The 2.5-hour ride takes you ride into the Rockies, past Winter Park and Fraser and straight to Granby.

Once you’re in Granby, the ranch revelry can begin. Because CLU is still a little bit away from the ranch, make sure you call ahead of time — guests can enjoy complimentary shuttle rides straight to the ranch.

Once you’ve made it to C Lazy U Ranch, you may feel like you have already had your vacation — but the fun has really just begun.

A True C Lazy U Ranch Love Story

If you ask the staff at C Lazy U about the romance on ranch over the years, you may end up getting some pretty entertaining stories.  Some of which may be true and some that are completely embellished.  The common term at C Lazy U Ranch for romance is “Ranchmance” which is lighthearted way of capturing all the love stories have seen over the years.  Regardless of the stories and fables, C Lazy U has a long history of helping people find everlasting love and there are countless stories of ranchmance’s turning into true love stories. 

Earlier this summer a few guests caught the eyes of the C Lazy U staff when they pulled off one of the most amazing engagement stories the property has ever seen.  Being that C Lazy U Ranch is turning 100 years old this year you can certainly bet that there are more than 100 true love stories to share.  But this love story in particular caught the eyes and ears of both the staff and guests.  It’s a story about Paul and Olivia and how C Lazy U Ranch not only brought them together well before they were even dating but also before the two had been on the ranch together.    

couple kissing in field

Paul and Oliva originally met in High School in 2012 in IL at Valley Central.  They were both involved competitively in the music department and sang choir together and were in the acapella group.  Their perception of each other was striking similar, they both had a shared attraction but they both also incorrectly assumed they would never be able to obtain each other and in their words they both thought they were out of each other’s league.  Because of this they never really communicated their interests and went about their ways as if it was never meant to be.

It just so happened that they managed to sit next to each other one evening at a play they both attended, and the two of them ended up exchanging Snapchat’s.  And with this simple act, the courtship began.  However Paul decided to study abroad in Spain shortly thereafter.  A quick jump over the pond didn’t separate them, and because of technology, they continued to keep in touch through social media in a very innocent friendship sort of way.  But it didn’t stop the ongoing interaction through social media and they grew closer and closer together. 

After Spain, Paul’s family decided to book a trip to C Lazy U Ranch.  During this trip Paul took several photos and posted them all on Snapchat.  Olivia followed his stay as if she were living it herself and replied to each post, “What a dream vacation” … “I wish I could go there someday” …. “Wow so cool!”

Then they started texting back and forth and Olivia’s friend Amy caught wind of their communication and said, “You should date Paul, invite him over.”  It was as simple as that and she did.  A quick text and he accepted. Then they were off eating ice cream together and going for a walk getting to know each other. 

In the coming weeks Paul had an extra ticket to a local musical, so he thought what an opportune time to ask Olivia to join.  They were his family’s season tickets, and little did she know that it was a date with his entire family.  Seven dates later and they were officially a couple. 

The two were together for 3 years after this, and then Paul’s family said, “We may go back to C Lazy U Ranch again, and you should bring Olivia.”  It was at this point that Paul’s big engagement plan started to take shape.  He knew she was the one, and he knew C Lazy U was the most beautiful place for a proper proposal that couldn’t be topped.  He invited Olivia one year out and she was excited and hopeful that this may be the big engagement, but she wasn’t entirely sure it would happen.  Paul secretly bought the ring two months in advance with his sister’s help.  Everything was lining up correctly, but Paul was concerned about pulling this off as a surprise because it was going to be so obvious at such a beautiful vacation retreat?

married couple dancing

At C Lazy U Ranch there is a spectacular lookout called Woodsie that is ideal for an engagement or a wedding but the only time you go there is for breakfast Friday morning or a quick stop on a horseback ride.  Neither of these events reflected the vision Paul had for his engagement.  He was going to have to trick her to get up to Woodsie to pop the big question.  Thus, begun Paul’s plan. 

Paul commissioned the ranch’s photographer to hide in trees while he snuck Olivia up to Woodsie for quick look at the view.  To do this he casually asked Olivia to join him for a quick hike up to Woodsie telling her it was for fun, you’ll love it and you have only seen it in photos.  As they start to walk up the hill out of nowhere a ranch hand appears driving a ranger and says, “Where you guys going” like he didn’t already know, then he replies, “Oh, Woodsie, well that’s on my way, hop in.”  And there it was, the plan was working in action.  Little did Paul know that a guest tour almost crashed this special event moments before they arrived.  The photographer managed to get them out of sight just in time. 

As the photographer sleeks her way out of the trees and closes in on the couple, Paul miraculously pulls a ring box out of his Cowboy boot and drops to one knee.  The marquise diamond sparkled brighter than the snow on the continental divide off in the distance and the ring was perfectly set in yellow gold just as Olivia had always dreamed of matching her grandmothers ring.  He then cleverly says, “There’s another reason I brought you up here…..” and continues to propose receiving an enthusiastic “YES I will marry you!”. 

engagement photo

Olivia was a little suspicious all along but she never saw a bulging ring box in his pocket so she wasn’t confident it was the big event.  In her words, “I was 90% sure it wasn’t happening, but it was perfect with a bottle of champagne, a fun impromptu ride up to the site and a photographer appearing out of thin air.  It was the perfect surprise and Paul made my dream vacation dreamier.”  

This is true love in action and just one of the fascinating stories we have heard on ranch over the years.  Who knew that a twinkle in this couple’s eyes dating back to High School would grow and nurture into a romance via Snapchat while dreaming about your dream vacation at C Lazy U Ranch?  It’s a fantasy come true on so many levels. 

Congratulations to the newly engaged couple, Olivia and Paul, from C Lazy U Ranch.  Thank you for letting us share this fun story!

A Winter Like No Other At C Lazy U

We have an ongoing debate at the ranch about what season is best at C Lazy U. The summer sympathizers are quick to point out that warm weather is best for a classic dude ranch experience and horseback riding. The winter enthusiasts beg to differ.

You see, C Lazy U is tucked away in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, which is a “wintery” place. A dazzling white blanket of snow is what brings the area to life. Naturally, Colorado’s resorts attract ski bunnies from all over the world, but that’s just the beginning of the outdoor fun to be had on a dude ranch getaway in the winter.

c lazy u winter

So what is there to do at a dude ranch in the winter months?

Horseback riding, indoors or outdoors

What about the horses? Truth be told, they’re just as happy on the ranch in the wintertime as they are in the summer. Their glossy coats ward off the cold and they just love a good trample through fresh snow. A few snow flurries can’t stop our herd of 180 horses from getting out and hitting the trails. As long as you’ve got a cozy outfit on, you may find that the snow adds an extra touch of enchantment to riding over the river and through the woods.

Don’t like Jack Frost nipping at your nose? No problem. We have a 12,000 sq. ft. heated indoor arena to trot around atop your new friend as you forge a connection and learn each other’s personalities.

Whether your horseback session is indoors or out, you’ll find plenty of hot cocoa on tap and crackling fireplaces aglow for some cozy downtime afterwards.

Get your ski time in

Bluebird skies. Champagne snow. Vast, varied terrain. These are the things that bring ski lovers to Colorado from far and wide. Ski-savvy ranch visitors have a few different options for getting in on the action and plowing through fresh powder.

To beat the ski resort crowds, the best bet is to check out our packages to nearby Winter Park and Ski Granby Ranch – we’ll take care of the logistics and complimentary shuttle service. You’ll be in charge of having fun skiing all day, then enjoying the gourmet food and quiet peace at C Lazy U in the evening.

Good old-fashioned winter fun

activities-dog-sledding-horizontalIf winter skeptics aren’t convinced yet, think back to what made your own childhood winters sparkle. Outdoor ice-skating on a Zamboni-smoothed lake? Serious hills roped off just for tubing? Building snowmen and spontaneous snowball fights? Check, check and check. We’ve got it all. The family may start to wonder if they’re inside a snow globe or on the set of a holiday-themed movie.

Active adventure seekers have plenty of ways to get their heart rates up on snowshoes and Nordic skis. Try snowmobiles for the first time for a shot of adrenaline. Each evening, everyone gets together to recount the day’s escapades from the day over a five-star gourmet dinner.

The great summer-versus-winter debate carries on here at the ranch as the days get shorter. But in a place like the mountains of Colorado, don’t be surprised if winter-lovers are the majority. In these parts, fresh snowfall is a cause for celebration! Rather than escaping the cold, let the ranch revolutionize the way you experience the winter months.

And We’re Off!

“Let’s go up!”
Echoes the wrangler’s cry in the distance of the crisp summer morning.
“Clip” “clop” go the hooves on the dirt ranch driveway-
180 horses snort and whinney as they make their way into the corrals,
Ready for breakfast.

A dart of green here A flash of red there
The hummingbirds have arrived,
Whistling their happy tune as they chase one another,
feeling safe to play
A canopy of neon green speckles-
The Aspens have leafed.

“Who’s on Shoshone?”
“Hold your reins like ice-cream cones.”
“I’m scared!”
“A long time ago a man named Shorty lived on the ranch.”
“I said a boom-chick-boom!”
“Hey, wanna come to my cabin during cabin time?”
“Can we lope again?”
“Mud fight!”
“This is awesome!”
“Welcome to the C Lazy U SHODEO!”
“This is my address, let’s be pen pals.”

The sun peaks down behind the mountain,
For a moment,
The ranch,
In a pool of gold.

Smoke risING
As kids giggle and roast s’mores
Around the campfire
And watch a cowboy brand their boots.
A souvenir of their stay.

Happy Tails
To our first week of guests, and welcome to our second!

Award-Winning Wine on the Ranch

Since 2016, C Lazy U has proudly received the Wine Spectator Award recognizing the ranch’s excellent wine selection. With contending restaurants hailing from famous wine regions like Napa Valley, this 4-year honor is no easy feat. To make the list, wine selections must offer an interesting variety, pair well with the restaurant’s menu, and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers. Thanks to C Lazy U ranch’s sommelier, Elise Blann, the ranch continues to offer award-winning wine to its guests year after year. Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur or you just know that you like “red” or “white,” read on for what you can expect from the ranch’s outstanding wine selection..     

wine at c lazy u

Drink Something New 

C Lazy U’s wine selection changes monthly, so there’s always something new to try. Elise carefully balances new and older vintages to appeal to different guests’ preferences. You’ll find classics like Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but can also look forward to enjoying unique and obscure wines and varietals.  With a rotating menu of over 600 selections, even the most experienced wine lovers will find something new to delight their taste buds. 

girl holding champagne in mountains

Try Wines from All Over the World 

Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, guests at C Lazy U can experience flavors from around the world. Elise sources wine from regions close and far, including classic locations like Napa Valley, Italy, and France. However, the ranch’s list also includes lesser-known vintages from far-flung countries like South Africa, Switzerland, Uruguay, Turkey, Hungary, Austria, and more.  

wine tub

Enjoy Perfect Pairings 

Matching your wine to your food can elevate your dining experience by complementing or contrasting the flavor of your meal. Each afternoon, Elise meets with the ranch’s chef to find out what they’re preparing for dinner service. Then, she makes custom white and red pairings that range from classic to unusual. Classic pairings allow guests to enjoy a light wine with salad or fish and red wines with heavier meats, while more adventurous eaters can try combinations like sweet wine and spicy foods for a truly unique meal.  

dinner plates on dinner table set

Personalized Recommendations 

When you’re at C Lazy U, you become part of the ranch family. In such an intimate setting, Elise can really get to know guests and understand what they like. As a certified Sommelier, Elise has the chops to listen to guests’ preferences and choose a wine she knows they’ll love. For those that want to expand their horizons, Elise provides recommendations that can gradually round out guests’ palates.  

red wine in glasses of wine

A good glass of wine is the best way to unwind from your day of horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, biking, and other ranch activities. With an experienced and knowledgeable sommelier and the ability to choose from hundreds of vintages from around the world, the wine at C Lazy U is sure to be the perfect finish to each amazing day of your ranch vacation.

Baby Alice: Almost All Grown Up

Guests these days may find it hard to spot “Baby” Alice on the ranch when surrounded by our other horses, having grown so much (and so fast!) since she was born at C Lazy U almost two years ago.

Our wranglers have had a lot of fun with Alice, our unexpected addition to the herd — watching her run, play, and learn what it means to be a ranch horse. They, along with all our staff and guests, have enjoyed watching her grow into a beautiful, friendly and wonderful horse. Thanks to Tami Burkett, our assistant head wrangler, you can watch her transformation, too!

The Story of Baby Alice

Baby Alice was born in C Lazy U’s meadow one early August morning in 2016 to Belle, a horse we had recently purchased. Belle gave no indication that she was pregnant, besides, of course, a full belly we attributed to being well fed. Because we had no idea Alice was coming, we were very much surprised when our wranglers brought the new foal in from the meadow — and stumped when coming up with a name.

baby alice

After lots of deliberation among the staff and on social media, she was named after one of our favorite guests, Alice Holewinski, who visited the ranch from Make a Wish. For more on Alice’s surprising arrival, read the Story of Alice.

Back to School? Bask in the Memories of C Lazy U

With the sun setting earlier, the air turning crisp and the schools opening their doors for yet another year, it’s time to say so long to summer. Your family vacation at C Lazy U may feel as though it happened so very long ago, but there are still ways to keep that dude ranch spirit alive after you’ve come home from the ranch.

dude ranch family vacation

Make a storybook or scrapbook.

Unless you’ve decided to disconnect from the world during your vacation, the chances are high that you took dozens, if not hundreds, of photos during your time on the dude ranch — and perhaps you’ve taken a few mementos, as well. Instead of hiding them in the cloud, never to be viewed again, create a CLU scrapbook with photos, stories and memories of your time at the ranch.

Two families that spent a week at the ranch, in fact, sent us a storybook that their two daughters made to remember their special CLU vacation. Creating something together is one of the best ways to not only solidify those memories but forge even deeper bonds as a family.

Get back on the horse.

Many of our guests are not regular horseback riders but fall in love with the sport after spending time partaking in our renowned horseback riding program. Don’t let that love fade away — get back on the horse! Search for an equestrian center, or riding facility, in your neighborhood to start taking lessons. Perhaps you will inspire a lifelong passion in your children for this amazing sport.

Recreate a meal with the family.

Some of the best memories are made during a meal, and when the food is as good as C Lazy U’s better-than-home cooking, you’ll want to relive it. Ask your kids what their favorite meal was, and then let them join you in the kitchen to recreate it. It could be as simple as having your own Woodsie Cookout Breakfast — in your own backyard or even the living room — or whipping up a particularly yummy dessert to share around a bonfire, whether real or on the TV.

Get out and enjoy nature.

The natural environment surrounding C Lazy U Ranch is one of our greatest draws, with majestic mountains soaring in the background and calm waters sparkling in the sunlight. Many of our ranch activities have you taking advantage of our great outdoors, whether you’re racing downhill on a mountain bike or hiking the trail. At home, you enjoy your hometown’s best outdoors sights — and perhaps you’ll even have a greater appreciation for them. Go on a family hike over the weekend or a leisurely bike ride, and it may become a new tradition.

Plan your return to the ranch.

One of the best ways to keep the memories of C Lazy U Ranch alive is to plan your next dude ranch vacation! If you visited during the summer, change it up and see why a Colorado winter vacation has become so popular for families. During the winter, you can also amp up your family bonding and visit during a dude ranch holiday such as Christmas or New Year’s Eve.

Your vacation at C Lazy U may have come to an end, but the memories don’t have to if you take the time to relive your dude ranch vacation.

Be Kind to the Fish in Late Summer

fly fishing in late summer

We are officially in the dog days of summer! The days are bright, the temperature is high and the fish are feeling the pressure. Even after the biggest of winters, the plummeting water levels, increase in water temperature and heavily pressured fish can make fishing tough. These conditions can also be very hard on the fish themselves. Here are a few things to keep in mind as the summer heat burns.

Fish in the mornings and evenings. The time around sunrise and sunset can be the most productive in late summer. The sun is off the water, there will be bugs hatching and fish will be feeding voraciously. Once you get into the heat of the day, the fish will hunker down and become pretty inactive.

Catching fish under the glaring sun in the heat of the day can be downright detrimental to the health of a trout. Trout are a cold water species, and don’t fare too well once the water reaches a certain temperature. Once the water gets into the upper 60’s, catching and handling trout can lead to mortality. For this reason, morning and evening fishing is best. If you do find yourself out in the heat of the day, make sure to use barbless hooks, don’t fight fish for terribly long, keep landed fish in the shade, and make sure the fish are revived completely before release.

If you’re looking for the best conditions in late summer, get out on those lakes and rivers and throw big streamers or mouse patterns in the evening. The biggest fish are nocturnal, and will feed throughout the night, especially around the full moon.

Even through the hottest days of summer, there are ways to consistently catch fish while also keeping the fish’s well-being in mind – just don’t be afraid to pull an all-nighter! Like I always say, just get out there and fish!

Bee Tours Have C Lazy U Ranch Buzzing

C Lazy U is always brimming with once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and the Colorado guest ranch continues to offer guests new and exciting activities. This summer, C Lazy U partnered with Tabernash Honey Company to bring Bee Tours to the ranch.


The new activity helps guests learn more about the bees in Colorado and get hands-on experience with a hive – with safety precautions, of course! Read on to learn more about this sweet-as-honey activity and how to plan it into your next visit to C Lazy U ranch.  

An Un-bee-lievable Experience 

Bee tours at C Lazy U blend adventure, native Colorado wildlife, and education into one unforgettable experience. During each tour, guests learn all about bees, their roles as pollinators, and their hierarchy in the Colorado ecosystem. Information is combined with hands-on activities that let you get up close and personal with the bees. First, you’ll mellow the bees with smoking lavender. Then, Tabernash Honey Company experts open the hives and pull out the honey trays so you can see the bee colony in action. Depending on the day and the hive, you may see the queen bee, bees hatching, or worker bees creating honey in the hive. To remember the experience (and taste the remarkable flavor of 100% raw Colorado honey), each guest is given a fresh jar of honey at the end of the tour. 

On Bee Tours, Safety Comes First 

The safety of our guests is always our priority at C Lazy U, and bee tours are no exception. Every tour is led by a Tabernash Honey Company beekeeping expert. The team’s deep knowledge and experience helps them understand the bees’ behavior to minimize risk and provide comprehensive information about the insects.


For personal protection, each participant wears a beekeeping suit, mask, and gloves. The guidance of an expert, combined with heavy-duty protective gear and the smoking lavender to calm the bees down, allows guests to interact with the bees in a safe way.  

Bee Tours Celebrate Colorado’s Wildlife 

As the preeminent Colorado guest ranch, C Lazy U is highly focused on celebrating our land and helping guests experience the authentic American west. There are over 900 species of bees native to Colorado, and our state depends on them to pollinate everything from our famous mountain wildflowers to our fruits and vegetables. Bee Tours give guests another opportunity to experience and enjoy everything Colorado has to offer, firsthand.  

How To Sign Up For A Bee Tour At C Lazy U Dude Ranch 

Bee Tours are available once a week, and all guests 12 and over are invited to participate. To reserve your spot, sign up for a Bee Tour at the Outfitter’s Cabin when you check into the ranch, spots book quickly due to limited availability and tours end in the Fall. We’ll bee hoping to see you in 2021!

PLEASE NOTE: Bee Tours have concluded at this point in time due to high heat in Colorado. (8/24/2020)

Benefits of a Corporate Team Building Retreat (Cowboy-style!)

benefits of team building event

Is your workplace in need of a team building getaway or corporate retreat? Signs you may be due for some breakaway time together include: team members that do a lot of grumbling under their breath, colleagues who don’t really say much at all, a team that falls prey to all sorts of distractions in the office, petty gossip and politics, and cynical guffaws at the mention of “office culture.”

The ranch hands at C Lazy U have seen all sorts of corporate team dynamics, and we’ve developed special team building exercises – from classic ropes courses to creative cowboy-inspired exercises – to remedy whatever ails your team. Forget the cheesy icebreakers and “trust falls,” round up your coworkers, and head for the hills. A Colorado mountain retreat at C Lazy U could be just the thing your team needs. Here are just a few benefits of a corporate team-building event.

Improve Communication

Outside the parameters of emailing, conference calls, and meetings, team building retreats are a time for more organic and spontaneous communication. Team members will find themselves interacting more fluidly and effectively, which will carry over to the workplace afterwards.

teamwork corporate retreat

  • C Lazy U Tip: Try our unique Cattle Herding Clinic for the ultimate exercise in communication. Mounted on horseback, the team is tasked with wrangling, cutting, and moving cattle. Afterwards, continue the discussion with a debrief (and lots of laughs as folks ponder quitting their jobs to become full-time cowboys!).

Orient New Team Members Faster

New hires need time to feel out their role and learn the best ways to connect with their peers and seniors. There’s a lot of ice-breaking to do. For businesses that have just brought on a wave of new hires, take the awkwardness out of it and accelerate the onboarding process with a team building retreat.

  • C Lazy U Tip: Plan a “field day” as part of your team building retreat at the ranch. We’ll organize all sorts of goofy events and exercises that put everyone on a level playing field, so to speak. Get the higher-ups and the newbies together to compete in contests that may involve catapulting water balloons and thinking up silly team names and flags.

Increase Productivity

Corporate team building retreats are an investment in your business – with real returns. With boosted morale and an improved group dynamic, teams go back to the office refreshed and more motivated than before. You’ll see creative ideas, improved attendance, and better teamwork across the board.

corporate retreat session c lazy u

  • C Lazy U Tip: While it’s good to focus on tasks and exercises during a team building retreat, don’t forget to include surprises and treats as well. After a structured day as a team, let loose and allow for plain-old-fun like a night of country line dancing, karaoke, or a full moon hike! These are easy wins for bumping up morale.

Discover Individual Strengths

The ranch’s team building events are specially designed to draw out the best in folks – their natural playfulness, creativity, cooperation, and even leadership. As teams take on new tasks together in a fun outdoor setting, they can relax outside the context of work. Individuals can step up with ideas, encourage each other, and laugh at their own mistakes. Boosts in self-confidence become contagious!

activity corporate retreat

  • C Lazy U Tip: An “Amazing Race” relay is a good sampling of many different kinds of tasks, from fire-building to trap shooting to zip line. Each team member is sure to find at least one chance to shine.

Cultivate Office Culture

It’s well documented that today’s workforce looks for far more than just a paycheck – it wants a meaningful work experience, complete with an office culture. What are the habits and tones of your workplace? What are some examples of that culture? A fun tradition of team building retreats will speak volumes about corporate culture and how actively it is pursued. Keep current talent happy and attract bright new recruits with photos and videos from your annual corporate retreats.

  • C Lazy U Tip: Choose from activities that best fit your team’s culture. For example, tee pee building is great for groups that love to engineer solutions, and horsemanship is great for animal-loving groups that want to improve their riding skill.

Bill Fisher: Celebrating 60 Years at C Lazy U

Guests at C Lazy U are always wowed by the ranch’s natural beauty, but it’s our passionate staff that makes the ranch the dude ranch resort it is — especially our Head Wrangler, Bill Fisher.

bill fisher head wrangler

This year, we’re celebrating Bill’s 60th year at the ranch. He’s a recognizable fixture around these parts, as he is one of the first people guests meet when they arrive. Bill is the brains behind our renowned horse program — not only does he oversee the care of our 200+ horses (and knows them all by name!), he makes sure that guests have a horseback riding experience unlike any other.

His passion, dedication and advancement of horseback riding at our dude ranch rightly earned him a Lifetime Achievement Award from Colorado Hotel & Lodging Association in 2013.

A Storied History

Bill has been part of the C Lazy U Ranch family since he first visited as a guest during his childhood. Just a few years after that first visit, he joined the ranch as a staff member. He moved through several roles throughout the years, including as a kids counselor, before he found his passion as a wrangler.

C Lazy U’s legendary former horse foreman Dawn Cone served as Bill’s mentor during these early years, charging him with matching guests with horses while Cone cared for the herd — a task he still takes on every time a new guest arrives.

For several decades, Bill hopped on and off the ranch — college, military and other work, notably in the ski patrol for Winter Park, would interrupt — but he finally came home to C Lazy U in the 1990s to become Head Wrangler. And we’re happy he did, because C Lazy U wouldn’t be the same without him. Thanks for 60 wonderful years, Bill, and to many more!

Blending Your Thanksgiving Traditions and Ours

The golden leaves have fallen, the air has turned crisp, and the turkey is almost ready for the table — it’s time for Thanksgiving! At C Lazy U, this fall holiday is one of our most special, as it truly embodies the ranch: celebrating togetherness and giving thanks to all that life has to offer. When guests come to CLU, we want them to experience the Thanksgiving traditions they’re used to — but to make sure they have a real dude ranch experience, we throw in our own traditions.

thanksgiving dude ranch traditions

Your Tradition: Parades and Football

There’s no arguing over the remote at C Lazy U Ranch: we put both the parade and the game on! If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is more your speed, we switch it on at 9:00 am sharp in the Patio House; at 10:30 a.m., the football game goes on. Though most guests are waiting for the big meal to fill up, hungry guests can pick at a light soup and sandwich bar until 2:00 pm.

Our Tradition: Thanksgiving Eve

The night before Thanksgiving isn’t generally celebrated — hosts are busy with prep work for the big meal the next day — but it’s a different story when guests come to C Lazy U Ranch for the holiday. On Thanksgiving Eve, guests are treated to family game night; afterwards, they gather around the campfire to listen to acoustic guitar. It is the best way to bring the guests who don’t yet know one another together, creating the perfect atmosphere for the next day.

Yours & Ours: Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner is served at 4:30 pm, as is typical for Thanksgiving, with a big meal that features all of the favorites: turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing, plus a few extra dishes that our in-house chef has whipped up. We combine both the traditional and the gourmet in our Thanksgiving dinner — and offer a professionally curated wine list and full bar — to make it a one-of-a-kind festive feast that you’ll rave about (and perhaps recreate!) for years to come.

Our Tradition: Days and Days of Dude Ranch Fun

Thanksgiving at a dude ranch entails a lot more than watching parades, playing family football games and eating until your pants no longer fit comfortably. Guests spend five days taking advantage of all of C Lazy U’s ranch activities, including horseback riding, wagon rides, guided hikes (or snowshoeing, depending on the weather), archery, the Lazy You Spa, much more. Instead of travelling to and from a relative’s house for the meal — or spending the entire day prepping, cooking and cleaning up — for just one day, you get to spend Thanksgiving truly bonding with the family and friends.

Your Tradition: Spending Time Together

Though guests may not be spending Thanksgiving with the entire extended family, they do get to spend quality time with the ones they love — along with a few others, of course! Thanksgiving is about bringing people together, and there’s no better way to celebrate the holiday than by making friends with strangers from across the country that may soon become your very dear friends.

Booking a Fly Fishing Trip at C Lazy U

Fishing is popular  at C Lazy U ranch, but the hospitable team in the Outfitters cabin make booking easy. If you’re itching to get on the water,  call ahead to touch base with one of the ranch’s fly fishing guides and book that morning bite. If you’re still working out your plans, don’t worry!  You can get the lowdown from our guides when your boots hit the ranch dirt. 

Man fly fishing

Once you arrive, endless riffles, deep holes, and buggy willow lines will keep any angler busy for their whole stay. Feel free to bring your own equipment, or grab some complementary gear from our tackle room. Whether you’re a seasoned angler who wants to catch the first light or you’re looking to fish with the whole family, we have the gear to fit your needs.

Closeup of man holding fishing pole

If it’s been a while since your last fly-fishing trip, grease up your technique with a complementary casting lesson the day before, and then book a guided trip with our Orvis-endorsed fish wizards. With their guidance, you’ll stick a variety of species and sizes and they may even show you their secret spot upstream. 

Man and boy fishing

Fishing all week and keeping the family entertained is easy at the #1 guest ranch in Colorado, #2 in the USA,  #3 American West awarded by Travel Leisure and USA Today. When you’re not on the water, horseback rides, trap shooting, and the luxurious spa will keep the whole family happy. Whether you are a novice or advanced angler, traveling with other fishermen or your family, a week at C Lazy U Ranch will be sure to satisfy all of your high mountain fly fishing dreams.

Written By:

Austin Reynolds, C Lazy U Fly Fishing Guide

Buckle up for our 95th Birthday, and the Fourth of July!


2014 is C Lazy U’s 95th birthday, and next week is Independence Day, so we’re celebrating! Book a stay from June 29-July 6, 2014, and on top of a fun throw-back Fourth of July experience, you’ll also receive a one-of-a-kind, silver C Lazy U commemorative belt buckle!

Join us next week and you’ll experience a slice of the early 20th century when C Lazy U was first founded. In 1919, the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified, prohibiting the sale and manufacture of alcohol. As a result, moonshine production skyrocketed! To celebrate, we’ll have a prohibition-style moonshine tasting. And while the Model T accounted for 75 percent of the nation’s cars, most Americans who lived in ranch country still used horses to get around during this time. At C Lazy U, you can take a trip back in time, and not only view C Lazy U’s very own “Tin Lizzie,” a beautifully restored 1919 Model T, but also saddle up on one of the Ranch’s more than 180 horses, and feel the wind in your hair as you gallop across C Lazy U’s 8,500 acres of land.

We’ll also offer good old fashioned fun in the form of fireworks, a talent show, kids’ carnival, parade, trick horseback riding performances, a whisky tasting and much more.

Call now to reserve your cabin while there are still a few left!

C Lazy Dude Ranch Bingo

C Lazy U dude ranch is known for family-friendly fun, all year long. To make your family vacation even more special, try out our C Lazy U Dude Ranch Bingo board. You’ll get to know the ranch better, make fun memories, and give the kids something to do during downtime. How many can you cross off?

c lazy u bingo

Download the PDF version for your next trip to C Lazy U! We can’t wait to see you and help you cross off these bingo cards!

C Lazy U – An Award-Winning Vacation Destination

Situated on 8,500 acres, C Lazy U guests can take in breathtaking Colorado landscapes, participate in once-in-a-lifetime activities, enjoy gourmet food prepared by our in-house chef, and make life-long memories. With all this to offer, it’s no wonder that C Lazy U continues to earn recognition year after year. In 2020, C Lazy U has accepted several national and global awards. Read on to find out what makes this Colorado dude ranch award-winning!  

C Lazy U Is One Of The Best Family Resorts 

c lazy u ranch entry way

Travel + Leisure named C Lazy U ranch #2 in the Top Resorts in the U.S.  for Families.  USA Today 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards echoed this sentiment and nominated C Lazy U as #8 in the category of Best Family Resorts. C Lazy U’s renowned Kids & Teens Program is just one of the reasons why the dude ranch tops the list when it comes to family vacation destinations. With exhilarating activities suitable for all ages, world-class lodging to fit the entire family, and the perfect balance of adventure and quality time, your family’s visit to C Lazy U will be one for the books.  

All-Inclusive Excellence At C Lazy U 

10 best usa

C Lazy U is the premier, all-inclusive dude ranch of the west. Guests at the luxurious ranch enjoy first-class amenities, gourmet food, horseback riding, and plenty of indoor and outdoor activities, earning the luxurious dude ranch  the 6th spot in USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Awards in the All-Inclusive Resort category.  

C Lazy U Is A Top Destination Resort

usa today 10 best award

USA Today’s 10 Best Readers Choice Awards named C Lazy U #9 in the Best Destination Resort category.  With unforgettable views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains and authentic western experiences like horseback riding and glamping, C Lazy U truly transports guests into a new world.  

C Lazy U Offers An Award-Winning Wine Selection

wine spectator award

For the 5th year in a row, the guest ranch received the Wine Spectator Award. With nominees from wine regions like Napa Valley, C Lazy U topped the list thanks to the ranch’s outstanding and versatile wine collection. Seasoned wine lovers and casual sippers alike revel in the masterful pairings C Lazy U’s full-time sommelier creates with each meal.  

C Lazy U Tops National and Global Charts  

C Lazy U also garnered national and global recognition from Travel + Leisure: 

Travel+Leisure 2020 World's Best Award badge

The C Lazy U team is proud of our achievements, and we remain focused on offering memorable experiences that create unique vacations you won’t find anywhere else. If you’re interested in seeing what the buzz is all about, contact us to book your stay.  We’d love to see you on the ranch!  

C Lazy U Celebrates 100 Years on the Ranch

It’s hard to believe that it has already been a century since C Lazy U first opened its ranch to guests — but with 100 years of accommodations comes so many memories we wanted to share and celebrate!

lodge at night with fireworks

Our luxurious dude ranch in Granby, Colorado, was originally purchased in 1919 by Wilson Smillie, and it was run by his brother Jack. Back in the day, the ranch was called F Slash Ranch, and it offered a few small houses for guests to stay in. In 1920, Jack purchased the ranch and expanded it to accommodate about 25 people.

In 1946, the ranch acquired a new name, the one we proudly call it today: C Lazy U. A year later, the Lodge on the ranch was built, followed by an even bigger expansion of the building. With the need to offer additional space and more activities for guests, the Patio House and our swimming pool broke ground.

Although the ownership of C Lazy U has changed throughout the ranch’s history, there’s one commonality: offering a western lifestyle experience that creates incredible memories for our guests.

In addition to offering that western charm the ranch has presented from the start, our list of activities and experiences has expanded greatly in the past 100 years. We now have an award-winning spa, a general store housed in an old donkey barn, some of the best Colorado hiking, and a variety of guided outdoor activities for the whole family.

Additional Fun Facts About C Lazy U Ranch:

Did you know that C Lazy U is a working ranch all year long? Our animals at C Lazy U aren’t just for show. We have 200 horses, 30 cows, and two donkeys that we care for, and they’re a big part of the C Lazy U family.

Speaking of our well-loved animals, Petey the donkey is a famous face at both the ranch and throughout the nation. He even enjoys checking out the Rockies opening day game. When you’re not visiting Petey at the ranch, you can find him in General Manager David Craig’s children’s book, Petey & Wolf.

C Lazy U may be a Colorado vacation spot for people from all over the world, but it has a diverse purpose. Our award winning ranch is a beautiful location for corporate meetings and weddings no matter the time of year! Corporate retreats at the ranch are great for teambuilding activities with enough professional space for serious corporate meetings. Many wedding parties rent out the entire ranch to offer accommodations for their wedding guests from out of town. We’re also a top Colorado film location for advertisements, movies, and other productions.

Come Celebrate 100 Years with Us:

We’re thrilled to invite guests to celebrate with C Lazy U all year long. This summer, we’ll be hosting weekly fireworks shows for guests. We are offering several dude ranch vacation packages throughout the year for guests and families who want to celebrate the ranch that offers a western culture, delicious gourmet meals, activities for the whole family and more.

A Year-Round Toast to C Lazy U

To kick off the celebration, join us for “A Year-Round Toast to C Lazy U.” We’re partnering with Leopold Bros., a locally-owned and operated distillery, to concoct some western-inspired cocktails and offer an unforgettable ranch experience.

This package includes:

  • Luxury cabin accommodations
  • Daily horseback riding and family-friendly activities
  • Gourmet meals
  • Two Bougie Bootleggers, C Lazy U’s $100 anniversary cocktail featuring the ranch’s exclusive supply of Leopold Bros. four-year Straight Bourbon
  • Custom C Lazy U 100th Anniversary Whiskey Decanter and 2 Commemorative Whiskey High Ball Glasses

This C Lazy U Land Is Your Land

Our “This C Lazy U Land Is Your Land” package will give guests and their families an extra special experience. C Lazy U is currently partnering with the National Forest Service to help rebuild areas of the land that have been impacted by Bark Beetles. To commemorate this rebuilding, this package will give each family a plank of beetle wood recovered from the forest — with the family’s brand on one side and ours on the other.

Families who book the This C Lazy U Land Is Your Land package will:

  • Receive a block of Beetle Bark wood in their welcome bags, and be invited to create their own family brand using a selection of letters, numbers and symbols during their stay
  • The opportunity to brand your hats, boots and more while on property
  • The ability to take your family brand home when you leave for future use
  • Luxury cabin accommodations
  • Daily horseback riding and family-friendly activities
  • Gourmet meals

The best part about this package is that you do not need to sign up for it, guests who book a stay throughout our Centennial year are welcome to these perks!

Trains, Horses & The Wild West

Finally, C Lazy U’s “Trains, Horses & The Wild West” package is perfect for families who want an adventure intertwined with history and the western culture.

This package includes:

  • Roundtrip tickets for the entire family on the Winter Park Train from Denver’s Union Station, directly to C Lazy U’s hometown of Granby, Colorado
  • A mailed copy of “C Lazy U Ranch, 1919-2019: A History” written by Thomas J. “Dr. Colorado” Noel and the ranch’s general manager, David Craig
  • If your party includes children you will receive a mailed copy of C Lazy U’s “Petey and Wolf” children’s book, written by the ranch’s general manager, David Craig
  • Two Bougie Bootleggers, C Lazy U’s $100 anniversary cocktail featuring the ranch’s exclusive supply of Leopold Bros. four-year Straight Bourbon
  • Transportation to C Lazy U from the Granby train station
  • A stay at the ranch during its hallmark 100th anniversary in luxury cabin accommodations
  • Daily horseback riding and family-friendly activities
  • Gourmet meals

For the Trains, Horses & Wild West Package please see the Specials Page for Details.

As we celebrate 100 years of C Lazy U ranch, we want to say thank you to our guests, staff, and everyone else who’s a part of our cowboy community. Learn more about C Lazy U’s history, and come stay with us during our 100-year celebration!  

C Lazy U Closing The Distance From Farm To Table

C Lazy U has always been known for whipping up delicious meals focused on sourcing and serving local food. Now, our luxury dude ranch is broadening our focus on farm-to-table options for guests by investing in a high-tech container farm.  

Year-Round Culinary Excellence 

Located in the mountains of Colorado, C Lazy U Ranch is an award-winning all-inclusive resort, known for hosting a multitude of adventurous activities. The ranch’s culinary program is also well-known for its ability to craft the perfect meal, and some of the fresh leafy greens that come with those meals will soon be grown on-site in an automated Vertical Hydroponic Farm built by Colorado-based FarmBox Foods.

“We saw an opportunity with FarmBox Foods to essentially have a year-round farm-to-table option,” said Paul Klees, assistant general manager of C Lazy U Ranch.

Guests and members will have the opportunity to tour the futuristic, climate-controlled farm — based inside a repurposed shipping container — and see where the food they’re eating is grown. The 320-square-foot farm will host the entire growing process, from seed to harvest.  The sensor-based technology and insulation in the container farm are superior to greenhouses, which are susceptible to the bitter cold of the Colorado Rockies. Our culinary team plans to grow lettuce and culinary herbs.   

As Fresh As It Gets 

C Lazy U’s culinary team has always been committed to shopping locally and using the freshest ingredients possible.

Purchasing a Vertical Hydroponic Farm is “just another step in the ranch’s continuing effort to create authentic farm-to-table dining,” Klees said.

“There are economic aspects to it because we’re shipping in all of the food, including produce,” he said. “When guests eat at our restaurants, we want the meals to resonate with them, and what people are looking for is healthy, organic, fresh produce.”

The 200 horses on the property already benefit from C Lazy U’s sustainable approach to food sourcing; most of the hay they eat is grown on the ranch. C Lazy U is also supplied with water by its own spring and operates its own wastewater facilities.

The Organic Experience

The exterior of the container farm will be finished with a rustic scheme so it will easily blend in with its natural surroundings, which include a creek and historic structures. 

C Lazy U began tending beehives last year, and Klees described the move as a “huge win” because both tours and ranch honey have become popular among visitors. The container farm is slated to be the next hands-on attraction at the ranch, where guests and members could have the opportunity to harvest their own veggies and prepare meals with a chef.

“It’s interactive, it’s educational, and it builds into our vision and mission statement of having a sustainable model,” Klees said.

Interested in seeing the container farm first-hand and taking part in our journey towards sustainable living? Start planning your dude ranch vacation today!

C Lazy U Instagram Contest Begins!

Have you spotted the winning photo from the 2013 C Lazy U Instagram contest hanging above the fireplace at C Lazy U’s Outfitter’s Cabin? Ranch regular John Kim and family won last year’s competition with the heart-warming snapshot of father and son fishing at C Lazy U Ranch. The Kim family won a two night stay at the Ranch as well as a printed canvas copy of their winning photo.

instagram pic at clu_

With spring quickly approaching, our 2014 C Lazy U Ranch Instagram contest is starting to ramp up, and we want you and your family to join in on the fun! Simply follow us on Instagram (@CLazyURanch), and share your #myclazyuvacation photo, and tag @CLazyURanch, for a chance to win a two night stay and a canvas print of your shot. The winning photo will also be displayed at the Ranch! Contest runs through October 31, 2014.

The lucky winner’s two night stay at C Lazy U will be valid November 1, 2014- April 15, 2015. Black out dates include Christmas, New Years and President’s Day weekends. Winner’s prize is non-transferable.

We will be picking photos to spotlight weekly, so be sure to check our Facebook page regularly to see if your photo is chosen to cash in on some bragging rights!

C Lazy U Kids Give Us a Gift to Treasure

When nine-year-old Grace and Zoey left C Lazy U after a weeklong adventure at the ranch with their parents during the busy winter season, they were, like many of our young guests, very sad to say goodbye — and not just to our horses, but to the action-packed activities that they took part in, such as snow tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating. These girls made the most of their time at C Lazy U Ranch!

We were also sad to say goodbye to such fun-loving, hardworking girls, so we were delighted to hear back from the family just a few days later.

“We got together with the other family (our traveling partners) for dinner last week and the girls, Grace and Zoey, disappeared upstairs after dinner,” Jude Olinger, Grace’s father, wrote to the ranch. “They came back down sometime later and with great fanfare presented us with a C Lazy U Ranch book that they had made.”

Mr. Olinger generously shared the storybook with us, and we were so impressed with Grace and Zoey’s work that we’d like to show it off to everyone.

At C Lazy U Ranch, we’re always looking to make sure our guests have the dude ranch vacation of a lifetime — and we’re thrilled that we were able to give that to Grace and Zoey. We would like to thank them for creating such a wonderful book and sharing their experience.

We hope to see them back at C Lazy U Ranch soon. In fact, the girls have asked how old they must be to work here at the ranch, so we expect them back as ranch hands in just a couple years!

C Lazy U Named Top 10 Best Resort by USA Today Readers

C Lazy U USA Today Readers Choice Award

Thanks to your love of the ranch, C Lazy U made USA TODAY’s 2016 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards for Best Destination Resorts! This is the first year this category was including the USA TODAY’s Readers’ Choice travel awards and we’re excited to be recognized as one of the best destination resorts in the country.

Your votes counted and helped earned us a spot in the top ten. Thank you for your continued love and commitment to C Lazy U – we’d be nothing more than a lonely ranch in the middle of Colorado without out amazing guests.

C Lazy U has been your year-around destination for a Colorado family vacation for decades. Whether you come for the horseback riding, Orvis-endorsed fly fishing on our private stretch of the Colorado river, the Lazy You Spa situated on the bank of a gently rolling creek, gourmet food (paired with our award-winning wine list), family fun, or all of the above, we hope you’ll continue to make C Lazy U part of your cherished family memories for years to come.

Thanks again for helping put another award on our shelves!

C Lazy U Ranch Named Best Destination Resort by USA Today

For the third year in a row, guests and fans of the ranch have banded together to help C Lazy U win the title as one of the best destination resorts in the United States. To all those who helped the ranch climb USA Today’s prestigious list, we’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks!

Dude ranch barn with horses

Strong and Steady Wins the Award

This year, we’ve held strong at our No. 2 spot, a feat unmatched by most other resorts on the list.

C Lazy U Ranch is one of only two resorts that have placed consistently on the 10Best Destination Resorts list since the category was introduced in 2016. Prior to that, USA Today’s national travel guide — written by USA TODAY Readers' Choice 2018 Awardunbiased local experts — listed C Lazy U Ranch first among the best dude ranches in the winter, celebrating our plethora of winter activities, fine dining and luxury accommodations.

USA Today’s 10Best Awards are held every year, and only 20 nominees across the country are chosen by experts and 10Best editors for the category. Voting opens for just four weeks, during which guests are free to vote as often as they like, and it seems that our guests were in it to win it.

C Lazy U hopes to welcome all our guests back to celebrate this award — and keep delivering experiences that will help us win the next one!

C Lazy U Ranch Named YPO’s Best of the Best Family Event

Families around the world come to C Lazy U Ranch to not only enjoy the wonder of the Rocky Mountains, but to bond, make memories and have fun as a family. We work hard to make sure that the ranch is a dream vacation for all ages, whether you’ve got toddlers or teens.

As a two-time winner of the Young Presidents’ Organization Best of the Best Family Event, we’ve succeeded in making C Lazy U Ranch a premier location for family vacations.
C Lazy U and YPO

YPO Approved Dude RanchThe Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) is the largest global network of chief executives and business leaders committed to lifelong learning and exchanging ideas to improve their businesses, personal growth and family relationships, as well as making lasting impacts on their communities. YPO comprises more than 25,000 members in over 130 countries, spanning all types of industries. The organization invites spouses and partners of YPO members to events dedicated to family bonding and positive parenting, while offering special programming for the kids.

As a partner of YPO, C Lazy U offers discounted rates on stays and activities at the ranch, which is especially convenient when searching for a spot to host your next family reunion. YPO members can take advantage of their discounts to hold an epic gathering in the mountains, with family-style cabins; intimate group meals; and challenging group activities such as horseback rides, the zip line and ropes course, and cattle roping clinics. The ranch allows for plenty of unforgettable family time, while its idyllic landscape offers the chance for some much-needed introspection.

Of course, sometimes it needs to be about the business: YPO members can also use their discounted rates to plan corporate retreats and teambuilding events at the ranch. With ample meeting space and on-site event planners that can customize everything from the food to the lighting in the meeting rooms, the ranch is an ideal location for YPO members to plan events.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that YPO members have chosen C Lazy U as their favorite destination.

C Lazy U Ranch Ropes in the Awards

For those who work hard at keeping C Lazy U one of the best dude ranches in Colorado, the greatest reward is a happy, relaxed and rejuvenated guest — but we always appreciate an award! Over the past year, CLU has been honored with a whole heap of awards for the ranch’s accommodations, spa offerings, meeting spaces, gourmet food & drink, luxury amenities, experiences and much more.

Help us rope in another one with the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards!

c lazy u ranch girl holding flag on horse

USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Award

Nominated by travel experts at USA Today and voted in by its readers, C Lazy U made this exclusive list of USA Today’s Best Destination Resorts — and not just that, but we snagged the #2 spot.

LUX Magazine

C Lazy U was recognized not once but twice at LUX Magazine, winning the top spot in two awards: the 2018 Tourism Awards, where CLU won Best All-Inclusive Luxury Dude Ranch, and the 2018 Global Travel and Tourism Awards, nabbing Most Outstanding Dude Ranch.

2018 Colorado Meetings & Events Best of Awards

C Lazy U has a wide range of dude ranch meeting spaces that range from intimate, cozy rooms to grand, wide-open halls. Our unique meeting spaces enabled us to become a finalist for “Resorts with Meeting and Event Spaces” from Colorado Meetings & Events.

2017 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

Guest reviews let us gauge how we’re doing — and according to TripAdvisor, we’re doing well! C Lazy U has won the review site’s Certificate of Excellence for seven consecutive years, earning five-star ratings all across the board.

Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Every detail is important at C Lazy U, including the wine we have available to our guests — which has now earned Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence for the second year in a row. With an expert sommelier carefully selecting each wine that goes on the list, we make sure everything complements each other.

Guests always come first — but we’d always like a pat on the back! Vote for us now in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards if you’ve lived and loved an experience at C Lazy U Ranch.

C Lazy U Ranch Traditions You’ll Never Forget

A dude ranch vacation at C Lazy U is chock-full of Western traditions: horseback riding, fishing, and simply enjoying the great outdoors. Guests can enjoy all of those important Colorado traditions as part of their dude ranch experience, but there are a few others that you’ll only find at C Lazy U.c lazy u ranch traditions

Daily Jingle: Watch Those Horses Go

Horseback riding is the crown jewel of C Lazy U Ranch, so it’s no wonder that one of our most prized traditions is the daily jingle. If you’ve never heard of a jingle before, it doesn’t include a bell or a catchy commercial tune — it’s the daily “commute” the horses take from the barn to the pasture in the morning and the afternoon.

Each morning, you can watch over 200 horses run towards the hills for their day out in the sun. While other dude ranches may have a similar tradition with their horses, we have something they don’t: Petey and Tilly, the ranch’s mini donkeys. Any chance they get, Petey and Tilly join in on the jingle. Make sure to get a good spot — they’re small, so they can be hard to spot!

Saturday Shodeo: Show Off Your Skills

At the end of the week during the summer season, guests get to show off what they’ve learned and perfected on horseback during their stay. The kids are the stars of the show, but C Lazy U also lets the adults take a turn around the outdoor riding ring, where they compete in pole bending, barrel racing, key hole trials or the Texas T.

Guests aren’t obligated to participate in the Shodeo, so you can sit out and watch the show instead; the spectacle is just as fun as a spectator!

Woodsie Cookout: Breakfast With a View

Guests get a special breakfast treat when they visit from June throughout August, and it’s not something sweet (though we provide that, too!). On Friday mornings, we serve a special cookout breakfast at Woodsie Overlook. This spot, with views of the Indian Peaks mountain range perfectly framing Willow Creek Reservoir, is one of the ranch’s most majestic sites — and one the guests constantly rave about.

This breakfast features fresh doughnuts, local trout, eggs, bacon, sausage, seasonal fruit and, of course, our famous pancakes on the outdoor griddle. You don’t have to worry if it’s a little chilly: we light a roaring fire and serve cup after cup of Cowboy Coffee. Though it’s just a breakfast, it’s a cozy little tradition that guests at C Lazy U Ranch often find one of the most memorable.

Holidays at the Ranch: Special Surprises

Because C Lazy U Ranch is a beloved family destination — and we’re a family ourselves — we pay a lot of attention to how we celebrate the holidays. Whether guests are visiting for Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve, each holiday features all the traditions you love, and then some.

During Thanksgiving, guests are treated to not one but four days of entertainment and family bonding time, including a football game, corn hole tournaments, hatchet throwing competitions and more. Christmas brings the traditional gingerbread house building, tree trimming and ice skating, but also a special visit from Santa atop a horse-drawn sleigh filled with gifts for the guests. On New Year’s, families get an extended holiday and plenty of activities before the big night — followed by a New Year’s Eve bash with live music and mechanical bull riding.

After guests partake in these special traditions at C Lazy U Ranch, they often come back to experience them again — and perhaps even incorporate some of them into their own homes!

C Lazy U Ranch Wins Wine Spectator Award of Excellence

Gourmet dining paired with fine wines may not have been on the menu for real cowboys in Colorado back in yesteryear, but it is now for guests at C Lazy U Ranch. We’ve worked hard to make sure that we offer only the best in food and beverages— and now, having been awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence two consecutive years, we know we’ve succeeded again. You can view our award on WineSpectator.com.

The Wine Spectator Award of Excellence 2017

The prestigious Award of Excellence is given to restaurants across the world that offer wine lists boasting a selection that is not only interesting and surprising, but appealing to all types of palates. The wine lists — typically offering at least 90 different wines from various producers — also match the dinner menu in price and style, complementing the food effortlessly.wine spectator award c lazy u ranch

The award has a storied history, having been launched by Wine Spectator in 1981 to celebrate restaurants who paid attention to the often-ignored wine list. Over 35 years later, it has expanded into multiple categories and is given to restaurants in over 50 countries. The clamor to nab an award has encouraged restaurants worldwide to design wine lists with more care.

Thanks to our in-house wine director and sommelier Shelby Peterson’s expertise and careful selection, C Lazy U Ranch has nabbed its second consecutive Award of Excellence, once again joining the ranks of international leaders in gastronomy. Our wine list has hundreds of wines ranging from Chardonnays from Napa Valley to Italian Chianti, as well as local wine in Colorado and exotic selections from Lebanon.

With a thoughtful, expansive wine list and our Executive Chef’s decadent menu, we’re proud to offer an award-winning gourmet experience for every guest at C Lazy U Ranch.

C Lazy U Ranch: Rebuilding for The Next 100 Years

On October 21st and 22nd, 2020, the East Troublesome Fire made its way through C Lazy U Ranch’s property, destroying 4 buildings and impacting some of the ranch’s stunning 8,500 acres of land. Through the brave efforts of firefighters, first responders, and the community, we moved all our animals out of harm’s way and saved the ranch’s most critical infrastructure from damage.  Since the fire, our C Lazy U team and community have been hard at work assessing damage, making repairs, upgrading facilities and preparing to open our doors once again. From our construction and housekeeping teams who improved our public areas and guest lodging, to our wranglers who adapted under unusual circumstances to our Food & Beverage team who kept everyone fed, it’s been a true, all-hands-on-deck effort that highlights the resilient spirit of C Lazy U.

front gate

As we count down the days to our grand re-opening on April 1, 2021, we’re giving you a sneak peek at what we’ve been working on and what you can expect when you visit us for your upcoming luxury guest ranch vacation.

Rebuilding the Barn

The ranch’s iconic barn was lost in the fire and rebuilding it is a main focus for the C Lazy U team. The original barn stood for over 99 years, and to signify the next 100 years of adventure and excitement at the ranch, the rebuilding project has been termed “Vision 2121.”

barn at c lazy u

Until the new barn is complete, we’ve secured a temporary barn for saddle and tack storage, which will allow us to continue to offer outstanding equestrian activities throughout your stay. Want to know the latest Vision 2121 news? Be sure to check out our Raise The Barn page for more details and updates.      

Updated Guest Rooms

cabin at c lazy u

At C Lazy U Ranch, we use adverse opportunities such as these to upgrade and enhance the property. While we were completing renovations, we updated all of our guest rooms. Every room was furnished with fresh paint, brand-new mattresses, linens and window treatments.

Fresh Touches to Community Areas

In addition, several community areas have also been updated. Most notably, we’ve reconfigured the Outfitter’s Cabin in the Patio House.  Guests will be welcomed by a new custom reclaimed timber front desk that also serves as the concierge desk.  This change will allow us to provide an even better guest experience on ranch and streamline the check-in and check-out process. We’ve also transformed the entire Patio House with an interior renovation to provide an improved guest lounge, meeting space, and overflow dining. 

patio house

In the Main Lodge the Card Room has been converted into a cozy lounge complete with cocktail tables to give guests even more room to relax and unwind.  The Latigo Banquet/Meeting room received a new hardwood floor and the attached Adega wine room, a fabulous new cork floor.

wine area

The new Activities Yurt by the pond will be open this spring to provide an improved guest interaction when participating in non-horse related experiences.

Upgraded Staff Housing & Offices

Our staff is the lifeblood of C Lazy U, and we’ve used this time to update our staff quarters. All on-ranch staff housing has been repainted and fitted with new linens, mattresses, flooring and bathroom upgrades. We also updated the administrative and management offices in the Main Lodge and Patio House. 

Clean & Safe Trails

C Lazy U offers guests limitless trails for mountain biking, hiking, and horseback riding. After the fire, keeping our trails safe remains our main concern, and our year-round trail crew jumped into action.

staff riding horses

The team identified and cleared any damaged trees that were in danger of falling. They also implemented numerous efforts to stabilize the land and offset erosion across the property. Throughout 2021 and 2022, the team will continue to update fencing and trail systems.

Community Days

On behalf of the entire C Lazy U team, we’d like to thank the community, first responders, firefighters, and our year-round staff for their commitment and dedication to keeping the ranch safe and their continued efforts to rebuild the ranch. We’re overwhelmed by the outpouring of support, and many members of the community are eager to lend a hand while we continue to update and rebuild. We’re working on developing a Volunteer Day program to allow you to sign up and volunteer on the ranch and we’ll share those plans soon.

kids with poney

In the meantime, join us in our countdown to April 1st, 2021 by staying up to date on our FaceBook and Instagram channels. And, if you’re planning on booking a 2021 stay at the ranch, don’t wait! Spaces are filling up! We look forward to welcoming you back home to C Lazy U. 

See you very soon!

C Lazy U Recognized as Premier Wine Destination by Wine Spectator

C Lazy U Wins Wine Spectator Award

What’s the best way to unwind after a long day of horseback riding along amazing Rocky Mountain trails? A premium glass (or bottle) of wine of course!

Wine Spectator Award of ExcellenceC Lazy U Guest Ranch prides itself on our superior service, and that includes a world-renowned, carefully cultivated wine list! Our hard work, careful selections, and dedication to providing our guests with the very best has paid off.

C Lazy U won the Wine Spectator 2016 Restaurant Wine List Awards – Award of Excellence!

Wine Spectator has been running its award program since 1981 in an attempt to find, recognize, and tell readers about the world’s best wine lists. C Lazy U is proud and honored to have earned this prestigious award.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and style. Because C Lazy U hosts guests from around the world, we work hard to make sure our wine lists pairs beautifully with our Colorado cuisine, but also matches global tastes and preferences. C Lazy U’s wine list, handpicked by our in-house wine director and sommelier Shelby Peterson, features 375 different wines, so you’re always sure to find something to fit your palate.

Next time you’re at C Lazy U, take the time to check out our award-winning wine list or ask about the perfect paring for your all-inclusive gourmet dinner.

C Lazy U Summer Bucket List: Must-Do Dude Ranch Activities

Offering the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the freedom to roam 8,500 acres of untouched American West, high-class amenities and fun-filled activities, an all-inclusive getaway at C Lazy U Ranch is the best way to spend summer vacation for families.

horses going to barn

We’ve created a summer bucket list filled with must-do dude ranch activities so you can experience everything C Lazy U has to offer and make countless memories you’ll never forget.

Catch the Daily Jingle

Normally getting stuck in rush hour wouldn’t be at the top of your summer bucket list, but at C Lazy U Ranch, the early morning rush — what we call the “jingle” — is quite a sight.

Instead of honking cars, you’ll hear the clopping and whinnying of horses when it’s rush hour on the ranch. Every morning at 6 a.m., our herd of over 200 horses comes in from pasture, corralled by our skilled wranglers to get fed, groomed and saddled for a day on the trails. Make sure you don’t miss this magical moment!

Enjoy a Cup of Cowboy Coffee

Nothing fuels your day like a freshly brewed cup of “Cowboy Coffee.” Brewed over at lodge fire pit and served alongside a hearty, ranch-style family breakfast, it’s just the thing to help you prepare for the high-energy activities coming your way.

Spot Three Kinds of Colorado Wildlife

Right at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, C Lazy U offers many opportunities to spot all kinds of Colorado wildlife. From moose and elk to wild antelope and deer, there’s plenty to see here.

Explore our 8,500 acres of land on horseback, by foot or by bike to spot at least three different types of wild animals. Watching for wildlife is a great way to see different parts of our grounds and get the full C Lazy U experience.

Sneak off to a Romantic Spot

Whether you’re visiting C Lazy U as a couple or with the whole family, make sure you sneak away to one of the many romantic spots on the ranch to share a special moment with your loved one.

Give Your Horse a Nice Grooming

At the C Lazy U guest ranch, horseback riding is a daily activity – and it’s a great way to see the beautiful summer scenery Colorado has to offer. Each day, you and your family will set out with the same horse for morning and afternoon trail rides, which allows you to bond with your steed.

You can further strengthen this bond and can check something unique off your C Lazy U bucket list by grooming your horse after a long day’s ride.

Learn more about the horses at our Colorado dude ranch, our adult horseback riding program and our age-appropriate kids riding program.

Go to the Saturday Shodeo

Attending the Shodeo is a great way to wrap up your summer horseback riding vacation. The Shodeo is our weekly C Lazy U rodeo where the kids get to show off all the skills they’ve learned throughout the week, and the adults compete in cowboy competitions like pole bending, barrel racing, keyhole trials and the Texas T.  

Come on Down to C Lazy U for the Perfect Summer Vacation

With so many summer activities to do and things to see at our Colorado dude ranch, you’re sure to have the summer vacation of a lifetime.

Contact us today to plan your stay and start checking off items on your summer bucket list.

C Lazy U Who – Jude Dwyer


A great ranch is made up of many things: well trained horses, well-appointed cabins, fine dining and spectacular views. Here at the C Lazy U Ranch we know that we couldn’t truly be “Colorado’s Premier Guest Ranch” without our amazing and loyal employees. For that reason we’d like to introduce you to the members of our staff that work 365 days a year, over holidays for which the rest of the country gets time off, during weather conditions that drive the rest of the world indoors by a warm fire, and at all hours of the day and night, so you can get to know where the real magic behind the C Lazy U Ranch lies.

We’ll start off our new bi-monthly blog post with our Office Manager, Jude Dwyer, who has been at the ranch for 25 years this February, making her a fixture that everyone knows and loves. Here are a few things you might not know about her!

Jude grew up “back East” on a little farm with cows. While the cows didn’t belong to her family, her family was in charge of the day-to-day well-being of the herd, doing such a good job, in fact, that one year she and her sister were gifted twin calves by the cows’ owner.

Jude’s attentive nature wasn’t limited to the cows though; her parents would describe her as a mellow, studious child that loved school. She was given an opportunity to take shorthand as an elective in high school, and took it; this is a skill that she uses today and it’s fascinating to watch! In addition to her love of studying Jude was a fan of bandstand in high school, her favorite song to dance to being “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You” by Elvis.

While high school brings up different memories for everyone, some that we’d like to forget and others that helped shape who were are today, there is one memory from high school that Jude will never forget: John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jude recalls that it was just after gym class when someone ran in to deliver the news. Classes were cut short that day and everyone went home to be with family while the horror unfolded.

After high school Jude wasn’t sure if she wanted to continue on to college or try the working world, but she knew that ultimately she wanted a job that allowed her to be around people… she ended up in prison. No, this isn’t a plot twist to add drama to an otherwise riveting read, it’s true! Jude took a job as a Clerk Stenographer in the youth correctional institution (Yardville) in New Jersey, where she worked for 18 years eventually becoming Executive Assistant to the Commission of Corrections. It was at this prison that she also met her future husband (and fellow employee), Phil. They got married and eventually moved to Colorado when Phil retired (the first time). It was about this time that the C Lazy U was advertising for an office position in the local paper; Jude filled that opening and has been with us ever since. Fun fact: Phil also worked at the C Lazy U, as its HR director for several years.

It’s impossible to think of the Ranch without Jude: in addition to managing our front office and Concierge departments and coordinating events, she also serves on the Board of Directors for the Colorado Dude and Guest Ranch Association, as its Vice President; she can tell stories of the ranch that would “knock your socks off” (don’t worry, she promises a scandal-clad book of the ranch upon retirement; one of her favorite phrases is, after all, “it’s going in the book”… we can’t wait!).

So, what does this busy and well-seasoned woman say her best single piece of advice is for her grandchildren? “Follow your dreams and don’t give up”; well we’re sure glad that her dreams led her to the C Lazy U Ranch. Thank you Jude for all of your years of hard work and dedication at the C Lazy U Ranch!”

C Lazy U’s 12 Days of Christmas

The C Lazy U Ranch is proud to present to you our 12 Days of Christmas!


12 people on the sleigh

big group

11 horseshoe players

11 horseshoe players stand around a giant snowman made of flour in the indoor arena during the first annual Christmas Horseshoe Tournament
11 horseshoe players stand around a giant snowman made of flour in the indoor arena during the first annual Christmas Horseshoe Tournament

10 Elves a’workin’

the traditional display of the 10 ranch elves, preparing for Christmas in the Lodge Lounge.
the traditional display of the 10 ranch elves, preparing for Christmas in the Lodge Lounge.

9 Bowls of Candy

The candy spread in the Outfitter's Cabin of the Ranch
The candy spread in the Outfitter’s Cabin of the Ranch

8 Cross-Country Skiers

group sledding

7 Wreaths a’hangin’

7 wreaths adorn the front of the lodge
7 wreaths adorn the front of the lodge

6 Snowtubes Double-Loaded

6 double-rider snow tubes are ready to launch!
6 double-rider snow tubes are ready to launch!

… 5 Wranglers Riding

Head Wrangler Bill Fisher, And Wrangler Tyler Klees out for a ride with the first of the winter wranglers.
Head Wrangler Bill Fisher, And Wrangler Tyler Klees out for a ride with the first of the winter wranglers.

4 Hockey Players

4 C Lazy U Ranch boys play hockey at night, on the freshly zambonied pond
4 C Lazy U Ranch boys play hockey at night, on the freshly zambonied pond

3 moose a’munchin’

3 bull moose graze the sage brush by Shorty's arena
3 bull moose graze the sage brush by Shorty’s arena

2 mules a’mushing

Horus and Jasper, pulling the ranch sleigh
Horus and Jasper, pulling the ranch sleigh

And a Sicilian donkey in a Santa hat!

Petey prepares for the holiday season with a Santa hat.
Petey prepares for the holiday season with a Santa hat.

C Lazy U’s Guide to Plan a Summer Wedding

There’s nothing quite like a summer wedding in Colorado. The temperature is just right, the colors of nature are glowing, and there are plenty of locations for the perfect wedding photos.

wedding at c lazy u

But planning a summer wedding can be stressful, as there are a lot of important details. You have to choose the food, accommodations for your family members coming into town, and activities to keep your loved ones busy. If you’re early on in the planning phase, we’re offering a little help to inspire your summer wedding to be perfect in every way. Here’s C Lazy U’s checklist for planning a summer wedding:

Find a Wedding Location with an Incredible View

When researching options for a Colorado wedding, the location is one of the most important aspects. Consider whether your wedding will be held outside or inside. You can’t really go wrong with an outdoor wedding in Colorado, especially during the summer.

If you really want to awe your guests, look no further than the ranch at C Lazy U. We offer many different wedding ceremony sites on our 8,500 acres, with four indoor or outdoor locations. Your Colorado mountain wedding will be unforgettable with the lush nature found on the ranch.

Impress Your Guests with Gourmet Dining

Besides the location, the food and beverages at a wedding are what your guests will remember — and they won’t hesitate to tell you their opinions of it, either. That’s why you should take your wedding menu in a gourmet direction.

wedding table set up

Take your guests on a culinary adventure with world-class cuisine crafted by C Lazy U’s taste masters. Seasonal produce is incorporated into the plate, accompanied by the protein of your choice. You guests will be delighted by the food, and you can relax on your big day knowing that the food was up to everyone’s (and most importantly your) expectations.

Plan Fun Activities for Your Wedding Party

If you’re looking for a ranch wedding venue that takes your breath away, impresses your taste buds, and gives you plenty of activity options, C Lazy U has a variety of Colorado summer activities to enjoy. Whether you want to plan an adventure for your wedding party or you need an activity to keep your families busy before the wedding, our activity list is impressive.

Jump on one of our friendly horses to tour the property from one of our beautiful trails. Head to the river for some fly fishing lessons. Take the whole crew on a guided hike. Lounge by the swimming pool for some relaxation. Or start the day with yoga to calm your nerves.

Book Plenty of Rooms for Your Guests

A wedding at C Lazy U offers an incredible view, delicious food, and those fun activities. But another perk is our luxurious, western guest rooms. Whether you buy out the ranch for your wedding or you need a few cabins for out-of-town guests, you can choose how many rooms you need.

Each guest room on the ranch is decorated in a luxe western theme with cozy robes, L’OCCITANE bath products, comfortable bedding, and hot drink machines.

Find the Perfect Wedding Reception Location

One thing to keep in mind when planning a destination wedding is that you don’t want to make your guests travel far from the ceremony site to the reception site. At C Lazy U, we make the transition as seamless as possible.

dining room for wedding
The renovated hay barn is one of our largest – and most elegant – places to host a fancy ranch wedding reception.

Once the ceremony is over, your customized reception area will await you. From tableware to flowers, twinkle lights and candles, we’ll get everything ready so you can focus on dining, dancing, and the big celebration!

Learn more about ranch weddings at C Lazy U.

Carrot Soup – C Lazy U Style

While we’re all at home, now is the perfect time to practice your cooking. To help you improve your cooking chops and use up some ingredients before they go bad, C Lazy U ranch’s chef, Corey Untch, has put together a recipe that’s simple, satisfying, and will give you a taste of the ranch life while you’re home. To help you clean out your fridge and use up produce before it becomes limp and lifeless, try this carrot soup recipe. Using common ingredients, you can create a savory, mouthwatering dish the whole family can enjoy. Let’s get cooking!

This recipe is designed for something that is always sitting in the depths of your refrigerator door; slowly becoming limp and useless. The thought of this recipe was to use up those carrots and turn them into something delicious and wholesome during these times.

homemade carrot soup


  • Carrots – 2 quarts – peeled and chopped into 1-inch logs
  • Onions – 1 cup diced
  • Garlic – 5 cloves diced
  • Orange juice – to cover carrots in pot
  • Lemon Juice – at the end to taste
  • Orange zest – at the end 1 each
  • Cumin – toasted – 1 Tablespoon
  • Fennel Seed – toasted – 1 Tablespoon
  • Coriander – 1 tsp
  • Honey – ¼ cup
  • EV Olive oil- ¼ cup
  • Red Chili Flake – 1 tsp
  • Salt & Pepper – to taste


  1. Place onions in pot add 1 tsp of salt and sauté in a little oil till translucent
  2. Add carrots, orange juice cumin, fennel seed, coriander, hone, add another tsp of salt
  3. Cook till carrots are fork tender
  4. Place mixture in blender and puree- being careful to hold a towel over the blender so lid doesn’t pop off during the puree
  5. Add Extra virgin olive oil in slowly as to emulsify
  6. Add orange zest, lemon juice, red chile flake


As with any recipe: taste adjust with salt, red chile flake, honey and olive oil. Add more of these if necessary.

Garnish Optional :

  • Cinnamon Toasted Pine Nuts – as many as you want
  • Whipped Yogurt – 1 spoon full
  • Kale Crisps – as many as you want

We hope you enjoy this wholesome dish and look forward to bringing you more ideas in the future!

Celebrate Christmas in July With CLU

It may be summertime (and a little hot outside!), but we’re already prepared for Christmas — and we’re spreading the Christmas cheer with a special deal to spend the holidays with us.

Book before July 31 and save 10% on your Christmas stay at C Lazy U!

Christmas at C Lazy U, held from December 22–27 at the ranch, is an experience straight out of a storybook. Not only do you get to spend quality family time in one of the most beautiful locations in Colorado, you’ll get to continue your yuletide traditions — and perhaps create some new ones.

christmas vacation

Traditional Christmas Activities

Families worried about missing out on their favorite holiday traditions will be pleasantly surprised at the itinerary C Lazy U has dreamed up for Christmas. In addition to the ranch’s regular winter activities, including horseback riding and horsemanship clinics, snowshoeing, trap shooting and hockey, we’ve set up a whole host of traditional Christmas activities for the adults and the kids. Spend time building gingerbread houses, decorating cookies, going on sleigh rides, singing carols and trimming the tree with old friends, new friends and the kids.

Feast for the Eyes: Decorations

It can’t be Christmas at the ranch without twinkling lights, big red bows, garlands and a tree to trim. Luckily, we’ve got it all — and then some! During December, the ranch is decked out in Christmas décor from top to bottom, making you feel like you’re in a living snow globe.

Each cabin gets a personal tabletop tree to decorate with the family, while a larger tree stands proudly in the Main Lodge. Guests will gather together for a night of Christmas carols and tree trimming, leaving presents under the tree until Christmas morning.

Feast for the Belly: Christmas Feasts

One of the best parts of Christmas at C Lazy U is, arguably, the feast. Each day of your stay at the ranch features three gourmet meals a day, but Christmas dinner is truly something special. Each table receives its own turkey to carve, accompanied by all the traditional side dishes and dessert. An expertly curated wine list and full bar round out the feast.

Best yet, you don’t have to step foot in the kitchen: we cook, serve and clean it all up so you’ll have even more time with the family.

A Special Santa Visit

Every year, a very special guest visits C Lazy U Ranch to bring cheer to the children (and gifts, of course!). Riding in on a horse-drawn sleigh is Santa, with a sack full of goodies and enough joy to go around. Give your children the gift of wonder and pure happiness with a personal visit with Santa at C Lazy U.

If you’re feeling the Christmas spirit already, book now to save 10% on your stay from Dec. 22–27!

Celebrate Relaxation Day and Laziness at C Lazy U

Those Lazy crazy days of summer may be coming to an end, but August is particularly good month to relax. Official ‘Lazy Day’ is recognized on August 10, and National Relaxation day falls on August 15. August is the month to claim your vacation days (or just play hooky) and do absolutely nothing at all.

As you can tell by our middle name, C Lazy U takes good ol’ rest and relaxation very seriously. The ranch is an ideal environment for practicing the art of idleness. Here are just a few ways to celebrate Lazy Day and Relaxation Day, C Lazy U style.

Lazy U Spa Treatments

As a superior service dude ranch, the C Lazy U luxury guest ranch has a combination of frills and thrills that means lots of outdoor adventure without any of that pesky “roughing it”. One such frill is our award-winning, stress-busting Lazy You Spa. The spa’s location on the banks of a creek make for fine views as you laze about and take in the beautiful Colorado mountain views around you. Indulge in a romantic copper tub soak for two. Or, in the massage tents, watch water flow under the glass floors as your professional masseuse does all the work.

Pool and Hot Tub

In case the spa requires too much effort to reach, plop down by the pool and let the laziness begin. It couldn’t be easier to get to, just off the Patio House and a stone’s throw from the Main Lodge and cabins. Drinks and snacks from the pool bar are so close that they’ll find their way to you. Become one with your lounge chair for a relaxing, do-nothing, afternoon. For further slothfulness, have a soak in the spring-fed hot tub. Your stress will melt away as you relax on your Colorado vacation.

Labor Day Weekend

At C Lazy U dude ranch, we celebrate the long Labor Day weekend helping you forget there’s such a thing as work. This weekend is dedicated to taking time away from your toils in order to spend it having fun with the family. Enjoy our all-inclusive ranch activities, luxurious cabins, and gourmet meals as you treat you and your family to a picture-perfect Colorado weekend. Think of it as a last summer hurrah before the hustle and bustle of the school year kicks in once again.

Slow Down on a Fall Visit

After the summer frenzy is over and the kids go back to school, life at the ranch slows down. A fall visit to the ranch is the best time to take in nice long walks and horseback rides surrounded by color-turning foliage. Take in the beautiful turning leaves and changing seasons all around the ranch, as the fall season in the Rocky Mountains is simply stunning. The tone is serene and stress-free as guests wander from one scenic activity to the next – with plenty of time for leisurely gourmet dining and spa treatments. Looking for a quick weekend getaway for you and your family to relax and have fun? Check out our Fall Vacation Short Stay packages!

Celebrating 4th of July At C Lazy U Ranch

Every week on the ranch is special, but 4th of July brings a little extra magic to C lazy U. Nestled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this luxury Colorado dude ranch gives guests the perfect setting to celebrate our country.

flag cowboy boot

The blend of the true American West and modern day elegance will captivate every family member and make this 4th of July a holiday you’ll remember forever.  

Fly Your Flag High  

During the week of 4th of July, the ranch is fully decked out in red, white, and blue. With American flags proudly waving all around the ranch, C Lazy U invites each guest to take part in the fun. Every family will receive their own flag to hang in their cabin and commemorate this special time together.  

Show Off Your Patriotic Side 

group celebrating 4th of july

Start your 4th of July off with a bang by participating in our annual 4th Of July Parade.  Celebrate Independence Day by dressing up in red, white, and blue – the more, the better! Complete your outfit by bringing along your family’s flag and waving it high for all to see.  

big group celebrating 4th of july with flag

Participate in All-Inclusive Dude Ranch Activities 

Of course, every C Lazy U vacation is all-inclusive, which means you’ll enjoy three gourmet meals each day and experience countless fun-filled activities. With horseback riding, fly fishing, archery, swimming, mountain biking, and more, there’s something for every family member. Kids can enjoy our renowned Kids & Teens Program, where they’ll meet new friends, try out age-appropriate activities, and stay busy, happy, and safe. With lodging, meals, and daily activities taken care of, all you’ll have to worry about is having fun!  

Watch Breathtaking Fireworks 

What better way to celebrate 4th of July than with a fireworks show? After participating in the 4th of July parade, enjoying a day full of activities, and eating some delicious home-cooked meals, relax with your family to watch our spectacular private fireworks show. Not only will you have a front-row seat to an impressive show, but you’ll enjoy the ranch in a whole new light as the fireworks illuminate C Lazy U and its beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop.   

fireworks at c lazy u

4th of July at C Lazy U ranch is unlike any other, and we’d love to celebrate with you and your loved ones! Book your 4th of July family vacation now, or plan ahead for next year. Hurry – spaces fill up fast! 

CLU Tops Conde Nast Traveler’s Best Resorts in Colorado

Since 2014, C Lazy U Ranch has been honored to be listed among some of the greatest resorts, hotels and destinations in Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious Readers’ Choice Awards.

This year, for the 2018 awards, we’re even prouder: thanks to our guests all over the world, C Lazy U Ranch has been named the best resort in Colorado.

CLU barn

C Lazy U Leads Once Again in Colorado

The Readers’ Choice Awards, presented every year by world-renowned travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler, is one of the most respected awards for the hospitality industry in the world. The awards are selected not by staff of Conde Nast but by real guests of these resorts and hotels, providing an honest look at what real travelers think of the places in which they stay.

2018 travelers awardFor the magazine’s 31st edition of the awards, nearly half a million readers cast their votes. C Lazy U landed in the No. 1 spot out of 20 resorts in Colorado, rising from our No. 3 spot in past Readers’ Choice Awards. Scoring a near-perfect score of 98.22, we’re thrilled that our guests have come out to show their support.

Thank you to all who voted, and we hope to celebrate this achievement with you soon!

Cold Weather Ranch Style Comfort Food Recipe

Blue Skies and White Snow
8 inches of snow cover the ground, and pond keeps its icy layer all day


It snowed all day yesterday, and is still chilly as can be today- lucky I’ve got my winter coat to keep me warm. But, for all those who don’t have the luxury of growing an extra couple layers of… insulation, shall we call it, I give you something almost as good- a C Lazy U Ranch comfort food recipe, compliments of our Executive Chef, Dennis (apparently it was good, because it’s all anybody would talk about… give me some good old hay any day, but that’s just me, I’m a simple donkey, with simple tastes)- comfort food, so I’ve been told, is great on days like this (to me all food is comforting, though, so I’m not 100% sure where that name comes from), so I thought it might be nice to add for all my loyal readers to try- this way y’all can have a piece of the ranch at your home!

Beef and Lentil Stew- The Ranch Way! by Dennis

We had some beef ribs hanging out, so I put them in the oven to roast. Then I cut up what we have come to call a mirepoix. Onions, celery and carrots. Cut to a size that will fit on a soup spoon. In the soup pot, I first sweat (simmer on medium heat in a bit of oil) the onions (because they need more cooking time). When the onions are translucent, add the carrots, celery and a good handful of garlic cloves.

We also had a box of mushrooms on hand, so some got chopped up and thrown in too. Cut up some tomatoes and in they go too. Cook this way down, long and slow, stirring occasionally, till all is nice and soft. Once your ingredients are soft, pull the beef bones from the oven and let them cool enough to handle them. Then cut off all of the meat and chop it up. (If you have enough time to simmer the bones till the meat falls off, this step is not necessary.)

So in go the bones and meat. Now the liquid, I like chicken broth. How much? Well, since we didn’t have any barley, which is really nice- mushroom, beef and barley soup- but we did have lentils, I put those in. They’ll soak up twice as much liquid as their own volume. If you put in 2 cups of lentils and 4 cups of liquid, by the time the lentils are cooked, you won’t have any liquid left. So just cover the whole thing by about four inches of liquid. Put in salt and pepper. Bay leaves and fresh thyme are good. You’ll need a good 2 hours of slow simmer, stirring every once in a while to make sure it isn’t sticking on the bottom.

Pull from the refrigerator a block of cheddar cheese. Cut it into one large chunk for each bowl of soup you are going to serve and warm your bowls. Heat up some crusty bread and have some butter on hand. (Add a dash of dry sherry to the soup just before serving.)

Colorado Cooking: Recipes from C Lazy U Ranch

lobster bisque
C Lazy U is known for a lot of things in addition to our endless list of activities and luxurious lodging, and our gourmet culinary creations have caught the attention of guests for years. We receive recipe inquiries constantly, and are always more than happy to share! One of our guests’ favorite dishes is our homemade Lobster Bisque. We hope by sharing the secret behind its ‘delicious-ness’ you will be able to take a little piece of C Lazy U home with you. Enjoy!

Lobster Bisque

Served with crusty French bread and a vinaigrette-salad, C Lazy U’s Lobster Bisque is a rich, cream shellfish-based soup.


  • 2 pounds of lobster (boiled 14 minutes) and cooled in ice bath
  • 4 teaspoons of tomato paste
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced small
  • 2 teaspoons of old bay seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 cups of light cream or half and half
  • 2 ounces of olive oil
  • 6 ounces of sweet sherry
  • 6 ounces of butter, 6 ounces of flour (keep separate)


Pick chilled lobster meat from shell, and refrigerate meat while saving the shells.

Toss shells, tomato paste, dry seasonings together with olive oil and roast in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove pan and deglaze with 3/4 of sherry, stir thru and bake 15 minutes more. Remove pans, and with a rubber spatula transfer shells to a 1-gallon pot, add remainder of ingredients except lobster meat. Simmer two hours, DO NOT boil!

In a separate 1-quart pot, melt 6 ounces of butter with 6 ounces of all-purpose flour. Cook slowly as a wet sand-like Roux develops (this is your thickening agent). After simmering for the full two hours, strain shells, retain broth, add back to pot with Roux and simmer for 30 minutes. Then, add diced lobster, salt and pepper to taste and remainder of Sherry and enjoy!

This recipe seems difficult but take your time and remember cooking is common sense! If you have any questions contact Chef Marc Rosen personally at mrosen@clazyu.com.

Colorado Wildlife to Watch for at C Lazy U

C Lazy U - Colorado Wildlife

Wild animals are our neighbors here at C Lazy U Guest Ranch. On a visit to the ranch, you’re likely to spot some of the Rocky Mountains’ most iconic creatures, big and small.

Right at the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, we share the same wealth of wildlife that makes RMNP one of the most visited and treasured parks in the United States. The park is home to an astounding 66 species of mammals and 260 kinds of birds.

The best way to see wildlife while visiting C Lazy U is to get out into our big backyard. We’ve got more than 8,500 acres of land to explore on horseback, foot, bike, ski, or snowshoe. Our land makes a perfect natural habitat for all the creatures that live in the region. Sometimes these furry friends of ours will come right up to the ranch grounds – foxes in particular like to poke around close by.

Here are a few of our favorite species to spot in the fields and forests just beyond our doorstep. Have your camera and binoculars ready – you never know when they’ll make an appearance.

Please remember to never approach the wildlife. These are wild animals and while you’re welcome to observe them, you should never try to touch, feed, or get too close to them.


Moose at C Lazy U Ranch

Spotting a great antlered bull moose will stop most visitors in their tracks. You can’t help but marvel at their sheer size – they stand over 6 feet tall, making them the largest members of the deer family! Majestic and cartoonish at the same time, they’re known to stop and stare right back at their human admirers. Moose can be dangerous, though, so never approach one, especially a mother moose with her calf.

How likely is it to spot a moose during your stay at C Lazy U? Well, let’s just say there’s no shortage of them in the area. Rocky Mountain National Park estimates that there are around 700 moose in the park area itself – mostly on the west side near Grand Lake, right in our neck of the woods. Fall visitors in September to November may be lucky enough to hear the moose’s mating call.

Seeing a moose is certainly unmistakable. Male (bull) moose have large antlers that are furry and slightly knobby. Their antlers alone can weigh up to 77 pounds with a span of 5 feet.

C Lazy U - Moose


Sometimes people confuse elk for huge deer, but these impressive, majestic creatures are a species all their own. Elk are common throughout Colorado, and being right next to Rocky Mountain National Park makes C Lazy U’s property a prime location to spot elk, especially particularly large, mature ones. Rocky Mountain elk have the largest antlers of any elk, making them even more impressive.

Like moose, a bull (male) elk can weight up to 700 pounds. The antlers on a mature bull can weigh as much as 40 pounds and can grew as fast as one inch each day during the summer! Keep your eyes peeled for a sighting you’ll never forget! 


Fox at C Lazy U Ranch

There’s something simply enchanting about seeing a red fox in the wintertime against the white snow of the ranch. Maybe it’s their quizzical expressions as they size us humans up, or their black-stocking legs, or their plush tails. The trick is to capture it on camera – foxes are shy and skittish.

Luckily, C Lazy U has a few foxes who like to roam around the ranch and don’t seem to mind posing for pictures. They sometimes even come right up to the buildings!

C Lazy U Guest Ranch - Fox  Fox visitor at C Lazy U


From a distance or at night, some confuse foxes for their canidae family relatives – coyotes. Wild sanctuaries like Rocky Mountain National Park and its surroundings are natural romping grounds for coyotes. They’re more gray and wolf-like than foxes, and if you hear something howling in the night, you can bet it’s a coyote. We admire coyotes for their clever wits and their strong family bonds – something C Lazy U is all about!

C Lazy U - Coyote

Antelope & Deer

There’s a reason there’s a line in the song Home on the Range that says “Where the deer and the antelope play” – we have both here on the front range of Colorado!

When riding through C Lazy U’s lands, it’s not unusual to spot a deer. Mule deer are a staple of the West, and that’s what you’ll find on our ranch. They’re named Mule deer because of their “mule like” ears, which can get pretty big – about 75% of the size of their heads! Sometimes you’ll even find these guys checking out what’s going on around the cabins.

Deer visiting C Lazy U Ranch  Deer at C Lazy U Ranch

While deer are fairly common in multiple parts of the U.S., it’s not every day that you get to see a wild antelope. While visit C Lazy U Keep an eye out for pronghorn antelope – if you blink, you might miss them. Antelope are famous for their incredible speed, with the power to reach up to 55 miles per hour! These long-horned beauties are far more difficult to spot than elk and deer, making their appearances on ranch property that much more special.

C Lazy U - Baby Antelope

Next time you’re at C Lazy U, be sure to keep an eye out for the abundance of wildlife – you’re never sure what you might see!

Colorado-Style Gift Ideas for Mother’s Day

family weekend at CLazyU Ranch

This Mother’s Day, forget the flowers, perfume, and housewares. If there’s one thing that any mom wants above all, it’s quality time with her kids. Surprise Mom with an adventurous new experience instead of more stuff. Celebrate motherhood this spring with a getaway to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains – complete with pampering, dining, adventure, and memory-making. Here are some Colorado-inspired weekend escape ideas for making Mom feel like a million bucks. She’s worth it.

Mother’s Day Weekend at C Lazy U

May 8-10 is a special Mother’s Day Weekend at C Lazy U Ranch. Beyond the luxury of C Lazy U (think elegant accommodations, fine dining, and even spa treatments), mothers and their broods can get active and adventurous together on horseback, hiking trails, a ropes course, and even a zip line! It’s a mountain getaway with the perfect blend of thrills and frills. Make Mother’s Day Weekend at C Lazy U luxury guest ranch an annual family tradition.

Brunch on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad

Royal Gorge Route Railroad is known for the excellent cuisine served to passengers as they roll through Colorado’s spectacular Royal Gorge along the Arkansas River amidst 1,000ft cliff walls. This historical route pulls out all the stops each Mother’s Day with a delicious three-course meal and a special surprise treat for every mom on board.

Teatime at the Brown Palace in Denver

In Colorado’s vibrant capital city of Denver, take in some local history at one of its oldest and most revered downtown establishments – the Brown Palace. A luxury hotel dating back to 1892, its distinctive triangular shape is a Denver landmark. The Brown Palace maintains an aura of 20th century opulence, serving Afternoon Tea each day in the grand lobby as a longstanding tradition. The gourmet tea menu includes scones, pastries and dainty finger sandwiches. Don’t forget to reserve ahead for Mother’s Day, as this is a very popular event.

A Stay at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs

A landmark five-star hotel and resort in Colorado Springs, the Broadmoor has been synonymous with luxury in Colorado for generations. The main resort complex sits on the shores of Cheyenne Lake at the foot of the Front Range Mountains. Sunday Brunch at the Broadmoor’s Lake Terrace Restaurant is a grand affair, especially on Mother’s Day. Reservations required. After a memorable meal, spend the day enjoying the resort’s posh amenities and activities, or go sight-seeing with Mom around Colorado Springs. Highlights of the area include the red rock formations at Garden of the Gods, the quaint town of Manitou Springs, and the summit of massive Pike’s Peak – reachable by vehicle or cog train.

Wine Tasting in Palisade

For moms with a knack for wine, Palisade is the place to visit in Colorado. This small Dionysian town on the Western Slope plays host to fun festivals, events and farmers markets from spring to fall. It is surrounded by lovely plateaus, orchards, vineyards and wineries whose doors are open for tastings. Rent cruiser bicycles and pedal to the various stops along the tasting circuit, which is easily navigable with a wine route map. Wine Country Inn is Palisade’s most reputable lodge, and as a yearly tradition they host a special Mother’s Day Victorian Tea.

Hot Sulphur Springs

Treat Mom to spa treatment Colorado-style at a natural hot springs resort and spa. A local favorite is Hot Sulphur Springs. Natural hot mineral-rich water flows into the 21 pools of all different shapes, sizes and temperatures. It’s easy to spend the day just traipsing from pool to pool, soaking up the benefits of minerals like magnesium, fluoride, calcium, potassium, silica, chloride, sulfate, and sodium. Mom will feel like a new woman from the pools and baths alone, but you can add a special bonus to the visit by scheduling a professional massage treatment at the facility’s spa.

Colorado: A Perfect Location for Corporate Meetings and Retreats

group on a trail on horses

There’s no more room for outdated, boring corporate meetings and business retreats that are as inspiring and invigorating as a gray-walled cubicle. Employees thrive when they are treated to unique, exciting experiences—and there’s no better place to do that than Colorado.

Easy to Access

One of the biggest gripes among employees attending corporate meetings or offsite retreats is the length of travel—no one wants to sit on a plane for hours, then drive or take a train to the final destination only to end up at a ho-hum hotel. Because Colorado is (almost) smack dab in the middle of the United States, it is an ideal location for guests coming from all corners of the country, or for groups traveling together.

In addition to Denver International Airport—a major transportation hub that has claimed the title of the sixth busiest airport in the US—there are many other regional airports in Aspen, Colorado Springs, Fort Collins and more. Listed as a top location for business retreats by Destination Colorado and Resorts and Lodges, C Lazy U, located just 90 miles northwest of Denver, is accessible by Denver International Airport, as well as two smaller non-commercial airports in Kremmling and Granby. C Lazy U Ranch can also arrange complimentary shuttle service from Silver Creek, just 15 miles from the ranch—but the drive to the ranch from Denver is so breathtaking, it is often worth the trip!

Perfect in All Seasons

Colorado’s climate is as diverse as its terrain, with 300 days of sunshine per year and winters that deliver 300 inches of snow. No matter what season you visit, there are activities that take advantage of the state’s most famous attraction: the outdoors.

In the winter, guests can ski down one of Colorado’s 1,800 ski runs on 30,000 thousand acres of terrain or head downhill on snow tubes. In the summer, hike through the mountains to take in the sights, or get an adrenaline rush by mountain biking down the winding trails. As one of Colorado’s authentic dude ranches, C Lazy U offers guests the opportunity to learn how to master horseback riding—a unique approach to teambuilding that does away with those uncomfortable icebreakers and trust fall exercises.

For Adventurers and Leisure-seekers

It’s important for corporate meeting organizers to ensure attendees and guests at a business retreat don’t get bored, but accommodating all those different interests in one place is a challenge—except if it’s Colorado. Colorado is a place for the outdoorsy and the active, but also for the art-lovers and foodies; it’s where city nightlife meets camping under the open sky. When hosting corporate events in Colorado, guests can spend a night in the city at one of its many bars or gastropubs to indulge in some luxury, and then head out into the mountains to get back to nature.

And while the heart of Denver is an exciting, urban environment, it does lack what other meeting locations in Colorado have: the combination of luxury and the rugged outdoor life. In addition to the ranch’s slopes, trails and creeks, C Lazy U offers gourmet dining and the award-winning Lazy You Spa to pamper retreat attendees after they’ve spent the day working hard.

Colorado: Space to Meet, Stay and Play

Boasting both vibrant cities and untouched outdoor spaces, Colorado has the best of both worlds. There are over 10,000 venues in Colorado, all of which highlight what the Centennial State has to offer—including C Lazy U Ranch.

Check out the below infographic from Destination Colorado which helps illustrate why Colorado is one of the most ideal places for your next business retreat.

colorado business retreats

Colorado’s Best Winter Adventures For People Who Don’t Like Skiing

Colorado is a skier’s paradise, but not everyone who visits the Centennial State is itching to slalom down the side of a mountain at 40 miles per hour.

If that’s you, you probably assume that there’s no point in traveling to Colorado during the winter months. But here’s the good news: There’s still plenty to do in Colorado during the winter — both outdoors and in — that doesn’t involve strapping on a pair of skis or buying a lift ticket.

kid snow tubing

1. Lace Up Your Ice Skates

It’s not winter in Colorado without a trip to an ice skating rink to practice your figure eights or double axels.

Most cities throughout the state offer at least one skating rink, and you can also find dedicated rinks within one of the 42 beautiful state parks. Skating in a state park is not only fun, but beautiful: You’ll experience panoramic views of mountains and snow-capped scenery — and maybe even see some wildlife. State Forest State Park in Walden is known as the moose capital of Colorado, so chances are good that you’ll see one of these majestic creatures while skating around the rink.

2. Pitch an (Ice) Tent and Fish

Ice fishing is the only time you can safely walk to the middle of a lake. It’s grown in popularity in recent years and Colorado’s many lakes are hotspots for the sport. Just make sure you read up on ice fishing safety tips before you pitch your tent on the ice.

Lake Granby is one hot destination for ice anglers: Many fishermen have reporting catching trout that measure more than 32 inches. Lake Granby boasts 7,250 acres of lake and more than 40 miles of shoreline. Not into fishing? You can visit the lake — and sister lakes Shadow Mountain Reservoir and Grand Lake — in January to watch as more than 1,000 ice fishermen compete in the Three-Lakes Ice Fishing Contest.

3. Lace Up Your Snowshoes

Itching to get a hike in, but think you can’t with all the snow? You’re in luck! Most hiking areas throughout the state can easily be tackled with a pair of snowshoes. You have two choices with snowshoeing excursions in Colorado: Freestyle or guided tours.

For freestylers, you can head out to most of the state and national parks to snowshoe and take in the serene scenery. Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park is a perfect choice, thanks to 355 miles of trails that are good for every fitness level. Be sure to visit the visitor’s center before you hit the trails to get the latest weather and avalanche reports.

Not sure you want to head out on your own? Guided tours are the perfect choice. Nordic Centers throughout Colorado offer snowshoe rentals, maps, lessons and guided tours for reasonable prices. C Lazy U Ranch also offers a special snowshoe adventure for guests.

4. Mush With Some Furry Friends

Pretend that you’re competing in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race by visiting one of the many dog sledding attractions throughout Colorado. One option is Dog Sled Rides of Winter Park, located about 20 minutes away from Granby.

And don’t let the simple website fool you: It’s chock full of important information you’ll need to know before booking your excursion — and you can even schedule a reservation right on the website.

Price per person and sled depends on availability and weather conditions. See the pricing page on their website for current rates.

5. Hop Aboard a One-Horse Open Sleigh

Grab a cup of hot cocoa, snuggle in some blankets and hop aboard a horse-drawn sleigh for a romantic ride through cities and the countryside. You can find the sleighs in all corners of the state, including Colorado Carriage and Wagon in Old Town Fort Collins.

The best part? It won’t take a huge bite out of your wallet. Rides from Colorado Carriage and Wagon start as low as $30. See their website for current rates and to make reservations.

Experience the State Aboard a Winter Train Tour

Every square inch of Colorado’s countryside is gorgeous, but it’s impossible to experience it all during your trip. Or is it?

Winter is the perfect time to experience the state via one of the many train tours. One of the most scenic is the Durango Train Tour, an experience that recreates the adventure that cowboys, settlers and coal miners took as they traversed the Old West over 100 years ago. The tour — aboard a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive, features breathtaking views of mountains, canyons and wilderness of San Juan National Forest.

Bonus: The Winter Adventure Package includes two experiences in the same day: The train tower and a guided snowmobiling excursion in the San Juan National Forest.

7. Climb Like You’ve Never Climbed Before

Get your adrenaline pumping by embarking on one of the many ice climbing adventures throughout the state. Fans of ice climbing say it’s like “doing a vertical dance” and doesn’t require you to be an ultra-strong bodybuilder. Instead, it takes a lot of balance and focus.

Interested in trying it out? Your best bet is to climb under the guidance of an experienced teacher who can give you the ins and outs of the techniques and guide as you ascend. There are several guides providing instruction throughout the state, including San Juan Mountain Guides who train and instruct at various state parks, including Ouray Ice Park and Silverton’s Eureka Canyon.

8. Tour the State Via a Beer Tour

Winter beer tours in Colorado are perfect for those who’d rather drink their way through the state. There are several to choose from during the winter, including:

Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines Festival in Breckenridge (January). Experience all the tasting and brewing you can handle at this celebration of all things beer. You’ll even learn a few tips to take home for your own home brewery.

  • Ullrgrass Beer and Music Festival in Golden (January). Experience bluegrass music and brews from over 20 craft breweries at this winter festival that honors the Norse god of winter.
  • Winterwondergrass in Steamboat Springs (February). Heated craft brew tasting tents and some of the biggest names in bluegrass headline this beer festival. There’s even a home brewing competition for budding brew pros.
  • Winter Craft Beer Festival in Boulder (March). Celebrate the (almost) end of winter at this festival that features beers from well-known brewers and smaller craft beer enthusiasts.

9. Sled (or Tube) Through the State

You’re not so keen on skiing, but what about sledding and snow tubing?

Sledding is the perfect activity for families that want a bit of a rush without the learning curve of skiing. You don’t even need to go to a special location to do it: Simply find a hill (like Firecracker Hill in Telluride) and slide down it.

If you’d rather do something a little more planned, check out the various slopes throughout the state, including Frisco Adventure Park. This adventure park includes 1,200-foot snow tubing lanes that are lit, so you can even do it at night.

10. Experience All Colorado Has to Offer (Without Leaving our Ranch)

Guests of C Lazy U Ranch can experience a variety of popular winter activities right on site – from relaxing, pampering experiences at the Lazy You Spa and enjoying a hot cocoa in front of the crackling fire to whizzing down the snow tubing hill and taking a guided magnificent horseback riding trip!

See all of the winter activities on the Ranch and pick out the ones you must try. Or, do them all!

Colorado’s National Forests And Parks

As the premier guest ranch of the west, C Lazy U is passionate about helping our guests learn, enjoy, and be inspired by nature. Tucked in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, C Lazy U is the ideal location to explore the beauty of Colorado’s wilderness and enjoy nearby National Parks and Forests.

view of snowy mountains

As part of our mission to educate and preserve the authenticity of Colorado and the greater American West, we’re examining the history and importance of National Parks and Forests.  

What Is A National Forest? 

A “National Forest” is a classification used to manage and protect American Forests and Grasslands. National Forests offer excellent recreation activities, like hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and mountain biking. 

Is A National Forest Different Than A National Park? 

National Parks exist primarily for conservation, while National Forests can be used for a variety of purposes, including timber, grazing, wildlife, and more. While harvesting timber may seem counter-intuitive for protecting a National Forest, this practice is an important part of forest management. 

Who Created National Parks And Forests? 

Before the 19th century, public lands weren’t well-maintained, leading to illegal logging and over-harvesting of timber. To help conserve these lands, America’s first National Park, Yellowstone National Park, was named in 1872.  


As the need for regulated forest management became more important, President Benjamin Harrison created the National Forest System through the Land Revision Act of 1891. This act transformed public land into the first National Parks in the West, and during his presidency, Harrison would add over 12 million acres of land to forest Reserves. 

How Many National Parks And Forests Are In Colorado? 

Of the 422 National Parks and 154 National Forests in the US, Colorado is home to 4 National Parks and 11 National Forests. These include: 

Colorado National Parks 

  • Black Canyon Of The Gunnison National Park 
  • Great Sand Dunes National Park 
  • Mesa Verde National Park
  • Rocky Mountain National Park 

Colorado National Forests 

  • Arapaho National Forest 
  • Grand Mesa National Forest 
  • Gunnison National Forest 
  • Pike National Forest 
  • Rio Grande National Forest 
  • Roosevelt National Forest 
  • Routt National Forest 
  • San Isabel National Forest 
  • San Juan National Forest 
  • Uncompahgre National Forest 
  • White River National Forest 

National Parks & Forests Near C Lazy U Ranch 

C Lazy U is just a stone’s throw away from the Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) and the Arapaho & Roosevelt and National Forests. The proximity makes it easy for guests to go off-ranch to explore legendary hiking trails and scenic views. Since the ranch is on the border of RMNP, we share the same wildlife. With so many acres to explore on foot, horseback, ski, bike, or snowshoe, you can find Colorado wildlife in C Lazy U’s own backyard. If you’re lucky, you may see antelope, deer, foxes, and even moose and elk while on the property.  

Colorado’s Wild Game Dishes: A Dining Guide

buffalo in Colorado

In the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, eating meat is an adventure. After exploring the high altitude terrain, sit down to an authentic regional meal complete with game meat. When looking at a menu, don’t confuse it for a wildlife guide. Try something new by sampling one of these exotic meats during your stay. Here’s a guide to wild game dishes you may encounter on Colorado menus.


Wondrously flavorful and lean, elk meat is lower in fat than pork, beef, and chicken. Colorado cuisine revels in the healthy, hearty goodness of elk meat. Highly versatile, elk meat can be substituted for other red meat in almost any recipe. For beginner game eaters, try an elk burger. Once you’ve acquired that taste for gamey meats with subtle flavor notes of grass and cedar, you’re ready to graduate to elk stew, roast elk or even a prime cut of elk steak.


Buffalo is another delicious game meat that makes its way from Colorado ranches to its haute cuisine plates. The signature dish is a choice cut of buffalo tenderloin. Also keep an eye out for buffalo chili and bison chili — sure to warm you up and intrigue your taste buds on a cold winter’s day. Buffalo tastes very similar to beef, but a discerning palette will note its lighter flavor, slight sweetness, and tender texture. It’s a lean protein, too. Compared to beef, buffalo is lower in cholesterol, calories, and fat.

Rocky Mountain Oysters

Rocky Mountain Oysters are perhaps Colorado’s most infamous delicacy. Maybe it’s better to dip these golden nuggets into the accompanying cocktail sauce without questioning their origins. Hint: they are not shellfish. If you must know, they’re bull testicles that have been breaded and deep fried. True cowboy fare, Rocky Mountain Oysters originate on cattle ranches where bull castration is common practice. You’ll find this ballsy dish throughout the American West, also known as “swinging beef”, “cowboy caviar”, “bull fries”, or “Montana tendergroins”. Cowboy up and dig in if you have the – ahem – “oysters” to do it.

Wild Boar

For believers that there’s something a bit magical about pork, wild boar is the game meat to try. It’s packed with rich, deep flavor compared to domestic pork. Every experience of wild boar is different, as the pigs take on the flavor of what they eat. Some say acorn-fed boars make the best eatin’. Wild boar is often lightly seasoned with sage and roasted.


Venison, or deer meat, can take some getting used to. Of all the game meats to be found on Colorado menus, venison has the strongest gamey taste to it. Grass-fed deer meat is leaner than grain-fed beef, but can also be tougher. How is venison served? Look for venison jerky, stew, tenderloin, roast, ground venison (sometimes mixed with ground beef for hamburgers) and specialty venison sausage.

Fresh Trout and Striped Bass

For Colorado’s many anglers, the sport of fishing is only half the fun. The other half is eating the catches of the day. Seasoned fly fishermen all have their favorite trout recipes, perfected over the years with technique that usually involves an open-air grill. The health benefits of wild fish are many — high in protein and omega 3 fatty acids, without any of the toxins or worries of commercially harvested fish. The clear alpine rivers of Colorado never tasted so good.

Colorful Colorado: Fall at the Ranch

Colorado is beautiful in any season, but fall is one of the most colorful. The beautiful Rocky Mountains, spotted with fiery red-orange aspens, draw in hundreds of Colorado natives and tourists alike every year. At C Lazy U dude ranch, you’ll get a front row ticket to the riot of color that comes with a Colorado fall. With crisp air, crunchy leaves, and autumn activities, you’ll wish the season never had to end. 

Fall leaves with mountains in background

Take a Fall Hike  

With 8,500 acres of trail, there’s no shortage of fall hiking at C Lazy U. If you’re on the hunt for the most scenic views at the ranch, sign up for a guided hike. Our ranch hands will accompany you through the property on some of the best trails and take you to the most picturesque locations.  With trails to accommodate every skill level, you can enjoy fall’s beauty at your own speed.  

Try Horseback Riding 

Woman riding horse in the fall

If you want to see even more of Colorado’s gorgeous colors, sign up for horseback riding! Trail riding is a great way to loop around the ranch and soak up the ranch’s beauty while learning a new skill. Regular trail rides are scheduled daily, so you can keep coming back for more.   

Do Some Fly Fishing 

Fly fishing

October and November are the best time for catching big brown trout on the Colorado River.  Fall fly fishing lets you enjoy the colors, cooler temperatures, and big fish without the hubbub of the summer season.  

Bike Through the Mountains  

Speed through the golden forest with complimentary bikes and gear. If you’ve never biked before or need a refresher, sign up for a guided tour with our mountain biking guides.  They’ll help you get up to speed or perfect your mountain biking technique while taking you through breathtaking fall scenery.    

Take a Drive

The Rocky Mountain National Park, just 30 minutes from C Lazy U ranch, is listed as one of the best places to see Colorado’s fall colors. Take a half-day or full-day trip on Trail Ridge Road, which is famous for its beautiful alpine scenery.  If you’re lucky enough to visit between mid-September and mid-October, you might just catch the fall elk rut, when tens of hundreds of elks gather in one spot. 

C Lazy U Ranch sign with fall trees in background

No matter how you choose to take in the sights, the ranch will be there to welcome you at the end of each day with a gourmet meal, a curated wine list, games, and music. Then, wake up the next day, choose another activity, and do it all over again!  

Come See Why C Lazy U Ranks Among Top Resorts in the World

c lazy u ranch

We are proud to announce that C Lazy U was ranked not only the #1 resort in Colorado, but also the fourth best resort in the entire U.S., as well as the 13th in the world by Conde’ Nast Traveler magazine! And we invite you to come and find out why!

Whether it’s because of our superior service, luxurious accommodations, beautiful views spanning 8,500 acres, or fun activities for the whole family, including horseback riding, cross-country skiing, hiking and more, let us show you why we are an award-winning ranch! C Lazy U offers to guests a perfect family vacation destination all year round, with mountain biking, pool time, tennis, fly fishing, ropes course and hiking during the summer, fall and spring months, or our winter wonderland-themed activities during winter months.

Get in on the magic of the winter season at C Lazy U this year and take advantage of our holiday specials, taking advantage of discounted rates and our “Kids Ski Free” special for our New Year’s and Christmas stays. For each holiday, guests will enjoy a complimentary bottle of sparkling wine, and/or sparkling cider, as well as souvenir champagne flutes on either Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve (or both if you don’t want to leave)!

Christmas at the ranch boasts a winter wonderland full of family activities, including tree trimming, gourmet meals, caroling, and a visit from the big man in red himself. New Year’s is always a special celebration at C Lazy U, with our guests ringing in the new year with a live band, and even dogsledding! And of course, all while enjoying our usual winter amenities such as ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snow tubing, or enjoying our luxury spa and yoga.

Come experience our top-notch customer service, our luxury lodge accommodations, and our breathtaking views—plan your next family vacation for C Lazy U Ranch!

Convergence in The Rockies: Women Wellness Adventure

This post was written and provided by Janet Solie, PA, MS, who leads the Women in the Rockies special event at C Lazy U.

The stress of modern life for women is exhausting. They need an experience that allows them to step away from the daily grind to regroup and rejuvenate. This is why, three years ago, we introduced the Women in the Rockies Wellness Adventure in partnership with C Lazy U guest ranch, a perfect getaway for a mother-daughter vacation, a retreat with your girlfriends or a place for you to recharge and connect with like-minded women.

group of women for womens retreat

Our vision was to offer women from all walks of life an innovative program that combined personal connections with horses and the spectacular setting of fall in the Colorado Rockies with the support and friendship of like-minded women. The overarching theme of the experience would be adventure and wellness. We are pleased and honored to report that our efforts have been successful in ways we never imagined.

What a Typical Day Looks like

We designed our program’s process to be a balanced flow between morning and afternoon activities. Mornings are all about horses, orientation presentations on horse communication, groundwork, grooming and of course trail riding. Our rides range from scenic walks to intermediate instructional sessions to faster paced outings for experienced riders. Our morning sessions are followed by a buffet lunch with many healthy options as we dine as a group on the patio by the pool.

horses at womens retreat

Afternoons are all about professional health coaching in the beautiful Latigo room overlooking the ranch. Each day we present new topics then break into small groups to complete exercises as well as share our AHA moments and goals with other attendees. We finish our “class work” with plenty of time to kickback and relax, maybe get a massage, write a journal entry or take a glorious nap after watching the horses leave as a herd on the evening jingle. Later we will be reconvening to share dinner together.

When we say our efforts have been successful for the women who have attended our program, we mean that these women have found something in their time together that clearly enriched and changed their lives.

What to Expect From Your Women in the Rockies Experience

  • You leave with new friends or if you brought a friend or daughter you leave with a stronger relationship along with memories that will sustain you for years to come. Not surprising, many of our attendees stay in touch with each other and make plans to saddle up together the following year.
  • You leave with a deeper connection to horses through learning about how to communicate with them and these gentle but firm techniques establish you as the leader in your relationship with your CLazyU horse both on the ground and on the trail.
  • You acquire new insights and strategies for weight management or simply improving healthy eating behaviors through practicing mindful eating principals one meal at a time.
  • You leave armed with the confidence and skills to identify, set and achieve personal wellness goals because you finally had a nurturing environment to focus on what you decided it was time to change and figured out how to do it. The support of our professional coaching staff proved invaluable in mapping out what steps you needed to take implement and sustain the change.
  • You gained important insights into the hierarchy of sources of chronic stress in your life and, as important, better ways to manage it. You were given a set of new stress management tools that were easy to learn and wonderfully available at any time and in any situation.
  • And above all, you had lots of fun in your new refuge from the pressures of the world. New or strengthened friendships, the connection with a horse and our friendly support staff all conspired to create an epidemic of smiles and laughter. You catch yourself marveling about how good it feels to laugh again. You also discover that activities like “happy hour” with the herd bring its own share of pure joy. As your group jostles across the “big” meadow on a hay wagon to find each attendee’s horse and its herd mates, you realize how much friendships determine the quality of life. The smiles and laughter of the meadow continue with the group at dinner where attendees share their favorite moments of the retreat. This might be early morning conversation at Cowboy Coffee or an amazing trip to the spa. It might include hanging by the pool or watching the horses jingle out at the end of the day.

We have discovered that in the end, Women in the Rockies is all about convergence, the magical coming together of horses, season, location, coaches, curriculum, colleagues, activities and amenities. As we had dreamed it would be, our program is a life-changing brew that restores hope and direction for women when it is needed the most. For this and the special partnership we share with our friends and colleagues at C Lazy U Ranch, we are forever thankful for this unscheduled miracle in all of our lives.

two women with two horses

About the Author

Janet Solie, PA, MS is an integrative health coach and physician assistant who specializes in coaching women in areas of self-care, mindful eating and challenging life transitions that includes recovery from a cancer diagnosis. Janet has a telephone based health coaching practice, HealthCoachAdvantage.com. She is based in both Southern California and on ranch at C Lazy U.

Book your spot early as this event will sell out!

Corporate Retreat Showdown: What’s Better?

When the announcement is made that a corporate retreat is on the team agenda, the most typical response is a groan — not many employees want to take a vacation with their colleagues for icebreakers and trust falls in a hotel far from home.

But many companies have taken these complaints to heart and have begun to design corporate retreats that their employees actually want to take part in. From luxury camping to escape rooms in the middle of a glitzy city, corporate retreats aren’t what they used to be. Still, compared to all the other options, a corporate retreat at a dude ranch such as C Lazy U has them all beat.

team building group waving on horses

Public Space vs. Private Space

If you’ve rented out some rooms in a large hotel downtown, there will be hundreds of other people roaming around. Those who have planned outings to a sports event, for example, may find that their team members are too busy watching the game or only chatting with those directly next to them to bother introducing themselves to newer colleagues. Both of these types of corporate retreats offer the opportunity to socialize, of course — but not always with each other.

Dude ranches often have limited capacity, allowing those visiting for the week to truly get to know one another — which is, after all, one of the main goals of a corporate retreat. C Lazy U Ranch is roomy (over 8,500 acres, that is!) but restricts the number of guests staying at the ranch at any given time. This allows guests to develop closer bonds than ever to their colleagues.

Fancy Affair vs. Laidback Leisure

It may be fun to treat employees to luxury living but that can backfire, forcing employees to be on their very best behavior to make sure they don’t make a misstep. Workwear can be uncomfortable, so it may not be wise to force employees out of their comfort wear for days at a time.

While C Lazy U Ranch features gourmet dining and service that’s fit for royalty, there’s no need to wear suits and skirts — in fact, that will only hinder you from enjoying everything that the ranch as to offer.

Forced Fun vs. Free to Roam

Perhaps a member of your team is not a puzzler; they’ll hate the forced inclusion in an escape room. Alternatively, one of your employees may not be the athlete some of the other participants are, and they’re forced to relive their worst days in gym class.

Many other destinations for corporate retreats either do not provide activities, meaning you need to schedule them yourself at other venues, or the options they have are limited. By choosing an all-inclusive dude ranch, you’re giving them the opportunity to do what they want. C Lazy U offers a huge array of ranch activities, no matter what season it is: horseback riding, fly fishing, ice skating and, last but not least, the Lazy You Spa.

Travel Around vs. Stay Where You Are

Getting to and from the different scheduled activities or dinners outside of the hotel or resort can take a lot of time: you need to round everyone up, get them transportation, and finally start the activity or start chowing down.

At C Lazy U, all guests need to do is mosey on over to the right cabin. Though the ranch is large, no one needs to hop in a cab to get from the Lazy You Spa to the barn. All that time saved traveling is more time having fun and getting to know one another.

Same-Old, Same-Old vs. Custom Corporate Event

Unless you’re shelling out big bucks to host the swankiest shindig your company can afford, chances are high that you’ll be getting the same package that every other company has gotten before. Dude ranches, C Lazy U Ranch included, can provide custom itineraries that are crafted especially for your company, your objectives and the type of guests you’ll have. There’s no standard corporate retreat at C Lazy U Ranch — it’s all been designed for you.

Cory’s Kitchen: Fall 2021 Edition

Colorful leaves, crisp mornings, and hearty meals mean one thing: fall is officially here! Whether you’re a pumpkin spice fanatic or enjoy the more subtle flavors of the season, C Lazy U’s kitchen is here to deliver. Our Executive Chef Cory Untch is already dreaming up delicious meals to carry us all the way through the season. Don’t want to wait until your fall dude ranch vacation to find out what delectable dishes await? Read on to get a sneak peek of our Fall 2021 menu.  

Related: What Makes Dining At C Lazy U So Special?

Harvest-Inspired Approach

This time of year, fall activities are on everyone’s minds, and the culinary team is no different. As he maps out his menu for the season, Chef Cory draws on memories of harvest time as a child. From fall markets to canning and preservations to prepare for winter, autumn marks the gathering of families returning indoors to warm their bodies – and hearts. Cory’s menu is equally heart-warming (and filling)! In addition to featuring seasonal favorites, the team will also be welcoming back slow-cooked food. Not only does this method of cooking enhance each ingredient’s unique flavors, but it creates fall-off-the-bone tenderness.

cheese and meats

Prepare For Fall Flavors  

In the fall, guests can enjoy horseback riding to see postcard-worthy views of Colorado’s famous golden aspens, hike through miles of crunchy leaves, or snuggle up around the fire to reminisce about the day’s activities. And at C Lazy U, the magic doesn’t stop at mealtime. Chef Cory and his team are building fall’s menu based on the starlets of the season – including apples, winter squash, venison, duck, and elk. More interested in sweet than savory? Don’t worry! Cory’s team works side-by-side with the pastry team to ensure your dish is seasonal perfection from start to finish. 

dinner entree

Chef’s Favorite Fall Dishes 

Chef Cory has revealed that fall’s menu will include homemade pasta, stews, and comfort foods like chicken-fried steak. While we can’t showcase the full fall menu just yet, we did ask Chef Cory to share his favorite autumn dishes – and there’s a good chance his personal favorites may influence autumn’s upcoming meals.  

Favorite fall breakfast: Sweet potato & apple corned beef hash

Best autumn lunch: Soups such as clam chowder, chili, or ham and white bean

Delicious seasonal dinner:  Beef stew with ossobuco and truffles

Appetizing autumn snack: Fresh apples and sharp cheddar cheese

Favorite fall-inspired drink: Whiskey Old Fashioned 


At C Lazy U, fall is uniquely beautiful – as is our gourmet, farm-to-table dining. Cory and his entire culinary team are excited about the seasonal change and are looking forward to showcasing some new dishes that are sure to excite the senses.

Is your mouth watering yet? Be sure to book your stay at C Lazy U ranch now to get a taste of the action!

Cowboy Up with Some Western Fashion Tips from the Cowboys and Cowgirls that Know Best

As a guest ranch that’s been in operation for 90+ years we’ve seen a lot of different people come and go, all with different riding experiences to talk of, and all at different riding abilities; but, something that we hear, facetiously, from almost all of our guests is that regardless of your level of riding ability, looking good is 90% of the equation. This saying got us thinking- we’re pretty proud of our website, we think that it prepares our guests well for their experience with us, and our wranglers certainly do a good job getting every guest comfortable on their horse and advancing their horsemanship, but maybe we could still give them (you!) more help; well, here it is, our guide to western fashion, so that even if you don’t know a horse’s head from its tail, you’ll be at least 90% ready to tackle the beast!

1. Boots
Whether they’re sassy or understated (can you guess which this cowgirl would pick?), you want to make sure that you have a good sturdy, and comfortable pair of boots for the ranch- we recommend Ariat, Justin, Corral or Old West brands for an inexpensive, but super reliable pair that will treat your feet right. Almost better than their utilitarian construction is that each of these brands has also jumped on-board the fashion train, providing style along with their well-known reliability (ladies rejoice!).

If you’re looking for a boot that you can wear out on the town as well as on the ranch, this cowgirl recommends looking into Lucchese and Old Gringo brand boots- both are making a boot that looks like your great grandmother would have worn them, antiqued in all the right places, and with leather so soft you’ll want to rub your face all over them. These brands pride themselves in their handmade, quality products, and you’ll be able to take special pride in these boots too, but that pride will cost you. 😉

Regardless of what brand and style you choose, remember that if you buy a pointed toe boot you’ll want to go a half-size up for comfort. And no matter what- wear your new boots several times before bringing them to the ranch!

Ariat Boots
Ariat Boots

Simple Justin work boot
Simple Justin work boot

Hand stitched Old Gringo boot
Hand stitched Old Gringo boot

Hand stitched Lucchese boot
Hand stitched Lucchese boot

2. Pants:
You know you’ve seen a picture like this sometime in youre life- we’re proud to say that the tushies you see before you are those of our wranglers here at the ranch, and if you look closley (again- yeah, we know) you’ll notice that their jean of choice is a Wrangler. Wrangler jeans are sturdy, with the classic rivetted looked and thick denim- perfect for the cowboy or cowgirl that spends long hours in the saddle or out fencing. If you want to saddle yourself up in the most authentic pair of pants possible, you can’t go wrong with a pair or Wranglers- and ladies, Wrangler caiters to us too (check out the bling on the pocket of the jeans below).

Wranglers in Wranglers
Wranglers in Wranglers

Wrangler pockets have bling now too!
Wrangler pockets have bling now too!

For those of you looking for a jean that you can take back to the city and wear without being mistaken for a hipster, 7 For Mankind, BKE and Deisel etc. are all acceptable fashion brands (and seen on our horse lovin’ guests quite often actually)- and who knows, depending on the amount of trail blazing you do while you’re out here on your horse, you may even get them distressed for free during your rides!


3. Bling (known by the cowboys as simply a belt buckle)

More Wrangler bling!
More Wrangler bling!

If you’ve taken the time to invest in a pair of good jeans for your ranch stay, the last thing you want is for them to come off at the wrong time- the best way to keep your britches up during the day, and add a bit more clout to your appearance, is with the big shiny belt buckle. There was a time during which the only way to get one of these bad boys was to sit a bull for 8 seconds or have the best ride on a bronc that wanted nothing more than to put your face into the dirt, but now you can buy one! Our store carries a wide array of buckles for you to choose from that range from petite rounds to the big daddy bling.

Gold and silver plated C Lazy U belt buckles dress up any western outfit
Gold and silver plated C Lazy U belt buckles dress up any western outfit


Want one before you get to the Ranch? Check out Montana Silver Smiths for a variety of well made buckles; Sheplers and Boot Barn also carry some of this bling.


4. Cowboy hat:

One accessory that you don’t want to add to your ensemble is a leathery cowboy face, and the best way to avoid helping yourself in that direction is with good cowboy hat. There are all different kinds of material and styles to choose from- palm leaf hats are very popular, and nice because they are lightweight but sturdy; felt hats (made with beaver fur) are very traditional too, and can dress up an outfit even when they’re dirty; you can choose a Tim McGraw style fashion hat, or the vaquero style hat that you see Buck Brennaman followers wearing, (made by Sunbody) known as the Reata style, as Buck’s daughter, Reata, originally started buying the hat unshaped and then shaped them herself, selling them at his clinics. Consult the chart below for a better idea of all the shapes that you can find hats in, and if you’re feeling adventurous, think about custom making yours- they’ll last a lifetime and you’ll get exactly what you want: check out Colorado Hats and Company in Estes Park, CO for the real deal!

Tim McGraw style hat
Tim McGraw style hat

Reata Hat
Reata Hat










Take a look at which style fits your personality best!
Take a look at which style fits your personality best!


We hope that this will help those of you feeling a little apprehensive about getting on your horse to feel a little more comfortable with the experience- even if it doesn’t, though, people will sure think you know what you’re going! So, what are you waitin’ for- all that’s left now is for your well-dressed family to come on out to the C Lazy U Ranch!




Cowgirl Power on the Ranch

C Lazy U is famous for its picturesque views, unique activities for the whole family, and of course, horseback riding. For many guests, horseback riding is one of the highlights of their Colorado dude ranch vacation, but what most guests don’t see is the fierce, predominantly female team that makes our guests’ time at C Lazy U so unique. Today, we’re giving you the inside scoop on our horseback riding program by introducing you to the Director of Equestrian Operations, the wranger team, and of course, a few of our favorite horses. Giddy up! 

women riding horses

The Director of Equestrian Operations 

As the Director of Equestrian Operations for the ranch, Ami Cullen cares for and manages our herd of approximately 200 horses, as well as guest operations, member operations, the children’s program, and our boarding and lesson programs. She meticulously tracks each horse to understand their health, where they’re at in their training, and how they’re behaving. Since horseback riding is such a popular activity on the ranch, Ami ensures our horses are well-cared-for so they can provide guests with an amazing riding experience. Ami’s built a strong management team to help the program thrive: Tami Burkett is the Equine and Veterinarian Care manager, Garrett Brammer is the Barn Maintenance Manager, and Rollins Wallace is the Children’s Program Manager.  Together, Ami, Tami, Garrett, and Rollins oversee about 20 wranglers and 20 kids’ counselors.    

woman hugging horse

The Team 

Cowgirl power is strong on the ranch – most of our wranglers are female and have backgrounds in horseback riding and training (that’s not to say we don’t have male wranglers – we just don’t have as many!). Many of the wranglers have taken years of lessons and competed on the A circuit at hunter jumper shows or have extensive experience in pony club, college teams, or the western show circuit. Others have excelled in the reining and cutting world as well.  

workers sitting down

Ami and her management team are extremely proud of the wranglers. The group is truly dedicated to helping each other, bettering our horses, and giving guests the greatest experience they could ask for.  A good team culture is important to C Lazy U Ranch, and we’ve worked hard to ensure our wranglers get along and help one another. To promote teamwork, they frequently switch horses. This gives each member a chance to get to know as many animals as possible while teaching their teammates the ins and outs of their favorite horse. When the team isn’t riding or teaching guests, they blast music and do chores while singing and dancing. Oftentimes, they’re having so much fun that our guests join in!

The Horses 

horses near barn

At C Lazy U, horses are part of the family.  When horses are too old, ill, or unable to be ridden in the mountains, we take our horses to Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, a non-profit organization committed to protecting horses from slaughter. To help more dude and guest ranches find new options for retiring their horses, C Lazy U and Drifter’s Hearts of Hope formed The Annie Project in 2017. The project allows ranches to find their horses new, safe homes and avoid auction or the slaughter pipeline. When horses go to Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, they’re well cared for and monitored in their new homes. The organization even sends us pictures from time to time of our horses enjoying life with their new people! 

Horse Power 

With over 200 horses in the C Lazy U herd, it’s hard to pick a favorite. Our wranglers pair guests with one of our horses based on skill level and temperament, so you’re guaranteed to meet the perfect horse for you. But, since we’re talking about female leaders, we couldn’t help but introduce two of our favorite mares, Betsy and Molly. These best friends are easy-going and friendly. Betsy is perfect with timid riders, and Molly is a wonderful teacher and helps hesitant guests find their confidence. Both Betsy and Molly always look out for whoever is on their backs. Next time you’re on the ranch, pop in and see if you can say hello to these sweet, inseparable horses! 

horse eating hay

Cozy & Thoughtful Ideas for a Winter Ranch Wedding

While summer may be the first choice for weddings, a winter wedding at a dude ranch such as C Lazy U may forever change your mind. When you couple C Lazy U’s snow-covered landscape and beautiful spaces with these charming, cozy and personal touches, you create a unique, memorable experience for you and your wedding guests.

winter ranch wedding ideas

Welcome With a Warm Drink

A drink to kick off the weekend is always welcome, but your guests may not be up for a cold drink after traveling through the snow. Welcome them to the ranch with some hot chocolate, which you can spike with your liqueur of choice for the adults.

If you’re especially fond of hot chocolate, you can serve it for dessert at the end of your wedding, too: set up a hot chocolate bar with all sorts of types of chocolate and toppings, such as milk, white or dark chocolate, peppermint and cinnamon sticks, marshmallow and whipped cream. You can even offer them a mug and hot cocoa mix as part of their goodie bag to take back to their cabins with them.

Host a Family-Friendly Competition

Hosting a winter wedding at a dude ranch means that many of the guests will not only just one, but multiple days of fun-filled winter activities. Make sure that everyone’s mixing and mingling and hold a spirited game such as ice hocking or sled races. Instead of pitting each side of the family against each other, mix the teams with members from each side of the soon-to-be-wed couple: it’s a perfect symbol of the blending of the two families.

Arrive or Depart by Horse-drawn Sleigh

Skip the fancy limousine — a horse-drawn sleigh is how to travel in style for a winter wedding at a dude ranch. You can deck out the sleigh in beautiful garlands, bows and a personal sign proclaiming “Just Married!” to add a touch of glamour to your ride. Make sure to use the sleigh in plenty of photographs: it’s the perfect picture for your thank-you cards!

Cold-Weather Welcome Bags for Guests

Guests that are staying overnight will be delighted to find a personalized goodie bag waiting for them in their cozy cabins. You can add all the standard items such as a bottle of water, breath mints, aspirin and snacks, but a few cold-weather items will make their stay even better. Include some lip balm, hand warmers, mittens, fuzzy socks, scarves, and tea, for example.

Cozy Cover-ups for the Wedding Party

Giving the bridal party a robe as a gift while getting ready has been trendy, but brides can opt to instead give them a cozy wrap to wear before, during and after the wedding. You can have them personalized with a small charm or specific stylized design, or you can give them each a unique one to make it even more personal. As a bonus, giving them a warm wrap to wear instead of their own coats will ensure all the bridesmaids stay warm during photographs — and still look the part of the bridal party!

Provide Snug Slippers Instead of Flip-Flops

No one wants to wear high heels or uncomfortable dress shoes all night! Many brides have been offering flip-flops for guests to wear during the reception, but it may be a little too cold for guests. Stuff a basket full of inexpensive slippers (those with some grip on the soles are best) in various sizes so that guests can dance all night long, no matter how cold it is.

Dude Ranch Vacations – Myth vs. Fact

We’re often asked “what, exactly, is a dude ranch?” We’ve explained what they are and how they came about way back when in the early 1900s. Now we’re ready to clear up some notions (both true and false) that some folks may have about dude ranch vacations. Here are a few myths about spending time on a dude ranch, and the facts to set you straight. The more you know about dude ranch vacations, the less you’ll come across as a city-slicking “dude” once you get here!

1. Myth: Dude ranches are all about cattle and horseback riding
Historically, yes. The main activity at traditional ranches is wrangling the cattle, which is best done on horseback by pro cowboys. Horseback riding is still at the heart of the ranch experience, and C Lazy U is no exception. Our herd of 180 horses and our staff of expert riders make for experiences for any cowboy-for-a-day (or week!).

1. Fact: There’s LOTS else to do at C Lazy U!
While horseback riding is a big part of the daily life and culture of the ranch, it’s not a requisite. For those who would rather spend their vacation time on other outdoor mountain activities (or just lazing by the side of a pool, for that matter), C Lazy U has plenty of options, every season of the year.

2. Myth: Any old ranch can call themselves a “dude ranch”
Back when ranches were opening their doors to tourists in the early 20th century, any ranch could hang a shingle on its front gate and call themselves a lodge as well as a ranch. Even today, you’ll find ranches with minimal services inviting visitors in as a “dude ranch.”

2. Fact: The Dude Ranchers’ Association sets the bar high
As dude ranches began to take off in popularity, the budding industry realized it had to get organized and set some standards for itself. In 1926, the Dude Rancher’s Association was born, in partnership with the Northern Pacific Railway. Since then, the association has worked to ensure high quality in the dude ranch experience. C Lazy U, established in 1919, is a long-time member of the Dude Ranchers’ Association.

3. Myth: Dude ranches are only open in the summertime
True, summer is high season for dude ranches across the American West – this is the most popular time of year to go. The timing is right to bring the kids while they’re on vacation from school, and the weather is perfect for horseback riding, campfires, and having fun in the sun.

3. Fact: C Lazy U is open year-round
The ranch takes on a different personality in the fall, winter, and spring months – but is still very much alive! In fact, some prefer the winter months, when the place is a little more serene and covered in a dazzling blanket of white. Horseback riding in the snow brings fairy tales to life. Fall foliage, winter holidays, and spring skiing are all great excuses to visit the ranch any time of the year.

4. Myth: Dude ranch vacations are only for families with kids
Ranches like C Lazy U are generally homegrown, family-run operations that cater especially to families with kids. The lodging, food, and special activities are all designed for youngsters. C Lazy U even has special programming for kids where parents can leave them in our hands for the day.

4. Fact: C Lazy U has something for everyone
As kid-friendly as the ranch may be, it certainly has something to offer all kinds of groups, even of the grown-up variety. Especially from September to May – when the little sprouts are back in school – couples can plan a wedding or just a romantic getaway to C Lazy U, sans children. Organizations can plan conferences and retreats.

5. Myth: Dude ranches are rustic
Ditch the suits and heels – dress code here is strictly casual. Keep in mind that your threads are likely to get a little dusty!

5. Fact: C Lazy U equals superior service and luxury
We may be a cowboy ranch in the mountains, but we know a thing or two about creature comforts. Dining here has a gourmet touch, cabins have amenities like their own cozy fireplaces, and there’s a spa on-site to make things extra fancy. No need to “rough it” at C Lazy U – we even add frills to camping with our special “glamping” setup.

Easy Ways to Incorporate Rustic Western Décor into Your Home

At C Lazy U Ranch, we take western décor very seriously! Whether you want to transform you house into a western retreat, or simply add a few touches of rustic elements into your modern pad, here are a few tips from our team on how to achieve the perfect look.

One of our favorite rustic touches is the incorporation of animal prints and hides (faux or real, it is really up to your personal preference and budget). It is easy to get carried away with this particular iconic western style, so it’s important to contrast your print with a modern accent such as a contemporary coffee table, sleek and metallic finishes on surrounding textiles or pops of a bright color.

western decor-animal prints

western decor-animal print elements.png

Another Ranch favorite is the use of ranch staples as decorative pieces. Here, a saddle is used as a doorstop, while antlers (which animals like Moose and Elk lose naturally each year) have been adaptively reused, and remade into a stunning statement chandelier.

western decor-horsehoes

western decor - rustic

To bring a little of the rustic outdoors inside, wood and timber from old trees or branches can easily be repurposed into furniture and wood accents throughout your home. This is especially easy since you don’t want to stain or polish any of the finishes! At C Lazy U dude ranch, an on-site wood mill is used to transform damaged beetle-kill timber, which typically has a beautiful bluish-green tint, into new wood furniture, such as the nightstands and ceiling beams below.

western decor - rooms

wester decor - pine beetle

Other ways to imbue your home with a western flair is to simply incorporate leather, rod-iron and dark earthy colors. You can enhance these classic rustic features with softer touches such as burlap and lace to make your home feel warm and inviting.

For more inspiration, visit us at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado! Our Ranch House, Outfitter’s Cabin and guest cabins are full of unique western décor!

Enter Our Social Summer “Mug Shot” Photo Contest!


Now that summer has officially started, we are ready and raring to kick off our summer photo contest!! We are sure you’re on some sort of social media platform, whether it’s Twitter or Instagram. So why not use these platforms to win cool, free stuff? Check out how much fun summers are at C Lazy U and what you need to do to win awesome prizes this summer!

About C Lazy U’s Summer Programs

Do you long to get out of the city and into the country to go horseback riding, cattle pushing, hay-riding, and generally live life as a rancher? Get away from the city and jump into country living this summer. At C Lazy U dude ranch in the heart of Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Not only will you be living the dude ranch lifestyle and going horseback riding, but you’ll also learn how to go fly fishing, play tennis, go swimming, play basketball and volleyball, go paddle boating, and even learn some archery.

We know that sometimes you can take the person out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the person. That’s why C Lazy U luxury guest ranch also offers spa services, “luxury camping,” and off-ranch golf excursions.

Sound like a blast to you? Come on over!

Summer Photo Contest Details

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  • Spend your summer vacation in Colorado at the C Lazy U Dude Ranch
  • Follow @clazyuranch on Instagram, or @C_Lazy_U_RANCH on Twitter
  • Upload your favorite photo from your vacation on the ranch using the hashtag #clazyumugshot on either Instagram or Twitter (or both!)

Throughout June, July and August, one C Lazy U guest will win their very own C Lazy U copper mugs each week! These same weekly winners will also be entered to win a grand prize* at the end of the summer! Talk about a sweet end to an already fun summer vacation!

*Based on availability. Grand Prize Stay Dates Jan 3, 2016 – March 31, 2016. Excludes President’s Day Weekend (Feb 12-15, 2016). Alcohol, incidentals, some activities and services not included. Prize is non-transferable.

Experiences at C Lazy U for the Under 6 Crowd

Vacationing with young children can be a challenge — but for many families, a luxury getaway at Colorado’s C Lazy U dude ranch is a cherished annual tradition.

girl greeting horses

That’s because our all-inclusive ranch was specifically designed with young children in mind. While adults relax and enjoy gourmet meals, luxury accommodations, and adventurous ranch activities (or a little pampering at our award-winning spa), lil’ cowpokes are kept busy from sunup to sundown with fun-filled activities.

Ranch Activities for the 3 to 6 Set

At C Lazy U, our Kids and Teens Program is tailored to youth of all ages, including young children getting their first taste of ranch life. While older children and teens enjoy activities such as archery, ropes courses, and horseback riding, guests aged 3 to 6 join the “Cowpokes.” This all-day program, which is included in your C Lazy U family vacation, offers fun activities like pool time, arts and crafts, pony and donkey cart rides, ranger rides, movies, and scavenger hunts.

kids taking a ride

Guests can take their children out of the program at any point to share ranch activities together as a family. Parents can also enjoy adult-time, including trail riding and Orvis-endorsed fly fishing, knowing their little ones are safe and happy as they explore life on our beautiful ranch.

Enjoy Delicious Meals and Luxurious Family Cabins

At the end of a long day of fun and discovery, your family will enjoy a well-earned gourmet meal prepared by our in-house chef. In the summertime, breakfast is enjoyed together as a family, and adults eat lunch and dinner separately. In the spring and fall, all meals are shared as a family. After dinner, our guests love to gather together around a cozy fire as a family to share stories about the day’s adventures!

In addition to spacious rooms, we offer one to three bedroom cabins with children’s rooms featuring twin beds or bunk beds. Your all-inclusive family vacation includes daily housekeeping service, plush robes, Bath products by L’OCCITANE, and coffee, tea and cocoa in your room.


Safety has our top priority at C Lazy U Ranch since the children’s program was first established in 1949. Our professionally trained counselors provide superior care so that parents can relax and recharge knowing their little ones are having an unforgettable ranch experience, while building confidence and independence. 

young girl riding pony

Year-round staff are CPR and First Aid certified, and all counselors undergo a comprehensive pre-employment screening, as well as regular training that includes a Basic Water Safety course from the American Red Cross. 

Explore Colorado History

There is no better way to explore the unique history of the American West than by experiencing life on an authentic dude ranch. Established in 1919, C Lazy U sprawls over 8,500 pristine acres, with panoramic views of the majestic Rocky Mountains and Continental Divide.

girl petting horse

Not only is C Lazy U the West’s premier guest ranch, but it is also a working ranch that produces about 300 tons of hay each year. As you explore our grounds with the kiddos, say “hay” to our 200 horses and 30 cows, and meet Petey, Tilly, and Wilbur, our trio of miniature donkeys. Be sure to keep on the lookout for local wildlife like moose, elk and antelope!

Your stay at C Lazy U ranch is sure to bring your family together and create memories to last a lifetime. Reach out to our team to book your all-inclusive family vacation today.

Fall Fly Fishing at the Ranch

            Fall is in the air, and it’s one our favorite times of the year. The aspen leaves are changing to vibrant colors of yellow and red, elk can be heard bugling in the distance, and frosty breath can be seen all morning. It also signals one of the best times to go fly-fishing.

fly fishing

            This time of year, the water temperature cools down. Fish become more aggressive in their feeding patterns to beef up before the winter hits, and the Brown trout spawn begins. Most Brown trout spawn during October, which causes the males to transform into stunning colors of orange and gold. The males fight for breeding rights next to the females on what we call “reds,” and you may be just lucky enough to see this spectacle while you’re on the water.

woman fly fishing

            Browns spawn in shallow riffles with small gravel so the female can lay her eggs and then cover them up with violent shakes of the tail. Male browns will often develop kypes on their bottom jaw (similar to salmon) in order to push other males away. Other fish, such as Rainbow and the occasional Brook trout, take advantage of the season by staging below these spawning areas to eat the eggs that float downstream.

guy that caught a fish

            Since the fish are more aggressive, we can often target them with streamers and larger nymphs. Our property on the Colorado River, called Confluence Ranch, is a great place to target these spawning fish because they’ll often swim up into Willow Creek or stage right at the confluence before they go to spawn.

            When planning your trip to C Lazy U, don’t forget to stop by the Outfitters Cabin or call to book your fishing trip. You’ll catch some of these amazing fish in one of the best times of the year!

Written By:

Austin Reynolds, C Lazy U Fly Fishing Guide

Fall Is In The Air, The Weather Is Perfect For A Dude Ranch Vacation!

Petey_Come Hither
I was instructed to Love the camera in this shot


One of our members had his corporate retreat at the ranch this week (which was a great idea since we are the best dude ranch vacation I know of) and I’ve got to say, though I’m just a donkey and know very little on this matter: those men sure did know how to do it up right! Yes, they sat through a few meetings, and got a lot of business accomplished, but they also hit up the ropes course, had a pick-up football game, and partied at the lodge bar well into the evenings, laughin’ and hootin’ and hollerin’ all the way through. I can’t help but think what a great place the ranch is, not only as a Colorado family vacation, but also as a corporate retreat location.

And the weather couldn’t be better! The Aspen leaves are in full color change, so the hillsides look like they are covered in liquid gold; the temperatures — in the mid-70’s I’ll have you know (donkeys have a good sense of this) — is complimented by a nice breeze, and there’s just something in the air this time of year. Everybody always talks about love being in the air, and maybe it is for some — in my case, I haven’t experienced it, as it isn’t good for a leader to get involved in such frivolous matters, though my love of food is unrivaled, but that’s neither here nor there.

What my point is, is this: Fall is in the air here at the ranch — there is a serene calm in the air about the ranch, amplified by the gentle rustling of those Aspen leaves in the breeze. A donkey can’t help but be relaxed here and think about the upcoming holiday season that we have in store for our guests- Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday, as it is, after all, the eating holiday) is going to be huge this year, as always, and I’m looking forward to watching the first tubers of the season make their way down our perfect tubing hill!

Petey_Mysterious Eyes Close Up
I tried acting mysterious in this picture

I was so relaxed, this week, in fact, that I allowed myself to be talked into a photo shoot, with one of our wranglers- Rebecca Heaton, who’s responsible the images in this post… I think she really captured my good side (though I don’t think I really have a bad one).

The only thing that I can think of that rivals our summers at the ranch are our winter family vacations, and as you can tell by my photo shoot, this donkey is ready!

Fencing at Twilight

A cool breeze blows through the Aspen stand and up over the saddle where two cowboys cut and remove winter fence, in preparation for the coming summer months. Twilight has descended in the quiet valley that plays home to our beloved ranch, allowing the boys to fence without breaking a sweat. The smell of snow lingers on the breeze, as patches of white are ever present on the surrounding hillsides- but not here; here, the sage brush is exposed and the mud has begun to dry out, as if knowing that soon it will play host to our herd of 200 horses once again. It is difficult to remember to breath, sitting in the quiet serenity of this scene, knowing we get to call it home.

The cowboys stop for a moment to chuckle and review their work, also sneaking a peak at the Divide, glowing purple,pink and yellow with the setting sun; but a large gust of wind sends the winter fence flapping against its barbed wire base, bringing the cowboys focus back onto the task at hand. As the temperature cools, that once gentle breeze begins to grow in strength, setting the Aspen trees into a frenzy of “clacking” as they knock against one another- if this song would have a name, it would simply be called, “The West”. There is something in the air on spring nights such as this, a magic, that so often we forget about after growing up; but it’s difficult to miss out here, because it is all encompassing; it has the ability to calm the most turbulent spirit, relax the most occupied of minds.

I count myself lucky to get to live at the C Lazy U Ranch, as, I’m sure, do the boys that are out here with me; but we are equally fortunate to get to share this place, and all it’s magic, all it’s awe inspiring wonder, with our guest, old and new, each year.

See you at the ranch!

Fire Update

The ranch reopened on April 1, 2021. For FAQs and updates regarding the situation, please visit this page.

Update October 24, 3:00 PM:

C Lazy U Ranch is currently closed and inaccessible due to the East Troublesome Fire and related evacuation. As of Friday, October 23, we understand portions of the Ranch have been impacted, including the loss of some member homes and a small number of ranch buildings. This continues to be an evolving situation, and we will provide more information as we have it, but are most grateful for the safe, preemptive evacuation of all guests, members, staff and ranch animals.

Our hearts are heavy at this moment, but we will rebuild. Our thoughts are with our neighbors impacted; our deepest gratitude goes out to the Grand County community, firefighters, first responders and authorities who have worked diligently to keep our community safe.

In the spirit of the West, C Lazy U Ranch – now 101 years old – looks forward to welcoming back guests for the next 100 years!

Update October 22, 8:15 AM:

The East Troublesome fire crossed Colorado Highway 125 on Wednesday, Oct.  21, and we believe C Lazy U Ranch was impacted.  We’re still assessing damage to the property and will provide more information as we have it. We’re grateful to report that the ranch preemptively and safely evacuated all guests, members, staff, and ranch animals last week as a precaution. 

Our deepest gratitude goes out to the Grand County community, firefighters, first responders, and authorities who are working diligently to keep the Ranch and the surrounding community safe.       

Check back here and on our social media channels for more updates as we continue to monitor the situation. 

Editor’s Note: The post below was from fires a few years ago. However since people have found it during the East Troubleshome Fire in 2020, we are now updating it with new information about the East Troublesome fire.

Thank you so much to all those of you that have called and emailed with your concerns for the ranch in regards to the many wildfires burning throughout Colorado. I am happy to report that the C Lazy U Ranch is no immediate danger (we are about 100 miles from the nearest fire), and with the exception of a few hours yesterday, we have not breathed a single bit of smoke either (which is great, because I’m a bit of an asthmatic, and I don’t think I’d be able to perform all my duties in smokey conditions!); in fact, we got rain yesterday, and the day before (we will, of course, need tons more, but we count each blessing as it comes)!

On the note of counting our blessings, we are about to dive into our 4th week of summer guests, and it’s been so nice to see so many familiar faces, and so many new ones (I have to say, the new guests we’ve gotten this year are very trainable- the amount of between meals snacks that I’ve been getting is awesome!!). We are truly fortunate to have such a wonderful extended family here, and yes, you are truly fortunate to have me… you’re welcome.

It’s about lunch time, so I’ll leave you all with this: We continue to pray for those who are being effected throughout the state, and the country, and send our hugs:

Two horses nuzzling

and kisses:

Closeup view of alpacca

I will continue to update you here, and don’t forget to check out our Facebook page too.

Fly Fishing: The Best Time of the Year is Upon Us!

fly fishing best time of year

One of the best times of the year is upon us! The record-breaking snowfall we experienced last winter is keeping our rivers cold and flowing nicely. But it’s now time to start thinking about getting into the alpine and chasing cutthroat trout. There is nothing quite like watching a big cutthroat cruising towards your fly and sipping it off the surface. It’s a true test of patience and restraint!

There are thousands of lakes that hold cutthroat throughout the state of Colorado. I am fortunate enough to live in Grand County and have access to a multitude of lakes just a short drive and hike away. Cutthroat trout typically aren’t too difficult to catch, and really most of the effort is put forth when you have to hike to these lakes.

Many of these lakes are located well above tree line, which means there’s nothing to snag or foul your fishing line. For this reason, I typically fish a two-weight rod with 6x tippet, and almost exclusively fish with dry flies. Like I said, these fish aren’t very picky and will usually eat just about any dry bait you care to throw. But, in lakes that see a little more pressure, downsizing and throwing very natural-looking dries is the best way to go. I have found that cutthroats will eat nymphs under the water, but they eat dries just as readily, so why would you fish anything else?

Some lakes are better than others and the only way to know which ones hold fish is to go! I’ve struck out a few times and hiked into a lake only to find it void of fish. This isn’t a good surprise after a strenuous hike, but, luckily this is rare, as most lakes hold at least a few fish. You can find which lakes hold the largest number of fish from online sources, but there are plenty more options that can’t be found online. Putting forth a little extra effort can pay off in spades, so get out there and get after it!

Fly Fishing: The Sport You Never Knew You Loved

When the birds start chirping and the weather grows warmer, we know the season is upon us: fly fishing season! As one of only six Orvis-endorsed fly fishing lodges in the entire state of Colorado, C Lazy U Ranch is one of the best spots in the country to cast your line — especially if it’s your first time.

benefits of fly fishing

A Bit About Fly Fishing

For the uninitiated, fly fishing is a type of angling in which an artificial fly is used instead of real bait or other types of artificial lures. These artificial flies are made to look like the food the target fish will eat. Because they are made of lightweight materials, unlike other types of bait, they require different equipment in order to cast the line.

A fly fishing rod has the weight in the line itself, while other types of angling will use the weight of the bait in order to cast. As a result, casting in fly fishing involves a completely different technique. While all types of casting require some skill, casting when fly fishing arguably requires a little bit more finesse.

Fly Fishing: Benefits for the Body and Mind

Those who have never fished before — or those who have fished, but never with artificial flies — may wonder what the appeal of fly fishing is. It’s not a fast-paced, adrenaline-filled sport, but it is fun, relaxing and an excellent way to get in touch with nature and bond with your friends and family.

Have fun: For those who have never fished before, standing in a stream and casting a line over and over — only to catch a fish and release it back to its waters — may not seem like a great use of time. But the joy of developing, honing and perfecting a new skill can bring an immense sense of accomplishment.

Destress: Fly fishing has also been shown to be an ideal way to relax your mind. The natural surroundings of C Lazy U Ranch encourage relaxation on its own, but the soothing act of fly fishing can further clear your mind. In fact, an article in Harvard Medical School’s neuroscience newsletter likened fly fishing to meditation: “With its meditative-like repetitive motion…fly-fishing is a ‘beautiful way’ of evoking the relaxation response,” a technique described by Herbert Benson, founder of the Mind/Body Medical Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Exercise: Fly fishing isn’t all standing around waiting for the fish to bite — you’re actually using tons of muscles without even realizing it. Not only is it a great low-impact activity for all ages, it aids in coordination and balance as well.

Bond: While fly fishing can be a solo sport, fly fishing with your family and friends is a wonderful way to bond. Teaching your children the ins and outs of the sports allows you to impart your own knowledge; if you’re all learning the sport together, you can laugh over your common mistakes, celebrate your successes and explore the world around you — together.

Appreciate nature: Fishing naturally takes you deep into nature, surrounded only by the sky, the water and the fish below. At C Lazy U, you can fish on private sections of Willow Creek right on the ranch, but you can also take a day trip to neighboring waters. The fish are varied and plentiful: you can catch all types of trout, including brook trout, rainbow trout and cutthroat trout.

Guests coming to C Lazy U Ranch often come for both the adventure and relaxation. All of our ranch activities can do both, but fly fishing is something special — and eventually, you’ll fall in love.

Fly Fishing: The Waiting Game

fly fishing-waiting game
As Tom Petty said, “the waiting is the hardest part.” While I’m sure fly fishing wasn’t the inspiration for this song, it translates pretty well to the sentiments of fly fishermen in Colorado and the world over.

This time of year is by far one of the hardest for a fly fisherman to endure. It’s been a long winter without much fishing. We’ve spent countless hours tying flies, watching movies and reading magazines about the sport and doing anything else to get a small fly fishing fix.

The few days that I’ve braved fishing over the past few weeks have been short, cold and I didn’t walk away with many fish to show for the effort. So, how can we fly fisherman make it through this final stretch of cold? Below are a couple of tips I’ve learned over the years.

One of the easiest ways to fulfill your fly fishing craving is to just travel to the fish. The last two weeks of March I hit the road, lived in a tent, spent quite a bit of money and put hundreds of miles on my vehicle. Was it worth it? Absolutely! I fished the Grey Reef section of the North Platte River in Wyoming, floated the Upper Colorado River and then fished the Blue River, the Yampa and the South Platte River. I only slept indoors a few nights, and took two days to go skiing. I caught some really nice fish and had a great time, even though late March can be a pretty uncomfortable time to sleep in a tent!

If you can’t travel to areas with better fishing, the other method I’ve found helpful is to get creative! Over the past couple of weeks, I decided to try and fish a private stretch of the Colorado River. The river itself is open, but the road into the property is far from passable – in a car that is! So, with the creative and adventurous spirit in mind, I loaded everything I would need for a day of fly fishing on my back and set out for a several-mile cross country ski and fly fishing adventure. Skiing into the property wasn’t too bad; however, the real work started once I had my waders on and headed down to the water: The snow was still very deep in the high country, and post-holing up and down the banks of the river was much more exhausting than any of the cross country skiing. At least the work paid off – I ended up catching quite a few fish, a couple of which were actually big ones! I really had to put forth some effort, but that just made the catching even sweeter.

No matter what you do, it won’t change the fact that April is a month in limbo. We’re on the cusp of kicking off another epic fly fishing season, but that doesn’t mean we diehard fly fisherman can’t find one way or another to get our fix.

Fly Fishing: Time for Lakes!

fly fishing lakes

It’s that time of year again! While you may find your favorite stretch of river to be riddled with high, murky unfishable water, there is bound to be a piece of still water perfect for spring and early summer fishing within walking distance! There are many site options out there, and many species to chase. And, if a river doesn’t catch your fly fishing fancy, there are a multitude of lakes full of fish all over the state of Colorado. Front Range lakes offer warm water species such as bass, carp, perch, catfish, and the list goes on and on. In the high country, lakes are brimming with trout and pike. Here are a few pieces of water I frequent in the high country:

My go-to piece of water this time of year is Delaney Buttes, just outside of Walden, Colorado. The three-lake site is full of trophy-size trout. Every fly fisherman has heard of “combat fishing,” or the “bring your own rock kind of day.”

The Buttes are no secret, so be prepare for crowds. This time of year the fishing can be incendiary, but be prepared to work for your fish. The fish become educated quickly, and the right flies and a good presentation are key. Fish nymphs such as hares ears, pheasant tails, scuds, and prince nymphs, as well as many baetis and chironomid patterns. Don’t be afraid to throw streamers, and night fishing is never a bad idea, especially for the biggest trout that lurk in the Butte’s waters. Patience and timing are key to catching fish at the Buttes. Get on the water early, look for bugs and change flies often until you find what the fish are keying on. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your own rock!

The Williams Fork Reservoir outside of Parshall, Colorado is another go-to of mine. Pike is the name of the game, but don’t be surprised if you hook a bruiser brown or rainbow trout. Also, don’t be surprised if you walk away without a bite or seeing a single fish. Many refer to this reservoir as the “Dead Sea,” and for good reason: I’ve spent many fishless days on the banks of the Williams Fork, but the fish I’ve caught have made the droughts worth it. I take a 7 wt. rigged with a weightless streamer on a floating line – be sure to find shallow water with deep-water access – and start casting. Keep moving and hope a fish fancies your fly! This type of fishing isn’t for everyone. If you need constant action, look elsewhere. But if you are the type of fisherman, like me, that can handle days of boredom for a truly gargantuan fish, look no further.

There is always a site to fish at in Colorado. Don’t let high water hold you back! If you have never tried your hand at lake fishing, give it a go. Maybe you’ll find a type of fishing you fall in love with, I know I sure have! With all the options Colorado has to offer, there is something for everyone…so get out there!

Fresh Powder Day!

We love pow pow days here at the ranch- I personally love them because I enjoy  rolling around in the snow to cool myself off… because I’m hot. What? Do you have any idea how much fur a Sicilian Donkey has- it’s like being in a broiler all the time! Anyway, here are a couple of my favorite scenes from today’s fresh powder day:

Barn in Falling Snow

Barn is almost hidden by the blanket of snow falling in the early morning sun.

Lodge and Trees with Snow

Look at all the snow!

And the weather was just perfect for snowshoeing and cross country skiing- oh no! not me! Don’t be silly! I spent most of the day napping-what? The wranglers really spread out the hay piles at breakfast this morning, so I had to wander around for my food more than usual.

Maybe some folks will be able to find me while they’re here over Presidents’ weekend though- after all, the Petey Paparazzi promotion is going to be going all the way through the summer! Check out our Facebook Page for more info on that.

Happy pow p

From Farm to Table: Dining at C Lazy U

At C Lazy U dude ranch, we serve up unforgettable vacations paired with mouthwatering food. The Ranch Executive Chef dreams up a diverse daily menu that blends tried-and-true favorites with regional Colorado specialties, like Rocky Mountain trout and aged Western beef. Since our chef selects the lunch and dinner menu each day, you’ll get to try new, exciting flavor profiles at every meal. Today, we’re giving you the inside scoop into what you can expect when dining at C Lazy U.  

steak dinner


Start your day with the most important meal of the day: breakfast. The made-to-order menu includes traditional options like french toast, biscuits and gravy, and a variety of egg dishes, as well as healthier choices like protein shakes, steel-cut oatmeal, and smoked salmon. Finish off your breakfast with a side of fresh fruit, yogurt, bacon, hash browns, or sausage links – or, all of the above! 

On Friday mornings from June through August, join us for Woodsie Breakfast, our traditional morning cookout that offers breathtaking views of the Indian Peaks mountain range. Enjoy fresh homemade donuts, local trout, eggs, bacon, sausage, seasonal fruit, and pancakes. Your meal is served alongside on a crackling fire to get you fueled up for your day on the ranch. 


meat and cheese board

After a busy morning, enjoy a robust lunch with made-to-order specialties.  In the summer, eat your meal poolside and soak up the sun’s rays. In the colder months, warm up in the main lodge before heading out for your afternoon activities.   


fancy dinner plate

Dinner at the ranch is more formal and includes four courses. Each dinner offers appetizers, soup or salad, and two main entree options, served family-style. Finally, satisfy your sweet tooth with a mouth-watering dessert. Our in-house sommelier works closely with the chef to prepare wine recommendations that pair perfectly with each meal and course.  

Family Dining

pork chop dinner

During family seasons (Presidents’ Day Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, June-August, Labor Day Weekend, Christmas, and New Year’s), start your day off eating breakfast with your entire family. Then, kids will have lunch and dinner with their peers and counselors in the kids and teens program. Kids love this program because they get to play games and participate in activities with other children in their age group, while parents can enjoy fine food and wine at adults-only dinners. To give you enough family time, we schedule plenty of family experiences throughout the week, including evening activities each night.  

Dietary Restrictions 

We’re able to cater to all dietary restrictions or requests. Simply let your ranch staff know of any food allergies or preferences as early as possible so we can make accommodations for you.  

Food is a huge part of an unforgettable vacation experience, and at C Lazy U, you’ll find the perfect balance of gourmet dining and outdoor adventure. We hope to see you on the ranch soon!  

Get Away for a Memorable Family Thanksgiving

thanksgiving dinner

Life gets so busy with work, school, and everyday tasks that we have to schedule in time just to sit and take a breath. There aren’t enough hours in the day to do what we’d like, and that’s what makes holidays so important. During holidays, work moves to the backburner so that we can put dear friends and family on the forefront. Taking the time to value our loved ones and create new memories is what these days are all about.

But as much as we’d like to make each minute count, we still have things to do. The house needs to be cleaned from top to bottom, pounds of food need to be cooked, dishes have to be washed, and a giant turkey has to be lugged around. As great as holidays are, all that tradition takes a lot of work. Our families are worth it, but wouldn’t it be nice if we could put all that time and energy into having fun with everyone? The good news is you can!

The idea of going away for Thanksgiving may seem odd since it’s such a family-focused holiday, but taking a memorable family trip over Thanksgiving doesn’t have to mean forsaking traditions and sitting on a beach. The C Lazy U dude ranch is hosting a Thanksgiving getaway that will quickly become the new family tradition. Our working horse ranch allows families to “power down” while still having fun in a family-friendly setting that harkens back to simpler days. With unique activities like daily horseback riding, winter sports and bonding time between your family and other guests this Thanksgiving will be one that’s remembered and talked about forever.

Here’s how spending the holidays away from home can make your Thanksgiving better than ever!

Unplug the TV

With the cooler weather of November and the need to entertain a house full of people, families turn to the TV for help. As much as we may love watching those football games and holiday specials, spending the day in the glow of the LCD hardly qualifies as quality family time. There’s so much more fun to be had!

Getting outside is one of the best ways to rocket the level of holiday fun. You can enjoy the crisp fall air in your backyard, but the world gets so much bigger as you’re riding on horseback through the Rockies and watching horses run loose in open pastures. In a setting like this, it won’t be fight to get the kids to go outdoors.

horse back riding c lazy u

If you’re looking to stay indoors there’s just as much potential for fun – away from the screen. Pick up some family-friendly board games that can be enjoyed by all ages. You can easily find games that the whole family can play, but don’t forget to grab a few age-specific games. Then you can split up into game groups so you can really get your game on. Playing group games at C Lazy U is a great way to make new friends!

Take Off That Apron!

There’s no doubt that the highlight of Thanksgiving is in sitting down to a glorious table full of smells and steaming dishes. Turkey, green beans, potatoes, rolls, casseroles, and pies make for one heck of a meal, but putting all of that together is a full day of work. Then you still have to take care of clean up. The holidays are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. Instead of spending all that time cooking and cleaning, why not let a professional handle it for you?

Here at C Lazy U, the gourmet dining will have your tastebuds fluttering in delight, and you won’t have to spend a single minute on your feet. Instead of committing to hours of stirring, basting, and washing, you’re free to have fun with friends and family. For once, the meal is all about the meal and how it brings family together.

If you truly enjoy the cooking, you’re invited to join the C Lazy U culinary team for a cooking experience where you’ll learn some new recipes and techniques that will be used to prepare the Thanksgiving Day meal. It’s a great way to get eager helpers involved in the kitchen without being underfoot.

All Your Favorite Activates … and Then Some

Some traditions are just too important – and too fun – to give up. Enjoy Thanksgiving Day by watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games (besides, games are always more fun when you’re watching with a group), but break it up with some very different activities. Keep the kids entertained with a morning feed wagon ride and an early afternoon horseback ride. Or embrace your inner outdoorsman by trying your hand at archery or trapshooting. If you really want to relax, C Lazy U has an on-site spa.

c lazy u spa

Thanksgiving at C Lazy U is all about enhancing this amazing holiday with more quality family time and relaxation. We want the experience to be truly memorable, not just another family dinner. C Lazy U is a holiday getaway that truly fits the spirit of Thanksgiving.

This holiday will be even more jam packed with picture perfect moments, so bring along your camera, get out of the kitchen and make some lasting family memories. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Girl Power: Passionate about “Find Your Inner Cowgirl through Body, Mind, Equine”

A guest post by: Cathy Woods, lead of our 3-night Women’s Retreat

When we combine our passions into our livelihood there is no better feeling. I have followed my heart for the past 27 years, creating a lifestyle where I lead yoga classes, retreats, life-skills enrichment programs and best of all Horse and Yoga events! Combining my love for horses, yoga and travel has been a rich and fulfilling experience in many ways. It fills my heart to touch the lives of others in a positive way.

C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado has created a space in which I can offer Body, Mind, Equine in my favorite way…as a several day retreat! I am often asked to lead half day workshop or segments of my program interwoven into to other events. At C Lazy U, I can lead a three night retreat for women and really allow them to “soak in” the entire experience leaving renewed and empowered.

I am proud to announce that this program is “not just airy fairy fluff”; there is real substance to it and potential for personal growth and fun! It is not about doing yoga on the back of your horse, but rather so much more.

Value and importance of this retreat:

  • Women need a break and time to restore! Women are often the care givers, holding together households, families and careers. Breaks are order to remain healthy and well.
  • Retreat, renewal, restorative and introspective time are essential to keeping the balance in life. Nurturing oneself with quality personal time has lasting value.
  • On the flip side of that…fun is in order too! Women can become so busy, forgetting what it feels like to have fun, laugh, kick up their heels and go on an adventure.
  • Connections are important for a fulfilled life. In retreat ladies get to connect with like minded women, share stories, make new friends and feel a kinship which warms the heart.
  • Support is a powerful component. We offer support for each other which can come up in various ways in a retreat setting. Each group is unique and organically creates its own dynamic.
  • Women’s empowerment is always created when the spirit of the woman (and cowgirl!) come together in fellowship, celebrating who we are.
  • Lastly, what woman doesn’t love beautiful accommodations, having her meals prepared and complete permission to be herself? Just show up, relax and enjoy the feeling that someone else “has got this”.

Body, Mind, Equine is a perfect blend of nurturing time, learning and fun through horses and yoga. Participants leave feeling renewed and refreshed, ready to greet their lives with a fresh perspective. This program is for everyone, regardless of horse or yoga experience. We work with you and accept you from where you are. It is my hope that you gals will treat yourself to this empowering program and experience for yourself the value of retreat.

Girls Weekend Getaway to C Lazy U

Like Cyndi Lauper said: “Girls Just Want To Have… a relaxing weekend getaway to C Lazy U” (that’s it, right?) and we couldn’t agree more. That’s why C Lazy U Dude Ranch is the ultimate girls weekend getaway for fun, adventure, relaxation, and spending time with some amazing people!

ladies cheersing wine

Family vacations are special for watching your children grow, romantic getaways with your partner are vital to keeping the flame alive in your relationship, and work trips are great for learning and success. But spending time on a relaxing retreat with your friends is so important for maintaining friendships and coming together to share in our triumphs and struggles. Getting away is a great way to rejuvenate and connect, as well as feel supported by a like-minded group of friends.

2 women on horses

A weekend with us at C Lazy U Dude Ranch allows you to explore the ranch and the beauty of this Colorado destination, learn more about your inner self, and connect with old friends, and even make some new ones. Relax and enjoy a cozy spa day together, hike the beautiful mountains, or relax with a drink next to the fire in the cool evenings.

the massage room and bed
The massage rooms open up to a balcony over Willow Creek.

If too much relaxation isn’t your style, try some of our more adventurous activities. From horseback riding and archery to our off-site excursions, like hot air ballooning and white white water rafting, you’re sure to make some life-long memories as you learn more about yourself and your friends. C Lazy U is also offering an adult only long weekend in October for uninterrupted adult time.

A girls weekend getaway at C Lazy U offers something for everyone. We hope you will join us for an unforgettable experience!  

women poses in front of mountains

We hope you will join us and make lifelong friendships and memories (and maybe even share a selfie or two with your pals) at C Lazy U dude ranch in Colorado this fall!

Give a One-of-a-Kind Mother’s Day Gift

mothers day gift idea

Attention, everyone who has a mom: Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 14, this year. If you want to do something extra special, the time to start planning is now!

Here in the beautiful Centennial State of Colorado, Mother’s Day takes on a mountain western feel. Moms here always appreciate the classic bouquet of flowers or meal out at a favorite restaurant, but what they really want is some quality time with their kids — preferably away from it all in the great outdoors. We have all sorts of ideas for amazing Mother’s Day experiences in Colorado, and a trip to C Lazy U is at the top of the list with its many ways to bond with the special matriarch in your life.

Spa Pampering

“No thanks, I don’t really like massages or spa treatments,” said no mother, anywhere, ever. Send her to the Lazy You Spa for some serious rest and relaxation. Depending on the season, the luxury tents of the Lazy You Spa mimic an outdoor experience, with views of the creek running underneath. The menu of specialty treatments will impress even the most discerning spa-goers — this is ranch-style pampering at its finest.

Guided Food and Wine Pairing

After a day in the high altitude outdoors, sit mom down to the gourmet flavors of a C Lazy U dinner. If she’s is into wine, you’ve brought her to the right ranch. Behind our extensive wine menu is Shelby Peterson, our resident sommelier. She’s on hand to recommend wines or even sit down for a private wine tasting or food pairing. She brings wines to life through her storytelling, perfectly describing their distinct profiles. Your palate will go home more finely tuned after a session with Shelby.

Hike to Yoga

What do you get when you cross hiking and yoga? Magic! We’re introducing a special new hybrid excursion where we’ll take you on a hike for a guided yoga session immersed in nature. Invite Mom on a meditative journey that leads to a scenic lookout point with views of mountains and water. Unplug for the journey, or bring your camera to capture the majesty.

Try Something New Together

When was the last time you tried something for the first time as a family? Bold new experiences are the stuff that crystalizes memories and builds bonds between people. Never mountain biked before? Get your mom out there on a beginner’s trail and learn it together. First time on the zip line? Get ready to fly. If you’ve never shot an arrow before, archery is a great place for women to unleash their inner Katniss Everdeen.

Shop at the General Store

We believe experiences make far more meaningful gifts than things, but a few new items from our general store, Luis’ Old Place, are like the sprinkles on top of the Mother’s Day cupcake. This is no ordinary shopping experience — the store was once an old donkey barn. Now it’s filled with tastefully selected cowboy merchandise and Colorado mementos. Moms, keep an eye out for the children’s book “Petey and Wolf” starring our very own donkey Petey and his ranch animal friends.

Glamping at Ranch

Glamping, known as glamorous or upscale camping, combines the breathtaking scenery of camping with modern luxury. At C Lazy U Ranch, you can experience the unforgettable beauty of the Great American West in style with an overnight campout at the Ranch’s Outpost.  

Conestoga Cowboy Glamping

Glamping at the Ranch is a great option for couples, families, and groups of friends alike.  During your stay at C Lazy U, you’ll escape for an overnight excursion in our famous Conestoga Wagon for a night under the stars – no tent setup or fire building required! The one-of-a-kind covered wagon exterior will make you think back to an older time, while the spacious interior, furnished with a king bed, a twin-size bunk bed, and a table for two offers all the comfort of modernity. 

Glamping Dining Table

On the night of your excursion, a ranch hand will guide you to the secluded Outpost. Once you arrive at the Conestoga Wagon, all the fun of the great outdoors (and a s’mores kit!) will be ready and waiting for you. Share stories with the kids around the fire as you build toasty s’mores, create some life-long memories with your closest friends, or enjoy a private moment with that special someone. Once you’ve enjoyed the starry skies, nighttime wildlife, and the warmth of the fire, retreat to the comfort of the wagon. Snuggle up in comfy beds made with luxuriously soft linens, propane heat, and electric lighting. You’ll feel as if you’re in a world of your own – but as a precaution, we’ll equip you with a ranger ATV and a radio.  

Glamping Bed

The Conestoga Wagon is only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but it’s never too early to book your reservation. As one of the top destinations recognized in HoneyTrek’s book, Comfortably Wild: The Best Glamping Destinations in North America, your time glamping at C Lazy U is sure to be unforgettable.  A night in the Conestoga Wagon is perfect for whatever the occasion, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a unique excursion with the whole family.  Paired with the ranch’s other adventures, like horseback riding, fly fishing, and our luxurious spa, glamping at C Lazy U will perfectly compliment your next Colorado ranch vacation.  

Good Yoga-Based Stretches for Horseback Riders

Body Mind Equine Retreat - C Lazy U

Guest Post by Cathy Woods, Cowgirl/Yogini

Body, Mind, Equine came about when I “realized” the similarities of Yoga and Horsemanship. There are many parallels of yoga and horsemanship. In addition, many of the yoga postures can improve riding and body, breathing, and energy awareness.

We’ll be exploring this connection further during a special women’s retreat at C Lazy U Ranch May 11-14, 2017

 Using Yoga to improve horsemanship can include:

  • Meditation to improve focus and centered-ness
  • Deep relaxation and body scans
  • Yoga postures such as hip openers, back stretches, core work, and balance poses
  • Breathing through challenges, on the yoga mat and in the saddle
  • Being more present

To name a few…

Good Stretches for Riders & Why

Hip opener and hip flexor stretches in general are great for equestrians – Pigeon Pose, Cow Face Pose, high and low lunges and the like. Keeping the hips open and free not only provides more comfort while sitting astride a horse and allows one to mount/dismount with more ease, it allows the hips to flow in a more relaxed way with the movement of the horse. (Which also changes the horse’s movement!) In addition, hips and low back are interconnected and these stretches also assist in keeping low back tensions at bay, which can sometimes tense up while riding.

Balance postures are essential for riders. Knowing and understanding where “your center is,” is an important component when in the saddle. If you are riding in front or back of your center you will be off balance, affecting your balance, stability, safety, and even your horse’s movement. You will also tire more quickly and become more sore when riding off balance.

Core work is most excellent for riders. Everything comes from the core. Keeping a strong core also helps keep a strong back. It allows the rider to sit erect and strong but not necessarily rigid. Plank and Boat pose are excellent core strengtheners.

Stretches for the shoulders can be helpful to keep shoulders relaxed, back, and down away from the ears. Simply interlacing hands behind the back and stretching the arms upward in what I’d call Yoga Mudra arms can release shoulder and upper back tension as well as open the chest. Eagle Arms Pose can also help release shoulders and shoulder blade areas.

Copyright: Cathy Woods Yoga 2015

Please join us May 11-14, 2017 for our special weekend retreat, Find Your Inner Cowgirl with Body, Mind, Equine: 3- Night Women’s Retreat with Cowgirl/Yogini Cathy Woods.

Learn more about Body, Mind, Equine: A horse & yoga retreat.

About the Author:

Cathy Woods, Cowgirl/Yogini

Cathy teaches yoga as an “awareness practice” to be used on and off the mat. In addition, she leads a program called, Body, Mind, Equine, combining her passions of yoga and horsemanship. Though Cathy does not claim to be a riding instructor or horse trainer/clinician, she does teach how yogic principals can be used to improve one’s horsemanship to become a more aware and conscious rider.

Happy 4th of July!

I was late in saying it last year, as I got caught up in our ranch festivities, so I’m getting an early start in 2012! Hooray for Independence Day!

Now, I reflected on what last July 4th was like for me, and immediately remember that everyone what quite a bit more patriotically dressed than I was, and gosh do I feel like I disappointed people not getting decked out. This year, I plan to dress to impress (now, I know what you’re all thinking- I am quite impressive all on my own, and I don’t need an outfit to make me remarkable, consequential, striking, etc.. etc…. and you’re right. But, when you are in a position like me it is important to give the people what they want when it’s possible, so I’m going for it). Below are a few shots from my photo shoot this morning- my way of giving back to all of you (you’re welcome):

Donkey with red, white and blue American flag bow
Do you feel my sass?


Donkey wearing patriotic gear
My “come hither” look


Patriotic donkey
I was going for a look of far off wonderment in this one- do you feel it?


Well everyone- I’d better head out and start preparing for our parade. I hope y’all have a wonderful 4th!


Happy Birthday Petey!

petey bday 2016

Today is a very important day here at the C Lazy U – it’s Petey the Donkey’s birthday! Petey turns 24 years old today – that means he was born in 1992!
As you all know, Petey is the official C Lazy U Ranch mascot (he did a great job this past Sunday representing C Lazy U at the Colorado Rockies game). Petey even has his very own children’s book, The Story of Petey & Wolf.

Petey has lived at C Lazy U Ranch since August 1992 when he was just 4 months old. He spends his days hanging out with his horse pals, including his girlfriend, Pebbles, giving our youngest visitors fun cart rides and soaking up plenty of love from all of our guests.

Petey is celebrating his birthday with plenty of attention from caring wranglers, an extra helping of hay and plenty of scratches between the ears.
Be sure to wish Petey a Happy Birthday on our Facebook page!

Have a WOW Winter Wedding on a Ranch

Wedding in the Winter

Brides- and grooms-to-be have a million wedding decisions to make. Indoors or outdoors? Big or small? Traditional or contemporary? Live band or a DJ? Season is another big one – spring, summer, fall, and winter all have their pros and cons.
Winter weddings may be less favored than summertime nuptials, but a snow-white wedding day done right will stand out as something different, special, and even a little enchanted. C Lazy U offers the perfect backdrop for a snowy fairy tale style winter wedding in the heart of the Colorado Rockies. Here are just a few reasons to choose C Lazy U in the wintertime as the stage for your big day.

Horse-drawn Sleigh as an Entrance

C Lazy U has several different kinds of horse-drawn sleighs, and we’re not afraid to use them. Fun and photogenic, sleigh rides will add a storybook touch to the ceremony. The hardest decision will be who gets to make a regal horse-drawn entrance – the bride herself, the parents, the kids, or even the entire wedding party! There is room for everyone on our sleighs, both as part of the ceremony and as a festive activity during the celebration that follows.

Winter Wedding Fashion

A pure-white backdrop is a designer’s dream. Flowers, décor, bridesmaids’ dresses, and anything with color will pop out against the snow. You can also play with wedding fashion in ways that aren’t possible in the summertime – think accessories like fur capes and stoles, and colorful cashmere scarves. Cowboy boots paired with dresses is a hot trend in the wedding world right now and a ranch wedding is the perfect place to show off your favorite boots. For a winter wedding cowboy boots will also keep your feet dry and warm. The creative possibilities are endless.

Indoor and Outdoor Possibilities

Worried about cold weather or snow spoiling the wedding ceremony plan? Fear not! C Lazy U’s property is big, beautiful, and full of choices for setting up chairs and an aisle. For winter weddings, plan A will be one of several panoramic spots outside, such as Woodsy Overlook or Hay Meadow (where a light snowfall can add a lot of charm!). But, if need be, plan B indoors at the Main Lodge or the Hay Barn will still be tasteful, stylish, and cozy warm. Any place you hold the ceremony will be the perfect backdrop for your dream rustic wedding.

Mountains of Winter Fun for Guests

Colorado comes alive in the wintertime, when locals and visitors alike flock to the Rocky Mountains to play in the snow. Mountains are to wintertime as beaches are to summertime, so if you’re thinking about the most fun place for a destination wedding that can double as a vacation for the guests, C Lazy U is it! Between rehearsal dinners and shedding tears at the toast, the party can spend quality time snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, tubing, ice skating, or starting a mischievous snowball fight. Your wedding guests will thank you for an excuse to enjoy the ultimate winter getaway.

A Wedding Straight Out of a Magazine

Want your wedding photos to look like something out of the glossy pages of a magazine? The press loves C Lazy U, which has graced the pages of design, travel, and bridal magazines big and small, print and digital. The ranch has been featured in Rocky Mountain Bride (Spring 2015 edition), and also on Wedding Wire as a premier Colorado wedding venue. In the travel press, C Lazy U has been praised as a top winter vacation in 5280 Magazine, which also listed the ranch a top place in Colorado to propose in the winter! Your wedding photographer will have a heyday capturing your big day at C Lazy U.

Seasonal Savings

When you reserve C Lazy U Ranch for your wedding, this gives you exclusive access to the 85,000 square acre property for a full weekend (2 nights). There’s no rushing one wedding out the door and the next one in – the whole place is yours for the whole occasion.
One big advantage of a winter wedding at the ranch is the savings compared to a summer wedding. During the summer high season (June – October) the minimum number of guests for ranch buyout is 75. In the winter season (November – May) the minimum number of guests for buyout is 50 people, which allows you to keep the event smaller, more intimate, and more affordable. The site use fees also have special seasonal pricing that the father of the bride (or whoever foots the bill) is sure to appreciate.
When planning your dream winter wonderland wedding, nothing beats a C Lazy U wedding.

Header Photo Credit: Molly Johnson
Wedding Photo Credit: Jamee Photography

Have Fun and Heal at Semper Fi Fund Retreats

C Lazy U Ranch prides itself on being the perfect place for families, with its bounty of nature, outdoor activities and opportunity to bond with each other. To us, “family” means more than just your standard parents and kids combo — we welcome families of all shapes and sizes, including those at the Semper Fi Fund.

Riding horses at a Semper Fi Fund retreat

The Semper Fi Fund and C Lazy U Ranch

The Semper Fi Fund, launched in 2003, is a nonprofit organization that offers wounded or critically ill U.S. veterans a variety of programs to support them any way they need: financially, physically and emotionally. The Semper Fi Fund not only helps with housing and transportation assistance, but offers education and career training, wellness programs and much more (including a renowned horsemanship program!).

Among the programs that Semper Fi Fund offers are specially designed retreats — many of which have been held right here at C Lazy U Ranch. We’ve been proud to host the Semper Fi Fund at the ranch numerous times since April 2017. That year as well as the following year, three retreats were held, and another three (with a fourth in the making) are scheduled for 2019.

Each retreat is completely customized for the group, and they may not all be the same. The Semper Fi Fund usually takes over the entire ranch for their stay and partakes in nearly all of the ranch’s teambuilding and bonding activities, including the ropes course and zipline and horseback riding. Some of the best bonding happens, however, during one of our most lowkey activities: talking around a roaring bonfire under the starlit sky.

Many of these veterans are more comfortable on the back of a Humvee, wearing bulletproof vests and sweeping buildings for bad guys. When you put their lives in the hands (or hooves, rather) of a horse, it takes them out of their comfort zones — but in turn, it creates lasting memories, builds character and can help heal some old wounds.

Marines at a Semper Fi Fund retreat

One of the highlights of the Semper Fi Fund retreat is the group photo, and it doesn’t matter if it’s raining, sleeting or snowing — they’ll get that photo, as you can see! It’s a great way to document all the personal growth and friendships that have been sown over just a few short days in the Colorado mountains.

We look forward to hosting our next Semper Fi Fund retreat in April 2019 — and the many more to come.

Highlights from 2018’s “Find Your Inner Cowgirl”

Cathy Woods recaps the most recent “Find Your Inner Cowgirl though Body, Mind, Equine” event at C Lazy U. If you missed it, you can join the next event May 9-12, 2019!

WOW! Where to begin recapping the many great moments at the Find Your Inner Cowgirl Retreat, May 2018 at C Lazy U Ranch? This was my second time leading this program here, and it just keeps getting better. I already can’t wait to do it again next year!

It began when a group of 11 women — who mostly did not know each other — came together for opening circle, along with me and my assistant Amanda. As retreat leader, I like to set the tone for our time together and create a safe container for women to bond, shine, be themselves and have a powerful experience. They did just that from the get-go. Something special happens when a group of women come together in this way; it is palpable. During the opening mixer, we got to know each other a bit and connections already began to form. The women were all open to connect and discover what commonalities brought them to this place at this time in their lives.

find your inner cowgirl 2018

From there, the camaraderie continued through our lovely first meal together, expertly prepared by the C Lazy U chefs. Good wine, good food, and laughter melted away any armor or tensions that guests may have had. During dinner the first night, the women (on their own) decided they needed “cowgirl names.” So they came up with fun, fitting names for all — like Maverick, Ms. Kitty, and Doc — which helped us to get to know everyone and revealed a bit about their personalities. I was just memorizing everyone’s real name, so I was now doubly challenged to remember these new ones (he he).

The next day, everyone was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for early morning meditation and yoga, after watching the “daily jingle,” which is where the wranglers bring the horses in from pasture. The herd of 200 come barreling in through a cloud of dust. Big, small, fast, slow, some with tails flagged, some with ears back. The pounding of hoofbeats can be heard in the distance. It is interesting and telling to watch the “horse language” as the herd moves. All of this makes for a great start to the day!

find your inner cowgirl 2018

After some centering time, and some good stretches for riders, we discussed the parallels of yoga and horsemanship, which is the basis for this program. Some examples include: present moment awareness, breathing and energy awareness, body alignment, balance, etc. These practices can be taken from the yoga mat and into horsemanship, from ground to saddle. As we discover, they can be applied to any area of life!

find your inner cowgirl 2018

From there, we took our centered, grounded energy into the arena and met our mounts. The wranglers paired up suitable horses with their person. Each guest kept the same horse for the entire retreat. In doing this, progress and growth is clearly visible. By the end of the weekend, the ladies’ interactions and riding had improved dramatically. They built confidence, developed their skills, and showed big smiles rather than nervous grimaces. There were different levels of riders — mostly novices in this group. Some started out a bit stiff and overly cautious. They became confident riders as we progressed, with lower, softer hands, more fluid body movements, and the like. The program slowly builds, increasing proficiency in riding and personal assurance. After a few hours in the arena the gals were comfortable and ready for the afternoon trail ride.

find your inner cowgirl 2018

The first trail ride was expertly led by Ami, the very competent horse woman, head wrangler and events coordinator at C Lazy U. It was an excellent ride! We saw some deer, rode through the beautiful Colorado landscape, and even rode through a logging area where the ladies had to maneuver through obstacles. Everyone did great and it was magical to be out in the fresh air and blue skies of Colorado. By the way, the ranch ordered up perfect weather for us once again.

At dinner that night, the ladies were truly beaming and proud of themselves for gracefully navigating a full and challenging day. One of my favorite things about leading retreat is seeing tensions melt and confidence soar. We each shared our personal highlights and achievements of the day.

The next day added some elements in the arena and upped their riding skills. They rode in a serpentine pattern, having to rein their horses back and forth to follow the leader. We “danced” with our horses to music, from slow and mystical… to jazzy… to upbeat, transforming the energy and mood of the riders and horses.

This day, our trail ride included a picnic lunch. The ranch packed hearty lunches and snacks which we put into our saddle bags. Ami and the other female wranglers took us to a beautiful spot, where the horse grazed and so did we. Again, more sharing, relaxing in nature and being ourselves. By now the women were riding like old pros, chatting, maneuvering their horses, and relaxing in their saddles. A joy to watch!

find your inner cowgirl 2018

One of the important messages of this retreat is to be authentic, to be who you are, and embrace the true meaning of Namaste: honoring each other’s inner light. There is no judgment at this retreat. The women support each other. They share the stories of their lives, make heart connections, shed happy — and sometime sad — tears as they move through blocks in their lives. The magic of retreat takes on a life of its own. Each person experiences just what they need to. I set the intentions on opening night, to “drop any expectations,” to create space and allow the experience to be as it is without attachment to how they think it should be. Often, the women think they are just coming to do yoga and ride horses, but the experience can morph into something else entirely. My hope is that everyone goes home relaxed, renewed, and yet empowered, with new skills to incorporate into daily living.

The final morning we met for closing session, which is one of the most powerful moments of the program. We invited Ami and some of the wranglers to join us. Each person had the chance to share (if they felt inclined) about their journey. The comments, the smiles, and the joy just filled each heart in the room, as the reviews below attest to. We awarded first-place ribbons to each participant for categories like best cowgirl spirit, most natural rider, and best smile. We finished with a slide show presentation from photos taken through the retreat of the ladies “owning their cowgirl spirit!”If this type of experience speaks to you, consider joining in May, 2019. Bring your best girlfriend, mother or daughter, or come solo. Whichever way, you’ll have a great time and a unique experience.

Truly, this is my favorite retreat to lead and I’m planning to add a few new surprise elements next year!

You can view photo album from the 2018 event on Facebook here.

Reviews from 2018 retreat participants:

Find Your Inner Cowgirl through Body, Mind, Equine” is the ultimate retreat if you are looking for an experience that underscores the meaning of positive self-care. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I own and operate a small mental health practice. It is essential for me to take care of myself so I can help others through their own healing process. I have attended this retreat twice and I am attending again in 2019. My experiences with this retreat have truly been transformative. Everything about this experience is amazing. C Lazy U ranch is the perfect venue. The staff are accommodating and a real pleasure to interact with. The meals are delicious and you will never go hungry. The daily jingles are wonderful. There are no words to express the magnificence of remaining present as hundreds of horses thunder to and from pasture. I would describe the other women who attend this retreat as strong and soulfully beautiful. I immediately felt bonded to them and it was incredible to experience the safety and acceptance every woman openly and willingly shared with one another. I believe all this was impeccably planned by two devoted women: Cathy Woods and her dedicated assistant, Amanda. Together, these women exemplify the meaning of “Namaste.” So, if you are looking for peace and tranquility by the way of the cowgirl, your journey will not be complete until you embrace your inner strength through love and self-compassion. I look forward to meeting all of you in 2019.

Dr. Danielle M. Mink

Horses and yoga??? YES!! I recently had the opportunity to participate in Cathy Woods’ Equestrian Yoga Retreat at C Lazy U Ranch. Since I neither ride or do yoga, my concerns were immediately put to rest! Cathy expertly and patiently worked with our group, taking into account the level of each individual participant. The weekend was perfectly planned and Cathy is an exceptional leader. The ranch was magnificent and the experience enlightening! I highly recommend a weekend retreat with Cathy! It will change your life!

Dianna G, Sarasota, Fl

The find your Inner Cowgirl through body, mind equine workshop at the beautiful C Lazy U Ranch in Granby Colorado was a joyful experience full of glorious surprises, including the beauty and grandeur of 200 horses against the backdrop of the Rocky Mountains. One might think that participants be well versed in both yoga and horsemanship or at least one or the other. Yet, it seemed that those who attended embodied simply joy surrounding a yoga experience that included a 3-day assignment with a mentor horse. There were many revelations through the weekend accompanied by good food, friendship, leisure time and a phenomenal body tune-up with yoga practice and on horseback. Long post ride soaks in the tub were enjoyed by many. Cathy Woods is a passionate experienced yogini and horsewoman who, along with her assistant Amanda, turned the weekend into magic. C Lazy U Ranch has got the mojo with hosting this kind of group and it was beautiful to see how they loved us and the work that they do on the ranch. If you feel called to participate, you will not be disappointed.

Cheri McClure Elliott

Highlights of 2017’s Find Your Inner Cowgirl Retreat

During the Find Your Inner Cowgirl Retreat Through Body, Mind, Equine 2017, the ladies experienced so many incredible moments. I hope they will inspire you to join us from May 10–13, 2018 at C Lazy U Ranch to discover your inner cowgirl!

This unique 3-night women’s retreat leads participants on a journey of awareness, growth, fun and adventure through daily yoga and meditation sessions as well as arena and trail time with horses.

c lazy u yoga retreat

Powerful, Moving Moments

Many ladies came to the retreat for fun, adventure or rest, unaware that they’d also have a breakthrough with some of their personal challenges. I saw women move through difficult situations with grace and power by working with horses and with the support of other women. They built confidence, gained empowerment, sharpened leadership skills and worked through fears and personal issues.

Every woman was inspired and inspiring in some way. We experienced laughter, happy tears, nurturing, support and understanding. When women come together — unguarded, open and authentic — it is an unparalleled experience. The time spent in nature is life-changing in and of itself, and if you compound that with the incredibly cozy environment of C Lazy U Ranch, you can go home a new woman.

Sweet, Sacred Mornings

During the retreat, early mornings were a rich and sacred time. Morning fireside meditation against a background of pastured horses was deep and still, setting the tone for the day. While the meditation prepared our minds, the yoga postures, which included stretches for riders, prepared our bodies. From there, we took our centered, relaxed energy into the arena with the horses — and it was clear the horses felt it, too. This is a practice that we can take out into the world: be aware of the energy we bring to others and life in general.

Trail Rides and the Daily Jingle

Our rides ranged from peaceful and serene to fun and adventurous. The guide even commented that she’d never ridden with such a mellow, centered group — even the horses were at ease. One of our rides, our “Zen ride,” was very quiet and calm, though we didn’t plan it that way; it was just the natural quality the ride took after a day of yoga and relating to each other and the horses. We were all happy to just walk, taking in the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the sounds of the river and clip-clop of hooves. The second day was more of an adventure, with a quicker pace, uphill climbs and a picnic lunch on the trail.

Watching the daily “jingle” was a high point, as watching 200 horses trot from pasture to barn is a powerful experience. Horses can be amazing mirrors, allowing us to look deep inside ourselves.

Dishing Over Dinnertime

All of the meals at C Lazy U were superb, but dinnertime was special for the group. Over good food and drinks, we spoke of the key points we learned during the day. We got to know each other more intimately by sharing stories about our personal lives, and our camaraderie grew.

The Ladies and Their Transformations

A dynamic mixture of women convened: mothers and daughters, girlfriends, solo retreat goers, corporate women, stay-at home moms, yoga teachers, and retirees. Their level of horse and yoga experience ranged from beginner to experienced. It was a great combination: they were all there to retreat from their daily lives and work on new life skills.

Seeing the guests’ transformations from when they arrive to when they leave is truly a highlight. Time away in a new setting, being in nature, and unplugging have transformative and lasting effects. They return home in a much better place — physically, mentally and emotionally rested.

What the Women Say

Below are a few comments from ladies who have attended a Body, Mind, Equine program.

“The experience at the ranch and with [the] Cathy Woods Yoga program was absolutely a delight all the way around! The ranch was exquisite in its accommodations and Cathy’s program was just right! It wasn’t too hard for those new to yoga and was rich for those who are intimate with it. I would highly recommend both the Ranch and Cathy Woods Yoga program and hope to return!” —V. Vessey

“Body, Mind, Equine was a truly enjoyable and enlightening experience. Bridging the concepts of yoga with the wisdom and spirituality of the horse enables self-discovery and awareness. You don’t have to be an expert at either discipline to be able to take away new concepts and core benefits from this program.” —Mary Connaughty-Sullivan, trail and dressage rider

“Cathy Woods horse/yoga…is, rather than a riding lesson, a communications lesson with your body and mind to your horse’s body and mind.” —Cindy Hughes, dressage rider and owner and artist of Horse Lady Gifts

“I attended Cathy’s retreat at C Lazy U in May 2017 as a part-time yoga practitioner and hardly-ever rider. The retreat was fun, invigorating and uplifting. Cathy’s teaching style is relaxed and supportive and C Lazy U is a beautiful ranch. A truly delightful experience!” —Tracy Arthur

In my 28 years of leading programs I am always amazed that somehow, just the right group and dynamics come together — I call it “the magic of retreat.” I encourage women to gift themselves with this retreat to see what unfolds. To get a better idea of what to expect from this adventure, view photos from the 2017

Find Your Inner Cowgirl retreat — perhaps they will inspire you to join us at C Lazy U in May. Together, we can harness your Inner Cowgirl Spirit! For more info, visit the C Lazy U website.

This post was written by Cathy Woods, Retreat Leader. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily of C Lazy U ranch’s.

Holiday and Winter Weekend Getaways from Denver

As the cool air begins to make its way through the Rocky Mountains, Coloradans begin to think about long weekends full of snow, skiing, warm fires and delicious gourmet meals. Just a two-hour drive from Denver, C Lazy U guest ranch offers families an ideal winter weekend getaway full of all of the above, and even more! The best part? Those driving in from the Front Range will avoid most of the I-70 traffic crawl associated with Eisenhower Tunnel before arriving at our beautiful 8,500-acre mountain retreat. Here are some special events you won’t want to miss!

barn in the winter

C Lazy U’s All-Inclusive Resort Vacation Near Denver

Thanksgiving Weekend Getaway

This Thanksgiving families are invited to visit C Lazy U ranch for a Thanksgiving retreat complete with all the traditions and trimmings, but free of the stress that often comes with the holiday. This all-inclusive holiday package includes a gourmet feast on Thanksgiving Day, all additional meals and most activities such as horseback riding, hiking and if there’s snow, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, ice skating and hockey on the ranch’s Zamboni-groomed pond!

christmas on the ranch

Christmas/ New Year’s Holiday

Extend your family’s New Year’s holiday break with our discounted all inclusive rates offered Jan. 1 – 4, 2015. For $375/night, per adult and $125/night, per child (age 3-17), you can enjoy all of C Lazy U’s winter activities as a family!

Martin Luther King Weekend

This holiday marks the only three-day holiday weekend that we offer a discounted nightly rate of $325/night, per adult and $125/night, per child. This holiday weekend is a family weekend, so each family can spend the entirety of the weekend having fun together at the C Lazy U all-inclusive resort.


President’s Day Weekend & Valentine’s Day Weekend

Whether you’re enjoying a long weekend with the family or looking for a weekend getaway with your special someone, C Lazy U is offering discounted nightly rates of $375 per adult, $250 per child age 6-17 and $225 per child age 3-5 to enjoy. Since Valentine’s Day falls on the same weekend as President’s Day this year, the ranch is adding some exciting specials that include rose petals and chocolates on your bed on Valentine’s Day and a romantic “adults only” Valentine’s Day dinner with your loved one while the kids are supervised by their counselors. Book by Thanksgiving and get 10% off your entire stay and a complimentary upgrade to our Romance Package which includes a “cuddle and bubble” copper tub soak for two with champagne and strawberries and one dozen red roses in your room for your loved one.

Reservations can be made by calling C Lazy U guest ranch at (970) 887-3344 or contact us here.

Horse Riding Terms for Beginners

Only at C Lazy U Ranch can you experience the authentic thrill and freedom of the West as you escape by horseback into 8,500 acres of untouched, jaw-dropping, natural American beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned rider, just starting out, or looking for a little refresher, C Lazy U has the perfect horseback riding experience — and perfect horse — waiting to sweep you back into a simpler time. 

If you are a novice in the equestrian world, certain ranch words or phrases can come across as confusing — but it’s our goal to make you as comfortable on the ranch as a practiced cowboy, so we’ve compiled this list of basic horse riding terms to help you prepare for your first ride.

Woman riding horse

Glossary of Basic Riding Terminology

Horse Terms

  • Equine — A term referring to a horse, or anything relating to horses
  • Foal — A young horse, especially a newborn or a horse under a year old. C Lazy U’s current foal, Remi, just celebrated his first birthday! 
  • Mare — A female horse over the age of four.
  • Stallion — A male horse over the age of four.

Types of Gait

  • Gait — The term for the speed and movement of a horse.  
  • Trot — A type of gait faster than a walk, where the horse moves its diagonally opposite pairs of legs together. 
  • Lope — Also known as the Western Canter, a lope is a gait between a trot and a gallop, consisting of three beats. 
  • Gallop — The fastest gait of a horse, featuring a stride where all four of the horse’s legs are off the ground at once. 

Gear (Tack) Terms

  • Tack — Equipment used for the riding or training of horses. 
  • Saddle — A piece of tack that acts as a rider’s seat.
  • Bit — The metal part of the bridle that is placed in the horse’s mouth to allow the rider to control the horse.
  • Bridle — A piece of tack consisting of straps that are worn over the horse’s head. The bridle connects to the bit and the reins. 
  • Rein —  A long strap or rope that a rider uses to control (or “rein”) a horse.
  • Stirrup — A ring or loop extending down from the saddle to support a rider’s foot while mounting or riding a horse.
  • Shoe — A U-shaped piece of metal that is nailed or glued to a horse’s hooves to protect them from damage or injury.   
Kid getting on horse
The kids mount up for a horseback trail ride during their dude ranch family vacation, led by our experienced wranglers and assisted by their counselors.

Itching to Get in the Saddle?

Ready for more? Our list of Beginner Horseback Riding Tips will have you ready to mount up! At C Lazy U Ranch, you’ll find a horseback riding experience for any age or skill level, all year-round. Our team of world-class wranglers pairs each rider with one of our over 200 horses in order to ensure the best fit for riding ability as well as personality. If you can’t wait to ride out into the West, start planning your stay or contact us today! 

Horseback Riding Tips: Make the Most Out of Your Horseback Riding Vacation

To help you prepare, be safe and have fun around the horses, C Lazy U Ranch would like to offer some helpful tips to our beginner riders to enhance your experience as much as possible.

horseback trail with mountains

What to Wear

When riding a horse it’s important to make sure your legs are completely covered as the skin on your legs can be rubbed raw by the saddle when riding. Wear durable long pants, like jeans, paired with a sturdy close-toed shoe. Hiking boots are OK, but cowboy boots are better. The stiffer material of cowboy boots will better protect your feet while out on the trail and around the horses’ hooves. Traditional cowboy boots also have a low heel, which is important for safety. The defined heel of a cowboy boot keeps your foot from going through the stirrup if you fall. There’s a reason cowboys and wranglers wear cowboy boots! If you’re visiting in the winter, snow boots can often be used without an issue.

How to Approach a Horse

Horses have monocular vision, which means they have blind spots in front of their nose, under their neck, and directly behind them. You never want to approach a horse from one of these spots as it will startle them and leave them feeling unsettled.

When approaching a horse, make sure you stand in a spot where the horse has the ability to see you and acknowledge your presence. When you walk towards the horse, walk in an arc so that it is easier for them to recognize your location. If you’re approaching them from the front, come at a side angle and stretch out your hand to allow the horse to recognize your scent.

When walking behind a horse, always touch it from the side first and run you hand with constant contact along the horse’s rump as you pass behind. This will help ensure you don’t inadvertently startle the horse and cause it to kick while you’re behind it. If they don’t know you’re back there and move suddenly, you could be hurt.

Horseback Riding Posture

When riding a horse you should be able to draw an imaginary straight line through your ear, shoulder, hip, and heel, making sure they’re all vertically aligned. If you find yourself hunching forward and rounding your shoulders try lifting up from your sternum and opening up space in your ribs which will naturally open up your shoulder positioning. Make sure your back is straight to avoid any post-riding pain from your adventure.

When you mount your horse for the first time, you’ll likely need to adjust the position of the stirrups. Position each stirrup so that it rests on the ball of your foot for the duration of the ride. Take the time to make sure they’re in the right position and comfortable.

As you ride, keep your toes pointing to the sky with your ankles flexed and your heels down, this will help you absorb shock from the horse while in motion and keep you secure by not allowing your foot to slip out of the stirrup.

Summer Riding Tips

Summer horseback riding lends itself to some of the most ideal weather conditions, however keep in mind the heat plays a big part in the experience. It’s important to wear layers of clothing so that you may easily shed or add one depending on your changing body temperature. Try to wear light-colored riding apparel as dark colors tend to absorb more sunlight and make you even hotter. Light colors will reflect the sunlight and keep you cool.

This same logic applies for picking a saddle, if you have the option to pick a lighter-colored saddle it will reduce the heat absorbed by your legs while riding and the heat that is transferred to the horse’s back. It is critical that during these hot summer rides you and your horse are appropriately hydrated, so make sure to drink lots of water during the day and allow your horse to drink when it needs to. Your trail guides will make sure the horses get enough breaks depending on the weather.

Western vs. English Saddles

C Lazy U is a Western ranch equipped with Western saddles and equipment, but what does that mean? Western saddles were designed for cowboys who spend long days riding the range and working cattle. Western saddles are much heavier than English saddles, however the weight of the saddle and the rider is spread across a larger area on the horse’s back which is less tiring for the horse and better distributes the weight of the saddle and rider allowing for longer rides. The most obvious feature of a western saddle is the horn, which is not created to be a hand hold for the rider but is actually used when working cattle.

English saddles offer closer contact with the horse’s back. They are much lighter in weight than Western saddles and sometimes come in synthetic materials which are even lighter. This design is intended for jumping and dressage. The smaller size and better rider-horse contact gives the rider more control when showing their horse. An English saddle is recognizable by its lack of horn, smaller size and smooth, sleek lines.

C Lazy U’s Expert Horse Wranglers

If all this sounds like a foreign language to you, don’t worry! C Lazy U’s expert horse wrangles have years of experience and are ready to assist you during your stay to make sure you’re comfortable while working with and riding your horse.

How to Have a Romantic Weekend When You Have Kids

valentines day with kids

Having young kids doesn’t mean that parents need to give up celebrating a romantic Valentine’s Day (nor do you have to rely on the grandparents to take the tykes). Make Valentine’s an extra special event by planning a fun mini getaway that the whole family will enjoy and that is specifically designed to give you and your partner some alone time. By selecting the right destination and activities everyone will be happy and entertained.

While you’re likely used to planning a family trip, putting the adults first (or at least a little toward the top of the priority list) may change the way you plan and book this weekend getaway.

Pick the perfect location

While the kids likely love the idea of going to Disney World, unless it’s your idea of a fun and romantic time save that trip for later. Instead, opt for a getaway that appeals to you as much as it will your children. Love skiing? Want to relax at the spa? Enjoy being outdoors? Identify what you and your partner like to do then build your trip around that.

To make sure the kids also have fun (and give you some peace and quiet) choose a trip that will give them enough to do as well. While you may have always dreamed of going to New York City, if your 7 year old won’t enjoy walking the city or appreciate the cultural significance and happenings you’ll all end up annoyed and unhappy. That’s not the perfect recipe for a romantic trip.

Plan for some alone time

In addition to selecting a trip that you want to take but that the kids will also enjoy, be sure you opt for a destination that will provide the parents will a little (or a lot of) alone time. Many resorts offer babysitting or a kids program to watch the kids while you go off on your own couples-only adventure for a few hours. Determine how much time you’d like to spend as a family and how much you’d like to do your own thing then make sure the provided child care options will allow you to achieve those goals. Some will cover you only for a quiet dinner, others will keep the kids occupied all day and well into the evening so you can do some activities then enjoy an adult-oriented evening meal.

Carefully consider housing

Forget the double beds in a single room. The key to getting some quiet alone time (emphasis on quiet and alone) is a separate kids bedroom. Whether you opt for a hotel suite, connected rooms, or an entire house/cabin, making sure the kids are asleep behind their very own closed door will give parents the privacy they need to make this getaway a romantic one.

Bonus points if the adult room has a romantic fire place!

Think about yourself when packing

When packing for a trip, so much of the focus is on making sure the kids have what they need. This time around start a few days early or simply start by packing for yourself first. Think about the types of activities you’re going to be doing and make sure you have the right outfits. Going out to a nice dinner? Spending a chilly evening under the stars? Have a dress or shirt that always makes you feel really good or that the spouse loves? Make sure it all makes it into the suitcase.

This time around take a few extra minutes to make sure you remember the hair dryer and straightener, your favorite cologne and whatever makeup or nail polish you’d want when getting dressed up. Remember, this trip is about you as a couple as much as it’s a fun family getaway. And don’t forget to wrap and pack the Valentine’s present or card if you’re exchanging gifts.

Only once all your stuff is safely packed should you address packing for the kids. Let’s be honest, as long as they have weather appropriate clothes they probably don’t care if they wear the same outfit three days in a row. Make sure they have all the basics, a spare set of fundamentals and any must-have travel and sleeping toys and you’re all set. It’s only a weekend after all.

The perfect Valentine’s Day getaway

C Lazy U luxury dude ranch provides a special Valentine’s weekend getaway for the whole family that will keep the kids busy and give the adults plenty of time to relax and enjoy each other’s company. C Lazy U is specifically designed to have kids three years and older off on their own in supervised play groups with kids their own ages. Activities are age appropriate, from story time and scavenger hunts to horseback trail rides. They kids are off having their own fun all day and through the dinner hour.

These leaves parents free to truly enjoy their own preferred activities. From going on a snowmobile tour to soaking in copper tubs at the spa and taking a romantic, snowy horse drawn carriage ride cuddled up under a blanket, C Lazy U has something for everyone. Then top the day off with a quiet, kids-free meal prepared by the ranch’s gourmet chefs – no boxed macaroni and cheese here!

Because C Lazy U is set up for family friendly vacations all year long the ranch is perfectly equipped to handle the needs of full families – both the adults and children. Many of C Lazy U’s luxurious cabins have two or more bedrooms to ensure everyone has their own private space. Select rooms also come with fireplaces for added romance.

Skip the stuffy dinner and crowded restaurants. Make this Valentine’s Day a treat for the whole family and a romantic occasion for you and your partner by taking a memorable trip the entire family will really enjoy.

Book your stay today!

How to Make the Most of Your Corporate Retreat

corporate retreats at c lazy u

Let’s face it—corporate retreats are hard to get right. All too often, employees dread the forced camaraderie, feel uncomfortable and anxious during the retreat, and return to work on Monday without much change or improvement in morale. The standard formula of pep talks and trust exercises falls short.

So how can companies make the most of their investment in a corporate retreat? Head for the hills to a dude ranch in Colorado. With a premier destination such as C Lazy U, employees will look forward to the trip like they would their personal vacation—they’ll be able to feel the therapeutic effects of a deep outdoor experience and get to know each other as humans and peers.

We’ve hosted enough corporate retreats at C Lazy U to know how great the benefits can be when you avoid the usual pitfalls and make this year the year you get it right.

Wrong Turn #1: The location is too out-there

Location is a balancing act. On one hand, corporate retreat organizers want to get the team far enough from their usual work environment that they feel a definite shift in their routines. On the other hand, it’s important not to go too extreme or remote.

Aside from the obvious logistical problem of spending too much valuable retreat time traveling, you may have the inadvertent effect of taking team members too far out of their comfort zone. If your group is mostly urban professionals, an off-the-grid meditation retreat in the woods may be too much of a stretch.

CLU Pro Tip: Our luxury dude ranch strikes the location balance so you can have the best of both worlds. We’re located just two hours from the metropolitan center of Denver, and with our superior service, amenities and stunning mountain scenery, visitors can delve as far into nature or stay as close to the cozy main lodge as they’d like.

Wrong Turn #2: Too many activities

When planning the programming for a corporate retreat, the activities are key—but so is self-structured downtime. Organizers often err on the side of over-programming, without leaving any breathing room for the extroverts to socialize or for the introverts to decompress with alone time.

CLU Pro Tip: Leave half the day unstructured.  Fill the mornings with organized activities and sessions, but the afternoons should be “free time.” You’ll be surprised how fruitful this leisure time can become at a place like C Lazy U. Team members will act on their interests, either taking advantage of the trails to explore nature or reveling in the indoor ambiance of the main lodge and cabins. Downtime is a great opportunity to process the morning’s lessons and come away from the retreat feeling restored.

Wrong Turn #3: Disappointing food and drinks

People bond over meals. Rather than spending limited retreat budget on overpriced keynote speakers or on branded swag, put those dollars toward gourmet dining experiences.
Alcohol, however, is arguably the easiest thing to get wrong on a corporate retreat—overdoing it leads to embarrassment and regrets. Management consultant and author Dave Logan told CBS that corporate retreat organizers should provide alcohol, but should not “encourage people to drink.”

CLU Pro Tip: Leave it up to us. With a luxury dude ranch venue such as C Lazy U, you’ll know that each gourmet meal will compete as a highlight of the retreat—and we do alcohol tastefully. The bar at C Lazy U hosts an impressive collection of fine wines, lovingly curated by our in-house sommelier Shelby. And in case a guest does over-indulge, no need to worry about confiscating car keys—the cabins are just a short saunter away.

How to Plan a Family-Bonding Winter Vacation

family bonding winter vacation_
Taking a vacation is a perfect way to help family members bond with one another, which is especially important when you consider the impact it has on children. Vacations can also have a profound effect on overall happiness, underlining the benefits even a short trip can have for you and your loved ones.

Learn how to choose the right vacation for bringing your family together—even in the fall or winter, when holiday travel is hectic and everyone is excited. Your family will walk away closer from the experience and talk about your winter vacation for many years to come.

The Timing

With school back in session and family holidays on the horizon, there are fewer times available for families to take vacations together. But vacations aren’t just for the summertime—winter and spring provide their own opportunities. Get kids excited by packing them up for a fun-filled weekend trip. Pick a location that’s within a reasonable driving distance and you’ll be de-stressing and bonding with your family all throughout the year.

How to Choose a Location

The first step you’ll want to take is picking a destination that provides the best atmosphere for a family vacation. There are plenty of choices, but one of the best options is a place connected to the outdoors—yes, even in the winter and spring! There is nothing better than taking a hike with your kids, spotting wildlife together, or camping outside. These kinds of activities build camaraderie and give your family a sense of accomplishment. Think about mountainous regions, areas near national parks, or simply a ranch that provides a connection to the outdoors. When it gets too cold to camp or hike, there are still plenty of outdoor activities that can be tailored to your family’s needs.

Colorado is a perfect state to consider if your family is ready to explore the wild outdoors. Much of the state encompasses different types of landscapes, wildlife, opportunities for exploring, and of many different family-friendly outdoor activities. Consider the Rocky Mountains, a mountain range filled with amazing scenery, opportunities for skiing, and, of course, the amazing Rocky Mountain National Park. This is just one state you should include on your list, but they are great examples of places that mix outdoor activities like skiing with indoor activities like fine dining to maximize your family bonding experience.

Setting Some Goals

Planning a great vacation shouldn’t just be about getting away from work or seeing as many sights as possible. You should also think about how you want the connection with your family to develop. Vacations, even holiday ones, are a chance to open up to one another. Spending a few days in the mountains cuddled by a warm fire with only your family members can help foster meaningful conversations in a beautiful setting. While vacations are fun, you should also remember to share something special with one another by truly opening yourself to your family’s thoughts and emotions.

Plan Some Great Activities

There are plenty of activities that are fun for the whole family. Outdoor adventures like ice skating or even snowmobiling are entertaining (and can be educational) for both adults and children, and ultimately something the whole family can do together. You should also keep in mind that too many activities have the opportunity to reduce family bonding time. For example, cruise ships often have many different programs designed to attract people from different age groups, leading to separate activities for each family member and too many distractions.

Keep the Kids Happy

One thing you don’t want is your children acting difficult or not getting along with each other. Often the best solution is to keep your schedule full and include some variation in activities. That means scheduling a nice dinner one night and following that up with some tubing the next day.

Perhaps include your children’s opinions on what they want to do. Present them with a list of activities from which they can choose, and let them pick what they want to do first. You could also schedule a day during the vacation that the kids choose the activity.

It’s All Worth It

Ultimately, family vacations can lead to a real turning point for family members, providing a memorable experience that also makes everyone happier. Next time you plan your trip, think about how you want your family to come together and plan accordingly. Your family will thank you for it—maybe even with a big hug!

How to Prepare for a Horseback Riding Vacation

While horses are definitely extraordinary athletes, so are the people that ride them. Horseback riding is a lot more than just sitting atop a horse; it’s a full-body workout involving balance, strength, and determination. You’re going to use a lot of different muscles on horseback, many of which aren’t used to getting worked so hard. You’ll use your thighs to balance, arms to communicate with your horse, and your core to keep you sitting up straight.

riding into the entry way

Much like you would spend time training before running a half-marathon, you should also get your body ready before embarking on a week-long horseback riding trip. Here’s what you should work on to prepare your body for a horseback riding vacation.

Core Strengthening

To prepare for your week-long horseback riding vacation, you should do core-strengthening exercises that work your abdominal and lower back muscles.

The low back is the body part that’s most likely to get sore and stiff after a long day of riding. But when you strengthen your core, it’ll be easier to sit up straight, lessons the impact on your low back, and helps you avoid any post-riding pain from your adventure along the trails.

In addition to helping you ride with good posture, strong back and abdominal muscles will also help you stay balanced atop your horse, and will make it easier to do other strengthening exercises, like push-ups and lunges.

Horseback Riding Posture

Good posture is crucial when riding a horse. It’s the difference between an aching back and feeling up for the afternoon ride, and it’s how you keep control over your horse. To prepare for your week of horseback riding at C Lazy U, head to the nearest riding center or start practicing your posture at home.

Sit straddling a bench or a wide chair. Practice sitting up straight and tall, making sure your ear, shoulder, hip, and heel are all vertically aligned. Relax your back and hold your arms at 90 degree angles (like you’re holding the reins), and then, with a foot in each “stirrup,” hold your balance.

kids on horses

Get yourself used to sitting and balancing your weight like this. That way you can avoid straining your muscles or making your horse feel like they’re carrying a heavier load.

Upper Body Strength

Horseback riding definitely engages your lower body more than the upper, making it important you exercise your arms, shoulders, and upper back to balance things out. Plus, by strengthening your arm and shoulder muscles, you can gain more control and coordination of your arm movements, enhancing your ability to communicate clearly through the reins. And by strengthening your upper back and shoulders, it’ll be easier to maintain strong posture while you’re riding.

Some arm and upper body exercises you should incorporate into your pre-horseback riding exercise routine include: tricep pull-backs, upright rows, push-ups, and 30- or 60-second planks.

Lower Body Control

By strengthening your lower body muscles, you can improve your leg control and coordination. This is important when it comes to cueing (communicating) with your horse, as well as sitting safely in the saddle. And strong hamstrings can help you keep your feet positioned properly: under your center of gravity, in line with your shoulders and hips.

woman on running horse

The lower body muscles you want to target in particular include: the quadriceps (front of thighs), gluteals (buttocks), hamstrings (back of thighs) and calves. Some leg and lower body exercises you should try include: squats, lunges, step-ups, inner-thigh press, and cross-stepping.

Adapt Exercises for Horseback Riding

As important as it is to prepare your muscles for a week of horseback riding, it’s even more important that you modify exercises to match the sport you’re training for: horseback riding!

For example, when you’re doing squats, you should stand with your feet horse-width (rather than hip-width) apart, toes turned out slightly as in stirrups, and knees slightly bent. And when you’re doing standing lunges, you want to take a wider stance (horse-width) so make sure you’re targeting and strengthening the muscles you’ll need when you’re in the saddle.

Ready to learn more? Check out our tips for beginner riders and the horseback riding tips our experienced wranglers have shared. Then contact us to schedule your horseback riding vacation today

Book Your Dream Horseback Riding Vacation at C Lazy U Ranch

C Lazy U is a unique Colorado vacation for experienced horseback riders, but also for non-riders who are excited to try a new activity and release their inner cowboy or cowgirl. So even if you’ve never ridden a horse before, a vacation a C Lazy U Guest Ranch is definitely for you!

How to Prepare for a Winter Vacation at C Lazy U

Between freshly fallen snow, breathtaking mountains, and winter sports, winter vacations in Colorado are hard to beat. To help you get the most out of your winter vacation at C Lazy U Ranch, we’re talking about the diverse mix of on- and off-ranch activities you can take part in and giving you a headstart on your packing list.  

cabin in the snow

On-Ranch Winter Activities

C Lazy U Ranch offers endless on-site winter activities so you can experience the season without ever leaving the property. Guests can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities at the ranch, like: 

winter horse back riding
  • Winter horseback riding: experience the grandeur of winter on the ranch by riding through the ranch’s 8,500 acres of snowy trails 
  • Ice skating and hockey: enjoy ice skating any time throughout your visit, or participate in the daily hockey game each afternoon on our Zamboni-groomed pond
  • Snowmobiling:  Zip through the ranch on a tour of the ranch’s terrain 
  • Snow Tubing: Enjoy a thrilling ride down the ranch’s private tubing hill every afternoon
  • Snowshoeing: Learn why C Lazy U was voted as the 2nd best snowshoe destination in the world by Snowshoe Magazine 
  • Sleigh rides: Experience the winter wonderland from the comfort of a sleigh 
  • Feed Wagon: Join our wranglers on the morning feed wagon and check out the ranch’s horses up close
  • Fat tire mountain biking: Mountain biking isn’t just for summer – race down the mountain on fat tire bikes made for winter weather 
  • Cross-country skiing: Take in magnificent views of snowfields and mountains at your own pace
cup of hot chocolate

If it gets too chilly outside, warm up with some of our favorite indoor activities: 

  • Hatchet throwing: Channel your inner lumberjack (safe for children 6 and up) 
  • BB gun shooting: Improve your aim with complimentary BB gun practice  
  • Archery: Aim for traditional or three-dimensional targets at this daily activity 
  • Spa: Relax and unwind in the Lazy U Spa 

Off-ranch activities

Take advantage of Colorado’s world-famous downhill skiing. When you stay at C Lazy U Ranch, we’ll help you purchase your ski package and even coordinate ski lessons.  Then, use our curb-to-curb shuttle service to travel to two popular ski areas: Winter Park and Ski Granby Ranch.  

girl skiing

What to Pack for a Colorado Winter Vacation 

With 300 days of sunshine per year and 187 inches of snowfall every winter, layers are key to fully enjoying your vacation. When you’re deciding what to layer, avoid cotton – it doesn’t trap heat well, and if you get wet, it takes longer to dry than other fabrics. If you’re not sure what you need to pack, worry no more – read our comprehensive list of items you should bring with you: 

two snowmobiles

General Items 

  • Waterproof winter boots 
  • Wool socks 
  • Flannel pajamas 
  • Warm sweaters or thermals that can be layered 
  • Long-sleeve shirts (look for quick-dry and moisture-wicking fabrics)
  • Sunscreen and chapstick 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Swimsuit 
  • Waterproof jacket 
  • A nicer, warm outfit (or two) for dinners and evenings out 

Outdoor Activities 

  • Gloves 
  • Warm hat or earmuffs 
  • Waterproof pants 
  • Long underwear 
  • Scarf or neck gaiter 


  • Everything included in the “Outdoor Activities” section
  • Ski and snowboard equipment (can be rented from a local ski shop) 
    • Ski or snowboard helmet 
    • Googles 
    • Ski/snowboard boots 
    • Skis/snowboard 
    • Ski poles 
couple iceskating

If you have additional questions on what to pack for your vacation at C Lazy U dude ranch, give us a call – our friendly staff is happy to help you prepare. We’ll see you on the ranch soon! 

Howdy & Namaste: Yoga and Horseback Riding at the Ranch

yoga practice mountain retreat

Practicing yoga and enhancing your skill as an equestrian work hand in hand. Not only does yoga promote awareness in the moment, a quality equestrians need to maintain control of their horse, but it also helps strengthen the core, which enhances stability and coordination while riding. As such, we often pair our lauded horseback riding program at C Lazy U with yoga, and we have seen first hand how the skills acquired in one can strongly benefit the other.

Yoga balances both the mind and body by stretching and strengthening different muscles through a variety of fluid movements. Horseback riding requires a certain level of mental clarity, clarity that some feel can be obtained through the relaxing, repetitive motions of yoga. When the mind of a rider is at ease, the horse, an animal especially sensitive to the mindset of their human companions, is more likely to feel relaxed and submissive; simply being attentive to the moment will assist the rider to connect with their horse. The physical benefits that accompany practicing yoga are also helpful to equestrians. In addition to increasing core strength, practicing yoga also results in enhanced balance and stability, which allows a rider to lead their horse with enhanced control.


A variety of yoga poses are extra beneficial to equestrians. For example, the Warrior Pose increases range of motion in the hip joints, which in turn assists riders in achieving the correct leg position on horseback; while the Downward Dog Pose elongates the spine and helps achieve good posture, and when translated to sitting on a saddle, helps ensure a rider is correctly situated, touching the horse at the correct points to communicate. For more yoga poses especially suited to horseback riders, consider following this Pinterest board, one of our favorites at the Ranch.

At C Lazy U ranch in Colorado, we bring yoga and horseback riding together during our week-long Julie Goodnight horseback riding and yoga clinic. Julie Goodnight, an internationally respected trainer and clinician, teaches riders how to master their equestrian skills through understanding horse behavior. In tandem with the riding program, attendees also enjoy yoga from instructor Ellen Mesaros, teaching Anusara yoga. While this year’s clinic just wrapped up this past weekend and today, dates for 2015 include May 14-18, September 24-28 and October 16-19. It’ never too early to start planning your horseback riding and yoga retreat at the ranch!

I Decided I Need a Dude Ranch Vacation!

Sunbathing, Sicilian-donkey style

I have recently come under scrutiny for pictures taken of me, as seen here, in less than…commendable positions. I know, I know what you’re all thinking: “what a lazy-” but you know what? It’s not easy being the face of the C Lazy U Ranch, where we’ve been providing horseback riding vacations and dude ranch vacations for over 90 years. The pressure is just huge: this summer alone I’ve had 4 public appearances to make in Denver, not to mention the countless cart rides I’ve given to the cowpokes in the past 4 months, all while keeping up my pleasant attitude and fabulous good looks — so don’t judge me!

Besides, the leaves have started to turn their golden yellow autumn hue, and frost covers the ground in the morning;- these are my last few weeks to enjoy laying out in the sun before winter hits. And don’t get me wrong — I love the winter. Where else can you watch people ice skate, snowmobile and tube, and then have them feed you during their sleigh ride into our pasture? NOWHERE ELSE, that’s where! A winter vacation at the C Lazy U Ranch really is the best Colorado family vacation!

And so last week I thought, where better to take my relaxing dude ranch vacation than the C Lazy U Ranch? I mean, I’m already here and it has everything that I need to enjoy my time off and relax! So let them criticize, let them throw sidelong glances in my direction as they walk by on their trail rides. I don’t care! They get jingled out to pasture every evening and get to relax the afternoon away eating the freshly grown hay from our upper mesa, as the sun sets behind them. And they don’t even like laying out in the sun like I do anyway.

Goodness, the politics of being the leader of a herd of 180 — my job never ends!

Have you ever noticed that horses eat...A LOT?
Have you ever noticed that horses eat…A LOT?


In some cultures, an afternoon siesta is considered essential. I’m sure your camera could benefit from one as well.

In the Spotlight: Meet the C Lazy U Counselor Crew

C Lazy U is a true family dude ranch, offering both parents and kids an unforgettable vacation. While family togetherness is always a given, we make sure that the kids have their own fun while the adults are off on their own — and it’s all thanks to the talented, dedicated counselors running the C Lazy U Children’s Program.

Meet McKenzie, Director of the Children’s Program

Woman posing with dog sitting on rocksMcKenzie is spending her fifth summer at the ranch, but her first time as the C Lazy U head counselor and director of the children’s program. She lives just one town over with her one-year-old Golden Retriever named Ellie. As head counselor, McKenzie leads our qualified team to make sure that every family vacation is one for the scrapbook.

Fun Fact: When McKenzie isn’t working, you can find her climbing mountains all over the world — last September, she conquered 19,341-foot Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This fall, she is headed to Peru to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

Meet the C Lazy U Counselors


Woman on horse

A South Carolina native, Kennedy is pumped for her second summer as a counselor at the ranch. When she is not hanging out with the horses and kiddos, she likes hiking in the Rocky Mountains — meaning that working at C Lazy U has its perks!

Fun Fact: Besides hiking in her free time, Kennedy likes to cheer on the Clemson Tigers football team.


Hanna Lester

Hanna first worked in Luis’ Old Place and decided to return to the ranch as a Kids Counselor. We are eagerly awaiting her return to Colorado this summer!

Fun Fact: One of her favorite hobbies is traveling, which is fitting as she’s currently studying abroad in Florence, Italy, spending her free time eating pizza and studying art.


Anne Raines Doidge

We are excited to welcome Anne to the ranch for her first summer. An Alabama native, she got the western “bug” from her mom, who worked at dude ranches in college. Anne is looking forward to riding the trails, meeting the kids, and working in the beautiful mountains.

Fun Fact: Anne’s favorite candy is Sour Patch Kids, which also happens to be a favorite treat among our horses.


Merritt McDonald

Merritt came to C Lazy U as a guest a few years ago and couldn’t wait to get back in the saddle — so she’s making the move to join us as a counselor this summer. A psychology major at Wake Forest, she is excited to move out west and explore a new part of the country.

Fun Fact: Merritt comes from a family of all redheads — a particularly striking feature!


Anna Taylor posing by flowers

Anna, who is studying nursing at Clemson University, will join us for her first summer. Anna knew she wanted to work out west after she spent last summer in Montana. She loves to hike, spend time outside, and hang out with kids — a perfect combination for C Lazy U.

Fun Fact: Anna has a twin brother who studies in Spain.


Counselor Elizabeth Durham

Elizabeth couldn’t wait for the day she could come work as a counselor at the ranch — and this year, it’s finally happened. Her favorite hobbies are singing, painting nails, and of course, horseback riding. Her summer goal is to perfect her marshmallow roasting skills, something that the kids will surely love.

Fun Fact: Elizabeth has been coming to C Lazy U as a guest for 12 years.


Sitton Furman

Another South Carolina native, Sitton found out about C Lazy U through a few friends who worked at the ranch in previous years. She enjoys spending her free time fishing and hanging outdoors, making C Lazy U the best place to spend the summer.

Fun Fact: Her favorite sweet treat is ice cream, so you’re sure to find her hanging out at the ice cream bar!

All of our counselors are friendly and knowledgeable — not only are they required to have childcare and horseback riding experience, they’re certified in CPR and first aid. They are dedicated to not only keeping your kids safe but making sure they’re always having fun.

Is Children’s Horseback Riding Safe?

As one of the top family vacation destinations in the US, C Lazy U is no stranger to helping guests of all ages and ability levels experience the magic of Colorado horseback riding. To keep our youngest riders safe, we’ve developed a specialized kids horseback riding program. Read on to learn more about what our program entails and what steps we take to ensure your entire family has a safe and unforgettable vacation experience.  

close up of girl with horse

What Age Can Children Start Horseback Riding? 

At C Lazy U, children 6 years of age and older are assigned their own horse for the duration of their stay. Between ages 6-12, children develop their riding skills with the help of our experienced counselors and wranglers, and working with the same horse each day helps children gain confidence and build their skills. 

While children are learning foundational skills, their horseback rides are filled with adventure as they learn about the ranch’s outlaw hideaway, visit Shorty’s Cabin, and learn about the myth of the Blue Dot Forest.   

How We Keep Children Safe On Horseback Rides 

Our biggest priority is keeping all our guests safe as they explore the best of the authentic American West. In addition to providing safety equipment, like helmets, to all our young riders, we also: 

  • Match each child with a trusted horse: at the beginning of your stay, our wrangler team will pair your child with a trusted kids’ horse based on their temperament, experience level, and size. Our kids’ horses have been part of the C Lazy U family for years (and sometimes decades) and every horse in the children’s program is hand-picked for their friendly and gentle nature.  
  • Rigorously train all staff: All counselors go through a rigorous pre-employment screening and horsemanship evaluation to ensure our team has the skills, knowledge, and training to keep children safe while teaching western horsemanship skills. In addition, our staff is required to take training and testing on standard procedures on trails and around the ranch’s main facilities and hold current CPR and First Aid certifications. 
  • Use easier trails: C Lazy U’s 8,500 acres of land is full of trails with varying difficulties.  We take the youngest and most inexperienced guests on trails with easy terrain, which helps kids learn the basics about horsemanship and riding.

What If My Child Isn’t Old Enough To Ride? 

Even though they can’t ride, children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old can still experience the excitement of a dude ranch vacation. Affectionately termed our “Cowpokes,” young guests can enjoy pony rides and cart rides pulled by one of our Sicilian Donkeys. Cowpokes will also participate in age-appropriate arts and crafts, pool time, movies, cookie decorating, scavenger hunts, and more!  

Learn More: Experiences For The Under 6 Crowd

girl petting horse

Whether your child is brand-new to horseback riding or interested in growing their skills, C Lazy U can help them gain confidence while keeping them safe. With specialized programs for children of every age and activities suited for the whole family, C Lazy U is the perfect destination for your family’s next vacation. Contact us today to learn more and reserve your spot!

Just in Time for Fall, Petey’s Cheddar Biscuits

The feeling of Fall is quickly creeping in with cooler, crisp air, changing leaves, and shorter days. With the changing weather, you may feel the urge to curl up with some heavier dining fare! C Lazy U’s guests and staff are no exception, and one of our favorite fall culinary creations are Petey’s Cheddar Biscuits. These fluffy clouds of cheesy goodness are among our guests’ favorite treats, so we’ve decided to let you in on our secret recipe. Enjoy!

Petey’s Cheddar Biscuits


  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 ½ tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients thoroughly with fingertips (gloves suggested); don’t over-mix! Drop 3-ounce balls of dough on greased parchment paper-lined pan. Bake 13-15 minutes and enjoy. We love serving them with Colorado honey!

Last-Minute Checklist for Your Ranch Wedding

Holding a destination wedding at C Lazy U Ranch is a picture-perfect way to get married, thanks to its breathtaking location, beautiful facilities and talented on-site wedding coordinators. Though we provide plenty of ranch wedding amenities, couples can ease their mind with a checklist of last-minute tasks before the big day.
ranch wedding in c lazy u barn

Double-check your suitcase.

Ranch weddings are often multiday affairs due to their fairly remote locations, so you’ll need more than your wedding attire. Pack enough for an entire weekend of outdoor fun — horseback riding, swimming and more — keeping the ranch’s summer packing list in mind. You may be there for the wedding, but it’s a vacation, too!

Check with your vendors.

Get in touch with your vendors a week before the wedding to ensure everything is on schedule, especially if they’re expected at the ranch. Make sure that you give them any travel and transportation information, as well as contact information for your bridal party, a family member and/or close friend to ensure that they can get in touch if needed.

Confirm transportation to your ranch wedding.

Guests may be coming in from all corners of the country, so make sure that transportation is clear: you don’t want to field phone calls from panicked guests that can’t find a way to get to the ranch on your wedding day. If you did not provide transportation information on your wedding website or invitations, put someone in charge of informing the guests.

C Lazy U Ranch offers shuttle service to bring guests from the Denver International Airport, Kremmling Airport and Granby Station to the ranch.

Get your guest goodies ready.

Ease your mind leading up to the wedding by packing any welcome gifts as early as possible — and then pack them with your suitcases so you don’t forget them. If you’ve decided to send out some goodies before your destination wedding, make sure that they are shipped on time.

Keep an eye on the weather.

You can control a lot of things on your wedding day, but the weather is not one of them. Colorado summers often feature afternoon thunderstorms, so make sure that you pack some raingear and prepare a Plan B for your wedding ceremony or reception should it be outside. You could also use the weather to inspire your welcome gifts: include an umbrella or poncho for the guests!

Print out your itinerary.

You may have gone through the event over and over in your mind, but the stress of the wedding can make you a little forgetful.

Pack an emergency kit.

Not all ranches have on-site general stores like Luis’ Old Place at C Lazy U Ranch, but you should still pack your own emergency kit just in case. Make sure to pack a few items that may come in handy in an unforeseen accident:

  • Sewing kit, including needles, safety pins, scissors, fashion and hem tape, thread and buttons
  • Tweezers
  • Nail polish, including clear and the color you’ve chosen for your wedding, and a nail file
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Stain remover pens or towelettes
  • Pain relievers
  • Dental floss or toothpicks
  • Earring backs
  • Superglue

There is plenty of other things that may come in handy, so don’t be worried you’re bringing too much — you may end up needing that obscure item!

Enjoy the time before the wedding.

Holding your wedding at a dude ranch means that you’ll be treated to a weekend of fun and adventure before you exchange your vows. Instead of stressing about the flowers and the music, enjoy the time you’ve been given to create amazing memories with your family and friends. Go on those long horseback rides through the Rocky Mountains, or pamper yourself in the Lazy You Spa.

Weddings at C Lazy U Ranch are unique — you get exclusive use of 8,500 acres of stunning Rocky Mountain scenery. Don’t waste it; make it a part of your wedding weekend!

Learn Your Wines With C Lazy U Resident Sommelier, Shelby

Think good wine is hard to find way out in the high country of Colorado? Think again. We like nice things here at C Lazy U—it’s why we guarantee our superior service—so we offer a fabulous selection of wine to complement your just-as-fabulous meals.

An in-house sommelier, at your service

It’s no easy task, keeping wine in top-shelf condition out on a ranch. Luckily, our full-time Wine and Beverage Director, Shelby Peterson, is up for the challenge. She’s the brains behind our special wine menu, bringing a finely tuned palate and a wealth of knowledge to the ranch. She has been certified and educated by the Master Court of Sommeliers, Napa Valley Wine Academy, Society of Wine Educators and San Francisco Wine School.

Curating a wine list for a living is fun—no doubt about it—but one of Shelby’s favorite parts of the job is sharing the experience with guests. While you enjoy one of C Lazy U’s expertly prepared gourmet meals, Shelby presents the perfect wine to accompany the flavors on your plate.

For a more in-depth encounter with wine, Shelby will host a tasting for CLU guests: a unique, intimate experience in which she brings the beverages to life with rich descriptions and stories of each bottle’s origins.

Not a wine expert? Not a problem. Shelby relates wine in a way that’s accessible to everyone. You may even expand your own preferences or discover a new passion after a session with Shelby.

From Granby to Napa Valley and back

When she’s not working her magic with our guests, Shelby takes an annual trip to nurture her expertise in Napa Valley and bring her knowledge back to the ranch. For the past three years, she has attended Premiere Napa Valley, a who’s-who event for the California wine scene, where she networks with other professionals and chooses the wines she will feature at the ranch.

Shelby was recently featured in respected magazine The SOMM Journal (page 50), where she detailed her upcoming visit to Premiere Napa Valley—and let us in on a few secrets for this year’s guests at C Lazy U.

shelby in magazine at c lazy u

“I actually bought my first two lots online—both Pinot Noirs, one from Acacia and the other a lesser-known producer, Schermeister Cellars,” she said. “I hope to land a Cabernet Sauvignon this year.”

Sharing wine with guests at the ranch is what Shelby does best, but at Premiere Napa Valley, the tables are turned. Shelby becomes the guest, tasting the latest and greatest that the region has to offer.

“I hope to touch (and taste) as many wines as possible this year,” she said. “I’ll fly in Tuesday and stay through the auction. It’s a party, an education—and, oh yes, a luxury vacation!”

After her “luxury vacation” ends, yours begins—as soon as she’s back at the ranch, she’ll be armed with new ideas and a fresh perspective for the wine-curious guests of CLU.

Learn more about Shelby and the culinary team, and peruse an example wine menu to get to know her wine style. Or, better yet, book your stay at C Lazy U Ranch to see (and taste) for yourself!

Love On The Ranch

C Lazy U dude ranch is the perfect place for spending time with your loved ones – whether you’re on a family vacation, a romantic couple’s getaway, or celebrating a wedding or family reunion. Love is certainly in the air on the ranch, and the horses are no exception.

wilma and boys

To celebrate all kinds of love at C Lazy U, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite 4-legged friendships to share with you all. Which loves story is your favorite? 

Dixi & Shoshoni: Long-Time Lovers  

Dixi and Shoshoni have been in love for a whopping 15 years! Shoshoni arrived at the ranch all the way back in 1994 and had to wait a whole 12 years before Dixi arrived at the ranch.  During that time, he flitted back and forth between friend groups, but nothing really stuck. When Dixi finally arrived in 2006, she was the popular new pony on the ranch.  It took some time, but Shoshoni won her over.  The two became inseparable and moved through the ranks of wrangler horse, to adult horse, to kid horse together.  

dixi and shoshoni

Now, the two have been on the ranch long enough to earn their pension plan and a life of semi-retirement.  Not too much has changed over the years – Dixi is still demanding a little sassy, and to Shoshoni, Dixi is still number 1 in his heart (grain is number 2!). They enjoy sharing their special breakfast and dinner together every day. They like to take an occasional walk during pony rides, and Shoshoni especially enjoys it when they get to have a spa day with the kids from the Kids Program.  

Petey & Pebbles: An Unlikely Pair 

Most of our guests are familiar with the love story of Petey, one of our Sicilian Donkeys, and Pebbles, a Chestnut Half Draft. Back in the day, Petey was good friends with Wolf and Pebbles. The three were best friends, and there’s even a book called “Petey & Wolf” dedicated to their friendship! When Wolf left the ranch, Petey and Pebbles became even closer and their love began to grow.  

petey and pebbles

Petey can be a little grumpy (especially when it comes to people petting his ears), but he has nothing but affection for his lady.  Pebbles takes her job as Petey’s guardian very seriously.  She is very devoted and is often seen protecting him from other nosy horses. When Petey is in the corral or the jingle, Pebbles makes sure to stay right by his side.  They two have been spending their winter off munching on hay and sunbathing together.  

Wilbur & Tilly:  A Troublemaking Team 

Wilbur, our newest Sicilian donkey, came to C Lazy U ranch in 2020 ready for a new adventure.  When he looked around at his welcome committee, he saw a familiar face—Tilly! Wilbur and Tilly had grown up at the same donkey ranch together before Tilly left to come to CLU. Wilbur had always had a crush on Tilly, but when he tried to say hello, Tilly swished her tail at him at turned away. She was in love with Petey then. Wilbur was sad, but he was determined to win back her affection.

wilbur and tilly

Wilbur, Tilly, and Petey spent the Summer of 2020 in a love triangle:

  • Tilly loved Petey and was not happy to have Wilbur crash the party. 
  • Wilbur was excited to be at the ranch and wanted to be friends with both Petey and Tilly
  • Petey just wanted both of them to leave him alone.

Petey spent the summer trying to hide from the other two, but Tilly wouldn’t take the hint and kept following him. Wilbur was often ditched by the two donkeys and would hee-haw call for them all day. But, Wilbur didn’t give up! He was persistent and patient. Tilly finally realized that Petey didn’t love her back and the love she had been looking for had been in front of her the whole time—Wilbur! Now the two donkeys are inseparable. Tilly has always been a troublemaking donkey and she quickly taught Wilber her tricks, requiring the wranglers to closely watch the pair. They’ve been spending their winter off eating from giant hay piles and ducking under the fence to adventure for better grass. 

BamBam & Roxy: Toothfully In Love

Every year, the Colorado State University veterinarians come to take care of the horses’ teeth at the ranch. One fateful day in 2010, BamBam and Roxy were waiting in line for their turn to visit the dentists. BamBam has a chronic drooling problem that he wanted to get checked out. Roxy was worried her snaggletooth would hinder her eating and wanted to consult with professionals. The two got to chatting and the rest is history!

bambam and roxy

Even though he drools, Roxy still loves BamBam for his relaxed and easy-going nature. BamBam loves Roxy for her quirky and spunky spirit—snaggletooth and all. The two only hang out with each other and have been spending their winter off staying warm in the willows. 

Katie & Nemo: Small Horses, Big Friendship

Katie and Nemo became best friends because of the East Troublesome Fire in 2020. For most of her life at the ranch, Katie has had her own private pen since she requires some special care.  When the East Troublesome Fire came to the ranch, however, Katie was evacuated to the vet’s house with a few of our other horses. At the vet’s house, Katie was put in a pasture with the other horses since there was no pen for her. She loved it!

katie and nemo

When the herd returned to the ranch, it was decided that Katie would live with the herd. Because of the fire, the number of pens on the ranch were limited and needed for any injured horses. Since she loved being out at the vet’s house, Katie started living with the herd and ranch staff just keeps an eye on her health. Katie had to start the task of finding new friends in a herd of 200. It didn’t take long. It is said that horses like other horses that look like them. Nemo took one look at Katie and said, “You are small and spotted just like me! Let’s be best friends forever and spend our days running around chasing other horses away from the hay!” Katie agreed and she joined Nemo’s group. The two (often accompanied by Duchess) have been spending their winter off causing mischief and playing in the willows. 

With over 200 horses in our herd, there are so many other love stories and friendships to talk about. Next time you’re on the ranch, say hello to our horses and meet your favorite couple.  Who knows, maybe you’ll observe a brand new love story being written! 

Lux Names C Lazy U ‘Best All-Inclusive Luxury Dude Ranch’

lux 2018 tourism awards winner

With nearly 100 years’ experience, we’re confident that we’ve perfected the art of providing guests with a once-in-a-lifetime dude ranch vacation: a mix of rugged ranch activities and the luxury of a five-star resort. Thanks to LUX magazine, we know we’ve truly mastered that balancing act — C Lazy U Ranch has been named the Best All-Inclusive Luxury Dude Ranch in Colorado for the prestigious magazine’s 2018 Tourism Awards.

Tourism Awards 2018 at LUX Magazine

Each year, LUX, a quarterly magazine that covers high-end food and drink, art, jewelry, technology and the hospitality industry, whittles down a hefty list of global hotels and resorts to crown the best of the best in luxury travel and tourism.  An in-house team at the magazine performs extensive research to determine which of the nominees provides the finest food and drink, the classiest yet most comfortable rooms, superior guest service and — perhaps most importantly — an experience to remember. The award’s independent research means that the award recipients truly measure above the rest.

We don’t offer such outstanding service just for the awards and prestige, but we sure are proud when we receive them. Thank you to those who have shared their experiences at the ranch and to LUX magazine for the wonderful honor!

Make a Wish at C Lazy U Ranch

Our entire team at C Lazy U dude ranch was thrilled to host Thomas, a 10-year-old Minnesota boy who recently underwent a bone marrow transplant, and his family for his wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Thomas’ adoration for the outdoors and adventurous spirit led him to our humbled ranch, and we loved seeing him explore our ropes course, soar through the air on our zip line and gallop across the ranch’s property day-after-day. We are truly honored to have been part of Make-A-Wish’s gallant efforts, and hope to see Thomas and his family at C Lazy U ranch in Colorado again soon.

Make A wish c Lazy U

Meet Betsy – C Lazy U Horse of the Month


Here’s a Special Note from Betsy


Howdy all! I’m big Betsy, the beautiful plump black and white draft cross mare you saw running by your cabin this morning. Though I may appear big, I am truly a delicate lady that responds better to a soft touch. I have carried brides, world renowned athletes, and several celebrities during my tenure here at the C Lazy U. I look forward to meeting you and having you love on me!

C Lazy U - Betsy

Quick facts about Betsy

Age: I’m 15 years old
Breed: I’m a part draft horse and part paint.
Color: I’m black and white, but don’t call me a cow!
Personality: I’m very delicate and gentle with all my friends.
Favorite Activity: Showing our C Lazy U adult guests my favorite trails.

Meet Brutus – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

horse of the month brutus

Here’s a Special Note from Brutus

Hello there my fellow ranch guests. My name is Brutus and I am royalty here at the C Lazy U Ranch. I am without a doubt the most attractive horse in the herd and other than those silly draft horses, Fred, Barney and Big Mike, I am one of the largest horses here at the C Lazy U. Because I am royalty, I only respond to royal requests and am very choosy about my riders. I enjoy a good grooming and a nice scratch before my ride, during the break, and after my ride. Please look for me during the jingle, I am usually with my two servant mules, Horus and Jasper!


Quick facts about Brutus

Age: I’m 18 years old and I’ve been here at C Lazy U for about 15 years!
Breed: I’m half draft
Color: I’m Bay colored. That means I have a reddish-brown body but black on my mane, tail and legs.
Favorite Food: Mmmmmm, horse cookies!
My Best Friend: The mules – Horace and Jasper! I also like Tiny a lot. And my girlfriend of the moment is Mildred.

Meet Buck – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

This month’s Horse of the Month is Buck. He is named after his color, so don’t worry because he does not buck. In fact, Buck has been working at the ranch for so long that he has become an excellent teacher. He especially enjoys teaching kids how to trot and lope. His favorite way to relax after work is to roll in the mud!

Meet C Lazy U’s New Kids & Teens Program Manager

For decades, our Kids and Teens Program has served toddlers, teens, and every child in between, making it a perfect place to vacation with kids. This year, the program is welcoming back an old friend: Diane Hefter, who served as the ranch’s Head Kids Counselor in 1996.

Diane Hefter with horse

After years of working with children in various capacities, Diane is returning to the ranch as the Kids and Teens Program Manager. Read on to learn more about Diane’s background and her plans for the program.     

Falling In Love With C Lazy U 

Diane wanted to work out west for the summer before her senior year in college so she could experience another part of the country and have unique adventures. After applying to several ranches and National Parks, Diane was invited to join the C Lazy U team and moved from North Carolina to Colorado within the week.  

Diane spent the summer on the Waitstaff team and enjoyed meeting incredible people (both guests and staff). She returned that Christmas and soaked up the ranch’s festive spirit. Between the visits from Santa, the horse-drawn sleigh, and the beautiful decorations, she knew she had to return! 

Becoming A Kids Counselor 

After graduating college in 1996, Diane returned to C Lazy U as a Kids Counselor. The job combined her passions of being outdoors and working with children and horses, and she couldn’t get enough! She had never worked so hard or for so many hours, but the time flew by and it was so much fun that it didn’t feel like work. The children were fun, enthusiastic, and happy and the entire staff became a great group of friends who worked well together.

kids practicing activities

Diane stayed at the ranch year-round from 1996 to 1999, eventually becoming the Head Children’s Counselor. In this role, she matched kids with their horses, taught them about ranch history, told stories, planned and played endless games, and worked closely with other counselors, wranglers, families, and staff. After the summer of 1999, Diane left the ranch to pursue new opportunities and further her education.  

Gaining A Robust Educational Background

Diane ultimately decided to become licensed to teach elementary education. She completed a Post-Baccalaureate Program at the University of Northern Colorado and earned her Masters in Elementary Education. She moved back to North Carolina to be close to her family, where she taught in a traditional 1st-grade classroom. Then she became a Montessori preschool teacher and taught 3-5 year olds for 18 and a half years.  

Returning to C Lazy U 

Since leaving Colorado in 2001, Diane has been looking for a way to return. After the East Troublesome Fire affected the C Lazy U in October 2020, Diane reached out to old friends and coworkers on the ranch. Reconnecting with old friends brought back the wonderful memories of C Lazy U, and Diane looked at the ranch website to see what’s new and what had stayed the same. Long story short, she applied for a reservationist position because it was the only year-round position posted, and was ultimately offered the position of Children’s Program Manager. Diane is thrilled to once again combine her love of children, horses, and the great outdoors at C Lazy U.  

The Future Of the Children’s Program 

As the Program Manager, Diane will curate new and exciting activities while honoring some of the traditions that families and kids love. Safety is a top priority on the ranch, so she’ll work closely with the rest of the C Lazy U team to ensure the safety of our youngest guests. Between COVID-19 and the East Troublesome Fire, C Lazy U has overcome many challenges in the past year, and Diane is excited to help the ranch move forward and create programs that will continue to thrive and endure for years to come. Since she accepted the job, Diane has been working hard to plan new activities and games that will go along with traditional favorites, including more activities with horses.  

girl with horse

The entire C Lazy U family is excited to welcome Diane back to the team as we continue to create the best family vacation destination in the West. With new and exciting program activities and adventures fit for the whole family, your family will create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime. Contact us today to make your reservation! 

Meet Chester – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

Meet C Lazy U's Chester

Here’s A Special Note from Chester

Hi everyone! I am Chester, one of the most popular C Lazy U Ranch kid’s horses and also the star of a Hollywood Movie, Saddle Ridge Ranch!

Please, please, please give me a scratch and a good rub if you see me as I LOVE to be groomed and loved on. If you are lucky enough to have the privilege of riding me, I promise I will take great care of you!

C Lazy U - Chester - Horse of the Month

Quick Facts About Chester

Age: I’m 25 years old
Breed: I’m a Quarter Horse
Color: I’m sorrel colored, which means I’m a red head.
Favorite Activity: Being scratched and hanging with my favorite kids!
My Best Friend: I have two! Buck (you learned about Buck last month!) and Domino!

Meet Dixie & Shoshoni – C Lazy U’s Horses of the Month

C Lazy U - Dixie and Shoshoni

Dixie and Shoshoni are best friends who wanted to be featured together!

Here’s a Special Note from Dixie and Shoshoni (the Wonder Pony)

Hi! We are Dixie and Shoshoni, the ranch’s resident grandma and grandpa of the herd. We have been in love for many years. Dixie prefers to go on slow rides with 6 year olds so she can protect them and show them the trails and beautiful scenery. Shoshoni (the wonder pony) still has a bit of pep in his step and is known to have one of the fastest trots in the whole herd!

C Lazy U Horses Dixie and Shoshoni

Quick Facts About Dixie

Age: I’m 24 years old
Breed: I’m a Quarter Horse
Color: I’m what they call Dun colored.
Personality: I’m sweet and docile.
Favorite Activity: Spending time with Shoshoni.
My Best Friend: My main squeeze, Shoshoni!

Quick Facts About Shoshoni (the Wonder Pony)

Age: I’m 20 years old
Breed: I’m THE wonder pony!
Color: I’m a beautiful dark gray.
Personality: I’m willing to please and I love attention.
Favorite Activity: Spending time with Dixie.
My Best Friend: Who else? Dixie!

Meet Domino – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

C Lazy U Horse of the Month Domino


Here’s A Special Note from Domino

Yo, Yo, Yo what’s up!! I’m Domino!! I dare you to figure out what horse I am!! Here is a hint…. I am a Leopard Appaloosa with the coloring of a classic children’s game! And in case you didn’t know, I was also in the movie Saddle Ridge Ranch with my buddy Chester. Can’t wait to rock out with you!! Woohoo!!!
Domino - C Lazy U Horse of the Month

Quick Facts About Domino

Age: I’m 22 years old
Breed: I’m a Leopard Appaloosa – I bet you can guess what I look like from the “leopard” in my breed name.
Color: I’m white with black spots, like a giant Dalmatian!
Favorite Activity: Having the kids cheer me on when I jingle out to pasture – it’s awesome!
My Best Friend: I love hanging out with my main buddies, Buck and Chester.

Domino - C Lazy U Horse

Meet Dusty – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

Meet Dusty - C Lazy U Horse of the Month

Here’s A Special Note from Dusty

Hi Friends! My name is Dusty and I will be your best, best, best friend while you are here! I am a beautiful paint that is typically assigned to fast riders. While I like to go fast, my favorite part about trail riding is taking a break where I get to hang out with people. I love people! Especially C Lazy U guests! If you see me in the pasture give me a shout and I will be sure to come over and say hello!
C Lazy U - Horse of the Month - Dusty

Quick Facts About Dusty

Age: I’m 11 years old
Breed: I’m a Paint
Color: Paint is my breed, but it also describes my color! I have big patches of white and brown all over my body.
Personality: I have been compared to a Labrador Retriever – I’m not sure what that is, but it sounds like an awesome comparison. I just love everyone!
Favorite Activity: Hanging with people is the best!

Dusty - C Lazy U Ranch Horse

Meet Pebbles – C Lazy U’s Horse of the Month

 C Lazy U - Horse of the Month - Pebbles

Here’s A Special Note from Pebbles

Hello C Lazy U guests! My name is Pebbles and in case you haven’t figured it out by now, I am Petey’s wife, not his girlfriend, but his wife! I am plump and beautiful with a large white blaze. I am extremely protective of MY Petey, so please be gentle with him so I don’t get mad. Look for me jingling out with Petey. I am always next to him and protecting him from those other mares that think they can have my man! I love Petey just like you and look forward to meeting you!
C Lazy U - Horse of the Month - Pebbles

Quick Facts About Pebbles

Age: I’m a teenager – I’m 13 years old!
Breed: I’m half draft.
Color: I’m what you call Chestnut colored, which is a brownish-red.
Personality: I’m very strong willed and determined – I know what I like!
Favorite Activity: My favorite thing to do is spending time with Petey!
My Best Friend: Petey of course!

Pebbles - C Lazy U Horse

Meet The C Lazy U Chef

As Colorado’s premier dude ranch, C Lazy U prides itself on serving fresh, farm-to-table food. With a hearty, made-to-order breakfast options and a lunch and dinner menu featuring locally-sourced food and Colorado specialties, the dining experience at C Lazy U is the perfect pairing for your adventure-filled vacation.

Executive Chef, Cory Untch

Today, we’re taking you behind the scenes to meet our Executive Chef, Cory Untch, to learn how food plays a role in making our guests’ visits an experience they’ll never forget.  

Innovative Approach

With an impressive background in many 5-star hotels across the country, Cory was well-suited to lead the culinary team at C Lazy U. As a strong believer in farm-to-table offerings, using local purveyors, and developing health-minded menus, Cory perfectly matches the ranch’s culinary approach. His ability to put unique twists on some recognized staples means he can delight even the pickiest of eaters while creating a fabulous service experience.  

Exploring C Lazy U Through Food 

One of the reasons guests love C Lazy U is that they get to celebrate the Great American West with all the luxury and comfort of modernity. To create a unified and cohesive experience, Cory strives to explore C Lazy U through the menus he creates. By developing relationships with local farmers and vendors, Cory is able to tell the story of Colorado and the West using the food he cooks, and alters the menu to accommodate our changing seasons. As a result, guests can experience the best of Colorado cuisine, year-round.  

More Than A Meal 

Since our food is served family-style, mealtimes give our guests the opportunity to create lasting friendships with other guests. Cory’s creations perfectly compliment this goal, and he encourages his team to view food not just as a meal, but an interaction. By preparing unique dishes that set the stage for connection and conversation, Cory’s team encourages guests to engage each of their senses and create unforgettable memories around the table.  

steak dinner

With luxurious accommodations, family-friendly activities, picturesque views, and delightful dishes, C Lazy U truly offers a one-of-a-kind trip you won’t soon forget. What are you most excited to experience?  

Meet The C Lazy U Donkeys

C Lazy U’s trio of miniature donkeys may be small, but their personalities are huge. Over the years, Petey, Tilly, and Wilbur have stolen the hearts of guests, staff, and horses alike.

donkey with kid

Get to know some of the stars of our premier guest ranch by learning more about C Lazy U’s donkeys.  

What Do The Donkeys Do At The Ranch? 

Did you know that the CLU donkeys’ main job is to protect the herd? When the horses are out to pasture, Tilly, Wilbur, and Petey use their large ears and wide range of vision to look out for threats. When they’re not protecting the herd, the donkeys spend their time entertaining guests, eating (their favorite pastime), helping out in the Cowpoke kids’ program, and getting fans into the Colorado spirit at the Rockies’ opening day baseball game. 

Meet The Donkeys

Get To Know Petey 


Petey is the ranch’s most seasoned miniature donkey and has called C Lazy U his home for about 25 years. Petey has retired and is affectionately known as “an old man” by ranch regulars. The younger donkeys try to hang out with Petey, but he prefers to spend most of his time with his best friend, Pebbles the horse. In fact, Petey and Pebbles love each other so much that when Pepples leaves for a trail ride, Petey will often try to tag along! Petey hates being clean and doesn’t like brushing or bathtime, but if he thinks you have treats or cookies for him, he’ll follow you just about anywhere! 

Catching Up With Tilly 


Tilly is 8 years old and has been at the ranch for about 4 years. Tilly is known to be a bit of a diva and loves attention, food, and being made pretty. She’s also the best at getting into mischief!  

In her time at the ranch, she’s learned from Petey and taken over most of his duties, which gives him more time to enjoy retirement. Watching Tilly take on a bigger role at the ranch has been exciting (and often hilarious) for the C Lazy U team. When Tilly went to her first Rockies game, she was afraid of the shadows and the painted lines in the parking lot. When she got to each shadow or line, she would leap as high as she could into the air! In the end, she loved meeting all the fans and was a perfect angel inside the stadium. 

Say Hello To Wilbur, Our Newest Donkey 

wilbur and remi

Wilbur, our newest donkey, has been at C Lazy U for almost a year. Like Tilly, he’s also 8 years old. Wilbur is more laid back and personable than the other donkeys and absolutely loves people. Now that he’s settled into the ranch, he’s looking forward to making his first appearance at the Rockies game this spring! 

When Wilbur first arrived at C Lazy U, Tilly was obsessed with Petey and wanted to spend all her time with him. Petey would try to hide from Tilly, Tilly would chase Petey, and then Wilbur would chase after both of them trying to make new friends. Eventually, Tilly realized that Wilbur was her man, and now the two are best friends. In fact, they hang out so much that Wilbur often ends up causing trouble by following Tilly’s mischievous streak. 

donkey's hugging

Whether they’re hanging out with their four-legged friends, spending time with our youngest guests, or looking for their next snack, Petey, Tilly, and Wilbur are a staple of the C Lazy U experience. Can’t wait to meet these three lovable donkeys? Contact us today to book your stay at C Lazy U ranch. The donkeys (and the rest of the C Lazy U animals) can’t wait to see you!

Meet The Culinary Team

From serving up fan favorites like homemade skillet cornbread to experimenting with avocado mousse and watermelon radish, something delicious is always cooking at C Lazy U. Our team whips up three mouthwatering gourmet meals every day – tickling our guests’ taste buds and encouraging our chefs to push their culinary creativity to the limit. Interested in meeting the team behind each bite? Read on to learn more about Executive Chef Cory and Executive Pastry Chef Nydia. 

Related: What Makes Dining At C Lazy U So Special?

Meet Executive Chef Cory 

Hailing from Youngstown, Ohio, Chef Cory lived in Hawaii, New Mexico, Virginia, Tennesse, Bermuda, Florida, and Texas before moving to C Lazy U ranch in 2019. Cory and his wife, Reannon, have always been drawn to the Colorado Rockies and were stunned by the beauty of Grand County, Colorado. When he was offered the job of Executive Chef at the luxury guest ranch, he couldn’t say no! 

Inspired By Nature’s Beauty 

Chef Cory is constantly on the hunt for the best seasonal ingredients. Specializing in the art of perfecting simplicity, Cory and his team strive to bring out the unique flavor in each dish without overpowering the meal’s components. Cory draws inspiration from the high Rockies’ changing seasons and constantly tweaks his menu to highlight the best of Colorado’s fall, winter, spring, and summer fare. Year-round, Cory’s favorite thing to cook for C Lazy U guests is anything involving Bison. The bison was a major source of food in the American West, and Cory loves honoring this tradition – and bringing out its natural sweetness through different flavor pairings and cooking methods.  

Getting Personal 

To get to know Chef Cory even better, we asked a series of rapid-fire questions: 

What’s your favorite part of working at C Lazy U? 

“I’ve worked in many places, and C Lazy U has some of the best coworkers.  Everyone has a genuine love for the property and this place!”

What was your favorite food growing up?

“As a child, I always wanted to order foods that I hadn’t tried before when we went out to eat as a family. Mussels, clams, and oysters were a favorite of mine as an 8-year-old! Now, I enjoy a good steak on the grill in the summer and a hearty beef stew in the winter.”  

What do you do for fun?

“My hobbies are studying blockchain technology, playing the drums, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.”

gourmet food on plate

Meet Chef Nydia 

Born in Mexico, Nydia has spent the last 10 years living in various cities across the United States. One of her friends who worked at the ranch let her know of an opening for an assistant pastry chef at C Lazy U. Nydia applied and the rest is history! Over the years, Nydia has worked her way up to Executive Pastry Chef, a role where she leads the team in crafting up sweet treats that delight guests of all ages.  

The Sweetness of Simplicity 

Like Chef Cory, Chef Nydia loves to keep things simple – but that doesn’t mean your dessert won’t be delicious! Nydia tries her best to respect the ingredients and natural flavors she’s working with to create unique culinary experiences for C Lazy U guests. She loves complimenting Cory’s seasonal menu by incorporating local produce and ingredients, like Colorado peaches, into her desserts.  

Diving Deeper

We also asked Chef Nydia a few rapid-fire questions: 

What’s your favorite part of working at C Lazy U? 

“I love being in contact with nature and being surrounded by great people and great chefs.”  

What was your favorite food growing up?

“Picadillo! It is a very simple Mexican dish that’s made with ground beef, peas, potatoes, and chipotle pepper.”

What’s a fun fact about you?

“I love nature so I enjoy reading about the circular economy and how we can be less harmful to our environment.”

cheese and meats

Behind Chef Nydia and Chef Cory is a team of talented chefs who are constantly developing new recipes, fun twists on old favorites, and innovative ways to delight your senses through food.

Interested in taking a sneak peek at what delicious meals may await you on your next visit to C Lazy U? Learn more about our gourmet dining!

Meet the Meeting Space at C Lazy U

C Lazy U Ranch is more than a place to for families, friends and couples to have a memorable vacation — it can be a place to do business, host a reunion or build camaraderie at a corporate retreat. To make sure we offer the right space, we offer a variety of meeting rooms around the ranch, all of which showcase C Lazy U’s history, spirit and skill in hosting spectacular events.

meeting break

Latigo Meeting Room & Adega Wine Room

The newest addition, the Latigo Meeting Room & Adega Wine Room brings 1,100 square feet of intimate meeting space for small gatherings.

Latigo & Adega Highlights

  • Accommodates 10 to 63 guests
  • Built-in audio and visual equipment
  • Semi-enclosed wine room allows for private tastings or exclusive chef’s table

In Western vernacular, “latigo” is both a type of leather and a particular type of horse tack — it’s just

meeting room at C Lazy u
The new Latigo Room offers state of the art audio and visual.

another subtle nod to the décor of this meeting space, featuring dark wood flooring, wooden beams and an imposing brick fireplace. The meeting space can be arranged in a number of ways: cozy round tables to encourage intimate discussions, rows of tables for speeches and presentations, or a combination to allow for both.

The wine room, whose walls are lined with just a small selection of our wines, is hidden off to the side near the stocked wet bar — it’s the ideal spot for a secluded dinner party. The Latigo & Adega space is private, but a wall comprising floor-length windows offers an expansive view outside and plenty of natural light.

The Patio House

The Patio House offers both a refined space for corporate meetings or presentations, as well as a vibrant spot for breakfast, lunch and dinner get-togethers.

Patio House Highlights

  • Accommodates 10 to 45 guests
  • Large floorplan allows for ultimate flexibility in seating arrangement
  • Cathedral ceilings, hardwood floors and wood-burning fireplace add elegance

At the heart of the ranch is the Patio House, located in near the pool, riding arena and activity center. meeting roomLively meetings and fun family reunions take place at the Patio House, whose proximity to the bar and kitchen make it ideal for catered events. Inside, the 900+ square feet of space offer the flexibility for auditorium- or conference-style seating arrangements; outside, the poolside terrace allows for ice cream parties and fireside discussions.

The Hay Barn

One of the most popular event spaces at the ranch, the Hay Barn epitomizes dude ranch design with its large, open space and rustic accents.

Hay Barn Highlights

  • Accommodates 40 to 100 guests
  • Two levels total more than 3,000 square feet of space
  • Quintessential Western style such as antler chandeliers and barn-style lighting

The Hay Barn aims to impress: two levels, a massive open space and the dude ranch design that only a real barn can provide make it the most popular location for large events. The spacious main level allows for dining room for team building dinnermultiple seating arrangements, while the upper level features a private bar and space for live entertainment. With its striking features and unique Western style, the Hay Barn is often used to host the final sendoff party after a corporate retreat, family reunions, weddings and anything else that calls for a real celebration.

More Meeting Spaces at the Ranch

The Main Lodge — another of the central locations at the ranch — features a saloon-style bar for cocktails and an elegant dining room for exclusive dinners, while the adjacent Card Room seats a small crowd for private conversations. Even the ranch’s suites are open for events: use them as a hospitality room or one-on-one meeting spaces for more informal gatherings.

C Lazy U Ranch has no shortage of meeting space — with over 8,500 acres, you’re bound to find the perfect spot for your event.

Mountain Bike Through C Lazy U

The mountain playground that is Colorado is a veritable treasure trove of natural beauty, and sometimes your feet just aren’t fast enough to take you everywhere you want to go. For those adventurers who want to see it all, there’s a simple solution: mountain biking.

mountain bikers in front of ranch

Great for All Experience Levels

Whether you’re a biking novice or an experienced weekend warrior, the trails at C Lazy U have a little bit of something for everybody. With 8,500 acres for them to snake over, there’s no shortage of variety, so there’s no need to worry if you haven’t been biking before. Like all of the best outdoor adventures, mountain biking can get intense. But it can also be a great, relaxing way to get outside and bond with your group. Our guides can easily help you find a trail to fit your level of adventure and experience.

mountain biking

Knowledgeable Guides, Top-Notch Equipment

Speaking of guides: Is this your first time mountain biking, or do you feel like you need a bit of a refresher before you hit the trails? You can sign up for a guided tour and get all of the assistance you need to make yourself comfortable before pedaling off into the wild. These guides are passionate and experienced, and will do everything they can to make sure that you and your have a great mountain biking adventure.

mountain biking

There’s also no need to worry about packing enough equipment for the ride. C Lazy U provides everything you need, including a variety of bikes to choose from. Pack a little lighter to make your trip as breezy as possible without missing out on any of the fun. You might miss your favorite bike that’s sitting at home, but there’s sure to be a great substitute in our fleet of dual-suspension, front suspension, and 29er bikes.

A Scenic Workout for the Books

Mountain biking is a great way to zip around some of the most scenic landscapes that Colorado has to offer, and it’s no secret that it’s a great workout, too. It’s always a good idea to start your biking adventure with a good foundational fitness level, but even if you’ve never embarked on a workout like this before, it’s never too late to start. Prepare yourself for some aching legs the next day – but just know that the views, smiles, and thrills of the ride will more than make up for it.

If you want to prepare yourself for your mountain biking experience, check out some tips that will turn you into an expert in no time. The on-site guides will give you all the knowledge and gear you need to hit the trails like a pro, but reading up on what to expect can help psych you up or calm your nerves ahead of your trip. Get ready for one of the most unique workouts of your life!

New Pastures and Homemade Barbeque

From my personal journal last night:

The smell of barbecue fills the air as the first Patio House cookout of the year gets underway (smoked wild bore leg I’ve been told… *gulp* they don’t eat donkeys too, do they?!); compounded with the sunny days and warm temperatures we’ve had these last few days, and the new pasture the wranglers are jingling to, grass lush and green, ripe for the eating, it is difficult not to feel giddy about summer-a few short weeks and our first round of Summer guests will be making their way down our mile long driveway to be greeted by a ranch hand; it’s a wonderful tradition really: as they are escorted into the Outfitter’s Cabin, the sound of good ol’ country music playing melodically in the background, setting the atmosphere for their stay, faces light up at the site of friends from years past, stories are recounted as old friends catch up, and astonished looks spread across the faces of new guests who never knew that something could be so breathtaking as this.

Having lived here as long as I have, I’ve seen a lot of hugs and handshakes as old and new families are greeted during this Sunday afternoon ritual here at C Lazy U, but my heart still swells each time I see it- this place, the C Lazy U Ranch, is my home- with so many friends living here with me all year, I can truly say that I am surrounded by family- and yet, I’m still never as full as when our guest arrive for the season- that is when my family is complete.

As twilight falls around my friends and I, I realize that I’ve neglected my dinner, and so I end tonight with this- friends, old and new, I can’t wait to see you- your C Lazy U family awaits you, but, right now, my grass awaits me!

New To Horseback Riding? Here’s What You Need To Know

Whether you’re brand new to horseback riding or just getting back in the saddle, at C Lazy U our experienced wranglers will provide you with a gentle, highly trained horse that is just right for your size and abilities. This beginner’s guide to horseback riding will help novice riders have a fun and enjoyable trail riding experience.

horseback rides

Preparing For Your First Horseback Riding Trip

Horseback riding is a rigorous sport that gives your legs, arms, lower back and core a real workout—especially at C Lazy U, where we offer two trail rides per day. Before your family vacation at our luxury dude ranch, we recommend that you take a few riding lessons at a local equestrian center, and do exercises and stretches at home that will help you improve your strength and balance. 

Be sure to wear sturdy riding boots, ideally with a heel that will help your foot remain secure in the stirrups, and comfortable pants (jeans or riding pants in the summer, snow pants in the winter). Avoid dangly scarves or necklaces that could get caught in the reins, and be sure to bring layers! 

Read More: Year Round Packing List For Your Dude Ranch Vacation

Forgot something? We got you covered: you can stock up on essentials at Luis’ Old Place.

How We Match You With Your Horse

At C Lazy U, our horses have years of training and are hand-picked for their friendly and gentle nature. Rest assured your wrangler will match you with a horse that fits your riding abilities and take you on trails with easy terrain, allowing you to hone your basic horsemanship skills. 

horseback riding

And remember the most important thing—relax! Horses are intuitive creatures, which means if you’re feeling anxiety as a novice horseback rider, your horse is sure to pick up on that. Try mindfulness exercises and deep breathing before your lesson—and remember to enjoy the majestic mountain views during your trail ride, knowing that you’re in safe hands with our experienced wranglers.

Horseback Riding for Beginners: The Basics

  • Greet your horse by speaking gently, extend the back of your hand and call your horse by name (If he touches you with his nose, he’s ready to be petted)
  • Settle yourself gently into the saddle
  • Rest the ball of your foot in the stirrup, and keep your toes pointing up with your heels down
  • Sit up straight as you ride and remain centered in the saddle
  • Keep your arms and back relaxed, and allow your hips to move with your horse
  • Hold both reins in one hand. When you want to turn, simply move your hand slightly forward and in the direction you wish your horse to go
  • To stop, pull gently on the reins
  • Know that it’s OK to hold on to the horn or front of the saddle to steady yourself! 

Want a little extra practice before you hit the trail for the first time? C Lazy U offers daily horsemanship clinics to help beginner horseback riders get more comfortable with their horses and strengthen their riding skills.

Learn more about our horseback riding program, or contact us today to book your all-inclusive dude ranch family vacation!

New Year’s Eve at CLU: 5 Reasons the Ranch Bests the Rest

Spending New Year’s Eve in a secluded ranch out in the mountains of Colorado doesn’t seem like the typical way to celebrate this holiday — there aren’t any giant, glittering globes descending from skyscrapers or throngs of clubgoers partying until the wee hours of the morning. Though those festivities are celebrated on television, they’re not all they’re cracked up to be — and ringing in the new year on the ranch actually has them all beat.

cabin with all the christmas lights

1. Beat the crowds.

When you watch the New Year’s Eve parties on television — namely, famous Times Square in New York City — it’s easy to feel a little envy with all the flashing lights, confetti and thousands of cheering people. But those thousands of people are actually pushing, shoving and fighting their way to get to their friends, get a good view or get a drink. Unless you choose to spend your time at a house party or at somewhat quiet bar, you may spend most of your night trying not to spill your drink or lose your friends in the crowd.

At C Lazy U Ranch, there will be a crowd, of course — but they’re not strangers. You won’t be shoved aside for a drink at the bar or have to keep a tight hold on your children’s hands to make sure they don’t get lost. The group gathered at the ranch is just the right size, providing plenty of party atmosphere while keeping it comfortable for everyone.

2. Make the most of the cold.

On New Year’s Eve in places with chilly winters, you’ve probably dressed up to look your best — and then covered it all with a coat. Unless you plan on staying indoors the entire time (or shiver away sans coat), no one will see your outfit. Even if you do dress for the weather, you’re not really enjoying the time spent outdoors; you’re simply trying to get from point A to point B.

C Lazy U Ranch makes the most of the wintry weather with access to all its activities: spend the day cross-country skiing or snowtubing downhill, or take a leisurely trail ride through snow-dusted trees on horseback. You won’t be wasting your time waiting around for something to happen — you can make it happen at the ranch.

3. You don’t have to wait (and wait and wait…)

At a club or bar, some of the most popular places to spend New Year’s Eve, the theme of the night is actually “standing in line.” Clubs with open bars will be notoriously short-staffed to avoid handing out too many drinks, meaning you get to wait far too long for a drink. Before you even reach the bar, though, you’ll have done tons of waiting: waiting for your ride and waiting to get inside. The night is just one long wait until you can ring in the new year with your loved one — unless they’re off waiting for something, too.

A C Lazy U Ranch, we make sure that all guests are taken care of — and you never have to wait. There’s no waiting line to get inside the Main Lodge, and you’ll get your drink as soon as you ask for it. In fact, we’ll be the ones waiting on you!

4. Get rid of the hosting duties.

House parties and small gatherings are also popular ways to spend New Year’s Eve, but they come with their own problems, especially if you’re hosting the party. You’ll have to make sure there’s food and drinks — either homemade or catered, but they are both an added expense — music and entertainment as well as somewhere for partygoers to crash if they’ve had just a bit too much fun. And then there’s the cleanup the morning after.

At the ranch, there’s none of the responsibility. You’re a party guest at C Lazy U Ranch, but you’re still in control of what you want to do — it’s all the fun stuff, none of the bother. Have a round of drinks with fellow guests, take a spin on the dance floor and tuck in after midnight in a bed that you don’t have to make up in the morning.

5. Have some unique fun.

It may be fun to reminisce and clink glasses to the same people at the same house for the tenth or 20th time, but you should always welcome a new experience. C Lazy U Ranch holds on to the best parts of these parties, but adds its own little spin for its own special New Year’s Eve celebration. The kids and teens can take part in their own program during the day, while the adults go out and explore the ranch on snowshoe or skis. A horse-drawn sleigh ride in the late morning gets appetites going for lunch; afterwards, everyone can cheer each other on in an ice hockey game on the pond.

The evenings leading up to New Year’s Eve are filled with special entertainment: carnival game nights, karaoke in the Patio House and more. On the big night itself, everyone gets a chance to ride a mechanical bull, listen to the tunes of a live band and dance the night away with family and new friends.

New Year’s Eve doesn’t have to go by the book (or film, for that matter). This year, celebrate New Year’s Eve in a way that the whole family can enjoy and remember together.

New Years At The Ranch

Our all-inclusive New Year’s Family Vacation is a celebration you won’t soon forget. Leading up to the big day, participate in fun family activities and exclusive adults-only events. Then, ring in the new year in style at our annual New Year’s Eve bash. Read on to learn what you can expect from this year’s festivities!


Kids and Teens Program 

Our holiday winter kids and teens program sponsors daily, age-appropriate activities for guests’ children. Your child can participate in arts & crafts, ice skating, sledding, and a myriad of other indoor and outdoor activities. Enjoy breakfast and lunch together as a family and let your children choose which program activities they’d like to attend. Advanced sign up for the program is not necessary, and all kids ages 3-17 are welcome to enjoy the activities. 

girl holding candy

During the day, families can have their children join the program or do various on-ranch activities together. Each night, the kids and teens program sponsors a special activity while the adults eat separately. The evening program includes activities like a movie night, a skate night, and even a carnival night, where young guests can play skee ball, balloon darts, ring toss, and other carnival games. 

Family Activities 

If children don’t participate in the daytime kids and teens program, families can sign up for a number of activities in the Outfitter’s Cabin. Go on a winter horseback ride as a family, see the sights on a guided snowshoeing or cross-country skiing excursion, or try your hand at trap shooting, archery, hatchet throwing, or BB gun practice.  

girl on sled

During the New Year’s Vacation program, the ranch also offers special, after-dinner entertainment each evening. Watch our live guitar show, featuring Rob Drabkin, a Denver singer/songwriter. Later in the week, sharpen your own musical chops with our family-friendly karaoke night. And of course, you’re welcome to finish off any night with hot chocolate and s’mores by the fire.  

The New Year’s Eve Party 

 Adults, teens, and children alike come together to ring in the new year. The party starts around 8:30 with live music by Sean Curtis. Along with the band and the dance floor, guests can enjoy mechanical bull riding, refreshments, finger foods, and of course, champagne. To help our youngest guests celebrate the new year, there’s a ball drop celebration when the clock hits 10. For our older guests, we celebrate again at midnight with a countdown and another champagne toast.   

Champagne glasses at the C Lazy U New Year's Eve party

Call (970) 364-0412 today to reserve your spot at our 2019 New Year’s Family Vacation. See you soon!

On the Way to Relaxation With Om On Yoga

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 by Om On Yoga.

4 women doing yoga poses

Yoga in the Mountains

Om On Yoga, based in Richmond, Virginia, will travel with certified personal trainer and E-RYT 200 yoga teacher Elizabeth Fuqua to C Lazy U Ranch for a unique yoga retreat in the Rockies. From October 24–28, attendees can quiet their minds and strengthen their bodies through daily yoga sessions in one of the most beautiful locations in the world. Imagine greeting the morning with a sun salutation at a scenic overlook of a gentle river, preparing your body for the day’s adventures — and then finishing it with a massage at the Lazy You Spa.

Om On Yoga has partnered with C Lazy U Ranch to offer the best in both their repertoires: immersive yoga experiences plus the excitement of a real dude ranch. Guests can enjoy horseback riding and the ranch’s whole range of indoor and outdoor activities, such as hiking, biking and fly fishing, as well as delicious gourmet meals and a cozy, luxurious cabin to sleep in.

About Om On Yoga

Om On Yoga, based in Richmond, Virginia, handcrafts experiences for once-in-a-lifetime adventures. Each retreat they offer not only offers yoga in trendy yet down-to-earth locations around the world, but the chance to immerse yourself in the local culture, indulge in delicious yet nourishing food, participate in mind- and body-enriching activities, and simply unplug from busy lives.

Om On Yoga carefully handpicks its sites so that each retreat has the ideal natural environment to center your mind — and this time, C Lazy U Ranch is the place. Book your spot at the Om On Yoga Retreat to get into the Zen zone.

Our First Snow- Have You Planned Your Thanksgiving Family Vacation at the Ranch Yet?

First snow 2011
Snow dusts the nearby hillsides will golden Aspen trees stand fast in the foreground.

While Fall is still visible in the golden hues of the Aspen leaves clinging stubbornly to their branches, the folks around here are taking our first snow as the signal to start preparing the ranch for all those that will be visiting for their winter family vacation this Thanksgiving, and all holiday season. I always get really excited this time of year, mostly because I can’t pull my cart in the snow, which means 9 months of vacation! But, I’m not as selfish as I sound, much to the surprise of many, I would sadly assume (I’m so misunderstood by some of my peers), because I see the winter as more than a siesta from work- it’s a time when the ranch get’s really quiet- a calm falls over everything with the snow. But it’s such a fascinating thing, because the ranch is anything from calm- kids tube in hay meadows that earlier in the year produced the hay that my herd and I will eat the duration of the winter, others skate on the pond during the daily hockey game in the afternoon or whiz down the tubing hill. Others go out on trail rides; the ranch is a bustling mecca filled with people having, what I can only assume is the best holiday family vacation of their lives, based on the loud cheers, laughter and play going on all around me.

friends tubing down snow

And, I can appreciate the start of the C Lazy U Ranch’s holiday season beginning with Thanksgiving- it’s the eating holiday! I fully support it as someone that…could stand to lose a few pounds (I don’t see it, but it’s what I’ve been told), because everybody is always happier with a full belly, and what better place to be happy and surrounded by family than at the C Lazy U Ranch, celebrating all that is good in the world on a Thanksgiving family vacation?!

Well, all this talk of eating has gotten me hungry, so this is where I sign off. But before I do, on a completely different note- BIG shout out to Tim Tebow and the Broncos for an impress show of discipline (finally!) in their near comeback this Saturday- we love you guys, keep it up… and if you’re ever thinking about getting rid of that pony mascot of yours and trading up, give me a holler!

Past Guests Share Their Favorite Memories of C Lazy U

C Lazy U ranch memories

We recently asked our fans on Facebook to share their favorite memory of the ranch. You all did not disappoint! Thanks for sharing your memories and making us smile, laugh, and reminisce on great times with you. We learned you love the oasis of fun and relaxation that a vacation at the ranch provides. Also, apparently love is in the air at the ranch as love stories was one of the most common memory shared!

Please read on for quotes from some of our favorite memories shared. Make sure to check back to the blog this summer, as we will to continue to feature some of these stories and memories with you – our extended family at the ranch!

Don’t forget to book your next Colorado family vacation to C Lazy U soon to start creating more memories that will last a lifetime.

P.S. We miss you too!!

What is Your Favorite Memory at C Lazy U?

“When I was a wrangler and met my future wife a guest at the time, among many other great memories.”
-Steve S.

“Arriving, relaxing at the patio house and having tears to my eyes thinking “I can’t believe we are here!”. Such a blessing!”
-Tammy J.

“The view, the staff, my kids seeing the moose up close, feeding the horses, we loved everything about the ranch , can’t wait to go back! !!!” ♡
– Jenni C.

“Helping out on a morning wrangle, sun wasn’t up yet and the moon was still out, with Tom the wrangler singing “Midnight Rider”.”
-Elizabeth S.

“Being able to exhale, NOT being given a room key because “cabins don’t have locks” and watching my son ride in the showdeo!”
-Terri F.

“Meeting and becoming friends with my husband when we worked at the ranch in the 80’s”
– Jennifer D-L.

“The staff and feeling healthy.”
-Kathy N-C.

“On one ride my horse had a miss step, and I was able to walk him back to the ranch and then I was able to take off his saddle and rub him down. Just as he was my own! I was able to bond with him and he had some relax time. That with the sheer beauty of the land and the ranch. I was 18 and the first time alone on a vacation,at first lone some for home by the end I did not want to come home.”
– Roberta L-H.

“Meeting my husband! #bestsummerever”
– Britney J-G.

“Dawn Cone(sp?) singing El Paso inside the lodge…”
– David G.

“Learning how to dance with the Jacobs boys. Kevin, Trip, Max, Clay. And the endless possibilities in the kitchen. And mountain drives. There’s too many memories. Oh man, and the dances in the old barn out back. Epic.”
-Yuliya A.

“Playing kick the can in front of the barn. “Olly olly oxen freeeeeee!!!””
– Adam N.

“if the 1/2 mile driveway down the ranch road could speak it would have a lifetime of stories! When you turn down that driveway IT is like walking into the wardrobe of the Lion witch and wardrobe! Into a land of happiness! I can write a book on all the great memories! Yellow brick road! Dawns point keyhole! Just a small taste of happiness! All these years later the beauty never changes! We all live in a fast paced world! But look for peace and complacency! That is what c lazy u offers guest or employee! Best job ever! I miss big Bertha! Love!”
– Andy R.

Petey Paparazzi

Hello to all my loyal blog readers- it’s been a while… but holy cow has it been a busy summer! I have to say that the thing that took up most of my time was posing for pictures with all of you at Rockies games, or during your stays at the ranch. I’ve never felt so very loved before- thank you all so much for spending time with me, taking pictures with me, and participating in the Petey Paparazzi contest that we helpd(there were a lot of pictures submitted). I especially want to give a shout out to the winner of our contest: Lori Ruf’s daughter! I still remember this kiss- it was a good one… thanks so much for loving me!


Petey the Donkey is our amazing dude ranch mascot (and a shameless lover of hugs and kisses).
Petey the Donkey is our amazing dude ranch mascot (and a shameless lover of hugs and kisses).

I have so much more to update you one (the fall has hit the ranch in a big way, so we’ve got lot’s of pictures to show you!). Stand by for more, as I’m back on line and raring to tell you all about ranch life these days!


Plan Your Fall Wedding In Colorado At C Lazy U

Fall is Colorado’s best kept secret. With brilliant orange, red, and yellow leaves lighting up the landscape and crisp, sunny weather, autumn is truly a show-stopping affair in the Centennial state.

wedding isle

What better way to celebrate your love than surrounded by so much beauty and color? If you’re planning a fall wedding in Colorado, read on for our top reasons why C Lazy U is the perfect location for your big day.  

Experience An Authentic Ranch Wedding 

There may be plenty of barns to rent for your wedding, but those locations can’t hold up to the charm and versatility that a real working ranch can offer. With over 200 horses, 3 adorable Sicilian donkeys, and 8,500 acres of land to explore, weddings at C Lazy U are authentic and unforgettable.

wedding inside dining

Customize your day to meet your vision – choose from 4 breathtaking outdoor locations or elegant indoor spaces. As a working luxury guest ranch, your wish is C Lazy U’s command! 

Enjoy Beautiful Weather & Unforgettable Views

Fall in the Rocky Mountains is the perfect blend of sunshine and autumn chill. In early fall, enjoy highs in the upper 60s. Towards October and November, guests cozy up to colder temperatures as the season settles in. No matter when your fall wedding is scheduled, you and your guests will enjoy gorgeous panoramic views of the Colorado Rockies and all the flora and fauna it holds. Colorado’s bright fall foliage photographs particularly well, and you’ll enjoy the pops of color in each photo for years to come.  

All-Inclusive Ranch Wedding In Colorado

On your big day, we don’t want you to worry about anything. When you book your wedding weekend at C Lazy U, you’ll enjoy everything the ranch has to offer. Develop signature cocktails with our mixologist, partner with our pastry chef to design your wedding cake, and work with our in-house chef to plan a gourmet meal for your reception.

bride and groom cabin signs

You’ll also enjoy private rooms for bridesmaids and groomsmen, gourmet food each day, and our secluded honeymoon cabin.  From your arrival to your departure, C Lazy U’s wedding coordinator will be with you every step of the way to ensure your event is as magical as you’d hoped.   

Spend Quality Time With Your Guests 

Between photographs, hair and makeup, cake cutting, and other wedding traditions, many wedding couples can’t spend a lot of quality time with each of their loved ones.

horse with wedding flowers

A destination wedding at C Lazy U ranch offers the perfect opportunity to reunite with friends and family. With tons of included activities like horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, you’ll have ample opportunities to spend quality time with those you love. 

wedding dining area

C Lazy U is here to make your wedding day as special as possible. If you’re interested in planning your fall destination wedding at C Lazy U, contact us today! We can’t wait to help you celebrate your big day.   

Plan Your Family Reunion At C Lazy U Dude Ranch

Whether you’re reconnecting with a dozen cousins or creating an event for hundreds of relatives, planning a successful family reunion can be a challenge. Luckily, C Lazy U makes it easy. This all-inclusive dude ranch is set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and offers breathtaking views, mouthwatering food, and plenty of activities for every member of the family.  Learn more about planning your next family reunion (large or small) at C Lazy U!  

horses under the c lazy u entry

Best Family Vacation Destination In The West 

For years, C Lazy U has been named a top family vacation destination in the US, and it’s no wonder why! With outstanding family-friendly activities like horseback riding, fly fishing, mountain biking, snowshoeing, and more, your entire family can make unforgettable memories together. In addition to adventures fit for the whole family, C Lazy U offers a specialized Kids & Teens Program to help kids ages 3-17 bond with their peers, explore the ranch, and participate in age-appropriate activities. While the children are at play, the adults in your family can visit the Lazy You Spa or enjoy more challenging activities like trap shooting

Gourmet Meals Specialized For You

Don’t worry about your uncle’s gluten allergy or making your cousin a vegetarian-friendly alternative – we’ll do it for you! C Lazy U’s gourmet chef whips up three delectable meals every day, customized on your family’s unique dietary preferences. With the perfect balance of flavors and farm-to-table ingredients, every meal will become an experience you can enjoy and look back on fondly.  

Endless Bonding Activities

At C Lazy U, bonding activities are endless. Bond with your family on the ropes course, take in Colorado’s beauty on hiking or mountain biking trails, or take it easy and enjoy each other’s company poolside. Meals are served family-style, allowing you to truly “share” your meal with your family. Even our luxury lodging provides opportunities to bond. Most of our cabins are equipped with real, wood-burning fireplaces, so you can swap stories while watching the fire.   

Room for Everyone

With sprawling acres of land and multiple cabins, C Lazy U offers more than enough room for everyone. Large family reunions can book the entire ranch, allowing you to truly customize your family reunion experience. Smaller groups can book individual rooms and full private cabins of varying sizes. With so many lodging options, there’s enough room for everyone to enjoy the reunion comfortably.  

people hanging around fire pit

At C Lazy U, the entire family can enjoy endless entertainment, delicious meals, and quality bonding time. Make your next family reunion one to remember by contacting us today!  

Plan Your Family’s Next Long Weekend Getaway At C Lazy U

The best family vacation destinations for a long weekend getaway should strike the perfect balance between being kid-friendly and helping parents relax and unwind. C Lazy U, Colorado’s premier guest ranch, offers that and more. Not only will your family love our unique kid-friendly activities and luxurious relaxation opportunities for adults, but our guest ranch is all-inclusive – meaning your family can have all of the fun with none of the stress that comes from planning a daily itinerary. Interested in planning your family’s next long weekend? Read on to learn why C Lazy U is the perfect family vacation destination! 

kids on horses

Kid-Friendly Vacation Destination 

C Lazy U lets every kid live out the adventure of their dreams. From year-round activities like horseback riding, trap shooting, and archery, to seasonal specialties like ice skating, tubing, and snowshoeing, there’s something for every child. Our renowned Kids & Teens Program offers opportunities for kids of all ages to participate in exciting activities with trained counselors and peers, so your child can have the time of their life – while giving you some much-needed relaxation time. Our program welcomes children as young as 3, so even the youngest kids can participate! 

Read More: Experiences For The Under 6 Crowd

Relaxing Activities 

Let yourself sit back, relax, and enjoy your weekend in luxury. While your children are enjoying our kid’s program, visit the Lazy You spa for some pampering. From massages and facials to our signature Cowboy Soak, you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.  

A campfire lit outside the Patio House at dusk
The pool and hot tub outside of the Patio House are a great place to relax and unwind on your Colorado vacation.

Luxury Accommodations 

The fun doesn’t stop when your family heads back to your room. We offer individual rooms and full private cabins of varying sizes and decor. Many of our cabins feature stone fireplaces, western decor, and personal touches that will make you feel immediately at home. Children’s rooms are specially outfitted with twin beds or bunk beds.   

Crowd-Pleasing Dining 

At C Lazy U, you don’t have to worry about finding a restaurant that will please your picky eaters. Our highly-trained kitchen staff whips up three mouthwatering meals each day and are experts at customizing meals to satisfy every palate and dietary restriction.  

dining area

Plan Your All-Inclusive Family Vacation

C Lazy U makes it effortless to plan a family vacation that will please every member of your family.  Whether you’re looking for exciting family-friendly activities, opportunities to relax, or some unscheduled family bonding time, we have it all. Long weekend specials are available for in early 2022 and over President’s Day Weekend and Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, so don’t wait to book your unforgettable family vacation!

Plan Your Romantic Getaway At The Ranch

Whether you’re looking for a unique Valentine’s Day getaway, a romantic weekend trip, or the perfect honeymoon destination, C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect backdrop for you to celebrate your love. Set in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, this luxurious, all-inclusive Colorado dude ranch gives you the opportunity to take in spectacular views, experience unforgettable adventures, and enjoy quality time as a couple.

couple on romantic c lazy u trip

Read on to learn how to make your visit to C Lazy U your most romantic trip yet. 


Glamping at the ranch is a romantic highlight for many couples who visit during the summertime. Glamping, or “glamorous camping,” gives you the opportunity to escape to our famous Conestoga Wagon, where you’ll enjoy a roaring fire, a s’mores kit, and the endless starry sky.

glamping at c lazy u

When you’ve enjoyed the Colorado wilderness in style, retreat to the comfort of the wagon to enjoy a spacious interior featuring a king-size bed, a table for two, and modern amenities. Featured in HoneyTrek’s book, Comfortably Wild: The Best Glamping Destinations in North America, glamping at C Lazy U dude Ranch is a romantic experience you and your loved one won’t want to miss. 

Spa Day 

A spa day enhances every romantic vacation, and The Lazy U Spa delivers the perfect blend of relaxation, comfort, and elegance.  As one of Colorado’s most unique spas, The Lazy U Spa is comprised of 6 luxurious tents that overlook the Willow Creek. We offer traditional treatments like facials, manicures, and pedicures, but we also provide exclusive services you won’t see anywhere else.

bathtubs at the spa

Enjoy a couples massage in a tent suspended over the river, and watch the water rush by under the glass floor throughout your treatment. Or, indulge in our signature “Cowboy Soak,” where  you and your loved one can relish a moonlight soak in therapeutic copper tubs and take in the scenic Continental Divide Mountain Range. Complete with champagne and strawberries, a visit to our spa is sure to be one for the books! 

Horseback Riding 

Our world-class horseback riding program gives your honeymoon or romantic getaway the perfect touch of adventure. Our experienced Director of Equine Operations and wrangler team will pair you with your perfect (equestrian) match.

couple riding horses

Attend a “double date” with the horses on daily trail rides, or bond with your partner through horsemanship clinics and classes. At C Lazy U Ranch, riding is a part of our life year-round, so enjoy spring, summer, fall, and winter horseback rides! 

Hiking and Snowshoeing 

For a romantic summer vacation activity, explore the 8,500 acres of ranch together. For an extra touch of romance, grab a bottle of wine, two glasses, and hike up to Woodsie, where you’ll find an unobstructed view of the Willow Creek Reservoir and Indian Peaks Mountain range. If you’re honeymooning or visiting the ranch in winter, pick up a bottle of champagne and some snowshoes and hike out to our private warming hut for a cozy afternoon together.  

Nights By The Fire 

As one of the most romantic places in Colorado, we’ve furnished each of our cabins with wood-burning fireplaces. After your day exploring, relaxing, or adventuring, light a crackling fire and enjoy some quality time together.

inside of a cabin

C Lazy U is a unique vacation destination that is sure to leave you and your partner with lifelong memories. Whether you’re looking for a restful, rejuvenating experience or an adventure you can bond over, our Colorado guest ranch is the perfect choice for your next romantic vacation or honeymoon. We’ll see you on the ranch soon! 

Planning a Perfect Family Spring Break Vacation in Colorado

Colorado is one of the most popular destinations for spring break, primarily thanks to springtime snow and its unmatched slopes for skiing — but not everyone wants to spend a whole week speeding downhill. To make sure everyone in the family (including the adults!) has a great time over spring break, plan your family spring break wisely. A Colorado spring break awaits!

two people riding down snow in tubes

Pick the Right Location in Colorado

Colorado has lots of sights to see and things to do, but it’s a big state — unless you plan on seeing the sights from inside a car, it’s often not feasible to see everything in just a week. Instead of hopping from Denver to the national parks to Boulder and back again, pick one spot that’s got everything you need: family-friendly activities, things to do for the adults, nature, entertainment and a comfortable place to relax.

Ski resorts are popular spots for spring break in Colorado, but sometimes you want a little bit more variety on your vacation. Instead, opt for a dude ranch: it’s got the opportunity for outdoor fun, but plenty to do indoors and tons of Colorado culture to soak in.

Book in Advance…

Spring break is a popular time to travel, so if you’re planning on flying to Colorado, book your flights at least six months in advance. You may be able to find last-minute tickets for cheaper, but there’s no guarantee.

Booking a place to stay is just as important; dude ranches can fill up quickly due to limited cabins and intentionally smaller group sizes. For a dude ranch such as C Lazy U Ranch, aim to book your spring break vacation a few months in advance as well. Booking so far in advance ensures that you get your choice in cabin as well as the opportunity to book off-ranch excursions or on-ranch activities ahead of time.

…But Look for the Deals

That being said, sometimes being a little spontaneous does pay off. Your choice destination may not fill up for the spring break season, so it’s always worth it to check last-minute deals and special offers to see where you can save.

C Lazy U is offering special discounted spring break packages for those who haven’t yet made any plans — if you’re on the fence about a Colorado vacation, we’d be happy to have you at the ranch!

Prepare for the Weather

If you’ve never been to Colorado in the springtime, be prepared: it’s nothing like Mexico. The weather behaves like it’s still winter, with chilly temperatures and heavy snowfall. March is known to the snowiest month in much of the region.

Make sure you pack the right clothing for the spring, especially for the little ones. If they’re too busy shivering, they’re not having fun! Get yourself prepared for a Colorado spring break by making sure you have these items in your suitcase:

  • Snowsuits or snow pants and jackets
  • Wool clothing
  • Snow boots
  • Gloves or mittens
  • Hats and scarves

One final item is often left off the list for those who don’t spend much time around the snow: sunscreen. Sun reflects very well off the snow, and you can get a sunburn even in the winter. Check out the full winter packing list to ensure you bring everything you need.

Schedule Kids-Only Time…

Family vacations are a balancing act: you want the children to have fun, but you, as the adult, want to relax. Instead of powering through a kid-centric spring vacation with little time for the grownups or dragging kids around “boring” museums, make sure that you all have time to yourselves.

Many dude ranches, including C Lazy U Ranch, offer tailored kids programs to keep them entertained during the day. While the kids are off having fun and making friends, the adults can enjoy themselves out on the trails or get some much-needed relaxation in the spa. Too much time together as a family can sometimes breed frustration with each other — so make sure that you give everyone some breathing room.

…But Get Enough Family Togetherness

A family spring break vacation doesn’t bring the family closer if there is no actual time spent together. One of the best parts of a spring break vacation at a Colorado dude ranch is the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company. After the kids program has finished for the day, families gather together in the evening around a cozy bonfire, snuggled under a blanket or in their own private cabins.

Because you’ve spent part of the day apart, you’ll have fun stories to share with each other and plenty to talk about — perhaps bonding more fully than you could have had you spent the entire day together.

Let the Kids Make Some Decisions

Your kids are an important part of your family — so let them feel important by allowing them to choose what you do together. Colorado’s beautiful natural surroundings offer so much to do during the still snow-covered spring season: skiing, tubing, ice hockey, snowshoeing, horseback riding and much more. Perhaps your children would like to feel like an adult and hit the spa — whatever their choice is, make sure you make a reservation!

Spring break in Colorado is generally all about the snow, but there is so much more to do than simply skiing. If you’re planning a spring break vacation in Colorado, you’ll have a wealth of opportunity to keep the kids entertained while the adults enjoy a stress-free retreat from everyday life.

Planning the Perfect Rustic Ranch Wedding


If you have your heart set on a country wedding or a rustic wedding, there’s no better venue choice than a ranch. While there are plenty of barns for rent, these locations have been dolled up as wedding venues and have often lost the true charm only a working ranch can offer.

Ranches that host weddings often offer all-inclusive wedding packages, including on-site lodging, a location and catering for the rehearsal dinner and everything you’ll need for getting ready, the ceremony and the reception.

A ranch wedding is ideal for the couple who loves to be outdoors among nature and who are looking for their wedding to be throwback to a simpler time. If you dream of your wedding photos having mountains, a lake, a meadow or even a herd of horses in the background, a ranch is the perfect fit.

What will your dream ranch wedding look like? Take these ideas and inspiration for attire, flowers, décor, favors and more into consideration.

Wedding Attire

The rustic, natural setting of a ranch wedding pairs beautifully with a vintage inspired gown or veil – the perfect excuse to incorporate your mother’s or grandmother’s veil into your special day. Lace goes particularly well with this this setting. Whether you’re dreaming of the whitest white dress, something a little off-white or even a light pink or soft blue, they’ll all look perfect when your backdrop is nature and a rustic barn.

Vintage Lace Wedding Dress

For bridesmaids, it’s best to stick to shorter dresses. While floor length gowns are gorgeous, they can be a bit formal for a ranch setting and can get dusty and dirty when walking around outside and in a barn. Opting for shorter dresses lets bride embrace one of the hottest bridesmaids trends for country weddings – bridesmaids in cowboy boots. It’s the perfect nod to the rustic setting and a pretty, yet practical, shoe choice.

Rustic bridesmaids with cowboy boots

For the groom and groomsmen, jeans are perfectly acceptable at a ranch wedding and can look stunning and different. For “ranch formal,” pair dark wash jeans with dress shirts, vests, ties and blazers. Or dress the guys in fresh jeans, starched button down shirts and cowboy hats for a more relaxed, but still dressy, look. Either look can (and should) be topped off with a belt buckle – they make great groomsman gifts.


Flowers are always a beautiful part of a wedding, but when you’re having a wedding that ties as closely into nature as a ranch wedding does, they hold a little extra charm. The rustic outdoor setting of your ranch wedding opens up a world of possibilities when to comes to wedding flowers.

All or mostly white bouquets pop against the bright green surroundings and look elegant once you’re inside the barn. Bouquets that incorporate a lot of greenery have an earthier feel and look amazing during fall weddings when the landscape is burning bright with autumn leaves or winter weddings when the backdrop is pearly white snow. And of course, a bouquet of wildflowers is never out of place or “too informal” for a ranch wedding.

Rustic wedding flowers

For your center pieces and decorative flowers, you can keep it simple, small and quaint or take advantage of the grand expanses to support large arrangements.

Wedding ceremony flowers

Wedding alter pieces

Wedding reception flower centerpieces

The Ceremony

Ranches are typically nestled in the middle of wide open spaces and house several buildings, meaning you have plenty of options when looking for the perfect ceremony location. For outdoor ceremonies, tour locations that overlook a lake, a meadow, mountains, trees or rustic buildings. If you’re concerned about weather, opt for a ceremony inside a barn or lodge.

If a grand entrance is on your mind, make it particularly special by arriving on a horse or in a horse drawn carriage. This is a particularly special option for couples who are avid horseback riders or live or work on a ranch of their own. “Riding off into the sunset” with your beloved after the ceremony makes for amazing photos.

Horse drawn carriage wedding entrance

When it comes to ceremony seating, forget the ugly folding chairs. At a ranch wedding, wooden benches are a natural, beautiful, and rustic-elegant seating choice. Reminiscent of time around the camp fire, benches can seat a large number of people while still maintain the natural elegance of your surroundings. Hay bales may be another option. Line them up, scatter them around randomly, or arrange them in a semi-circle or full circle around the altar. Toss a blanket on top of each bale to make it more comfortable for your guests.

Must-Have Wedding Photos

You’re having your wedding at a ranch – take advantage of it! There are some many amazing outdoor areas and backdrops for your wedding photos when you’re on a ranch, particularly if you’re at a ranch in a mountainous region. Take your wedding photos by lakes, streams, meadows, forests, pastures, mountain overlooks, whichever areas catch your eye or that your photographer thinks will make for stunning photos.

Mountain wedding photos

If you’re on a working or vacation ranch, take some especially memorable and different photos by taking advantage of the ranch’s resident animals. Whether you opt to pose with an animal or just use them as a stunning backdrop, your wedding album will definitely be unlike any other. On some ranches, you might even get lucky enough to catch a shot with curious wildlife.

Ranch wedding photo with horses

The Reception

Barns are the latest wedding venue trend and a ranch will have plenty of space for you to customize. Ask what items the ranch has that you can incorporate into your cocktail hour and reception, such as hay bales, barrels, wagon wheels or even an entire old-fashioned cowboy chuck wagon.

Cocktail hour at a ranch wedding

For a rustic-chic look, decorate your reception with earth-tone colors, mason jars, old boxes and tins, burlap and lace. Hollowed out logs make beautiful, rustic flower holders and can be used standing up or laying down in just about any size for unique center pieces. Or keep things country-classic with gingham table cloths over picnic tables and linen napkins tied with twine.

Barn wedding reception

If you want to keep with the ranch theme, opt for dinner items like steak and wild game, or casual ranch eats like burgers and BBQ. For dessert, ask your baker about textured frosting finishes to keep the cake from looking too modern and formal. Or embrace your true inner cowboy or cowgirl and serve a selection of pies for dessert.

Rustic chic wedding cake

 Wedding Favors

Still mulling over wedding favor ideas? Surprise your guests with a custom branded keepsake – you’re on a ranch after all! Whether you want to use the ranch’s brand to remind your guests of the amazing day, or use your own personalized brand to commemorate your new life together, ranch wranglers will gladly brand your wood or leather favors during your reception.

Rustic branded wedding favor

Tips for Planning Your Ranch Wedding

Now that you’re in love with the idea of a having a ranch wedding almost as much as you’re in love with your fiancé, it’s times to choose the perfect ranch. Many ranches throughout the United States, particularly in the West, host weddings. When you’re looking for the perfect venue for your event, ask the following questions:

  • When does the ranch allow weddings?
  • How many guests can the ranch accommodate for weddings?
  • Will the ranch be open to others during your wedding or can you rent the entire location?
  • Does the ranch offer transportation from the nearest airport?
  • What’s included in the wedding package?
  • Can the ranch recommend vendors for any services not included?
  • Can you visit (or see photos of) the ceremony and reception location options?
  • Can you see photos of the ceremony and reception options during the season your wedding will take place during?
  • Does the ranch have any special photo locations or opportunities?
  • What makes the ranch special for weddings?

The ranch’s wedding coordinator (like C Lazy U’s Heather Peters) should be happy to answer all your questions and help plan your big day.

Have your wedding at C Lazy U Guest Ranch in beautiful Colorado.

Prime Fly Fishing Season is Near

C Lazy U fishing guide Parker Smith discusses his passion for fly fishing on the below installment of “Colorado Stories,” a series about the people, places and passion found in the great state of Colorado. Parker’s clearly excited about the Ranch’s upcoming prime fishing season; are you?

Fish Head: A Colorado Story from Clear Summit Productions on Vimeo.

Learn more about C Lazy U’s Orvis endorsement, guided fishing program, two miles of private stream, private fishing permits and the other angling opportunities at the C Lazy U guest ranch.

Quadruped of the Month- June

So it’s taken me a little while to pick June’s quadruped of the month, but we’ve got a lot of terrific candidates.  After much debate, however, I’ve decided on this beauty (we call her Rose):


Rose is new to the ranch, as of this year, and she has already been dubbed a favorite by many.
Rose is new to the ranch, as of this year, and she has already been dubbed a favorite by many.


Now Rose is a very interesting horse as she already has several brands on her (if you’ve ever been to the C Lazy U you’ll know that some of our horses have our brand on them too, but her’s are different)- take a closer look:

Rose has a clover brand on her rump
Rose has a clover brand on her rump


And a second brand on her shoulder
And a second brand on her shoulder


Why does she have so many brands, you might be wondering. Well, branding has been in practice for hundreds of thousands of year (even the ancient Egyptians did it), always as a way of marking livestock to make them easily identifiable, as often times, before the advent of barbed wire, for example, cattle were allowed to be free range, and many ranches grazed their cattle herds together. It also became more popular as the theft of livestock grew, as the brand offered an easy way to prove ownership of a missing animal. While in ancient Rome the brand was often a portion of a spell that they marked their livestock with to protect them from harm, brands now tend to signify the ranch or family name (the C Lazy U brand, for example dates back to the founding of the ranch under its current name, and is based on the path that our river took as it flowed through the property, forming a large “C” and a sideways, or lazy, “U” on the land). I’m not sure where Rose’s brands come from (they were inspected prior to her sale, however, to ensure the the selling party had proper paperwork to match each of the brands to an exchange), but you can be sure of one thing- her brands, like the ones at the C Lazy U, did not cause her any pain.

There are a few different methods of branding: hot branding is the historic method, and thus the kind that most people think of, but Rose, and the horses at the C Lazy U are branded by a new method called freeze branding. This difference is exactly what the name suggests: hot branding means sticking a branding iron into the fire until it glows red hot, and then pressing that brand against the hide of the animal, damaging that hide as it is done. Freeze branding is the act of getting that branding iron very cold, through the use of a chemical like dry ice, and then pressing it again the hide of the animal for just long enough to damage the pigment cells of the hair, so that the hair always grows in white, rather than colored, as you see is the case with the brands on Rose.


Examples of hot branding irons

To apply a freeze brand, the brander shaves the hair where the brand is to be applied, and immediately before the cold brand is applied, the animal’s skin is rubbed with high proof rubbing alcohol. The brand is then only set against the hide for several seconds, long enough to damage the hair follicles (actual length of times depends on the breed of animal, type of metal used to create the brand, and color of the skin). Once removed the skin will appear swollen for several minutes, but will eventually reduce down, and the brand will be almost impossible to see for several days, until the dead skin starts flaking from the area. After a few months, the results of the permanent free brand will appear as the new white hair grows back.

Well, now that you know a little bit more about Rose, and what makes her unique in our herd, let’s give it up for her, our Quadruped of the Month for June!

Quadruped of the Month- May


I’m pleased to introduce you to this month’s quadruped of the month: her name is Spot and she is new to the ranch as of this April!

The sassy swish of her tail had me the first time that I saw her
The sassy swish of her tail had me the first time that I saw her


Spot isn’t the thinnest horse in the herd, but I like a girl that can eat so it’s no problem to me- she’s actually built low to the ground and stalky- she’d be a great barrel racer (or as you humans call it she’s a Ferrari).  The reason that I picked her for this month’s Quadruped of the Month is because I think we need to recognize the beauty of Paint Horses- historically, Paint Horses were overlooked by some because of their bold markings, but now they are very much valued for their temperaments, versatility and athletic ability. In fact, because of their color and performance, flashy, spotted horses soon became a favorite mount of the American Indian, as free roaming horse herds generously populated the western plains by the early 1800s. The Comanche Indians, considered by many authorities to be the finest horsemen on the Plains, favored loud-colored horses and had many among their immense herds. Evidence of this favoritism is exhibited by drawings of spotted horses found on the painted buffalo robes that served as records for the Comanches.

A question I hear a lot is what makes this horse a Paint, but other horses with spots are considered Appaloosa. Well, the distinction is this: a Paint Horse has a minimum amount of white hair that grows over pink, unpigmented skin (as opposed to Appies who can have black skin, etc. and different color spots too). With that said, Paint Horses can still come in a variety of colors: black, bay, brown, roan, buckskin, dun, gray, grullo, perlino, smoky cream, chestnut, cremello, palomino, red dun, sorrel, or champagne, all with white spots. People have also named the different patterns that Paints spots come in, for example: overo, tobiano, and tovero. Below are a few examples of these different pattern types:

The dark color usually covers one or both flanks. Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees. Generally, the spots are regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield. Head markings are like those of a solid-colored horse--solid, or with a blaze, strip, star or snip.
Tobiano: The dark color usually covers one or both flanks.
Generally, all four legs are white, at least below the hocks and knees.
Generally, the spots are regular and distinct as ovals or round patterns that extend down over the neck and chest, giving the appearance of a shield.
Head markings are like those of a solid-colored horse–solid, or with a blaze, strip, star or snip.

Dark pigmentation around the ears, which may expand to cover the forehead and/or eyes. One or both eyes blue. Dark pigmentation around the mouth, which may extend up the sides of the face and form spots. Chest spot(s) in varying sizes. These may also extend up the neck. Flank spot(s) ranging in size. These are often accompanied by smaller spots that extend forward across the barrel, and up over the loin.
Tovero: Dark pigmentation around the ears, which may expand to cover the forehead and/or eyes.
One or both eyes blue.
Dark pigmentation around the mouth, which may extend up the sides of the face and form spots.
Chest spot(s) in varying sizes. These may also extend up the neck.
Flank spot(s) ranging in size. These are often accompanied by smaller spots that extend forward across the barrel, and up over the loin.

The white usually will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail. Generally, at least one and often all four legs are dark. Generally, the white is irregular, and is rather scattered or splashy. Head markings are distinctive, often bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced.
Overo: The white usually will not cross the back of the horse between its withers and its tail.
Generally, at least one and often all four legs are dark.
Generally, the white is irregular, and is rather scattered or splashy.
Head markings are distinctive, often bald-faced, apron-faced or bonnet-faced.

Our Horse Kiowa is a good example of a Tobiano.

Our horse, Blue Eyes, is a good example of a Tovero.

Our Quadruped of the Month, Spot, is a good example of an Overo.

So, now that you know a little bit more about Paints, see if you can’t identify a pattern of Paint during your next stay at the C Lazy U Ranch. Haven’t booked your summer dude ranch vacation yet? Give us a call: 970-887-3344 as we still have some summer stays available (even a few 3 nighters!)

I would like to thank the American Paint Hose Association for some of the content of this post.


Quadruped of the Month-April

Hello loyal blog readers (I came to the conclusion today, by the way, that the reason I have so many loyal readers is because this blog is essentially an extension of me, so when you can’t be with me all the time this give you the next best thing… right? Well, I’m back and so is my essence)!

So, I’ve decided that we need to add an element to the blog posts… a sort of humanitarian edge to my entries, as I’ve been accused of being too self involved (I don’t see it, but often times excellence is regarded as self-involved… hey- I didn’t ask for this gift, OK!); anyway, I’ve decided that I want to start acknowledging 1 quadruped each month that exemplifies what I think it is to be a truly great C Lazy U contributor (I couldn’t very well limit it to just horses- maybe one of those alpacas will actually step up and show us his or her stuff someday…maybe.

At any rate, I’m proud to introduce to you the first of our monthly quadrupeds of the month, Willow:

Why have I picked her for this great honor? Well, Willow was new to our herd as of last year, and made it into the adult string by the end of her first summer here- something very few newbies are able to accomplish in 1 season- you go girl!!

Well, that’s that for now. I look forward to writing something wonderful again in a few weeks. Until then!

Rafting at C Lazy U Ranch

Looking for an unconventional way to explore colorful Colorado while you’re at C Lazy U? White water rafting is a great way to see the state’s beauty while feeding your spirit for adventure. Whether you paddle across the family-friendly upper Colorado River or splash through the more challenging Clear Creek River, your rafting trip through the Rockies is a memory you’ll be talking about for years to come. 

rafting fun

What is White Water Rafting? 

White water rafting is a unique way to experience Colorado’s scenery and wildlife. Despite what you may have heard about this sport, white water rafting can be a great excursion for all ages.  Sections of rivers are carefully inspected and given a difficulty rating, or “class” ranging from I (flat and gentle) to VI (intense and violent). You’ll work with your team to navigate your raft travel through the river of your choice with an experienced guide by your side.  

Who can Go White Water Rafting? 

White water rafting is a great water sport for just about everyone. Thanks to the different rapid classifications, it’s easy to pick a trip that everyone can enjoy. If you’re considering a trip that covers higher level rapids, make sure you’re experienced enough to complete the journey safely.  

  • Class I: A great choice for young children and families, the water is flat with little to no obstructions, and very little steering is needed. Typically, children as young as 5 can handle these types of trips.  
  • Class II: Slightly more difficult, these trips have medium-sized waves and may require some maneuvering around rocks. This class is family-friendly and children as young as 5 can usually participate.  
  • Class III: Many confident beginners try Class III rapids on their first rafting trip. These rapids have moderate, irregular waves and faster currents. 
  • Class IV: These rapids are very difficult and perfect for experienced rafters seeking a challenge. You’ll need to maneuver through fast and turbulent water, big waves, and tight boulders.  
  • Class V: These rapids are extremely difficult and intense. Expert rafters should expect large drops, holes, tight channels, and turbulent waters. 
  • Class VI: These rapids are impossible or almost impossible to navigate.  
group white water rafting

What to Wear White Water Rafting 

Whether you’re gliding over clear water or soaring over difficult rapids, here’s what to wear to make sure you’re safe and prepared for your rafting adventure: 

  • A swimsuit to wear under your gear 
  • Quick-drying clothes (e.g. , nylon shorts, fleece, polyester t-shirts). Avoid cotton since it takes a long time to dry  
  • Sunscreen 
  • A change of clothes 
  • Sport sandals or tennis shoes that stay securely on your feet 
  • Wetsuit, splash jackets, and booties (available for rent if you don’t have your own)
  • Rain gear or sweater/jacket if the weather is bad or your trip is class III or higher 
  • Sunglasses (be cautious of wearing these on a higher-level trip) 
  • A hat (if you’re on a class I or II trip) 

White Water Rafting at C Lazy U 

At C Lazy U, we’ll make your white water rafting trip seamless by making reservations for you and your family and friends. Your ranch concierge will provide all the details you need to have the perfect full or half day on the river. Whether you want to sightsee with your small children, bring some action to your family reunion, or have a thrilling adventure through the most difficult sections of the river, Colorado white water rafting has something for everyone. What are you waiting for? 

Ranch Fitness Activities (Infographic)

A week on a ranch isn’t your typical getaway. With so many activities available, you won’t go home feeling bloated and listless as though you’d eaten and slept your way through your vacation (although sometimes, that’s just what you need!).

At C Lazy U Ranch, it isn’t actually all “lazy.” You’ll shed more than just your stress during your stay on the ranch!

Ranch Fitness Activities

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Ranch-Inspired Wedding Trends

With spring weddings on the horizon, we thought we’d wrangle up and share a few wedding trends close to our hearts – and our home – at C Lazy U guest ranch.

Location, Location, Location!

A wedding encompasses many elements, but one of the first things a couple needs to solidify is the venue. A popular trend that has carried over from last year is the ranch-style venue, or barn wedding. At C Lazy U, we cater to those who have a love for mountains and the unsullied outdoors, but still crave the luxury of a five-star venue. From our scenic backdrops, to our historic barn, patio house and Woodsie overlook, our 8,500 acres offer numerous choices for ranch-loving brides and grooms. Our ranch weddings are elegant and rustic, promising all guests a guaranteed good time.

Wessinger Schwab Wedding-Alison Howie s Wedding-0313_warmer


Grist-Mcvey ranch military wedding


Ranch wedding with a view


barn ranch wedding


ranch wedding chandelier

The Devil is in the Details?

Once the perfect western venue has been selected, the couple must decide on the details that are really going to thrill guests. Simple touches like Mason jar vases, horseshoe name cards, rustic succulent tablescapes and vintage-style string lights are the details that bring the event together. For the more adventurous, try accents of hay bales, or chandeliers made from wagon wheels!

For those who don’t want to go too rustic, a mix of elegant pieces such as crystal candlesticks, glass votives and bud vases, with more rustic selections, such as burlap runners and barn wood signs, offers a sophisticated playfulness.


ranch wedding with western decor

high-end ranch wedding decor

ranch wedding country-chic table decor

Cowboy Couture

Another popular trend is cowboy boot footwear. Whether it’s the bride and groom, wedding party, or both, these country classics are comfortable and appropriate for the occasion! While most couples choose a low-key boot for their bridal party to wear, we love these hand painted leather boots, available on Etsy. If your wedding guests are flying in from different parts of the country, invite them to show their western style with rustic accessories to get in the spirit of their Colorado vacation retreat as well!

ranch wedding bridal party

fall ranch wedding bridal party


Finishing Touches

What rustic wedding would be complete without every country girl’s or boy’s favorite toy: A truck! Celebrities like Miranda Lambert have been spotted posing in front of the American mainstay at their country weddings, and we have taken notice! At C Lazy U guest ranch in Colorado, we take this trend one step further, offering our brides and grooms the opportunity to show their country sides by posing in front of our vintage Ford Model-T. The car was born 95 years ago, the same year C Lazy U ranch was founded by two pioneering families, and fits in perfect with every western bride’s theme.

What are your favorite western wedding ideas?

Relax And Unwind At The Lazy You Spa

C Lazy U dude ranch is famous for our exhilarating horseback rides, scenic views, and authentic western experiences. To strike the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure, escape to our beautiful Lazy You Spa.

lazy you spa

Set on the banks of Willow Creek, the beauty of our spa and the tranquility of our treatments will help you unwind after your day on the ranch. Read on to learn more about what to expect from our luxurious spa! 

Set The Scene 

At the Lazy You Spa, the stage is set for a true relaxation. In the summer, our spa is housed in six luxurious tents suspended over the river. Two of the tents even have glass floors, so you can watch the river rush by as you sink deeper into your treatment.

couple at the spa

In the winter months, our services are moved to the coziness of our winter spa location, or you can enjoy our services from the comfort of your own cabin.  

Work Out The Stress 

After a day of horseback riding or adventuring, pamper your sore muscles with a massage. Our Lazy You signature massage is a ranch favorite and features a full body massage coupled with aromatherapy and warm oil.

girl getting massage

Lay back and relax as your therapist improves your circulation, kneads away knots, and leaves you in a tranquil state. 

Get Glowing Skin 

Nourish, hydrate, and cleanse your skin with our skin treatments. Our multiple facial treatments are customized to your skin type to create a decadent and healing treatment.

girl getting facial

For a whole-body experience, try our wrangler wrap or soothing scrub to exfoliate, detoxify and tone your skin. After a dusty trail ride, nothing feels better than this! 

Try A Ranch Specialty 

For the fastest way to melt away stress in your body and mind, try our signature Cowboy Copper Tub Soak. Relax in our deep copper tubs while you take in the picturesque views of the Continental Divide. You can even sip on champagne or wine during your soak – a perfect way to begin or end your time at the Lazy You Spa. 


Spa services can be booked prior to your arrival or on-ranch at the Outfitter’s Cabin. With so many options for relaxation, the hardest part of your day will be choosing which treatment is right for you. Check out our spa menu and get to planning your perfect day! 

Remi Turns One!

In the fall of 2020, the C Lazy U wranglers were brushing Joy, our newest Clydesdale mare, when they felt a baby move – and a few months later, Remi was born! A year later, we’re checking in with Remi and Joy to see what they’ve been up to, how their personalities have grown, and how their last year has been.  

Related: Why C Lazy U is Colorado’s Premier Horseback Riding Vacation Destination 

remi close up
Close up on Remi as he turns 1!

An Unusual Start 

When Remi was just 3 weeks old, the East Troublesome Fire threatened the ranch property, so all horses were evacuated from C Lazy U. As the fire continued to expand, the C Lazy U team relocated the herd a second time. During the second evacuation, Julie Goodnight, the famous horse clinician and long-time friend of the ranch, gave Remi and Joy a safe place to stay. Once the horses were cleared to return to the ranch, Julie offered to take care of Remi while the C Lazy U team worked to restore and re-open the ranch. Just shy of his first birthday, Julie returned Remi to C Lazy U and he was reunited with the herd.  

Remi’s First Year 

Throughout his first year, Remi settled in with the horses at Julie Goodnight’s barn in Salida, CO. As he grew, so did his personality. Surprisingly, his biggest fan turned out to be Julie’s horse, Lenny, who acts like he dislikes everyone except his close friends, Dodger and Abner. Lenny tolerated Remi’s antics, played with him often, and the two even shared meals together! Through Julie’s care, Remi became a handsome and regal horse – not to mention a giant yearling!  

Julie recalls one moment where Remi’s playful personality came through. Remi stole a bite of a Dodger’s senior mash meal and was hooked. He quickly figured out he could bully old Dodger off his bucket to eat the tasty food for himself! Since then, Dodger started taking his meals in his own pen.  

uncle clyde and remi

Returning To The Herd 

Remi has been back on the ranch for about a month now. A sweet and curious horse, he seems unphased by most things – perhaps due to the unique circumstances he faced during his first few weeks. He’s still getting to know the C Lazy U team, but he enjoys going on walks with the wranglers and is starting to get turned out to the big pasture with the herd. Since he’s not old enough to be a guest horse, he hangs out in the corrals with the other horses during the day and sleeps in the big pasture at night. Eventually, Remi will be trained as a guest horse. He has such a laid-back personality and we know he’ll become a great companion to future C Lazy U guests! 

remi near drinking water
Remi enjoying water with Uncle Clyde, his buddy he recently befriended.

Fitting Into The Herd 

With such a large herd, it can take some time for a horse to find their fit. When he first returned to the ranch, Remi was close with Uncle Clyde, Uncle Sky, and Uncle Red Burt. Lately, he seems pretty happy hanging out with our new Clydesdales, Chelsea and Gabe. Gabe seems to be his best bud at the moment!

Watch: Remi going out to pasture with Uncle Clyde 

An Update On Joy 

Remi’s mom, Joy, has been doing fantastic! Once Remi was weaned in the Spring of 2021, she returned to C Lazy U as a guest horse. Known as one of the sweetest, most caring horses in the entire herd, her guests have loved working with her. Joy definitely enjoys being around people and likes being groomed and loved on. When she’s not on the trail, Joy hangs out with her group of horse friends: Annie, Oakley, Gidget, Fisher, Finn, Banks, Roe, Thunder, and Winchester. Her best friend is Gidget, and they enjoy their quiet time together eating hay and sunbathing.  

Want to visit with Remi and Joy to see how they’re doing? Schedule a visit to the ranch this winter or spring! Availability is filling up fast, so contact us today to reserve your spot.  

Roping Clinic and Horsemanship Clinic Offered This Year

Another summer is under way here at the C Lazy U Ranch.  With each summer come a lot of changes all over the ranch.  As far as the horse program, there is a group of 14 horses who are trying to find their place in the herd.  As the miniature Sicilian donkey that I am I have my eyes on a little paint mare pony, she is a cutie.  Along with 14 new horses, there are a bunch of new browned shirted hooligans running around making us run in from pasture and back out.  They seem like good people, but just can’t figure out there motives to run us a mile up the road to some nice grass just to change their minds about 10 hours later.  I think they call them wranglers or something, I don’t quite understand their language just yet.  I can only type out my thoughts in their language, very tough with little donkey hooves.  There are also these people who are in blue checkered shirts who are really strange to me.  I believe they are counselors.  They will load up these miniature people on full grown horses and then take off.  Never know where they are going with all the mini humans, they call kids, but they are always singing and playing games.  The mini people are very fascinated by my big ears, touching them like they were there favorite toys.  They feed me grain and grass though, so it’s all good.  All in all, it’s a beautiful green summer thus far, full of great people.  Pretty excited for the oncoming busy season.  It looks like another adventurous summer, more packed than ever.

Word is there are some new activities offered by the brown shirts this summer: they speak of a roping clinic and horsemanship clinic (though I’m thinking I should show them some human-ship tips, but hey, not my ranch… yet… it’s only a matter of time!).  The brown shirts say they were going to help guests understand horses more from both the physical movements as well as the mental state of horses.  I think they are lucky that the ranch has such good understanding horses to start with, because if they were dealing with me it wouldn’t be as pretty.  I am just a bit more stubborn, OK a lot more stubborn.  What can I say it’s in my blood- hee-haw.  I am excited for people to learn more about our species though, it can only help. I’ll probably have a few different brown shirted wranglers write some guest blogs to pass some of their horsemanship knowledge along to my loyal blog readers that can’t be with us this summer.

The ranch is also offering a roping clinic this summer.  I can’t wait to watch this because I have seen many people start roping and hit themselves in the face more than anything.  It will be really great to see them working at furthering themselves; and hey who knows, maybe they could even swing off their horse if they get handy enough, or even rope cows with a break away honda That would be great to see.

The C Lazy U Ranch is on its way to one of the busiest summers to date, looking forward to seeing all the new guests and the veterans.  Supposedly there are a few new trails on the ranch for guests to take so be on the lookout for those.  Can’t wait to see you all at one of our roping clinics!


 More on hondas and lariats:

A metal honda is attached to the end of this rope.
The honda is the “ring” at the end of your rope that the rest of your rope threads through to create the large loop that falls around whatever you’re roping.

The rope get's threaded through the honda to create the loop that the cowboy throws
The rope get’s threaded through the honda to create the loop that the cowboy throws

Hondas can come in a variety of different materials, including rawhide like the one pictured, metal and plastic.
Hondas can come in a variety of different materials, including rawhide like the one pictured, metal and plastic.

When we speak of a breakaway honda, what that simply means is that the apex of the honda has a slit in it that allows the rope to pull through when you apply pressure to it and the caught animal, breaqking the loop of rope. The reason we start with a breakaway honda is because it allows the horse and rider to get a feel for roping and dallying (securing the rope around the horn of the saddle) without the stress of remaining hooked onto the cow once these motions have been accomplished, and forcing you to get down off your horse and release the loop after each throw. You could just dally off on the horn and it comes right off the cow.
When we speak of a breakaway honda, what that simply means is that the apex of the honda has a slit in it that allows the rope to pull through when you apply pressure to it and the caught animal, breaking the loop of rope.
The reason we start with a breakaway honda is because it allows the horse and rider to get a feel for roping and dallying (securing the rope around the horn of the saddle) without the stress of remaining hooked onto the cow once these motions have been accomplished, and forcing you to get down off your horse and release the loop after each throw. You could just dally off on the horn and it comes right off the cow.

One of our brown shirts (wranglers), Tami, practicing her roping swing in the C Lazy U Ranch indoor arena
One of our brown shirts (wranglers), Tami, practicing her roping swing in the C Lazy U Ranch indoor arena

When the cow is roped (by the head or horns- both are "legal shots"), the pressure applied by dallying off and backing your horse causes the loop around the animal to shrink, holding the rope in place- using a breakaway honda this wouldn't happen. Nice catch, Tami!
When the cow is roped (by the head or horns- both are “legal shots”), the pressure applied by dallying off and backing your horse causes the loop around the animal to shrink, holding the rope in place- using a breakaway honda this wouldn’t happen.
Nice catch, Tami!

It's difficult not to enjoy learning to rope when you get to do it in such a picturesque place.
It’s difficult not to enjoy learning to rope when you get to do it in such a picturesque place.

Here's Tami practicing her roping skills on our fake cow- looks like she's throwing a shot! Go get 'em, Tami!
Here’s Tami practicing her roping skills on our fake cow- looks like she’s throwing a shot (notice the follow-through on her throwing hand- this is key)! Go get ’em, Tami!

Should You Take a Dude Ranch Vacation if You Can’t Ride a Horse?

C Lazy U - Horseback Riding Vacation

New to horseback riding? No problem. C Lazy U often hears from folks who have never ridden a horse (or are simply not interested), wondering if a ranch vacation is right for them. The answer is yes! C Lazy U loves first-time riders, who often leave the ranch wondering what their next riding adventure will be – or planning their next visit back to the ranch.

What makes the ranch such a great first-time environment for horseback riding? Well, there are about as many reasons as there are horseshoes in our stables. Here are a few of the best ones.

The Right Match

Around 180 horses call C Lazy U Ranch home. They’re like family to us. Each one has a name, a story, and personality all their own.

  • Buck is wise and gentle, and a real pro with the kids.
  • Betsy is a black and white beauty queen who has carried brides, celebrities, and famous athletes.
  • Brutus is a C Lazy U royal, with the size and the pickiness to prove it!

Nobody knows each of our horses better than our head wrangler Bill Fischer and his team, who spend all day with the horses. After a chat and a little eyeing up, Bill will find the horse that has the right energy and personality and who moves at the right pace for you. No wonder so many folks really fall for their horses here at the ranch – there’s a lot of chemistry to it!

All Kinds of Rides

There’s more to a good horseback excursion than just trotting along a beaten path. We keep things exciting and mix it up depending on the kind of ride you’re after. If you’ve never ridden before, don’t worry, our experienced wranglers and guides will teach you the necessary skills to have fun and be safe and take you on rides that you’ll feel comfortable tackling.

Throughout your C Lazy U experience we’ll guide you with plenty of smiles, cheers, and horseback riding tips to help you feel confident and calm in the saddle. By the end of the week you’ll be excited to tag along on a real cattle drive or even showcase your new horsemanship skills in our weekly rodeo (known around these parts as our “shodeo”).

At the ranch we subscribe to the notion that riding is part of life, all year round. If summertime riding sounds to dusty and hot, add a horseback ride to a winter visit. A snowy backdrop makes for really magical riding moments, not to mention a chance to ride in a horse-drawn sleigh for those who are saddle-shy.

Tons of Other Things to Do

There’s a myth about dude ranches that ranch vacations are all about horseback riding. Yes, horses are at the heart of our ranch culture, but they’re really just the beginning.

Although we encourage all guests to try horseback riding at least once in our supportive and safe setting, it’s not for everyone. We know all too well that riders have to want to get up on that horse – there’s no point in forcing it. Luckily, those who opt out will not be bored!

During the summer, you can take part in all sorts of fun in the sun, with active pursuits like mountain biking, hiking, and fly fishing, or just chilling out poolside. C Lazy U is a year-around vacation option, so we have plenty of winter activities as well, such as snowtubing, cross-country skiing, ice skating on a Zamboni-groomed pond, and more. And, of course, the Lazy You Spa is open year around!

C Lazy U is a unique Colorado vacation for experienced horseback riders, but also for none riders who are excited to try a new activity and release their inner cowboy or cowgirl. So even if you’ve never ridden a horse before, a vacation a C Lazy U Guest Ranch is definitely for you!

Snow Day! Tubing, Snowshoeing and Skating (Oh My!)


Colorado takes its winter fun very seriously, and on weeks like this when the snowstorms leave behind a powder paradise and winter wonderland for everyone to rejoice in, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Colorado’s winter landscape. As a top snowshoeing and snow tubing destination in Colorado, every day at C Lazy U ranch feels as lucky as hearing the words “school’s cancelled” on a snow day.

Snowshoeing Wonderland

Colorado’s Rocky Mountains make a postcard-perfect landscape for exploring on snowshoes. C Lazy U Ranch was recently voted the 2nd best snowshoe destination in the world by Snowshoe Magazine. We’re famous for our extensive system of private trails, carefully mapped out and reserved exclusively for snowshoeing. Whatever your level of experience may be, you’ll find everything you need for a classic snowshoe adventure. Just check with the C Lazy U Concierge for maps and equipment.

For first-timers on snowshoes, you’ll be up to speed in no time. As the saying goes, if you can walk you can snowshoe. It’s that simple to get started! By staying on the trodden path, most of the work is done for you. Just follow along where the snow has been packed down.

If you’re up for a bigger physical challenge, however, you can “break trail” in the fresh snow where nobody else has wandered. This takes a lot of power, so snowshoers will often take turns in front making first tracks. But watch out! Even with snowshoes to help you stay afloat on the snow, you may find yourself thigh-deep in powder. This is called “postholing” (like the kind of hole a fence post sinks into) and it takes some doing to get back out. Snowshoeing poles come in handy to pull others out.

Snow Tubing and Ice Skating

Yeehaw! After some time on the snowshoeing trails, finish off the snow day with a downhill thrill on the snow tubing hill. C Lazy U dude ranch has created the ultimate snow tubing destination, with a hill that swoops down for speed, then flattens out for a safe landing area. Don’t worry about trudging back up on foot – we’ll give you a lift on the snowmobile!

Enjoy as many runs on the snow tubing hill as you’d like, and experiment with different formations. There’s the solo run, the solo run with a push, or the solo run with the spin-push. Or join forces with your group by grabbing on to each other’s handles to form a duo, a line, a triangle, or a diamond. Would you dare to go down in X-formation with a mega spin-push? Go for it! The landing is always soft and safe – you’ll just glide to a stop at the bottom.

If you still have some energy, you can participate in a pickup hockey game or ice skating, which are the day’s last hurrah before warming up with hot chocolate by a crackling fire.

Someone needs to take a fall vacation – soon!

Happy Fall blog readers! Gosh, I tell you what- this donkey remembers when November was a quiet time at the ranch, but those days are no more- Thanksgiving only has a few rooms left available, and there are even less for Christmas and New Years this year- have you booked your fall vacation yet?

Red Tail HwkIn ranch news, it might be mid-November, but that hasn’t deterred this Red Tail Hawk from hanging out. Everyday this guy (or gal) perches, for hours at a time, on the top of the gold panning station for people to admire (can you believe what some people will do for attention?!). Anyway, people think that he’s pretty neat, so I thought I might as well give you all a little peak at him (those of you who will be here this Thanksgiving might still be able to see him for yourselves- you wouldn’t believe what a kick he/she get’s out of being looked at… what a ham!)

Look at him working it for the camera (I saw this picture being taken- the photographer was 5 ft. from him!) I tell you what: I think I could take him (and might have to if he keeps trying to steal my thunder).  He doesn’t look so big…. although, his talons look pretty sharp… as does his beak… you know what: maybe he’ll take a fall vacation too. *sigh* I feel a photo-shoot coming on- those always make me feel better. Stand by for new pictures from your handsome man (the handsomest, some have said, but I don’t mean to brag).

Red Tail Hawk Close Up

Something Wicked This Way Comes- A Donkey’s Account Of His Brush With The Paranormal at the C Lazy U- Colorado’s Best Ranch Vacation

It was a clear, cold evening at the C Lazy U Ranch- my home for the past 30 years. As I made my usual end-of-day rounds, I heard a few of our staff members getting out of a truck, their talking and laughter rising into the evening air, echoing off the side of the hay barn, and reminding me, as I so often am, about how magical this place really is (a lot of credit for that should go to me… but who’s counting). “Odd,” I thought to myself, “this corral isn’t ever used in the winter, and is vacant now.” I changed my course to check things out further (I find humans often behave quite oddly, and usually don’t give much merit to their weird behavior, but this was odd enough to intrigue me).

Hiding behind a shed near the corral they entered, I watch them snap a few pictures of the nothingness within, and then head back to the truck. I withdrew further into the shadows of the shed so as to avoid discovery, and then they were gone, heading up the ranch drive. Listening for a moment to make sure that I was alone, I slowly made my way out of from behind the shed (or safe haven, I should call it- I would never have proceeded further had I known what was in store for me!).

Crawling my way under the empty corral fence, I walked towards the spot that the staff members had stopped.It had grown significantly darker since they had been here, and I blinked a couple of times to let my eyes adjust… I now wish that I hadn’t; hadn’t let my eyes adjust to see the horror; followed the kids into the corral; let my curiosity get the best of me! As my eyes

adjusted and I peered into the distance, I saw it, emerging from a shed that should have been empty:

Hucklebery in Shed_Distant
The C Lazy U Ranch’s Newest Member

I gasped! “What is it?! This is how I will meet my end!” and a million other thoughts ran, simultaneously through my little donkey mind. “I’m to valuable to die!” I tried to choked back a loud bray, but I’m only so strong. “HeeeHAAAWWW” echoed loud, and crystal clear in the frozen silence.

And suddenly, my historic, and important life flashed before my eyes as it noticed me staring in fear at it in the twilight hour, it’s large, long ,spear like  horns waiving about, threatening me to stay away. Well, needless to say, I ran out of there as fast as my little donkey legs could carry me (maybe people are right about my weight… I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, and my belly sure didn’t make matters any faster!)

Longhorn close up
Huckleberry plotting his next move


After an uneasy night of sleep I was able to recover my nerve and stroll the ranch today in search of some kind person that might give me some grain to help me recover further (who am I kidding, I could never diet), and all around the  ranch I heard them talking about the wickedness I encountered yesterday evening.

“Huckleberry is  so cute,” one girl giggled.

“That THING has a name?!”

“Yea, and totally loves having his photo taken- he’s a total lover, so sweet,” said a wrangler.

“Cute?! Sweet?!” what was I hearing? How are people supposed to enjoy their ranch vacation with this monster around! And now there is talk of putting it with the cows this summer! And in case people have forgotten, I love having my picture taken! What do we need that beast for?

I have to go sulk now.

Spring Break in the Snow Without the Busy Ski Resorts

When people think of spring break in Colorado, they often imagine skiing down the slopes and hunkering down in a ritzy resort or cozy cabin to enjoy the springtime snowfall. For families looking for something a little different, however, there are still plenty activities other than skiing during spring break in Colorado, ranging from the exhilarating to the relaxing — especially if you choose to vacation at a dude ranch.

Enjoy a family-friendly spring break in Colorado by taking part in these top five winter activities, with none of the hustle and bustle of the busy ski resorts but all of the fun.


Hit the Snowy Trails on Horseback

You don’t need blue skies, green trees and warm weather to enjoy the outdoors on horseback. In fact, one of the best times to go horseback riding is in the colder seasons, especially when it’s a little bit snowy outside. Not only will you see some awesome wildlife such as massive elk herds and red foxes, you’ll experience the transformation of our trails into a snow-covered paradise.

The horseback riding program at C Lazy U Ranch doesn’t stop for the snow: the show goes on in any weather! A heated arena allows guests to practice their horsemanship skills indoors, while the trails — packed down and prepared for the horses — are open when weather permits.

Get Some Speed With Snow Tubing

If you are wary of skiing but still want that downhill thrill, snow tubing is the perfect adventurous alternative. Safe inside a cushy tube — with helmets for added safety — guests, including the kids, can get their own adrenaline rush on a private hill at the ranch. You don’t have to worry about traipsing back up each and every time, either, which would be especially tiring for the young ones: snowmobiles will take you right back up to the top for hours of fun.

Explore the Ranch on Snowmobiles

Those snowmobiles aren’t just there to shuttle you up and down the snowtubing hill — they’re at the ranch for guests to enjoy. Join a pack of rumbling snowmobiles to explore the ranch’s 8,500 acres in one of the fastest and most fun ways — speeding down the trails, kicking up snow and watching the mountains whizz by. Up to eight guests (ages 16 and older) can reserve a spot on a snowmobile for a few hours of outdoor adventure.

Strap on Some Snowshoes or Skis

Those who love to take in their surroundings on foot won’t have to hang up their hiking boots during spring break at a dude ranch — just strap on some snowshoes or, yes, skis. C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect place for both newbies and pros in snowshoeing, as the ranch was voted the second-best snowshoe destination in the world by Snowshoe Magazine. And with four miles of groomed cross-country ski trails, you can still get some miles in on skis without heading off the ranch.

Guests may take advantage of guided tours for both snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, but those who want some solitude can explore on their own.

Take a Spin on the Ice

Get your adrenaline pumping and keep yourself warm on the even chilliest days by engaging in a little friendly competition on the ice. After lacing up your skates, you can create your own C Lazy U hockey teams for a daily afternoon game on the frozen, Zamboni-groomed pond. If you’d rather practice your triple Axel solo — and perhaps start training for the next Winter Olympics — you can spend as much time as you want out on the ice.

See the Feeding Frenzy on the Feed Wagon

Start your day bright and early with the wranglers to see how a ranch really operates. At 8:30 a.m. sharp, you’ll hop on the feed wagon to visit our herd of horses out in the pasture. You’ll not only get an up-close look, you’ll learn how we feed and care for our horses. Be sure to bundle up — it can be a little nippy in the morning!

Sit Back on a Sleigh Ride

Once you and your family are tuckered out from the trails, the tubes and snowshoes, it’s your turn to sit back and relax. Cozy up under a blanket with your loved ones and get pulled around the ranch by a team of powerful draft horses to truly take in the surroundings. Instead of seeing all the sights in a blur of speed, you can get up close and personal with a herd of horses or even those elusive elk.

Families looking for the perfect spring break destination can find it at a Colorado dude ranch, where there are still tons of adrenaline-filled activities that are both safe for children and give you the opportunity to enjoy each other’s company.

Summer in the Rockies: A Family Adventure

Choosing the destination for your next family summer vacation can be tricky, especially if you have picky kids. Luckily, there’s a place that ticks all the boxes: Colorado.

family summer vacation

When whittling down your destinations, there are usually filters to help guide your decision: you want a family-friendly place that’s close to nature, or you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort where you can relax and read a book. When it comes to Colorado, however, there’s no need to filter: we’ve got everything you need.

For the Nature Lovers

Those who go nuts for nature will feel as though they’ve found utopia when they step foot in Colorado, with its majestic Rocky Mountains soaring towards the heavens, vast blue skies and wildflower-filled fields. Many destinations within Colorado highlight the state’s natural beauty, offering hikes and bike rides to ensure that guests get a glimpse of nature up close.

C Lazy U fully embraces the wonder of the West, with more than enough outdoor ranch activities that take you right into the heart of the wild. At C Lazy U, you won’t just be looking at nature — you’ll experience it.

For the Adventure Seekers

Colorado is the perfect spot for adrenaline junkies, thanks its potential for outdoor adventure. Hiking through the forest, rock climbing, mountain biking down winding trails: these are just a few of the adventures you and the family can have while vacationing in Colorado.

Adventure is available at C Lazy U Ranch, too, with plenty of ranch activities that cater to the adventure seekers. The zip line and ropes course will test your courage, while cattle pushing will get you feeling like a real cowboy.

For the Lazy Loungers

For some, summer vacation is a time to sit back, relax and do as little as humanly possible. Though Colorado is packed full of fun, exciting things to do, that doesn’t mean you actually have to take part in it. Colorado is ideal for those who just want to lounge by the water with a drink in one hand and a book in the other — best yet, you’re surrounded by an idyllic landscape to put your mind at ease.

The C Lazy U dude ranch is made for adventure, but it offers plenty in the way of relaxation. Sit poolside away from the hustle and bustle of the active guests, or have a treatment (or two!) in the Lazy You Spa.

For the Foodies

Colorado is a culinary haven, too, with its combination of Western-style eats and chic city food. With a plethora of Michelin-starred restaurants all over Colorado — and not just in the major cities — and an abundance of locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables, foodies have found their place in Colorado.

Though C Lazy U Ranch is most known for its horseback riding and other ranch activities, we haven’t skimped on the food. Our gourmet meals, using fresh, local and seasonal ingredients, are paired with an award-winning wine list, curated by our in-house sommelier.

For the Romantics

Even family vacations can use a little romance! Colorado is perfect for families, but it is also a great place to rekindle the passion you feel for your someone special. When the kids are off on their own (supervised) fun, you can take a moment to sit back and enjoy the beauty of Colorado with a candlelit dinner high in the sky, overlooking the vast expanse of land below.

At C Lazy U, we take adults-only time seriously. While you’ll have plenty of time together as a family, we make sure that the kids are happily occupied in the Kids Program so that you can sneak off to the spa, picnic at one of the most romantic spots on the ranch.

When planning your family summer vacation, the kids’ cries of “I want to go swimming!” followed by “But I don’t want to sit by a pool!” can make it hard to settle on one location that makes everyone happy. But choosing Colorado — and especially a dude ranch — can make those whines turn into a “whoo!”

Summer Vacations for Large Families

With all the planning, organizing and coordinating involved, large family trips don’t always feel like the vacations they’re meant to be. But if you choose the right destination, your next family vacation can be everything you dream of — and more.

group of riders on horses

When choosing a summer vacation destination to bring your large family, make sure it has the following:

A Kids Program

As great as family time is, you’ll really appreciate having some kids-free, stress-free time during your vacation. With a Kids Program to entertain your children during the day, you’ll be able to get some much-needed relaxation time — without having to worry about your little ones.

Your kids are sure to have an unforgettable vacation at our Kids Program. After all, there’s a whole team dedicated to keeping them safe and showing them an amazing time.

And the best part? While your kids are having fun and making memories, you can do whatever your heart desires, not what they want. It’s a win-win for everyone involved! You get time to yourself, your kids get to do all sorts of fun things, and we get to explore the mountain outdoors with all the youngsters together.

Age-appropriate Activities

Your teenager’s idea of fun isn’t the same as your 5-year-old’s, and neither of them wants to do the activities on your itinerary. Take your family somewhere there are activities to do together, as well as on your own. There should be kid-specific activities, things your teenager will want to do, activities for the adults, as well as fun for the whole family.

Here at C Lazy U Ranch, we offer all sorts of age-appropriate activities for various age groups, including:

  • Kids under 3
  • Kids age 3 to 5 (What we call cowpokes!)
  • Mustangs, kids 6 to 12
  • Teens 13 to 17
  • Adults 18 and up

Learn more about the amazing activities we offer at our Kids and Teens Programs.

Opportunities for Adult Time

Family vacations can be a balancing act, especially when you have a large family. You want the kids (and everyone else) to have fun, but you also want chances for the adults to relax and unwind — this is a vacation after all.

Your family’s summer vacation destination should offer plenty of opportunities for adult-only time. Things like spa treatments, hiking, horseback riding, yoga, and fly fishing are best enjoyed in the company of adults (they’re less likely to scare the fish away!).

By giving yourself time to unwind and enjoy yourself sans-kids, you’ll be all the more appreciative when you come back together at dinnertime.

Time for Family Togetherness

You want your family to go home closer than ever and cherish the memories of this vacation for years to come. When you go somewhere family-focused for summer vacation, that’s exactly what can happen.

Go somewhere that offers a healthy balance of family time and adventure time, with plenty of family-friendly activities and opportunities for family bonding.

Here at C Lazy U Ranch, there are lots of ways to bond with your family, including family horseback rides, guided hikes, a ropes course and the chance for your kids to catch their first fish.

C Lazy U Ranch: Your Family’s Dream Vacation Destination

The perfect summer family vacation has the right balance of relaxation, adventure, and family fun. With tons of adventurous activities and plenty of opportunities for family bonding, C Lazy U Ranch is the perfect destination for summer vacations — especially for large families. There’s truly something for every member of the family, and much, much more.

With comfortable family-style cabins, food that even the pickiest children can’t resist and our famed Kids Program, you’ve got yourself a family vacation spot that you’ll keep coming back to for years to come.

T’was The Night Before Christmas (Ranch Style)

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the ranch

All the people were stirring, it looked like a dance.

The ornaments were hung on the Christmas Tree with care

And carols, sweet music, filled the air.

A ranch style Christmas ornament hangs from the main tree in the lodge living room.
A ranch style Christmas ornament hangs from the main tree in the lodge living room.

Then what to the children’s eyes would appear,

but Santa, yes Santa, with his red suite and his beard.

Santa Arriving
Santa hops off his sleigh to be greeted by kids and adults alike.

Away to the sleigh they tore like a flash,

And on their heels, their parents, all looking quite unabashed!

His eyes they twinkled, his cheeks were so red

This really could be the real Santa, young and old all said.

The luminaries were lighting the path to the lodge

And one and all made their way up to watch.

Santa and Mrs. Clause make their way to the lodge
Santa and Mrs. Clause make their way to the lodge

A bag full of presents did Santa produced,

And name after name he called, though no list did he use.

Santa and one of the many children on ranch pose for a picture
Santa and one of the many children on ranch pose for a picture

The children sat captivated, not looking away,

Waiting to hear the next name that he’d say.

    A child sits, captivated, waiting for his name to be called by Santa
A child sits, captivated, waiting for his name to be called by Santa

And then with a twinkle from his piercing blue eyes,

The bag was empty and it was time for goodbyes.

Cookies were given, hugs were abundant,

They knew they had to let go, but the children were reluctant.

Freddy Wacker hugs Santa goodbye
Freddy Wacker hugs Santa goodbye

It’s times like this that it become apparent,

That our belief in magic really is inherent

On this night, for young and old the same,

Merriment and family, are the name of the game.


Marjorie Kade, long time guest, laughs with Santa
Marjorie Kade, long time guest, laughs with Santa


Tica and daughter Sophia enjoy the merriment of their first ranch Christmas.
Tica and daughter Sophia enjoy the merriment of their first ranch Christmas.

There will always be next year, if you are good,

Santa will be back with a lot more loot.

So until until that time comes, may your holidays be bright,

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Mrs. Clause sits on Santa's lap for a picture at the end of the evening.
Mrs. Clause sits on Santa’s lap for a picture at the end of the evening.

Tebow Time (and Comfort Food) at the Ranch

Tim Tebow gets ready to throw a pass as the C Lazy U Ranch herd stampedes behind him.

Well, Tim Tebow may have lost in Saturday’s game against the Patriots (it took everybody at the ranch a while to get over that one, admittedly, but I heard the menu below helped people eat their sorrows away), but we still love him around here (yes, yes, even me, though heaven only knows why… I Tebowed while saying that, by the way).  So, while everybody else talks about Tebow Time and last minute come from behind wins  in what was almost a Cinderella season, I’d like to take a look back at our Tebow Time here at the ranch… I can hear the screaming women now. The one thing I’d like to state is this- I seem to have been cut out of each of the pictures, as you’ll notice… I have a call in to my agent (who may not be my agent for much longer if this type of thing keeps happening).

But anyway, if you’re still feeling blue about the Bronco’s loss, or if you’re in need of a ranch style menu to give you a little bit of the C Lazy U at home (or to munch on while you salivate on the images below), here you have it:

Start With: Bruschetta

  1. Preheat your oven to the broiler setting (yes, it has a purpose, at last!).
  2. In a large bowl, combine roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes (make sure you buy them in oil if possible), garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 minutes.
  3. Cut a French baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Broil for 1 to 2 minutes, until slightly brown.
  4. Divide the tomato mixture evenly over the baguette slices. Top the slices with mozzarella cheese (we like a combo of  fresh mozzarella in water, and bagged shredded mozzarella here!) .
  5. Broil for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Main Course: Dijon Pork Chops with Corn Bread Stuffing and Ranch Style Green Beans

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add 1 medium onion, finely chopped, and 3 stalks of celery, also finely chopped; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of diced chicken liver to the veggies; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about 4 minutes.
  2. While browning the above, heat 3 cups of chicken broth on the stove, and coarsely crumbled 6 cups of cornbread in a large bowl (we realize that cornbread may not be around all the time in your house the way it is here- we live on a ranch, so it’s basically one of our 4 main food groups, so you can cheat and buy and make cornbread from a box)
  3. When liver is browned, add that,  plus the heated chicken broth to the bowl of cornbread, and stir.
  4. Finely, add 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped sage to the cornbread mixture, stir, and transfer contents of bowl into a shallow baking dish. Cook at 350 for 40-45 minutes (the more shallow your baking dish, the less time it will take)


  1. In a bowl, combine plain breadcrumbs, salt and pepper.
  2. Spread a thin layer of Dijon mustard onto entire por chop, and then roll each in the bread crumb mixture
  3. Fry each chop in a skillet of HOT oil (be sure NOT to over cook- only 3-4 minutes per side if you’re serving  them right away, less if they’ll have to sit and be re-heated in the oven)


  1. In a pan, heat a few tablespoons of oil, on low, and add onion slices (we like lot’s of onion here… much to the dismay of the ladies that work with us, I’ve heard), and later, when the onion is almost done (this is a SLOW, LOW process, in which you will be “caramelizing” the onions) bacon bits
  2. Boil green beans in water until somewhat tender, drain, and combine with the onion/bacon mixture (getting the oil in with the combo is ok- it adds to the bacon flavor of  things… and we LOVE bacon!


With a menu like this and the following pictures, the only thing this donkey can say is: Enjoy!

Tim Tebow, poses, arms crossed, in one of the saddle rooms of the C Lazy U Ranch barn

And I’ve been told that I’ve saved the best for last:


Tim Tebow bares his chest for this pass play in the C Lazy U Ranch hay meadow.


But honestly, I don’t see what people see in him… what does he have that I don’t:

Patey and his belly
A very attractive donkey in the same meadow as Tim Tebow- where’s my billboard?!


That’s right, eat your hearts out.

Thanksgiving Traditions at C Lazy U Ranch


A family-owned ranch for 95 years, we look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season each year with our ranch friends and family. We may be biased, but we don’t think there’s a more perfect place to celebrate with your loved ones than C Lazy U guest ranch in Colorado!

Thanksgiving at C Lazy U is complete with all the traditions and trimmings, but free of the stress that often comes with hosting a large holiday affair. As our guest, you’ll enjoy time with your family, a gourmet turkey feast on Thanksgiving Day, all additional meals and activities such as horseback riding, hiking and if the snow’s ripe, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, ice skating and hockey on the ranch’s Zamboni-groomed pond.

The Cowboy Carnival, in our indoor arena, is a guest favorite. Taking place in the evening, this event brings all ranch guests and employees together to enjoy live music, drinks and snacks, along with a medley of carnival activities perfectly suited to cowboys, such as BB gun shooting, archery, horseshoes and hatchet throwing.

C Lazy U often hosts talented musicians (such as summertime favorites and Grammy award winners Monty Powell and Anna Wilson), and Thanksgiving is no exception. This Thanksgiving, guests at the ranch will be privy to the music of Scott Thomas. He’s performed at Super Bowls and jammed with the legendary Steve Cropper and Charlie Daniels. He is passionate about all genres of music, and is sure to deliver a performance to remember.

If you won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving with us this year, we hope to see you during Christmastime, or in 2015.

Wishing you a wonderful holiday, from our family to yours!

The Benefits of Horseback Riding

If you’re planning your next horseback riding vacation, look no further than C Lazy U ranch. Our Colorado mountain getaway is home to over 200 horses and a robust horseback riding program, allowing guests to enjoy up to two trail rides almost every day of the year. Horseback riding at the ranch gives you more than lifelong memories and breathtaking views of the American West – but did you know that the sport can provide multiple health benefits, too? Read on to learn more! 

Related: Is Children’s Horseback Riding Safe? 

Improved Strength 

It’s a common misconception that the horse does all the work – to stay balanced and lead the horse in the right direction, you’ll need to engage your core, legs, inner thighs, and pelvic muscles. By strengthening your core and other major muscles through riding, you’ll enjoy better posture and an improved overall muscle tone. If you decide to spend time at a horsemanship clinic, you’ll strengthen your muscles even more! 

Better Motor Skills  

There’s a lot to keep track of when you’re horseback riding – the speed and direction of your horse, upcoming obstacles in your path, and other riders on the trail. Keeping track of all these things at the same time – and properly guiding the horse – flexes your coordination, reflex skills, and fine and gross motor skills.  

Improved Confidence and Self-Esteem 

Riding isn’t easy, but learning to ride can play a big role in developing your confidence and self-esteem.  With horses available for riders of every level, beginner riders can safely develop foundational skills while advanced riders can challenge themselves to meet new goals. The end result? Happy, active guests that enjoy a renewed sense of self-worth and self-image.  

Reduce Stress 

Many riders describe being on horseback as the most relaxing part of their day. In addition to enjoying the great outdoors and fresh air, there may be physical reasons why riding can reduce stress. The activity stimulates your muscles, joints, and circulatory system, which can help your body destress on a physiological level.  


Being able to interact with animals has been shown to have a positive effect on people, and spending time with horses is no different. At C Lazy U, we pair you with the same horse every day of your vacation – allowing you to form a strong bond of trust and companionship.  Many of our guests remember their horse for years to come – and request to be paired with them when they make a return visit! 

Are you ready to enjoy the multiple benefits of horseback riding (not to mention our luxury accommodations, gourmet meals, and relaxing spa)? Book your guest ranch vacation today!

The Best Hiking Trails at C Lazy U Ranch

C Lazy U Hiking Trail
You’ll feel like a winner after a corporate retreat at the C Lazy U Ranch.

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David Thoreau 

Hiking in Colorado is a really special experience. Maybe it’s the clear blue skies, or the miles and miles of wildflowers. Or perhaps it’s the view along that way that leaves so many in awe. Most likey, it’s all of those things combined. 

Guests at C Lazy U Ranch have exclusive access to about 80 miles of hiking trails. Whether you are a beginner on the trail or have several hikes under your belt, we have an extensive trail system just for you.  

Dawns Point Hike

Difficulty Level: Black/Advanced

Located on the north side of C Lazy U Ranch along Curtis Ride is Dawns Point Hike. This 8 mile out and back hike is along a mostly single track and takes hikers through prime pronghorn territory. The summit is the highest point on the C Lazy U Ranch at roughly 9,367 ft. in elevation. 

There are two ways to get to Dawns Point Hike:

  1. If you want to get in a few extra miles, we recommend starting at the Ranch and walk 
  2. If you prefer saving all of your energy for the hike, C Lazy U Ranch provides a shuttle to take hikers to the trailhead at the bottom of Curtis Ride

The trail begins in an open field, but guests should be prepared to climb quickly to a rocky ridgeline, which leads to stunning views of the Continental Divide, a few local ski resorts and well-known lakes. If you visit during summer, you will find a wide range of colorful wildflowers, which only add to the majestic landscape. If you are a fan of fall colors, Dawns Point is a stunning way to experience the changing autumn leaves. 

Mt. Baldy Hike 

Difficulty Level: Blue/Intermediate 

One of the best hiking trails in Colorado is Mt. Baldy. Hike to the third highest point on the C Lazy U Ranch property, which is just shy of 9,000 ft. in elevation. The Mt. Baldy hike is roughly four miles out and back or you can choose to hike the five mile loop. 

Mt. Baldy is a modern elevation hike through aspen and lodgepole pine. Don’t be surprised to see a mule deer in the forest below the trail or an occasional moose feeding in the aspens. Once the summit is reached, our hikers are rewarded with spectacular views of the Continental Divide and the far peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. In addition, you will be rewarded with some of the best views Grand Lake and Shadow Mountain Lake

Our favorite time of year to hike Mt. Baldy is either summer or fall because the trees will shade you from the summer sun and you will experience the magical change of colors in the trees during fall. 

Garden of the Gods Hike

Difficulty Level: Green/Easy

For beginner hikers or hikers who are just looking for a nice Colorado hiking trip, the Garden of the Gods hike is made for you. Our guests can choose to be guided or hike it unguided. Starting on the north side of the C Lazy U Ranch property and the far side of the mesa, guests can either get to the trail by walking from the Ranch or take a shuttle. 

This easy Colorado hiking trip is 2.3 miles out and back and is ideal for getting a feel for our Rocky Mountain altitude. Walk through horse pastures to a large rock formation, where you can see the valley of our valley and the river. 

Fun Fact: The river was the inspiration for the name C Lazy U Ranch!

View our Hiking Trail Maps

We encourage our guests to sign up for a guided hike and a skilled ranch hand will guide you on some of the best trails in scenic overlooks Colorado has to offer. While on your hike, you will learn about the Rocky Mountain landscape and endless wildflowers. The Ranch can accommodate all skill levels within the 8,500 acres. 

The Best in the West for Unique Spring Break Vacations

unique spring break vacation ideas

A week of relaxation, fun and a carefree attitude: that’s what spring break is for. But kids and teens shouldn’t be the only ones to benefit, since parents often need a break too! While some families are away on their own spring break vacations, take part in a special spring break for families in the beautiful Rocky Mountains — and not at the beach.

    1. National Park Adventures

One of America’s greatest treasures is its nature, boasting dozens of national parks and protected areas. Of the 59 national parks, 31 are located in the western United States, making a spring break trip through some of America’s finest sights a great option for nature lovers. California has the most national parks, including the famous Redwood, Yosemite and Death Valley, which is shared with Nevada. Colorado itself is home to four: from north to south, they include Rocky Mountain (adjacent to C Lazy U Ranch), Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Great Sand Dunes and Mesa Verde National Parks. Take a tour of America’s untouched beauty for spring break, and you’ll truly feel in touch with nature.

    1. Spa Rejuvenation

The beach provides rest and relaxation, but a spa can do it better. Spas are meant to soothe, with specialty treatments and careful attention of trained professionals that let all your worries wash away. Some of the top-rated spas are located in the west: nearly half of Conde Nast Traveler’s recent winners of the Readers’ Choice Awards for best spa were located here, including our own Lazy You Spa. For spring break, indulge yourself — take a tour of the best spas in the west to recharge for the rest of the year!

    1. Tour the Vineyards

Spring kicks off the tourist season for vineyards, but it still won’t be as busy as harvest season, which takes place from August–October. Nip off to Napa for a tour (and taste!) of the luscious wineries for which California’s wine country is so renowned, or head to Colorado to sample some more unique flavors of the Rocky Mountains. Colorado wine tasting rooms can be found all over the state; Winter Park Winery is the closest spot to C Lazy U Ranch to enjoy the state’s best varietals. While you’re sipping on some of the best local wine, you can take in the breathtaking beauty of the vineyards along the Colorado River.

    1. Head Down to the Dude Ranch

For more of the cowboy experience, it’s best to head to a real, live dude ranch in the west. Dude ranch vacations are not just rough and tumble horseback riding and constant activity — they give you the chance to choose the kind of vacation you want to have. Spend hours in the spa, enjoying the ranch’s rustic vibes, or hit the trails to feel like a Wild West explorer. Still, you won’t have to lift a finger, as most dude ranches offer resort-like amenities — and C Lazy U Ranch offers some of the most luxurious amenities of all the dude ranches.

The CLU Difference in Dude Ranch Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is a highlight of C Lazy U Ranch, offering guests the chance to roam the countryside, polish their horsemanship skills and bond with a new friend.

dude ranch horseback riding

There are hundreds of dude ranches across the country, but only a select few put as much care into their horses and horseback riding programs as C Lazy U. Our unique dude ranch horse program is led by Head Wrangler Bill Fisher, whose 50-plus years of experience as a horseback rider and wrangler has helped him develop one of the best dude ranch horseback riding programs in the country.

The CLU Horse Program

C Lazy U Ranch has a herd of about 200 horses, each of them athletic, sound and ready for a rigorous ranch life. Our dude ranch horses are extensively trained by our wranglers before they are available to guests, getting used to riding on the trail and learning tons of impressive skills.

Horses are trained and evaluated for all types of riders: advanced riders, beginners, kids and more. But we don’t treat our horses like staff or just part of the ranch — they’re our family members, and it’s because we’re so hands-on with our horses that they are so ready for new riders.

A Handpicked Horse

If you’re a new guest at the ranch, you will first be personally interviewed by Bill so he can learn specifically about you and your individual riding ability. With this information, he’ll match you with a horse that is a perfect complement to both your experience level and personality.

Riding the Real Trails

Some horseback riders avoid visiting dude ranches because they expect only to hop on an unkempt horse and ride in a round pen or go on nose-to-tail trail rides — but at C Lazy U, guests ride around the Rockies with a healthy horse that becomes their partner.

Guests can go on up to two trail rides per day through our 8,500 acres of Rocky Mountain terrain. They’re hourlong outings, where you can explore the natural environment, look out for Colorado wildlife and practice your horseback riding skills. Adults typically ride separately from children throughout the week, except for one day where a family ride is held to bring everyone together.

Because we’re a real working ranch, we also offer cattle pushing clinics to let guests feel (and perhaps even become) real ranchers.

Show Off Your Horsemanship Skills

Horseback riders of all levels are welcome at C Lazy U. We offer private or group horsemanship clinics, including natural horsemanship, to help each and every rider learn something new. At the end of their stay — if they have visited during the summer — both the adults and the kids can show off their new horsemanship skills during the Shodeo, a Saturday event that’s often another highlight of their time at the ranch.

Even the most seasoned, adventurous riders are impressed by C Lazy U’s horseback riding program. With untouched nature, extensively trained horses and expert wranglers, our dude ranch isn’t just a horseback riding vacation — it’s an adventure.

The Countdown to C Lazy U’s Thanksgiving Ranch Vacation Begins!

The countdown begins- only 6 days until Thanksgiving, which means only 5 days to book your Thanksgiving Ranch Vacation at the C Lazy U Ranch! With snowshoeing, and cross country skiing, not to mention skating, hockey and snowmobiling, I find myself asking, who wouldn’t want to come for a visit?! AND, on top of that- the food! oh man is the food here great (yea, yea, I know that I primarily eat hay, so you must be thinking, “what does he know” but a connoisseur is a connoisseur, and I am one of food. All food. Any food.)

The chefs have been preparing their menu now for days, weeks even (it seems like that’s all they’ve been talking about!). AND, thanks to this donkey, for all those of you that are not fortunate enough to join us for the holiday, I will be stealing a copy of the menu for Thanksgiving, and reproducing parts of it here, with recipes, so that you all can have a little bit of the ranch with you at your home over the holidays… of course it won’t be exactly the same, because you won’t have me there too, but not everyone can be quite that fortunate.

The Face of C Lazy U’s Service – David Craig Wins Hotelier of the Year Award

David Craig Hotelier of Year 2015

C Lazy U guests are familiar with our superior service, so it’s nice when one of our own is recognized for his or her outstanding dedication. The C Lazy U family is proud to announce that our general manager, David Craig, has won the 2015 Hotelier of the Year Award from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association (CHLA).

With David’s endless desire to provide the ultimate experience to each and every guest, he is the perfect recipient for this distinguished award. He’s a vital part of everything we do here at C Lazy U and strives to make every guest’s stay perfect in every way.

David joined C Lazy U as the ranch’s general manager in 2013, bringing with him more than 25 years of hospitality experience. He started out working in several hotels and resorts on Cape Cod, Massachusetts before heading west to Colorado. He’s also a dedicated member and board appointee of the CHLA.

The CHLA is an industry advocacy group that not only works to protect and promote Colorado’s tourism, hospitality and lodging industry, but also recognizes top performers who are making a difference in the field. The Hotelier of the Year award is presented to an individual for their outstanding dedication and career in the Colorado lodging industry and their contribution to the mission of the CHLA.

David Craig Hotelier of Year with Team

This is a huge award for David and a well-deserved culmination of all his hard work and dedication to C Lazy U, the hotels and resorts that he worked with before us, the CHLA and the hospitality industry as a whole.

David was honored with the award at the CHLA Annual Fall Conference earlier this month, which included a Hotelier of the Year Dinner. The C Lazy U Ranch owners and managers surprised David, along with his family from all over the country, to celebrate this monumental achievement.

We welcome all our guests to join us in sending David a rousing “Congratulations!” for this lifetime achievement!

Photos Credit: PhotgraphyG

The First-Timer’s Guide To C Lazy U

If you’ve seen the pictures, visited the website, or followed us on social media, you know that visiting C Lazy U ranch is an unforgettable experience. From horseback riding to relaxing around the fire at night, your upcoming trip will be one for the books. To help you prepare for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation (and answer those last-minute questions!), this blog will guide you through what to expect during your first trip to our luxury Colorado dude ranch.  

Read More: Plan Your Trip To C Lazy U

How To Prepare For Your Colorado Vacation 

Pack For All Weather 

Between our multiple activities and the changing Colorado weather (temperatures can drop into the 30s, even during the summer months!), you’ll want to be prepared for all types of weather. Luckily, we’ve used our years of experience to compile a summer and fall and a winter and spring packing list to make sure you arrive with everything you need. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, be sure to pack sunscreen and sunglasses – there’s about 25% less protection from the sun at the ranch’s altitude! 

Share Any Dietary Restrictions  

At C Lazy U ranch, we serve up delicious, gourmet meals three times a day. Inspired by seasonal flavors and regional favorites, every meal is crafted to delight your senses. Our on-site Executive Chef and kitchen staff want you to enjoy every mouthful, so if you have dietary restrictions, let us know! We can cater to virtually all restrictions and requests, so communicate your needs to the C Lazy U team during booking or before you arrive. 

Prebook Activities 

Some of our activities fill up quickly, so it’s a good idea to reserve your spot by pre-booking: 

The Lazy You Spa sign at the entrance to the ultimate relaxation experience.
  • Lazy U Spa: from relaxing massages to our signature Cowboy Soak, our award-winning spa is the perfect place to relax and recharge
  • Guided 1:1 fly fishing: Learn from the best as you experience a personal fly fishing excursion with one of our Orvis-endorsed guides
  • Ropes course & zip line: Experience one of the most thrilling adventures on the ranch by trying out our ropes course and zip line. It’s perfect for family bonding or stretching outside of your comfort zone! 

What To Expect When You Arrive 

Checking In 

When you first arrive, a wrangler will guide you to check-in with our reception team. Once you’ve checked in, a wrangler will escort you to your cabin and help you carry your luggage inside. At check-in, you’ll receive a welcome package with a map of the ranch, the activities taking place during your stay, seasonal information about what to expect during your stay, and a reusable water bottle to keep you hydrated throughout your trip.  



All cabins have been recently renovated with new mattresses and linens, updated interiors, plush robes, in-room safes, and Keurig coffee, tea, and cocoa.  Many of our cabins feature real, wood-burning fireplaces for you to enjoy during your stay. To make it easy to enjoy a crackling fire throughout your visit, we restock fire starters and firewood daily.  


fly fishing

We provide gear for most of our activities, like fly fishing, mountain biking, tennis, archery, trap shooting, and snowshoeing. Upon check-in, ask the reception team about the activities you’d like to participate in and how to check complementary gear out from our Outfitter’s Cabin. If you already know what activities you’d like to experience and aren’t sure if you should bring your own gear, call the Ranch Concierge 

Signing Up For Activities 

Many daily activities will be listed in your welcome packet. To sign up for an activity, speak with the team at the Outfitter’s Cabin to get more information about what you’ll need, what time to arrive, and where to meet your C Lazy U team member.  

Do you have more questions about your Colorado dude ranch vacation? Don’t hesitate to call the Ranch Concierge at 970-887-3344. We can’t wait to see you!  

The Lesser-known Activities of a Dude Ranch Vacation

lesser known dude ranch activities

Dude ranches are, of course, famous for their horses. Since the very first dude ranches made their appearance in the early 20th century, horseback riding has been central to the this quintessentially western experience.

But do city slickers who aren’t into horseback riding still have fun at a dude ranch? The answer is a definitive yes! With all other kinds of fun to be had, it’s almost possible to forget all about the horses. That is, until they come galloping through the ranch on their way home from a day of trail rides.

If you’re more inclined to admire the horses from a distance, here are a few lesser-known activities to delve into at C Lazy U.

High Adventure Ropes Course

Got kids? If they’re the kind that can’t sit still, they can unleash their inner monkeys on our climbing wall and ropes course. It’s one part challenge and two parts fun, all under the watchful eye of our staff for maximum safety.

We’ve seen all sorts of groups on our wall and ropes course, from corporate retreat-goers doing team-building exercises to families looking for thrills and adults who want to try something new. In addition to the traditional zip line and rock wall, we have some unique surprises for the adventurous—ask about our “leap of faith”!

Orvis-Certified Fly Fishing

One wish we hear over and over again from guests at the ranch is mastering the art of fly fishing, and the sport certainly has its allure. The mountain streams of Colorado couldn’t be a better atmosphere for newbies and kids trying their luck for the first time and for experts to hone their skills.

We’ve partnered with Orvis to offer the ultimate guided fly fishing trip at C Lazy U. Our guides will take you out on private reserves, share their firsthand knowledge of the rivers, and outfit you with all the gear you’ll need—no wonder so many visitors catch the bug and turn Colorado fly fishing trips into a family tradition!

Wildlife Photography

Shutter-happy travelers will have a blast on an authentic dude ranch! Not only is there abundant wildlife to watch out for through a high-powered lens, but also so many other scenes to capture on camera.

One of the best parts of dude ranch life is seeing the amazing photos our guests share from their stay. We’ve seen stunning nature photography, portraits of families and special events, and even action photography of all the outdoor fun. Once you post your photos from the ranch, you’ll be feeling the Insta-love.

Fine Dining Experiences

Perhaps the least-known joy of a luxury dude ranch experience is the gourmet dining. Bring a bear-sized appetite and urbanite tastes to C Lazy U and prepare to be amazed. We won’t give away all the surprises on the menu, but we can offer a little sneak sample. If you’ve never had a chance to dine on wild game before, then a visit to the ranch will deliver yet another first—game meat is a local specialty in these parts.

We make the most of it with our house-made charcuterie. Curing and smoking meats and making sausage are all crafts we’ve mastered at C Lazy U kitchen. Don’t miss out on our house-made delicacies during your stay—and definitely don’t forget to pair it with a glass from our award-winning wine menu.

The Mind, Body, Equine Retreat At C Lazy U

What do horseback riding and yoga have in common? A lot more than you think. Both practices help you become more aware, present, and balanced, but it takes a special coach to develop the connection between the mat and the saddle.

group of women for womens retreat

Luckily, C Lazy U guests can immerse themselves in three days of yoga, meditation, mindfulness activities, and of course, horseback riding during the Mind, Body, Equine™ retreat with Cathy Woods.   

A Weekend You Won’t Forget 

Our premier guest ranch offers the perfect backdrop for a weekend of mindfulness. Tucked into the heart of the Colorado Rockies, C Lazy U is surrounded by the beauty and tranquility of nature. The jaw-dropping scenery, coupled with the support of Cathy and the other women on the retreat, empowers participants to connect with their inner cowgirl and improve their yoga, horsemanship, and life skills. 

woman doing yoga

Start each day of your awareness journey with meditation, workshops and discussion topics, and a gentle yoga practice full of stretches targeted towards riders. You’ll participate in energy exercises and mindful grooming sessions as you connect and build trust with your horse.

group of people on horses

End each day with an afternoon trail ride exploring the vast, 8,500 acres of ranch land. Between sessions, enjoy mouthwatering, made-to-order breakfasts and family-style lunches and dinners, elegant and luxurious accommodations, and endless opportunities to connect with and support the other women on the retreat.

What Levels Can Attend The Retreat? 

All yogis and riders are welcome, from beginners to advanced levels. Cathy works with you at your own pace, and our talented wrangler team will pair you with a horse to match your experience level.

women on horses inside barn

Beginners may focus more on awareness and trusting their horse, while more advanced riders may challenge their balance and movement by participating in a bareback riding segment. Regardless of your experience level, you’ll be asked to drop expectations, accept where you are, and work on being present. 

Learn More 

To learn more about the yoga/horseback riding connection or the principles behind Mind, Body, Equine™, you can order Cathy’s book, Yoga for Riders. Through the retreat at C Lazy U, you’ll learn and experience the principles of Cathy’s book first-hand.  

women stretching during yoga

Are you ready for a life-changing retreat weekend? Reserve your spot now!    

The Parallels of Yoga & Horsemanship

Guest Post by Cathy Woods, Cowgirl/Yogini

Often, yoga is thought of as “a form of stretches done on a mat”, but actually, yoga is so much more. Much of what is practiced on the mat and in yogic lifestyle are simply “metaphors for living,” and….for horsemanship.

In my 26 years of yoga teaching/retreat leading around the country and as an avid trial rider owning horses, I’ve come to experience the parallels of the practices and see they are really not so different. Through this awareness was how I created Body, Mind, Equine – which will be offered May 2017 at C Lazy U.

Body Mind Equine C Lazy U Retreat

Here are a few things we should be doing on the mat in proper/authentic yoga practice. If you examine them, you’ll notice they can also apply to horsemanship from ground to saddle.

  • Be in the present moment, where life is happening. Multi-tasking takes us away from the present. Use breath and bodily sensations as tools to stay harnessed in the present. A horse takes every step into the present moment. Take that step with him.
  • Bring consciousness to your overall awareness, body/breathing, present moment, and energy awareness.
  • Breathe through challenges; move with the breath, and not against it.
  • You can often do more than the mind thinks you can do.
  • Be aware of energy shifts within yourself, your horse, and your surroundings.
  • Move with as much grace in a situation or yoga posture as possible, even when challenged.
  • Be accepting, working from where you are on that mat and with your horsemanship.
  • Stay balanced in all that you do in your life, not just physically. Balance inner and outer.
  • Slow down.
  • Be aware of where your body is in space and time. Notice bodily sensations, alignment, strength, and flexibility.
  • Drop expectations and free up energy for better use.
  • Watch the mind chatter, but do not buy into it.
  • Stop and experience the sensations and energy after a yoga stretch. Stop, experience, and celebrate after an accomplishment on your horse.
  • We come to know ourselves better through yoga, and so too with horsemanship. The yoga mat is a training ground for horsemanship and for life.

Copyright: Cathy Woods Yoga 2013

Please join us May 11-14, 2017 for our special weekend retreat, Find Your Inner Cowgirl with Body, Mind, Equine: 3- Night Women’s Retreat with Cowgirl/Yogini Cathy Woods.

Learn more about Body, Mind, Equine: A horse & yoga retreat.

Hurry, there is only 1 spot left for this event!

About the Author

Cathy Woods, Cowgirl/Yogini

Cathy teaches yoga as an “awareness practice” to be used on and off the mat. In addition, she leads a program called, Body, Mind, Equine, combining her passions of yoga and horsemanship. Though Cathy does not claim to be a riding instructor or horse trainer/clinician, she does teach how yogic principals can be used to improve one’s horsemanship to become a more aware and conscious rider.

The Perfect Storm

Thanks so much to everyone that came to stay at the ranch this holiday season- I call it the perfect storm because there really was just SO much going on (you were a very active, fun group!), but we love it that way and wouldn’t change a thing! We are so lucky and honored to have you all as part of our ranch family!

As an FYI for those people out there that weren’t able to make it this holiday season: we are already nearly full for Christmas 2012, and it looks that New Year’s will be following suit here pretty soon. If you are interested in the holidays, please make sure you call and put your name on the waiting list, and we’ll get you in as we can!

Lastly, please make sure to check out our Facebook page for a great picture account for each of the 2 major holidays this winter!

Happy New Year to everyone!

The Perks of Adults-Only Weekend at C Lazy U Ranch

C Lazy U Ranch is a family-friendly place, but we make sure adults are taken care of with gourmet dining, spa treatments and all the luxurious touches you’d expect from any world-class resort. But even with all the built-in amenities and the Kids Program, which keeps the children busy during the day and plenty of all-ages activities, sometimes parents just need a real break — which is why C Lazy U Ranch offers its special Adults-Only Weekend in the fall, where the only kids you’ll see are of the mountain goat variety.

adults only weekend c Lazy u

Parents and adults know they deserve this, but here are a few added reasons for why an Adults Only weekend at C Lazy U should make it on this year’s trips list:

Relieve Yourself of Responsibility

Adults have busy lives filled with unfinished to-do lists, often spending more time working than with loved ones. And when they’re parents, their lives revolve around the children: changing diapers, shuttling the kids to and from school, and occupying them during weekends. All that intense focus and planning leaves little time to spend on themselves.

For those who are burned out from baby talk and bills, an all-inclusive resort such as CLU can give you the break you need. Everything is arranged for you, including meals, lodging and daily activities: you won’t have to pick up after yourself (or, more often than not, everyone else) or figure out what to do, giving you a welcome break from your grueling everyday life.

Enjoy the Finer Things in Life

Not many people have the energy after a long day at work to whip up a healthy home-cooked meal for the family. At C Lazy U Ranch, you’ll never have to step foot in a kitchen or settle for takeout — you’ll be treated to three gourmet meals a day, all prepared by our talented Executive Chef. Breakfast and lunch bring made-to-order menus while a nightly four-course dinner offers a more formal experience to share with your special someone and fellow guests.

We’re also be ready to top up your drinks, whether it’s a glass of wine fine — selected from a list curated by our award-winning in-house sommelier — a cold beer or a cocktail from the onsite bar, where you can swap stories until closing time.

Get a Little Privacy

At the ranch, you get your own little hideaway. Our private rooms and cabins feature cozy furniture, elegant décor and, in many rooms, huge stone fireplaces that offer a romantic ambiance. They’re decked out with all the necessities and plenty of luxury touches, including plush robes and iHome docking stations to set the mood. The Aspen cabin — also called the Honeymoon Cabin — is a popular private cabin for couples that need some extra alone time.

Do What You Want

With adults-only weekend, the adults can do exactly what they want: if they prefer to lounge by the pool for hours, spend some time at the bar or get treatment after blissful treatment in the spa, it’s all up to them. The Lazy You Spa is particularly suited for couples that need to relax, especially with the couple’s massage and soak where you not only get a lengthy massage but a soak in our classic copper cowboy tub with some champagne and strawberries.

Couples can further strengthen their bond during the plethora of activities that C Lazy U Ranch offers, including daily horseback riding, Orvis fly fishing, hiking, biking, archery and trap shooting, as well as a ropes course and zip line. But there’s no requirement to spend every moment together, and you are free to take some time to yourself, too — the ranch’s 8,500 acres is plenty big enough to find some solitude.

Join Us for a Weekend Away

Couples planning to celebrate a romantic milestone such as an anniversary may wish to spend their evenings under the starlit Colorado sky with some peace and quiet. While kids are an integral part of the C Lazy U Ranch atmosphere, we know how important it is for adults to take a break and spend some time among the grownups. This year, take a vacation with your spouse or close friends to pamper yourself, and get a well-deserved break from responsibility.

Send us a note and let’s plan your Adults-Only Weekend Getaway at C Lazy U

The snow is a fallin’- It’s a great time to go skiing!

Howdy blog readers! My little hooves are barely able to write this blog post today, as the snow is tummy deep here (my tummy… which usually only skims the surface of the snow, but these days it’s creating a nice gully behind me as I walk… not yours). At any rate, I just wanted to sign on and let you all know how awesome the snow conditions are here! check them out below.

Oh! If any of my blog readers lives in Denver, now hear this:

C Lazy U is offering a new, special “a la carte” nightly rate for anybody interested in coming up to ski the local ski areas (or our mountain). The rates that our reservationists would quote you includes your lodging, ice skating and hockey, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, plus complimentary shuttles to any from either of the ski areas nearby (Ski Granby Ranch and Winter Park Resort!). If you’d like, you can also add some of our other on ranch winter activities, or meals, to your package for an additional charge.

Give them a call if you want to take advantage of all the fresh “pow-pow” as the young people call it: 970-887-3344. This new “a la carte” nightly pricing is only good through this winter, by the way, so if you’re looking to “shred the gnar”, call quick!

We hope to see you here! Bring me snacks- all this talk of exercise has whetted my appetite! Thanks in advance!!

c lazy u ranch with snow covered

ruler with amount of snow

The Snow is Melting!

The snow is melting and I can see my hooves again! Spring is officially here-the cowboy boots are getting brought out again, snow boots are being stored away for the season, people are walking around in their t-shirts, and most importantly, I’ll be making my semi-annual trip down to Denver to support my favorite baseball team, the Colorado Rockies, this weekend (I have to say, I’m a little nervous though, as I heard the managers talking about bringing me in from pasture a day early to hose me off and brush me down… I shudder at the thought!).

On the note of my trip to Coors Field, if anybody is going to be going to opening weekend, I will be there and out and about on Friday and Sunday that weekend, saying hello and posing for pictures with my adoring public. And even better than that (that’s how the management is billing this next bit, but I say, “What can be better than a picture with Petey?”) is the contest that we’re hosting, involving me: Petey Paparazzi! I’ve included a picture of the 3″x5″ card that we’ll be handing out at the game both Friday and Sunday (staring yours truly), so if anybody wants to stop and enter to win a trip to see me, I’d love to meet you!If you won’t be at the game, abut you have a really great picture with me from one of your trips, that works too- submit it and see what happens!


Take your Photo with Petey the Donkey


I hope to see you at Coors field, or this summer! Not booked your horseback riding vacation yet? I’ve heard that space is filling quickly, so if you want a spot, give our reservations department a call at: 970-887-3344.

The Story of Alice: Our Newest, Littlest Member of the CLU Herd

C Lazy U - The Story of Alice


As you might have heard, we recently got a little surprise here on the C Lazy U Ranch. We’d like you to meet baby Alice, the newest, littlest member C Lazy U - Aliceof the C Lazy U herd!The story of how C Lazy U got Alice is a bit funny.C Lazy U recently purchased a horse, Belle. When we got her, we thought Belle was just really well fed. Boy were we wrong! On the morning of August 26 our wranglers woke up, checked on the horses and found this little beauty.

One of our guests who was visiting the ranch that day shared his experience with Alice on Facebook:

“I was there waiting for the jingle when a wrangler carried her over the bridge, followed by her mom … spectacular view.”

The Story of Alice’s Name

Getting a new horse is always an exciting event, but it’s made even more special when we can name our newest addition. Most of C Lazy U’s horses come to us with names already, so this experience was a special treat.

We posted about our brand new little horse on Facebook and Instagram and asked our extended C Lazy U family to help us name her. There were a ton of great suggestions, including:

  • Meadow – Because she was born out in the West Meadow
  • Feather or Star – For the lovely star on her head, which many people think looks like a feather
  • Smokey, Shadow, Twilight, Chrome, Midnight, Stormy – Inspired by her beautiful grayish color

But in the end, one name rose above the rest. As soon as we saw it suggested we knew it was the one: Alice.

Naming the horse Alice was inspired by a special young guest who visited the ranch with her family earlier this year – Alice. Alice came to C Lazy U for her “Make A Wish” program and we just loved her so much we thought it was perfect to name our cutest little horse after her.

C Lazy U - Alice's Namesake

So next time you visit C Lazy U, make sure you say hi to our little Alice – she’s sure to be a favorite around the ranch. We’ll also be posting plenty of photos of her on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure to follow us so you can watch as she grows.

C Lazy U - Alice Standing C Lazy U - Alice Foal









The Women in the Rockies Wellness Retreat

Since 2015, the Women in the Rockies Wellness Retreat has been changing women’s lives.  The annual fall retreat, held at C Lazy U dude ranch in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, combines wellness, healing, and adventure. The retreat, created by Janet Solie, PA, MS,invites attendees to participate in the ranch’s phenomenal horse program, create lifelong friendships, and learn about themselves and their view on life. Of course, participants also enjoy the ranch’s exceptional service, beautiful accommodations, gourmet food, and scenic beauty. If you’re considering registering for next year’s program, read on to learn the top four things you’ll experience during the Women in the Rockies Wellness Retreat.    

woman on top of horse


Many women who come on the retreat want to be reminded of the adventure, fun, and freedom they experienced when they were younger, and horseback riding is the perfect remedy. There’s nothing more freeing than going out on a trail ride with a group of like-minded women, trotting through the woods, or riding along ridges with breathtaking views of the ranch and Colorado fall colors.  The trail riding represents a connection many women have lost with nature or may have never experienced in their lifetime. The ranch pairs each rider with a horse based on their riding experience and offers rides of different levels to support each participant’s level of expertise.

3 people on top of horses

Horses are an integral part of the retreat because they are natural healers and seek to build trusting relationships with their riders. The program builds on the trusting relationship between each horse and rider by including instruction and opportunities both in the saddle and on the ground. The first full day of the retreat focuses on the horses and includes orientation, a horse meditation, a trail ride, groundwork and grooming.


The mindfulness portion of the retreat starts well before the program begins. In August, each participant takes a Duke Personal Assessment Inventory, which helps identify possible lifestyle changes each woman would like to make. Later that month, Janet schedules a personal call with each participant to discuss her personal wellness goals, challenges, and what she hopes to gain from the experience.  

women doing yoga

On the ranch, women take part in short mindfulness meditations that use deep breathing, body scans, and other techniques to help participants focus on the present. Meditations are also used throughout the program to enhance the partnership between each woman and her horse.  Those who enjoy yoga can enjoy practice mindfulness by participating in a daily early morning class before breakfast.


Whether you come to the retreat alone or with a loved one, you’re sure to leave with friends. After getting written permission from each woman to share their contact information, Janet shares that year’s list with each attendee. Participants often meet up to take the train from Denver to Granby together or rideshare via car through the Rocky Mountains. Of course, others prefer a solo adventure to get to the ranch, which is also encouraged. The goal of the retreat is to help you get in touch with what really matters to you, so there are no hard and fast rules!  

During the retreat itself, the group comes together through many meditations, mindfulness activities, horseback riding, and horse grooming sessions. Just like a herd stays together and protects one another, women are encouraged to look out for their fellow participants and keep them safe on the trail. By the end of the retreat, women share stories and photographs of them and their new friends and some even make plans to return together next year.


Many women enjoy the retreat so much they want to return again. Luckily, no two years are exactly the same. Janet asks each participant to complete a two-page evaluation to help her improve the program and based on this feedback, the program evolves to bring the very best of previous retreats. 

Over the years, the program has offered more time with horses and focuses on fostering a connection between the rider and horse with both ground and trail riding activities. The retreat has also moved from wellness presentations to more small group exercises and discussions. As the group has gotten larger with more returning guests, the retreat is able to offer a little more variety and improve their most popular offerings.

If you love nature, horses, socializing with like-minded people, and are looking to reconnect with yourself, the Women in the Rockies retreat may be just what you need. Find a calm space to recharge, heal, and restart at C Lazy U. We’ll be waiting for you!

Ready to book your place? Save 10% when you book by October 31st, 2019!

Read testimonials from 2019 retreat participants!

Read Kris’s Testimonial

Read Cammy’s Testimonial

The Yoga Experience at CLU

When you visit C Lazy U Ranch, you’re in for a whole lot of adventure, excitement and rough-and-tumble fun. But it’s not all exhilarating outdoor exploits — you’ll also get the chance to center yourself during our relaxing outdoor yoga sessions and special October Om On Yoga retreat.

woman in pink doing yoga

Yoga at C Lazy U

Yoga is offered at C Lazy U Ranch each summer in two programs: the Yoga Hike, in which participants hike to an overlook to take part in an all-level hatha/vinyasa yoga class, and Lazy You Yoga, in which beginners can stretch, relieve stress and meditate. The Yoga Hike takes place every Tuesday and Thursday from 2:00–3:30 p.m., while Lazy You Yoga — held on the Latigo Room deck or in the wine cellar in case of inclement weather — is scheduled each Wednesday from 2:30–3:30 p.m.

C Lazy U also hosts special yoga retreats for those who want a more intensive yoga vacation, such as October’s special Om On Yoga Retreat. During this five-day, four-night yoga event, guests can take part in daily yoga classes taught by Elizabeth Fuqua (E-RYT 200, Certified Personal Trainer), all of which take place at CLU’s scenic overlook.

The yoga sessions during the Om On Yoga Retreat were designed for all levels, with Elizabeth guiding participants with modifications or enhancements to tailor the yoga experience based on skill level or specific needs. Because time off the yoga mat will be spent on horseback, hiking or taking part in any of the ranch’s activities such as swimming, fishing and biking, Elizabeth will also be able to offer practices that target specific muscle groups that may have been worked strenuously and are in need of some TLC.

Each day begins with a hearty cowboy/cowgirl-style breakfast in the Main Lodge to give you the energy you need to keep up with the day’s events. After breakfast, it’s time for the first yoga session: a leisurely hike to the overlook, during which we may stop to pause and take in nature’s beauty, gets the blood flowing before we reach the final destination. If guests are not feeling up to the day’s yoga session, they are welcome to sit it out and instead enjoy one of the ranch’s other activities (or simply stay in and relax by the pool!).

After Yoga: Action or Relaxation

After an invigorating yet relaxing yoga session, participants will go on daily trail rides on horseback or take advantage of any of the ranch’s activities, but those who want to continue their Zen state of mind can eschew the exercise and head to the Lazy You Spa instead. Massages, facials, and the famous Cowboy Soak can truly help calm the mind and spirit.

The days are otherwise filled with gourmet lunches and dinners, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, games and entertainment provided by the ranch. At this yoga retreat, you’ll never get bored.

Yoga Retreat Packing List

For those who have never been to a dude ranch in Colorado, packing correctly is essential. The climate and conditions of Colorado can be very different from what you are used to, so it’s important to ensure that you protect yourself against dehydration and sunburn.

In addition to C Lazy U’s recommended summer packing list, guests should bring their own yoga gear:

  • Comfortable yoga clothing
  • Yoga mat
  • Journal
  • Camera
  • A good book

Practicing yoga at C Lazy U can be a life-changing experience, thanks to the stunning beauty of our surroundings, the care put into the accommodations and ranch services, and the yoga teachers that make it all possible.

Things You’ll Only See on the Winter Horseback Riding Trail

Winter horseback riding at our all-inclusive resort in Colorado is unlike any other experience you’ll have at a dude ranch in the American West, thanks to our 8,500 acres of prime Rocky Mountain landscape. We’ve got access to some of the best horseback riding trails in Colorado, and we try our best to make sure you get a glimpse of some of nature’s most amazing sights — sights that are only available in the winter at C Lazy U Ranch.

winter horseback riding

Elk Herds

Elk are common in Colorado, and you’ll see them in the summer months as well in the winter. In the winter, however, the elk may be a little closer — they spend their summers at higher elevations and will travel further down in the colder months. They’ll usually hang out in wooded areas for shelter from the snow, so it’s a unique experience to see them out and about against the backdrop of snow.

Seeing a winter elk herd up close is breathtaking, as these large, majestic animals travel in large herds and are generally peaceful creatures. Because this can be a somewhat rare sight, it’s always good to have a camera on hand!

Red Foxes

In the winter, red foxes are busy finding mates and preparing their primary dens for the winter. In the wild, it’s rare to spot a red fox, but C Lazy U has a few friendly red foxes that love to hang around the ranch and pose for pictures. You may encounter them on the trail, too, but be careful: just because they look just like dogs and are so very adorable, they’re still wild animals and should only be admired from afar.

red fox in snow

Birds, Birds and More Birds

While many animals are hibernating or hiding for the winter, birds are still soaring high in the sky. Birdwatching in Colorado is as exciting as in the summer, with chickadees, sparrows and finches flitting around the ranch.

If you’re lucky, you may even get to spot a bald eagle. Our country’s national bird has recently made a comeback in Colorado, and can be spotted near water — such as Shadow Mountain Lake, just north of Granby — in the winter. Keep an eye on the sky if a bald eagle sighting is on your bucket list!

Snowy Mountain Scenery

Most of the amazing sights at C Lazy U Ranch in the winter have to do with the wildlife — we are, after all, near one of America’s greatest slices of nature. But C Lazy U Ranch’s prime location, right in the heart of the Rocky Mountains with views of Willow Creek Reservoir, means that those towering mountain peaks sometimes steal the show.

Colorado winters at our resort often gets a heavy dusting of powder, transforming the scenery completely. It’s not often you get to sit and gaze out upon vast mountain peaks glazed with snow — and C Lazy U has 360-degree views. When weather permits (we are in ski country!), we take our guests out on horseback to roam the trails at a leisurely pace, allowing everyone to admire the quiet that winter brings to the mountains. Whereas the summertime trails are filled with chatter — the guests and the animals — a hush settles over the trails in the winter, creating a unique, magical atmosphere.

Blue Skies and White Snow

There are plenty of other sights to admire in the winter at C Lazy U Ranch, such as our twinkling holiday lights, our frozen pond and cozy fires. Whatever you’d like to set your eyes upon this winter, we can show you the best that Colorado has to offer at C Lazy U Ranch. See our Winter Vacation Packages for your next all-inclusive resort vacation!

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Luxury and Adventure in the American West

What Better Gift than an Unforgettable Adventure that Becomes a Gilded Memory?

With the holidays fast upon us, tracking down the perfect gifts can prove a special challenge. How do we repay those most precious to us for their endless love and support? This year, if no simple object wrapped in paper will suffice, turn to 8,500 acres of Rocky Mountain tranquility, excitement, romance, and fun for all ages.    

A Vacation Destination That Offers Something for Everyone

Your friends and family probably all have very different requirements for a dream vacation, right? At C Lazy U Ranch, we’re proud to tell you that no one will have to compromise. Whether your loved ones are thrill-seekers, animal lovers, or looking to catch up on some me-time, there’s something for everyone at our all-inclusive resort in Colorado.

Trail ride under blue skies at C Lazy U Ranch

Want to get in touch with nature? 

Hike, bike, snowshoe, or ski the day away in the crisp mountain air, or book a one-on-one guided fly fishing excursion on some of the best rivers in the Rockies. Need more excitement in your life? Take-on the Ranch’s ropes course & zipline, shoot trap, throw hatchets, play hockey on the pond, or try your hand at archery.   

Need to center yourself? 

Find serenity in one of Colorado’s most unique spa environments, featuring moonlit soaks in copper tubs and decadent massages with glass bottom views over the river.

couple in the c lazy u tub spa

Feeling the cowboy or cowgirl spirit? 

Shout “yee-haw!” from the back of a horse specially paired to your individual personality and abilities. Form a bond with these powerful and beautiful creatures as you enjoy a variety of riding experiences that accommodate all ages and skill levels.   

Looking for family-friendly fun? 

Our Ranch Counselors have curated incredible programs for both kids and teens, featuring amazing adventures that build confidence, foster knowledge, and inspire awe in youngsters of all ages. Families can enjoy valuable time together away from the stresses and pressures of city life, and adults can enjoy time alone together with the peace of mind that their children are safe, fully supervised, and having the time of their lives.  

Hungry for something extraordinary? 

Experience Executive Chef Cory Untch’s seasonal menu of elevated farm favorites, fresh from the ranch to your table. Adventurous and discerning palates alike will be wowed by meals that are as nutritious as they are decadent. Our all-inclusive dude ranch provides a variety of gourmet food selections.

A father and daughter enjoy archery at the ranch

Ready to wind down? 

Slide into the hot tub or cozy up with someone special in the elegant comfort of our five-star cabins. All of our rooms are recently renovated and feature modern amenities as well as authentic touches of the West — like the warmth and ambiance only a real wood-burning fireplace can provide. Accommodations are available for all types of groups and families, featuring a wide range of room styles and bed options, all within walking distance of the main lodge.   

Book Your Stay at an Award Winning Vacation Destination 

Whether for a holiday gift or the celebration of an important moment, time at the C Lazy U all-inclusive ranch is always magical! See for yourself why Condé Nast has named C Lazy U one of the top ten resorts in the world, and discover how our award-winning commitment to service has reinvented the great American getaway. 

Enrich the lives of your loved ones and give them a life-changing connection to the beauty and power of the authentic American West. They’ll have all their desires met, including ones they didn’t even know they had, with an all-inclusive C Lazy U Guest Ranch experience.

Availability is limited and spaces are filling fast, so don’t wait to reserve your family’s spot today

This Holiday Season, Give the Gift of Retreat

Cathy Woods, creator of Body, Mind, Equine and Retreat Leader, gives her thoughts on why a horse & yoga retreat is the ideal gift for yourself or the women in your life. Learn more about Cathy here.

Often, we give tangible things as presents, but I’ve always loved giving “experiences” to my loved ones and friends. The lasting memories can mean so much more than a store-bought item.

holiday gift

The Find Your Inner Cowgirl though Body, Mind, Equine retreat at C Lazy U Ranch in Colorado might just be the best gift ever for wives, mothers, daughters, girlfriends, or even yourself. It also falls on Mother’s Day Weekend (May 10-13, 2018) —a wonderful opportunity to spend quality mom-and-daughter time.

Women are powerhouses in daily life. So much falls under the umbrella of being a “woman” these days: managing a career, taking care of family, running a house, organizing schedules, cleaning, shopping and cooking, and planning for the future, etc. Whether they acknowledge it or not, sometimes they need a real break… time to restore, to recharge their batteries.

What to Expect

This 3-night retreat blends fun, relaxation and adventure, with activities such as daily yoga and meditation and arena and trail time with horses. Don’t be concerned with one’s horseback riding or yoga skill level – the event is open to any woman who wants to attend, regardless of prior experience with yoga or horses. The teachers meet women “where they are,” from beginners to experts. And, the experienced C Lazy U wranglers will match up every person with just the right horse, which you will ride for the entire duration of the retreat.

one woman and horse with view

One way women recharge is by connecting with each other, and the intimate size of the group allows for relationships to deepen, new friendships to be made, and heart connections — all this in a location of breathtaking wild beauty in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Of course, space is given for personal time as well. The venue, C Lazy U Ranch, is ideal for this retreat. The ranch pampers its guests with delicious food, comfortable accommodations and a spa. The luxurious yet cozy atmosphere, contrasted with the rugged surroundings, feels magical.

patio area with fire pit

It’s hard to put into words what it’s like to begin each morning with group meditation and yoga in front of a roaring fire place, with a backdrop of 200 horses! For certain, it feeds the Soul.

When we attend these retreat, shifts happen. One of my favorite things about leading retreats is seeing the guests’ palpable transformation from when they arrive to when they leave. Time away in a new setting, being in nature, and unplugging, have transformative and lasting effects. At the end, the participants embody a softer, lighter, glow. They return home in a much better place — physically, mentally and emotionally — rested and with new tools to enrich living.
After these days filled with beauty, fun, laughter, learning, adventure, and connection, women come back refreshed and empowered, with indelible memories and perhaps new friendships. After retreats like this, we are ready to take on the world again.

What better gift to give? Give the gift of retreat: See Retreat Details.

This Summer’s Best Fishing Trip: Colorado Fly Fishing

summer fly fishing in colorado

For so many anglers, both amateur and pro, there’s nothing quite like Colorado in the summertime. Colorado fly fishing is some of the best to be had. For a fly fishing vacation with exclusive access to private territory and trained guides, C Lazy U is ready with an Orvis-certified experience for all skill levels – even the kids!

Fly fishing 101

While fly fishing has a reputation of taking a lifetime to master, first-timers are often charmed by its intuitiveness. After some practice, the cast begins to feel even more natural than casting with a spinning reel. So what is fly fishing, and how exactly does it differ from standard “spin” fishing?

The main difference is what you’re actually casting out. When fishing with a spinning reel, you cast out a weighted lure. The lure propels the light fishing line forward, then it lands with a small splash and sinks. Fly fishing, on the other hand, is a more covert approach. The fly angler uses a weighed line, casting out the weight of the line itself. The advantage? You can fish with microscopic bait (“flies”) attached, launching them great distances without startling fish with the splash and sink of a lure. Yes, this does take a little more finesse than chucking out a lure into the water, but once you graduate to fly fishing you’ll likely be hooked.

“Spin” fishing versus fly fishing in Colorado

Lucky for anglers who like a little bit of both, Colorado is home to premier mountain lakes and rivers that lend themselves beautifully to all versions of the sport.

Colorado’s waters are full of trophy-sized fish, from wild salmon to northern pike to a healthy variety of trout. In fact, the Centennial State is one of the top trout destinations in the world – with cutthroats, browns, “brookeis” and rainbows to be reeled in ad infinitum. Colorado boasts a whopping twelve fisheries that have gained Gold Medeal Trout Water designation from the US Department of Natural Resources, based on density of quality specs.

So which approach is best for catching and releasing your own trophy fish in Colorado? The expert guides at C Lazy U are a little partial to fly fishing, just because our private stretch of the Colorado River headwaters is set up so beautifully for it. Conditions are perfect for learning or fine-tuning fly fishing skills. On a Colorado fly fishing vacation at the lodge you’ll find:

  • Wide open spaces. One of the biggest differences between fly fishing and “spin” fishing is the amount of space needed for a successful cast. If you’re in too-cramped quarters, you’ll end of spending most of the day untangling your line from tree branches. On a private fishing excursion, you’ll have the elbow room needed to really hone your skills.
  • Familiarity. One of the trickiest parts of fly fishing is being familiar with the river and all its structures. This makes it a little more challenging to pick up on a fishing vacation to Colorado or any terra incognita. Luckily, the passionate fishing guides at C Lazy U have been angling at the nearby fishing holes for years and are ready to share their tips on where to start.
  • Patience. Even more so than “spin” fishing, fly fishing requires Zen-like patience. Success and gratification is less instantaneous, more elusive. Again, here’s where a private excursion with an expert guide really delivers. Infinitely patient, they will take as much time as needed to impart their own knowledge as you move along the learning curve of fly fishing.
  • The right gear. In general, gearing up for fly fishing costs a bit more than outfitting yourself for plain old “spin” fishing. In addition to finding the right flies, anglers need to upgrade their rod, reel, leaders, tippets, and waders. Where to start? C Lazy U can take the guesswork out of this – our fishing opportunities include everything you’ll need for a first-time fly fishing experience. This gives newbies a good sense of what to start adding to their own gear collections.

Check out how passionate and dedicated the C Lazy U fishing guides are!


How big is big? Trophy fish in Colorado

One important thing to know about fly fishing in Colorado: permits are required. In order to maintain a healthy fish stock and keep populations strong, catch and release policies govern how many fish per day you can take home, and what constitutes a trophy fish that must be released.

Here are some guidelines for what you can keep for the grill and what you’ll need to release after the photos have been snapped. Check with your guide about the limits on number of non-trophy permitted to take home each day. And if you’re lucky enough to reel in any of these trophies – be sure to kiss it goodbye!

  • Cutthroat Trout: Trophies are 20” or larger. In Colorado, these beauties rarely grow larger than 12”, but the record size was a 33-incher caught by angler Rob Peckham in 2005.
  • Rainbow Trout: Trophies are 24” or larger. Average size for this spec ranges between 12 and 16 inches, but the pros regularly reel in monsters of 26 inches and bigger!
  • Brook Trout (a.ka. “brookies): Trophies are 16” or larger. You’re likely to pull in a brookie of 12-14 inches and weighing in at around half a pound. The record in Colorado for brook trout dates back to 1947, when George Knorr hooked a spec weighing in at over seven pounds.

What is Orvis Endorsement?

C Lazy U is proud of its hard-earned Orvis Endorsement as a fly fishing lodge. This means that we meet Orvis’ high standards in the areas of great service, great fishing, and highly experienced professional staff. Orvis also rates us on our ability to cater to all levels, from beginner to expert. Orvis keeps us on our toes, continually reviewing our qualifications and checking in with guests for their critiques. That means that when you plan a summer fishing trip to Colorado at C Lazy U, it’ll definitely be worth the experience!

This Year, Pass the #TravelSauce

c lazy u travel sauce

When the conversation around the table gets too bland during this year’s holiday feast, break out the travel sauce — and start discussing your family’s next great vacation! While everyone is busy filling their bellies, you can start working up a new appetite for adventure.

According to the Family Travel Association, a coalition of family travel experts and suppliers, the majority of households in the U.S. aren’t using all their paid vacation time. Parents have just 18 summers to make the most of holiday time with a child — and 2017 is the year to start making them count.

The FTA has launched a new initiative with #travelsauce to encourage families to get packing. While your family is gathered to enjoy the holiday, revisit favorite travel memories and photos from the past year. Retell those vacation stories that everyone’s heard before, but still bring plenty of laughter.

At the dinner table, you have a captive audience. Pitch your travel ideas for the coming year — maybe it’s a visit to a dude ranch in the picturesque Rocky Mountains of Colorado, the beach, or a national park. Let us know what you’re cooking up with the hashtag #travelsauce.

C Lazy U hosts families year-round from all over the world, adventuring together to the Great American West for an authentic ranch experience. We see lots of families enjoying their time off, but we know there are more out there who need a break.

Take the time this holiday season when bellies are full, spirits are high and good will is in abundance to sit with your family and pass around the travel sauce. It’s not too early to set the dates for 2017’s family vacation, request the time off, and put it on the calendar.

Commit to it now — while you’re all together — before more precious childhood summers fly by. And tell us all about what you’ve decided for your next vacation using #travelsauce!

Happy holiday feasting from our family to yours!

Tips For Bonding With Your Horse At C Lazy U

With winding trails, picturesque views, and thousands of acres to explore, it’s no wonder why horseback riding is a fan favorite at C Lazy U. Our unique horseback riding program pairs each guest with a horse based on their skill level and experience for the entire stay.

A woman touches Goliath during Horses and Happy Hour

By pairing you with one horse, you become a more confident rider and develop a lifelong bond with our 4-legged friends. If you’re preparing your upcoming Colorado horseback riding vacation, read these tips to grow your connection with your horse and get the most out of your horseback riding experience.  

Trust Your Horse 

Trusting your horse is the first step in building a strong bond. If you’re scared of horses or aren’t used to horseback riding, the prospect of a trail ride can seem daunting. Rest assured that every riding horse at C Lazy U has undergone years of training and thoroughly enjoys meeting new riders every week. Once a horse becomes a trail horse, they’re frequently evaluated by our wranglers to ensure they remain safe for our guests. 

Treat Your Horse With Respect 

Like most animals, treating your horse with kindness and respect will help you build a trusting connection. Our wranglers will teach you some general techniques to help you safely control your horse, so be sure to practice those on the trail. You can also ask your wrangler to tell you more about your horse’s personality and preferences, which can enhance the riding experience for both of you.  

Talk To Your Horse 

Just as you talk to your pets, talking to your horse can strengthen your bond. Speaking in a gentle, soothing, or confident tone will help your horse get to know your voice and respond better to you on the trail.

girl petting horse
And the end of your week you will have bonded with your horse, which is an experience like no other!

Of course, don’t forget the power of non-verbal communication! A soft pat or small pressure changes can help your horse understand what you want and how you’re feeling.  

Attend a Horsemanship Clinic 

C Lazy U provides daily horsemanship clinics to help adult riders get more comfortable with their horses. As a pair, you’ll go through a variety of exercises to build your connection, strengthen your riding skills, and prepare for the trail. Horsemanship clinics can be adapted to any skill level, so even advanced riders can benefit from spending some quality time with their horse.

Consider Grooming Your Horse 

C Lazy U’s wranglers groom the horses every day, but our horses love when guests join in!  Grooming is a great way to grow your bond and help your horse trust and respect you. Not only will you learn more about caring for a horse, but you’ll love how strong your connection becomes! 

Horseback riding at the ranch is a magical experience, and our guests come back again and again to see and ride their favorite horses. Are you ready to have the horseback riding vacation of a lifetime? Contact us today to book your stay! 

Top 10 Reasons to Visit C Lazy U for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving family vacation dinner

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and of course there is no better place to spend it than with family and friends. But, how about spending your Thanksgiving family vacation in Colorado with friends and family in the heart of the Rocky Mountains just a short drive from the city with all the hard work taken care of for you?!

With that in mind, we give you our top 10 reasons to spend your Thanksgiving at C Lazy guest ranch:

10. The Ranch is just a short drive from Denver. You owe it to yourself to get away (without going far!) to pamper yourself for the holidays!

9. C Lazy U Ranch does all the cooking and cleaning with a smile. That means no asking your napping family members to leave the couch, and the football game, to help with dishes.

8. Speaking of football, C Lazy U realizes it’s as much a part of the Thanksgiving tradition as the turkey. Our annual football party is sure to please the football fanatic in any family.

7. Thanksgiving dinners sometimes end in heated family discussions. Not at C Lazy U! The Ranch is experienced in providing peaceful mediation through good company, L-Tryptophan and fine wine.

6. Rather than cooking all day, you can relax in the Lazy You Spa while our executive chef ensures everything is perfect for your Thanksgiving feast.

5. You work too hard to wait in line for “Black Friday” bargains when you can shop at Luis Old Place on the ranch, relax and spend time with your family.

4. There are 200 horses who aren’t afraid to take you for a ride, even after you put on a few extra Thanksgiving pounds!

3. You can enjoy fine wine and cocktails, carve your own turkey and indulge in all the traditional fixings without ever having to lift a finger!

2. If you eat and drink too much, our draft horses are ready to pull you back to your cabin at the end of the night.

1. You can be thankful you are starting a new family tradition that everyone will enjoy.

Of course, I’ll throw in one more on what I think is the best reason – getting a hug from Petey!! (and did I mention all the food?!)

No matter where you choose to spend your Thanksgiving holiday this year, we wish you a healthy, filling, Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 10 Reasons to Visit C Lazy U in the Winter


It’s official – winter is here! The temperatures sure are dropping this week, but the fun winter activities are just starting to heat up! If you are looking to plan a fun family winter vacation, C Lazy U dude ranch is your top choice for a wide range of winter activities to keep the whole family entertained. From snowshoeing to tubing, there is something for everyone at our great ranch. Plus, you’ll enjoy beautiful views surrounding you as we are in the heart of the Great Rocky Mountain National Park – a truly magical place in the winter and every time of the year!

I’m taking a break from playing in all the fresh snow today and decided to count down what I think are the top 10 reasons to visit C Lazy U dude ranch this winter.

10. Horseback riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowtubing are just a few of our daily activities, and each is included as part of your inclusive stay!

9. Avoiding I-70 and the Eisenhower Tunnel for a weekend retreat will help keep you from developing ski traffic road rage.

8. C Lazy U has a full service spa for men, and snowmobiles for women – or the other way around. Whatever you prefer!

7. We offer a daily shuttle to and from Ski Granby Ranch so you don’t have to drive there or back! Schedule your trip at your convenience or take the complimentary shuttle at scheduled times.

6. We also offer a daily shuttle to Winter Park Ski Resort, also complimentary at scheduled times or can be booked for your convenience!

5. You can take advantage of our new room-only a la carte nightly rates, in addition to traditional all-inclusive rates.

4. C Lazy U guest ranch boasts one of Colorado’s rare outdoor skating pond hockey rinks, and meticulously manicures it daily with its very own zamboni.

3. You can avoid waiting for dinner reservations and coping with ski traffic by enjoying all that C Lazy U has to offer on-ranch, without the hustle and bustle.

2. Our full-service spa, gourmet dining and limitless activities afford everyone the personalized experience they are seeking – all without the need to get in your car!

1. C Lazy U is a hidden gem; it’s a winter wonderland specifically crafted for those who appreciate personalized service, attention to detail and long lasting experiences.

Why not skip the hustle and bustle of the corporate resorts with lines and crowds and come join myself and the gang at C Lazy U ranch this winter? We promise to keep your whole family laughing while creating memories that will last a lifetime!

Top 10 Reasons to Visit C Lazy U over Christmas and New Year’s Eve

new years eve

I can’t believe the end of the year is so near! We’ve had a blast making your Colorado family vacations the best experience possible in 2013 and are ready to end with a bang as we celebrate Christmas and New Years. Don’t have plans this year or still looking for something fun to do? Why not choose C Lazy U guest ranch – I think it’s the best place to celebrate Christmas surrounded by the beauty of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains and party down and bring in 2014!

Here are my top 10 reasons you should visit C Lazy U dude ranch in Colorado this holiday season:

10. You’ll have the opportunity to take a complimentary shuttle to nearby ski resorts, so you can get your “fix” but still enjoy the ranch.

9. Our private tubing hill will have you moving faster than Santa’s sleigh.

8. C Lazy U has a full service spa for men, and snowmobiles for women – or the other way around. Whatever you prefer!

7. Snuggling up to a roaring fire with hot cocoa inside, while it is snowing outside, provides the perfect white Christmas memory every kid dreams of, no matter what their age!

6. Our counselors take care of your kids during the holidays – whether they are naughty or nice!

5. C Lazy U Ranch’s elves do all the cooking and cleaning , so there is no need to roll up your sleeves for the holiday celebration.

4. Each family gets its own Christmas tree to decorate in-cabin. There is no worry of missing out on traditions just because you’re away from home.

3. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive on a horse drawn sleigh on Christmas Eve, with a present for every child.

2. You can party like a Rockstar at our annual New Year’s Eve party.

1. The memories you share with your family on this holiday trip will last a lifetime.

Still not convinced? How about seeing me in a party hat ringing in the new year with you? If that’s not enough to make you come running to our dude ranch for the holidays and New Years, you’ll be the one missing out on all the fun! Call us today to plan your trip while there is still room!

Cheers to 2014!

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Colorado on your Next Vacation

Colorado Scenery
Colorado has been an extremely popular vacation destination for decades, and it’s easy to understand why.

C Lazy U dude ranch in Colorado is located in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Our all-inclusive ranch features first-class dining, luxury cabins, and some of the best Colorado outdoor activities.

Here are ten reasons why The Centennial State should be at the top of your vacation list!

1. The Mountains

Perhaps the most obvious reason to visit Colorado is our mountains – the majestic Rocky Mountains to be specific. With a total of 53 fourteeners, the mountains in Colorado are serious peaks. Located in Grand County, C Lazy U is adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, and is surrounded by the rolling hills and rocky crests of some of Colorado’s finest formations, allowing guests to enjoy activities such as cross-country skiing, hiking, horseback riding and more.

2. Skiing

Speaking of skiing, the ski resorts that dot Colorado’s Western Slope are among the best in the world. Winter Park Resort, located just fifteen minutes from C Lazy U, offers three peaks for skiing and snowboarding.

3. Beer

Known as the Napa Valley of Beer, Colorado is home to more than 200 breweries, including mass producers like Miller, Coors, and smaller microbreweries such as Breckenridge Brewery, Fat Tire and Flying Dog Brewery. C Lazy U supports local Colorado brewers by rotating a variety of seasonal selections on draught.

4. Spas

After a day of enjoying Colorado’s active pursuits, a relaxing spa session is a great way to soothe your sore muscles. Located on the banks of the creek in the meadow, C Lazy U’s Lazy You Spa brings the spa experience into nature. Its tented outdoor treatment rooms allow guests to breathe the crisp mountain air, and listen to water rushing down Willow Creek while enjoying unparalleled relaxation.

5. The Seasons

Some all-inclusive vacation spots are known for year-round warm weather, while others are known for beautiful representation of all four seasons. Colorado’s weather, albeit unpredictable, is among its greatest attributes. From the blooming wildflowers of spring and warm sun of summer, to the red and yellow leaves of fall and the snowy wonderland that accompanies winter, Colorado enjoys it all – sometimes all in one day!

6. Accessibility

The gateway to the West, Colorado is home to one of the nation’s largest airports, and easily accessed via a number of highways. Denver International Airport is a major hub for airlines including United, Southwest, Frontier and Delta, making domestic and international travel easy. Even better, C Lazy U guests are often able to avoid the heavy mountain traffic found on I-70 near Eisenhower tunnel due to our northwest location.

7. Western Heritage

While the bustling city of Denver has received ample amounts of attention over the last few years, Coloradans still enjoy their Wild West heritage. C Lazy U encourages guests to enjoy western traditions through outdoor activities such as horseback riding, trap shooting, archery and fishing. Our Cowboy roots can also be found in nightly branding parties by the campfire, and summertime “Shodeos” for the little ones. Celebrating our 95th anniversary this year, C Lazy U has been a working ranch for decades, and we are honored to share our unique history with each of our guests.

8. Fly Fishing

From the roaring waters of the Colorado River to the meandering streams of Granby, fly-fishing in Colorado can’t be beat. While the 35 species of both warm- and cold-water fish known within Colorado may lure you in, it’s the trout that keep fishermen “hooked.” C Lazy U offers guests a chance to explore the local waters, including private sections of the Fraser River, while being guided by a local fly-fishing expert. Our Orvis-endorsed fly fishing program allows guests the opportunity to learn from some of the area’s finest fishermen.

9. Wildlife

Wildlife sightings in Colorado can be thrilling, whether it’s a wild rabbit or massive moose that is spotted. The state boasts 24.5 million acres of forested landscape, and the most prominent – and harmless – wildlife spottings include deer, elk, foxes and other non-predatory animals. C Lazy U’s 8,500 acres are home to a number of animals, from our ranch horses, llamas and ponies, to wild animals such as bears, moose and elk.

10. Active Lifestyle

Colorado is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s healthiest and most active states, and vacations here often reflect it. C Lazy U’s all-inclusive family vacations focus not only on luxurious lodging and dining, but also on uniquely Colorado activities: From horseback riding to snowshoeing, the health benefits of a C Lazy U vacation outweigh those of hanging around a pool; though we encourage that here too!

Top 5 Christmas Adventures at C Lazy U Ranch

The holiday season is always said to be a magical time, but it is never so true as when you are spending it at the dude ranch. Lights twinkling across a snowy landscape, roaring fires in cozy cabins, and delicious meals every night leading up to a big feast on Christmas Eve: it’s a Christmas vacation that’s only seen in storybooks (and C Lazy U Ranch, of course!).

When you’re not busy enjoying all the holiday traditions — tree trimming, carols and opening presents on Christmas Day — there are other adventures to take part in at our all-inclusive ranch resort.

cabin with christmas lights

Horseback Riding on Snowy Trails

Guests are always raving about our celebrated horseback riding program, which many enjoy during the summer. What some may miss out on is winter horseback riding — a unique, enchanting experience that can feel transformative. The dude ranch itself even transforms in the winter, becoming a quiet, sparkling vast space that may make you feel as though you’re on another planet. There are certain things you’ll only see on the winter horseback riding trail, in fact: elusive elk herds, red foxes and bald eagles, for example, may be part of your horseback ride during the holidays.

Explore a Winter Wonderland

Even if horseback riding in the winter isn’t your cup of tea, there are many other ways to explore C Lazy U Ranch’s snow-covered meadows and mesas without getting in the saddle. Try cross-country skiing or snowshoeing across 8,500 acres, either on your own or with a guide. If you’ve already gone horseback riding, it’s still worth it: from the ground, you get a different perspective of the ranch’s wintry scenery.

fresh snow on cabin

Ice Skate Under the Stars

One of the most frustrating experiences during the winter is a crowded skating rink — at C Lazy U Ranch, you’ll never have that problem. Ice skating is available to anyone who would like to partake, but the ranch also hosts a special Skate Night in which the families come together to skate under the stars.

Ride in a Horse-Drawn Sleigh

It’s not every day that you get to ride in a horse-drawn sleigh! At C Lazy U Ranch, however, it can be a daily event. Hop in a sleigh pulled by a team of our trusty draft horses to explore the ranch — you’ll even get to see the herd of horses up close in the field (and perhaps Petey the miniature donkey!).

Personal Visit From Santa

If one sleigh isn’t enough for you, there’s another that visits the ranch only one special night every year: Santa Claus. He’ll arrive on a horse-drawn sleigh filled with presents for you and your children to place under the Christmas tree in the Main Lodge. There is something for everyone, but for some kids, seeing Santa Claus up close and personal is one of the most wonderful gifts they can receive.

kid with santa

Besides the big adventures, guests enjoy family-friend indoor and outdoor activities, archery, hatchet throwing, trap shooting, and bean bag tournaments with the family. When you spend Christmas at C Lazy U Ranch, you’ll get the traditional holiday experience — but with a few magical touches that only a dude ranch can provide.

See more about our all-inclusive winter packages. Reservations can be made by calling C Lazy U guest ranch at (970) 887-3344 or contact us here.

Top 5 Corporate Retreat Complaints and How C Lazy U Solves Them

Typically, the announcement of a corporate retreat is met with groans, eye rolls and a dejected, “Do we have to?” Those reactions aren’t what the retreat planners want, but it’s often because past corporate retreats were too busy, boring and awkward, topped off with forced fun.

Many of the complaints with corporate retreats can often be traced back to the venue. C Lazy U, which offers tailor-made corporate retreat packages for companies large and small, will turn those complaints in praises.

team building group waving on horses

    1. Cramming too much in too little time.

You’ve got a long list of activities, roundtables, meetings and presentations planned, but you’ve only scheduled one or two days to do it all. Packing all those plans into too little time, though cost-effective, will only lead to cranky, tired employees that would have preferred a less stressful day at the office.

Corporate retreats at CLU are at least two days/two nights at a minimum, but the ranch offers so much to do, see and explore that corporate event planners often schedule longer retreats. Spreading out your activities across multiple days allows your employees to truly soak in what they’ve heard and learned without getting burned out.

    1. Staying too close to the office.

Retreats are far less effective when they are planned too close to home base, even if it may be simpler to reach. Employees need to feel as though they are truly away from the office, not just at an extension of it.

Even if your company is located in Denver, just a 2-hour drive from Granby where our ranch is located, our surroundings make it seem like you’re in another world. Colorado is one of the best locations for corporate retreats thanks to its nature, climate and opportunity for both adventure and leisure time. C Lazy U takes full advantage of it, too: all guests at your corporate retreat get access to horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking and biking throughout our 8,500 acres of pure Rocky Mountain countryside.

    1. Planning the same-old, same-old activities.

No one wants to do traditional activities and icebreakers, such as the “What three items would you take on a desert island?” question or trust falls. Some of the games may be fun, but when employees know exactly what to expect, it can get a little boring.

At C Lazy U, there aren’t any “ordinary” plans. Team-building activities at CLU include learning to throw a lariat, herding cattle and riding horses. There’s more to CLU than learning to be a cowboy, though: challenge yourself on the ropes course, fly through the air on a zip line, or spend your day relaxing with yoga and a trip to the spa.

    1. Trapping employees in dull, dreary meeting spaces.

Even if a corporate retreat venue is a resort on the beach, the conference rooms are generally like every other meeting space with their gray walls, fluorescent lighting and lack of access to the outdoors. Trapping your retreat-goers in one dull room for hours at a time will just make them anxious to leave.

The different meeting spaces of C Lazy U, on the other hand, are just as comfortable and chic as the guest rooms and common spaces. The newest meeting room, Latigo, features over 1,000 square feet of cowboy-chic space, with a private banquet room and secluded wine room.

    1. Scheduling too little free time.

You may be eager to avoid bored employees and keep the momentum going, but scheduling too many activities during the day and evening will leave them exhausted. Give your employees the opportunity to make their own decisions and plans — but always bring them back together in the end.

With C Lazy U Ranch as your corporate retreat venue, you can turn your next offsite into an event that really gets the employees talking positively.

Learn more about Corporate Retreats and Business Meetings at C Lazy U or give us a call at (970) 235-9198.

Top 5 Tips for Beginner Riders at Their First Dude Ranch

The horseback riding program at C Lazy U is the highlight of the ranch, thanks to its beautiful trails, trained horses and skilled wranglers. While experienced riders love coming to the ranch to challenge themselves, we still welcome hundreds of beginners and even those who have never been on a horse before.

beginner horse rider at dude ranch

For those guests, the ranch always offers expert guidance and encouragement to help them feel secure in the saddle — but before they take off, there are a few more things for beginner riders to keep in mind.

Get your body ready.

Horseback riding is not just sitting on a horse — it’s a workout! Various studies, along with real-life experience, has shown that horseback riding is considered a good form of exercise for the body. You’ll use a lot of muscles, including your abdomen to stay upright and your thighs to keep your balance, that may not see much action in your day-to-day life.

There are two trail rides offered per day, which may be a lot of muscle strain for those who are not used to that type of workout. Start training your body beforehand by heading to your nearest riding center to start practicing; if it’s not possible to get on a horse, simply do a few at-home exercises for horse riding such as squats, split lunges and tricep kickbacks.

Gear up.

Yoga pants and gym sneakers won’t cut it at a dude ranch. Pay close attention to what you’re packing for your trail rides, as the wrong clothing will only hinder you and make it more difficult to enjoy the experience. C Lazy U offers dude ranch packing lists for all seasons, which always include long pants (jeans or riding pants in the summer, snow pants in the winter) and sturdy riding boots.

If you’ve purchased new clothing for the trip, make sure everything fits comfortably and your boots are broken in. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten an item, as C Lazy U Ranch does offer some of the essentials at Luis’ Old Place.

Keep calm.

If you’ve never been on a horse before, don’t stress — and be sure not to carry any nervousness with you. Horses are very sensitive animals; a 2016 study showed that horses could actually distinguish between happy and angry faces, exhibiting signs of stress and elevated heart rates when viewing the latter.

If you’re feeling nervous about riding a horse, try to practice some mindfulness exercises to calm your nerves and practice taking deep breaths. Once you’re at the ranch, our wranglers will match you with the horse that best matches your skillset and personality — and once in the presence of these sensitive creatures, your worries may just float away.

Keep your eyes on the trail.

When you’re finally out on the trail, you may be tempted to stare at the beautiful horse in front of you. However, watching your horse instead of the trail is akin to driving a car and staring at the steering wheel — it’s dangerous. Keep your eyes focused on what’s ahead of you (stealing a peek at the scenery to around you, of course) to make sure you stay balanced and avoid any obstacles.

In addition, try to keep your hands off the saddle horn, i.e. the protrusion at the front of the saddle; it’s a feature of Western saddles that is used when working cattle. Using it to balance yourself will only prevent you from using your own muscles to stay balanced.

Don’t try to keep up if you can’t.

Trail riding is done in groups, and there may be more experienced riders with you. Don’t feel the need to keep up with the herd — if you’re having trouble, just ask the CLU staff for help. Guests aren’t obligated to go on trail rides, either, so you can spend some much-deserved time in the Lazy You Spa if you’d rather skip out on the second ride.

There’s no right or wrong way to enjoy your time at C Lazy U. Beginner horseback riders should prepare, but there’s no pressure to become an expert equestrian — it is a dude ranch vacation, after all!

Top Travel Destinations in Colorado

Whether you’re seeking adventure, culture, relaxation, or family bonding time, there’s a perfect place for you here in Colorado. From mountain vistas and sprawling vineyards to the green meadows and wildflowers of Colorado Ranch Country, you’re sure to have the vacation of your dreams any time of the year. Start planning your next trip and get to know the top travel destinations in Colorado.

Pond with mountains in the background

The Slopes of the Rocky Mountains

The Rockies offer something special to visitors year-round. In the summer, hike through our 41 Colorado State Parks, 12 National Parks and monuments, and 13 national forests. With thousands of miles waiting to be explored, and tons of difficulty options, you’ll find no shortage of breathtaking sights, fresh air, and native wildlife.

Want a faster way to experience the beauty of Colorado? Try mountain biking! Home to the best single track trails in the world, you’ll zip through high mountain passes, wooded trails, and magnificent valleys.

Three people mountain biking

The fun doesn’t stop when the snow begins to fall. Colorado is the No. 1 ski and snowboard destination in the country, and for good reason. With the highest altitude lift-served terrain in the U.S., skiers and snowboarders can enjoy more time riding, a longer season, and huge amounts of Colorado’s famously dry, fluffy snow.

With first-class ski resorts and thousands of miles of backcountry trails, there’s truly nothing like Colorado skiing. Whatever your skill level or desire for adventure, there’s a downhill ski, snowboard, snow-shoeing, or cross-country route to suit your Colorado vacation.

The Ghost Towns of Southern Colorado

For the history buffs, the old mining towns of Southern Colorado are a great option for your Colorado vacation. In the mining boom of the late 1800s, hopeful prospectors flocked to Colorado’s metal-laden lands in search of gold and established many mining towns.

Some of these mining towns, including Breckenridge and Idaho Springs, are still popular destinations here in the Centennial State. But the majority of them shuttered their windows and faded into history, becoming historical ghost towns.

There are plenty of Colorado ghost towns you and your family can visit. But exercise caution when you do: many of the abandoned buildings aren’t safe to enter .

The Collegiate Peaks

The Collegiate Peaks wilderness area is a top Colorado vacation destination for adventure-seekers and those looking for a challenge. Located in the central part of the Rocky Mountains, near Aspen and Buena Vista, this area is home to eight of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners (14ers), mountains that exceed 14,000 feet in elevation.

Waiting for you at the top of Mt. Harvard, Mt. Yale, or any of the Collegiate Peaks is a scenic view and sense of accomplishment unlike any other. If you’re an experienced hiker and are accustomed to hiking at high altitude, then visiting the Collegiate Peaks should be on your bucket list for your next Colorado vacation.

The Wineries of Colorado’s Western Slope

If you’re looking for a more laid-back Colorado vacation, then the Westen Slope (the part of the state west of the Continental Divide) may be the right destination for you. Considered the “Next Wine Country,” western Colorado is home to verdant vineyards set against a stunning backdrop of our famous red rocks, dramatic valleys, and snow-capped mountains.

Close up shot of champagne glasses

Here, you’ll find the beautiful scenery, award-winning wines, expert sommeliers, and comfortable tasting rooms you’d find in the Napa Valley, but with the warmth and friendliness that Colorado’s known for. Get to know the over 100 wineries in Colorado.

C Lazy U Ranch: The Ultimate Colorado Vacation Experience

In the heart of Colorado’s ranch country you’ll find C Lazy U Ranch. Offering the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, high-class amenities, and fun-filled ranch activities like fly fishing and horseback riding, an all-inclusive getaway at C Lazy U Ranch is the best way to spend your family vacation or romantic getaway — no matter the time of year.

When you choose our premier guest ranch as your Colorado vacation destination, you get the best of everything Colorado has to offer. Our luxury spa services, all-inclusive gourmet dining, and in-house sommelier will make you feel like you’re in wine country. And the scenic views you’ll find hiking, biking, or horseback riding our 8,500 acres of untouched American West are as breathtaking as those of any 14er. Right on the ranch, you’ll find award-winning snowshoeing trails, cross-country skiing, magical sleigh rides, and all kinds of winter activities — all without the crowds of a ski resort.

Pond with mountains in the background

No matter if you’re a family of city slickers or seasoned horseback riders, a Colorado vacation at one of the country’s most celebrated, authentic dude ranches is an experience that brings the whole family together. Contact us today to schedule your dream vacation at C Lazy U Ranch.

Trap Shooting At The Ranch

C Lazy U dude ranch gives guests the chance to experience something completely new. Whether it’s trying horseback riding for the first time, mountain biking through Colorado’s beautiful Rocky Mountain trails, or glamping in our famous Conestoga Wagon, there’s always something exciting happening on the ranch.

trap shooting

If you’re planning your next adventure at C Lazy U ranch, read on to learn more about one of our fan-favorite activities: trap shooting. 

What Is Trap Shooting? 

When trap shooting, you’ll try to hit the clay targets that are launched from a machine. At the ranch, there are two trap shooting machines to accommodate different skill levels. The beginner-friendly machine launches targets straight up into the air, while the more advanced machine releases targets from the side. This variety allows participants to practice shooting horizontal and vertical targets.  

What Trap Shooting Accessories Should I Bring? 

Guests are encouraged to bring their own eyewear (usually sunglasses suffice). To ensure guest safety, we provide all the other equipment you’ll use during your trap shooting session, including: 

  • A variety of age-appropriate firearms, including a .22, .410, and a 12-gauge shotgun
  • Ear protection 
  • Ammo 
trap shooting guns

Is Trap Shooting Safe?

Trap shooting at the ranch is truly a family-friendly activity. Our staff is well-trained on gun safety and will provide a mandatory safety briefing to your group before your session begins. With small groups comprising up to 5 people, our staff can manage the group and make sure all participants are adhering to our rigorous safety standards. C Lazy U’s trap shooting range is secluded, ensuring the safety of other guests during your session.  

What Should I Expect From Trap Shooting? 

After the safety briefing, each member of your group will take turns firing several rounds. Depending on your skill and experience level, your instructor will provide basic instruction on how to load, aim, and hold the gun, or provide more expert advice, like how to better track the target as it moves across the sky.

girl trap shooting

Once you feel comfortable with the gun, you’ll be able to choose which of the targets you’d like to hit. Beginners can focus on hitting a single target at a time, while advanced shooters can try to hit several targets from both machines.  

How Do I Sign Up For Trap Shooting? 

Summer trap shooting is available twice a day, while winter trap shooting is available once per day. To lock in your family’s spot, call us before you arrive to make a reservation, or stop by the Outfitter’s Cabin to sign up once you arrive.  

Hear For Yourself!

Are you on the fence about signing up for trap shooting? Hear what some of our guests have to say about their experience: 

“I’ve never even held a gun before, so I was a little nervous to sign up for trap shooting. I decided to go ahead and give it a try, and I’m glad I did! It was so much fun and my instructor was very knowledgeable. It was definitely a highlight of my trip!” – Emily W.  

“Trap shooting was awesome! I’ve never shot at clay targets like that before, and our guide made me feel so comfortable. I didn’t realize how much skill it would take, but our guide gave me tips the entire time and I finally got one!  It was exhilarating!” – Lynne C.  

Sound like fun? See for yourself – book your next Colorado vacation at C Lazy U! 

Try C Lazy U’s House-Made Meats

c lazy u western dining

The C Lazy U Guest Ranch prides itself on giving guests an authentic Western experience. Visitors to C Lazy U feel the western atmosphere while on horseback riding throughout the Rocky Mountains, in the rustic charm of their luxury guest accommodations and even during meals when the ranch’s expert culinary team whip up everything from “cowboy coffee” to gourmet 4 course meals, to even homemade meats and sausages. Offering house-made charcuterie is just another example of the luxury experience at this one of a kind Colorado dude ranch.

The C Lazy U staff started making homemade cured meats and sausages on-ranch in the fall of 2015. C Lazy U makes various pork, beef, bison, elk and deer products that are then used in the ranch’s menu selections. Guests can experience the ranch-made meats during lunch and dinner both on the patio and in the lodge. The meat for C Lazy U’s charcuterie is locally sourced from several nearby ranches and purveyors before being cured or turned into sausage in the C Lazy U kitchen.

western means c lazy u

The kitchen staff decided to try their hand at making their own specialty meats because they enjoy the process and have extra time during the ranch’s quieter winter months. C Lazy U makes their specialty meats from November through mid-December and January through April. This ensures guests can experience this house-made delicacy no matter what time of year they visit. Depending on the preparation, each meat can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to create.

Homemade meats and sausages are just another part of C Lazy U’s superior service and the kitchen staff enjoy adding this little extra touch to their guests’ experience. Every item on C Lazy U’s 27-page menu is made right in house on the ranch – so no matter what, you’ll always have an outstanding dining experience.

Be sure to ask about C Lazy U’s house-made meats and sausages during your next visit!

Unique Spring Break Family Vacations (away from the crowds!)

spring break family vacations

Spring break trips are a great way to get away during the humdrum weather months. But a relaxing and memorable family trip to a fun destination can quickly turn stressful because of the crowds of thousands of other spring breaking families or flocks of college students.

The key to a great time is going off the beaten path and planning a family trip that avoids the masses. That means opting for a trip that doesn’t include a major theme park, a beach vacation package deal, or even a ski resort. If you can steer clear of those spring break bastions, then you’ll spend a lot less time standing in lines or bumping into other people, and more time actually having fun as a family.

Here are a few ideas for a unique, fun-filled spring break family getaway.

C Lazy U Dude Ranch Vacation in Colorado

Animal loving and outdoorsy families will love the chance to vacation on a dude ranch, especially one that specializes in horseback riding vacations for the whole family. C Lazy U is a dude ranch in beautiful Colorado. Far away from amusement park and beach traffic, this is the ultimate crowd-beating spring break escape.

Here in the mountains, winter fun lasts through the spring, allowing families to have fun in the snow without the masses and hit-or-miss spring conditions of big ski resorts. Based in a cozy cabin, the whole family is spoiled with activity options – from horseback-riding to a tubing hill and more. Plus, this all-inclusive resort means parents don’t have to worry about overpriced meals!

At C Lazy U, spring break is celebrated for an entire month – from March 9 through April 10, 2016 – and features discounted rates for the family.

Baseball spring training

Kick off the summer early with a sneak peek at the pro baseball season to come. For sporty families who pass their summers rooting for the home team under the bright lights of a ball park (or shuttling around to Little League games and practices), Florida and Arizona present a special spring break destination. Both states are home to Major League Baseball spring training camps.

Spring training is more relaxed and less commercialized than the official baseball season. It’s a chance to see your favorite team and players in smaller and more up-close ballparks – and maybe even meet them! Don’t forget your autograph books.

Find out if your favorite team is training in Arizona (Cactus League) or Florida (Grapefruit League), and plan your trip accordingly. Either way, you can’t go wrong – both are warm and sunny escapes from winter weather.

Spring festivals

The arrival of spring inspires all kinds of traditional festivals throughout the country. Family-friendly festivals make a fun and memorable focal point of the trip. Here are a few that are sure to make the whole family smile.

  • National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. Especially recommended for anyone whose favorite color is pink! In 2016, the peak bloom is predicted to take place between Mar 31 and April 3, but the festivities (and blossoms) extend throughout the spring. Festival dates are March 20 to April 17, 2016.
  • Maple Fest Celebration in St. Albans, Vermont. As if celebrating the golden sweetness of pure maple syrup weren’t reason enough, the 2016 Maple Fest Celebration is extra special because 2016 is the festival’s 50th anniversary. The folksy three-day event is filled with things to do, including children’s programs (think talent show!), plus great craft items and specialty food for Mom and Dad. Festival dates are April 23 to 25, 2016.
  • Kite Festival Louisiane. Hosted in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, this event doubles as an escape to warmer climes. Spend the weekend on a giant grassy lawn, marveling at professional kite fliers and perfecting your own kiting skills. Best of all – it’s free! Festival dates are April 1 to 3, 2016.

Volunteer vacation as a family

Alternative spring breaks are promoted on university campuses across the country. But college kids aren’t the only ones looking for something a little different and a little more meaningful to do during their break from classes. Families with school-age kids can volunteer together in their own communities, or make it into a trip to see other parts of the country (or world!) as well.

One volunteering idea for families is to get in touch with Habitat for Humanity, which organizes youth programs. This organization gives the kids the chance to get involved and lend a hand on a housing build site, often with destination projects around the country. Families can even join a Global Village trip to help out abroad. For nature-loving families, there are several environment-oriented organizations with volunteer programs for families, such as the Sierra Club and The Nature Corps.

With unique options like these, a spring break family vacation doesn’t have to be stressful.

Unplugging At The Ranch

It’s no surprise that we’ve become heavily dependent on technology. With all our emails, notifications, and text messages, being accessible 24/7 can take its toll. To truly get away from all the noise, C Lazy U dude ranch helps you unplug, relax, and experience the adventure of a lifetime. Nestled in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, take in our astonishing views, luxurious accommodations, and unique indoor and outdoor activities.

girl sitting on sled

Read on to learn more about how a visit to the ranch can help you disconnect from your technology and reconnect with nature, your loved ones, and yourself.  

Get Outdoors 

people playing hockey on ice

One of the easiest ways to unplug is to enjoy the great outdoors, and C Lazy U has plenty of activities to keep you busy. Soak in the spectacular landscape on horseback, test your aim with archery, explore the 8,500 acres of ranch land on a hike or bike ride, or enjoy one of our many off-ranch activities. The fun doesn’t stop if you arrive in wintertime – we offer winter horseback riding, sleigh rides, ice skating, trap shooting, and more! 

Enjoy The Little Things   

christmas fireplace

At C Lazy U, we make it easy to enjoy the present moment. In your cabin, you’ll find we’ve swapped traditional TVs for real, wood burning fireplaces for you to enjoy. Instead of flipping on the television, sit by the crackling fire with your loved ones. You’ll be able to recap your favorite parts of your day and enjoy spending quality time with your family.   

Give Yourself a Break 

couple in bath tub

If you’ve been feeling pulled in all different directions, The Lazy You Spa can help. Choose a treatment or two (or three!) from our robust spa menu, which includes massage, facials, soothing scrubs, wraps, and soaks. Before you know it, visions of your phone or inbox will disappear as you settle into relaxation.   

Learn About Yourself 

Learning a new skill (or unearthing a natural talent) can help you rediscover yourself. At the ranch, there’s countless ways to challenge and learn about yourself. From archery to trap shooting, you’ll be able to try something different everyday – you may just find your new favorite hobby! 

shooting a pistol

You deserve a vacation that will help you truly relax, unplug, and unwind, and C Lazy U is the perfect place to do just that. From helping you create lifelong memories with your family to simply helping you reconnect with the outdoors, C Lazy U will help you look away from your screen and enjoy the moment.  

Valentine’s Day

YUCK! The ranch has been taken over by love this Valentine’s Day, and I for one am not for it! Take a look at what I’ve been having to deal with all day- all the classic symptoms of love have been exhibited by one or more of my comrades… really guys?!

Love sickness.
Love sickness.


It’s enough to make this donkey lose his appetite! OK, well not that bad- nothing could be that bad; but the cases are pretty severe, and I can’t wait till it all ends!

Similar mannerisms.
Similar mannerisms.


 Frolicking and loss of person style.
Frolicking and loss of person style.

Volunteering At C Lazy U

After the East Troublesome Fire made its way through C Lazy U’s property in October 2020, the staff has been hard at work making repairs, upgrading facilities, and clearing fallen trees and limbs from some of our favorite trails. Behind the scenes, a group of dedicated C Lazy U volunteers have been lending a helping hand and helping restore the luxury guest ranch. 

building a teepee

How Volunteers Support The Ranch

Thankfully, much of the ranch’s buildings were spared from the fire, so volunteers’ efforts have been focused on cleaning and repairing C Lazy U’s 8,500 acres of land. In addition to clearing fallen trees, shrubs, and bushes that suffered extensive fire damage, volunteers are helping build new trails and seeding impacted areas to create new plant life. With the ranch in full operation, the staff is all hands on deck. These small groups of volunteers have been critical to beautifying the ranch and supporting the natural healing process that happens after a fire of this magnitude. 

Keeping Volunteers Safe

To keep our volunteers safe, we keep volunteer groups small. When volunteers arrive, the ranch staff provides an initial safety briefing with clear instructions. Volunteers are provided with protective gear, like gloves, helmets, hard hats, and protective eyewear. Once the volunteers receive their assignments, we provide radios and all-terrain vehicles for our staff and volunteers to navigate the ranch and stay in touch.  

Meet The Volunteers

putting in fences

So far, C Lazy U has held two small, invite-only volunteer days. We interviewed two of the volunteers, Mike and Mark, to learn more about their experience:

What motivated you to volunteer at C Lazy U after the fires?

Mark: Because it is home to the homeowners, guests, horses, and wildlife, and it is a protected property that will remain in its natural state long beyond our lifetimes. The fires, while tragic in their loss of property and greenery, will soon be consumed by the endless passage of time and the ranch will remember but the event will be buried by countless new memories. We wanted to be a small part of that continuum of time and healing. Further, we know our friends were deeply impacted by the fires and wanted to help their healing with our support.

Mike: CLU sees the opportunity for the future.  The team is not looking backward but forwards into the next millennium and how the next generation will utilize this place.  I wanted to be part of seizing that opportunity to make it even better.

What was your favorite thing about cleaning up Woodsie and seeding the Garden in the Gods Trail?

people placing fences in place

Mark: Realizing that manual labor is a noble profession and hard work!

Mike: I just liked to get to know the places better. Garden of in Gods was burned and needed trail work and seed spreading. I enjoyed making sure the trails were draining properly to avoid erosion.

What Does C Lazy U mean to you?

Mark: A celebration of our shared western past and a wholesome family adventure. 

Mike: C Lazy U is an iconic place in Colorado. It embodies a rich history of ranching and is adapting to meet the changing needs and desires of the visitors by making things like mountain biking accessible. The ranch has done an amazing job making horse-only trails accessible to all types of users including hikers, horses, and mountain bikes. 

group after the teepee was made

Want To Get Involved?

We’re so thankful for the outpouring of love and support from our community and guests, and so many people have volunteered to help the ranch rebuild. For now, we’re keeping volunteer days small and invite-only to ensure we provide safe opportunities for volunteers. Future opportunities for the public will be announced via social media and email, so be sure to keep an eye out for any updates! In the meantime, if you’re interested in supporting our surrounding community, consider donating to the Grand Foundation Wildfire Emergency fund

Thank you to everyone who has reached out, sent well-wishes, or volunteered their time, talents, and treasure. We’re truly blessed to be surrounded by such a strong community, and we hope you visit us at the ranch soon!

Vote for C Lazy U as USA TODAY’s Best Destination Resort


We are so excited to announce that C Lazy U Ranch has been nominated for USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award in the category for Best Destination Resort!

In order to win we need your help! Voting is open through August 1st and you can vote once a day.

We are so honored to have been nominated for this award. This is the first year this category as been added to the 10Best Readers’ Choice travel awards and it’d be awesome to take home the inaugural honor.

We know our guests are the best in the world and we do everything we can to make your stay at C Lazy U truly the best destination resort experience ever. Our passion for adventure, family, and the outdoors is what makes our ranch so special. Whether its horseback riding in the summer or whizzing down the tubing hill in winter, the C Lazy U Guest Ranch offers family-friendly outdoor activities for all seasons so your trip will be memorable no matter what time of year you visit! Now THAT’S what we call a world-class destination!

Vote for C Lazy U: Your Choice for the Best Destination Resort

c lazy u usa today

We don’t offer the very best dude ranch experience in Colorado just for the title, but we sure do appreciate the accolades! C Lazy U Ranch is honored to have been nominated by a panel of travel experts, for USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice travel award contest for Best Destination Resort — and now it’s all up to the guests to choose the winner.

We invite those who enjoyed staying at C Lazy U Ranch to share their thoughts with the rest of the US (and the world) by voting in the contest.

When, Where and How to Vote

The voting period is open for four weeks, giving you plenty of time to show support. Each voter may cast one vote each day until Wednesday, August 2, 2017, at 12 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. MDT). You won’t have to wait long to see who won — the winner of the category will be announced on Friday, August 4 at 12 p.m. EDT (10 a.m. MDT). usa today 10 best 2017 award

Vote for C Lazy U Ranch

The destination resorts were chosen for the overall experiences they offer, including luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, indulgent spa treatments and tons of activities for guest to enjoy — just like we offer. The resorts were chosen by the panel based on industry awards and guest reviews.
We’re looking forward to seeing how C Lazy U stacks up against the tough competition. In the meantime, we’ll keep on offering that superior service we’re known for!

Want A New Horseback Riding Challenge? Try Cattle Pushing

If you’re an experienced horseman (or have at least a few rides under your belt), try one of C Lazy U’s most unique ranch activities: cattle pushing. Experience what it’s like to be a true cowboy or cowgirl as you join C Lazy U’s wranglers on horseback to move their herd of cattle. 

horses rounding up the others

This fun, one-in-a-lifetime experience is one of the hidden gems of this Colorado dude ranch, and one you won’t want to miss out on! 

What Is Cattle Pushing? 

Cattle pushing allows C Lazy U guests to immerse themselves in an authentic western activity. On horseback, guests help wranglers round up and move the ranch’s herd of 30 cattle from one pasture to another. Moving cattle to different pastures every few days ensures they have enough fresh, natural grass to eat and gives older pastures time to grow back. Guests can feel proud that they helped the cattle stay healthy, hydrated, and fed.  

How Does It Work? 

Your cattle pushing clinic will begin by the barn, where you’ll be partnered with your horse. Then, you and the wrangler team will head out to the cattle pastures, where our staff will walk you through some basic instructions. Once you’re prepared, you’ll work as a team to move the cattle.

girl riding horse next to cow

Like horses, cows are herd animals, so they’ll generally move together, but don’t be surprised if a few rogue cows need some special attention! Throughout the clinic, you’ll learn a lot about yourself, your horse, and some stubborn cows, all while practicing your horsemanship in a brand new way. By the end, you’ll move the cattle to a new pasture, close the gate (quickly!) and celebrate a hard morning’s work with a home cooked meal.  

What Experience Do I Need? 

Cattle pushing requires some horseback riding experience, so we limit the activity to teens and adults. To make sure you stay safe during the activity, you’ll need to go on a few trail rides or attend some instructional sessions at the ranch before signing up for the cattle pushing clinic. 

people rounding up horses

Can I Participate In Cattle Pushing Year Round? 

Cattle pushing is only offered from Mid-May to Mid-September, so book your trip in late spring, summer, or early fall.

What Equipment Should I Bring To The Clinic? 

Since you’ll be on horseback, bring the normal riding gear you’d wear for a trail ride. Our wranglers will provide any other equipment you may need.  

cows and horses

As an all-inclusive Colorado luxury dude ranch, C Lazy U offers something for everyone. From cattle pushing to our elegant spa, the whole family can enjoy a one-of-a-kind vacation in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Contact us today to book your next vacation!     

Want To Make C Lazy U Your Permanent Vacation Home?

There are hundreds of reasons why guests choose to visit C Lazy U over and over again: luxury accommodations, world-renowned horseback riding, breathtaking views of the Colorado Rocky Mountains, and countless activities for the entire family. Whether you’re a long-time fan of C Lazy U or have just recently fallen in love, we have good news: you can make this elegant guest ranch your permanent vacation home

hero fall ride with sky

Vacation Homes In The Colorado Rockies 

Are you dreaming of blue skies, lush meadows, iconic Colorado forests, and a supportive community? Purchasing a lot or home on C Lazy U’s property gives you just that.  The ranch is home to four neighborhoods stretching from North to South on the western side of Willow Creek Reservoir, which preserves the land and views to the east. Property owners (known as “members”) can enjoy the community of their neighbors in central areas as well as the tranquility of wide-open spaces. C Lazy U’s meticulously designed Membership Program balances the adventure of the American West with the relaxation everyone looks for in a second home. 

Benefits of Becoming A C Lazy U Member 

In addition to owning your own slice of paradise, C Lazy U’s Membership Program gives you a stress-free escape. Members enjoy countless benefits, including: 

  • Access to an experienced staff and services like: 
    • Housekeeping 
    • Maintenance 
    • Snowplowing 
    • Trash removal 
    • 24-hour emergency response 
  • Regular inspection and monitoring of your property when you’re away 
  • Dedicated Member Services Director to handle all your needs after purchasing real estate 
  • Access to C Lazy U ranch and all of its facilities, including The Lodge, Patio House, Lazy You Spa, and more 
  • Access to gourmet dining simply by making a dining reservation 
horse in field

Adventure Is At Your Doorstep  

With 8,500 acres of public and private land to explore, adventure is around every corner – without the time and expense of operating a working ranch. We’ll take care of all the hard work, like fencing, taking care of the horses, maintaining the trails, and upkeeping the facilities.  All you have to do is enjoy it! Our members are invited to take part in all of the ranch’s activities, including: 

  • Complimentary year-round horseback riding for your immediate family 
  • Access to our resources as an Orvis Endorsed fly fishing lodge, including 2 miles of private water 
  • Access to our private trail system for horseback riding, hiking, and mountain biking 
  • Optional a-la-carte boarding and horse care services if you own your own horse 

Are you interested in making C Lazy U your forever home? Contact us today to learn more about becoming a ranch member or to schedule a tour of some of our available properties. 

Western Elegance At C Lazy U Ranch

Ready for some much-needed pampering at an all-inclusive Colorado ranch resort that features all the comforts of home, plus stunning views of the Rocky Mountains, expansive blue skies, lush green meadows, and fresh mountain air?

Exterior of the Main Lodge

From luxury accommodations to relaxing spa treatments and gourmet meals, C Lazy U Ranch will provide the vacation of a lifetime for you and your loved ones.

Luxurious Western Lodgings

During your stay at our all-inclusive dude ranch, you will enjoy our spacious rooms or private one to three bedroom cabins that offer a 5-star resort experience. Our luxury lodgings have been recently renovated with special touches that convey an elegant western ambiance, and provide plush robes, bath products by L’OCCITANE, in-room safes, and Keurig Coffee, tea, and cocoa machines. All accommodations are within walking distance of the main lodge and include daily housekeeping services. Most accommodations also include stone fireplaces, so you can cozy up to the fire with a cup of hot cocoa (or fine wine) at the end of a day of fun and adventure at the ranch!

Fine Dining

Our resident Executive Chef will serve up a diverse menu of longtime favorites and regional specialties during your stay, including classics like Beef Tender Wellington, Rosemary Rack of Lamb, Green Chile Corn Custard, Pepper Pot Stew, and an array of decadent desserts (for guests with special dietary needs, all dietary restrictions can be accommodated). 

Dining room in the Main Lodge

Breakfast and lunch are from a made-to-order menu, and lunch is served outdoors poolside at the Patio House kitchen in the warmer months and in our main lodge in the cooler seasons. Dinner in our elegant main lodge is more formal and includes a four-course meal followed by a sumptuous dessert. After dinner, guests can enjoy drinks by the fire, including whiskey, craft beer, and wine selections curated by our in-house sommelier.

Thinking of visiting us in the summer? From June to August, we offer a traditional cookout breakfast every Friday, complete with homemade donuts, eggs, bacon, sausage, fruit, and pancakes fresh from our outdoor grill. Start your morning soaking in the spectacular views and fresh mountain air while sipping a cup of fragrant “Cowboy Coffee” served by a roaring fire.

Unwind at the Luxurious Lazy U Spa

Relax after a long day of horseback riding, Orvis-endorsed fly fishing and other ranch adventures at Colorado’s premier dude ranch.  With six luxurious tents situated by Willow Creek, our award-winning Lazy You Spa provides a spa experience unlike any other. Two of the tents even feature glass floors suspended over the river, allowing you to watch the gurgling waters as you treat yourself to a relaxing massage.

lazy you spa entry

Our full-service spa offers traditional treatments such as massages, facials, and mani-pedis — or try our famous “Cowboy Soak,” a moonlit soak in a therapeutic copper tub overlooking the Continental Divide. Champagne and strawberries are included in this unparalleled resort experience!

Whether you’re planning a dream family vacation, a romantic couple’s getaway, a family reunion, or wedding, C Lazy U Ranch is the ideal spot to rest and recharge. Spots are filling up quickly, so contact us today at 970-887-3344 to book an all-inclusive stay.

What can you glean from the 2018 Find Your Inner Cowgirl Retreat?

This post has been written by Retreat Leader, Cathy Woods. The views of the writer do not necessarily reflect those of C Lazy U Ranch.

Event details: Find Your Inner Cowgirl through Body, Mind, Equine is a unique women’s retreat that leads participants on a journey of awareness, growth, fun, adventure and heart connections. This 3-night retreat at C Lazy U offers daily yoga and meditation sessions, as well as arena and trail time with horses.

2 ladies on horses high-fiving

For those who are joining us at this year’s retreat, here are a few highlights and expectations for the event:

Double the Benefits.

At the onset, participants might think they are just coming to do yoga and ride horses, but the benefits often go far beyond initial expectations. Through yoga practice, we can learn about ourselves in a deeper way. There is a saying, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” During the yoga, you will have the chance to really observe the inner workings of the mind and keenly tap in to your own energy, and watch as it shifts.

The same dynamic can also be learned through horsemanship. In spending this integrated time together, we become more aware of the energies around us—those of other people, or horses, of nature. We can understand and move through blocks in our lives and the things that may be holding us back, such as fear, lack of confidence, or power/control issues. We are encouraged to face and accept these blocks without self-judgment. This allows us to live in a more mindful and empowered way, bringing home new tools to use on and off the yoga mat, in horsemanship and in daily life. Combining these two modalities—yoga and horsemanship—is doubly powerful.


woman petting horses faceIn both yoga and horsemanship, the same skills are important: breathing, body awareness, energy awareness, strength, balance, and flexibility. Body, Mind, Equine teaches you how to become a more aware and conscious rider, using yogic principles (not just yoga postures) to improve horsemanship from ground to saddle.

Shifts happen.

One of my favorite things about leading retreats is seeing the guests’ palpable transformation from when they arrive to when they leave. Time away in a new setting, being in nature, and unplugging have transformative and lasting effects. At the end, the participants embody a softer, lighter glow. They return home in a much better place—physically, mentally and emotionally rested.

women retreat meditation

Cowgirl Spirit.

What does it mean to be a cowgirl? In addition to the subtle inner work at this retreat, there is time to contemplate the spirit of the cowgirl, which is really an attitude. It does not necessarily mean being tough, but (to name a few attributes) it means being tender, resourceful, authentic, strong, and intuitive.

A Feast for the Soul.

Being around horses feeds something deep within us, and horses abound at C Lazy U! Watching the “daily jingle” and sensing the power of 200 horses trotting by as they are moved from pasture to barn can only be felt in person. The beauty, power and strength of observing “horse/herd dynamics” is a unique experience, and one of my favorite times at the ranch. It can’t really be described with words; you have to be there to appreciate it!

A Gift for Women.

This is a great solo retreat, lovely girlfriend’s get-away or mother/daughter time, and this year it happens to fall on Mother’s Day Weekend: May 10-13, 2018. In this safe, supportive, and nurturing environment, women can recharge by connecting with each other. The intimate size of the group allows for relationships to deepen and new friendships to be made—all in the breathtaking wild beauty at the heart of the Rocky Mountains. There is plenty of time and space allowed for personal time as well.

A Marvelous Venue.

Have I mentioned how wonderful this place is? The C Lazy U Ranch is perfect for this program. The ranch pampers its guests with delicious food and a spa. The luxurious but cozy atmosphere, contrasted with the rugged surroundings, feels magical.

patio area with fire pit

Open to Any Woman.

The event is available to any woman who wants to attend, regardless of prior experience with yoga or horses. Everyone works from “where they are,” from beginners to experts. And, the experienced wranglers at the ranch match up the right people with the right horses.

Book your spot early as this event will sell out!

Note from the author: Come join us! If you are seeking a fun, quality, retreat of a lifetime, this is the one for you. Indeed, this is the favorite program I’ve offered in my 27 years of teaching. It’s the perfect blend, with a little bit of everything. Hope to see you there!

Happy Trails & Namaste ~ Yogini & long-time trail rider, Cathy Woods

What Do C Lazy U’s Horses Do In The Winter?

With over 200 horses and 8,500 acres of Colorado mountains to explore, horseback riding is one of the most popular activities at C Lazy U ranch. This family-friendly vacation activity is available year-round, allowing guests to experience the beauty of the ranch in every season.

winter jingle

Today, we’re answering your most-asked questions about what C Lazy U’s horses do in the wintertime, both on and off the trail.  

How Do Horses Stay Warm In The Winter? 

Horses adapt well to the cold and start growing a thick winter coat as the temperatures start to drop. When they’re not on the trail, our horses live out most of the winter in the West Meadow, where they can huddle together under the willows. Willows are a great natural resource to protect the horses from harsh winter temperatures. If the wind is bad, the horses turn their behinds towards the wind and stay huddled together for additional protection. 

Can You Ride Horses In The Winter?

group of people horse back riding in the snow

Absolutely. In fact, there’s nothing quite like exploring the Colorado wilderness during a winter horseback ride. Whether you’re enjoying the flakes falling gently around you or riding through a fresh blanket of snow, winter horseback riding is a unique adventure you’ll remember forever.  While we won’t ride in a blizzard, we’ll ride in the cold and the snow, and most of the horses love it! 

Is It Safe To Ride Horses In The Winter? 

Winter horseback riding is safe and C Lazy U takes extra precautions to ensure the safety of our guests and our horses. The horses that work during the winter get special shoes with pads and studs to give them extra traction. If there’s heavy snow or ice, a wrangler and lead horse will “break trail.” This means the wrangler and horse in the lead position will work their way through the fresh snow, allowing the guests to safely follow in their footsteps.   

What Do Horses Do When They’re Not On The Trail? 

horses in the snow

Winter is a great time for our horses to rest, eat up, and get some much-needed time off. Since their bodies are working harder to keep them warm, we give our horses extra hay and our senior horses are given supplemental senior feed. Most of our horses enjoy the extra downtime to spend with their friends in the pasture, but if a horse is sick, injured, or old, we’ll move them to a paddock where we can give them additional care.  

C Lazy U’s Biggest Snow Lovers 

While most of our horses enjoy winter, our draft teams love it! Fred & Mike, Annie & Oakley, and Sam & Tom love to pull the sleigh, and each year one lucky team gets the honor of bringing Santa to the ranch.  

What Guests Wish You Knew About C Lazy U

Planning your first visit to Colorado’s beloved guest ranch, C Lazy U, and not sure what to expect? We’ve got you covered! We asked our guests to weigh in on what advice they’d give to a first-time guest. Read on to learn the inside scoop as you plan your stay at this award-winning Colorado vacation destination! 

Read More: The First-Timer’s Guide To C Lazy U 

Take Advantage of Horseback Riding 

C Lazy U is home to a herd of 200 horses and a robust horseback riding program. With trail rides suitable for kids, beginners, and advanced riders, every guest can have an experience they can enjoy. Best of all, our equestrian team will pair you with a horse that matches your ability and personality for the week so you can be even more comfortable on horseback. 

Definitely do the all-day ride if your tailbone can stand it!” – Lyndsey 

If you’ve never been on a horse, this will be the most fun you’ve ever had!” -Joanie

Soak Up The Authentic Western Experiences 

At C Lazy U, we pair modern luxury with the adventure of the West. As a real working dude ranch, we follow many of the same patterns as the cowboys of old – including the fan-favorite daily Jingle. If you’ve never seen a herd of horses (and 3 spunky miniature donkeys) running to and from pasture, the Jingle will amaze you! 

Watch the Jingle as much as possible!” – Kati 

horse happy hour

Take Time To Unplug 

At C Lazy U, wide open spaces, bright blue skies, and endless possibilities define us. Guests love leaving behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether they’re enjoying a luxury service in our one-of-a-kind spa, taking in the views of the Rocky Mountains, or enjoying a nap by the fire in their cabin, C Lazy U offers guests a chance to rest, recharge, and reconnect with what really matters. 

Take a lot of pictures and turn off your cell phone.” -Sara 

I would say that although adults don’t still “nap” when it’s afternoon rest time…take a nap. So you can enjoy every minute” – Guest

C Lazy U Is More Than A Vacation – It’s An Experience

There are countless reasons our guests make return visits. Maybe it’s the mouthwatering food, the exhilarating activities, or the space to let kids be kids – or all of the above. No matter what draws you to C Lazy U, you can rest assured you’ll find something (or many things!) that makes you want to come back time and time again. 

This is a life-changing place to vacation. Take in every single moment you’re there. Allow the beautiful scenery and the wonderful horses to make an imprint on your heart so you’ll never forget this experience.” -Karol 

Don’t be shocked if you never leave!” -Ashley

Make a reservation to go back next year before you leave!!!  Heaven on earth.” – Lauren

Are you ready to experience the magic of C Lazy U dude ranch for yourself? Make a reservation today!

What If I’m Scared Of Horses?

As Colorado’s premier dude ranch, many of C Lazy U’s guests visit for our world-class horseback riding. With 8,500 acres of land to explore and daily trail rides, city clickers and seasoned riders alike can get in touch with nature and strengthen their horsemanship skills. But, if you’re scared of horses, or simply just don’t like horseback riding, don’t worry – there’s plenty of activities you can enjoy. Read on for our favorite ranch activities you can do solo while your family is riding, or with your loved ones once they step out of the saddle.   

Visit The Spa 

If your family is out on a horseback ride, why not treat yourself to some you time? Our award-winning Lazy You Spa offers full-service treatment options, including manicures/pedicures, massages, facials, or our unique “Cowboy Soak.”

c lazy u spa bed

During summer vacations, enjoy your massage in a tent suspended over the Colorado River and relax as you watch the water rush by. Once your family and loved ones arrive from their horseback ride, you’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to take on the rest of the ranch’s unforgettable activities.  


Archery is a year-round favorite at the ranch. Create a friendly competition using traditional targets, or test your marksmanship skills with our three-dimensional targets.


This family-friendly activity welcomes children of all ages, and an extensive safety demonstration is performed before your archery session begins.  

Fly Fishing  

As one of the only Orvis-endorsed fly-fishing lodges in the state of Colorado, C Lazy U is known for creating high-quality fly-fishing experiences, both on and off the water. When you sign up for fly fishing, we’ll book you a one-hour complimentary lesson and provide all the equipment you’ll need. We also offer guided on-ranch fly fishing experiences on private stretches of water, and guests are invited to take non-guided full- or half-day trips to neighboring areas. 


Glamorize your family’s summer vacation with on-ranch glamping, or luxury camping. A ranch hand will guide your group to our secluded Outpost, where you’ll find our famous Conestoga Wagon, a roaring fire, and a s’mores kit. Perfect for large and small families, groups of friends, and couples, the Conestoga Wagon is fitted with a king bed, a twin-size bunk bed, and a table for two. Why not enjoy some quality time with your loved ones away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life?   

Hiking & Mountain Biking 

With thousands of acres to explore, soak in the sights on a hike. We have an extensive trail system that accommodates all skill levels, and we offer guided hikes to show guests the best trails the ranch has to offer.

people mountain biking

If mountain biking is more your speed, check out a bike at the Outfitter’s Cabin. While you’re there, you’ll have the option to sign up for a guided tour with our expert biking guides, who will take you on the best trail for your family members’ ages and skill levels.    

Winter Activities 

If you’re at the ranch during winter, there’s still plenty of activities to keep you busy. Enjoy ice skating and daily hockey games, or snow tube down our private hills.


If you want to hike the ranch during winter, check out some snowshoes from our Outfitter’s Cabin and learn why we were voted the 2nd best snowshoe destination in the world by Snowshoe Magazine.  

From trap shooting to paddle boating, ranger tours, zip lines, and more, C Lazy U has plenty of activities to create an unforgettable summer or winter vacation – no horses required. We hope to see you on the ranch soon!

What is a Dude Ranch? A Brief History

winter dude ranch

Today, “dude” means something like “bro”. But in the late 1800s and early 1900s, the word had a different slang meaning. Back then, a “dude” was an urbanite. It’s what western cattle ranchers, a.k.a. cowboys, called big-shot city slickers.

When city dwellers from the East Coast discovered that ranch visits in the wide open West made for great vacations, ranches started hosting them – and eventually charging them for their stays. Ranches that opened up to the tourism business were called guest ranches, or “dude ranches”. Here are a few imponderables about dude ranches and their origins.

Who were the very first dude ranchers?

The first dude ranch was located in the Dakota Badlands. Back in the 1880’s, cattle was booming in that region. An enterprising man by the name of Howard Eaton and his brothers started the Custer Trail Ranch and fell in love with the Western cowboy lifestyle. They wrote letters to their friends and family back on the East Coast about all the wild adventures they were having.

How did the word spread about ranch visits?

The early popularity of dude ranches owes itself, at least in part, to one of America’s most outdoorsy presidents, Teddy Roosevelt. He caught wind of the Eaton Brothers’ establishment and wanted a taste of cowboy life. Once he visited, he couldn’t get enough of the hunting, fishing, and horseback riding fun. Teddy bought his own ranch nearby – the Maltese Cross Ranch.

President Roosevelt’s accounts of ranch life fanned the flames of curiosity and adventure for Easterners about the Great American West. The well-dressed, shiny-shoed “dudes” started traveling out west in droves – both by the burgeoning railway system and in newfangled automobiles that started appearing in the early 20th century.

Where Ranch Visits Really Free Once?

Yes indeed! When “dude” guests first started appearing in the early years, there was no precedent for charging them money. In fact, it was an insult to western hospitality to try to pay for a several-day stay. Then, after a series of hardships hit ranchers who were receiving guests (and after they started tallying up the bills on how much extra they were spending on food and booze!) they decided to set themselves up as bona fide lodging businesses. The Eaton Brothers calculated that they would have to charge $10 a week per guest.

In the 1920s, the cattle industry cooled down and many ranchers hit hard times. They soon began to rely on their hospitality services to supplement their incomes. Wanting to take their guest ranches to the next level, they partnered up with Northern Pacific Railway and formed the Dude Ranchers’ Association in 1926. The goal was to ramp up the marketing, sales, and standards of the dude ranch experience.

What Do All Dude Ranches Have in Common?

Since their beginnings, dude ranches have prided themselves on the unique, authentic experience it delivers to city-dwelling guests in need of an escape outdoors. These special ranches all have deep histories and local traditions, and they take their hospitality very seriously. Ranches are a country home for their visitors, where guests feel like family among the staff and ranch hands.

Ranch life keeps itself entertaining in creative ways – costume parties, friendly competitions, stunts, pranks, inside jokes – and guests are always invited to join in! Combine those antics with good home cooking, fun outdoor activities, and big-sky western sunsets, and it’s no wonder why dude ranches have thrived as healthy, soulful retreats for city slickers generation after generation.

A Luxury Dude Ranch Experience

Come join us on some C Lazy U dude ranch fun in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. We offer a variety of all-inclusive activities for families, couples, and weekend getaways. From horseback riding to a day in our Lazy You Spa, we provide a dude ranch experience for any occasion and any season.

entry gate to c lazy u

See our vacation packages or contact us at C Lazy U dude ranch to learn more about the all-inclusive activities we offer.

What is a Luxury Dude Ranch?

C Lazy U - What is a Luxury Dude Ranch

Dude ranches don’t have to feel like an outdated summer camp. At an all-inclusive luxury dude ranch, you won’t find creaky bunks or cafeteria food. Instead, you’ll experience top-notch accommodations and gourmet meals.

C Lazy U has mastered rustic luxury and superior service in the remote Rocky Mountains of Colorado. Yes, five-star luxury is possible on a dude ranch. All it takes is one chef-inspired meal, one night’s sleep in our rustic-elegant cabins, and one visit to the Lazy You Spa, and you’ll get it. You’ll see what makes us an award-winning resort with a dude ranch heart.

Wining and Dining

Who says cowboys don’t have refined palates? You may be on a ranch, but our chef has brought his gourmet sensibilities to our kitchen. A stay at C Lazy U includes three gourmet meals each day. This is no ordinary backcountry fare; menus feature all sorts of local specialties, like house-made meats and Rocky Mountain wild game. Getting outdoors in the mountains is fun, but you may secretly decide that the decadent lunch offerings and the four-course dinner are the highlights of the day.

Every ranch dinner feast deserves a fine wine to go along with it. Not sure which red goes best with elk? Not to worry. The in-house sommelier Shelby will set you straight with a wine tasting. She comes to us from the California wine region, where she earned her Master Court of Sommeliers certification and graduated from the Napa Valley Wine Academy. Along with wine and food pairing suggestions, she’ll give a history lesson that really makes the flavors come to life.

Ahhhh, the Spa

Your muscles might get achy from all the great outdoor activities you’re participating in on the ranch, so indulge in the luxurious side of our luxury dude ranch with a trip to the Lazy You Spa.

Our treatment menu is packed full with all your favorite traditional spa treatments, with a little ranch twist. During the warm weather months, the full-service Lazy You Spa is set up in tents located in a beautiful field along a rolling creak. Not only are you surrounded by nature, but you can gaze through the glass floor at the trickling waters of Willow Creek as you’re mid-massage. Combine that with a few other special touches, such as matching his-and-hers copper tubs with a view, and you’ve got the makings of a truly luxurious mountain spa experience.

Rustically Elegant Cabins

You may have heard the phrase “rustically elegant” thrown around to describe our cabins. What exactly does that mean? Well, we’ve taken the best of “rustic” design (think traditional log structures, hardwood finishes, exposed rafters, and warm stone hearths) and combined them with a mountain luxury aesthetic.

You won’t find drafty bunk houses at C Lazy U. Instead, our private cabins are furnished with plush furniture facing a toasty fire, a supply of firewood tall enough to last all night, local artwork gracing the walls, and thick Persian rugs to tie the space together. It’s your relaxing home away from home, inspired by the mountain horizons and wild west culture just outside the door.

A stay on a dude ranch doesn’t mean “roughing it.” We’ve busted that myth. So bring your finest flannel and jeans, and dust off your best cowboy boots. C Lazy U is a casual cowboy retreat with just the right touch of luxury.

What Kind Of Horses Are There At C Lazy U?

As a working dude ranch, C Lazy U offers world-renowned horseback riding for children, teens, and adults. Although the ranch is home to over 200 horses, you won’t see all of them on the trail.

running horses

Read on to learn more about the different kinds of horses at C Lazy U, what they do, and meet some of our fans’ favorite 4-legged friends. Giddy up!  

Adult Trail Horses

As the largest group on the ranch, about 60 horses are trained fo