The Home Ranch, CO

Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge in Clark, Colorado.

The Home Ranch, CO


Experience Colorado's timeless American West at The Home Ranch, an all-inclusive, Orvis-endorsed, luxury guest ranch set in the alpine grandeur of the Elk River Valley, near Steamboat Springs. Distinguished by its spectacular Rocky Mountain setting amid a million-acre wilderness, the ranch is an equestrian, fly fishing, and hiking paradise in the summer and fall, a Nordic and downhill skiing Nirvana in the winter and spring, and an adventure traveler-s dream all year long.

Renowned for its western horseback riding program, the rustic elegance of its lodge and cabins, and the beauty of its setting, it is crowned by the celebrated haute mountain cuisine of Chef Clyde Nelson. This Relais & Chateaux gem is the heart and soul of the Colorado mountain lifestyle.

Date Range

Our summer family season runs from early June to late August. We begin offering adult-only stays the last week of August and continue through early October. Our winter season begins in mid-December and continues through the end of March.

What is Provided to Customer

All the essential equipment for the listed on-ranch activities of horseback riding, fly fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, and snowshoeing are provided at The Home Ranch at no charge to our guests. Fly-fishing guests will have rods, reels, waders, and seasonal flies available to them through our ranch guides.

Region/Terrain Where You Fish

The Home Ranch is in the heart of the stunning Elk River Valley at an elevation of 7,200 feet. The ranch has about three miles of the Elk River flowing through the property. The Elk River is a classic Rocky Mountain freestone river that supports abundant populations of wild rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout. While the average trout is ten to sixteen inches in length, several rainbows are caught each year that reach twenty inches in length. The Elk River level changes significantly throughout the season. During spring runoff, the river is almost un-fishable. Depending on snowfall amounts, the river begins to drop around the first of July and continues its descent throughout the rest of the summer. There is also a private pond stocked with rainbow trout just a few yards from the main lodge.

In addition to the on-ranch fishing options, The Home Ranch has teamed with Bucking Rainbow, the only Orvis-endorsed outfitter in Steamboat Springs: Bucking Rainbow specializes in private water fisheries with access to over 60 miles of Colorado's finest trout streams and fisheries on the Yampa river.

Typical Weather by Season

The Home Ranch experiences weather patterns typical to the Alpine valleys on the Western Slope of Colorado's Rocky Mountains: 4 distinct seasons, lots of sunshine year-round, and in the winter months, some of the best and deepest dry powder snowfall in the Rockies. Typically the summer months of June, July and August are dry and temperate with daily temperatures in the 70's and 80's. The evenings and mornings will be cooler with lows in the 40s. An occasional thunderstorm will come through in the afternoon throughout the summer, but more regularly in late July and August. Temperatures will begin to fall in September and October, but there will still be lots of sunshine.

Beautiful, deep, dry snow covers the ranch during the winter with temperatures ranging from below zero to the 40s.


Sample of Typical Itinerary

As is customary for dude and guest ranches, during the summer and fall months we require a seven night stay, with guests arriving on Sunday and departing the following Sunday. Fishing is offered Monday – Saturday. Guided fly fishing or wrangler-led horseback riding trips begin at 9:00 am after breakfast and 2:00 pm after lunch.

Trips can include hiking or horseback riding to high mountain lakes, on-ranch, private river access on the Elk River, and off-ranch high mountain streams. Our guide will customize each day’s events depending on guest interest.

In addition to the fishing program, guests enjoy some of the finest horseback riding and hiking in the West, an exceptional children's program, and the options of mountain biking, rock climbing, skeet shooting, or balloon rides with outside outfitters.

In the winter, the entire ranch is devoted to offering guests 18 miles of exceptional cross-country ski trails on the ranch and exceptional backcountry skiing off-ranch. The ranch also offers valet shuttles to Steamboat Ski Area. Winter fly-fishing is an option and is arranged with our partners at Bucking Rainbow in Steamboat Springs.


On-site Activities

The setting of The Home Ranch provides our guests with an all-inclusive Western dream vacation experience from the doorstep of their private cabin or lodge room. Guests may follow their daily inclinations to adventure or leisure in any direction they wish to ride, hike, fish, or ski in the surrounding million-acre Routt National Forest and Mt. Zirkel wilderness.

Our all-inclusive rate includes your fly-fishing and skiing guides, wranglers, all horses and horseback riding, all fishing, skiing and riding equipment, and all other ranch activities. All-inclusive ranch activities include our exceptional summer program for kids, live evening entertainment, the famous Home Ranch Barn Dance, horseback riding, cattle work, rodeo (summer only), hiking, fly-fishing, cross-country skiing, skate skiing, snowshoeing, sleigh rides and transfers to and from the Hayden airport and Steamboat ski area. Yoga is offered during some weeks. Ask the front desk for unique weekly activities.

Guests are also welcome to set-up a cooking class with celebrated Chef Clyde Nelson, if they like.

For an additional price, guests can also request massage and spa services on-site.

Off-site Activities

The Front Desk at The Home Ranch offers guests daily shuttles into Steamboat Springs for Western shopping excursions. In the winter, guests who wish to downhill ski are shuttled to Steamboat Ski Area. The Home Ranch also has select relationships with local Steamboat outfitters that offer guests whitewater rafting trips, rock climbing, road and mountain biking, hot air ballooning, and dog sledding and snowmobiling in the winter months. Golf is also available at Haymaker Golf Course.


Lodging, Meals, and Accommodations

The Home Ranch is renowned for the beauty of its setting, the Western elegance of its lodge and cabin rooms, and its exceptional, celebrated chef: Clyde Nelson.

The Home Ranch offers 6 rooms in our main lodge and 8 private cabins. Tucked away in the aspens surrounding our main lodge, each of our cabins is unique in setting and design. A charming combination of rustic exteriors and inviting interiors, each cabin varies in size from one-bedroom loft/studios to a three-bedroom, three-bathroom, “Home on the Ranch.” Each cabin is appointed with antiques, native American rugs, plush down comforters, wood-burning stoves, hair dryers and robes. Some of our cabins have lofts that are perfect for the kids. Each cabin has its own porch and hot tub. All of our cabins can make a home for a family of four. To make you feel even more at home, you will find a small refrigerator stocked with crackers and cheese for an afternoon snack (if you haven't already filled up on the chocolate chip cookies in the bottomless cookie jar). For a list of specific cabins, please visit our website:

Our Colorado dude ranch offers six rooms in our main lodge. Our lodge rooms have all the comforts of a cabin, with a closer proximity to the pool, dining room, hot tub, laundry facilities and rec. room. Each is appointed with antiques, native American rugs, king beds with plush down comforters, hair dryers and robes. Each private bath was recently renovated and features glass enclosed showers and separate vanity. In addition to being closer to activities, guests also have immediate access to the ranch's living rooms. Each room can accommodate a family of three, with the exception of Bonanza. Some of our lodge rooms also have lofts. For a list of specific rooms, please visit our website.

The Dining Experience
The exquisite food at The Home Ranch has been called "haute mountain cuisine" and designated as "cooking of the highest standard." We have been duly praised by Bon Apetit, Gourmet, Food and Wine, etc...(but it's not polite to brag.) An all-inclusive vacation at our Colorado dude ranch is more than just a vacation, it is a culinary getaway of the highest order. Visit for more information.

Breakfast Served from 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. in the dining room. There are coffee, fruit, pastries, and cold cereal available on the buffet. The kitchen will also offer a number of hot entrees each day.

Lunch is served buffet-style pool side from 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. with a selection of salads, soups, and entrees on the grill.

Please note: There is no lunch served on Sundays, the arrival and departure day.

Dinner is a gourmet experience and a celebration of seasonal offerings. The type of dinner varies each night during the summer and fall, below is a copy of the typical week at the ranch. During the winter meals are plated and served in the dining room each evening at 7:00.


Species You Fish for by Season

The Elk River is a classic rocky mountain freestone river that supports abundant populations of wild rainbow, brown, brook, and cutthroat trout. While the average trout is ten to sixteen inches in length, several rainbows are caught each year that reach twenty inches in length. There is also a private pond stocked with rainbow trout just a few yards from the main lodge. The best Colorado fly fishing at the Home Ranch occurs in July through September. The best nymph fishing is usually in mid-July as the river begins to warm and descend (some of the largest trout are caught this time of year). The best dry-fly fishing is usually in August and September. The fall is a great time of year to hunt for trophy rainbows and browns with large streamer patterns.


What Should Customers Bring?

We suggest packing sunscreen, hats, camera, boots for riding, hiking boots, layers appropriate to the season, including one layer that is water resistant, and bathing suits during the summer and fall. Western and sport clothing to suit every season is also available at the ranch store and in Steamboat Springs.

In addition to the items listed above during the winter, we suggest layers of clothing for cross country skiing and snowshoeing and winter boots. A wool layer is suggested for your base layer followed by fleece and a water and wind resistant outer layer. The ranch will provide ski boots for cross country skiing.

There is not a dress code in the dining room, most folks wear jeans and a blouse or button up shirt.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What elevation is the ranch?
A. The Home Ranch is located in Clark, Colorado and sits at about 7200 feet.

Q. I have specific food allergies or dietary concerns, can you accommodate these?
A. With advance notice, we are able to accommodate dietary concerns and allergies. Please also let us know if you have any additional allergies that our staff needs to be made aware of (dogs, cats, horses, down, etc.)

Q. What are your check in and check out times?
A. Check in time is at 4:00pm and check out time is 10:00am. We will make every effort to accommodate early arrivals and late departures. As a reminder, we do not serve lunch on the day of your arrival or departure.

Q. What airport do I fly into?
A. The Hayden (HDN) airport is about 45 - 50 minutes from the ranch. We offer a complimentary shuttle to and from. The Denver (DIA) airport is a beautiful four hour drive.

Q. Will I need to rent a car?
A. Not if you fly into the Hayden airport and provide the ranch with your flight information. We provide shuttles to all off ranch activities.

Q. Do you provide or require riding helmets and boots?
A. We do require riding boots and have a small selection for you to choose from, if you don't have your own. However, most of our guests prefer to buy their own. There are a number of stores in Steamboat Springs or online. We do not require helmets. If you would prefer to wear one, we suggest that you purchase one prior to your arrival, as they require a precise fit.

Q. Do you have air conditioning?
A. We do not have air conditioning in any of our buildings and find that even on the hottest day of the summer it is not needed.

Q. Are there TVs or phones in the rooms?
A. There are no televisions or phones in the rooms or cabins. If a call is needed to be made and you do not have sufficient cell service, you may use a landline phone in the office. There are no televisions on the property.

Q. Is there internet available?
A. We provide free wi-fi throughout the ranch.

Q. Will my cell phone work?
A. Your phone may work depending on your provider. Verizon has wonderful service. AT&T's service gets better each year, but depending on your phone, may have some issues. Sprint and T-Mobile do not work, currently.

Q. Do you have a minimum age for your horseback riding program?
A. We ask that all children that visit the ranch be 6 years of age, regardless if they plan on riding or not. We do make one exception during the winter holiday season. We accept children of all ages, and ask that children 3 and under stay in one of our cabins.

Q. Do you allow pets?
A. We do not allow pets, but do have a ranch cat and dog.

Q. Do you have a pool, hot tub, spa, or exercise room?
A. We have a heated swimming pool and hot tub located outside the main lodge. Each cabin also has a private hot tub on its porch. We have a masseuse on call to help you work out the kinks. At this time we do not have an exercise room, but can suggest a number of trails for walking and running. We also offer a complimentary yoga class once a week.

Q. Do you have laundry facilities?
A. We do have a self-serve complimentary washer and dryer located near the main lodge. We provide detergent and fabric softener as well.

Q. What's additional?
A. In addition to the rates listed, you will be charged 3.9% tax and 15% service charge at the time of check out. Any liquor consumed is additional - whether in the bar or dining room. Any off-ranch activities offered through local outfitters - dog sledding, snowmobiling, lift tickets at Steamboat Ski Resort, fly fishing with Bucking Rainbow, rock climbing, river kayaking, whitewater rafting. Items from the Mustang Mercantile.

Q. There is a non-rider in our group - what will they be able to do?
A. We offer a number of additional activities to keep folks busy that do not choose to ride. They may go hiking, fishing, swimming, shopping in Steamboat Springs Colorado, or just relax in the beauty of the ranch. For an additional fee we can also arrange golf, mountain biking, skeet shooting or balloon rides.


The Home Ranch
Orvis-Endorsed Fly-Fishing Lodge
Selina Heintz
Greg Creamer (Head Fishing Guide)
Brooks Bradbury (General Manager)
54880 CR 129
Clark, CO 80428

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