WTR was first opened as a guest ranch in 1950. In 1969, WTR was purchased by Gene and Jan Roberts. WTR has been owned and operated since 1970 by Jan and Gene Roberts. They have three grown children, Randy, Lance and Erika.
The Roberts family and their staff have invited guests from around the world to share our western heritage and hospitality for decades. The Roberts family and WTR staff are recognized for their dedication to excellence in guest services and in regards to their exceptional and progressive programs.
WTR has been featured on numerous national and international television programs as well as featured in magazines and other publications with both national and international impact. The Roberts family has been very active and influential not only within the dude & guest ranch industry but also among their local community. This involvement has garnered them many awards over the years, but most importantly they have achieved great respect and honor for their life's work.
Traditionally, the Southern Ute Indians used the Pine River Valley as summer hunting grounds. In the early 1940s, Vallecito Lake was built as a Bureau of Reclamation project to serve as storage for irrigation water for the Southern Utes and Lower Pine River Valley. “Coal Oil Johnny” owned most of the upper valley and later divided it into two parts: Granite Peaks Ranch at the north end of the valley, and what are now WTR, Teelawuket, and Penn Ranches. The original homestead was owned by Jeanette Scoville who was a notable and progressive figure in the local history. Ms. Scoville was a member of the Reading Club of Durango and the Colorado Federation of Women which both were instrumental in preserving such sites as Mesa Verde National Park and the trees along East Third Avenue in Durango. More history on these former owners of WTR can be found in books such as Women to the Rescue, Pioneers of San Juan County, Rocky Mountain Boom Town, and Durango Diary.
The Lodge, Ponderosa Cabins, and two of the barns are historic buildings built between 1947 and 1949 using three thousand board feet of lumber harvested from the ranch property and adjoining national forest. The fireplaces, doors, light fixtures, lamps, and some furniture were also hand-crafted from local, natural materials and historic items such as antique cavalry stirrups, horse shoes, and ore wagon wheels.