How far are you from the nearest airport? From Durango? How do we get to the ranch?
The Durango-La Plata County Airport (DRO) is a one-hour drive from the ranch. United, US Airways, and Frontier provide service. We offer an airport transfer service for $50/person/round-trip. We will provide the same transfer service for any accommodation in Durango. A map and specific driving instructions are provided in our written literature and on this website (location).
The ranch is located 35 miles northeast of Durango, Colorado. Albuquerque, NM is a four-hour drive from the ranch, and Denver, CO is seven hours. If you choose to fly into Albuquerque or Denver and rent a car, we can suggest scenic drives and sites to visit on your way to the ranch. This is a great option for either end of your ranch stay!
What is included in your rate?
Our rate is all-inclusive! Enjoy rustic yet well appointed cabin accommodations, exceptional regionally influenced dining, horseback riding, cattle work, mountain biking, youth programs, a scenic drive up Middle Mountain, water skiing/tubing, nightly entertainment, our heated pool and hot tub, several stocked ponds, and many other activities along with our idyllic setting.
Please be aware when comparing our rates to other ranches: Many ranches add 10-15% in gratuities, a service charge, and/or charges for particular activities. The only services not included in our rates are massage therapy and spa services, private horsemanship clinics, and/or our extra off ranch excursions or concierge services- professionally guided fishing, climbing, mountain biking and whitewater rafting.
What makes WTR unique from other ranches?
Our People and our Location!
We are secluded, yet easily accessible, and we are surrounded by water. Wilderness Trails is in a true wilderness setting, bordering the Piedra and Weminuche Wilderness Areas-- Colorado’s largest road less landscape, and lies in the Upper Pine River Valley—just upstream from Vallecito Lake. Additionally, nearby Durango is a bustling and historic mountain community that boasts a plethora of activities, attractions, and events in a relaxed and friendly setting.
WTR has been family owned and operated by the Roberts since 1970, and our attentive staff matches our passion and dedication. We have exceptional programs for children and teens, and we offer a large variety of activities from water sports to high alpine riding to world class guided fly fishing and mountain biking.
How do the youth and teen programs work? Can I ride and eat with my children?
We have separate, supervised programs for 3-5 year olds (The Pony Express), 6-10 year olds (The Saddle Tramps), 11-12 year olds (The Bandits), and 13-17 year olds (The Posse). Children and teens ride, and many times, eat with their groups, and each program has one or more counselors depending on the size of the group. Adults may join their children’s’ rides, but children cannot join adults’ rides. We offer a family ride each week, although we are happy to arrange other family rides for you.
The Pony Express and Saddle Tramps eat several meals separately from the adults, while the Bandits and Posse typically eat with the adults unless they decide otherwise. We schedule many family meals and cookouts throughout the week. If you would like your children to join you for a meal, just let our chefs know.
We believe our youth and teen programs offer an ideal vacation for every member of your family—with a perfect blend of individual and family adventure and relaxation!
What do we bring for horseback riding?
We require that children from 6-17 wear traditional heeled cowboy boots when riding for their safety. We encourage, but do not provide helmets.
- Comfy jeans with a little extra length in the leg
- Long sleeve shirts protect from the trees and sun
- Long socks (knee length is great)
- Cowboy hat, ball cap, or helmet
- Cowboy boots
- Gloves (optional, but great to have)
- Small fanny pack or back pack to hold camera, Chapstick, sunglasses, etc.
- Water (we provide water bottles!)
- Wind breaker or sweatshirt
- We provide rain slickers
What type of lodging do you provide?
Accommodations are in individual, well-appointed log cabins, which were all constructed from logs taken from the property. We have 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom cabins for families of 4-5; and 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom cabins for larger or smaller families. Cabins may be divided into two units by a soundproof door. All cabins have attached decks, refrigerators, coffee makers, and ironing boards. We provide daily maid service.
What are your evening activities?
Evening activities include sing-a-longs, campfires, dance lessons, a hay ride, roping lessons, stargazing, and dancing to a live band.
How are the weather and temperature in June through September?
June is our driest month of the summer, daytime temperatures range from the mid 70’s to high 80’s (22-31° C). Evenings cool off to the 40’s, so it’s nice to bring a light jacket or sweater. Daytime temperatures in July and August are consistently in the high 80’s (25-31° C), and nights drop into the 50’s. Expect occasional, light, late afternoon and evening showers (lasting less than 2 hours) in late July and August. In September, daytime temperatures can range from the 60’s to 80’s (18-24° C), while evenings drop into the 30’s and 40’s (0-6° C). It is extraordinarily rare for us to have multiple days of rain at any time of the year.
Can you accommodate vegetarians or special diets?
Our Executive Chef prepares a wonderful variety of vegetable, meat, and fish dishes. He can accommodate vegetarians, diabetics, and other diets. Please meet with him at the beginning of the week to discuss your needs, and if you need something specific, please let us know before you arrive.
Can we ride fast?
Adult rides are divided by ability level, and our guests’ safety and comfort are priorities. More experienced riders travel at a faster pace over more rugged terrain than beginning riders. Our riding area offers a mixture of forest and meadow riding which allows for places to trot and canter. Beginning and intermediate riders will be given plenty of instruction if they choose to try moving at faster gaits. Many of our all day rides do not have opportunities to trot and canter due to the rugged nature of the terrain, while our half day rides cover a variety of terrain with opportunities to trot and canter. Other riding challenges include trailblazing and cattle work!
What activities do you offer besides riding?
On ranch facilities include a heated swimming pool and hot tub, two stocked trout ponds, and a recreation room. Additionally, we offer water skiing and tubing on nearby Vallecito Lake, a scenic alpine drive up Middle Mountain, a white water raft trip on the Animas River, hiking, mountain biking, guided fly fishing on the gold medal waters of the San Juan River, massage therapy, and evening entertainment.
Do you allow children under three? Do you provide babysitting?
Children under three stay for free, but we do not provide a program for them. Baby-sitting is available most afternoons and some evenings at a rate of $15/hour. Children in the youth program must be potty trained.
Is your pool heated?
Yes! We try to keep the pool near 80 degrees. It is 72’ long for those who enjoy swimming laps. A lifeguard is not on duty, but the maximum depth is 4’. Counselors always supervise children when at the pool. If your child cannot swim, we recommend providing a personal flotation device.
We close the pool at some point in September depending on daytime temperatures.
What is the best time of summer for rafting?
If you like real whitewater action, June is the best month for rafting as the Animas River is running at peak flows swelling from winter runoff. In July, the trip is mellower, but still offers several class III rapids. By August, the river may be too low to raft. We do not offer rafting in September.
What is your capacity? How many children will be at the ranch?
Our maximum guest capacity is 36. We have 8 guest cabins, all situated close to the main lodge and pool. The number of children and teens varies week to week, but typically ranges from 10-18. Please call the office to inquire about numbers of children during specific weeks.
What type of communication is available at the ranch?
Wi-fi Internet access is available in the lodge. Two phones are located at the ranch, all local and long distance calls are free. You may use the ranch fax to send or receive documents. Cabins do not have phones or televisions.
Why do you offer 6 day/6 night stay?
We have found that having guests check-in on Sunday, and checkout on Saturday offers many advantages. First, it allows more flexibility in scheduling travel. Second, it allows our guests an opportunity to explore the many attractions in SW Colorado around Durango, without having to take a day away from the ranch. Many of our guests ride the Durango-Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, visit historic mining towns, spend a night in Santa Fe or Taos, NM, or soak at Pagosa Hot Springs either directly before or after their ranch stay.
What are other things to do in the area?
Rent a jeep to explore Colorado’s high country and mining towns, or take a similar tour, raft a different section of the Animas River, soak in the hot springs in Pagosa, ride the Durango-Silverton train, visit Taos and Santa Fe, NM, visit Chaco Canyon, fish one of the area’s many rivers, take a whitewater kayaking lesson, explore Navajo Lake, hike a peak, take a rock climbing lesson, or visit Durango Mountain Resort to ride the alpine slide, take a scenic chairlift ride, or try the maze!
Let us know what you want to do - if we don't offer it, we can arrange it! We want this to be this the best time of your year - so please let us know how we can make it happen for you on or off the ranch!