Drowsy Water Ranch
Horseback riding, nature's beauty and family-style meals highlight a stay at this Colorado destination
The Fosha family has owned and operated Drowsy Water Ranch since 1977. These days, up to 60 guests make the 90-mile pilgrimage from Denver or other points each week during the summer months to stay in the mix of small, single-family cabins or in a guest room in the bunkhouse, and to ride their favorite mounts among the highly trained 113 head of horses.
“We have a very special relationship with our horses,” patriarch Ken Fosha explains. “We’ve bred, raised, and trained them to provide guests with the finest riding opportunities. We used to do a brief instruction and then turn guests loose on a trail ride like most of the resorts, but we found that if we give a little more daily instruction and test it out some to help improve the guests’ proficiency, they have a better riding experience and want to do it again.”
Each day in the rolling hills of Indian paintbrush, wild raspberries, sage, and cactus (the ranch borders and has access to thousands of acres of backcountry and the Arapaho National Forest) offers its own adventures, from a raft trip on the Colorado to a ride through the valley, topped off with an evening of square-dancing and satisfying Western grub. Meals are generally a family-style affair in the dining room, but depending on the weather, breakfast may be served on a mountaintop and lunch over an open-hearth barbecue or out the back of a chuck wagon.
An old Life magazine photo hangs on a wall of the low-slung common room of the original 1920s ranch house. In the image, the dudes of the day lounge about in black-and-white glory. Nearby, a group of modern-day kids huddle around a colorful board game. The times may have changed, but the authentic ranch experience, vital and rejuvenating, remains. 800.845.2292, www.drowsywater.com