Named "Best Family Vacation" by Frommer's Colorado guidebook and rated among the "Top Ten Colorado Dude Ranches" by True West Magazine, Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch offers year ‘round outdoor adventure.
Sylvan Dale is an historic working horse and cattle ranch (our all-natural Heart-J beef is delicious and available for purchase). Guests go on cattle drives and cattle roundups, trail rides, and overnight pack trips, take horseback riding lessons and play “Gymkhana” games on horseback. So c’mon and saddle up, discover your “inner cowboy,” and experience the old-fashioned family hospitality and cowboy culture of the historic American West.
During the ten weeks of summer (mid-June thru August) we host six-night dude ranch vacations, plus groups on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. During the rest of the year (fourth week in August through mid-June), we host overnight conferences and retreats as well as family reunions, group events, business meetings, dinners, receptions, picnics, bed & breakfast stays, holiday packages, special events, and weddings.
Conveniently located just one hour from Denver in the Colorado foothills near Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, Sylvan Dale’s 3200-acre Dude Ranch and Retreat Center is nestled along the banks of Colorado's beautiful Big Thompson River. Trophy trout fly fishing, nature experiences, tennis, swimming, and other activities await you.
For folks who care about nature and the environment, you will appreciate our green philosophy and sustainable practices. At Sylvan Dale, we pride ourselves on being good stewards of our land, our animals, and the earth.
Was this ridge the secret grave site of Lena Medina, the fifteen-year-old daughter of Loveland’s first settler? According to David M. Jessup’s historical novel, Mariano’s Crossing, the beautiful young girl could have been buried in a place like this after her distraught Indian mother stole the girl’s body from their home on the Big Thompson River.
Thirty participants visited this site during the May 17 tour of historic sites depicted in the book.
“Wow! What a ride and what a beautiful place,” said one participant after ascending to the cliff top. “Another said, “it was a very special day for all of us. David Jessup was so knowledgeable of the history of the ranch and of course of his book.”
The tour, sponsored by the Heart-J Center for Experiential Learning at Sylvan Dale Ranch, began with brunch in the ranch dining room followed by a walking visit to the original ranch homestead next to the river. Other sites included the restored Medina cemetery, the old Weldon school, and Namaqua Park, location of the original stage stop and trading post established by Mariano Medina in 1858.
The tour was sold out several days in advance, and a waiting list established for the next tour, to be scheduled sometime in September. To get on the wait list, contact email@example.com. To purchase a book, visit www.davidmjessup.com.
Filed under Ranch & History by on .
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer, is Mayor of HeidiTown.com, where she writes about Colorado travel and festivals. Heidi recently completed a very entertaining and inspiring three part series about her short-stay at Sylvan Dale earlier this spring. Read the series here:
Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch is trying to recover from the Big Thompson Flood. The funding from the t-shirts will go to cleaning, rebuilding, and getting the their feet back under the business. Do your part and cowboy up with a helping hand.
— David J. Hart
Get your t-shirt here: https://www.booster.com/bigthompson
Another super-successful Grandparents Day celebration is over.
This year almost 270 Grand Family members attended for the Grand Families’ picnic at Daddy J’s, (which is SO appropriate, since Maurice had a large and very special place in his heart for children who struggle.)
For those who don’t know this organization, it is a support group begun by the Namaqua Center, ten years ago, for grandparents who have stepped up and are raising their grandchildren. Many of the biological parents of these children have become meth, or other kinds of addicts and alcoholics, have become abusive, are in jailor have died.
Most of these children have been traumatized repeatedly. They have been abused, neglected, abandoned and exploited. They are not easy children to raise. They range in age from 2 years through adolescence.
The number of grandchildren being raised by one or more of these grand parents ranges from one to five. The grandparents provide them with love, safety and stability, often at great cost to themselves, their financial well-being, and their own dreams. I have never heard anyone of them complain!
Tuesday June 19, 2012
by Forrest, Elkhorn Fly Rod & Reel
I had one client who had a decent amount of fly fishing experience, but zero lake fishing experience.
The weather was in the mid 90s with a little breeze and blue skies, other than the plumes of smoke from the fire to the North. Before today, the client’s biggest fish was 18″. At the end of the day, with 28 hookups and 17 fish landed, only one fish had failed to break that record.
Three 24" rainbows topped the day with a tie for the longest fish, but the second one weighed in at nearly ten pounds, and had him in his backing in 6 seconds!!!
We had most of our success in Mother Lake, fishing a sink tip line with a pine squirrel leach and a damsel fly nymph, dragging it behind the belly boats.
Both big browns and rainbows were landed on both flies. After a while, we moved down to island lake fishing the newly dug channel at the inlet, and caught a few more nice rainbows, including the third 24 incher on top with a beetle. Red chronomids also had great success there.
In all it was a day for the books, and one that I look forward to witnessing again soon! They really do a spectacular job managing these lakes, and it pays off with unforgettable memories like these!
July 2, 2012 @ 11:10a
The High Park Fire is 100% contained at 87,284 acres. … Hot spots will continue to exist within the perimeter during the containment phase and residents should expect to see smoke for days and weeks as the fire moves from containment to control.
June 29, 2012 @ 11:38a
The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres, meaning the fire has not grown since June 27th. Containment is now estimated at 85 percent. The estimated containment date has been moved up from July 15th to July 1st. (source: Larimer County Emergency Information)
June 26, 2012 @ 8:22p
The High Park Fire is estimated at 87,284 acres with 65 percent containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at 33.1 million dollars. There are 1,805 fire personnel assigned to the firefighting effort. Equipment resources include: 10 Type 1 hand crews, 18 Type 2 hand crews, 156 engines, 11 dozers and 24 water tenders. Air Resources include; 7 Type I (heavy) helicopters, 3 Type II (medium) helicopters, 6 Type III (light) helicopters, 1 Type II helicopter with a radiometric imaging system attached, fixed wing support aircraft, and available heavy air tankers. … The total of homes destroyed to date remains at 257. (source: Larimer County Emergency Information)
June 21, 2012 @ 10:00a
The High Park Fire is estimated at 68,200 acres with 55% containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $19.6 million dollars. There are 1,978 fire personnel, 18 helicopters and 135 engines fighting the fire at this time with a 24-hour work schedule in place. Larimer County Emergency Information
June 20, 2012 @ 10:30a
The High Park Fire is estimated at 65,738 acres with 55% containment. The current cost of the fire to date is estimated at $17.2 million dollars.
June 18, 2012 @ 9:00p
The High Park Fire is estimated at 58,770 acres with 50% containment.
June 17, 2012 @ 7:30a
The High Park Fire is located approximately 15 miles west of Fort Collins and has burned 55,050 acres to date and is estimated 45 percent contained.
June 16, 2012 @ 10:59a
Statistics about High Park Fire
- 54,232 acres (84.7 square miles)
- 20 % contained
- 1,553 staff
- 103 engines working in the fire area & 112 assigned to High Park Fire
- 16 helicopters
- $9.1 million is current cost of fighting the fire
- Citizen briefing scheduled for 3 p.m. at The Ranch
June 14, 2012 @ 5:05p
High Park Fire Perimeter Map. (The map will take a moment to load.)
June 14, 2012 @ 11:27
The High Park Fire is still at around 10+% containment as of this morning. The skies are clear this morning at the ranch. View thew latest fire update: coemergency.com/2012/06/high-park-fire-update-june-14-at-1027.html
You can view the most current map of the High Park Fire here.
June 12, 2012 @ 16:07
Thank you to all who have called to check on us regarding the High Park Fire west of Fort Collins. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has been touched by this tragedy.
Fortunately for the ranch the fire is not near and there is currently no cause for alarm. There was some haze from the smoke this morning but it has cleared significantly.
We’ll let you know via our website and on Facebook about any developments that might affect the ranch.
We’re holding an Introductory Fly Fishing Clinic this Saturday, May 26th, 2012.
The fishing clinic presents a unique opportunity for local folks who have always wanted to learn how to fly fish..
Instruction will be given by Ted Meredith and Bill Franz, professional fly fishing guides.
Instructions will include the physics of casting with a demonstration on how to “load” the rod and let it do the work for you. Over head casts will be taught and practiced, as well as the “roll cast”.
Instructions on tying knots will be demonstrated plus reading the conditions of the water and the flies to use. Proper handling of the fish will be shown, as all of our catches will be released to fight again.
Filed under Fishing by on .
Fishing at Mother Lake continues to be hot with 40 fish days (total group) very reachable. As the weather has warmed trout are somewhat more selective with regards to streamers and very much more selective with regards to insects. Water temp mid-day, middle of the lake was 54 degrees on March 25th.
For streamers, darker leggy crawfish pattern about 2 inches or less are producing best. Slowly twitched along bottom in shallower areas are doing the trick. Fish are usually hitting on the pause or the fall. Also light to white small woolly buggers with a #16 red snow cone producing fish (try the NE corner on that one). Slow strip along bottom.
There are a variety of midges hatch morning and afternoon. And some Callibaetis in the morning. Unfortunately, the fish are focusing on the smaller midges and predominantly emergers, so 5-6x tippet is needed for consistent takes. The larger Mother lake midge has a highly segmented body so using a Callibaetis emerger, cripple, or spinner with the tail cut off will get some strikes. Small zebra midge or Chironomid suspended under an indicator fly is a more consistent rig when they’re rising.
Main Ranch River:
Very low but fish are feeding. If you know the spots try a dry/dropper with a #18-#20 Poison Blue Tung.
Submitted by: Wallace Westfeldt
Guzzler project gives sixth-graders hands-on wildlife lesson
Sarah Jane Kyle
Students in Amy Schmer’s sixth-grade science class at Preston Middle School are taking a hands-on approach to science this semester to improve not only their education, but the lives of local wildlife.
In August, the students partnered with Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch by installing a guzzler on the ranch’s property to provide a safe, readily accessible water source for bears, deer, elk, mountain lions and other animals.
Filed under Nature & Birding by on .
- What: Helping Hunter Fundraiser to help provide driver training and car.
- When: 6-10 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5.
- Where: Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, 2939 N. County Road 31D, Loveland.
- Cost: $25 donation at the door includes silent auction, live auction 7:30-8 p.m. and dance with deejay 8-10 p.m.
Like every 16-year-old, getting a license to drive is an important marker in Hunter Aleman’s life. Although muscular dystrophy has confined him to a wheelchair, the Mountain View High School sophomore hopes to someday have the freedom to travel from place to place on his own… (Joyce Davis For the Reporter-Herald) Read the full article from the Reporter Herald
Filed under Charitable Events by on .
Jammers’ Paradise… and Discount Special for Banjo Camp!
published by BMNN on Wed, 2011-10-19 23:59
Dr. Banjo: “After many years hosting camps at the lovely Boulder Inn, I was a little slow to try the Sylvan Dale Ranch as a camp venue. But when I saw the Wagon Wheel Lodge, it almost spoke to me, saying, ‘There can’t be a better venue than this for a jam camp!’”
There are 13 guest rooms in the Lodge, and a short walk away, along the Big Thompson River, is another lovely building where they serve a very nice breakfast that comes with your room. Then back to the Lodge, where we’ll be playing music all weekend!
Filed under Group Events by on .
In September we celebrated Lois Pierson-Houck as she completed 20 years in the saddle at Sylvan Dale. Lois has been a steady and resolute champion providing a sense of security to the entire Sylvan Dale family.
Starting her Sylvan Dale career in the spring of 1991, Lois has seen many changes on the Ranch including the building of the Heritage not to mention several shifts in personnel and ranch structure. Lois’ current position is in group sales. Her welcoming voice on the end of the line exudes a sense of confidence that only a well-seasoned professional can provide.
We have every reason to think that Lois could launch a new career as a consultant in “How to Adapt to Change and Come Out On Top.” Thank goodness she chooses to ride the range with us!
Congratulations, Lois, with our sincere “Thanks!”