Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch

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.

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.

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2013 Big Thompson Fundraiser T-shirt

Big Thompson Fundraiser T-shirt


Cowboy Up and Get Your 2013 Big Thompson Fundraiser T-shirt!

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.

2012-grandparents-day

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!

Read more on Grandparents Day 2012…

Tuesday June 19, 2012
by Forrest, Elkhorn Fly Rod & Reel

trophy-rainbow

Another Trophy Rainbow on Mother Lake

The fishing on Mother and Island lakes was incredible today.

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!

high-park-fire-update.gifLarimer Country GIS Landscape & Imagery Explorer


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.

http://www.larimer.org/emergency/emergency_detail.cfm?nam_id=85


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.

http://www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/


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

http://www.coemergency.com/2012/06/high-park-fire-map-june-16-highparkfire.html


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

clear-skies-at-sylvan-dale

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.

high-park-fire

The Heart-J logo above indicates Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch’s approximate location.

A summary of the status of the fire can be found here. For updated fire conditions visit www.inciweb.org/incident/2904/.

We’ll let you know via our website and on Facebook about any developments that might affect the ranch.

fly-fishing-in-big-thompson-river

Fly-fishing in the Big Thompson

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.

Read more on Introduction to Fly Fishing…

Mother Lake:
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
www.mudbugco.com

Guzzler project gives sixth-graders hands-on wildlife lesson

Written by
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.

bears-at-the-guzzler-300.jpg

Three black bears are caught on film at a guzzler Preston Middle School students installed at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch. Courtesy of Preston Middle School

read full article

  • 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.

Clint Clymer, left, poses with Hunter Aleman

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

Learn How You Can Help Hunter

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!

Jam 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.

lois_party_group

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!”

By Madeline Novey Reporter-Herald Staff Writer
Posted: 08/06/2011 03:23:59 PM MDT
reposted from the Reporter-Herald article

susan-jessup-watches-her-steers

Susan Jessup, co-owner of Sylvan Dale Ranch west of Loveland, rests upon a fence and watches as her steers lunch on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon. Unlike many, Jessup has not felt the burden of increased feed costs because the ranch grows its own hay to doll out to the grass-fed, grass-finished cattle.
( Madeline Novey )

The air was cool and gray clouds moved above a herd of black and brown steers as they munched on pasture grasses Thursday afternoon at Sylvan Dale Ranch.

Susan Jessup, whose family has owned the ranch west of Loveland since 1946, rested her elbows on the splintered fence and watched the 23 animals as they not only ate but also saved money.

Unlike some ranches, Sylvan Dale grows its own hay for the almost 100 cattle to eat maybe 60 days of the year when they are not out grazing natural grasses across the 3,000-acre ranch.

But not all cattle operations — or those with poultry, pigs or sheep for that matter — are so lucky. Over the past decade at least, the price of feed has gone up significantly.

On the other side, Jessup said her beef prices have not changed.

Read more on Sylvan Dale Ranch’s Grass-fed Cattle Battle Rising Feed Costs…

We’re pleased to announce that David Jessup has been chosen for a fellowship awarded by Colorado State University’s Center for Collaborative Conservation. David was selected as one of the five “conservation practitioners” to take part in the program. A total of only eighteen fellowships were awarded.

David Jessup is co-owner of Sylvan Dale Ranch, a 3,500-acre working dude ranch west of Loveland that raises grass-fed beef for local sale. Jessup’s fellowship will allow him to test two soil restoration strategies, mob grazing and compost tea application on an irrigated hay field where decades of hay removal has depleted the soil. Working with university and government collaborators, he will measure changes in soil quality indices and analyze the potential value of these improvements for a ranchland ecosystem services market for Colorado and the Western United States. His report will be applicable to soil restoration, conservation and grazing land management for private and public lands” (http://www.news.colostate.edu/Release/5703).

Warner College Collaborative Conservation Fellows
Photo credit: www.news.colostate.edu

Read the full article

We love nature and our beautiful valley teeming with wildlife. As the upcoming Christmas holiday draws closer it’s easy to find ourselves dashing and scurrying about tending to the various activities of this time of year, but we’re not alone!

squirrelSylvan Dale’s resident naturalist David Armstrong has been featured in an article published today on ReporterHerald.com that shares some interesting facts about our neighborly squirrels who are also busy about their own seasonal routine.

Take a moment to read the article, “‘Squirrelly’ for a reason, during this season” and perhaps learn a bit more about these popular and delightful little creatures.
Read more on Gettin’ ‘Squirrelly’ for the Holidays!…