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What Our Guests are Saying...


Trip Advisor Guest Ranch Reviews

Dude Ranch Vacations

Thank you so much! We absolutely loved our time here at the ranch. The cabin was amazing, the scenery was amazing and the food...fantastic!

Travis & Whitney Swartz

As people have been calling all of us today to ask about our vacation we have each tried our best to describe to our friends and family what a great time we had and to share with them the unique and special experience of a Sylvan Dale vacation.  What strikes me as I listen to the kids talk about it, and as I try to describe it myself is that it is easy to describe the week of activities, but really difficult to describe the quality of the activities, the quality of the interaction with the people who provide the activities, and the sheer beauty of the country the activities take place in.  I mean really how can one truly describe the sound of the Thompson River running outside your window in the morning or the sun hitting the red rocks as it sets at night?

While Sylvan Dale is located in a really beautiful spot and the surrounding mountains and country are also spectacular, it seems to be the quality of the Sylvan Dale people that really make the difference.   Everyone who works at Sylvan Dale seems to really enjoy what they do.  They seem to have a fondness for the place and for the land and they seem to go out of their way to make sure that guests have a wonderful experience at Sylvan Dale.

Lori Latka

Mary and I wish to sincerely express our joy for the week we had at Sylvan Dale.  This was our first experience at a guest ranch and my first experience on a horse.  We did not know what to expect.  But this I do know, we were not disappointed and we now have many positive memories.  I am very impressed with everyone at the ranch.  From the top on down, everybody works long hours to make our stay enjoyable.  This was an absolute pleasure.

Robert L. Baird

Thank you for the most wonderful and memorable time I spent at your ranch.  I have many delightful and fun pictures.  Everyone has a smile on their face.  That shows you we were all enjoying everything.  I have never been on a vacation like this.  Your staff and wranglers made me feel so comfortable, even for us novices.  I can't say enough about the meals we had...delicious.  I also want to say what a great program you have for the children.  I think my best time was when a group of us got to herd the cattle from pen to pen and couldn't let them get to the mountain of muck.

Susan Andersen

It is quite difficult to know where to begin as there are so many adjectives, emotions and accolades running around in my head.  In my opinion, the conclusion is that Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch in its entirety, is a beautiful ranch and is rated  a "10" in all aspects.  Each department does a great job of managing their specific area, and accomplishing their goals and objectives in a most professional, efficient yet cordial manner.  The facility, the activities, and the food were all excellent and especially the people, the Jessup's, their staff and guest.  Everyone provided such a warm, friendly atmosphere making me feel welcomed like a big family gathering - it definitely enhanced my visit!  Linda and David were great hosts as were Susan and David A. even though I didn't have as much of an opportunity to spend time with them.

Thank you for the great opportunity to get to know some very accomplished, special individuals. The conversations, experiences, and good times will always be remembered. 'Til we meet again!

Carole Betz

Sylvan Dale received 100% excellent on staff friendliness and helpfulness from our guests!

“The best staff of any organization I have ever seen!”

“Good balance of constant activities, but not rushed.”

“As an experienced rider & horse owner, I highly recommend the riding horses and wranglers at SDR.  It's a great way to challenge your skills without the hassle of trailering.  The horses are well-trained, fit & suitable for all levels of riding.  Enjoy the ride of a lifetime at SDR.”

“I would like to compliment the wranglers for their outstanding job of instructing the students.”

“As an experienced rider, I appreciated the flexibility of the horse program to provide riding experiences to my level, and those that challenged me.  The barn staff went out of their way to match me with a suitable horse so I could truly experience the authentic Sylvan Dale Ranch.”

Leaving Sylvan Dale
(Poem composed for the Friday night Ranch Party)

We'll be missing Sylvan Dale when we leave (boo hoo)
We'll miss Krista calling cows in the field (come on!)
We'll miss best desserts in town when we leave (yum yum)
We'll miss riding with the wranglers on the trail (yee haw!)


John and I had the most amazing weekend staying at the Bed and Breakfast up at Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch ... we were warmly welcomed by everyone we came into contact with, and I mean everyone! If you are by chance considering getting married up here, contact Sue Bennett, she is the wedding coordinator and she is the sweetest wedding coordinator for a venue that I have ever met. I promise, she will take care of you! If you haven’t been here, I highly recommend it! Thank you Sylvan Dale Ranch for making our (late) Valentines Weekend Get-a-way the best it could have been!  read more

Dalen Nicole

We want to say thank you to the entire staff at the ranch for making our wedding weekend better than we ever could have imagined.

Cheryl L.

...All of our guests were charmed by the Sylvan Dale - the beauty of the surroundings and all the comfortable amenities... What happy memories you helped to make!

Donna Sharpe, Mother of the Groom

I was more than pleased with everything.  The service was more than I could have asked for.  You and all your staff were so helpful to me.  All I had to do was to turn and there was someone there to assist me with what ever I needed.  I for one, felt very well taken care of.  Thank you so much.

Susan Egan

Mother of the Bride

Thanks so much for the wonderful food at our wedding event last Saturday... Many commented to me how very nice the food was.  My brother was in from DC and attends many gala events due to his position (he also cooks gourmet stuff himself and has even done cooking schools in Italy for fun) and he made a point to tell me the food was just excellent.

We had such a wonderful wedding due in large part to all of the great service, attention to detail, and wonderful atmosphere that is Sylvan Dale.

Christina and Eric Morway

Bride and Groom

The food was amazing and your eye for detail was perfect.  I felt very spoiled the whole time.

Emily and Juan Acosta

Bride and Groom

First, I wanted to thank you and the rest of the staff at Sylvan Dale for an excellent weekend!! All of the guests at our events were so pleased with your facilities and many commented on how friendly all of the staff were to them.  You all made our wedding weekend a very special and memorable occasion.  We really could not have asked for more!!

Erin and Chris Mencini

Bride and Groom

We registered for beef on our wedding registry. Heart-J Beef made the whole process so easy. Our friends and family were able to call in and donate any amount towards our order. The grass fed beef from Heart-J Beef is amazing and we've been coming back ever since.  We would recommend Heart-J Beef to anyone.

Colin and Erin Quinn, Bride and Groom


Hands down the best facility we have ever had for a team meeting.  We have stayed in hotels across North America, and all of them are a distant 2nd in service to your staff.  I would love to duplicate your culture for all of our 3,000 hotels.  Truly an amazing place!!

Mike Swanigan, Regional Director, Western US & Local Market sales, Hotel Performance Support, InterContinental Hotels Group, The Americas

Sylvan Dale is a glowing example of quality customer service! The icing on the cake is the warmth and authenticity you extend. Thank you!

Sheri Martin

Business Retreat guest

...Our deepest gratitude for the outstanding job that all the staff did on our behalf when we held our Diocesan Board of Directors retreat ...Every ranch staff member we encountered was uniformly friendly and helpful, and we were made to feel most welcome and at home...Everyone enjoyed the hospitality and the excellent meals...

Lelanda Lee

Board Member, Denver, CO

Thanks again for the royal reception and the first class treatment. Our group thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

David J. Joseph Company

Cincinnati, Ohio

I would not hesitate to recommend Sylvan Dale’s facility for any corporate group that wants to combine business and team building.  Sylvan Dale’s facility offered everything we needed for a productive meeting.  The location is conveniently close to Loveland / Fort Collins, yet the setting is quiet and felt far away.  This enabled us all to remove ourselves mentally from our daily responsibilities so we could focus our energies on the topics of the meeting.   Our attendees from both domestic and international locations enjoyed the ranching atmosphere, which gave everyone a flavor for the unique beauty of Colorado and the American West.  The highlight of our meeting was the equine-assisted team building activity.  For an afternoon, we were all ranch hands, learning riding skills as a group and then putting them immediately to use in activities that tested and further developed our communication and teamwork skills.  Not only was the team-building highly effective for our group, but the experience was so unique that it will be remembered for years to come.

Bob Steiner, Director, R&D, Hewlett-Packard

I wanted to thank you again for hosting the Nestle Healthcare Region meeting last week.  My experience and the response from the group was nothing less than outstanding!  From the meeting room, dining experience, trail ride and guest quarters; it has all exceeded our expectation!  Thank you again for providing such outstanding service.  It was definitely "Legendary Hospitality!

Melissa Barcewski

Nestle Healthcare

Thank you for your kind and generous treatment of our church group.  The great facilities and wonderful food was only excelled by the hospitality.  We hope to do it again.

J. Emmett Roberts, Minister

Church of Christ

We have just concluded our 2008 season of Retreats, and by all accounts it has been another wonderful success! ... The support we have received from you and Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch has been a vital ingredient to our success and we are very grateful for your ongoing generosity.

Stan Golub

Executive Director, Reel Recovery

The location of Sylvan Dale, at the mouth of the Big Thompson Canyon is breathtaking, with pristine wildlife viewing opportunities, amazing geologic formations, and cattle/horse ranch activities which all contribute to creating our amazing retreat experiences.  It is an incredible place to learn, listen, observe, and heal our souls.  Our clients delight in these retreats, and we enjoy coming to the ranch on a monthly basis (or more often!). I am so appreciative that the Sylvan Dale family opens their hearts and spirit to us; to allow us the pleasure of experiencing this slice of heaven for our specialized retreat events.  One needs a chance to get away to nature for renewal, reflection, and rejuvenations.  Our wonderful nature walks along the river, self-discovery sessions, accommodations with stone fireplaces, and the opportunity to breathe clean mountain air allows us to leave the Ranch with renewed levels of creativity, inspirations, hope, and vigor!

Dr. Allen D. Brandon, Ph.D.

Director, Rocky Mountain Neuropsychological Sciences, P.C.

Family Reunions

Christmas 2008 is now memories captured digitally on cameras and forever in our minds.  Without a doubt one of the most memorable Christmas' of my life, and I believe my feelings are shared by the other 28 members of the Assmus Family Christmas Reunion.  Charles and Donna Assmus, celebrating their 58th wedding anniversary this year, have five children whose families have grown through the years to the point where no single household can comfortably support a gathering of all family members.  The Sylvan Dale Lodge and specifically the Wagon Wheel Bunkhouse was the perfect setting and accommodations for our family Christmas reunion.  The large bunkhouse, with stone fireplace, log furniture, tables, and the adjacent kitchen made for an ideal setting to socialize, play pinochle, board games, and gather for gift exchanges and Christmas carols.  The adjoining private bedrooms and baths allowed for a good nights rest, although most didn't maintain their normal sleep schedules as the adrenalin rush from once again being together as a family made sleep difficult to come by - at least the first night. 

Outside the bunkhouse, the Sylvan Dale ranch allowed for early morning runs on the gravel roads scattered throughout the ranch.  The runners observed coyotes up close and deer on the distant hills.  On the second day we held a much hyped outdoor kickball game with the older generation challenging the younger generation to bragging rights!  The temperatures were in the low 20's and a few inches of snow covered our scratched out field, but the competition was intense and the action non-stop - keeping most everyone warm 'till the end.  However, once back at the bunkhouse, the warm fire and hot cider made for a great place to recant the great plays and view the digital photos.

Thanks again, for providing such a wonderful setting for our Assmus Family Christmas Reunion.  The breakfasts were to die for!  Please extend our gratitude once again to the cooks and the servers.  We're already talking about other gatherings at the Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch, and the Lord willing ... celebrating Charles and Donna's 60th wedding anniversary at your mountain ranch facility.

Assmus Family Reunion

Thank you, Sylvan Dale! From Kate, Pat Mother, Marilyn, Karen, Cyndi, Jenny, and about forty other happy celebrants.  We all appreciated all that you did to make our celebration perfect!  Wow!  What a Week!  With many thanks, best wishes and hoping for an opportunity to return to Sylvan Dale.

Sylvan Dale was such a great setting and a wonderful retreat to enjoy our celebration!

We had a chance to connect in such a beautiful setting with such relaxing and attentive service as well.  It just could not have been better. 

I’ve loved those brisk, overcast days, the sudden showers, the roaring river, the sounds of the birds, and an occasional whinny!

Sylvan Dale was the perfect setting for our celebration.

What a perfectly lovely location you chose, with weather to match...I can only imagine the magic you all worked to make it all happen.  It was a truly feel good experience in every way.

Yes, Yes, Yes!  More days at the Ranch!  What a beautiful place it is!  That was just a stellar event!

Karen Bird and Family

Our Schmidt Family Reunion was a great success, due in a large part to the setting.  Everyone loved Sylvan Dale! It's interesting to note that most of the Colorado people were not aware of the amenities that the Ranch offered.  Now, I hope, many of them will find it to be a great escape, which is right at their doorsteps.  Thank you for your time and patience as we worked through the details.  There is a lot of enthusiasm about doing it again in two or three years, so don't toss the file quite yet!  Thank you again and best wishes for a successful summer.

Sylvia Garney

This was the most perfect place we have ever been for a family reunion!  We had such a good time.

The Hahn Family Reunion

Bed and Breakfast (B&B)

We had a great time here. You guys have a great ranch. We loved it. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The horses were great. The scenery is beautiful. It was just a really lovely experience being here.  Thank you so much for having us.

Clyde and Dawn Raines

We were put up in the Molly Brown Cottage last Monday and enjoyed our stay very much.  What a lovely setting...beautiful! We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and were impressed with all the staff members we met.  We will be happy to recommend your business to all we meet.

Orville Riddle

Spent the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend at the Sylvan Dale Ranch. It was a most memorable experience. The cabins are beautiful, all the staff did a great job, the food was great, the horseback rides into the mountains were breathtaking, it is beautiful country!

But I think the most important aspect of the whole experience was the homey family atmosphere. Guests, staff and the owners of Sylvan Dale just all seemed to come together to make one big happy family.... Everyone makes you feel like family here. I can't thank everyone enough for the chance to be a small part of this wonderful place!!! Hope to get to go back there and visit again. I would highly recommend this as a memorable vacation experience!!! :)


Cindy Roberts

Cowgirl Round-Up

Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to be involved in the Cowgirl Round-up! I had fun with the staff, attendees, guests and other queens.  Thank you!

Megan Grieve, Miss Rodeo Colorado 2008

It was such fun to see familiar cowgirl faces and meet new cowgirls and what a great evening's entertainment, too.  Something different and really enjoyable! It was a real treat for me.

Carol Burgard

Spring Break-Away

We made the long journey back to Wellington after a great stay at Sylvan Dale!  We really enjoyed our stay.  Everyone was very hospitable. The meals were well prepared and filling. The lodging was very comfortable. The setting was very pleasant.

Phil Schwolert

Owner/Publisher of The Homesteader


Perhaps you should include time travel in your marketing material.

I blinked going into the valley yesterday.  Blinking again hours later...It was as if time froze.  Even better the day transported me back to a time my father and I played Damsels and Dragons.

Although my father ascended into Heaven in 2002, he was tangibly with me fish after fish.  A father's day gift for a 52 year old son...fatherless for 6 years.

I remember a scene from the movie Field of Dreams.  John Kinsella asks Is this Heaven?  His son Ray says, No, it's Iowa. I could have sworn it was Heaven being in the valley all alone with my father yesterday.

I echo John Kinsella's words.  I just wanted to thank you folks for putting up the valley, letting us play here.

P.S. The Dragons Won!

Steve Musick

Annual Fishing Member

Heart-J Grass-fed Beef

I had been a vegetarian who ate organically for nearly forty years. However, head injury from a car accident so increased my need for protein that I knew I needed to eat some red meat - a huge transition for me.

Luckily, I already knew the owners and staff of Sylvan Dale Ranch and their excellent reputation for grass fed and carefully handled cattle, right through to the processing of the meat.

I began with small amounts of their hamburger and not only felt an immediate difference health wise, but I easily enjoyed the flavor, which surprised me.

After a few weeks eating Heart-J beef, my schedule didn't permit me to visit Sylvan Dale Ranch when I needed beef. Consequently, I bought top-of-the-line hamburger of a well known brand at the health food store. I threw half of it away because I just couldn't "stomach it". There was an enormous difference in taste and leanness between the two products.

I was very grateful that I had known about Heart-J been initially, and I was very glad to return to using it. In addition, Heart-J went out of it's way to make sure it was easy for me to have access to this healthful meat. So, customer service, too. It's a winner all the way around!

Nancy Waldrum

We care greatly about three things: well managed grasslands, the humane treatment of animals, and tasty, well aged, well cut beef. Sylvan Dale beef excels at all three. Thank you.

Carl & Jane Bock

My friend cooked a Heart J Beef roast for 1 hour and it was delicious; very juicy and tender! Everyone raved! I now know how to cook an oven roast and also know how good your meat is. The other thing we noticed after the meal was that we didn't feel like we had a heavy meal. The meat seems to digest easier then grain fed beef.

Deanna Pearson

I am honestly loving our beef that we got last month. It is the best! From the Rib-eye to the ground beef, it doesn't get any better. It is the best tasting beef we have ever had! The ribeyes we fixed the other night, simply made you close your eyes and say mmmmmmm. I would recommend SDR beef to anyone.

Ted Meredith, Loveland


Colorado Dude & Guest Ranch Association Dude Ranchers' Association