If you’re looking for an awe-inspiring natural wonder to explore in Mesa Verde Colorado, then a stop at the Canyons of the Ancients Monument should be on your bucket list. This incredible geological formation is home to some of the most stunning scenery in the state. But, what will make it even better is choosing the perfect place to stay after a long day exploring. And that place is Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch.
Aside from its convenient location near the monument, the unique working ranch will add more memories to your trip with the different activities to do (like collecting eggs from the chicken coop!).
About the Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch
Have you ever wanted to stay on a working ranch? The Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch in Cortez, Colorado offers just that opportunity. This ranch is home to a variety of animals, including the cutest dogs! Guests can stay in one of the ranch’s cabins and help with the animals or simply enjoy the peace and quiet of the land.
About the Animals
A ranch is not without the farm animals that form a part of its owner’s family. Here at their guest ranch, you’ll get to meet different animals such as Long-horn cattle, cows, chickens, and more up close and personal (with their cute and quirky names, nonetheless!)
From Quasimodo to Liberty the 4-horn sheep to Mickey the sweet cow to their dogs Dolores, Booger, Trigger, puppy DJ, and the whole gang, their company (along with hosts Garry and Ming) will surely make you feel welcome during your stay.
Lodging at the Ranch
The Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch is a unique lodging option for those looking to experience Southwest Colorado in all its beauty.
Guests can choose to stay in one of the ranch’s many cabins, which are furnished with authentic antique decor and local handicrafts, and offer stunning views of the surrounding canyon. Their farm-fresh products, like the basket of eggs you’ll have in your fridge, garden vegetables, and grass-fed beef/lamb, offer a unique taste of the ranch.
Cowboy Log Cabin
A trip to a guest ranch definitely warrants a taste of the Old West, and the Cowboy Log Cabin is just the place to be. The cabin is cozy and comfortable and offers stunning views of the red rock canyons. It also features a beautiful queen-size bed, leather rocking chair, vintage dresser, kitchen cabinet, and a propane BBQ grill outside for your roasting needs.
The Wagstaff Cabin is one of the most popular cabins at the Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch (and is the one that I stayed in during my trip to Mesa Verde Colorado!) It is perfect for couples or families who want to experience the canyon’s beauty peacefully while still having access to modern amenities—like WiFi.
This cozy, Appalachian-style cabin is made of 200-year-old logs, featuring two bedrooms, a full kitchen, and a living room with a fireplace, perfect for getting cozy during the cooler months. It also has a spacious porch overlooking the canyon, which is just the sight to see while having a sip of your morning coffee (or tea).
Elden Stone House
The Elden Stone House is a unique abode in the Ranch’s arsenal. Built during the 1880s, this fully restored and renovated 3-bedroom home offers guests a full kitchen, washer & dryer, gazebo with BBQ grill, and a spacious rock-walled living room. Guests can also enjoy their mornings on the patio, where they can watch the sunrise over the canyon walls. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, the Elden Stone House is sure to exceed your expectations.
The Ranch House, the largest residence on the site, is perfect for gatherings of extended families, intimate workshops, retreats, or even wedding receptions. It comfortably sleeps eight guests and boasts four bedrooms, a master suite, a living room, a dining room, a charming sunroom offering scenic pasture/mountain views, and a covered porch with a swing. Wow!
It also has a stunning Saltillo floor, several family antiques, and an eclectic collection of furnishings from around the world. And have I mentioned that prominent figures such as President Lincoln, General Grant, and Col. Alfred Wagstaff (owner Garry’s great grandfather) once dined at the very vintage dining room table in the house back in the 1860s at Long Island, NY?
About the Canyons of the Ancients Monument
If you’re staying at the ranch, of course you’ll want to stop by the nearby sites, and Canyons of the Ancients Monument is a stunning piece of natural history that is well worth a visit. The monument was established in 2000 to protect and preserve the area’s abundant archaeological resources. It covers an area of 176,056 acres and contains the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the United States!
With canyons and mesas rich with ancient ruins, petroglyphs, and pictographs, there’s plenty of things to discover, whether on foot (plenty of hiking trails!), by bike, or even on horseback.
How to Explore the Canyon of the Ancients Monument
Visitors to the Canyons of the Ancients Monument will find a wealth of hiking opportunities. The first step is to pick the perfect trail (like the Sand Canyon Trail). Once you’ve decided on a trail, it’s time to hit the road. And no hike is complete without a delicious picnic lunch, so pack plenty of snacks and drinks for the journey ahead.
Another fun option for exploring the area is by doing it on a horse. Giddyup! There’s just something about seeing the ancient Puebloan archaeological sites while on horseback that makes the experience truly epic. Canyon Trails Ranch can take your Mesa Verde country bucket list further by offering a truly unique experience for those looking to explore the Canyons of the Ancients Monument via a four-legged friend.
Nestled among beautiful red rocks and towering mesas, the ranch provides visitors access to some of the most stunning scenery in the Southwest. With experienced guides leading the way, even novice riders can feel confident exploring this amazing landscape. And if you’re looking for something extra special, don’t miss out on staying in one of their tiny wagons at their campsite.
. . .
Some places are just special, and Canyon of the Ancients Guest Ranch is definitely one of them. With thousands of acres of peace and quiet and a chance to unwind, it’s the perfect place to stay when exploring all the area has to offer (like Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, and the Canyons of the Ancients Monument.)
I 100% loved my stay at the ranch, from the friendly and helpful owners Garry and Ming to the beautiful scenery to enjoying the fresh eggs in my cabin to activities like horseback riding, hiking, and exploring the local Colorado area.
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